How to be a faster programmer?

I am reposting this from my, now dead, blog. Hopefully this time I will be able to finish the series. Note: This is not targeted at seasoned professionals who would find most of the stuff mentioned here very basic. Instead this is for beginners who unfortunately do not have good mentors. Know your tools To start of there is nothing more important than knowing all the capabilities of your tools, be it an IDE, a report generator, database, text editor or the operating system itself.