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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/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Hashicorp’s Packer – Is It Something for PHP Developers?
Nov 15, 2016 @ 11:38:24

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new article posted taking a look at Packer (from Hashicorp) and if it's something that's relevant to a PHP developer's needs. Packer is a tool that makes it easier to machine images that can be reused across platforms based on a single configuration.

If you do a lot of server work for your clients or on the job, along with development work, then yes. Packer can help you a lot.

If you are only a developer and don’t really do much work on the server directly, then no. Packer won’t be very helpful.

That being said, it is wise for any PHP developer to learn the basics of creating server environments. You will run into these technologies in your career in one way or another (everything you create runs on them!). This specialized knowledge will help your career in the future for sure! At a minimum, you’ll understand your dev-ops colleagues and the work they do much better.

The article starts with a "look back in time" to when server setup was more manual and server admins/developers had to go in and change configurations/update software by hand. From there they move forward to the changes that virtualized servers made possible followed quickly by tools like Vagrant. Vagrant makes it easier to create and configure virtual machines so why would you need something like Packer? The article provides a summary of the features that Packer provides and how its overall workflow operates.

With all this information under your belt, the tutorial then starts in on using the Packer tool:

  • installing the Packer software
  • creating a new server instance
  • setting up the JSON configuration
  • the build process
  • working with provisioners
  • installing the VM with VirtualBox

The environment is now all set up and configured so the next step is, naturally, installing a PHP-based application. They opt for a basic Symfony demo application, showing how to change the configuration to pull it in and set everything up.

tagged: hashicorp developer packer tutorial configuration vagrant server setup

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/hashicorps-packer-is-it-something-for-php-developers/

Three Devs & A Maybe:
Episode 109 - Processing Signals and Collecting Garbage with Joe Watkins
Oct 31, 2016 @ 14:34:57

The Three Devs and a Maybe Podcast, with hosts Michael Budd, Fraser Hart, Lewis Cains and Edd Mann, has posted their latest episode with guest Joe Watkins. In this latest show Joe and the guys talk about handling signals and garbage collection in PHP.

In this weeks episode we have a long overdue catch-up with Joe Watkins. We start off discussion with progress on PHP 7.1 and work Joe has been doing to provide an interface to libui within PHP. We then move on to chat about a couple of interesting RFC’s that are currently under-discussion, followed by managing long-running PHP processes with Supervisor and Unix signaling. Finally, we highlight how Garbage collection works and how PHP implements the concept to help manage memory.

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page audio player or downloading the mp3 directly. If you enjoy the show, be sure to subscribe to their feed to get updates on future shows as they're released.

tagged: threedevsandamaybe ep100 podcast joewatkins core developer garbagecollection signal

Link: http://threedevsandamaybe.com/processing-signals-and-collecting-garbage-with-joe-watkins/

Laravel News:
Can you be an expert developer in 10,000 hours?
Oct 26, 2016 @ 09:32:48

On the Laravel News site there's a new post that tries to answer the question "can you be a an expert developer in 10,000 hours?" This is based on some prior research (not specific to programming) that anyone can be an expert on anything in about 10 thousand hours worth of work and study on the subject. This post takes the ideas presented there and applies them to the world of development, trying to see if there's a good match.

Back in 1993, psychologists K. Anders Ericsson, Ralf Th. Krampe, and Clemens Tesch-Romer said that 10,000 hours of deliberate practice of a specific skill will make one an expert. Fast forward 15 years, and Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers made the 10,000 hours rule famous. And in 2012, Macklemore solidified it’s fact status: it officially takes 10,000 hours to be an expert at anything.

How does this rule correlate to coding? If you’ve been working full time as a dev for five years, you’d be considered an expert by the parameters of the rule. [...] The problem with the 10,000 hours rule to excellence is that most domains aren’t static.

The article goes on to talk about the ever-changing world of technology (as compared to static activities where the rules aren't going to change). They talk about the Laravel framework and how it has evolved since beta/version 1 and how, if the 10k rule is applied, no one is an "expert" as it changes so fast. There's also a link to a study that debunked the 10k rule and so they shift to trying to answer another question: how much does it take to be just considered "good"? This is related back to software engineering and where in the process could it be that you move from "good" to "great".

Maybe the real question here is instead of trying to be an expert software developer, what aspects of your job can you improve in 20 hours of practice? Maybe the focus shouldn’t just be on the code; after all, your job is more than just staring at glowing screens all day. Identifying specific areas of weakness that you can devote time to strengthening every week may be the key to becoming that expert that you desire to be.
tagged: expert developer good tenthousand hours development opinion

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2016/10/10000-hours/

CodeForALiving.io:
How I Open Sourced My Way to My Dream Job: Mohamed Said
Oct 17, 2016 @ 10:15:19

On the CodeForALiving.io site (from StackOverflow) there's an interview with Mohamed Said, the first official employee for Laravel (and its related ecosystem).

Mohamed Said got his first computer at age 13—they were just becoming commonly accessible in Egypt—and started learning to code almost immediately. Flash was what drew him in, he says, with its animations and color and, well, “flashy” stuff.

[...] Last month, Mohamed Said became the first full-time hire at Laravel, an open source PHP framework built by Taylor Otwell. Otwell built the framework as a side project, and when it took off, quit his job to work on it full time. Just a few months ago, he decided he needed help maintaining the project and posted his first full-time job opening, and Said was an obvious choice.

The interview gets into some of Mohamed's background as a developer and his own personal experiences with the Laravel framework. The article then moves on to some of his work in open source software and how he grew into the Laravel community overall. He talks some about roadblocks he came up against along the way but encourages people to contribute, mentioning both the growth it can provide and how to get started with your own contributions.

tagged: opensource mohamedsaid laravel employee developer interview story

Link: http://www.codeforaliving.io/how-i-open-sourced-my-way-to-my-dream-job-mohamed-said

Laravel News:
The 2016 Laravel Survey
Sep 16, 2016 @ 10:16:01

On the Laravel News site there's a new post talking about a survey that's being put out by the LaraJobs site/service with questions covering the current state of the Laravel community.

The Laravel community is growing fast and we thought it’d be interesting to see what types of projects people are taking on with Laravel as well as get some feedback on what the Laravel community could be doing better.

If you’re a Laravel developer or in charge of a Laravel team and have a few minutes we’d love for you to take the survey.

The survey will run for a few weeks and at the end, the results will be tabulated, analyzed and shared on the Laravel News site. Even if you're not a Laravel user, you might want to take this poll (don't worry, it's anonymous) and share some about why you don't use the framework - there's a few questions about that too.

tagged: laravelnews survey laravel community 2016 developer larajobs

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2016/09/the-2016-laravel-survey/

Laravel News:
Laravel Scout is now open for developer testing
Aug 16, 2016 @ 10:37:38

The Laravel News site has a new post with an update for those looking forward to trying out Laravel "Scout", the search handling to be released along side the next Laravel framework release. The post announces that Laravel Scout is now open for developer testing directly from the live repository.

Laravel Scout is a driver based full-text search for Eloquent that is going to be available when Laravel 5.3 launches.

The driver is not officially released yet, however, the repository is now live and available for those that want to play with more engines. Taylor said he would be working on docs this week in anticipation of the official 5.3 release and this first release should only be used in testing until it’s officially launched.

If you're interested in more details about Scout, check out this post from Matt Stauffer with details and code examples.

tagged: laravel scout developer testing search functionality

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2016/08/laravel-scout-is-now-open-for-developer-testing/

Christian M. Mackeprang:
What “Full Stack” really means to the job market
Aug 01, 2016 @ 13:33:20

There's an interesting article from Christian M. Mackeprang that tries to provide some definition to the term "full stack programmer" and what it really means to the job market.

Back around 2013, the term Full Stack developer started to come up in job descriptions and blog posts. Companies were realizing that hiring developers with expertise in only one language just wasn’t enough anymore. A web developer that can handle a variety of tasks and environments is considerably more useful, and was starting to become the norm.

[...] What is a full stack developer supposed to know, anyway? Job descriptions frequently mention combinations of frontend and backend technologies such as JavaScript and Node, PHP and jQuery, Angular and Spring, and many others. In reality there is a significant amount of information outside those realms that would improve someone’s ability to build a website, and gone are the days when you could stick with what you know and make a career out of a single technology.

He talks about the combinatorial explosion the number of possible technology combinations can cause and how the usefulness of specific posts/resources is dwindling because of it. He then talks about "hackers" as "antifragile programmers" being the ones that enjoy the exploration of the tools and systems and are not bothered by change. He also suggests that developers need good skills in time management and setting expectations to prevent too much "exploration time".

He finishes out the post sharing thoughts about redefining the roles we're actually looking for an the individuals we want to fill them. He offers pointers about gaining context around issues, understand tradeoffs and doing what other people don't like doing to make your way ahead.

tagged: fullstack developer definition job market opinion hacker

Link: http://chrismm.com/blog/what-full-stack-really-means-to-the-job-market/

FreeCodeCamp.com:
Bill Sourer - Finding Time to Become a Better Developer
Jun 30, 2016 @ 10:35:48

On the FreeCodeCamp Medium blog Bill Sourer shares some tips you can use to find time to become a better developer in the fast-based, sometimes crazy world of software development.

There’s no time for anything. At least that’s how it feels doesn’t it? No time to learn all the things you think you need to learn to stay ahead of the curve. No time to go back and refactor that ugly piece of code. It works (sort of) and there’s a deadline approaching. No time to write unit tests for everything. No time to write documentation or comments for the next guy who gets stuck maintaining what you wrote. No time to think. No time to breathe. No time!

Well… if you take the time to read this article, I promise you’ll find yourself with more time for what’s important.

He breaks it down into five main tips (here's a tl;dr for those in a rush):

  • You don’t need to learn every new thing in order to stay relevant.
  • Writing good code takes less time than writing bad code, BUT it doesn’t feel that way.
  • Working 24/7 does NOT make you a hero. Managing expectations does.
  • Not all time spent “improving” code has the same ROI.
  • Scheduled down time makes you more productive.

Each item on the list has a paragraph or three explaining it in a bit more detail. There's also some other interesting ideas and thoughts in the comments of the post from other readers.

tagged: better developer time management suggestion tips top5

Link: https://medium.freecodecamp.com/finding-time-to-become-a-better-developer-eebc154881b2#.6ojvwlad0

Three Devs & A Maybe:
Episode 103 - Caching up with Joe Watkins
Jun 23, 2016 @ 10:55:21

On the Three Devs and a Maybe podcast they've posted a new show where they're joined by Joe Watkins, a core developer on the PHP development team.

In this weeks episode we are lucky to be joined by Joe Watkins. We start off discussion around the development of PHP 7.1 and the recent initial alpha release. Following this, we give an update on a couple of previously mentioned RFC’s, along with how Joe’s ones are doing. This leads us on to highlight how some small proposed changes are paving the way to optimal machine-code and finally integration of a JIT compiler. Some of these proposed changes may result in backwards compatibility breaks, we discuss this topic and when it is deemed acceptable to permit this. Finally, we chat about memorisation, caching and how it is not really feasible to distill a standard caching interface that fits all requirements.

You can listen to this latest episode either using the in-page audio player or by downloading the mp3 of the show. If you enjoy it, be sure to also subscribe to their feed and get updates on the latest episodes as they're released.

tagged: threedevsandamaybe ep10 podcast joewatkins core developer

Link: http://threedevsandamaybe.com/caching-up-with-joe-watkins/