snydeq writes: Andrew C. Oliver warns that rolling your own code can often be a waste of time and money. 'Many developers like to create software from scratch, even when there's perfectly good reusable code from other projects, open source, or even commercial products available to do the job.... Whatever the reason, rolling your own code can be a waste of time and effort, as well as an opportunity for bugs to creep in — after all, new code is more likely to have bugs than existing code that's been reviewed and tested,' Oliver writes, offering a look at nine types of software projects that really shouldn't be roll-your-own efforts.
snydeq writes: "Peter Wayner outlines nine concerns today's developers face in charting out a career path, from certifications, to the value of a computer science degree, to how to deal with ageism and the offshoring threat. 'Whether you're an independent contractor or a cubicle loyalist with a wandering eye, programming want ads abound, each stirring its own set of questions about how best to steer your career. For some, this is entirely new territory, having fallen into employment with computers simply as a means to scratch an itch. The following nine concerns are central to charting your career path. Some target the résumé. Others offer opportunities for career growth in themselves. Then there are questions of how to navigate unfortunate employment issues particular to IT. Thinking about your answers to these questions is more than a way of preparing for when someone comes to ask them. It is the first step in making the most of your interests and skills.'"
snydeq writes: "You want the best and the brightest money can buy. Or do you? Andrew Oliver offers six hard truths about 'rock-star' developers, arguing in favor of mixed skill levels with a focus on getting the job done: 'A big, important project has launched — and abruptly crashed to the ground. The horrible spaghetti code is beyond debugging. There are no unit tests, and every change requires a meeting with, like, 40 people. Oh, if only we'd had a team of 10 "rock star" developers working on this project instead! It would have been done in half the time with twice the features and five-nines availabilty. On the other hand, maybe not. A team of senior developers will often produce a complex design and no code, thanks to the reasons listed below.'"
snydeq writes: "So you think you know PHP, the first choice for anyone putting up a website? From valid array use, to exceptions, to error logging, here are 20 questions that dig into the nuances of one of the Web's most popular means of adding intelligence to your HTML files."
snydeq writes: "'Regardless of where you stand on Anonymous' tactics, politics, or whatever, I think the group has something to teach developers and development organizations,' writes Andrew Oliver. 'As leader of an open source project, I can revoke committer access for anyone who misbehaves, but membership in Anonymous is a free-for-all. Sure, doing something in Anonymous' name that even a minority of "members" dislike would probably be a tactical mistake, but Anonymous has no trademark protection under the law; the organization simply has an overall vision and flavor. Its members carry out acts based on that mission. And it has enjoyed a great deal of success — in part due to the lack of central control. Compare this to the level of control in many corporate development organizations. Some of that control is necessary, but often it's taken to gratuitous lengths. If you hire great developers, set general goals for the various parts of the project, and collect metrics, you probably don't need to exercise a lot of control to meet your requirements.'"
snydeq writes: "The NoSQL buzzword has been metastasizing for several years. The excitement about these fast data stores has been intoxicating, but the honeymoon is coming to an end, and it's time to start balancing our enthusiasm with some gimlet-eyed hard truths about NoSQL data stores. 'The smartest developers knew this from the beginning, noting that NoSQL stood for "Not Only SQL." This list of gripes, big and small, is thus an attempt to document this fact and to clear the air. It's meant to set things straight now so that we can do a better job understanding the trade-offs and the compromises.'"
snydeq writes: "Charles Nutter, Rich Hickey, and Gavin King each discovered that 'simplicity' doesn't mean the same thing as they developed Ruby, Clojure, and Ceylon, respectively. 'Languages that are created with similar goals in mind may yield highly disparate final results, depending on how their communities understand those goals,' writes Andrew Oliver. 'At first, it surprised me that each language's creator directly or indirectly identified simplicity as his goal, as well as how differently the three creators and their languages' communities define what simplicity is. For Ruby, it is about a language that feels natural and gets out of your way to do what you want. For Clojure, it is about keeping the language itself simple. For Ceylon, it is a compromise between enabling the language to help, in King's words, "communicating algorithms to humans" and providing proper tooling support: the same general goal, three very different results.'"
snydeq writes: "InfoWorld's Serdar Yegulalp provides an in-depth comparison of five WAMP stacks for Web developers, including AMPPS, WAMPStack, MS Web Platform Installer, XAMPP, and WampServer. 'One thing that's clear from having looked at these stacks: They're definitely not created equal. They may be built from the same components (they would scarcely be useful if they weren't!), but how those components are managed and deployed makes a big difference. Stacks with automatic customization are far handier, especially when you want to devote more of your attention to working with the stack than actually setting it up. Second, don't assume these stacks will be production-ready.... Finally, the differences in deployment styles between each of these stacks means there's a stack for just about every need, application type, or work habit.'"