Software Engineering

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

How to Estimate a Budget When the Project’s Undefined

Calculating the Budget
December and January are when most companies focus on budgets, but you can be asked to estimate a project most any time of the year. And no matter what happens, managers are always measured against their budgets, so you want to get your estimations right. But when we don’t know exactly what the dev team will be doing, we’ll have to take some educated guesses that involve estimates. That’s why managers fan out across their teams to start asking questions… continue…

Interview Answers for Software Engineers

Interview Qs
Writing computer programs isn’t easy. So to assess a software engineer’s mastery of a language, Catherine Powell asks them to write a small application. Getting the technical assessment out of the way lets her focus her interview on the candidate’s adaptability, environmental fit and engineering approach. See more of our interview questions “Anyone can search the Internet and memorize answers to technical questions,” says Powell, the Dice Software Engineering Talent Community guide. “I want to know if they can anticipate… continue…

What Does a Project Manager Do, Anyway?

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A few months ago, we looked at what a developer does all day. This month: What on earth is the project manager up to? Project managers don’t actually make anything. They don’t write code. They don’t make graphics. They don’t sell the software. Yet a good project manager can be the glue that holds a project together. So how does that actually happen? What does a project manager do all day? Meet Jeff Jeff is the sole project manager at… continue…

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…