Soft Skills for Developers: Time Management

Vasiliki Kotzampasidou Soft Skills
2 min read
pixel art of person trying to finish a game level

For a developer, the routine is to open their laptops, write parts of the code, read and analyze the code, write the code again until their day has come to an end. There is nothing wrong with that, but if they do not plan and categorize tasks within certain blocks of time, it is difficult to complete high demand and complex tasks before the deadline.

Developers are consistently working on a project that is time restricted. In some cases, they are even tasked with managing a team on top of their coding projects. They may also face new situations like having to work remotely. All of these require a developer to possess good-time management skills.

Being time-conscious can encourage a developer to meet deadlines and prepare project completion estimates. Clients look for punctuality and sticking to deadlines. If a developer says, "this will require ten weeks", but the project is still incomplete days or weeks after that given estimate, then this is a sign of poor time management skills.

What can you do to maximize your time management skills?

First of all, prioritize. Writing down your daily tasks and prioritizing them will help you to get a better track of your work-in-progress. In that way, you can work efficiently. Before prioritizing any of your tasks, you need to know WHY you are doing these tasks and what their importance are, otherwise there is no meaning behind doing them and could lead to demotivation when attempting to complete these.

If you need to take the time to rest from one complex task, you can leave that aside for a while and move on to next simpler ones. As a result, you are not wasting any time. In my opinion, there is no such thing as a “busy” day, only a “bad time management” day. Online and offline tools to set priorities can help you with that.

Secondly, it is extremely important to avoid distractions. Do your best to focus on your tasks. If you are not mindful of what’s in front of you, you are getting lost in distractions. Be aware of the deadlines that your manager has set for the team. Sometimes you think that you have plenty of time to finish a task, but in coding, unexpected problems like fixing bugs can happen at any time so you will have to be prepared to give yourself time for changes and adjustments. So, if you can finish something now, finish it now!

Remember: Productivity is never an accident. It is the result of commitment, planning, and focused effort.

What are the other soft skills needed in a developer? Check out the Soft Skills series here.