All programmers at some point experience coder’s block. This is a situation when you end up unable to produce any usable code for no reason.
Just like writer’s block, it can attack programmers suddenly and become nearly impossible to overcome. With this coder’s block one might feel they are in the wrong line of work.
Here are five tips shared by Andrej Kovacevic that help him stay productive and free from coder’s block:
- Begin Every Project on Paper
According to him, starting to write code without a concrete idea of where to take it is a recipe for disaster. Programmers should therefore start by sketching out a rough outline of their projects on paper.This outline should include the purpose of the program, followed by a list of sub-functions that they think will make everything work.
2. Play in a sandbox
Sandbox platforms will help you build something fun and workable, and this can help overcome coder’s block. Some platforms like Replit will let you live code and ask for help when stuck. Throwing ideas back and forth with another programmer will help you break the mental logjam.
3. Maintain A Task Backlog
When working on something, particularly challenging and you get stuck turn to simple things as a means of continuing to move forward. The task backlog can include tasks like code refactoring and cosmetic changes. Sometimes even completing simplest task helps getting you back on track.
4. Use Breaks Strategically
Sometimes you can take a break to clear your mind but those breaks should be responsible to avoid larger problems. When stuck, you can spend 15 minutes working on the problem, 5 minutes to review everything from top to bottom, another 15 minutes working on the problem, walk away for at least 10 minutes doing something unrelated to coding and come back and start again from the top.
5. Control How and When You Leave Work In The Middle of A Project
This will help you pick up easily from where you stopped. You can write specific and detailed notes on what you were about to work on next before leaving.
These tips won’t keep you away from the coder’s block but will help you stay away from common situations that lead to it.