How do I streamline my coding and work habits?
April 13, 2007 10:02 AM Subscribe
What coding habits and working methodologies help you maximize productivity while reducing angst?
posted by treepour to work & money (22 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
So I'm picking up more business and shifting my life/career gradually into full-time freelance web programming work. Right now, I'm working mostly in PHP, implementing and tweaking various CMS's (primarily Drupal and Wordpress), but I'm also picking up some flash/actionscript work, and occasionally call on my previous experience coding in PERL. I like the trajectory I'm on and want to continue expanding both the depth and breadth of my skills and knowledge.
However, I'm beginning to feel that my working/coding habits are more haphazard and cumbersome than they should be -- sometimes I find myself tripping over my own shoelaces. E.g., I find myself saying things like this to myself more often than I'd like to admit: "Where did I make that change? Where did I see that function? Oh, wait, it was in the previous version of the file that I just overwrote. Ok, I know that function xyz is somewhere in the bottom 3/4 of the file -- should I just scroll until I find it or do I need to do a search for the function name?"
This sort of tripping-over-my-shoelaces thing didn't happen as frequently when I had only 1 project at a time; but as I take on more projects, it's happening more frequently. In short, I've realized that if I'm going to continue in this line of work, I need to develop some better habits and strategies.
So far, I've done most of my coding/editing/etc with a fairly simple text editor (Crimson Edit). I generally set up a mirror of the site on my local Windows machine running apache, mysql, etc, then FTP files up to the server. However, I realize that some people swear by IDE's like Eclipse, and others use utilities like grep, awk, etc., to facilitate coding.
So I'm looking for recommendations on streamlining my coding/work habits/experience. I know there's not a one-size-fits-all approach, so any suggestions/advice will be greatly appreciated.