Fundamentals and Job Hunting

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Articles on the basics of software engineering and how to find a job. Check back — We’ll be updating this area regularly.

Best Practices: Change is all You Need

If you put ten engineers in a room and ask them about best practices, you’re probably going to get at least 20 opinions. If you ask them again six months or a year later, you’ll get a new set of 20 opinions, and there won’t be a whole lot of overlap. So herewith is the only best practice I’ve been able to stick with: It’s all going to change, so be ready. continue…


Software Engineering as a career is a juggernaut. In 2011, it was described as the best job in America by CNN, U.S. News and World Report and others. Why? High pay, good work environment and a whole lot of hiring. So where are all these software engineers going? What are they doing, and how do they get there? continue…

Job Hunting Tips for Engineers

You love being a software engineer and you’d like that to continue. There’s just one small problem: You need, or want, a new job. The good news is that the market for software engineers in the U.S. is pretty hot. Here some things to consider as you plan your strategy. continue…

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The Latest From Dice

Microsoft Still Trying to Get Surface Right

Posted In Living in Tech, Mobile
Microsoft Surface
Microsoft’s first attempt at Surface, its tablet-laptop hybrid, was an unmitigated disaster that forced the company to take a $900 million write-down on unsold inventory. Rather than abandon the concept, Microsoft has continued to release updated versions of Surface over the past two-and-a-half years. You could argue that the company has no other choice: The future belongs to mobile devices, and Microsoft needs to demonstrate that it can successfully play in that arena if it wants to survive. Check out… continue…

Company Housing: Perk or Gilded Cage?

Posted In Fun, Living in Tech
facebook headquarters
Back in the 19th century, some of America’s pioneering super-capitalists decided to build whole towns to house their workers. George Pullman, for example, built an eponymous village for the employees who built his railcars; anyone living in those small houses needed to conform to bylaws and pay rent, even when the company wasn’t doing well. While the formal concept of “company towns” gradually faded away in the United States—it’s far more difficult these days for one entity to buy up… continue…

Interview Qs for Puppet Masters

Dice Interview Qs Icon
The demand for tech pros skilled in Puppet rose 15.5 percent year-over-year, according to Dice’s most recent annual survey. Meanwhile, postings for Puppet-related jobs have increased 91 percent. Although Puppet has been around since 2005, the open-source configuration tool’s growing popularity is linked to the rising interest in DevOps. Monica Culver, the London-based director of customer success for Puppet Labs, explained in a recent interview how, like many managers, she evaluates candidates for Puppet-heavy jobs on their proficiency with DevOps… continue…

Your Layoff Survival Guide

By most metrics, the U.S. economy is on the upswing at the moment, with the tech industry in particular enjoying a low unemployment rate. Yet despite those upbeat numbers, layoffs can and do happen. While you can’t always prepare for the axe, the following step-by-step guide can ensure that you’re back on your feet—and in a new job—as soon as possible. Negotiate on the Way Out A layoff is traumatic, but it’s imperative that you keep your emotions in check… continue…

Patch Up Your Resume Weakness

No career is perfect: No matter who you are, you’ll inevitably experience setbacks, layoffs, bad bosses, and other roughness. You’ll put those bad patches behind you, but they won’t disappear entirely. Recruiters and HR staff will notice if there’s a significant gap between jobs on your resume, for example. Depending on how knowledgeable they are about the broader tech world, they may also note if you’ve worked for startups that crashed-and-burned spectacularly, or prominent projects that failed before releasing an… continue…