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Developer Advice: Sometimes You Just Have To Spend Money

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Developer Advice: Sometimes You Just Have To Spend Money

Every developer is pre-programmed to want to solve a problem themselves. But there's a flaw in this approach!

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What's your first reaction when something is needed by your company? I'll build it! Whether it's a new mini-site, an analytics dashboard or a ticketing system. It's fair to say that some developers have a secondary directive, where they look for free and open source options to get the job done.

Spending some money to get there faster is frowned up. But once you have a few years of experience under your belt, you'll find that your own time is worth money too. Even if you work all your spare time hours to get something together, that will cost in terms of burnout.

Templates for Websites and Apps

A younger version of me hated the idea of using templates. I could look at the template, and work out how to build it myself. These days I'm unashamed to use templates to get a project started faster. 

ThemeForest is a fantastic resource for website themes, including Wordpress and other CMS options. It even has Sketch and Photoshop templates available if you want to just create UI prototypes.

For mobile apps, you can go to CodeCanyon with templates for iOS and Android, as well as Ionic and more. Most these templates will set you back $18, but give you an excellent starting point. How far would $18 worth of your time get you? 

One last great resource for mobile app templates is MyAppTemplates, which has a great selection of common themes (quiz, chat, social, loyalty) all at between $99 and $149. While that price may seem high, the quality of the content you get for that price easily matches. 

Courses 

I know you think you can go to YouTube, dig around some tutorials and learn something yourself. In a lot of cases this is valid - you can learn a new language from API documentation and in-depth tutorials. However, there are times that this could be a bad decision. Udemy is a good source of online courses in a variety of topics. If you decide to go outside of your comfort zone and try your hand at design or some other field, this is a great option. It's these cases that it makes sense to take a taught course. 

Outsourcing Mundane Tasks

Chances are that you don't work in a startup that looks after your laundry or other mundane but necessary tasks.  It's worth considering services that would declutter your life. Some examples of this can be found in Tim Ferriss' Four Hour Work Week, where he discusses Outsourcing Life.

It was a beautiful sunny day, and I closed my laptop with a smile. For an all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast with coffee and orange juice, I paid $4 U.S. The Indian outsourcers cost between $4–10 U.S. per hour. My domestic outsourcers are paid on performance or when product ships. This creates a curious business phenomenon: Negative cash flow is impossible.

There is no shortage of services which make this easy. If TaskRabbit is in operation in your area, you can get people to do the chores that stop you from being truly productive at work. 

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Topics:
outsourcing ,time management

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