Web Development

Trends, tools and development tips and tricks.

How to Produce Dynamic Mulitplayer Games With PHP

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It’s relatively easy to set up a Web-based massively multiplayer game (MMO), though realistically you probably won’t have more than a few hundred players. I’ve chosen World of Phaos (WoP), which you can access from the SourceForge.net, an excellent site for open source projects. WoP is a PHP, MySQL game and can run on a shared server, VPS or dedicated server. Shared servers are cheaper and are just fine for most games, but will generally limit you to running PHP/MySQL… continue…

Developers Take Dynamite To Skills and Win

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Peter Kellner, founder and coordinator of Silicon Valley Code Camp, says that if you’re a developer, you need to be ready for the next big thing. Kellner has been running this event for seven years and the one constant he’s seen is constant change. Developers are always trying to figure out what the next big thing is, said Kellner and this year the conversation surged around HTML vs. native. Facebook’s recent switch to native for its phone app, was the… continue…

Web Developers are Naturals for Windows 8

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“If you’re a Web developer, you’re already a Windows 8 developer,” says Jeremy Foster, a leading Developer Evangelist on Windows 8 for Microsoft. All your classic Web development skills, such as HTML, CSS, and Javascript that you use to make an application can be used in the Windows 8 environment. There’s a native component to it as well. You’ll still need to interact with elements of the device, that’s where native programming comes in but it’s all within your Web… continue…

Scott Guthrie on ASP.net, Azure and Open Source

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Scott Guthrie has made a big bounce at Microsoft. He was the key developer of ASP.net and now he’s the Corporate VP for Windows Azure. At the 2012 Silicon Valley Code Camp conference, I spoke with Guthrie about ASP.net and its tools, as well as the potential of Windows Azure and open source. Here are some highlights from our discussion. While the tools for ASP.net are fantastic, it’s less so for Azure. Guthrie said Microsoft is trying to make Visual… continue…

How to Leverage Your Engineers As Recruiters

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Whether you’re a recruiter or not, you may have to eventually hire someone. To learn how engineers can help with the recruiting process, I attended a panel discussion entitled “Recruiting Hacks for Engineers” at the 2012 Silicon Valley Code Camp. The panel was moderated by Pete Soderling (@petesoder), g33ktalk and included Dan Arkind (@danarkind), Aki Taha (@akitaha), Persona and Jeff Winner, Cardspring.  Image: Engineers by Bigstock 

The Basics of a Usability Failure

Flow Charting
Usability is a fancy word that we throw around a lot in engineering: “This API sucks from a usability perspective. It takes four calls to do anything!” or “How did anyone consider this a usable site?! I can’t find the Buy button!” There are standard or semi-standard usability indicators, like time to accomplish a task, number of clicks, and eye-tracking heat maps. All of this chatter and all of these measurements come down to understanding what usability really is: A… continue…

Tips to Crack the Coding Interview

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Gayle Laakmann McDowell’s session, “Cracking the Coding Interview,” was likely the most popular event at the 2012 Silicon Valley Code Camp conference. McDowell knows her subject well. She’s the author of a Cracking the Coding Interview, as well as  The Google Resume and is founder of CareerCup, a website that hosts more than 8,000 interview questions for software engineers. Here are a few highlights from her seminar: Be prepared to write long hand McDowell’s first piece of advice for a coding… continue…

The Basics of Google’s Dart Milestone 1

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A year on from its initial release, Google Dart’s Milestone 1 has a whole raft of improvements and new features, though the removal of the string concatenation for performance and consistency reasons has left a few scratching their heads. It’s OK, though. You can also use StringBuffer, string interpolation (see below) to concatenate string literals. What isn’t in doubt is that Dart is starting to gain traction, having recently entered the Tiobe Index Top 50 and is currently at the… continue…

Think Carefully Before Upgrading to Python 3

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Upgrading software in a timely matter is important (as I wrote here), but I don’t always follow my own advice. I have a client who uses Python, which is currently on version 3.3. The client is using Python 2.7, and I’ve recommended that they not upgrade. In other words: I think upgrading is a bad idea. Why? Python 3.3 was released on Oct. 1, 2012. As of that date, the most popular version of the programming language is… 2.7. Yes,… continue…

Crowdsourced Web Dev Help from Webplatform.org

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What happens when you mix Opera with Adobe, Apple, Facebook, Google, HP, Microsoft, Mozilla and Nokia, then sprinkle a dash of of W3C on top? You get WebPlatform.org, a free one-stop-shopping site for information about Web development and standards, and is stewarded by leading tech companies and coordinated by W3C. The site is currently in alpha but already has a wiki, forums, chat and a blog. If you sign up now, you can immediately begin to contribute your expertise to… continue…