There are always ways to improve your workflow and increase productivity. Pain points are anything in your workflow that can be removed or improved upon. We must isolate the stress point and work to find a resolution. Below are a list of ten pain points and ways that I have learned to mitigate their effects:
- Performing Menial Tasks
Automate menial and everyday tasks. Grunt and Gulp are used for automating tasks like minification and concatenation. Both of these solutions require a bit of setup but can pay off in the long run.
- Rewriting the Same Code
Keep a code snippet library such as Gist. There are always instances where you can reuse code instead of starting from scratch, especially with WordPress and E-Commerce websites, there are many functions that are needed across multiple projects. It’s never fun sifting through an old project to find the single function you’re looking for.
- A Cluttered Workspace
Configure a useful and productive workspace. This applies to your physical space as much as your digital space. “Workspaces” can help keep you organized especially if you’re multi-tasking, which in our industry happens quite often. Maintain consistent naming conventions and keep your folders and files organized. Multiple monitors also make life easier – use the first monitor for coding and the other for referencing the comp or doing research.
- Code Collaboration
Collaboration is great but it takes time and effort to keep a team on the same page. Version control is the answer. We use git and subversion to collaborate and manage our code. These tools also serve as a backup should anything go wrong.
- Code Inconsistency
Maintain a consistent set of guidelines for coding. You never want to leave yourself or another developer wondering what your code is doing or what its purpose is. Keeping your code clean and well documented is key and can save you time and frustration down the road. Making sure your coworkers are on the same page will also make it manageable for anyone to jump into another team member’s code.
- Time Mismanagement
Be clear on your goals, do experiment but fail quickly. There are always a number of solutions to any problem. Collaborate with others and always do your research.
- Stuck On a Problem
Go for a walk. Getting time away from the computer is not only important physically but mentally. A nagging problem often cannot be resolved by beating it over the head. Whenever in doubt, ask for help. Sometimes it only takes a few minutes of someone else’s perspective before a solution is found due solely to the fact that you’re too close to the project.
- Lousy Code Editor
Find a decent code editor. This is the foundation of your craft. I personally use Brackets, which is a free solution that works great me, there are other paid solutions that may offer more and different features like Sublime or Coda.A few of the reasons I like Brackets are that it lets me add folders to create “projects” for ease of access, search within specific folders either case sensitive or insensitive, and it has extensions for WordPress and WooCommerce to autocomplete functions.
- Stuck In the Browser
Find useful browser extensions. Firebug and Element Inspector are a must a must for my workflow. Also check out these useful Chrome Extensions:
- Pesticide for Chrome – outlines each html element to assist with page layout.
- Clear Cache – clears browser cache
- Check my links – checks for broken links
- Quality Assurance Testing
It takes forever but is extremely important. Rethink your process and make sure that it is as efficient yet thorough as it can be. Here at Hall we use Google Spreadsheets to keep notes and utilize Browserstack to test cross-browser and across multiple devices.