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Three Devs & A Maybe:
Episode 68 - Podcasting, Remote Working and Testing with Adam Wathan
June 17, 2015 @ 08:53:09

The Three Devs & A Maybe podcast has released their latest episode today, Episode #68 - Podcasting, Remote Working and Testing with Adam Wathan.

This week we are very lucky to be joined by fellow podcaster and host of Full Stack Radio - Adam Wathan. We begin discussion with his reasons behind starting a podcast, experience being a solo-host and the secret to great podcast recordings. We then move on to how he got into programming at high school - with reflection on that if he had been using a Windows machine at college, he would most likely be a .NET developer by now. As both Edd and Adam work remotely at this time, the topic of remote pair-programming and Kanban style board implementations then arises. Finally, we discuss his thoughts on Message-passing vs. strict-contracts, Smalltalk and Elixir exploration and how it is hard to give a definitive answer on the best way to begin learning TDD.

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page audio player or by downloading the mp3. Be sure to subscribe to their feed if you enjoy the show too!

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Link: http://threedevsandamaybe.com/podcasting-remote-working-and-testing-with-adam-wathan/

Loosely Coupled:
Episode 19 How We Work
February 13, 2015 @ 09:45:50

The Loosely Coupled podcast has posted their latest episode today - Episode #19, How We Work. Join hosts Jeff Carouth and Matt Frost as they talk about work life, personal life and what tools, processes and techniques they've used during their careers to get the job done.

In this episode Jeff and Matt explore how they go about organizing their work life and our personal lives. They cover the idea of how the process evolves depending on your environment and even your personal inclinations. In 2011, Jeff wrote a blog post about the tools he used back then and realized that it has changed a little but for the most part works for him. They cover some pitfalls of processes that require tickets/stories to be broken down into parts where developers cannot understand what they're doing or why, and how they've learned over time to get to that information. They also talked about learning how to be professionals and defend against situations that would impact your work or your code in negative ways. Finally they touch on Matt's work scheduling experiment which is inspired by the Makers Schedule versus the Managers Schedule and how it has helped him be more productive.

You can listen to this latest episode either by using the in-page audio player or by downloading the episode directly and listening at your leisure. Be sure to subscribe to their feed or follow them on Twitter for the latest updates and show announcements.

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Link: http://looselycoupled.info/blog/2015/02/12/episode-19-how-we-work/

Reddit.com:
Would you take a job where you had to use a custom MVC framework?
October 08, 2014 @ 12:57:00

There's an interesting discussion happening in the /r/php subreddit on Reddit.com that asks about taking a job if a custom framework was involved.

i recently got a new job and whilst I'm working my notice period I've been tasked to find my replacement. One of the big questions my boss has is whether a developer would mind taking over a MVC framework I built specifically for the company. (I would explain why we didn't use Laravel / Symfony / Zend etc. but that's a whole post in itself). The framework is conventional and should feel familiar to someone with Laravel experience... But at the end of the day it's totally proprietary. It's built to PHP-FIG standards and would come with full documentation. So, would you have any issues taking the job, or would you be put off?

There's opinions shared that lean both ways, but there seems to be a large majority that strays more heavily into the "no" column. They suggest that, with all of the great and well-developed PHP frameworks already out there, a custom one would probably cause more problems that it solves. While there's plenty of technically oriented comments, there's also a few that are more "high level" looking at the reasoning for taking the job (hint: it's not just about technology) and what the needs/requirements of the business are.

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Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/2il722/would_you_take_a_job_where_you_had_to_use_a/

SitePoint Web Blog:
How Do You Work With Other People's Code?
September 26, 2014 @ 10:58:56

The SitePoint Web blog has a recent post from Matthew Setter offering some helpful hints on working with other people's code. In it he shares suggestions ranging from the technical out to a bit more "learning oriented" to get up to speed on concepts and techniques.

Dealing with code created by other people is a fundamental skill for a developer. Give it a year and other people's code could even be your own. Today I'm going to look at some of the best approaches for how to deal with other people's code, read legacy code, effectively. It's not an easy topic to cover.

He's broken it down into a list of several different topics, each with their own descriptions and links to tools or reading resources for more information:

  • Interact
  • Observe
  • Run Tests
  • Fix Bugs designed for Newcomers
  • Find Available Resources
  • Use a Good IDE
  • Read Books & Blogs
  • Contribute to Documentation
  • Be Considerate

He puts some good emphasis on that final point, reminding the reader that it's not just years of experience that make for a better developer, it's more about skill.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/work-peoples-code/

Jacob Mather:
How to act like you (maybe actually) care about your work
October 09, 2012 @ 12:49:03

Jacob Mather has written up a (somewhat lengthy) post about things for developers to consider when wanting to improve at their jobs.

At Symfony Live San Francisco 2012, I gave a little talk. No, really. A little talk. Seven minutes. I'm not even sure I used all of it. That's not a lot of time, but I think I managed to at least provoke some thinking. At least I hope I did. Hmm. How do you act like you care about your work, as a developer?

He has the post broken up into several different categories including being involved in the community, continuing your education constantly, working with automation to make your day-to-day easier and what your real job is (hint, it has more to do with problems and less with code). He also includes a section with suggestions about dealing with coworkers of all different types - everything from management to designers.

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Reddit.com:
What does the day-to-day look like for a LAMP developer?
July 03, 2012 @ 13:13:13

In this recent post to Reddit.com, a "solid novice with PHP" asks the community for some insight into what the day-to-day life is like for an average LAMP developer.

I wanted to hear from someone who does LAMP development for a living, What does your work day look like? That is to say that, I have no idea what the responsibilities for a LAMP developer look like. Are these people putting together entire websites on various platforms (wordpress, joomla, whatever)? Are you simply doing backend work (setting up databases, working with tables, etc)? All of the above?

The comments on the post talk about things like:

  • The differences between the "startup" and "business" life of a typical developer
  • Sympathy over some of the debugging methods in PHP
  • Technical issues
  • Working as a lone developer
  • The variety of skills needed
  • Discussion of specs and system architecture

What's your average day like? Share it here!

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Reddit.com:
Am I asking too much from my PHP applicant exercise?
December 27, 2011 @ 10:39:53

On Reddit.com there's a recent post asking about testing developers as a part of the hiring process and how difficult it should be.

I developed an exercise for applicants. They must use an open source framework to make a simple bulletin board. It requires account creation, login, thread creation, message creation, unread message indication per thread, and logout. Every applicant is given this exercise after passing an initial test. The initial test is a simple disqualifier and is not challenging for anyone not lying on their resume.

There's some great discussion in the comments about things like the suggested time limit, opinions on other methods that could yield the same results, thoughts on the validity of even taking the test based on the level of the job. The popular opinion, though, is that it's too much work for an applicant to go through unless there's a very specific need. As one commentor put it:

Most of the excellent programmers will have jobs. Those that don't will probably have several options (unless you're in a very small market) for where to work. When it comes down to applying to the place that wants you to spend a bunch of your own time on their application, or some other company... They'll go with some other company.
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PHPClasses.org:
Lately in PHP Podcast Episode 18 - The Debate on Remote Work for Web Developers
December 02, 2011 @ 12:55:25

On the PHPClasses.org site they've posted the latest episode of their "Lately in PHP" podcast. This time the focus is on a recent article that was posted to the site about finding good developers by looking in the right place.

The recently published article on attracting talented Web developers by offering remote job positions raised an interesting debate on the challenges, advantages and disadvantages of this way of working. This debate was the main topic of discussion of the episode 18 of the Lately in PHP podcast with Manuel Lemos and Ernani Joppert, who were joined by César Rodas. César is a top PHPClasses contributor that has been working remotely for several years for companies around the world.

You can listen to this latest episode either via the in-page player, by direct download or by subscribing to their feed.

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Chris Roane's Blog:
PHP Programming With Leadership
January 03, 2011 @ 12:31:45

Chris Roane has a new post to his blog today talking about a quality he sees as one of the more valuable in PHP developers - leadership. He suggests, though, that if it's not there from the start, it can be learned.

Until recently, I thought leadership was a gift that you either had or did not have. I still believe it is something you can learn and get better at, but I'm now realizing that leadership is something we all have to some capacity. In fact, to be a successful PHP programmer, you have to be a good leader.

He relates it back to you being the "leader" of your own life, you being the one to make the decisions outside of the office too. This can translate back into your work in things like his example - making accurate estimates of development times and how much work it would take to make that happen.

This type of PHP programmer is valuable because they do not need someone constantly babysitting them. They can be trusted and people can depend on them confidently. If you are a manager, these are the people you want to manage because they will make you look good.
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Shawn Stratton's Blog:
Startups and Working Environments
April 07, 2009 @ 10:22:47

Shawn Stratton has an interesting new post to his blog about startups, working environments and a few ideas that could change things a good bit for the average developer's workplace.

I've come to several conclusions after making observations on several articles by successful founders, thinking back on the startups I've seen and interacted with, and seeing the common mistakes that have been made thus far in the businesses and projects I've been involved in and let me just state that it has been a most interesting journey.

He suggests a few things that could make up an "idea workspace" scenario including less (required) work hours and more time off, giving full benefits, promoting an open environment instead of a "cube farm" and the encouragement to always keep learning. He even suggests something that could help make it easier - replacing a lot of the usual means (like books and training courses) with a Kindle loaded and ready to go.

I'm hereby making an open call for people to argue with or contribute to my ideas, let's fix what's wrong with the current corporations and thereby making our economy and our lifestyles sick and dying.

Want to comment? Head over here and share your thoughts...

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