Working in Tech

Best practices, new technology and products, and tips to help you stay on the cutting edge.

Daily Tip: Eat the Frog

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shutterstock_Dirk Ercken
Here’s a phrase that neatly—and memorably—summarizes the concept of bumping tasks you hate to the top of your to-do list: eat the frog. The phrase derives from a quote attributed to Mark Twain: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Making a habit of tackling big, difficult, time-consuming tasks first, before your daily schedule fills up with noise and distraction, is an excellent way to curb… continue…

Microsoft CEO Pledges More Company Diversity

Satya Nadella2
Microsoft will look less white and male in coming years, according to CEO Satya Nadella. Speaking at the company’s annual shareholder meeting, Nadella emphasized the Microsoft’s commitment to a “more diverse workforce” and “creating opportunities at every level of the company for all of Microsoft’s employees,” according to Business Insider. Nadella finds himself under a particular microscope after his comments at this October’s Grace Hopper Conference, in which he suggested that female employees trust in “karma” to secure them raises… continue…

SourceForge Q&A: SCons Construction Tool

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shutterstock_Trifonenko Ivan. Orsk
For SourceForge’s December “Community Choice” Project of the Month, the website’s community elected SCons, a software construction tool implemented in Python. In a wide-ranging interview, the SCons team shared their thoughts about the project’s history, purpose, and direction. To find programming jobs, click here. Tell me about the SCons project, please. Well, first, many thanks to the SourceForge community for choosing SCons as “Community Choice” Project of the Month! It’s an honor. SCons is a software construction tool (build tool, or… continue…

Daily Tip: Procrastinators, Update That Deadline

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shutterstock_Lisa S.
You have two months to finish building an app. If you’re a procrastinator, that could mean you’ll dally up until the last minute, and then complete the task in a blaze of late nights, frantic typing, and lots of caffeine. It doesn’t have to be this way. Most procrastinators realize they need to adjust their habits in order to complete tasks in a timelier—or at least not quite as frantic—manner. And while some claim that waiting until the last minute… continue…

SourceForge Q&A: Syncing Files Across Platforms

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FreeFileSync
SourceForge’s December “Staff Pick” Project of the Month is FreeFileSync, which allows users to synchronize files and folders for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. The FreeFileSync admin, Zenju, shared his thoughts about the project’s history, purpose, and direction. Click here to find open-source developer jobs. Tell me about the FreeFileSync project, please. FreeFileSync is a graphical file synchronization and folder comparison tool. This means its main purpose is to speed up backup operations by examining the differences between source and… continue…

Daily Tip: Rank Those Tasks

Posted In Working in Tech
shutterstock_Adrian Hughes
There’s a lot of advice out there about how to keep an effective list of tasks. Some recommend assembling a ‘To Do’ list before bed, the better to get a jump on things the next morning; others advocate the use of mobile apps, in order to collate one’s task list alongside any relevant links, phone numbers, and so on. But one of the simplest ways of maintaining a task list may also prove one of the most potent: start by… continue…

Developers: Stop Using Buggy Code

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As researchers uncover one serious flaw after another in widely used software, it’s increasingly clear there are lots of vulnerabilities, everywhere. While there are efforts underway to identify and fix these issues before criminals exploit them, the bigger challenge is stopping developers from using buggy code. There is no such thing as perfect software, but developers can reduce the number of bugs by following secure coding practices. There are also tools which can analyze individual libraries—both open-source and commercial—included in… continue…

Is the Tech Industry More Welcoming to Women?

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As awareness of the challenges facing women in the tech industry continues to grow, measures intended to help mitigate the problem may be having some effect. One core problem stems from an education system that has systematically failed to promote inclusion of women. Fortunately, progress is being made with regard to the hiring of women to teach STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) classes at the nation’s universities. In an editorial opinion piece recently published in The New York Times,… continue…

5 Top Python GUI Frameworks for 2015

pyGUI
As a Python developer, sooner or later you’ll want to write an application with a graphical user interface. Fortunately, there are a lot of options on the tools front: The Python wiki on GUI programming lists over 30 cross-platform frameworks, as well as Pyjamas, a tool for cross-browser Web development based on a port of the Google Web Toolkit. How to choose between all these options for Python GUIs? I started by narrowing it down to those that included all… continue…

Substitute PostgreSQL for Your NoSQL Needs

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Over the past five years or so, NoSQL databases have enjoyed a spike in popularity compared to relational (i.e., SQL-driven) databases, thanks in large part to industries such as online gaming. A typical NoSQL database can write data 10 or 20 times faster than a relational one, although this speed comes at a price: The data is cached in memory longer before being written to disk, so the data update remains inconsistent longer. As a result, applications that require fast… continue…