How can you finish your coding projects faster?
Since you are reading this, you are probably working on a project but you’re not seeing much progress, right?
Well, first off: congrats for getting this far! You’ve come up with a great project idea, started working on it, and done your best. That’s awesome!
It’s perfectly normal and OK to face difficulties and challenges along the way. Each coding project you start will be different and you will constantly be looking for new ways of solving problems with code.
So, sometimes we simply hit a brick wall and it feels like we’ll never finish our projects.
Well let me tell you this:
You will finish. It may not happen today or tomorrow, but it will eventually.
Learning to code and practising your skills by working on real-life projects is the only way to become a professional developer.
That’s why those coding projects are the most important thing you should be focussing on if you want to start a career in tech.
So what can you do when your coding project is proving to be more difficult than you thought?
When it comes to finishing your coding projects faster, there are a few easy but powerful techniques that can help you work more efficiently.
It all boils down to setting yourself realistic expectations, planning your project carefully, and knowing where to find help when you need it.
To help you speed up your work and see progress more easily, I’ve put together this guide with 15 smart tips for finishing your coding projects faster.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a bunch of quick strategies to troubleshoot your work, get through any roadblock along the way, and improve your coding skills as you go.
Here are 15 tips for finishing your project more quickly!
Please note: This post contains affiliate links to products I use and recommend. I may receive a small commission if you purchase through one of my links, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!
Tip #1: Start with a simple project
When starting a new coding project, remember to keep things simple.
Don’t try to create a complex website or application from scratch just yet if you’re new to the programming language or other tools you are using.
Start with a small project that can be completed in a short amount of time. This will help you stay motivated and avoid getting overwhelmed.
If you are new to coding, take some time to learn the basics of the language you’re using, and how the code works.
Once you have a basic understanding of the code, you’ll be able to work more efficiently and complete your project faster.
Remember: once you finish your first simple project, you can always come back and add more complexity to it.
Hence, it’s better to build projects that are almost too easy when you are new to learning how to code.
Right now, you need to build confidence in your skills. It’s easier to do that when you finish a project, get validation for your skills, and feel encouraged to tackle something more complex for your next project.
The easiest way to practice the right skills at the right time like this is to choose an online coding course that includes practical projects.
Here are a few top-notch courses with plenty of hands-on projects to build:
- The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0 on Udemy
- The Complete Web Development Bootcamp on Udemy
- Responsive Web Design Certification on freeCodeCamp
- 100 Days of Code: The Complete Python Pro Bootcamp on Udemy
Tip #2: Use the right code editor
The right code editor helps you write and edit your code more easily.
Since you will be working with your code editor a lot, it makes sense to choose one that feels easy to use.
A good editor makes it easy to navigate through your code, organize your files, and keep your code clean.
Plus, a code editor with built-in debugging tools helps you find and fix errors in your code easily. This will speed up the development process and help you finish your coding projects faster.
There are many different code editors available, so choose one that works best for you. If you are entirely new to coding, it’s a good idea to try a few different editors to find the right tool.
Here are a few popular code editors I recommend:
Need more ideas? Then check out my full guide on how to choose the best code editor easily.
Tip #3: Use online forums
Feeling stuck with your coding project?
Online forums are a great resource for finding solutions to coding problems when you are facing a roadblock.
You can easily connect with like-minded techies, ask questions, and get help from other developers who have similar experience.
But remember: before you ask a question, browse through discussions and topics to see if you can find relevant answers.
Most often, someone else has already had the same problem and asked for help before you. You simply need to find the right thread to get your answer.
Not sure where to start?
Start by browsing the discussions tags on Stack Overflow, for example. That’s my #1 place to find quick solutions to my own coding project roadblocks.
Tip #4: Plan your project before you start coding
This one sounds pretty self-explanatory and simple, but it’s one of the best tips to finish your coding projects faster.
Always, always, always start your coding project by setting up a plan for yourself.
Planning your project before you start writing any code can help you work more efficiently and finish faster.
First, map out all the features your project needs to include:
- What does your website or app do?
- How does the user interact with it?
- What inputs does it take?
- What outputs does it produce?
Next, break your project down into smaller tasks.
Finally, create a preliminary timeline for completing each task.
After that, you can simply follow those smaller tasks and finish one milestone at a time.
This will help you stay on track while you’re working on your project, and will help prevent any delays in completing it.
Your to-do list should include the following features:
- Adding new to-do items
- Deleting existing to-do items
- Editing to-do items
- Marking items as finished
- Adding multiple to-do lists in the same interface
- Naming and renaming your individual to-do lists
Now, if you start working on all features at the same time, you won’t get far.
The best way to tacke any coding projects is to figure out each individual feature and work on the one by one.
I repeat: Don’t try to build the entire project at once. Go step by step.
Tip #5: Set daily goals to finish your coding projects faster
When working on a coding project, it may be helpful to set daily goals instead of trying to complete the entire project at once.
Having clear goals and milestones for every day will help keep you on track and make sure that you’re making progress on the project each day.
I know it’s difficult to know how many hours and days a coding project will take when you are new to learning how to code. And hey, that’s OK.
All that matter is that you work on your project as often as you can.
Of course, your daily goals should be realistic. If you can’t dedicate 5 hours to coding every day, don’t try to do that. You will only burn yourself out and feel even more frustrated and overwhelmed.
If you only have 30 minutes to spare every day, then do that.
It’s all about consistency. That’s going to help you feel like you are making progress and that you are doing your best to finish your project soon.
For a few helpful tips, check out my article on how to find time for learning programming.
Tip #6: Re-use code from your past projects
Recycling code snippets is one of the easiest ways to finish your coding projects faster.
Even if you are relatively new to coding, chances are that you have written quite a bit of code since you started your tech journey.
When your skills improve and you learn new things, your projects will most likely include similar features and functionalities.
If you’re working on a more complex project, you may be able to use code you have written and used for a past project.
For example, I have a massive directory of CSS snippets I’ve written throughout the years, and I use parts of it for every project I build.
This saves me hours of work on each project I build – and it helps me offer a faster service to my freelance clients.
The more projects you build, the more similarities you will notice between them. At the end of the day, most websites and mobile apps usually do the same things, right?
That being said, don’t be afraid to reuse code from your previous projects. As long as you know it’ll do the job, there’s no need to re-invent the wheel.
Tip #7: Organize your files
When starting a new coding project, remember to organize your files from the beginning.
This will make it easier for you to find what you need later on, and will help you keep an overview of everything you’ve done and still need to do.
Set up a dedicated folder and add sub-folders for code, media, and other contents.
It may take some time to find a system that works for you – but it’s definitely worth it.
The same principle applies when working on an existing project: Always keep your files organized so that they’re easy to find and work with.
Also, remember to back up your files.
My recommendation: Use Dropbox to store, organize, and back up your coding project files.
I’m a massive Dropbox fan because their tools are so easy to use. My files are safe and secure and I can access them anywhere, anytime, using any device.
If you are not familiar, you can sign up with Dropbox for free here.
Tip #8: Use libraries and frameworks
Libraries and frameworks consist of pre-written code and programs that allow you to build websites or applications quickly and easily.
They provide a foundation for your project, so you don’t have to write all the code from scratch. This can save time and make it easier to finish your coding projects faster.
For example, if you want to build a website for yourself, you don’t have to code everything from the beginning.
Instead, you can use a content management system (CMS) like WordPress to get your website up and running much faster.
I love WordPress because it’s easy to use, super versatile, and it allows me to create stunning websites within days.
If you are not familiar, WordPress is perfect for:
- Starting your own programming blog
- Creating your portfolio website
- Launching an online shop
- Building business websites for freelance clients
- and much more…
Let’s look at another example:
If you want to build a web application with Python, you don’t have to code all the necessary features from scratch.
Instead, you can use a popular web framework like Django or Flask to finish your coding project faster.
One more example:
Of course, before you start using a library or a framework, make sure you understand how it works under the hood.
You must be familiar with the “plain vanilla” way of creating the features and functionalities you need.
Otherwise, you will most likely run into problems when something’s not working and you need to troubleshoot your code.
Tip #9: Stay up to date with new coding technologies and trends
Keeping up with new coding technologies and trends can help you stay ahead of the curve and make sure your skills are up-to-date. This will also help you find inspiration for new projects and ideas.
But more importantly, learning about new tools and technologies helps you discover more efficient solutions to optimize your coding project workflow.
How can you stay up to date with what’s happening in tech?
Here are a few fantastic tech blogs to follow:
- Better Programming
- David Walsh Blog
- DEV Community
- freeCodeCamp Blog
- Google Developers Blog
Tip #10: Use cheat sheets
Cheat sheets are handy reference guides that list the most important commands or functions for a specific language or toolkit.
They’re perfect for quickly looking up information when you’re stuck on a problem, and they can help you become more familiar with the tools that you’re using.
Most importantly, a solid cheatsheet helps you write code more quickly and finish your coding projects faster.
You can use cheatsheets for quick referencing to make sure you’re following the syntax correctly. This is especially helpful when you are learning a new programming language.
You can find cheat sheets for popular programming languages online, or create your own cheat sheet based on the commands that you use most often.
If you aren’t familiar, check out the massive free cheatsheet directory at Codecademy.
Also, grab my free HTML5 cheat sheet by joining my tech community below:
Tip #11: Practice with coding challenges
Coding challenges are a great way to improve your coding skills by challenging yourself with new problems.
They are one of the best ways to boost your problem-solving skills and learn new tools and techniques.
I’ve sometimes struggled with a coding project for several days, but found a quick solution while solving a coding challenge that dealt with similar concepts.
Here are a few websites with free coding challenges for all difficulty levels:
Tip #12: Find a coding buddy or join a coding group
Finding a coding buddy or joining a coding group can be a great way to get help and advice when working on coding projects.
This can be helpful when you’re stuck on a problem or when you want feedback on your code.
Because the truth is:
There’s no better way to improve your coding skills than to see how others solve the same problems you are working on.
I’m not saying you should copy their solutions, nope.
What I mean is that you will most probably discover quicker, more efficient ways of writing code for complex projects.
Where can you find a coding group, then?
One great place to start is the freeCodeCamp Study Group Directory. Use it to find a coding group near you!
Tip #13: Ask for help when you need it
If you run into a problem while working on your project, don’t hesitate to ask for help from others.
There’s no shame in admitting that you don’t know how to solve a problem – we’ve all been there! If you can’t figure out a solution although you’re doing your best, ask for help.
There are many resources available online where you can find help with coding problems, including forums, communities, and online courses.
Here are a few helpful resources for you:
Tip #14: Never copy-and-paste code snippets
If you are like me, you love learning how to code by watching popular YouTube programming tutorials.
While they’re so much fun to watch, you need to watch out for a common mistake beginners make:
If you’re following a video tutorial and your instructor provides you with the source code, make sure you type it from scratch.
I know, copying and pasting it into your code editor sounds soooo tempting!
But resist that temptation and remember this:
You won’t learn anything by simply copying other people’s code and pasting it into your editor. You won’t learn how to type code fast, how to use your code editor efficiently, or how to structure your code like a pro.
Hence, always read the code provided. Make sure you understand what’s in it and how it works.
Then, try to recreate the same logic by writing your own code from scratch.
That, my friend, will speed up your work in the long run and help you finish your coding projects faster than you expect.
Tip #15: Take breaks
Working on a project for long periods of time can be exhausting, and can lead to errors in your code.
To avoid this, take breaks often, and make sure to get plenty of rest. Even if coding is a ton of fun, you don’t want to burn yourself out by working too hard.
Taking breaks will help you stay focused while you’re working, and will allow you to come back to your project refreshed and ready to work.
Do whatever makes you feel good. Get up and walk around for a few minutes every hour or so, or take a quick nap if you feel tired.
Final thoughts: 15 smart tips to finish your coding projects faster
Learning to code is difficult. It takes time.
Learning to build your own coding projects is difficult, too. It takes even more time.
But luckily, you can use a few proven techniques to finish your coding projects faster. I hope you found a couple helpful tips above!
If you’re feeling stuck with your project, it’s best to take a little break first.
Figure out what’s the root cause of your problem. Is your coding project easy enough for you to finish? Does it match your current skill level?
Have you planned your project carefully? Did you remember to break the project into smaller milestones you can follow one by one?
Do you know how to use Google effectively to find solutions to your coding problems with just a few clicks?
And finally: are you comfortable with asking for help when you need it?
All these simple steps can help you understand what’s causing your coding project to slow down.
Let’s sum things up:
- Start simple (you can add more complexity later)
- Don’t try to do everything at once
- Focus on one task at a time
- Take breaks when needed
- Ask your fellow techies for help
Following these tips can help you work more efficiently, and finish your coding projects faster.
You’ll be able to finish your project in no time, so that you can add them to your portfolio and showcase your skillset to potential employers and freelance clients.
Need ideas for your next coding project?
Try these 30+ HTML and CSS projects with source code to get started.
Discover 10+ fun Python coding projects for beginners here.
Here’s to finishing more coding projects this year!