"Working Longer Hours Is Not A Competitively Defensible Advantage"

"Working Longer Hours Is Not A Competitively Defensible Advantage"

A month ago I read patio11's Work Smarter Not Harder article and was forever changed; today I spent time on my tools.

I've made one public release of MyHeadlines since February 2007. That's a long time for things to grow rusty... When I last coded on this project I held fast to some absurd belief that I was a good developer because I used command line tools, and an editor I'd tweaked to meet my fancy. I used CVS, and I wrote a tool for "one button builds." I valued printf style debugging over debuggers with break points. I was awesome! In the past week, restoring this setup was trivial, and comforting.

Then I remembered that I should be looking for ways to improve this, not just restore it to its turn of the century aesthetic.

Enter Eclipse with PHP. Chucking out my editor was hard but after a few hours with this new environment I don't regret it at all. Eclipse comes with a full working knowledge of the PHP APIs so it can analyze syntax and find a typo bug that's been in the code for years. It integrates with CVS so nicely that I don't need to spend time with the command line grooming a source code commit the way I used to. And most delightfully it found all of the TODOs I left in the code and automatically generated a task list for me to check off things as I go. There's got to be 20 little things that could have been done, but got lost in the shuffle. It gave me a start to see that list, but then again, I still hold the opinion that TODOs are often just TODON'Ts.

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