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How To Become A Productive Software Developer

Software development, as a whole, is a huge industry. Just about everything you use today is the product of a developer or group of developers. If you’re a freelancer, time is money, but accuracy is key. The more you’re able to produce, the more likely you are to earn additional projects.

Select a Niche

In terms of software development, there are some basics that can be applied to all types of development, but there are some aspects that are pretty niche-specific. For example, the healthcare industry has very specific needs while the auto insurance industry has others. You might want to specialize in writing programs for computers as opposed to mobile, or the other way around. Regardless, you’re going to need to show you have knowledge in the common programming languages as well as the industry you want to work with.
How To Become A Productive Software Developer

Set Goals

This is especially important if you’re working as an independent developer. Having written goals will help you to stay on track and will give you the motivation you need when things aren’t going as smoothly as you’d hoped. If you’re working as an independent developer, you essentially own your own business – so you need to keep that in mind as you work on your goals.

Plan Meetings Carefully

We all know that meetings are time-killers. As a developer, your most creative time of day is likely in the morning (if it isn’t, you know when it really is). Regardless, if you must be part of a meeting, schedule it for the time of day you already know you are going to be least productive (right after lunch or at the end of the day).

The same can really be said for checking your email. Don’t get sucked into someone’s perception of urgent (they’d pick up the phone if it was that important). Schedule your email reading/response times as you would any other break and stick to them to avoid gaps in productivity.

Partner with a Testing Company

Unless you have your own software, you’re going to want to partner with a third-party testing company to make sure your programs are working properly. They’ll catch bugs your super-trained eye might pass over, especially after spending a ton of time with a project. Look for programs from SmartBear or other sources to test the technical stuff, and sometimes consider asking your clients to give you a test group to confirm you’ve met their needs.

Working as an independent programmer can be incredibly lucrative and rewarding. Treat your business as just that – a business – and you’re destined to grow.

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