Software Engineering

For software engineers and those interested in learning about and developing skills in the area.

Improve Your Job Search With a Personal Project

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More and more, hiring managers tell us that they want to hire candidates who work on personal projects outside of their jobs. Don’t believe me? Just check out a few of our recent Landing@ stories. They say the first place they look up a potential candidate is on Github. Personal projects and open source contributions are both great ways to demonstrate passion for the industry. They show initiative and can be a great way to sharpen your coding skills before… continue…

How to Help Your Product Owner Help You

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We’re engineers. We build stuff. As for what we build, well, that’s a good question. Enter the product owner. This is the person who knows what we should build. They come in a few disguises: product manager, product owner, CEO, channel manager and VP customer relations are some aliases. No matter what their background, this is the person who translates between the customer, the market and the engineering team. That all sounds great. Having one person who can make product… continue…

Software, Data Skills Key to Bigger Paychecks in 2014

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Though few packages are on par with Twitter’s $10 million engineer Christopher Fry, pay is on the upswing for IT occupations, according to a Robert Half Technology salary survey. The survey projects that while salaries will rise an average 3.7 percent in 2014 across a number of sectors — accounting/finance, technology, legal, creative and administrative jobs — the positions with the highest jumps will be engineering, software development and programming. For instance, mobile applications developers and software developers will see… continue…

What a Developer’s Day is Really Like

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Ahh, the developer. Wakes up, rolls into the office, sits in a cubical all day writing code. Takes a break while eating lunch at his desk. Writes more code. Goes home. Writes a chunk of code for a personal project. The stereotype is clear: Developers code. Period. Too bad that’s not at all true. Coding is an important but ultimately small part of the developer’s job. On top of coding, they do all the general “office worker” tasks just like… continue…

How to Choose The Right Conferences

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Look to your right. See those conference listings? They all sound great — fun, informative, valuable. They also sound expensive. By the time you add up the conference, tutorials, travel costs, hotel and missing work, you’re easily out a few thousand dollars. Is it really worth it? The answer, of course, is: “It depends.” Whether you’re spending your own time and effort or making a case for your boss, here are some tools you need to make sure that you’re… continue…

How to Get Your Team’s Buy-In to New Processes

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In my last post, we discussed the tactics of process change, in particular choosing either a “big bang” or incremental approach. This time we’ll address the other big factor in making a process change successful: team buy-in. Buy-in takes effort. You have to start early. You have to take the meetings. You have to be convincing. You have to do something the team will accept. Fiat is a lot easier. So why bother with buy-in? Why Does Buy-In Matter? The… continue…

Changing Your Software Delivery Process

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Software processes come and go. Over the last 20 years we’ve seen the industry choose various types, ranging from the Rational Unified Process to V-Model, Scrum, Kanban, unprocess and many others, and — most commonly — combinations of all of them. We talk a lot about the advantage of various processes in different scenarios, and somewhere out there is a process that’s right for you. Once you find it, you’ve only got to overcome one more hurdle: getting to it… continue…

Why Technical Interviews Work (And Why They Don’t)

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Some developers see technical interviews as just part of the process that they have to put up with when they’re looking for work. Others think they’re great, and a great deal more think they’re the worst thing to happen to programming since <insert most hated programming language here>. Having made a business out of helping people prepare for coding interviews, let me be the first to say this: Technical interviewing isn’t perfect and I don’t think it is the way… continue…

Should You Build Your Product on a Proprietary Platform?

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A potential client of mine had a great idea: They were going to build the next great product (let’s call it WidgetFoo), and it was going to be social for enterprise. So, we sat down to have a high level architecture discussion. How were we going to build this thing? Before I go further, let me say for the record: No, the product’s not a widget, but since they’re in the middle of building it right now, I can’t actually… continue…

QA Lessons From iOS 6.1.2

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Shortly after the release of Apple’s iOS 6.1, reports appeared about issues with iOS Mail and Microsoft Exchange mail servers. They said iOS devices were generating excessive interactions with the server, resulting in huge log files, and there was talk of reduced battery life on the iOS device. In February, Apple released iOS 6.1.2 to address the issue. It turned out the excess Exchange activity only occurred after the user accepted an exception to a recurring calendar event. It seems… continue…