One of my major goals for this year is to improve my processes. It's a bit of a vague goal at the moment, but the general idea is to examine how I currently get things done and to tweak things as needed.
I've been doing the same job for over a decade now (and programming computers even longer) so I feel like there there are plenty of areas where I've stagnated.
The first step is finding where I can make improvements. There are a couple of different ways I can do this:
- Thinking through things – This is a bit like proofreading my own work; it finds problems, but it misses just as many. I still think it's useful to sit down and examine my routines, but it's not a foolproof strategy.
- Get outside help – If the previous method is proofreading, this is hiring an editor. I get regular feedback on my work from clients, but it's usually on what I've done, not how I've done it.
- Record myself working – It's pretty common for people to record themselves to check their form when working out. This is the same thing, but with boring work instead of lifting weights.
Right now I'm trying out #3 with some success. It's a little time consuming to watch videos of my work, but it's helped me find a couple of small things already:
- When working BlitzMax code I spend a fair amount of time typing closing
End Method. This is something I can fix in blitzmax-mode.
- I'm not comfortable renaming files I'm working on from within Emacs, so I'll open the file manager to do it.
- I'll switch to a browser to look something up and usually end up getting distracted. Either blocking distracting sites or using Emacs to search documentation would fix this.
There are still plenty of things I'd like to improve on, but these came up within a few sessions of recording myself.