On the Stitcher.io blog there's a new article posted about a programmer's cognitive load and offers some tips to help reduce it, especially when reading code that's new to you.
Whether it's your own code or that of others, when you open a file, you have to take it all in. You need to wrap your head around what's going on, before you're able to write your code. Doing this day by day, it's important to find ways to make this process easy. To try and reduce this cognitive load as much as possible. Streamlining the way you take in code, will allow you to not only work faster and better; but also improve your mental state and mood.
[...] Today I want to share some techniques that can help you reduce this cognitive load while coding. In contrast to some recent advocates of "visual debt", I won't talk about stripping away pieces of your codebase. We'll look purely into the visual aspect: what makes code hard to read and reason about, and how to make it easier.
The tips they article make use of some of the most common features of IDE including adjusting fonts and spacing, using code folding to reduce visual noise and effective naming. Each point has either screenshots or code examples to help illustrate the point.