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It seems like coding boot camps, coding programs in schools, and other development initiatives are popping up left and right these days. After all, learning how to code, even just a little, is helpful for more careers than software engineering. In fact, some none-coding jobs are starting to require a basic level of coding ability. With all of these programs pushing coding these days, you may start to think the industry is flooded with would-be-developers as well as senior engineers, right? Wrong. In fact, there’s a significant shortage of qualified people in this country to fill the available programming positions. The Job Disparity…

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In a field like software development that demands attention to detail, peer review is essential. When the slightest mistake can cause serious errors throughout the project, another set of eyes (or several) will help ensure that everything reaches its full potential. While there are automated tests you can perform to vet your code, nothing beats the human touch. Code review had been demonstrated to significantly speed up the development process. But what are the responsibilities of the code reviewer? When running a code review, how do you ensure constructive feedback? How do you solicit input that will expedite and improve the…

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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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