This week is my seventh week as a software engineer student and I am still alive and well! However, there are a set of tools that widely contributed to keeping my sanity at a reasonable level. This is my developer tool kit:
1. Noise-cancelling headphones
By far the most critical tool! As much as I love chit-chatting, I, unfortunately, don’t comply with the women norm of being able to do several things at once. Whenever I code, I can’t focus if I can overhear a conversation. Even worse, the discussion is interesting or fun and I want to jump in. My hopes of coding are crushed.
Noise-cancelling headphones is a strong distraction repellent to get the work done. Ultimate proof: I’m using it now while writing this article.
My recommendation: Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II
2. Rubber duck
When you are stuck in a code for too long, you need to have a talk with a rubber duck. Simply explain to the rubber duck what is not working in your code, detailing what the code should do and what you think the issue could be. This exercise will force you to take a step back and explain what you want to achieve and how.
This helped me countless times to resolve an issue or unstuck myself! The best rubber duck is a person willing to listen to your gibberish. Even if they don’t understand a word you say, it will help you — I can guarantee that. However, people around you probably don’t want to listen to your monologues constantly so you might as well invest in a rubber duck that will quietly listen to you until you answered your own question!
devDucks - Rubber Duck Debugging by devRant
Debug like a pro using a devRant rubber duck to help you through those tough programming problem
3. Subscription to Medium
I’m not the first person taking baby steps in the developer world and I certainly won’t be the last. On Medium, thousands of people already shared their experience and tips about software engineering. Whether they are students, junior or senior developers, they can have some valuable advice. It’s a great opportunity to learn from others’ mistakes or wins, best or bad practices, and advice to become a master developer.
A notebook is my favorite format when it comes to draft a complex code or a database schema. It’s a visual I can easily refer to when I need to remind myself of the overall structure of what I’m writing.
5. A water bottle
Because I have to stay hydrated! And even though I’m thirsty, I don’t want to refill my glass of water every hour. Whether I’m so focused I can’t take my eyes off my code for 2 minutes or just because I’m too lazy to get up…!
A bottle, however, only takes one or two refills a day, and that’s already way more than enough. Also, the less time you spend refilling your water supply, the more time you are coding!
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog. Please share your favourite tools in the comment!