Looking for more information on how to do PHP the right way? Check out PHP: The Right Way

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/

PHP Town Hall Podcast:
Episode 53: Developer Relations, Travel, and Bedbugs with Jessica Rose
Apr 25, 2017 @ 13:19:29

The PHP Town Hall podcast, with hosts Amanda Folson and Ben Edmunds, has released its latest episode: Episode #53 - Developer Relations, Travel, and Bedbugs with Jessica Rose . Jessica is the lead of developer relations at Crate.io, the company that created the CrateDB product.

Jessica talks about some of her own experiences in developer relations along with some of Amanda's own experiences doing the same in past roles. They also talk about the strain developer relations can put on other parts of peoples' lives and different perspectives on work. They also talk about programming bootcamps, online training, hammocks and speaking at conferences.

You can catch this latest episode either using the in-page audio or video player or you can download the audio and listen offline. If you enjoy the show you can subscribe to their feed to get the latest episodes as they're released.

tagged: phptownhall ep53 benedmunds amandafolson developer relations travel budbugs

Link: https://phptownhall.com/dev-rel-travel-bedbugs/

TechBeacon.com:
35 programming habits that make your code smell
Apr 25, 2017 @ 11:11:47

The Tech Beacon site has posted a list of thirty-five programming habits that make your code "smell", little things that you might do every day without knowing they could be causing issues with the long term maintenance of your code.

Bad habits are hard to break and even harder if you don't realize that what you're doing is undermining your work. If you know but don't care—that would be the worst. But you're here, aren't you?

As a programmer, I've seen a lot of poor practices, not just around code, but also around teamwork skills. I've been guilty of practicing many of these bad habits myself. Here are my top 35 bad programming habits, organized into four categories: code organization, teamwork, writing code, and testing and maintenance.

They've broken up the bad habits into different categories to make it a bit easier to consume:

  • Code organization
  • Teamwork
  • Writing code
  • Testing and maintenance

I think just about any developer out there as, at one time or another, fallen into the trap of one or more of these bad habits.

tagged: thirtyfive habits bad practices developer programming list

Link: https://techbeacon.com/35-bad-programming-habits-make-your-code-smell

StackOverflow:
Developer Survey Results 2017
Mar 28, 2017 @ 09:46:14

Each year the StackOverflow site posts a survey for developers to record their current feelings, thoughts and background. They've posted the results for this year's survey with the results from over 64,000 developers worldwide.

Each year since 2011, Stack Overflow has asked developers about their favorite technologies, coding habits, and work preferences, as well as how they learn, share, and level up. This year represents the largest group of respondents in our history: 64,000 developers took our annual survey in January.

As the world’s largest and most trusted community of software developers, we run this survey and share these results to improve developers’ lives: We want to empower developers by providing them with rich information about themselves, their industry, and their peers. And we want to use this information to educate employers about who developers are and what they need.

They start by share some high level points they learned from this year's results. The remainder of the post is the results presented in a more easily consumable graph/chart form. You can, of course, download the data yourself if you're interested in running reports of your own.

tagged: stackoverflow developer survey results 2017

Link: https://stackoverflow.com/insights/survey/2017/

Robert Basic:
Things I learned in the past four years
Jan 02, 2017 @ 11:14:41

In this new post to his site Robert Basic has shared some interesting (personal) insights about what he's learned over the last four years as a developer on a project.

Since yesterday was my last day on a project after four years and two months, I decided to take a look back on those four years and write down some of the things I learned.

Things I learned about being a better listener, a better communicator, a better team mate, a better programmer.

He shares his own personal experience around six different points, all good things to keep in mind for any developer out there:

  • Leave your ego at the door
  • Don’t play the blame game
  • Take responsibility
  • It’s OK to say I don’t know
  • Knowing the business domain is important
  • Ask why?

He ends the post by looking forward to the future and what the next challenge will bring for he and his team.

tagged: learning developer project insight lookback

Link: https://robertbasic.com/blog/things-i-learned-in-the-past-four-years/

Laravel News:
Can Frameworks lead to tribalism among developers
Nov 21, 2016 @ 10:21:50

On the Laravel News site there's a new article posted by Percy Mamedy posing the question: "Can Frameworks lead to tribalism among developers?"

In the modern world of web development, it is common practice to make use of frameworks for building large scale applications instead of starting from scratch. [...] In the PHP world, we have seen the emergence of hundreds of frameworks thanks to a large and dedicated community. Some developers even develop their own framework re-using components and parts of other frameworks thanks to an awesome tool called composer.

[...] As part of an experiment, I wanted to see how my fellow developers would react and to what extent they were willing to go to defend their own frameworks if I praised Laravel as being the best framework out there. [...] As expected, responses were flowing in; some even brutal. Everyone defended their framework of choice with extreme passion and dedication. This has lead me to the conclusion that there is an intense sense of identity and kinship that developers have around their framework of choice.

His results came in from a post he made wondering how fellow developers would react to the statement "Google Trends says it all...Laravel is king." He talks about these results and the obviously relation to tribalism in technology choices and how it binds like people in groups, a common human need.

We all as developers feel this intense love and passion for our tools, it’s part of who we are, and I think it’s what makes our Job so unique; we code because we enjoy to and because we love to.
tagged: framework tribalism developer opinion technology group choice

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2016/11/can-frameworks-lead-to-tribalism-among-developers/