Surge Blog

The Surge Blog is the top hub for developers, executives, and

entrepreneurs, featuring key technology updates, freelancer resources, and

management insight.

Company

News and Details about the happenings in the Surge World

Design

A nice mix of advice, inspiration, and research relating to design

Development

Standards, technologies, and mobile dev for coding enthusiasts

Industry

In-depth analysis on all faces of the software development industry

A few years ago, there was a viral story about a programmer in Manhattan who met a homeless man and, instead of simply giving him a few dollars and walking away, bought him a used laptop and spent weeks teaching him how to code. While this type of gesture from an individual may be unusual, the underlying concept is actually fairly common. Coding skills are in high demand. There are a myriad of good, stable, well-paying jobs that hire people who can code, and the field is continually growing. In fact, there are dozens of organizations out there who specialize in finding…

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Successful software projects please customers, streamline processes, or otherwise add value to your business. But how do you ensure that your software project will result in the improvements you are expecting? Will users experience better performance? Will the productivity across all tasks improve as you hoped? Will users be happy with your changes and return to your product again and again as you envisioned? You don’t find answers to these questions with a standard QA testing plan. Standard QA will ensure that your product works. Usability testing will ensure that your product accomplishes your business objectives. Well-planned usability testing will…

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Popular webcomic xkcd, which frequently expounds on the complexities and pitfalls of computer programming, once did a comic about discovering Python. The comic joked that the open source programming language made everything so simple and straightforward that it would even allow you to fly, just by typing "import antigravity." Indeed, the simplicity and versatility of Python has made it the preferred language for a lot of programmers, particularly in a professional setting. In fact, last year, it held the #2 most popular programming language (as rated by github pull requests), a position it has maintained for at least the last…

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With an annual salary ranging from $50,000 to $120,000, software engineering can be a very lucrative career. But is it a fulfilling one? What’s the rate of job satisfaction among programmers and software engineers? And how does it compare with the rest of the country’s jobs? Job Satisfaction Statistics A survey last year by weekly magazine The Economist found that, overall, 58% of workers in the U.S. are at least reasonably happy in their jobs. Only 12% are actually unhappy with their jobs, while around 31% are ambivalent. According to another study by the University of Chicago, the career with…

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What follows is an edited down version of a chat conversation in the Operation Code slack. The context is that of someone studying up on .Net but, patterns being what they are, this applies elsewhere as well. The question was over explaining the repository pattern. I have strong opinions here and differentiate between how repository is defined, how it might be implemented in a manner true to it’s intent, and how it is often (mis)implemented with unfortunate consequences. The best opinions are changed opinions and this is one that I admit to having been wrong about. I used to be…

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This blog assumes you have some basic knowledge about automated visual testing with Applitools. If it isn’t clear to you why it is awesome and would like more info, go checkout their site applitools.com. I first heard about Applitools through one of my colleagues at Surge in spring of 2017. I was explaining some of the challenges with my current client. Specifically, the amount of time developers spend testing each release (developers are the QA department) and how there was an initiative to focus on CD (continuous delivery). I mentioned that while we have several functional tests, they did not…

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Every programmer has a language they prefer to work in. Whether it’s because it’s the one they’re most used to or the one that best meets their coding needs, they’re not shy about telling you which is their favorite and why. But man cannot live on Perl alone. No matter how versatile or easy to use your favorite programming language, it’s important to be able to use others just as fluently. Here are a few reasons why. Job Opportunities Google programming is done using Python. Say your dream job is to work for Google, and you learned Python for that…

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When business owners discuss the best way to develop software, testing is always a scary topic. How much time and money you should spend on testing is not an easy question to answer. What type of human resource you should commit to testing is an even harder one. Test Automation obviously requires some degree of programming skill, but software developers are a precious resource. Why waste developer’s time on automating tests when you’ve got new products and features that you need to roll out the door? Bringing on a dedicated test automation developer is no small expense, either. You could…

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Lean Manufacturing reduces failure rates, focuses on continual improvement, and brings long term value to business owners. Sounds like Agile software development. Many companies like leankit are capitalizing on this fact and are building products that bring those two worlds together. For the past 10 years, Surge has built an entire company combining both lean and agile principles. The Agile Manifesto Agile development springs from what’s known as the Agile Manifesto: a collection of values and principles for software development that allow solutions to evolve through collaborative effort. The manifesto was created in 2001 by a group of software engineers,…

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Working from home can be something of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it affords you the freedom and flexibility to work at your own pace, on your own terms, which may allow you to get more done. On the other hand, without a strict structure to your day, or continual monitoring from those that hold you accountable, it can be easy to get distracted, ultimately losing productivity instead of gaining it. So, which is the case? Are you more or less productive when you work from home? The debate has gone on for years. But now, it may…

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