8 Tips and Tricks for Remote Coding

I am a CodingDojo alumni and currently work as a web developer. I attended Coding Dojo’s online bootcamp in the winter 2019. I learned how code while being a father to two young children and working full-time. After graduating from Coding Dojo, my first job was as a web developer in a downtown Seattle office. However, I have been working remotely since the advent of COVID-19. With both online programming experience and remote work in the industry, I have a lot of knowledge and tips. Enjoy!
Put in the hours
First, create a schedule and follow it. Learning to code takes a lot of time. Some hours may have to be odd, such as early mornings or late weekends. I coded every night during bootcamp, from 2-3 hours after dinner to 6am-4pm on weekends. The key is to find long periods of uninterrupted time that allows you to focus fully. You’ll need to attend all you can. You’ll need to attend office hours, lessons, and group work. During my bootcamp experience, I attended office hours and lectures via my car during my commute (with only audio). I would then go back to my computer and rewatch the lecture video.
Music can transform your life
Find music that allows you to concentrate on coding. It will increase your energy and keep you in the right mindset. Music can reduce stress and anxiety by releasing dopamine. However, it has been shown that songs with lyrics or unfamiliar music can actually lower production. Find music that you enjoy and that you can “tune in” to. I listen to music that is not accompanied by lyrics, such as soundtracks, score music and synthwave / dark syn.
With permission, record walkthroughs and help sessions. Take notes and record the sessions (with permission!)
This is a great way for you to take notes. You can not only go back and review the material, but you can also pause and take notes, and even copy code from sessions. If you don’t need to take as many detailed notes during the session, you’ll be able cover more ground in the help sessions.
Outline difficult topics
How does it work? Write down the concepts. A whiteboard or piece of paper can be helpful in identifying the big picture and connecting the pieces. You can also take a picture and ask someone for help. Drawings or diagrams are a great way to organize your thoughts and to communicate them to others.
Rewrite the lessons
This will help you to consolidate concepts and give you clear notes. This was how I did it: I wrote out large concepts in bullet points. There are two ways to rewrite lessons. Each has its own benefits.
Handwriting is a great way to retain your memories
Typing is faster and more searchable
Choose the method that works best for you. Personally, I use OneNote. I like being able to search my notes and copy terminal commands and snippets code.
Set up the right environment
You can get anything that will help you stay productive and focused. To make my desk more spacious, I mounted a few older Dells on arms. A wireless mouse is also a better option for me, as it allows me to have a larger keyboard and less cable clutter on my desk.
Stuck? Take a break, and then come back later
Sometimes, if you have already searched for the issue and are still stuck on it, taking a break and starting again can help you find answers. This works best when you do some exercise, even a simple walk. It’s also a good idea to take a break to rest on it. Even if you’re not stuck, it is best to take a break every hour.
Don’t forget to have fun doing what you love, or just relaxing.
It won’t help to get burned out on coding. If you feel tired, you can take a break from your code and go for a walk, watch a favorite TV show, or read a book. Mental breaks are important so don’t forget about them!–If your focus and dedication is maintained, your coding will improve and your mood will improve. Although remote learning and working can be challenging for some, I hope these tips will help. You can also read my other articles and view my YouTube videos. Click here to learn more about the Coding Dojo Online courses.