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Jonathan Hill:
How much does it cost to be a web developer?
March 14, 2014 @ 11:17:48

Jonathan Hill has taken an interesting perspective in his recent post looking more at some of the average financial costs around being a web developer.

With Software Development topping 2014′s top jobs list, I thought I would share how much it cost me to become a web developer, and what my monthly expenses look like nowadays.

He breaks it down into a few different categories, listing an average price for each:

  • Initial (start-up) costs for hardware and software
  • Training costs
  • Recurring costs

Obviously, not all of the software and tools he lists are needed for every software developer, but it does give some perspective. Thankfully, he also links to some free alternatives to the tools he mentions that can reduce these costs as well.

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Link: http://jonathonhill.net/2014-02-19/how-much-does-it-cost-to-be-a-web-developer/

IT World:
Lost programming skills
August 25, 2011 @ 08:50:42

On IT World there's an interesting article about the programming skills that seem to be lost in today's coders and how what they may not know might hurt them in the end.

Some of these skills aren't likely to be needed again, any more than most of us need to know how to ride a horse or (sigh) drive a manual-transmission vehicle. But other skills and "lessons learned" may still or again prove relevant, whether developers are banging their heads against legacy systems, coding for new mobile and embedded devices... or other devices and applications we haven't yet thought of. [...] Here's what some industry veterans and seasoned coders think the younger generation doesn't know ... but should.

He's broken it up into a few different sections - one dealing with the lack of general hardware knowledge by a good section of the today's developers, another noting that programming is not the same as software engineering (yes, really). He also touches on the lacking idea of "thinking before coding" and how planning for errors has become less and less of an importance.

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Brandon Savage's Blog:
The Five Tools I Can't Develop Without
February 08, 2011 @ 12:52:40

Brandon Savage has a new post to his blog today with a list of five tools he can't live without in his day-to-day development work. These range from the physical hardware under his fingertips down to software that helps get the job done.

Every developer has a toolkit of favorite tools and applications that help them develop more effectively. Being individuals, developers often differ (and in some cases, argue) about the tools they use. One of the most frequent questions I'm asked is "what are the tools you use?" and that was the genesis of this blog post. While there are many tools that I would feel lost without, I have listed the five that I see as most crucial to my ability to effectively develop software.

His list includes the physical - a fast machine with dual monitors - and less physical - bug tracking software, an IDE he feels comfortable with and a few Firefox plugins to make debugging simpler. There's a few comments on the post from other developers sharing their "must haves" in their development too.

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Brandon Savage's Blog:
Scaling Up Picking The Right Setup
March 31, 2009 @ 07:52:15

Brandon Savage has a few recommendations when it comes to taking your application to the next level - scaling it up to meet the needs of the masses using your application every day.

The modern age has brought us lots of new ways to take a growing site and scale it. From Amazon Web Services to cloud computing and grid computing, to Mosso and Akamai, there are lots of options we should consider. This article won't make a recommendation as to which you should pick; it will simply discuss what each service has to offer and leave it up to you.

He suggests four different alternatives to pick from when making the move up - the old standby of purchasing more hardware, making use of the Amazone Web Services, using a "cloud" like Mosso or implementing a Content Delivery Network to lighten the load and spread it out across a wider range of servers.

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Sander van de Graaf's Blog:
Optimizing your (ZF) web application
November 07, 2008 @ 10:16:12

Sander van de Graaf has put together a new post for his blog today that looks at a few ways you can optimize your Zend Framework application.

In the process we're also porting all of our applications to Zend Framework (talking about migrations ;)). After finishing our first project, and moving it over the performance testing phase and all, we encountered quite a few issues. [...] While we don't have the visitor numbers he has for this particular project, we also have a lot less hardware to work with. Let me emphasize that. We have a lot less hardware to work with.

So, to squeeze the most out of their current setup, Sander worked through the process to see how their machine perform and a dew things that they did to give them a bit more of a boost. There's some general tips (like Apache settings) and some more PHP and Zend Framework specific suggestions.

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O'Reilly:
Digg PHP's Scalability and Performance
April 10, 2006 @ 15:09:28

When someone talks about PHP and drags up the old "but it doesn't scale well" argument, drop them an email with this new article from the O'Reilly ONLamp.com site that might change their minds. In it, they share some information they gathered (spurred on by James Gosling's comments on PHP a bit back) on how one large site, digg.com, has dealt with their huge popularity and scaling their PHP-based system.

They focus mainly on the cost of scalability - whether that be in hardware costs or simply in manhours. He interviews Owen Byrne, Senior Software Engineer for digg.com about some of his decisions on how to handle the explosive growth. They look at what "performance" and "scalability" really are, and some of Byrne's concerns on the matters as it pertains to PHP. They touch briefly on a few topics, including the hardware cost, the database cost, and the actual PHP coding cost of applications.

It turns out that it really is fast and cheap to develop applications in PHP. Most scaling and performance challenges are almost always related to the data layer, and are common across all language platforms. Even as a self-proclaimed PHP evangelist, I was very startled to find out that all of the theories I was subscribing to were true. There is simply no truth to the idea that Java is better than scripting languages at writing scalable web applications. I won't go as far as to say that PHP is better than Java, because it is never that simple. However it just isn't true to say that PHP doesn't scale.

Pass it on...

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