In business, it is a well-known thing that time is money. As a developer, mobile or web, learning to work fast is imperative to increase your conversion rates and income flow. In-fact, speed is a must in this line of work. In as much as experience cannot be taught, there are a few tips that one can employ to aid them improve on their speed and effectively enable them handle more projects. Isn’t that what we all what? To be able to do more projects and do them well.
Below is a list of 10 tips we have found effective (Aside from the java/coffee) in reducing the number of hours taken to get a project up and running:
- Pick a project that excites you : Simple as it may sound, it is actually a very crucial and important step. Yes, at the end of the day you want to make as much money as you possibly can. And this obviously mean taking on more projects (as long as you can handle). However, one thing most people fail to recognize is how they feel towards a given project. Yes, your feelings. If the project does not excite or challenge you,or if it is a project you are not passionate about, chances are you are not going to spend extra hours working on it. The consequence of cause is well known to many, delayed project deployment. So before deciding on taking a project, ensure it is one you feel connected to.
- Planning: Failing to plan is planning to fail. Ensure before you begin the development process, site or app, that you conduct as much planning as you possibly can. Learn about the industry, the users and their behavior, what you are going to do different, how you are going to do it as well as defining what the problem is. When Einstein was asked about what he would do when he was given 1 hour to save the world,he simply said he would put 55 minutes in defining the problem and only 5 minutes in solving it.The more you plan, the shorter period you take. What exactly does planning help you do? Well, if you can see the final project in your head before you begin, then you are pretty much done.
- Document everything: Documentation is another key thing that most people fail to do. Documentation begins from the meeting the client and is extended towards the planning phase. The beauty of this is always having a reference to go back to. In case of any hurdle in the future, then a lot of time wont be spent on working on the same. If in the event you face any bug, then document your solution. You never know, in programming bugs just never seem to go away. It also includes documenting your codes.
- Organize all your resource early enough: Resources here encompass the materials you will need for the completion of the project. If in case it is a website you are working on, you will probably need a template, content and images. Waiting to get these things (especially content and images) once you begin leads to back-and-forth between you and client that ultimately slows down the development process.
- Draw layout and create mock ups : For that app or site, draw the layout on paper and transfer it to mock-ups using software like Sketch, Photoshop , Fireworks or any tool of your liking. If it is a client project, show them the mock-ups for approval. This will help significantly as the client can approve of template before you even begin coding.
If the project does not excite or challenge you,or if it is a project you are not passionate about, chances are you are not going to spend extra hours working on it
- Choose your framework (and choose wisely) : Depending on the complexity of the site, the client need and the window given for development make a decision on the framework or tool you are going to need for development. For instance, some websites can be done using CMS like WordPress and Joomla. Others require you to go Bespoke and design from scratch. If it is an app, say an android app, different frameworks like ionic exist for implementation. Be sure to make the correct choice.
- Set Targets and Deadlines : The key to setting targets and deadlines is to make them SMART. Specific, Measurable, Attainable Realistic and Time-Bound. Instead of saying something like complete the navigation bar by tomorrow, you can set specific targets like Insert color,text and styling on navigation bar. Make the goals very specific and set small deadlines for them. This allows you to break a huge project into smaller chunks. Then you can work towards attaining the smaller chunks. The more smaller units you have the better. Because then you get to do small amount of work rapidly. This also gets you in the winning mentality, where after solving small chunks and getting them working ; you feel like you can solve anything. Once you get into the rhythm it is difficult to get out,so get into it.
- Power Hours : Work between hours. You can do 1 hour of non distracted development after which you can take a break. The number of hours you work before breaks depends entirely on you,just ensure that you get breaks.During your power hours, ensure you are most comfortable and free from all distractions.These may include : Whats-app,emails,Facebook and probably other social media platforms. Make sure that the time you choose for working is also your most productive period.This depends on individuals as some people are more productive in the morning while others night.
- Work in teams : Working in teams can be both a blessing and a curse depending on who makes up your team. Choose a team that fits you. If you are a small agency, I am expecting that the guy you work with are the best fit for you. Divide work among yourselves each individual working on their given unit. Repository tools like BitBucket and GitHub can be used to ensure that you do not mess with each other’s codes.
- Listen to your body : Whilst working on a project listen to what your body says. Rest when you have to and take as much time refreshing and doing things that elevate your creativity. The worst thing that can ever happen to a creative is hitting the burn out zone. This is where you feel like you cant think anymore or you feel like you start to loose your creativity. If you were following the article, at this point one feels out of flow. As you rest, make sure your machine rests as well.