The Pomodoro Technique: A Developer’s Perspective

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s (I was not born yet 🤯). The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.

Getting Started

  1. Choose a task. The first step is selecting the task you want to complete. As a prerequisite, having an already prioritized list of tasks makes this step a whole lot easier, I’ve been using Microsoft To Do (formerly Wunderlist) for several years now so this is how I keep my life organized. I have task lists for different aspects of my life, personal, development, work, etc. so it is very easy to just pick the top task from any of this list and start.
  2. Start the Pomodoro. This step is about commitment, you make a small oath to yourself: I will spend 25 minutes on this task, and I will not interrupt myself. We are surrounded by interruptions, external and internal, notifications, emails, you name it; so you need to commit and make sure you’ll not be distracted from your task. The standard length of a Pomodoro is 25 minutes.
  3. Work. Immerse yourself in the task for the next 25 minutes. That’s it, just work and focus on the task.
  4. Record it. When the Pomodoro rings, record it. That’s it, you’ve successfully completed an entire, interruption-less Pomodoro.
  5. Take a break. Breathe, meditate, grab a coffee, walk or anything not work-related. The standard length for short break is 5 minutes.
  6. More breaks. Every 4 Pomodoros, take a longer break, yes, more breaks! Once you’ve completed four Pomodoros, you may take a longer break. The standard length of a long break is 15 minutes.

Ok, after this short introduction let me share my experiencing after using The Pomodoro Technique as a developer for several years now. 🍅

It worked for me! However, I’ve done some modifications, I found that most of the times 25 minutes chunks are not enough to achieve a significant piece of work, and the amount of time I spent to get back on track is too much, that leaves me with very little time of focus on each Pomodoro.

So, I’ve opted for increasing periods by 2, so instead of 25 minutes for focus I spent 50 and the same goes for breaks.

There you have it, Pomodoro technique is just and old productivity strategy among many others, but I’ve found that it works for me, it allows me to balance my time between work and active breaks and also, it allows me to measure the time I spend doing some particular tasks which is very useful for my estimates as a developer.

IE and the New Microsoft Edge

Microsoft is stopping Internet Explorer support in 2021. Finally, the 25-year-old browser is coming to an end.

It has been a crazy ride, in 1995, Internet Explorer controlled 90% of internet traffic, and just a few years later it was clinging to his throne. We all remember Microsoft, trying to force-feed it to all of us.

And what about the endless struggle between thousands of miserable web developers around the world trying to make their websites look acceptable on IE.

Anyway, IE is coming to an end after all and we can talk about his successor.

The New Microsoft Edge

Microsoft is telling us “It’s time to expect more”, with the New Microsoft Edge, Microsoft is promising us a browser with world-class performance, great speed, more privacy and control, new features to increase our productivity, and much more.

Beside this we can take the experience across our devices, the New Microsoft Edge is available for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android.

New vs Old

Another question that popped into my mind is, what does “New” exactly means? This implies that there are 2 different versions of Edge, an old one and a new one?

Well, that exactly what this means, Edge was initially built with Microsoft’s browser engine EdgeHTML and Chakra JS engine; it happens, both are forks of Microsoft’s Trident and JScript engines used by Internet Explorer

So, old Edge refers to the Edge version which is using EdgeHtml and it is a close relative of Internet Explorer.

Now, the New Edge, it is a complete rebuild of Edge based on Chromium, the open-source project developed by the Google-sponsored Chromium project and used by Google to make Chrome.

This is not a new move, there are other browsers including Opera that use Chromium at their base.

So now everything should be clear:
Old – Internet Explorer Based <= 44.19041
New – Chromium based >= 79.0.309

I am sure you noticed the huge leap between these two version numbers, that is because from the New Edge release, Microsoft has adopted the chromium version number for Edge.

Thoughts

Well, as you can imagine there are different opinions regarding the New Edge, so here is another one:

I have been using the new Edge for the last ~3 months and I plan to stick with it, I like it.

Being honest, I do not miss Chrome, which was the browser I was using before and the New Edge does not feel like Internet Explorer. I have been doing web development as part of my job and I am so glad to see the thigs working as they are supposed to.

I was worried about the Chrome extensions I was using but that fear rapidly disappeared because not only Edge has its own add-ons gallery (currently in BETA and growing), but it allows you to get extensions from the Chrome Web Store. Problem solved.

The transition was painless, at initial open it allows you to take everything from your previous browser. Syncing between my devices worked as expected and I have been using some of its flagship features like collections, its privacy controls, immersive reader, and so far, it has been a good experience.

Give it a try.

Simplenote

Simplenote – The simplest way to keep notes.

Light, clean, and free. Simplenote is now available for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, and the web.

I found Simplenote a few months ago, I start using it and I instantly loved the simplicity of the platform, it has all the features you’d expect on a modern notes platform, cloud sync across devices, search, tagging, note publication, change history and one that I particularly liked: markdown support. All of this completely free.

keanu reeves thumbs up GIF

Also, it took me a short time to discover that all Simplenote apps are open source!

That’s it, a great notes applications I wanted to share. Download it, give it a try and if you’re a developer submit a PR.

Repos: iOS, Android, macOS, Electron (Windows and Linux).

My Failed Interview at Facebook

– 14 September 2018

I’m with the Facebook recruiting team and I thought I’d check in to see if you might be open to new opportunities.

It all started like this through a message on LinkedIn. At the time I was not actively looking for new opportunities but the idea of working at one of Silicon Valley’s giants was just too attractive to let it go unnoticed so I answered and schedule my first call.

michael jordan yes GIF

– 25 September 2018

I had my first phone call with my recruiter, we went through my professional experience and she asked some basic technical questions about the Android platform. A couple of days later she contacted me for scheduling a second phone call.

– 03 October 2018

In my second phone call, my recruiter gave me further detail about the next step in the process, which is a 45-minute technical interview, this is where things get interesting. She gave me a lot of useful information as well as resources so I could prepare for the technical interview, this included videos, recommended readings, and platforms for coding practice as well as some personal tips on how to approach the interview. She also provided some background information about the company and the culture at Facebook.

– 26 October 2018

The interview was conducted through BlueJeans, a video and audio conferencing platform used by Facebook. First I was asked a few questions about me and my experience as well as some Android platform basic questions for about 10 – 15 minutes and then I was presented with the main part of the interview, the algorithm to solve:

K’th Smallest/Largest Element in Unsorted Array

Despite my panic, I managed to come up with the simplest solution, (order the array and return the specified position), but when I was asked to think of a more efficient solution my head just went blank.

rick scott what GIF

– 30 October 2018

As expected, I got an email letting me know they will not be moving forward with my application this time due to the volume of interviews and the quality of candidates.

– The Takeaway

Interviewing at Facebook, one of the most important tech companies, was an exciting experience for me despite my rejection. I was able to know a little more about the interview process at Facebook and interacted with very nice people who really wanted to help me succeed.

I wasn’t fully prepared and that ended with my interview so if you are aiming to get a job at Facebook don’t be like me and be ready, study, practice, follow your recruiters advise and go get it.