Coders need to have a certain set of skills to carry them throughout their careers. Understanding different aspects of your work is a must, particularly in a market as competitive as coding.
Beginners might focus more on the code and forget about other parts of their work, such as using a computer efficiently.
On the surface, it might not seem like that big of a deal, but if you are not well-versed in computers as a coder, you might run into certain issues, such as distractions preventing you from focusing on work or hardware-related problems.
The purpose of this article is to provide a guide for less experienced coders on what they should try to improve when using a computer.
Find Accessories That Work for You
If you get a laptop or a pre-built desktop computer, do not force yourself to use the keyboard or a mouse that might be part of the computer you purchased.
In the case of a laptop, you get an integrated keyboard and a trackpad instead of a mouse. Switching from a laptop trackpad to a computer mouse helps with overall productivity. If you are not comfortable typing on a flat laptop keyboard, an external keyboard is a worthwhile consideration as well.
Since you are going to type a lot as a coder, try to find a keyboard that feels comfortable on your fingers. Some coders prefer mechanical keyboards, while others like membrane keyboards.
Besides the keyboard and mouse, a cooling pad is another laptop accessory idea. It cools off the device and reduces the workload of the internal fans that might struggle to keep up with the internal hardware demands.
Take Care of General Maintenance
Speaking of an overheating computer, it is one of the best examples of poor computer maintenance. A cooling pad is helpful, but unless you clean the dust inside the device on a regular basis, the overheating will persist and become worse over time.
Other than cleaning the dust, you should also keep an eye on the state of the computer's drive. As a coder, if you use the computer exclusively for work, this specific aspect might not be too much of a problem because you do not download and hoard various files on the device.
Nevertheless, even temporary junk builds over time, and you want to clear that. As for coders who also use the computer for entertainment, such as video games or media consumption (music, movies, TV shows), expect to encounter low storage problems when you are not careful.
Be sure to remove files you no longer need. If you have to, transfer data to external storage, such as clouds. Also, instead of keeping large media files on the computer's drive, opt to stream music or TV shows on platforms like Spotify and Netflix.
Finally, prioritize updates. Whenever a new OS update is available, download and install it not just for the latest features and overall performance improvements but security as well.
Manage Your Work Files Efficiently
During your work, you are bound to receive and collect work files from clients and colleagues. Do not leave the attachments in the emails or ignore the downloads folder on your computer to build it up clutter.
Poor work data management leads to time wasting since you end up getting lost in the mess that is your work data.
Other than removing unnecessary files to avoid clutter, you should also:
- Be consistent in naming files and folders
- Organize files by date
- Create digital copies of paper documents
In addition, you can also make the most out of various symbols to sort documents in Google Docs and Sheets. Having ❎, ⭕️, ❇️ or another custom symbol in the name helps when you have documents with the same or similar name containing. Glyphy.io offers you a plethora of symbol options to customize your documents.
Once you have a file management system that fits your needs, you will have fewer worries about misplacing a file or struggling to find information you need immediately.
Learn Keyboard Shortcuts
Learning keyboard shortcuts takes time, but you can save a lot of time as a coder if you use a key combination instead of your mouse to carry out certain tasks on a computer.
One of the most basic keyboard shortcuts examples is Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V. Imagine how much more time you would need by copying and pasting files or text manually if you right-click your mouse every time instead of using the keyboard shortcuts.
Depending on the tools you use, they might also come with certain shortcuts, and it is up to you to learn them.
Take a look at what keyboard shortcuts are on your operating system. Pick a few you find the most relevant to memorize and work on learning them. Once you are confident, go for another bunch.
Getting bombarded with random pop-ups and notifications is disruptive to your workflow. If you cannot focus because of these distractions, disable them on your computer in the system settings.
While coding, you might also get the urge to procrastinate and do something else, such as play video games or surf the Internet for a bit. The temptation is less likely if you do not keep video game shortcuts on your desktop. In some cases, you might also have to block certain websites, at least for the time when you are working, if spending time randomly browsing online becomes too hard to manage on your own.
Become a more social person