To become a truly effective developer, surely you must learn and master many things: the programming language used, framework, software architecture design, and many more. But there are some other things you should also do as a developer or desk-bound person in general. Here we go!
Do Simple Sports or Workout
Here comes an interesting fact; most developers spend most of their time just sitting for more than 8 hours a day. According to Mayo Clinic, any extended sitting, whether it be at a desk or in front of a screen, can be harmful. Analysis of studies about sitting time and activity levels found that those who sat for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of dying like the one caused by obesity and smoking. A dangerous sedentary lifestyle, isn't it?
Any developers should avoid sitting for too long. First, you should move your body after a certain period. Set a timer, and then walk to the pantry to get a drink or go somewhere to get fresh air or anything, even just standing for a couple of minutes. Just avoid sitting too much, okay?
Another thing you could do is do sports or work out. Sixty to seventy-five minutes of moderately intense physical activity a day can counter the effects of sitting too much, like running or jogging in the morning, before work. Or, if you only have limited time, do it accordingly. Another kind of activity you could do is work out. You may do it in the morning, before work, and in the evening, after work. The duration may vary depending on what kind of workout, but it can be done in just less than 10 minutes if your schedule is so packed.
Be More Knowledgeable
Books, in most cases, play a key role in acquiring knowledge. Despite many courses being available online now, a certain amount of much more in-depth knowledge is accessible only through books. Online courses usually provide their participants with more practical materials, covering specific or popular themes only. On the other hand, books supply more comprehensive information, providing us with a wide selection of information. So, to be competent people, we need to read as many books as possible to gain a deeper and more thorough understanding of our area of expertise. In addition, reading could also reduce our stress level, increase our brainpower, and even reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer's disease.
There are a lot of inspiring books, ranging from self-development, business, psychology, and fiction such as novels. For developers, it is highly recommended to read “Clean Code” by Robert C. Martin, which guides us on how to code effectively, so that our codes are more reusable and “cleaner”. If you wish to become a more effective person, you should also read this legendary book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, a masterpiece from Stephen R. Covey.
Gaining more knowledge is not always done by reading books. Watching movies is just another form of reading. Biographical pictures like “The Imitation Game” could be interesting for developers, as it tells the life story of Ian Turing, the Father of Computer Science. It will enrich our understanding of how he decodes information from the Enigma, and how Britain uses it strategically.
Improve Your Financial Management for a Better Future
Financial management is essential knowledge. It guides us on how to manage our wealth. Many people feel like they are only scraping by, let alone make ends meet. The core of the problem is commonly financial management. As a result, many workers would try harder to increase their salary but rarely evaluate their spending.
So, do you want to improve your financial management? The most efficient way to do so is cash flow tracking. Mobile banking or e-wallet apps can help you a lot since they have transaction history features that enable you to keep track of your transactions. The next step is to identify your primary and secondary spending: separate what you need from what you desire. You'll soon realize how much money you spend on unnecessary things; hence you can carefully plan your spending next time.
Now that you can track your monthly expenses, it is easier to keep track of your discretionary income. But don't spend the surplus just yet, because it is always wise to have an emergency fund. An emergency fund will come in handy when facing unforeseen events requiring you to spend more money that is not part of your routine expenses, such as an unexpected illness or accident. Another excellent choice of financial protection is insurance. Find out more by contacting an insurance representative of your choice.
Here we go! Let's discuss the fun part, spending your money! An AMD 6000 series or Intel Alder Lake laptop or PC could be tempting to own as a software developer. Purchasing PC games may also be something you want to do to unwind. In addition, you may want to include things like owning a house or a private vehicle, and the list goes on. With this wish list, decide which items are most important to you first, and then plan your spending and saving accordingly. Financial planning is the key to your success. Debt can make it hard to arrange your finances; thus, you might need to reconsider using it.
Lastly, it is worth mentioning that one of the best expenses is on investment products. It is a way to grow your wealth exponentially.
To simulate the growth, if you invest IDR 500.000 monthly, at around 10% annual interest, you will get IDR 40 million after five years. It is a significant increase, and the more you invest, the more you will gain. Investment is not rocket science, but you must master the basics before getting in. So, the best way is to do your research before diving into investments.
Join a Community
Everybody must have a hobby, right? To level up your hobby, why not join a community or club? Join a club that you fancy: football, basketball, running, or whatever clubs where you can meet like-minded people. Even gamers have their own club. In a club, you can nurture your hobby into expertise to win some competitions. Joining a club could also open a wide range of opportunities. Who knows, you may make more friends, which means more connections. So, cast your net far and wide! Join forces with any social network support. It can help you beat your stress level and improve your mental health, especially in this pandemic situation.
Still not sure which one to join? Nowadays, many software development communities are at your fingertips. To name a few, Google Developers Group, Data Science Indonesia, and ReactJS Indonesia are on the top list. Pick the support network based on the technology you are familiar with and really into it. This way, you could build your technical capabilities and join the latest or state-of-the-art technology event or discussion with the best practices in the industry. Surely you won't miss any updates and technology lifehacks. And what is more, you could put the knowledge into practice at work right away.
Contribute to Society
Not everyone can afford a decent life. Some do not even know what to eat for today and work harder to make ends meet. Based on Indonesia's Central Statistics Agency (BPS) data in March 2021, the poverty rate in Indonesia is around 10%, with nearly 27 million people living under the poverty line. That is a vast amount of people who only get 15 thousand rupiahs or roughly a dollar per day. With such a low wage, how could they get proper food, moreover, a good education? As we know, education is one of the ways to make a significant shift in people's lives to escape poverty. This lack of access to the economy and social resources could make a never-ending circle of poverty.
Donating is one approach to breaking the circle. We can donate through a variety of reputable channels. It is as simple as opening the apps and donating, just like placing an online food order. No matter how small the contribution is, it still has a significant impact if made by many individuals. Making a positive difference in the world can also be achieved by participating in social activities such as teaching, food sharing, or healthcare. These activities will not only benefit those around us, but they will also make us more grateful for what we already have. So, we can build both an application and a community as a developer.
Just as we should carefully evaluate societal problems, we must do the same with our projects' requirements. We should be mindful of our code and add more ownership to the project to assure the quality of our work and assist our clients in achieving their goals.
Those are five habits that could make you a highly effective developer and a better individual. There are plenty of actions you can take to make a difference, and we hope this article has provided you with insights into many opportunities in the future.
Author: Galih Fajar Ramadhan, Software Engineer