Tips for Developing Your Developer Skillz

I have decided to keep a list of things I do that make me a better developer. Here’s one:

Leave notes behind you.

It seems like I do a LOT of repetitive tasks, the frequency of which exceeds my recall. So I end up (depending on the frequency of the repetition) relearning how to do many things. So a 2 hour task learned 6 months ago, and could be a 5 minute task today, turns into an hour long task because I’ve forgotten what I did the first time.

So, I take 5 minutes (I’m not kidding, that’s usually all it takes) and create some sort of artifact. If I’ve created scripts in a directory, I create a README file and date the entry. If I’m doing something in code, I create a comment. I use Wiki pages a lot to keep notes. I have notes everywhere. And when I create the note, the “stuff” is fresh in my mind, so it literally takes me 5 minutes to do a brain dump.

Now, you’re thinking, “Okay, but what happens when you have so many notes you run into an organization issue?” Good question, but one to which I would respond: leave the note near the thing you did (see above).

Hope that helps. It’s what I (try to) do.


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