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SitePoint Web Blog:
From Developer to Product Manager A 3 Stage Plan
August 13, 2014 @ 11:55:34

As some developers move on in their careers, they start to progress more towards a management role. Sometimes this comes in the form of a "product manager" since most of their knowledge is wrapped around the product(s) they've been working on. However, making the move up from developer to product manager can be a difficult transition. In this new post to the SitePoint Web blog, Ernest Sliter tries to help with his own three-stage advice.

It's certainly not uncommon for developers or other employees serving in technical roles to eventually transition to product management. Some developers may find they enjoy managing the product road map and solving customers' problems rather than writing code and building the product themselves. Other seasoned engineers may be searching for a suitable career transition into a management position. If you're interested in moving to product management in the future, here are three critical steps to make the transition.

For each of his steps he provides a summary of what the choice or action entails and includes a few sub-points that can help:

  • Decide Whether You're Right for Product Management
  • Expand Your Knowledge of Product Management
  • Take Action!
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developer product manager advice threestage plan

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/developer-product-manager-3-stage-plan/

Paul Jones:
Framework Tradeoffs For Beginners Product Creation vs Program Maintenance
January 22, 2014 @ 11:53:42

Paul Jones has shared some of his thoughts about framework tradeoffs in his latest post. In it he compares two perspectives about framework use for beginners - either the "get something out there" product approach or focusing on the the long term maintenance of the product.

Phil Sturgeon at his blog, writing about product creators who neither know nor care much about programming as a discipline. [...] Phil's post focuses on the joyful, proud moments of creation that lead to business success, whether in terms of venture funding or continued sales. In this essay, I want to focus on what happens after that, when that initial creation passes into other hands to be maintained.

Paul talks about how frameworks can allow developers to work "beyond their level" and be more productive than they could be otherwise. He points out that this can create a beginner-level codebase that works "just enough" and then is usually passed off to more experienced developers to update, change and flat out fix issues.

From a financial standpoint, and perhaps even from an economic standpoint, it's easy to see enabling-via-framework as a positive. Indeed, the product creator may justify his failures of good programming practice by substituting the product popularity and continued rounds of funding as a marker of success. [...] But from a programming practices standpoint, enabling-by-framework too often leads to pain and frustration on the part of the maintenance programmers, who are now saddled with the baggage of an amateur.
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framework tradeoff beginner product creation maintenance

Link: http://paul-m-jones.com/archives/5890

Allan MacGregor:
Design Patterns in PHP Using Factories
January 21, 2014 @ 09:39:32

Allan MacGregor has a recent post to his site looking at another design pattern (previously he discussed dependency injection), this time it's the use of factories.

The factory pattern is one of the most commonly used Design Patterns, it is useful when we need to choose between several interchangeable classes at runtime. By using factories we are also separating the creation of an object from the actual implementation. We can define a factory as a simple design pattern that give us a convenient way to instantiate objects. A factory is capable of creating different types of objects without necessarily knowing what type of object is actually being created.

He talks some about the problems that factories try to solve and some of the common implementations - simple, abstract and the factory method. He also covers some times when it's useful to use the pattern (including the creation of complex objects). The rest of the post includes sample code showing the creation of a Product class, creating them manually and the refactor over to a factory created method, making it more flexible for products in the future.

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design pattern factory introduction refactor product

Link: http://coderoncode.com/2014/01/19/design-patterns-php-factories.html

php|architect:
Re Branding php[architect]
June 17, 2013 @ 13:03:17

The php|architect group (magazine, conferences, etc) has kicked off a rebranding of their long-time product line to move it forward and give it a simpler, cleaner look.

Arbi Arzoumani did a wonderful job with php|architect's image (logos, colors and fonts as well as magazine, conference and website design). I've always admired what he did with the brand, especially since he wore so many hats at BP. He was actually in the process of a brand update when musketeers took over. [...] Taking his direction further, I simplified the whole image (logo, fonts and colors) to a more colorful and less cluttered version. I also decided to unify the brand across all product lines, including the magazine, websites, books, summits and conferences.

Additionally, they've changed the "name" used for the company away from "php|architect" to a slightly different format - "php[architect]" to help unify it across the board with other offerings. Don't worry, you'll still be getting the same great content and community events from the group, it's just getting a "fresh coat of paint."

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phparchitect rebranding magazine product conference

Link: http://www.phparch.com/2013/06/re-branding-phparchitect

Francesca Krihely:
On the Developer Experience
May 03, 2013 @ 09:22:07

In a new post to her site Francesca Krihely starts looking at the developer experience - how developers relate to your service and product and what kinds of things you need to be doing to help engage them.

I had a great brainstorm a few weeks back with the members of the Developer Evangelists meetup on the topic of the User Journey, or as I'll call it now, the Developer Experience. The main problem we wanted to solve was how we convert new users into experts or awesoms users. In many ways, a Community Manager and/or Developer Evangelist is responsible for driving user adoption and making users successful, so this is a topic near and dear to all of our hearts. I walked away with three key things that help improve the developer experience: Great Product, Great Support and Empowerment.

This post talks about the first point - the "great product" - and notes that, if the product isn't useful and enjoyable to use, even developers won't bother with it. She also talks some about the need for quality documentation and how it can be seen as a sort of "marketing" to developers.

Work on making your product fit for an awesome developer experience. If you build it, they will come.
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developer experience product support empowerment documentation marketing

Link: http://francescak.me/blog/2013/05/02/on-the-developer-experience

Lorna Mitchell's Blog:
Retrieving Product Attributes from Magento's V2 API
July 12, 2010 @ 08:28:14

Lorna Mitchell has posted a sort of follow-up to her previous post about accessing the Magento A{I to pull information about products from the application. In this new post she takes it a step further and shows how to get attributes from those products.

I've been working with the API for Magento in recent weeks and I had a bit of a struggle explaining to the V2 API which attributes of a product I wanted to retrieve. Actually I had issues talking to the V2 API at all, but that's a different post so I'll skate over those for now. Instead I thought I'd share (or rather, record for the next time I have the same problem!) how to specify which attributes about a product to retrieve.

She figured out that you could use the info method for the product_catalog call and specify the attributes you want. Her code example shows how to fetch the title, description, a shorter description and the price of an item.

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magento product attribute tutorial api


Community News:
Adobe Developer Week Starts May 10th
May 05, 2010 @ 11:19:51

As is mentioned on the Zend Developer Zone, the Adobe Developer Week will be starting up on Monday, May 10th and will offer free sessions for developers interested in learning about Adobe products.

During Developer Week, learn about the Adobe Flash Platform, including Adobe Flex, Adobe Flash Builder, Adobe AIR, Adobe Flash Player, and how it integrates with Adobe Creative Suite 5 technologies. This weeklong event features free, live webinars presented by Adobe technology experts. See live demos and have your questions answered by the experts during interactive Q&A sessions.

You can find out more information about the sessions offered and how to register for them on this page of the Adobe website.

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adobe developer week session product register


Builder.com.au:
10 questions to ask when selecting open source products for your enterprise
December 21, 2009 @ 17:43:33

If you're looking around for software to fill the needs of your company or group and your sights fall on Open Source software, Builder.com.au has a few suggestions for you to consider.

All open source projects, by definition, provide the end user with certain perpetual rights and freedoms in using, studying, modifying and redistributing the product. However, there is a lot of inconsistency in terms of the product quality, the governance model and the availability of support. Thus, when selecting open source components for your enterprise, it is important to do some background checks to ensure the open source product you have selected is compatible with your enterprise business model and IT standards. Below are 10 questions you can ask to evaluate open source maturity.

Among things on their list to consider are:

  • Are the open source licence terms compatible with my business requirements?
  • How well is the product adopted by users?
  • How is this project governed and how easily can I influence the road map?
  • Will the product scale to my enterprise's requirements?
  • Are there regular security patches?
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question opensource product enterprise


Sameer Borate's Blog:
Accessing Amazon Product Advertising API
August 24, 2009 @ 10:52:04

Sameer Borate recently posted this new look at hooking your PHP application into the Amazon Product Advertising API to use the updated key system Amazon has put in place.

In this post we will see how to access the Amazon Product Advertising API from PHP. Amazon has recently changed (from 15th Aug '09) the authentication mechanism for accessing their API which must now be signed with your Amazon keys. Unsigned requests will be rejected by Amazon. Note that the code uses the hash_hmac() hash function which is only available for PHP versions 5.1.2 and above, so the code will not work for versions below that.

The full code, including an example if it in action - connecting to the API and searching for the DVD of "X-Men Origins". The full code of his class is included, perfect for cut and pasting.

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amazon api product advertising tutorial


Blue Parabola Blog:
Magento Feature Analysis Series, Part 2 Product Browsing Offering
June 10, 2009 @ 07:52:35

Matthew Turland has posted the second part of his in-depth series looking the features that the Magento e-commerce platform to the Blue Parabola blog. In this new article he looks at ten product browsing features.

Here's the list of topics covered:

  • Multiple Images Per Product
  • Product Image Zoom-in Capability
  • Product Reviews
  • Related Products
  • Stock Availability
  • Multi-Tier Pricing Upsell
  • Product Option Selection
  • Grouped Products View
  • Add to Wishlist
  • Send to a Friend with E-mail

Upon review of all of the above, Matthew has this to say:

The overall feature set is pretty complete for most storefronts. Beyond fixing issues, the Magento platform could benefit significantly -- and quickly -- by improving the quality of their existing features.
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browsing product feature magento



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