6 Ways To Become A Faster Developer

October 13, 2022
#coding #tips
Hands typing on a mechanical keyboard with blue and orange lightning coming out of the keyboard. 3D-rendered with AI.

While browsing Facebook (which I almost don't do anymore), I came upon the following question:

Does typing fast make you an efficient/productive programmer?

In this post I will give you my take on this topic.

Short answer

It makes you only marginally faster overall if you are able to type fast. But there are other things that can make you a more efficient developer. (See long answer)

Long answer

There are some things that really make you a more efficient developer

  • Practice your craft
  • Think it through
  • Know your tools
  • Look for pragmatic solutions
  • One step at a time
  • Ask for help

Practice your craft πŸ”¨

In order to become good, or "fast" at something, you need to practice whatever it is you are doing. It is not enough to follow a tutorial and then think you can develop it at a normal speed.

Practicing on various different projects makes you get to know the ins-and-outs of the programming language or framework. You always find yourself researching stuff, but as more experienced you become, the less you need to look up, the faster you are off the bat.

Think it through πŸ€”

Many beginner developers make the mistake by "jumping right in". This gives you a little head start, but not for long.

An ill-planned software execution can have fatal consequences (for efficiency and otherwise). If you code without planning ahead, you could end up with a construct that is difficult to maintain. You could end up having to refactor big chunks of your software, which could set you back hours, days, or even weeks.

Thinking programming through becomes also faster with the above-mentioned practice.

Know your tools 🧰

Practice and adequate planning will get you a long way, but you can do even better by knowing your tools.

Be informed about which tools even exist in the market that can make your work easier/faster. The text editor is probable the most important one, but not the only one. Other examples of tools you want to get right are: terminal/console configuration, browser, debugging tools, operating systems.

It's not only important to have the best tools at your disposal, but also to configure them right and know the best/fastest ways to get things done. Take your time to get to know keyboard shortcuts, and plugins you could install for example in your text editor. Also, code snippets are a great way to improve your speed as a developer.

Look for pragmatic solutions πŸ”

Sometimes if you are too much in a hurry, you might overlook a simpler way to solve something. This could be a more thought-through solution for the problem you are solving, or not trying to "reinvent the wheel".

Most of the time you don't need 100% solutions. My motto is: Write 90% of the solution with 10% of the effort. If you try to implement the absolute perfect solution, you'll end up taking exponentially more time to finish the solution.

Before implementing something complicated, take a look around if there is already a solution someone else programmed that fits your needs. In the JavaScript world, these would be NPM packages. Of course you have to weight if implementing a dependency is really worth it, especially if not well-maintained. But there are some frequent tasks that libraries can do for you.

One step at a time πŸšΆβ€β™‚οΈ

Some developers try to develop all at once and then at the end find out the 1000 lines of code they wrote don't work.

It is much more efficient to develop in small steps and make sure every step works, before continuing to the next.

Ask for help πŸ™‹β€β™‚οΈ

If you get stuck on something, some programmers tend to let their ego get in the way of asking others for help. There is no shame in asking for help when having a programming problem. Everyone gets stuck at some point.

My favorite way of asking for help is Twitter and Stack Overflow (if no solution can be found).


Being an efficient developer sure is a desirable skill. And you can reach it in many ways.

The best way to become efficient however is practice, practice, practice!

πŸš€ If you liked this article, follow me on Twitter. That is where I am most active.
πŸ“Έ Photo by Midjourney (prompts by Marc Backes)