Barbarian Meets Coding

WebDev, UX & a Pinch of Fantasy

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Boost Your Productivity with Codealike Insights. Barbaric Development Toolbox

The Barbaric Development Toolbox is a series of posts where I write about awesome and indispensable tools and libraries that enhance productivity and make our lives as software developers much easier and enjoyable.

I have seen very few people as crazy about productivity as we software developers. I have no idea where that tendency or behavior comes from, but the truth is that we spend countless hours learning every shortcut there is to improve our programming fu. We learn to master our IDEs and text editors, put up with the steep learning curve of vim, or the strange incantations of Emacs. We use tools like ReSharper, JustCode or CodeRush, and learn disciplines like GTD or the Pomodoro Technique. All and everything just to be able to do more, to be better, to master our craft.

What if I told you that there is a new super interesting, innovative and all-hands-down-just-cool tool that lets you monitor every second of every minute you spend in Visual Studio? What if I told you that you can see how much time you spend reading, coding, building and debugging? How much time you do either of these things within a solution, a project, a class and to the minutest detail: a method!? Or which hours of the day you are more productive at, or which languages you use most often? What would you do with this kind of information?!? Behold!! Because codealike is here and is bringing all these insights and more to your nearest Visual Studio!

codealike logo

codealike is a Visual Studio (and Eclipse) plugin that records enormous amounts of information on how you spend your time in Visual Studio, and then weaves it in wonderful and insightful ways so that you can take the most value out of it. With codealike you can look at your code and your work patterns in a total different way than ever before. You can divine the secret story of your code, because your code has a story to tell and, until now, you haven’t been listening.

But let’s be less fluffy and go down to the specifics. These are some cool things you can find out with codealike:

  • How much time you have spent coding, debugging, building and outside of Visual Studio
  • How often you were interrupted in a given period of time
  • How many times you’ve been on fire (in the mythical flow)
  • How focused you were during a period of time and in different machines
  • See in which solutions, projects, files, classes and methods you spend the most time
  • See which programming languages, frameworks you spend time using
  • See a very detailed timeline of how and where you spent your day
  • Analyze the nitty-gritty details on how you spend your time in every solution, project, file, class and method
  • Rank and compare yourself to other codealike users
  • Compare yourself with a version of you from another space and time (to see how you have improved as the time passes)
  • Use it within your team and get a holistic view on how the whole team is doing.

Which is infinitely better put forward in this video:

If you want to start learning more about how you code, go to and create a free account. You just need to sign-up, download the plugin and get rolling.

VIP Premium Licenses Limited Time Offer

I have a limited time offer brought to you directly by the codealike guys. I have 30 premium licenses for a whole year to give away to you and an unlimited number of 20% discounts. The only thing you need to do is to tweet and share this blog post and reach me on twitter or via mail for your reward. It would be beyond awesome if you could write a comment about what you think about codealike, your favorite feature, is there anything that you are missing? or whatever crosses your mind at that particular moment in time.

The licenses and discounts are only available until the 2nd of August. Be swift.

Parting Thoughts

I have been using RescueTime for a while (ever since I heard about it in Scott Halseman’s great talk on productivity), and when codealike came out I went bananas. What!? This is RescueTime for .NET developers!! A w e s o me! There’s no need to say that I started using it right away.

It was a great idea, but I was a little bit disappointed with the information it initially provided as it felt quite scarce and of little utility - I think that is how I remember it although my mind may be playing tricks on me. Anyhow, what I want to get to, is to the surprise I felt when, a month after I started using it, codealike had become ten times better. And so it has continued, getting better and better at an amazing speed.

Today codealike provides a lot of interesting and helpful information, but I cannot help to think about all the possibilities and usages of all that information that are yet to come, all the tailored advice based on your personal data. The sky is the limit guys. :) (nope, I couldn’t resist the smiley).

Appendix, or on Another Interesting Less Known Facts About Codealike and its Makers

Did you know that…

Jaime González García

Written by Jaime González García , dad, husband, software engineer, ux designer, amateur pixel artist, tinkerer and master of the arcane arts. You can also find him on Twitter jabbering about random stuff.Jaime González García