Programmers’ Planning Guide for Projects

Project management is a crucial point when stepping up your game as a programmer. Entering a project-driven mentality will allow you to convert your technical knowledge into practical skills and help you grow as a developer.

Creating and completing projects also allows building a great portfolio, which is a great tool to show off your project management skills, as well as your coding skills. Every project creates a new experience and brings a sense of accomplishment that will push you forward in your developer career.

If your aim is to take the attention of a specific company or a team, then completing projects related to their interests will be of great help. 

Why Plan

Having a plan for the project might seem like a waste of time for some as they might want to jump in and start their projects already. One of the things to take into consideration is that detailed planning, in fact, might create more time down the line. And that extra time can be used to fix the problems, bugs, and more.

Besides, gaining time, breaking down the objectives into manageable tasks is a great way to control the amount of effort put into the project and control the energy level of yourself - and the team, if there is one. Seeing the whole project and being able to know where it will take you at a particular time will be a great solution for visualizing the outcomes and figuring out the possible problems that you might face later on.

Experienced programmers have a clear understanding of the plan they create and do their best to follow it. Now let’s take a look at the steps to follow.

1. Choose your project

There are many questions to answer when starting out your project. The first of all would be to ask yourself what the function of this project is. What is the problem that you are trying to solve here? Are you building a website for a company? Maybe an app that you thought would be useful for many people? To intrıduce yourself to the goals of the project will create the base of it. 

The next question would be asking who is involved in this project. Are you working for a specific company? Are you a freelancer and have to contact your client one-on-one? Or is it a personal project that you only have to deal with yourself? Knowing your objectives and for whom you’re working will clear out a few specifics of the project.

2. Build a team

This is an optional step and goes according to the questions you have answered in the previous step. However, if you do choose to work with others, building your team is one of the most important parts of the project because it can be both rewarding and difficult.

Teamwork is one of the greatest skills for developers since they work with designers and/or other developers for some projects.

After determining who to work with or having been assigned to work with a team, the next thing to consider is to work within your budget. If you are hiring developers, designers, or marketers for your own project, having a specific budget to meet the needs of these people will help you and also give them a clear understanding of where you want the project to go.

3. Determine the tools to use

After deciding on what solution you would like to take, you will be focusing on the tools. If you want to develop, for example, a mobile app, then you will need to choose if you will be using a native or a cross-platform framework. There are many other variables to choosing what you might want to work with. Here are some examples for a few of the many topics that cover programming:

  • Mobile apps: Swift, Kotlin, React Native...

  • Web development: HTML and CSS, JavaScript...

  • Machine learning: R, Python…

4. Mapping 

The next step is to break down the objectives into little bits of tasks. Breaking things into little parts will demolish the illusion of the overwhelming effect of the tasks and will be of great use when looking at the project as a whole. Then dividing these tasks between the team members will create a sense of responsibility in the team and will be easy for everyone to work on their specific tasks to keep their focus.

5. Scheduling

Estimating the time before starting a project might be difficult at first but is a useful soft skill that will be helpful as you gain experience through completing projects. 

One tip that could be given here is to always take more time from your clients if you are working with clients when estimating the time of the project. Always ask for more time than you would normally need, in order to make sure that you can handle the problems if any arise. The abilities of your teammates also should be taken into consideration when creating a schedule.

6. Start coding

To keep things tidier and to access all files of the project without wasting time, creating a development environment that is specific to your new project might be a great idea. Create and organize the files that you will be using for this project beforehand, which will make you gain time when you start coding.

Getting help from the internet is a great option here. Not to copy things directly but to get ideas from other people’s projects and integrate them into your own is a nice idea to work with, as you will be getting those ideas from the established projects that you know that works. There are many communities and open-source platforms online that help developers with their projects.

Having a project management software is also a great option if you are working remotely with your team or need your team to have a place where they can share updates about the project.

7. Testing

A useful advantage of working with others is to be able to get feedback when needed. Taking constructive criticism and applying it to great the product at hand is an awesome tool for learning and growing more as a developer.

After testing and implementing the feedback of your teammates or your clients, the next step is to present your project to the world.

8. Launching

We always recommend having marketers on your team to boost the amount of audience reached when launching a product. Even though the marketing part can be done, later on, starting out with an adequate marketing strategy for the product is a good idea for the launch. If your project is not a personal one, the marketing part can be handled by the company or the client, too.

9. Maintenance

This step is not always necessary but can be integrated into your project if you wish. Your client or company might ask for some time of maintenance if anything goes wrong with your project and offering it to them would be helpful for your project, too.

Need Help?

Creating a project from scratch might be a bit overwhelming at first. Thankfully, we’re here to help you turn your project ideas into reality. You can contact us with any questions and we would be happy to create your ideas, together.