Programming can be scary. There are plenty of things that can go wrong, from haunting errors to seemingly supernatural result inconsistencies. To help keep the ghosts in the machine from getting the best of you, here are some tips my co-workers and I have picked up over the years.
1) Make a rough draft
Just like writing a paper, programming requires some forethought. When you’re given a new programming problem it is always tempting to start coding right away, especially if you are in a rush. However, taking the time to make an outline of your program first will save you lots of headaches later. Even if it is a seemingly simple problem, think about what methods and helper methods you are going to need, what variables they will take, and how they will interact. It is generally easier to debug code errors than logic errors, so work out the logic as much as possible before starting to code.
2) Listen to music
Having also tried TV, audio books, and silence, the best way I have found to stay productive while coding is to listen to some upbeat music. It seems I am not alone in this opinion, as the internet has many playlists labeled specifically for programming. (In fact, we have a few of our own you might like.) Music drowns out background noise but can easily be tuned out, keeping you focused and helping the time go faster. So to prepare for your next coding marathon just put on your headphones. Before you know it you will be halfway through your code and typing in beat to the music. Continue reading 5 Ways to Make Programming Less of a Nightmare