5 ways using TODO comments will make you a better programmer

1. Leave signs and find your way when you get lost

Programming is a craft that requires focus. But at times you’re keeping track of too many things in your head and you lose it. By adding TODO comments, you can keep notes in your code that lead you back to focus. Using a tool like imdone or the TODO parser in your IDE or code editor it’s easy to find a TODO and jump to it in the code.


2. Show progress to keep you productive and motivated

One of our customers, Nick Winner said this…

I’ll usually open the (imdone-atom) panel in a new window and throw it up on another monitor. I can just watch the tasks blip off as I complete them which not only adds to my productivity, but also just improves my mood.

3. Perform code reviews and mentor with ease

By leaving bookmarks with tokens like INFO or NOTE and using imdone’s board, you can organize the comment cards in a way that makes sense for jumping straight to code while performing code reviews and mentoring. To make your life even easier try using tags, metadata and filtering for different flows, features or components.


4. Keep your team up to date without leaving the code

If you’ve tried imdone you’ll know that TODO comments can create update and close GitHub issues. Let’s say you have a comment that looks like this…

// TODO: Complete checkout controller +chore

If you’re running imdone-atom, it will get picked up and a GitHub issue will be created.

// TODO: Complete checkout controller +chore id:8 gh:4

When you’re done with this task, just change the token to DONE .

// DONE: Complete checkout controller +chore id:8 gh:4

Now the GitHub issue will be closed. When you’re ready to commit you’re code, just delete the comment using the imdone board. I’m sure you won’t miss getting distracted by switching to the browser window every time you need to update an issue.


5. Expose technical debt by getting it into issue tracking

How many times have you heard that TODO comments are worthless because they never get addressed? imdone can be configured to create GitHub issues for TODO comments that have a specific tag like +enhancement or +bug. Now you can get these hidden risks exposed and prioritized!