4 Tips How to Find Work-Life Balance

A work-life balance might sound like a worn out concept. Visit any modern bookstore and you’ll see its shelves bending under the weight of self-help guides about it. So why are we so obsessed with work-life balance? It’s a human thing to take some rest, relax and recharge our batteries. But some people struggle with blending work with private life, especially if they are hardworking perfectionists. Does this description hit close to home? Well, here are a few principles that you should find useful in your pursuit of work-life balance!

Time management is the key

Everyone has a tight schedule nowadays, so achieving work-life balance might seem harder than ever. That’s where good time-management skills come in handy: they can help you do more in less time. This means being more organised and less stressed at work, but also having more time to enjoy your private live. To give an example, many people find that reducing the number of choices they face daily improves their time-management. Minimalism in wardrobe or doing regular food prep can free up a lot of your time (and money) every day! Indeed, psychologists agree that having too much choice can leave you bewildered and depressed. So how do you go about managing your time more efficiently? We’ve gathered a few handy tips in here: How to Plan Your Day Like a Genius.

Prioritise the right things

Remember that consistently working long hours doesn’t make you a better employee! On the contrary: it negatively affects not only your health, but also your productivity. Not to mention that the quality of your work usually takes a hit if you find yourself unable to properly rest. The idea here is not to shirk your responsibilities, but to correctly prioritise them. Spend more time on the tasks that are crucial in your current project and less on those that can wait. You can find more tips on how to increase your productivity here: 6 Tips to be More Productive Every Day.

Enjoy life outside work!

 

Your career might be your main focus and a source of great pride and joy. But you must remember that there is so much more to life than just work. Family, friends, hobbies, sports, entertainment… Life is beautiful outside the office! You’d be surprised how many activities are there you haven’t tried yet that you would love! It’s up to you to find something you enjoy doing and stick with it. The key is to find more time to do it. Try scheduling a dinner with friends, taking your partner out on a date or putting on your favourite pair of sneakers and going for a jog.

Monday haters

Does the feeling of waking up on a Monday morning and feeling miserable ring a bell? Perhaps you go a step further and even have a t-shirt or a Facebook cover photo proudly stating that you hate Mondays? Well, we believe that if you do hate Mondays that much, the chances are your current job just doesn’t fit you. There may be many reasons for that. It might not suit your skills and personality, it might be too menial and receptive, the work environment might be toxic. Either way, if you’re experiencing professional burnout and struggling to find work-life balance… it might be worth it to try to change your job. Simple, isn’t it?

 

More and more employers are really interested in helping their employees find the right work-life balance. But it’s all up to you to find it! You’re the one that have to clearly differentiate between your professional and private life. Let’s start by putting your smartphone aside and enjoying simple things! 🙂

Wprowadzenie do GIT – Piotr Szpetkowski

Ta prezentacja jest częścią cotygodniowych tech talków w Sunscrapers. Prezentacja stanowi ogólny przegląd GITa i jego podstawowych funkcjonalności. Jeżeli chcesz zacząć pracować z tym systemem kontroli wersji, obejrzyj nasz filmik!

Czy prezentacja była dla was przydatna? Dajcie znać!

Dlaczego programowanie w parach jest przydatne?

Niektórzy programiści uważają programowanie w parach (po ang. pair programming), za jedną z najbardziej pomocnych rzeczy w ich pracy. Inni z kolei nie do końca rozumieją ten koncept – uważają go za trudny w realizacji i niezbyt racjonalny. W Sunscrapers uważamy, że programowanie w parach może naprawdę czynić cuda! Jeżeli zastanawiasz się jakie są jego zalety, przeczytaj listę stworzoną na podstawie naszych doświadczeń.

Inny punkt widzenia

Czy kiedykolwiek zaciąłeś/aś się na szczególnie trudnej części twojego kodu, z którą nie była w stanie poradzić sobie nawet twoja gumowa kaczka? Cóż, programowanie w parach daje ci możliwość spojrzenia na twój problem z innej perspektywy. Towarzyszący ci developer może wpaść na rozwiązanie szybciej niż ty, dzięki czemu nie musisz tracić czasu na bezowocne rozmyślania. Co więcej, programowanie z kimś innym pomaga zwiększyć produktywność i angażuje cię do bardziej kreatywnej pracy.

Głupie błędy

Małe błędy w kodzie są czymś zupełnie naturalnym, ale potrafią bardzo zirytować i pochłonąć twój cenny czas. Czasami jedna niewielka pomyłka jest trudna do wykrycia, zwłaszcza jeżeli musisz przejrzeć całą swoją pracę samodzielnie. Współuczestnik w programowaniu może być tutaj wybawieniem, gdyż zauważa błędy w kodzie w momencie w którym powstają. To prawdziwe koło ratunkowe oszczędzające nie tylko cenny czas, ale też twoje oczy! 🙂

Szybsze uczenie się

Każdy kto wprowadzał nowy język programowania lub nowych członków zespołu do projektu, wie doskonale jakie to bywa trudne i czasochłonne. Programowanie w parach po raz kolejny przychodzi z pomocą! Pozwala na szybsze uczenie się nieznanych zagadnień, a wdrażanie nowych funkcjonalności przebiega sprawniej. Również szkolenie kolegów i koleżanek z pracy jest o wiele łatwiejsze – szybciej się wdrażają, pracując z bardziej doświadczonymi programistami.

Zabójca “syndromu oszusta”

Wspominaliśmy jak radzić sobie z niską samooceną w jednym z naszych poprzednich postów dotyczącym syndromu oszusta: 5 Ways to Fight the Impostor Syndrome. Programowanie w parach jest jedną z metod polecanych przy walce z impostor syndrome. Dzięki wspólnej pracy z drugim developerem popełniasz mniej błędów, co skutkuje lepszej jakości kodem. Czasami twój/twoja partner/ka może być twoim nauczycielem, innym razem to ty możesz pochwalić się swoją wiedzą. Najważniejsze jest jednak to, że czujesz się lepiej, swobodniej i bardziej kompetentnie jako programista/programistka.

Umiejętności miękkie

W Sunscrapers wierzymy, że umiejętności miękkie są bardzo ważne w pracy każdego developera. Radzenie sobie z presją czasu czy docieranie się z nowym klientem może sprawiać trudności. Możesz być najbardziej utalentowaną osobą na świecie, ale ciężko będzie ci pracować, jeżeli nie potrafisz radzić sobie z ludźmi i problematycznymi sytuacjami. Tu z odsieczą znowu nadchodzi programowanie w parach! Wspólna praca z drugą osobą może być świetną okazją do nauczenia się dobrych praktyk komunikowania się z innymi. Pozwala zdobyć umiejętności interpersonalne, dzięki czemu jesteś bardziej pozytywny/a i elastyczny/a. I… stajesz się lepszą wersją siebie!
Organizujemy programowanie w parach najczęściej jak tylko możemy. To proste – szykujemy sobie wygodne miejsce w biurze i działamy. Jesteśmy świadomi, że koncept programowania w parach nie jest dla wszystkich. Nie ma nic złego, jeżeli nie do końca to czujesz. Pamiętaj tylko, aby robić regularny code review ze swoim zespołem 😉

Why Pair Programming is Good For You?

Some developers believe pair programming to be one of the most helpful things in their job. Others claim that it is rather inexplicable and unreasonable concept. We think that pair programming can do wonders! Read our list if you’re thinking why pair programming is good for you.

Different point of view

Have you ever get stuck with an exceptionally difficult parts of your code that even your rubber duck couldn’t help you with? Well, pair programming gives you the possibility to look at your problem from a different perspective. A coding partner can quickly come up with a solution, so you won’t waste your time on fruitless thinking. Not to mention, coding with someone helps to increase your productivity and engages creative approach.

Simple mistakes

Small mistakes in a code are a normal thing, but they can be so annoying and time-consuming. One little error is sometimes difficult to spot if you have to scan your whole work all by yourself. Your coding partner can be a rescue to your frustrations! A second pair of eyes notices mistakes in a code the moment they are made. It is a real lifesaver for your time, not to mention your eyes! 🙂 

Fast learning

Everyone who taught a new language or introduced new team members into a project, knows it can be difficult and time-consuming. Pair programming is a remedy – it allows you not only to teach, but also to learn fast! Onboarding new colleagues is way easier. They accommodate faster while working with more skillful developers. Also, pair programming makes implementing new features more approachable and smooth.

Impostor syndrome killer

We’ve mentioned how to fight your negative self-esteem in our previous post: 5 Ways to Fight the Impostor Syndrome. Pair programming is one of the methods that works wonders for fighting impostor syndrome. You are less likely to make mistakes, which results in a higher quality code. Sometimes your partner can be a teacher for you. Another time you can contribute with your expertise. The important part here is that you feel better, stronger and more confident as a developer.

Soft skills

We believe that soft skills are really important in a developer’s work. Coping with tough situations under the pressure of time or getting along with new clients can be difficult. You can be the most talented person in the world, sure! But work can be hard for you if you don’t know how to deal with others or react to unexpected delays. Pair programming comes to the rescue for everyone dealing with social or communicational problems. Coding with a partner can be a great opportunity to learn some techniques how to cooperate and communicate with others. It lets you acquire some interpersonal skills, making your attitude more positive and flexible. You are becoming a better teammate and a better developer!

 

At Sunscrapers we are trying to participate in pair programming as much as we can. It’s easy – we’re just grabbing a partner, preparing a nice spot somewhere in the office and letting it roll. Although we are aware that pair programming is not for everyone and it depends on personal preference. If it’s not for you – that’s cool! Just be sure that you’re doing code reviews with your team regularly 😉

Nature of Computer Program – Paweł Święcki tech talk

This presentation is a part of our weekly talks. This talk is about relation of computer program to physical world and to human mind. Are programs purely physical? Or maybe they are only in our heads?
Watch the video to find out and let us know what you think!

Slides are available here: Nature of Computer Program

Working Time: Our Simple Philosophy

Working time and productivity are widely disputed subjects. What’s more important – the amount of time spent on something or visible work results? We’ve tried to answer those questions at Sunscrapers. That’s why we’ve created a work system that functions perfectly in our company.

Semi-flexible working hours policy

Flexible working hours come with some advantages and disadvantages. We know that they increase employee’s morale and productivity, but measuring employee’s performance might be difficult. That’s why we gave our team some autonomy on their timesheets. Most of their working hours should fall in a 9AM – 5PM local time slot. Flexible working hours make our lives easier now. For example, catching up with clients from different timezones is easy as pie. We are simply choosing an hour throughout the day that suits both sides. Also, handling personal matters during the day is not an issue anymore – they are simply not included in the working time.

We strongly believe in a team spirit, but we also respect individual preferences in working hours. Some teammates are early-birds and they are working from 7-8 AM! Others prefer to start and finish their work routine later. It depends on a person, but everyone tries to find out what schedule works best for their productivity. We’ve mentioned how famous people planned their days in our previous post ‘How to Plan Your Day Like a Genius’.

Time tracking software

We use Harvest – the timer to keep track of our work in the real time. It’s a small but incredibly helpful tool, not an authoritarian breath of the supervisor. Our clients know how much time was spent on their projects, so it’s easier to keep track of all billings. For us it’s easier to manage flexible working hours and remote work. What’s also really important is that everyone can analyze their working time to improve their productivity.

Remote work

Few people from our team are not in our office on a daily basis – they work remotely from different Polish cities. Some companies struggle with remote employees, but we are skillful in managing our remote cooperation! Not only our colleagues from Poznań, Szczecin or Kraków are “remotes” but also Warsaw based teammates from time to time. Thanks to the remote solution we can for example work from home if we have a minor flu. Our productivity is still high in such case and we’re not risking getting more ill or infecting our colleagues. While working remotely, Harvest is particularly useful for tracking working hours. Also Slack – the instant messenger, can do wonders! Real time messaging certainly bridges the distance between colleagues and clients.

 

We’re really excited to share our work routine with you. Transparency and simplicity of those guidelines makes our work easier. We manage our time in a more deliberate way, so we are simply better versions of ourselves. Tada!