Coding a new piece of functionality can sometimes be fun, sometimes be painful. But I’ve found that there is a Zone where coding becomes much more productive and faster. Let me explain.
In a normal day with travel to and from work, lunch, meetings, coffee and administration, you often only get a few hours of productive work time. Even then, those hours are frequently interrupted. This is all fine, except for coding and design. These interruptions break concentration and pull you out of the zone.
I find that if I code uninterrupted for a few hours, my productivity builds. If I do this for a day with no meetings, no distractions and no travel, productivity continues to build and the coding Zone starts to grow. Once in the Zone, code flows freely and simple elegant solutions seem to emerge.
If I keep doing this for a few days, then my sub-conscious kicks in. While sleeping, driving, showering – my sub-conscious seems to keep working the problem. I firmly believe that my sub-conscious is the smarter part of my brain. When the Zone works like this, it is like having 2 brains on the problem.
What makes this fun, is the final result. The code produced is much smaller, cleaner and more manageable when coding in the Zone.
I’m sure there are lessons in this for corporations who all too often strangle the Zone out of existence.