It’s still summer and most people are having breaks for summer vacation. As a web developer, I am no exception. Even though I work remotely but I do some preparations before the departure day. So, here’s how to prepare vacation for web developer like you and me.
Send notification early
That’s what I’ve done first. Usually, I notify them at least three months or even four months earlier. Then when the day is closing, I send them a reminder with a copy from my first notification.
The notification I sent contains:
- The number of days I take leave.
- The date I leave.
- The date I will be back to work.
My own best practice is never sending notification suddenly. Not everyone loves a surprise. Notification for a holiday vacation should be as early as possible.
Finish all critical outstanding tasks
I do my best to finish all the critical outstanding tasks. To know which ones are critical, I maintain good communication with the project owner. This way, all of us will have a clear and same understanding of which tasks should get finished before I leave for vacation.
Some examples of such tasks are:
- Renewing expired SSL certificates.
- Ensuring all units and integration tests have green icons (read: passed)
- Providing clear instructions and notes for fellow developers – if needed.
I make sure I’ve finished all of such tasks correctly. Therefore, I can leave with peace of mind.
Arrange an agreement about the availability during vacation.
This depends on the projects and how good of your fellow developers can handle your role during your leave. If you’re a single developer, then make a clear agreement with the client about
- What if something happened with the live site? Example: Suddenly, the Heroku dyno that’s running the live site is out of memory or reaches a deadlock, and you need to restart it manually. I’ve written a rake script to take care of this automatically. However, another case needs a different approach.
- When will you be available to take care of it? As soon as the error occurred? Every evening? Every morning? Or, you won’t be available at all?
- How many hours you’ll be available every day during your vacation?
Having a clear agreement with all stakeholders will help you enjoy your holiday peacefully. Otherwise, you’ll have your mind worrying about the problems that have happened on the project.
Such an agreement also helps you decide if you need to bring a laptop/Mac/whatever device you need to work, or you can bring your iPad/tabs and phone only.
Decide which devices you need to bring on vacation.
During my vacation last week, I only bring the tabs and my phone. Fortunately, everything goes smoothly during my vacation. Therefore, I can enjoy it to the fullest.
Bringing more devices than you need will cause you more hassles on the way. Especially if you’re traveling abroad. It’s a common scene for me to see fellow travelers taking out their Mac, laptop, iPad, phones, and other tech gears on the immigration gate, before boarding to the aircraft. They’re always in a hurry if the queue behind them is long. If you ever been traveling abroad, you know what I mean.
Complete manual checks before leaving.
Even if the project has reliable unit and integration tests, it never hurt to complete manual checks on every task you’ve done before leaving. However, you need to talk to the project owner if he/she agreed with this.
This step will ensure that you had a high sense of responsibility for your work.
Practice mindfulness during vacation.
This is not related to the work of a web developer. However, this will help us reap the maximum benefits of vacation. There is no point to have a vacation where most of the time your mind is wandering somewhere else or keep thinking about the project you’re leaving behind.
Therefore, I always try to be as mindful as possible when I am traveling. It’s not only allowing me to enjoy the vacation a lot but also allow my body and mind to get refreshed. As a result, when I am back to work, I am more productive. I can deal with complicated tasks faster. I am calmer and focus now.
Take notes for critical things.
This is not directly related to my work as a web developer too. But it’s still important. I always write a list of critical things to bring with me.
- Visa if required
- Cash (in your local currency or the currency of the country you visit)
- Credit or debit or prepaid cards
- Boarding passes physical print if the airline you use provides it.
The items on the list can be different for others. But I believe those eight items are the same among us. For me, such notes make me feel content and more confident in traveling.
Pictures from my vacation
Here are some pictures I take during my vacation. Sorry, I rarely take any photos because I want to enjoy it without having to hold the phone in my hands.