How to Speed up the Web Development Process
You can be the best developer in the world—the smartest one with the best ideas! But one thing you’ll never have enough of is time.
Developing quality outputs rely so much on how much time we can spend on it—and it’s almost always not enough. Even if you’re the best in your field, everything still takes time. And if you’re not smart about the entire process, you’d be taking even more time away from doing your job than the already limited one that you have.
On the other hand, you can’t just constantly worry about time and end up doing things head on without proper planning. This can be counter-productive. And being counter-productive will shave off even more from your precious time. Not being efficient enough can be pain for developers. Sometimes, the situation worsens so much that it seems that the work is never going to finish.
If you’re tired of slow web development process, this article can help. I’m going to give you ways to speed up the web development process with techniques, tools, and tips to make your time in development be spent a little more efficiently.
Plan first. Code later.
A good plan is an essential first step for any project. It will help you visualize the features that need to be developed and devise methods on how to achieve these features. If you have a plan, you can focus more on the actual work and have better structure on how you can build it.
- Break down the entire project into small parts. Breaking the entire project into small, manageable chunks can make the project feel less daunting, which can make the overall task management better.
- Don’t try to a write perfect, future-proof plan. Instead, have a rough plan that is good enough. This rough plan will serve more as an overall backbone but also be able to recognize additional steps to take along the way.
- Don’t over-plan. Over-planning kills productivity. Many developers spend so much time and energy in planning that they often forget that execution is the main key to the project success.
- Use apps for writing the plan. In order to write the plan, use note-taking apps such as Evernote, Google Keep, Microsoft OneNote, Simplenote, Quip, and so on. For the sake of simplicity, you may write down your plan in Windows notepad. But sometimes, using pen and paper can still be the most efficient.
Planning can save you a lot of time. as Brian Tracy said, “Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 percent return on energy.” Think before you code.
Use the right technology
If you use the right frameworks, libraries, and other tools, your life as a developer will be a lot easier. So make sure you identify the right tools needed for your project and don’t just use what’s there simply because it’s there.
- If you’re working on a PHP project, install a good PHP framework. Examples of PHP frameworks are Laravel, Symfony, CodeIgnitor, CakePHP, Zend Framework, Phalcon, Aura, PHP-MVC, etc.
- To create amazing designs, use a UI framework such as Bootstrap.
- CSS libraries such as Normalize.css and Pure.css, and grid libraries such as Semantic Grid System and Flexible Grid System can save you a lot of time.
- The CSS libraries called Animate.css and Hover.css will help you implement animation and hover effects respectively.
- Extension languages such as Sass language, Compass framework, and LESS CSS give life to your stylesheets.
Pick the right tools
- Use code editors or powerful IDEs: A good code editor can help you write code faster. The auto-suggestions, auto-completion, and many other features of a code editor program can dramatically speed up the coding process. Some of the most popular code editors are mentioned below. Sublime Text, Notepad++, Atom, Brackets, or Aptana Studio. Other code editors are: UltraEdit, CoffeeCup, BBEdit, Bluefish, Coda, ICEcoder, CodeRunner.
- Use tools where you can: Task lists, bug list, automated processes, unit testing, even time management apps, and other tools to help you become better software developer.
Improve quality of code
- Use functions, loops, modules, etc.: Instead of manually writing the same code again and again, use functions, loops, modules, and other elements of the language that you’re using.
- Create scripts for code generation: Write code that will write code for you. Meta-programming can greatly automate some or many of your tasks.
- Use custom code snippets: These are very useful when you need to write the same code in multiple places of your project. You can create custom code snippets using IDEs such as Dreamweaver and using online code editors such as CodePen and CSS Deck. CSS resets such as Eric Meyer CSS reset is also very helpful.
- Simply copy and paste whenever necessary: The simplest way is – just copy the code in notepad, and paste where it’s needed.
- Unit testing: Perhaps this is one of the most fundamental yet important steps in development. Unit testing can help minimize the risk and therefore you will have better chances of avoiding any major errors that could delay the project.
Pair program with a colleague
The old adage is: two heads are better than one. This also applies in the development process. If you have someone to go through development with you, the knowledge and expertise exchanged between two people will only help to improve the quality of the code. If you don’t have a a colleague to pair program with, you can consult an expert to help check your code.
Bonus tips to speed up your work
- Stay healthy: After all, how can you work if you’re sick and in bed?
- Don’t put too much pressure on your self, and just enjoy your work! Pressure can lead to anxiety, and anxiety is extra baggage that’ll only decrease your efficiency to carry your work load.
There are many other techniques and tricks that will help you finish the work quickly, especially if you have a specific technology or language you are working in. You’ll probably discover more ways to increase productivity while working on web development projects. So the best advice is still to program and improve your skills more. The more experience you get, the better you’ll get at your work and as a result, your productivity will increase automatically day by day. Continuous improvement is still the best productivity hack you can do to speed up your web development process.
Md Akhtar Hossain is a web programmer, blogger, technical writer, and an aspiring entrepreneur from India. He has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in computer applications. A long time ago, Akhtar was interested in developing desktop applications but now he is passionate about web development.