09.25.19

The Best and Most Useful Tech Tips for Productivity

By Abby Schachter

Imagine being in a room full of friendly, highly experienced tech professionals.  They’re smart, savvy, and have a ton of great insights. Now imagine they want to share some of their most valuable tech tips with you. That would be pretty awesome, right? 

Content Bloom is full of friendly faces.

Below you’ll find a compilation of tech tips from our team. Each suggestion is significant, intelligent, and interesting in its own way.

Why are we doing this? Why not keep our secrets and knowledge to ourselves?

First of all, we aren’t jerks and secondly, the tech community can only grow if we share what works and what doesn’t. Communication is a huge part of our work culture and we’ve learned a lot from:

  • forums
  • conversations
  • panels
  • conferences
  • hackathons
  • each other

We love sharing what we’ve learned along the way. So, if you’re in need of some exceptionally handy technical advice or a new perspective … You’re in the right place. 

Here’s part one of our two-part series.

Tip 1. Plan Ahead

You should spend at least 20% of your time on planning before you take on the project. It saves you time in the long term and also makes the client happier.

       — Nicholas Robichaud, Senior Consultant, Technical Project Management

Planning ahead is one of the most crucial aspects of project planning, whether it be for yourself or your team. Creating steps or a checklist will de-clutter processes while adding goals mitigates potential risks and adds visible progress. A specified plan will demonstrate that the project has a direction and is, in fact, moving forward. It’ll also save you lots of stress because you won’t be scrambling to figure out the status of your project.

Tip 2. Keep Up with Trends

Stay up to date. This is something we usually forget about or simply don’t know how to implement.

It’s simpler than you think. There are a bunch of specialized blogs and webinars circulating the web with really talented people behind them. Do some research. Subscribe to newsletters. You’ll see that reading even just two articles a day can make the biggest difference.

Meet Up is also a fantastic option for not only keeping up with trends, but also for networking — which I like to think is a fancy word for describing connecting with professionals in your field. These network sessions allow you to socialize with people who can give you tips and advice.  They share what they are working on, discuss their experiences, etc. There is so much you can learn from just talking with people.

       — Giselly Mejia, Senior Design Consultant

Tip 3. Do Your Homework

Dive into books before starting something new.

       — Mark Saunders, Principal/Architect       

As with anything, it’s best to do research and learn as much as you can before diving in headfirst, especially when it comes to a new project. Read, watch, listen. Do your homework and understand what exactly is required of you.

Tip 4. Understand the Issue Fully

GIFs are the new screenshots. You can convey a tremendous amount of information quickly and easily using a tool to generate GIFs from screen capture. Trying to explain a UI bug? Send an animated GIF to quickly illustrate the problem.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions – but when you do, make sure you understand the question and have done your due diligence in figuring out the answer yourself.

       — Josh Hebb, Manager, Technology

Tip 5.  Be Detailed in Your Documentation

Write properly detailed comments. Comments are a form of documentation in the code itself and are very important. If we have proper comments written, it reduces the time needed to understand the code considerably.

       — Reynold ‘Rex’ Bhatia, Technical Consultant L2

Tip 6. Know the Answer Before Offering a Solution

No one knows everything and people don’t expect you to either. It is perfectly acceptable to say you don’t know the answer to a question, walk away, discover the answer, and get back to them. It is much better to spend some time coming up with a fully researched answer than to make an uneducated guess.

       Nicholas Wetmore, Manager, Technology

Tip 7.  Step Away

Take breaks when debugging. Step away from the bug for a few hours and you’ll return with a fresh perspective.

       — Adeline Ishimwe, Technical Consultant L1

If you’ve been staring at the screen too long, it might be time for a nice long break. It’s true that sometimes the best thing you can do is step away from the project temporarily. Why? When we stare at something for too long, our perspective becomes skewed and we can no longer see what is in front of us. The only solution is to step away and focus on something else. It’s like hitting the refresh button on yourself.

Tip 8. Work Smarter

Extract images from a Word (.docx) file: Rename from .docx to .zip. The pictures will be in one of the directories in the zip.

       — Nazmul Islam, Junior Technical Consultant           

Learn as many handy shortcuts and hacks as you can. This way you’re managing your time much more succinctly by utilizing intelligent tricks made specifically for someone in your position.

And there you have it, eight great tips from the experts themselves.

Now we want to hear from you. Did any of our tricks help? Do you have tips or hacks to share? If so, reach out on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook!

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