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• Good night’s sleep (8-9 hours)
• Clearly defined requirements.
• A fun challenge to solve.
• An idea of how to begin.
• Music! Something fast paced and/or harsh. I find soft tunes, good lyrics, etc. are usually very distracting.
• Deadlines help, too, even if they make me stressed out and work too much.
• No political BS / hateful and intolerant political comments from my coworkers within the past day or two, as being called a horrible, racist nazi by association absolutely kills my desire to do any work for them. Going two days without something like this happening is exceedingly rare.
• Being left alone, *especially* in the morning before work! The more distractions, the harder it is focus, even if i have peace and quiet later on.8
Legit can't remember. I've been driven by anxiety of deadlines for so long (and also, had no real vacation) that I only can work if a deadline is approaching fast.
My best case "Deploy Bittersweet Pipeline":
Prep a bunch of carrots, cucumber and tomatoes for day snacks. Roll & cut some pasta noodles, cook stock with fresh veggies & mushrooms, add some droopy soft boiled egg(s) to the broth, drizzle in some black garlic hot sauce. Enjoy that breakfast with an unsweetened Australian flat white and a half-liter cup of chai spiced green tea. Watch some science/tech/woodworking/cooking YouTube videos while feeding my Bittersweet Jr girl.
(yeah my mood is determined for about 90% by food)
Fire up docker compose & IDEs, and start refactoring code and migrating/fixing old databases.
My worst case "Fatal Incident Bittersweet Repair & Recovery Process":
Stuck while refactoring the worst kind of trash code since 9am.
Pour a glass of Tawny Port at 9pm. Pour a glass of cognac at 11pm. Unwrap 3 chocolate bars and break them into chunks in a bowl. Look at IDE, get nauseated, not from the booze or chocolate, but from the code.
Can't fall asleep because code is too broken, that crap should simply not exist. Take some LSD and amphetamine, can't sleep anyway. Start splitting several 10k-line-long files into smaller classes, type until my fingers have blisters. Empty two bags of Doritos, order a large Falafel with extra garlic sauce at 4am.
Fall asleep at 5am with my face on my keyboard, wake up at 9am with keyboard pattern on my skin.
Cook some hangover noodles.
Call work that I'm taking 3 days off. Feed Bittersweet Jr while I watch some YouTube channels with her. Bittersweet has successfully rebooted.1
As soon as my kids get out of the car for school, I crank some third eye blind, go home, fuck my wife, have some coffee and start spilling code like a madman.7
Music is serious lly the ultimate drug for me, it can change the mood of a day and inspire me beyond anything else.
The problem is i keep forgetting it and go for days without it, then a couple of days i put my headset on and my productivity skyrockets9
Late night after everyone has slept, switching on all the 3 monitors, reclining on a comfortable chair, fetching some snacks and coffee by the table gives me the perfect mood to code!
There is silence all around 😌2
Give me good requirements and a solid deadline.
Vague requirements and an open-ended deadline is a real good way to guarantee I will drag my feet.2
When you see your calendar isn't filled with useless huddles and stand-up meets, which have no purpose except distracting and disrupting your flow and focus.
That's how! 😡1
I am in the mood for anything at 11 PM-5 AM.
Cleaning the house, studying, coding ...
Juices of ideas, energy and focus are just overflowing.
Too bad that I have to follow "normal people" schedule which starts at 9 AM.
1. start up my monitors, have one monitor streaming news while the other one is browsing devRant.
2. drink an ungodly amount of caffeine
3. crash so hard that I have an excuse not to code and go back to bed.
My most productive is honestly when I'm on a caffeine high (my personal favorite is a 24oz NOS). I have pulled all-nighters. Accidentally.
But getting INTO the mood for programming is simple and kinda embarrassing. I get excited by seeing programming keywords in real life. For example, at a job I worked at, there was a whiteboard what had the word "include" on it forever. Not about programming at all. But every time I saw it I was reminded of c/c++ and it made me wanna do some code. I don't know why I'm like this.
Listening to Home, In love with a ghost or any other no lyric chill music. Keeps me going for hours, oh lots of coffee as well ofc.1
Some lofi music
discord and related software closed or in some do not disturb mode
And a general idea on what I need to do when I start
Good sleep helps too
Usually I play some focus music, say "let's do this!" to my devduck (Dave), and start working on stuff. Oh, and lots of coffee.2
Headphones, best music playlists I have and a good cup of coffee.
Good for 4 hours straight of coding/planning if no one asks me to extinguish some stupid fire they made.3
It depends, really. Sometimes it's a spontaneous urge, sometimes it's me drinking and coding whilst doing so.
Sometimes it's a lot of coffee as mentioned in another post commenting on this week's topic.
Regarding the drinking: for some reason my code works and I write more in less time.
I force myself to start and in preparation I've made sure to have at least one case of beer in the fridge.
Then just try to stay on the infamous Balmer peak until I fall asleep or run out of beer 😅5
When the "production-ready" "state-of-the-art" deployments engines *cough AWSLambda *cough takes two hours to setup a basic python function for no reason.
This is a good question... I really struggle to get my groove on. Starting is the worst. Once I'm in it though...
Anytime my fucking noisy neighbors stop making shit ass crazy noises like it's a FX set for a sci-fi movie.
Usually when listening to music I have on my main Spotify playlist (using headphones), after a good 7-8h sleep followed by a good breakfast.
It's usually better when:
- there's no one around to interrupt me,
- I know what I'm going to do and
- no distracting noise.
When I wake up from a full 7 hours of sleep, have Yerba mate ready to go, and have something mildly interesting to work on. Also bonus good mood if my wife and kid aren’t going to be home for the morning. Love seeing them, but hate hearing them while I try to work from home.2
Get the requirements cleared, create stories and tasks for them, decide what you wanna do everyday for the rest of the sprint, and then procrastinate. Give a half meaningful update in every stand up so that it seems like you kind of know what you're doing.
The Pressure of last minute deliveries gets the blood pumping so hard that you don't need any other stimuli.
Seriously though, clear requirements and expectations and peaceful music
1. Music, something fast paced with minimal to zero lyrics (usually a GOA radio station in my case)
2. No distractions around (use a "do-not-disturb" flag or something to hang on your monitor or show on your desk)
3. No chats or other communication/social media visible, best case those apps / tabs are completely closed or muted
4. Having a clear goal to achieve, might even be only a sub-goal for the current coding session.
5. Structure your code before your actually write it, I usually create step-by-step comments in each file, documenting my thought process and what steps the current file/class/whatever should do.
6. Try to code your stuff in the same order as the aforementioned comment step-by-step list dictates (unless there is a reason to change the coding order)
7. Only windows open: IDE/Editor, Browser
8. Also keep only the browser tabs needed for your work open (testing clients, documentation, music if using a browser client, etc.)
At least that's what works for me5
Of course a good, long playlist of my personal jams with a beer next to me :)
But reasons to actually get to work:
1. If it's an interesting task and everything goes according to plan, I get a positive feedback loop of motivation.
3. Personal projects are always easier for me to begin with and stay focused on.
Personal projects are also dangerous for me because I keep going back to them until I don't have any motivation to go back to my work projects... Kinda like a double edged sword I guess
Some rhythmic psytrance or full-on.
That's basically everything I need to good into semi-flow state.
Sometimes an energy drink can give additional kick.
The sudden ureka moment in the bathroom related to a bug I have been racking my brain for the past two days.
First It has to be challenged task. It must have something that challenge me Second Short Answer "BUG".. hehe I cant sleep until I catch it and resolve it
Start with this
followed by this
After that if I'm still concious enough of the surroundings this
When I think I've tried everything and nothing seems to get the job done like it should be, I blast this
If all of the above & subsequent autoplay run out before I solve the task, I say fuck this shit and switch to minor tasks to clear my mind..
If I succeed, I play the mandatory victory song
// I know I'm weird, no need to point it out 🤪🤣😇
Realise that your life is being wasted away and if you don’t code nonstop you’ll always fall behind everyone based on job requirements :) then you’ll always want to code something3
I have a music that makes me go into hyperfocus. Whenever I listen to it and pay close attention to the instruments, I'm instantly concentrated on a imaginary music clip that I used to refine in my teenage years.
Everything becomes easier to understand after I listen to it.2
Two words: drink coffee.
Besides that, a good playlist with non-vocal music, and a clear head. If I am excited about some other aspect in my life, I have little desire to code that day. I find it easiest when I start thinking about how to resolve a particular issue.