Advice Archives

Lessons From 253 Days of Consecutive Freecoding

My recent camping vacation is what broke an epic 253 day streak of github commits.  Overwhelmingly this activity was a daily practice of freecoding to see first hand just how effective it could be at getting better at programming. Freecoding is based on a writing technique called free-writing which is supposed to get the juices flowing and eventually lead..

The Single Most Effective Productivity Tip

What do you believe is the single most important thing that will affect your productivity?  Time management? Software tools? Calendars? ToDo Lists?  No.  The most important thing that will affect your productivity is your expertise. Knowledge is the baseline for almost all work that we do in today’s information economy.  We simply cannot produce good information products without the..

How to Maintain Momentum

The main lesson from a handful of recent books that I have read has been focus on fewer, more important things if you really want to make progress.  Less but better.  And that the best way to maintain the momentum on the projects you do want to take on is to make small steps and celebrate the progress, rather..

Measure Opposing Indicators

All software developers know that measuring a developer’s productivity by counting lines of code written is not an effective way to measure their output.  The correlation between the technical difficulty of a problem and the number of lines of code is not always 1:1.  Which means that one developer can write 10 lines in a day and be very..

The Most Often Overlooked Programmer Skill

Programmers often take something for granted that would make them significantly better at their job.  No it’s not communication skills, or management.  The biggest differentiator between the best and average programmer is how often they have to refer to google to solve a problem. Any programmer who knows the basics of programming in a C like language feels like..

Three Ways to Become a Better Programmer

Programming is a great mix of both the creative and technical skills. Problem solving on a daily basis makes it one of the best jobs imaginable. Staying ahead of the technology curve and continuing to get better at your core skill is what differentiates an average programmer from the superb. The three most effective ways I have found to..

Finding Opportunities to Open Source

There are so many good reasons to open source code. Gain contributions from the wider community Contribute back for all the awesome you’ve gotten from Open Source To build the status of yourself or your company Attract the best programmers Get public feedback on the quality of your software More people will use your software open source reusable components actually..

5 Reasons You Should be Free Coding

Free coding is the practice of writing code quickly off the top of your head.  It should be done as part of a daily ritual for at least 10 uninterrupted minutes.  The goal isn’t necessarily to produce something useful or even complete.  You should strive to open the taps of originating thoughts in your head and pouring them quickly..

Always Be Learning – The World Keeps Changing

Probably the best thing about being a software developer is that everything is always changing and there’s always something to keep you engaged and learning new things. I think that is what helps keep your mind sharp as you get older. Being a programmer full-time is like spending all day doing Sudoku puzzles and getting paid for it. The..

1 Thing Programmers Should Do More Often

This past week I found myself with a task of creating pages on this site for all the Mobile Apps that have been developed by Halotis Inc. At the same time I wanted to get the marketing material organized for all of those apps in a consistent directory structure. Which lead me to something I believe more programmers should..