Cleaning-A Software Developer’s Perspective


There is a myth, the arena of a software developer is dirty. The surrounding of a workstation is full of clutter. They don’t bathe. There is full of dust and smell where they live. The image of the developer is destroyed by the movies and TV series. There are people who live like this but there is no relation between the lifestyle and the work they do. Yes, every programmer or so-called geek may not have time to waste in cleaning every now and then but they are also human and they also wish to have clean plates. Let’s see the thought of cleaning from a developer’s perspective.

Cleaning is not just dusting the keyboard, it’s a mindset. Everyone loves clean objects. It may be hard to maintain clean stuff but in long run, it helps to have a good life. Let’s see what I think about cleaning and how it can be useful.

Clean Mind

Mind with a lot of thoughts may be sometimes overwhelming. It’s very hard to think in a single thread. We try to think of multiple things at the same time. We think, we are doing parallel processing but for a single brain thinking about multiple things is not possible. The brain works like a single-core processor, Thinking about multiple things uses too many swap memory which makes your brain tired. You can observe if you think a lot you will be tired. So one person can be easily tired by sitting in a chair the whole day and thinking about different stuff.

What are the solutions?

  • Write your thoughts. Keep a journal and write whenever some thought comes to mind. Instead of remembering everything, write it somewhere.
  • Talk with people. Share your thought. More you talk about stuff more you get different perspectives.
  • Plan the day in advance. Pick a task and focus on it. You can use the Pomodoro technique for focusing.
  • Meditate. This helps to calm the mind and you can feel a clean mind.

Clean Code

When you use a public toilet, you expect it to be cleaned. For that, you are supposed to clean it after you use it. The same is applicable to the codebase also. Every developer has a time when they got an already developed codebase and need to understand the code and make a change to it. So we always expect clean code so that it can be easily understandable and easy make change on top of it. It is the responsibility of the developer to keep the code clean so that future developer’s (it may be you as well) life become not so hard.

What can we do?

  • Read the book Clean Code – Book by Robert Cecil Martin. This is a very nice book that will tell you how to write clean code. Every software developer should read this book.
  • Create a task or ticket for refactoring the code and make it prioritized. Business priority is always important to run the business but it’s the developer’s duty to allocate some time to work on tech debt items or refactoring. This may not have immediate or direct business value but it can help in the long run.
  • Keep documentation near the complex logic so that it can be understood later.

Clean Workstation

Honestly speaking it will really feel very good to work in a clean workstation. This will help to avoid distraction and you can focus more on work.

What to keep in mind to clean the work area?

  • No food at the workstation.
  • Have a microfiber cloth. Clean the monitor/screen before sitting. Believe me, this is one of the best things I used for cleaning.
  • Try to use a monitor stand. You will get ample clean space on the table.
  • Use Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Less wire cleaner space.

CYOS – Clean Your Own Stuff

Those who have a helping hand with the cleaning, are very privileged. But if you clean by yourself you will feel you have accomplished something. It’s one kind of dopamine effect as well with a very good impact. When you look at the clean item which is cleaned by you, you will feel happy. This is one kind of therapy as well that will reduce stress and frustration. It reduces screen time and it has a very positive impact on our mental health as well.

Clean Food

Software developer has very less time to concentrate on food. They prefer junk , canned or ready made food which is easily available. Now a days most of IT company’s provides food (some gives them free) in their canteen so that people don’t need to go outside or order junk food. Clean food doesn’t only mean it clean from outside but also if you consume it, the effect in your body should not be bad. Food is one of the most important thing which makes you healthy. Less food is better than bad food. Bad food is the only reason of bad health. So its very important to know about food and find clean food to consume.

What to consider for clean food?

  • Drink clean water. There are lot of dieses which comes from water. If you are privileged, please consume clean water and lot of it.
  • Avoid pre-processed, junk or canned food. It has lot of preservatives that makes health bad.
  • Eat fruits. Its one of the natural and consider as clean food.
  • This may not be possible for everyone but if possible try consuming organic food.

Clean Communication

Communication is one of the most important things to survive in the environment. You cannot live without communicating. You can see there is so much improvement in communication. When you can communicate in a clean way, you can succeed. From a developer perspective, we develop software from a requirement. So the requirement should be very clean to get the right product. It’s very important to have clear communication with Business Analysts, Product Owners, Team Members, managers, etc.

How to do clean communication?

  • Write everything in an email. That will not only keep a track of the communication but also you have an opportunity to think and write and express clear thoughts. The reader also can take time and grasp the content.
  • Meetings should be with an agenda and stick to it.
  • Ask in the meeting if something is not clear. Do not assume anything. You and the speaker may not have a similar thought process.
  • There are a lot of very good developers who are fantastic at their job but cannot express themself. They don’t get the reward that they deserve. For those fellow friends, please give time to improve communication. Take some courses in communication. Try to talk with people.
  • Observe people. After a child is born, they observe people and mimic them. They learn from their surroundings. The best way to learn something is by observing. Observe the good speaker, and how they talk. What is their body language, and facial expressions, and how do they choose words?

Everybody loves a clean world. To have a better life we must give importance to cleaning. This is a software developer perspective. Have a good day 🙂

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