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How to be a more productive developer

The other day, someone asked me if I had any tips for becoming more productive as a developer. Specifically, they were looking for a way to be able to write more code more quickly, while still keeping up their code quality.

Here are my recommendations.

  1. Plan your scripts out on paper before your open a text editor and start coding. It’s easier to think about how you’re going to approach the project and what steps need to happen before you dig into specific techniques. After you do this, writing the actual code can take less time.
  2. Stop obsessing over tools. It causes you to spend more time worrying about the perfect toolset and less time actually writing code. One of the reasons I love vanilla JS is because it’s ever green. Code you write today will still work a decade from now. The same is not always true for frameworks and libraries.
  3. Focus on solving problems. All technical details are is the way you’ve chosen to solve a particular problem. Know how to work through the thing you’re trying to accomplish and figure out the right approach and combination of tools is the skill that helps you get there.
  4. Maintain a library of snippets that you can reuse. Copy/paste is your friend. It will save you a ton of time recreating the same code over-and-over again, or hunting down that code you wrote before in some random project.

Any others you would add to the list?