Spotting High Levels of Technical Debt In An Interview

We’ve all been there before: we’re sitting across the table from someone, who is interviewing us for a new position. We’re getting close and we know it because the conversation shifts from talk of “…if you come on board…” to “…when you come on board…” And suddenly you have a thought that strikes fear into the core of your heart: what kind of code base am I getting myself into?

The truth is that nobody is ever going to volunteer that their code base is a complete mess (I’ve had it happen maybe once), and short of asking to see the code before you start, you’re not going to really know what it’s like until you dig in. Many if not most companies would be reluctant to open their code base to an outsider, so how will you know in advance?

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Building what’s in front of you

Recently while working on an application I found myself asking a number of architectural questions. These were questions about things that I might consider “fundamental” – elements of the application, how many methods each class might receive, and how to put it all together into something cohesive.

You might have asked yourself some of the same questions.

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Installing The Latest PHP on Ubuntu

In the past I’ve written up installing various versions of PHP on new releases of Ubuntu, or for new releases of PHP. In those posts I’ve often recommended compiling PHP from scratch. However, compiling PHP from scratch is a serious chore, and keeping it up to date is even more of a serious responsibility. There are better ways.

The PPA’s by Ondřej Surý

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It depends

When I was younger, I had strong opinions about many subjects. I felt I was right about a great many things, and anyone who disagreed with me was wrong. In my mind there was a right or a wrong, a black and a white, with little room for grey. Others were certainly entitled to their own opinion, but that didn’t make them any less wrong if their opinion differed from my own.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun to realize in programming, and in life, so often things rely on a two word phrase that makes all the difference: it depends.

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Code Bootcamp

If I ran a developer bootcamp, I’d call it “A Practical Human’s Development Bootcamp” and on the first day I’d start with, “when you graduate from here, you won’t know anything. Knowing something takes time. My job is to give you the right questions to ask to learn something.”

I’d probably go out of business, but it’d be a good time.