As developers ourselves, we're proud of the fact that our tools focus on increasing efficiency and decrease the amount of time that developers spend on stupid stuff. Our focus has always been on developers and their teams and helping them get the most productivity possible out of TDS.
Depending on setup and infrastructure, there are a number of best practices for TDS that our team has discovered make the development process much smoother. Our products are designed with Sitecore best practices in mind, and these tips and tricks can help a project run more smoothly.
TDS Validators ensure the deployment properties in the TDS project are correct; we recommend using them to catch problems earlier, both in items or in the environment.
Package bundling allows several TDS projects to produce packages. These are combined in a single update package that can be deployed to environments; we recommend using them whenever possible.
Using our open-source Sitecore Package Deployer can make package installation easier when setting up Continuous Integration. The Sitecore Package Deployer installs packages automatically when they are pasted in a certain folder, and makes CI processes easier to implement.
To avoid big deployment times, we recommend using Delta Builds and Delta Packages with TDS. They reduce the amount of time for the build to complete, and due to the lower number of items that have to be deployed, they also significantly reduce deployment times.
We recommend that users avoid adding content and media items into TDS projects. Doing so can cause long deployment times and even timeouts. If media and content items need to be added to the TDS project, it's good practice to create a separate project for that purpose while being careful not to overwrite the editor's content.
Using TDS NuGet build components when building on a build server is much easier and more convenient than trying to install TDS on every build server and having to account for TDS versions. As an added bonus, it also works with cloud build servers.