Getting Back on Track – Eclipse Tools to Create Context

It has been a while since the last time I did some coding in my OPP project, and today I am returning. One thing that is always problematic for developer is creating the context in which they are developing. Experiments have shown that an uninterrupted task takes twice as long and has twice as many errors as an uninterrupted task, and that it takes about 10-15 minutes for a programmer to start “working” after an interruption. And an interruption of more than 2 weeks? sometimes it takes me a lot more than 10-20 minutes to pick things up from where I left them.

Thankfully, the Eclipse ecosystem has created a great tool to create context when we are developing, so it is easier and faster to get back to work: the Eclipse Mylyn project.

Mylyn creates a “task-focused” interface which monitors your programming activity. The main focus of the interface is a task, the unit of work that you are currently executing. This is the first step in creating context, since it already focuses on what you were doing the last time you left the workbench. The second thing that this Mylyn gives is a filter for your project view. When you activate the task focused interface, Mylyn filters the project view and leaves only the elements that are “interesting” for your current task. Going one step further, it can also create focus in the java editor by folding all code that it is not “interesting”. The third you get (when you are using github, like I am) is that the task is automatically connected to your github commit, so you can see which commits were done when the task was active.

Another great tool, for a great platform. Happy coding.

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