Typically when you think about coding and ingesting food, you think about working through lunch. That isnt always a pleasant experience and I believe lunch time is when you should be socializing with coworkers or reading goofy articles like this one.
To get a boost in the afternoon, Ive always found it rewarding to eat some vending machine food, like chips. (Not Doritos or Cheetos or else you end up with orange keys.) Something you can continually reach for and mindlessly stick in your pie hole.
When all else fails, I chew gum usually way beyond when it loses its taste. Just keeping the jaw chomping away fends off any anxiety creeping in while working through the randomness of problematic algorithms.
Lets state the obvious here. Consuming alcohol is not likely to lead to optimal code (see When Developers Drink for proof).
Although Ill admit to writing some code in college while under the influence, I just cant remember if it was good code or not. Come to think of it, I cant remember a lot about college. Anyhoo, what Im referring to here is the cup of coffee, can of soda or energy drink that provides the boost you need.
Its not always about the caffeine. Sometimes too much caffeine can make you so anxious that you cant sit still. But the act of being able to reach for the cup or can and sip your drink while not breaking stride can be a reassuring experience as you turn design into code. Just remember, too much fluids result in trips to the john that break your concentration.
Today this can mean many things. You could be sitting in the Lazy-Boy watching the wide screen at home. Or you could be watching an old Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode on Hulu in the upper corner of your computer screen.
Of course, any true developer has two monitors one for coding and one for testing. But we all know a better use of that second screen is to watch video. Is it really possible to watch Steve Jobs and Bill Gates pontificate together while actually maintaining your concentration? George had no problem, but he wasnt writing C#.
For me, it has to be more background noise than something Im very much interested in watching. But there is something about the hum of a video that brings up productivity for some people anyway. For others, not so much.
So what is my Trifecta? For me, it always has been simply music, drinking and coding. Listening to hard rock bands like Saving Abel or Hinder and drinking caffeine free diet soda is all I need. I know, pretty dang lame. But its what keeps me focused in my personal zone for long periods of time.
Now its time for you to dig into your deep, inner self and share your Coding Trifecta with the world. Or dare to reach into your inner-comic and try to make us all laugh. Im sure youll come up with something much more interesting that will rival Georges Trifecta.
Now back to my pastrami sandwich.
Eric Spiegel is CEO and co-founder of XTS, which provides software for planning, managing and auditing Citrix and other virtualization platforms.