Developers, improve your efficiency

All developers spend large amounts of time waiting for their projects to compile/build. If you are an Android developer then you are probably acutely aware of this. Build times for Android apps can take a long time once the app grows in complexity and size.

Over the last several months I have visited the idea of replacing the hard disk on my development computer with a Solid State Drive (SSD), however, I backed off from doing it because in the past changing the boot drive of a computer has proven to be a painful and time-consuming experience. Having just finished my capstone project for my Android Developers Nanodegree it seemed like an opportune time to take the leap and purchase an SSD.

The first step was to read the reviews for the best SSDs of 2018, from the articles I found it was apparent that the market leader is Samsung. I chose the Samsung 860 EVO, a 1TB drive.

The Samsung SSD is available at Amazon with Prime shipping.

As I mentioned earlier was concerned about swapping out the main hard disk on my development computer, however, after a little research I discovered that Samsung has a Data Migration application for Windows boot drives. I downloaded both the software and the user guide. 

Following the wizard-style dialogs in the migration software was simple and while it took several hours to perform the migration it went without any issues. All that remained was to swap the boot drive and SSD cables and the computer booted (very quickly) from the SSD. The overall speed of the computer was very much faster, I have a large number of services and background applications that need to be started and this typically meant leaving the computer for several minutes after a boot for it to “settle down.” Not so with the SSD.

A final test was to move one of my VMWare virtual machines onto the SSD and fire it up. Once again the boot time and the responsiveness of the VM were noticeably improved.

In closing I would say that if you are a serious developer then investing in an SSD will improve your productivity, although, beware it may reduce the time you have to pour another coffee during builds!