Development

6 Developer Tips for Better Disaster Recovery

Blue Screen of Death
You go through life thinking that it won’t happen to you, but someday it will: Your development PC suddenly goes from being state-of-the-art to having the computing power of a brick. How quickly you get back into action depends upon your budget and preparedness. Over the recent July 4 weekend it happened to me. The disaster was partially of my own making. Thanks to a slightly dodgy set of RAM—both Ubuntu and Windows 7 memory tests agreed on this—I was… continue…

Is There a Future in Programming D?

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Over at HTML5Report.com, Steve Anderson is wondering if D is the next big programming language. D took form when Walter Bright and Andrei Alexandrescu combined their efforts to develop a new language back in 2005. The result, says Anderson, offers some “very exciting” possibilities, and he notes that the ad-tech firm Sociomantic Labs, recently acquired by Tesco for $200 million, used D to build its online system. Making things more interesting is another online company’s interest in D: Facebook. Click… continue…

How to Protect Yourself When Your Team’s Project Fails

Posted In Working in Tech
Protect Yourself
When a project’s late, over-budget or has simply collapsed, people usually start looking for someone to blame. That’s a natural tendency, even though it’s rare for a project’s troubles to be the result of any one person’s actions. The causes are often systemic and many: a lack of communication on the team, a stakeholder who wasn’t kept in the loop, a need to juggle competing priorities that didn’t succeed, or simply unrealistic expectations at the outset. Poor management may have… continue…

Windows 9 Could Erase Windows 8′s Biggest Mistake

Posted In Working in Tech
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Microsoft apparently wants to put Windows 8.x in its rearview mirror. Or, to choose a more extreme analogy, bury it completely. “Regardless of how usable or functional it is or isn’t, [Windows 8] has become Microsoft’s Vista 2.0—something from which Microsoft needs to distance itself, perception-wise,” ZDNet’s absurdly well-connected Mary Jo Foley wrote in a new article about the development of Windows “Threshold,” the codename for the next version of Windows. “At this point, Microsoft is going full steam-ahead toward… continue…

PHP vs. .NET: Which Should You Learn?

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If you’re a software developer, there simply isn’t enough time in the world to learn every single technology, language and platform you might need for work, or to land a better job; at some point, you’re going to have to decide in what direction you want to expand your knowledge base. The choices you make in that regard will have a huge impact on your life. If you devote too much time to learning a technology that’s on the verge… continue…

Interview Questions for Novice Software Testers

Posted In Looking in Tech
Dice Interview Qs Icon
If you’re interested in software testing, you don’t need robust tech skills so much as a heavy dose of tenacity and a strong service mentality. “It’s still a young profession so there are a lot of misconceptions about the role,” says Ben Yaroch, President of the Association for Software Testing and Senior Software Quality Engineer for ExactTarget, an Indianapolis-based digital marketing platform. “Most applicants have had some exposure to testing but they haven’t done it full time,” he says. “I… continue…

4 Ways to Debug Application Crashes

Magnifying Code
Among the worst things that can happen to an application developer is having their software crash at a customer’s location—and having the customer on the phone to them, screaming. So how do you prepare against such an eventuality? In this article I’ll look at a few things you can do to be ready when–not if–something goes wrong, whether it’s hardware failure, a disk crash or someone pulling out a power cable and corrupting a disk. Actually, if you can deal… continue…

Pascal Is Way Underrated

Delphi IDE
While it came slightly later to the party (see my article here), Pascal’s history can perhaps be summed up with the phrase, “Always the Bridesmaid never the Bride.” Developed at the end of the 60s by professor Niklaus Wirth, Pascal was only intended to be a teaching language. Original Pascal had very limited string handling, no disk access and, crucially, lacked any kind of library mechanism. What it did have was an easy-to-read syntax, a good type system, facilities for… continue…

Four Lessons in Project Management From Healthcare.gov

Posted In Working in Tech
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The Obama administration claims that roughly 6 million people have signed up for a healthcare plan under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the highly controversial law. Administration officials had originally hoped for 7 million signups by March 31, the deadline for those who want healthcare coverage in 2014. But those officials aren’t conceding defeat over the lower signup figure; instead, they’re attempting to cast it as a strong rebound from Healthcare.gov’s disastrous rollout last October. Click here to find more… continue…

The Opposing View: How Tizen Could Win

Posted In Looking in Tech
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Samsung expanded the horizons of wearable computers this month with a trio of fitness-oriented smartwatches running two different operating systems—neither of which is Android. Two of the three, the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear Neo 2, run the open(ish)-source, Linux-based Tizen operating system. The other, a fitness tracker named the Samsung Gear Fit, uses a customized version of the Real Time Operating System (RTOS), a lightweight OS designed to run so quickly and use so little computing power it can… continue…