The Good Bits – July 21

The Ultimate Guide For Getting Freelance-Ready When You’re A Self-Taught Coder – This article caught my attention because I am a self-taught coder, and I hope to one day be a freelancer.  Joyce Akiko tackles the burning questions that many in my situation have asked or will ask if they have freelancing as a goal.  She packs a lot of information into this guide, but distills each key point into a takeaway, 10 in all.  After reading it, I can not only picture myself in the role of a freelancer, but I can start working towards that even now.

Attracting Developers to Your Company – I really like Peter Morlion’s take on the dynamics of the  software development job market.  Presently, I know no out-of-work developers, and that has remained true for the last several years.  As Peter points out, that has put employers and recruiters in the position of having to woo talent away from their present employers.  Potential employees will take into account many other factors beyond what they will be working on, and that also allows them to be picky about the right opportunity for them to take.  I certainly will be.

Visual Studio 2015 launches, with Android, iOS, and even Apple Watch support – There is lots of news this week about the release of the new version of Visual Studio.  As a software developer mainly focused on the Microsoft stack, this interests me a lot.  But this article highlights one of the really exciting aspects of the new version: built-in support for cross-platform development.  Eventually, I would like my mobile apps to be on all the major platforms, and being able to use one IDE — and potentially one language — for that is hugely beneficial.



The Good Bits – July 6

This is the first in what will be a recurring series of blog posts for me.  As an avid learner in general, and in the field of software development more specifically, I come across a great many articles and blog posts which I find valuable and/or interesting.  Beginning with this post, I will collate the best of that information along with a few of my own thoughts and publish it for you.

Organizational Skills Beat Algorithmic Wizardry  – An interesting post from 2013 by James Hague where he discusses the reality of modern software engineering jobs.  The guts and the glory of any software solution, the algorithms or designs that are so highly prized, represent a small fraction of the actual work on any project.  The rest of the effort goes into supporting code such as file I/O, maintaining state, or error handling.  Organizational skills such as refactoring, simplifying, and reducing complexity are put to much more use and therefore should be more highly valued.

Succeeding with Automated Integration Tests – End to end integration testing of your software is critical to its stability and success, but it can be a challenge to set up correctly. In this post, Jeremy Miller discusses some of his tips for making your integration testing more effective, efficient and reliable.  I particularly appreciated his emphasis on continuous integration as a key to getting value from automated testing.

5 Tips for Being an Effective Tech Lead – Are you a tech lead, or are you working toward that position in the future?  This helpful post from Patrick Kua will enlighten you about some of the ways to be effective in that role.  His reminder to stay in the code rang true for me.  There’s no worse position than being a tech lead that has lost touch with the codebase.  He also pointed out that this will help you build respect from the rest of the team, which has additional benefits.