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Adnan Ahmed:
Modern Backend Developer in 2018
Apr 05, 2018 @ 12:55:05

On his Medium.com site, Adnan Ahmed has shared some of his thoughts about being a modern backend developer in 2018. In it he talks about the current state of backend development and makes some recommendations for those wanting to get started.

Web development today is completely different from what it was a few years ago; there are lots of different things that can easily baffle anyone entering into the web development. It was one of the reasons that we decided to make these step by step visual guides demonstrating the bigger picture and to give anyone a clear idea about what they have to follow to be in certain roles in web development.

The post starts with a large infographic showing the basic steps and some of the related technologies and concepts to go with them. Following this they break it down into more detail in a text form with summaries attached for each. There are a lot of topics in the list (24 of them) but here's some of the highlights:

  • Learn a Language
  • Learn a Package Manager
  • Standards and Best Practices
  • Security
  • ?Learn about the Relational [and NoSQL] Databases
  • Learning a Framework
  • Caching
  • RESTful APIs
  • Different Auth Methods
  • GraphQL [and Graph Databases]

His final recommendation is one that's good for beginners and veterans in the software development world alike: "keep exploring". If you stop learning and stop trying new things you'll stagnate in your own work and career. Challenge yourself to learn something new - a new language, tool or technique - as often as possible and apply it to your work.

tagged: modern backend developer 2018 summary steps recommendations

Link: https://medium.com/tech-tajawal/modern-backend-developer-in-2018-6b3f7b5f8b9

Stitcher.io Blog:
PHPStorm tips for power users
Mar 28, 2018 @ 09:22:11

PHPStorm users out there might want to check out this list of helpful hints from the Stitcher.io blog covering some "lesser-known-yet-powerful features" of the IDE that could help improve your daily workflow.

Their list includes:

  • binding keys to pane display preferences (ex: floating, windowed, etc)
  • namespace auto-importing
  • "copy path" of the current file
  • defining custom JVM options
  • inspection of why a term/word is syntax highlighted

Each of the items on the list comes with a description of where to make changes and animated GIFs of where to find it in the interface and what it looks like. If you're not a PHPStorm user and want to find out more about this IDE offered by JetBrains, check out this page on their website.

tagged: phpstorm tip user developer list feature ide jetbrains

Link: https://www.stitcher.io/blog/phpstorm-tips-for-power-users

Patrick Louys:
Become a better developer in 2018
Jan 11, 2018 @ 11:57:25

In a post to his site just before the new year Patrick Louys shared some of his thoughts about how to become a better developer in 2018 as a sort of programming-related New Year's resolution.

Do you have any programming related New Year’s resolutions? A lot of people don’t follow through with their resolutions. But don’t let that discourage you. When you make resolutions, you are much more likely to achieve your goals (10x more).

I wrote this post to show you how you can achieve your programming New Year’s resolutions. Every year I have been writing down my goals, for over a decade. It helped me grow a lot in my personal and professional life. It’s not just about setting goals and achieving them. You have to pick the right goals.

He begins by making a few recommendations when it comes to setting goals and how to set yourself up in your day to day work to achieve them. He then relates this back to programming goals, suggestion you focus more on patterns and practices rather than specific technologies (unless they're relevant to your work). He also recommends several books to read during 2018 to either learn new concepts if you're just starting out or wanting to refine your own skills.

tagged: better developer recommendation opinion newyear resolution

Link: https://patricklouys.com/2017/12/27/become-a-better-developer-in-2018/

Toptal.com:
Tips to Attract, Manage, and Retain Software Developers
Nov 30, 2017 @ 10:57:01

On the Toptal.com site they've posted an article from Fernando Martinez with some suggestions about how to attract and retain software developers. The ideas cover the full range - all the way from the job posting/interview process out to how to keep them with the company and help them thrive in their role.

Management is all about people. Whether managers or employees, both are thinking about how to achieve their personal and professional goals. The combination of these goals and the personal traits of the people involved give shape to relationships that, in time, can be positive, productive, and fulfilling, or sometimes just plain stressful, demanding, and conflict-prone.

[...] This is especially true in managing software developers, because of their job’s technical complexity and creative nature, compressed into often narrow timelines for producing results. [...] In this article, we will focus on the main management aspects, rather than on the technical ones, that we think should be considered by anyone who wants to be successful in managing to retain software developers.

He starts with a look at how to attract and hire the right people for the roles you're trying to fill with suggestions about the interview process and the job offer. Next he gets into recommendations about managing the team itself and the importance of training, organization and communication. The article then goes on to cover other topics like conflict management, keeping up motivation and assigning objectives/follow up.

tagged: attract manage retain software developer opinion recommendation

Link: https://www.toptal.com/software/attract-retain-software-developers

North Meets South Podcast:
Conventions, configuration, and becoming a lead developer
Aug 21, 2017 @ 10:55:53

The North Meets South podcast, hosted by Jacob Bennett and Michael Dyrynda, has posted their latest episode: Episode #32 - Conventions, configuration, and becoming a lead developer.

Topics mentioned in this show include:

You can listen to this latest episode either using the in-page audio player or by downloading the show for listening offline. If you enjoy the show, be sure to subscribe to their feed and follow them on Twitter to get the latest updates when new episodes are released.

tagged: northmeetssouth podcast ep32 jacobbennett michaeldyrynda convention configuration lead developer

Link: http://www.northmeetssouth.audio/episodes/4579b2fc/conventions-configuration-and-becoming-a-lead-developer

ThePHP.cc:
Why Developers Should Not Code
Jul 19, 2017 @ 11:16:01

On thePHP.cc blog Stefan Priebsch offers up an interesting opinion about code, developers and understanding - developers shouldn't code.

The ultimate problem with program code seems to be that no human really understands it. Sure, we can look at a short piece of code and be relatively clear on what it does, but can we still do the same thing with programs that span tens or even hundreds of thousands of lines?

[...] Well, sometimes I get a strong feeling that there is a shortage of good programmers, because I often find myself looking at legacy code, being unable to tell what it does, at least with reasonable certainty. [...] Personally, I already consider code to be problematic when there is a reasonable amount of doubt as to what it does (and why it exists). To me, uncertainty and discussions are a sure sign of bad code. Call me picky, but years of experience have taught me that this level of strictness makes sense.

He suggests that the fact a developer cannot recognize what current code is doing doesn't make you a poor developer, but the opposite. He talks some about the meaning of the word "code" and how it is written for a machine to understand, not a human. He ends the post talking about testing your code to provide an "executable specification" and, despite having this, a human-readable spec is still a requirement (like it or not).

tagged: developer code opinion specification testing

Link: https://thephp.cc/news/2017/07/why-developers-should-not-code

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Being a Full Stack Developer (Update)
Jun 19, 2017 @ 12:57:37

The SitePoint PHP blog has made an update to their "Being a Full Stack Developer" article covering what it means to be "full stack" and various technologies that can be used (or skills to learn) to get there.

A full stack developer who can get from a prototype to full MVP (minimum viable product) is often considered a jack of all trades, master of none, and with good reason. To define the modern full stack developer, we first need to focus on what the full stack developer used to be.

The article talks about what it use to mean (back around the early 2000s) to be "full stack" and some of the things they needed to know. He then goes through the things you'll need to know now to be considered basically on the same level:

  • [Basic] Server Admin / Devops
  • Cloud [Services]
  • Back End [Development]
  • Front End [Development]
  • Design
  • Logging
  • Mobile

He ends the post by answering the question "is it worth it" to be a full stack developer versus focused on one thing, basically boiling down to two things. First, that most devs aren't actually full stack (even if they say they are) and that it can help to have this experience to, at the least, be able to approach a wide range of projects easier.

tagged: fullstack developer definition recommendation technology learn

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/full-stack-developer/

SenseDeep Security:
Web Developer Security Checklist
May 17, 2017 @ 10:22:34

On the SenseDeep Security site Michael O'Brien has posted a web developer security checklist you can use as a starting place towards securing your application (and developing secure applications from the start).

Developing secure, robust web applications in the cloud is hard, very hard. If you think it is easy, you are either a higher form of life or you have a painful awakening ahead of you.

[...] After you review the checklist below, acknowledge that you are skipping many of these critical security issues. At the very minimum, be honest with your potential users and let them know that you don’t have a complete product yet and are offering a prototype without full security. This checklist is simple, and by no means complete. It is a list of some of the more important issues you should consider when creating a web application.

He breaks it down into different sections with items to check off for each:

  • Database integration and data storage
  • Development environments and security scanning
  • Authentication
  • Denial of Service protection
  • Securing the Web Traffic
  • APIs
  • Validation (input and whitelisting)
  • Cloud service and Infrastructure configurations
  • General Operations and Testing

He ends with two points that are easy to forget when developing any application: determining what you're protecting against (threat modeling) and having a practiced security plan in place. Remember, checklists are a good place to start but by checking off each item it doesn't mean you're 100% secure.

tagged: developer security checklist issues suggestion

Link: https://simplesecurity.sensedeep.com/web-developer-security-checklist-f2e4f43c9c56

DotDev.co:
Developers, It’s not all about the code
May 10, 2017 @ 12:45:43

On the DotDev site there's an article from Sharon Steed with a reminder to the developers out there - it's not all about the code (despite what it may seem like in the job description).

Soft skills get a bad rap; especially in tech. Code has always been king, but software constantly changes. The need to be good communicators and generally pleasant coworkers will always be there. That’s why it’s important to dedicate parts of your day to improving those skills that don’t involve code. No matter how great of a dev you are, you aren’t going to to be nearly as successful if you are difficult to be around. Here are a few soft skills crucial to working in tech.

She covers four major topics around these "soft skills", what they are and what you can do to help improve them:

  • Being Accessible
  • Solving People Problems
  • Keeping Your Ego in Check
  • Considering the Big Picture

She ends the post by reminding developers that code is only "one part of the machine" and that by developing soft skills you can much more easily further your career as a developer, regardless of how amazing or clean or manageable your code may be.

tagged: developer softskill accessible people ego bigpicture considerations opinion

Link: https://dotdev.co/not-about-the-code/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Can 9-to-5 Developers Be Good Developers?
May 04, 2017 @ 12:42:25

On the SitePoint PHP blog editor Bruno Skvorc has written up an article that wonders if 9-to-5 developers can be good developers.

While picking talks for the conference he’s organizing, James Titcumb recently tweeted that well known speakers get picked over others because, among other things, they’re reliable (i.e. they don’t cancel). I would argue that “among other things” carries more weight – I believe that most conference organizers pick such talks and speakers because they like to play it safe and fear risks.

Bruno gets into some of his own opinions about conferences and speaker selections first, noting that he sees a lot of organizers "playing it safe" with topics and speakers (and the idea of "intellectual diversity"). He then talks about the 9-to-5 developers out there that haven't been exposed to a lot of these "safe" topics because they don't branch out of their corporate bubble and attend conferences. He ends the post reflecting on one of the most used excuses for not branching outside of work hours - time, it being a "precious resource" and ideas about balance.

tagged: 9to5 developer good conference speaker opinion time

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/can-9-5-developers-good-developers/