10 Tips How To Improve as a Software Developer

Photo by Luke Peters on Unsplash

Being on top of your game is a must if you want to succeed in a constantly changing field such as software development. Top-notch performance, ability to stick to deadlines, skills mastery, and always looking to optimize and improve are some of the main aspects that define success. But how do you get there? Here are the 10 best tactics on how to improve your performance and maximize your potential as a software developer. 

Know Your Goals 

A well-defined project is a must if you want to avoid wasted hours and low productivity. To be able to provide the desired results you need a clear vision, especially if you’re part of a team. Being aware of the progress, having pre-defined goals, and knowing the exact skills that are needed is key for the successful delivery of a project. 

Always break bigger goals into smaller tasks which helps to be more productive. Try to be specific and realistic in your goals as much as possible – you need them to be achievable and easily measurable, according to your project timeline. 

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help 

It doesn’t matter if you’re working alone or with a team, collaboration is the road to success. If you encounter a problem, don’t hesitate to look for help or a second opinion. Always aim to provide maximum information on where exactly did you experienced difficulties and what have you done to solve the problem. 

Focus on Specifics and Core Functionality 

It’s a long way until you get to the final phase of the project. The process includes different stages and in each one, you need to focus on the specific problems. At the beginning of the project, focus all efforts on the core functionality and then gradually move on to next, more complex features.  

Maximize Productivity by Working in Sprints 

To work in sprints means to divide the time for development into small periods, thus allowing you to be more time-efficient and productive. By focusing on a specific task within a pre-set time frame, you’ll be able to evaluate the performance much better and plan appropriately for the future. Using a project management technology of your choice will help you achieve the needed environment to focus on core activities and produce better results. 

Keep Track On Sprint Burndown

Sprint burndown is an important metric when it comes to tracking your performance. By looking at the progress in smaller parts rather than the whole project, it’s much easier to acknowledge the results of your work. 

In case you face a sprint burndown, you can speak to the project manager about the problem and ask for an extension of the time frame. A missed deadline can be an indicator that task density should be adjusted in the future. 

Don’t Waste Time In Meetings 

Meetings are important but they’re also time-consuming so make sure that they are as productive as possible. To do so, try to avoid all unnecessary meetings – it’s best if you hold one at the end of each stage to set the goals for the next one. Set a time limit for the meeting, prepare yourself, and stick to the agenda to avoid wasting yours and your team’s time. 

Create An Environment Free of Distractions

If you’re constantly being distracted, your productivity would be greatly impacted. And the biggest distraction of all is the never-ending notifications. You might think that answering your colleagues and other team members instantly is a sign of good team spirit but it works against your creativity and focus. Instead, set a do not disturb mode when you’re in the zone and get back to them when you’re finished with your task. Multitasking is often seen as a sign of increased performance but it actually has an unfavorable effect. Focus on one task at a time instead of trying to juggle all simultaneously without actually doing your best at any. 

Keep An Eye For Bugs 

You can’t avoid bugs but it’s important to find them early in the process to avoid long hours of debugging later. Use an automated testing system to prevent or reduce bugs and to deal with them promptly. 

Use Performance Boosting Tools 

From time-management to easier communication to personal well-being, there are different tools that help you be as efficient as possible. You can manage your projects in Jira or use Airtable to create spreadsheets and organize data. With Marker, your coworkers can report bugs, and team communication is a breeze when you use Slack. Don’t forget about that awesome article you saw if your feed but didn’t have time to read – save it for later in Pocket. And remember to take care of your mental health as stressful projects can wreak havoc on your well-being and lead to burnout – an app like Calm can help to restore the balance by daily meditation and breathing exercises. 

Expand Your Skills And Knowledge 

As a software developer, being on top of your game means you should always be familiar with the most up to date technologies. But to be really successful you should expand your knowledge beyond the programming languages and development practices. Research the industry you’re working for, the specific needs of your clients’ businesses so that you’ll be able to provide the best solution. 

By investing time and efforts into implementing these tips, you’re getting one step closer to maximize your potential and improve your performance as a software developer.