Time Tracking for Software Developers
According to Stack Overflow Insights, there are 4.7 million professional developers in Europe and 4.1 million in the United States. The demand for software developers keeps increasing along with technological advancement. While the job is lucrative – it’s one of the highest-paid professions – it’s also stressful and demanding. However, time tracking can tremendously help in this work.
It may seem that software developers don’t need time tracking software. Programmers are often reluctant to the idea of tracking time because it gives a feeling of being watched. Also, many teams use the Agile methodology which helps them stay on track and make sure they’re meeting the deadlines. But the problem appears when the client is charged per hour.
This is concerned mostly with freelancers or individuals. It’s becoming more and more popular that organizations decide to hire independent software developers. And if you’re working as one, you may find time tracking helpful.
All you have to do is choose the right software and map out a coherent strategy on how to track time as a software developer.
How to Track Time as a Software Developer?
Tracking time as a software developer can help you automate your work and make all processes smooth. It’s important to use it not only for yourself but also for your clients to keep them up to date with the progress of works. If you opt for the right tool, it will also serve as a project management software.
To properly track time, you will need the right tool – TimeCamp – and the strategy. It will help you map out your daily workflow and stay on top of your work.
As a software developer, you might be working on various tasks – research, different types of coding, debugging the code, finding and repairing defects, building and modification of software or analysis. Some of these tasks can be small and take seconds to be completed, whereas others may take minutes, hours or even days.
First of all, categorizing tasks will help you keep transparent reports. Secondly, by analyzing your previous projects you can easily estimate time for future projects. You will also be able to quickly search through all the projects and tasks if you need to.
In TimeCamp you can divide projects into tasks and subtasks to create categories. You can create as many of them as you want but remember not to be overly specific. You may get lost if you have too many tasks with the same names.
Figure the estimates
People always want estimates. How much time the project will take and how much it will cost. While it’s not possible to predict the exact time you will need for work, you can figure the estimates based on your past projects.
Remember that only you know your work best and how much time you’re going to spend on it. Thus, you should be the one giving estimates to your clients, not the other way round.
In TimeCamp, not only can you make time estimates of a project, but also allocate budget. When you see you’re exceeding it, you know it’s time to get in touch with your client and present reports.
Keep your clients informed
If you want to perceived as accountable by your client or manager, you should always keep them informed. They will trust you and be sure that you’re not trying to rip them off their money.
In TimeCamp, you can see all tasks in timesheets and manage all the information – computer activities, billable and non-billable hours, reports, and see time entry history. Export the reports to different formats and present them to your clients.
Estimates vs the actual hours worked
A typical day has 8 work hours. But the fact that you spend your day from 9 to 5 in your office doesn’t mean you are actually working all the time. The number of hours you spend in the office doesn’t always correlate with the exact hours spent on work.
TimeCamp desktop app allows you to track all your activities, in the background. At the end of the day, you can analyze reports, all your activities, and work on eliminating the time you spend on those unproductive. This helps to increase your efficiency. The better you work, the more clients you have.
What Are The Benefits?
There are no negative consequences resulting from using time tracking for software developers. Don’t get discouraged if you have to use it in your organization. Rather use it to your own advantage and get the best out of it. And if you work solo either as a remote worker or a freelancer, there are even more benefits accruing from the use of a good time tracking software:
- Discipline and productivity – with TimeCamp, you can find out how efficient you are. You can analyze all activities and eliminate those unproductive which also work as distractions.
- Work automation – the days of manually filling timesheets are gone. The desktop app works in the background and automatically records all your activities.
- Time tracking everywhere with the mobile app. You can track your work wherever you are, be it a business meeting or a trip.
- Daily progress report – timesheets and reports help to keep your clients informed with different kind of reports. That means a better relationship with clients, managers, and the team.
- You can define your goals for more efficient work.
- Estimate whether the project brings profit.
- Integrations with such tools as Jira, Github, Gitlab, Trello, and many more, make work and collaboration smooth.
Even if you’re not enthusiastic about time tracking, it’s worth giving a try. It will make you profitable, accountable, and productive.