Human Skills: Empathy

I recently hired a new developer for my team at Tailwinds, and during that process I focused on an interview that I referred to as the human skills interview. I’m not a fan of the “soft skills” concept, knowing that “soft skills” tend to be very hard indeed. Instead, I wanted to understand candidates from a holistic and complete perspective, including their skills with other people.

This human skills interview focused on many different aspects of what it means to be successful as a person within a small team, and one of the most important skills in any developer is the ability to empathize with others. This is important for several reasons: it’s key to understanding and working with team members, and also developing features that users will love. It’s also a skill that developers often struggle with.

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Thursday, December 2nd, 2021 @ 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Categories: Business

Part 2: Code Is The Most Expensive Solution

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a five-part series on refactoring and modernizing PHP applications.

If you were to identify the most expensive part of any development project, what would that part be? The planning phase? Acquiring copyright or intellectual property? Marketing and advertising? All of these would be wrong. The most expensive part of any software project is the creation of the software itself. It’s the part that requires the most time, energy, and money to do correctly.

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Tuesday, May 19th, 2020 @ 9:28 am | Comment (1) | Categories: Modernizing PHP, PHP

Part 1: Slow and Steady

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a five-part blog series on refactoring and modernizing PHP applications.

We’ve all heard the expression from the children’s story: “slow and steady wins the race.” But what does this have to do with refactoring? And how can this help us to modernize our applications?

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Saturday, May 16th, 2020 @ 7:05 am | Comments (0) | Categories: Best Practices, Modernizing PHP, PHP

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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Monday, July 22nd, 2019 @ 1:56 pm | Comments (0) | Categories: Uncategorized

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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Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019 @ 3:42 pm | Comments (0) | Categories: Engineering, PHP

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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Monday, June 24th, 2019 @ 11:23 am | Comments (0) | Categories: PHP, PHP 7

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