Productivity Hacks for Coding

Introduction

Now that I spend most of my day perched behind the same computer screen, I realized how inefficiently I was and still am allocating some of my computer time. I am a bit of a productivity nut myself, and I can’t believe it took me so long to realize that all these amazing software downloads were out there for the taking. These free downloads will, hands-down, improve your time spent at the computer. Please consider looking further into the following list:

Amethyst

My favorite of the list. Amethyst is a tile window manager that automatically formats new windows. As someone who is constantly looking back and forth between multiple pages, this one is undoubtedly amazing. Instead of pulling the corners of your windows, running the risk of closing it by accident, the window, without adjustment, formats flawlessly each and every time. As someone who constantly has multiple windows open, looking back and forth between Stack Overflow, Jupyter Notebook, and a YouTube video (most frequent trio), it is an essential tool that I don’t think I could now live without.

You can download this awesome software at the link below:

Amphetamine

This one doesn’t take too much explanation. Simply put, Amphetamine keeps your computer from going to sleep. Whether you are fitting a complex model, hosting your website locally, or just plain tired of continually re-entering your password, this could be a good download for you. The functionality is straight forward, and you won’t regret having it available next time you are in need.

You can download Amphetamine from the App Store at the following link:

f.lux

This one is more for pleasure and personal health. I quickly found myself with very tired eyes after my many hours in front of my computer screen. My first solution was a pair of blue light glasses. I can confidently say that I loved this solution. I wear them everyday now, and I suggest that you get yourself a pair as well. My eyes do not feel nearly the level of strain by the end of the day that they used to. That did not, however, solve the problem entirely. There are many times when, usually late at night, that I would rather not be wearing the glasses. Fortunately, there is a download that will automatically remove the blue light from your computer screen during set hours of the day. Some say that the orange tint is not something they are willing to deal with. I have personally found that it was pretty easy to get used to, and it was incredibly worth it for the happiness of my eyes.

You can download f.lux at the following link:

Macdown

Macdown really comes in handy when you are working with markdown — especially when are editing your Readme.md file for a GitHub repository. Instead of committing and pushing your changes every time you alter your Readme, Macdown allows you to see the output directly next to the input, simplifying a process that is unnecessarily challenging in the first place.

You can download Macdown at the following link:

Jupyter Notebook Extensions (Nbextensions)

If you are a user of Jupyter Notebooks, you may not know that there are some easily integrated, and helpful, extension options. Some great extensions that I use are called ExecuteTime(tells you how long it took the cell to run), Variable Inspector(shows you all the variables that you have defined within the notebook), and Table of Contents(uses markdown hashtags to organize your notebook).

You can download Nbextensions by running the following at your command line:

Conclusion

The upside of all of these downloads is that they are very customizable. You can alter them to your individual needs to help you get the most out of your hours behind the computer screen. There’s also plenty more out there. These downloads will ensure that your working hours are as productive as they can be so that you can enjoy your time off thoroughly.

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Michael Wirtz

Michael Wirtz

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