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Adam Culp:
Developer pool sustainability
August 05, 2014 @ 12:09:33

In his latest post Adam Culp talks about an interesting (and slightly disturbing) trend he's seeing in the technology and developer community in his area: developers are leaving/being picked up faster than they're being replaced.

Over the past couple years I've noticed a rise of good companies no longer outsource offshore to save money, instead they outsource because they can't find developers here. [...] I'm sad to see the dwindling number of developers available to fill a growing number of jobs in South Florida. [...] Couple this with most companies and recruiters simply drain the pool without giving back, and governments sinking more and more of our hard earned taxes into already flooded non-tech related fields. The end result is higher unemployment, folks with a degree who can't find work, and the vicious cycle continues on and on.

As the demand grows for more talented technical people, this gap is only going to widen. New developers aren't coming in fast enough (or learning fast enough) to fill the holes. He talks specifically about what he's seeing there in Florida, but it's a story that's happening in many places around the country...and some places around the world. Developers get "snatched up" by companies and they're no longer allowed or have the time to contribute back and teach the newer developers. He links to an article that discusses the same topic and comes to many of the same conclusions.

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Link: http://www.geekyboy.com/archives/964

QaFoo Blog:
Testing Find the Sweet Spot
July 18, 2013 @ 11:52:01

On the QaFoo blog there's a recent post interviewing Johann Peter Hartmann, the CTO of Mayflower, about current PHP testing practices and how to find that "sweet spot" that works for your development.

Talking to interesting people spawns ideas and spreads insight knowledge. Therefore, I talked to Johann Peter Hartmann about testing culture and how PHP projects should approach testing in 2013.

They talk about things like:

  • The move from "spaghetti code" to "quality code"
  • A discussion of the current tools
  • Defining a unit testing strategy
  • Test Driven Development

They also talk some about the training that the QaFoo folks provided to help them (Mayflower) work all of this out for their organization.

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Link: http://qafoo.com/blog/051_testing_sweet_spot.html

Hasin Hayder's Blog:
Getting comfy with PhpStorm - one of the best IDEs so far!
January 02, 2012 @ 15:07:03

Hasin Haydertalks about "getting comfy with PHPStorm" a relatively recent addition to the IDE ranks for PHP.

I am a big time fan of Netbeans and I left it a few days after it's release of 6.7. It was so good, heavenly, yummy but I had to leave this old pal because of it's extreme hunger to the available resources. [...] I left Netbeans and started using PhpStorm. I have a company license and I am glad that I made this move. I am not going to preach PhpStorm in rest of this article, but what I will do is sharing my experience with PhpStorm.

He goes through a list of his favorite things about the IDE - its speed it operates at overall, great Javascript/HTML intellisense, version control integration, less resource intensive and that it costs less overall (and comes from a "developer friendly" company).

If you're interested in trying out PHPStorm for yourself, you can find a demo at http://www.jetbrains.com/phpstorm.

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PHPClasses.org:
Talented Web Developers Are Easy to Hire, Employers Are Just Not Looking Right
November 30, 2011 @ 09:57:05

A new post on the PHPClasses blog today suggests that good, talented web developers are actually pretty easy to find, you just have to look in the right places.

Once in a while, we hear company managers and recruiters complaining about how hard is to find talented Web developers that are willing work for them. The problem is that they are not looking right. Not only there are plenty of talented Web developers out there, they are easy to find, and many of them are available for hire.

The key point in his "easy to find developers" argument is simple - be open to telecommuting. Too many companies shun it because of the lack of control it brings to a group, but it also shuts down so many possibilities. He offers a few of his own reasons for the hesitation: the need to see the employee frequently, security concerns and trust issues. He also includes a few of the success stories of PHP community members who telecommute including Eli White, Ernani Joppert and Arturs Sosins.

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Alan Skorkin's Blog:
Software As A Destination vs Software As A Journey
May 11, 2010 @ 10:23:48

In a new post to his blog today Alan Skorkin compares two ways of thinking about developing software - either as a destination or as a journey.

There are two fundamental ways of looking at software development. One is all about the final product and the direct benefits you can get from it. The other is all about the lessons you learn from the process of building the software. I call them software as a destination and software as a journey. Historically speaking and even into the present day, the majority of companies that build any kind of software are 'software as a destination' companies.

He notes that, despite the company's stance on the software that's developed, most developers are more in the "journey" category and want to enjoy what they do and to evolve in their skills as they move through their career. Therein lies some of the problems with the software development industry - companies want the result, developers want what's best for the code and want to see it turn out as well as hoped.

I am not sure if there is any irony to be found in software, but if you direct all your focus towards your goal without paying due attention to the nitty gritty of what you're doing every day, you're likely to not get any useable software out of it. As long as you have a reasonable idea of where you want to end up, you just need to get the details right and the bigger picture will tend to sort itself out. On the other hand, you can have the clearest possible goal in mind, but if you let the details slide, bad things will almost certainly happen.
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Cal Evans' Blog:
Only YOU can prevent web failures
May 03, 2010 @ 09:37:20

Cal Evans has a reminder to all of the businesses out there that have sites and use web site hosting services - only you can prevent web failures and potentially alienate customers.

Last night I wrote the info@ email address on a website and asked a questions about their product. They politely responded with two links to their website. This morning however, when I went to visit them, I was greeted with the message above. It's now three hours later and the site is still "experiencing difficulties". [...] This problem can be prevented by business owners insisting on - and paying for - "Best Practices" in their software vendors.

He offers a few suggestions to businesses to help prevent this sort of (catastrophic?) failure for their businesses including having a rollout and rollback plan and having a good set of tests to make doubly sure things work before the code even meets the public.

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Tim Anderson's Blog:
Is Zend really the PHP company?
May 15, 2009 @ 07:39:51

Tim Anderson has posted some of his thoughts on a subject has has been a bit sensitive in the past - Zend's status as it comes to the PHP language.

I had a brief chat with Rasmus Lerdorf who is speaking later. I asked him about Zend, which presents itself as the PHP company (that is actually the slogan on its web site). Is it really? Lerdorf says Zend has no special status. While acknowledging its contribution, he says there are 1300 PHP committers, and only 6 work for Zend. He emphasizes that PHP is a community project and that decisions are made by consensus, influenced by who is actually willing to write the code, not by Zend or any company.

They also spoke a bit about the PHP Development Tools for the Eclipse IDE and where the strong marketing push is in the PHP community.

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Zend Developer Zone:
Zend running for TiE50 top emerging companies award
April 30, 2009 @ 12:05:06

According to this new post on the Zend Developer Zone, Zend has been nominated for the TiE group's top 50 emerging companies for 2009 in their Software category.

TiE is a non-profit organization that has laid the foundation for several hundred startup companies in Silicon Valley. [...] They are hosting their annual conference TieCON in mid May this year in Santa Clara and are expecting over 4000 attendees this year. As part of the conference this year, they are having this competition. Zend Technologies was nominated for the Software category, and out of the ~1200 nominated is now one of the 34 finalists.

You can help Zend make it to the top by casting your vote on the TiE page for "Zend Technologies". They're up against some pretty good competition (including Mint).

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Marcus Borger's Blog:
PHP, Help from Companies & Licenses
March 11, 2009 @ 12:57:34

In this new post to his blog, Marcus Borger looks a companies and their relationship to the PHP project - more specifically Zend and their close ties with PHP and its source.

Why can Zend not simply change the license of the Zend Engine to PHP License? Why do we want this? Because it creates issues with using PHP. And we do not even inform people about it, because we are silent about this fact. So is there a reason why this has not happened already long ago?

He points out the two different sides to consider - how they (Zend and their employees) have contributed to the language and its development and what the license says about ownership of the main engine. Andi Gutmans (of Zend) has made a comment on the post about why the licensing is set up how it is and how it relates to the TSRM library.

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Ibuildings Blog:
Building a PHP Center of Expertise
September 11, 2008 @ 12:26:06

According to this recent post to the Ibuildings blog, the company is going to strike out and try something new - a "Center of Expertise" department as a part of their normal business operations.

This year we're going to do something similarly challenging, but completely different. We've grown from a development company into a PHP services company, and we managed to attract really smart and inspiring people from the PHP community. We've also been supporting user groups and organized conferences and seminars. We're about to take those activities to the next level. We are going to build a 'PHP Center of Expertise'.

Efforts the newly formed group will contribute to include open source projects, aiding user groups, developing training materials and developing professional services related to PHP. The idea is still in the planning stages so any feedback or comments you might have are welcome.

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