The last few weeks I haven’t been as as active as I’d like on this blog due to an interesting project I’ve been undertaking on developer productivity systems. I’ve published an audio course for the company Listenable, who specialise in bite-sized audio courses for the time-poor.

The courses range from philosophy to business networking to speech writing to goal-setting. It’s no secret that I think soft-skills play a large part in a developers career, so I produced an audio guide specifically with developers in mind for Listenable. BTW, If you use the above link with a coupon code of “jamesbowen” you’ll get 30% off the entire membership, not just off my course.

Developer Productivity Systems

Developers need a system with structure, but one they can personalise too.

I have been trying to get the message out there, but I’ve found that developers only tend to think of productivity as using the command line and IDE shortcuts. Hardly surprising, I suppose, when we have very technical backgrounds and focused work.

But developer productivity systems cover much more than just avoiding the mouse and automating repetitive work, as important as those things are. In fact precisely because they are so focused on technical work at hand, a lot of developers I speak to haven’t really thought about:

  • Gatekeeping their commitments – saying no to things by collaborating with the business and maximising value on the time they spend.
  • Using techniques for focus – slack is the current kryptonite to my productivity as my work insists we use it.
  • Having a way of offloading project planning and actions from your brain and freeing you up for actual coding.
  • Related to the above, how productivity systems such as GTD can be implemented.
  • The power of mind-mapping for comprehension.
  • How to track deadlines and see what’s in the pipeline – rather than reacting and putting out fires.
  • How to manage ‘me-time’ for self-improvement.

In short, a lot of developers tend to be reactive rather than pro-active but only because they’ve never been shown any different way.

So, I thought, the best way to get the message out there was to put it on a larger platform and start promoting that. It took me years to refine a system for my own career advancement, and I think you could really benefit from at least some of the elements I advocate.

So, if you’re interested, check it out and don’t forget the discount coupon of ‘jamesbowen’ – and I’ll be back to writing content here next week!

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