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Boring Solutions Revisited: Choose Boring Technology by Dan McKinley

Dan McKinley's article on choosing boring solutions, although not exactly new anymore, has been a welcome reminder for me to revisit the topic of of using boring solutions and keeping things simple. Dan makes the point that "adding technology to your company comes with a cost" or as I stated in my own article on this subject: "The elephant in the room is: There’s an opportunity cost to everything." Most choices come with a trade-off. If you decide to use a technology for the ... Read more

Stephen Fluin @ ng-conf 2018: Angular for Designers

At ng-conf 2018 Google Angular developer advocate Stephen Fluin gave this highly interesting talk on making Angular - and web development in general, for that matter - more accessible to designers: Sadly, what we often see in software development industry today is largely artificial boundaries being set up between roles that define themselves by the programming languages they use, e.g. front-end development vs back-end. In other words: Paradoxically, additional information silos are created, while software is actually meant to tear down information ... Read more

Wesley Grubbs – The Importance of Failing Successfully @ beyond tellerrand Düsseldorf 2018

The Importance of Failing Successfully - Wesley Grubbs - btconfDUS2018 from beyond tellerrand on Vimeo. Read more

Recommendation: The Freelancer’s Show

If, like me, you're an independent consultant or freelancer I can highly recommend the podcast The Freelancer's Show, which is about the business of consulting and freelancing in the IT / software development industry. More than 300 episodes in it covers a wide range of subjects that are vital if you want to run a successful and sustainable software consulting business. Some of the questions the show tries to answer or at least help the listeners with are: How do I position myself? How ... Read more

Jens Oliver Meiert – The Dangers of Being a Web Developer @ beyond tellerrand Düsseldorf 2018

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Keep it simple, stupid

As something of a follow-up on my article on using boring solutions from two weeks ago I'd like to point you to a blog post by Justin Etheredge, cofounder of software development company Simple Thread: Software Complexity Is Killing Us In this post Justin outlines in which ways software development has become easier in the past few decades and also points out the ways in which it hasn't. Most of the complexity of software applications accumulates in the layer that deals with business processes. ... Read more

Use Boring Solutions

Often when working with both startups and project teams at larger, more seasoned companies I encounter a variation of the not invented here syndrome. This usually starts with the well-intentioned idea that in order to build the actual product you need ancillary services A, B and C in order for the product to work. However, more often than not instead of building the 'perfect' solution for your product yourself it might be a good idea to take a step back and think about ... Read more

Water Cooler Talk Is Toxic

An often-heard counter-argument against remote work is that those working remotely will miss out on so-called water cool talk, i.e. communication that happens casually and outside of scheduled meetings and discussions. In my opinion that kind of talk can be considered toxic. If it's merely about socialising and getting to know your co-workers better that's certainly fine and conducive to a positive work environment. However, often water cooler talk involves bandying about rumours as well as creating information silos between those who happen ... Read more

Kim Crayton @ RuhrJS 2017 – What is Community Engineering?

At RuhrJS 2017 Kim Crayton gave this energetic and hopeful as well as insightful talk on community engineering in terms of diversity and how diversity benefits both communities and companies from an economic point of view: Read more

Work Culture and Enabling Software Developers to Contribute

This article by Marcus Blankenship tries to answer the question why programmers become disaffected with a company and its goals and ultimately turn to just wanting to code. As I wrote in an earlier article about paying for developer tools with developers, particularly in larger organisations, I frequently encounter a feeling of powerlessness and not having significant say in that organisation’s direction. Marcus is spot on in that he attributes this far too common attitude to an often dysfunctional work culture that doesn't ... Read more
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