Neurodivergent? Tech Tools to Make Life Easier! Part 1

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If you're one of many neurodivergent individuals interested in coding, let me tell you one thing: you are not alone. It seems that the tech industry is full of people with ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia etc, and now that neurodiversity is becoming more and more normalised and supported, more of us are getting the opportunity to work in this sector!

Let's be honest though. Things are still harder if you're neurodivergent. Sure, we adapt; we invent coping mechanisms and habits that help us stay on top of things. However, many online tools and extensions can make life easier for us with a simple click. Finding them is what can be the issue.

Rejoice! For the next few weeks, I hope to list several extremely useful tools for keeping us on track. Whether it's a VSCode extension for helping our wandering eyes stay focussed on big blocks of code or a timer to help clear up time blindness, I'm here to give you the low down on what it is and how it can help you. Some are free, some have subscriptions, however, I like cheap and cheerful so there will never be anything outrageous listed.


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PomoDone is the first up on the list and let me tell you, it is a game changer. Ever spend what you think is only 5 minutes on a bug and then suddenly it's 5 hours later? This is called 'time blindness' and is extremely common in those who are neurodivergent. While it can be great if you're struggling to get into a project, it can be disastrous if you're working on a tight deadline and have other things to do.

It's not just an egg timer!

Pomodone isn't just a timer; it also links to programs such as Evernote, Slack and GitHub! This means that you can dedicate 25 minutes at a time to individual issues instead of getting stuck in a rut. During your break, get yourself some tea and then come back to the problem with fresh eyes. If you want to find out what applications you can link it to, check out this link.

So what is this thing?

PomoDone is an app built based on the Pomodoro technique, a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo back in the late 1980s. It's pretty simple and it works. Cram for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break. The perk of having this app is that you can integrate it into things like GitHub issues, which is ideal if you're working on a large project in a short time frame. There is so much more you can do with Pomodone, including a browser extension that can block certain sites during timer time (I'm looking at those of us who get distracted by scrolling), and a custom timer length.

Will it cost me anything?

If you happen to be a Code Institute student, then nope! As a student, you will receive access to the GitHub student developer pack which just so happens to include 2 years free of the Lite plan. If you're a student at any other university, you'll more than likely be able to get something similar.

I'm not a student, how much are we talking?

After a week's free trial, you can use the free starter plan (2 integrations to choose from a limited list*; 5 projects in total; 1-month log access; default tags only.) or else you can subscribe for more benefits. Fortunately, Pomodone starts at only €2 a month if you go for the yearly Lite plan, which is less than a cup of coffee these days! If you want the Ultimate plan, it starts at €3.50. This will give you access to more potential integrations and scripting.


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Written by Grace McKenna

Full Stack Development student with Code Institute! Passionate about coding and making the world more accessible for those that are neurodivergent.


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