Category — Tips

Creating Software: Test, Test and More Test

“If debugging is the process of removing bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in.”
-Edsger Dijkstra

Testing is arguably the most important step in any software project and also one of the most neglected steps. In most cases, testing is missed because clients don’t realize the importance of it and aren’t willing to pay for, or take the time to have the developers test properly.

In a perfect world, code would be thoroughly tested before it ever goes into the wild, but this just isn’t possible. Here are a few tips and tricks on testing so your product will never be released without even a little bit of testing.
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Take Time to Save Time

A difficult, yet obvious, lesson to learn is that you need to know what you’re doing before you do it. Many developers just dive into a project without the proper planning or without fully understanding what it is that they need to get accomplished.

You might get a feeling of productivity because you’ve started coding, but what does it get you? What have you actually started to code? Chances are it’s not exactly what is required, and that means you’ve wasted your time. No matter how you cut it, wasting time is not productive.
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5 Things that Really Make a Sr. Developer

I’ve met, worked with or interviewed many “senior” developers, and it saddens me to say it, but most of them haven’t improved since the day they left school.

Time in the industry doesn’t make you any better at what you do, and it surely doesn’t make you worthy of the senior title.
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Be Effective by Being Counter Intuitive

Management can be a tricky thing. Developing continuous improvement processes, input protocols, training procedures and a whole host of other things can be time consuming and difficult. And that’s when they actually work.

When it doesn’t though, you have to get at it again and try something else, taking up even more time and effort.
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Early Birds and Night Owls: A Productivity Tip

This tip is something I learned watching my father growing up. He’s the Director of IT for the insurance division of one of the largest banks in North America, so I’m pretty sure he knows what he’s doing.

He was always a big advocate for spending time with his family, or at least being at home should anyone need him. To ensure that he could do this, he found a chunk of the day where he could be the most productive that wouldn’t take away from his time with anyone else.
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Problem Solving 101

Problems are one of the few things we seem to never be in short supply of. Problem solvers, however, are more difficult to come by, and the reason for this is simple – most people don’t solve the real problem. They’ll come up with a short term patch and a clever spiel about how it’s the ultimate solution. Everyone then believes their hype and that’s that.

Two weeks, a month, or a year later the problem is back and twice as bad as it was before.
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Plan For The Expected Exception

After a year or two working at a company, you begin to have a good understanding of the flow of a project. You begin to understand what typically goes wrong and what doesn’t. As managers and developers, it is our jobs to optimize the flow and massage out any kinks in the process.
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Fear the Documents

Through my career, it’s easy to say that I’ve worked on hundreds of different projects for many different clients. Some for small companies with small budgets, small teams to get the work done and short timelines. Other projects are for large companies, with large teams and long timelines. The one connection between all of these projects is this: the documents can make them or break them.

Fear the docs. Fear what they can do to your project and your sanity.
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How To Motivate the Unmotivated

Most developers have, at one point in their career, worked in a group; it’s inevitable if you’re working on a large project. If you’ve worked in a large group you most likely have met one developer that has been less motivated than the others and this post is for you.

Motivating the unmotivated can be a difficult task for a manager. You have to know how to motivate them and not make them feel unwanted. If you try to hard, the programmer will feel like you’re trying to push them away, but if you don’t try hard enough the developer isn’t doing everything they could be.

Here are a few tips on motivating developers.
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5 Tips to Overcome Language Barriers

With the combination of growing multiculturalism and increased overseas outsourcing, there is a greater demand on communication skills than ever before. Not only do you need to be able to explain yourself and understand others, but you need to do this regardless of their native tongue. Here are a few tips that I’ve found to be helpful in my dealings with people who speak another language, or have a very heavy accent that I find hard to understand.
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