Top 10 Signs That You’ve Hired the Wrong Developer

1- “Yes, I program Java. I use the Angular.” Uh oh… Run for the hills, this person is not a developer. You should be impressed that s/he was able to send you an email.

2- “I’m a full-stack engineer.” This one is tricky. Lots of people out there claim to be full-stack engineers, when in reality they only have some superficial knowledge of just a few things. A real full-stack engineer should be able to go from A to Z with deep knowledge about the front-end, the middle logic and the backend (including the data layer).

3- “I’m strictly a Rails developer.” I don’t think this one needs any further explanation as to why not to hire this person. So how do you identify this person? Easy, all they know is Ruby on Rails.

4- “The programming language that I know is the right tool for every job.” Different jobs require different tools. It is ok if your Dev doesn’t know every language out there, but it is not ok when they try to force and convince you that the only thing they know is the right tool for the job.

5- “I took a handful of CS classes at a very good university.” A good education is always a great plus, but it shouldn’t be all they are basing their experience on when attempting to be hired. Experience should be the most important badge. Some of the best programmers I know barely made it through high school (because all their time was devoted to programming at home).

6- “I’m an expert in jQuery, but I’ve never programmed in Javascript.” Yikes! jQuery is a JavaScript library! They may not look the same, but if you claim to be an expert in jQuery, you should also know JavaScript.

7. “What’s a Repo?” It’s that thing that’s going to save the thing you’re sitting on. Don’t ever let anyone mess with your code if they have no clue what a Repo is!

8. “What’s a data structure?” We are a data heavy company, so understanding how data is encapsulated in objects is extremely important.

9. “I’m known as a rebel amongst my colleagues. I get things done my own way.” There is no single right way to solve a problem, but there are countless wrong ways. Most times, programmers that take their own road, haven’t done the due diligence to find one of the many right roads.

10. “I always use these 12 frameworks when writing code.” Frameworks and libraries are nice and save us time, but a good developer needs to understand the basic inner workings of a language – How is memory managed? Which functions have heavy loads? etc. Frameworks obfuscate much of this information which can result in dangerous practices, especially when you’re trying to scale.

Top 5 Developer Websites

Upon an in-house discussion at the office, I began to realize that there are very few “Top (enter number here) Lists” for developers. As the “Top 10” blog becomes more and more ubiquitous throughout every site on the interweb, we are hard-pressed to find those that cater directly to the people who make the global platform for sharing, discussing and opinionating survive. I nearly fell off my yellow plastic office chair out of pure shock to discover that although there is a “Top 10 List” for every ridiculous thing out there now-a days (See: http://www.totallytop10.com/), there are still limited amounts for those of which the very backbone of the internet existence rests upon. How can we be enjoying something so prolific, so fundamental, so essential and not pay our pence to the developers, engineers and coders behind the machine. Therefore, this my friends, is an attempt to give back to all those souls who have slaved away to provide us with the single-click freedom to peruse the world over for the best LOL cat. Below is a list of my top 5 choices of websites for developers with a brief, albeit hearty description, of my affinity for each. Enjoy! And if you disagree with any of the sites I have chosen, please connect.

  1. Stackoverflow.com  I think most developers would agree that stackoverflow.com is one of the most popular sites for programmers. It is easy, free and tends to be pretty darn reliable. Have a question about programming and you either a) don’t have any co-workers to ask because you work remotely or b) don’t have any co-workers to ask because no one has time for your questions because you ask too many? No sweat, post your question up on Stackoverflow and get answers fast. Or you might be in luck and already have had the question asked and answered by someone else. Simple and to the point, perfect for developers.
  2. Dzone.com  This site is catering to the tech professional. While they might sound a little arrogant at first, it would be difficult to find a tech pro who’s not. And they have good reason to be. It is one of the largest communities of technology professionals on the web. They have been providing resources before many of the current developers even began to drive and their members are just plain smart. These guys know what they are talking about, making them an invaluable resource for any developer.
  3. Github.com  Not sure if your code is as clean as you would like? Github provides fantastic code review and code management for both open source and private projects, on the cheap! This is an excellent site for those who are looking to make software development more collaborative. Here you can get quality feedback from other developers on your code. You never have to do it alone again.
  4. Oracle’s Java Documentation  It is safe to say that whether you are a novice or an connoisseur, you will most likely discover something worthy of your precious time on here. Ranging from Java tutorials, trainings, forums to reference tool guides, if your question is java related, this is where you want to find yourself.
  5. Leetcode.com  An excellent social platform for preparing IT technical interviews. Similar to Github.com, Leetcode can also check code, with its online judge. Their platform supports 9 coding languages, making it difficult to not find a solution here.

Top 10 Technology Websites

If you are someone like me, a professional tech blogger and an aspiring technology brat, then you too may be on the constant insatiable hunt for the top-shelf, most substantially sound technology site. And let’s face it, it is sometimes difficult to truly sort through the subpar from the extraordinaire with how saturated the market is with the prolific amount of the run-of-the mill, overly ordinary blogs currently flooding the internet. Therefore, I took it upon myself (your welcome) to sift through all the rot, mundane material to find the “cream of the crop” of tech websites. Mainly, I did this selfishly to have better sources to draw my research from in the long-run. However, I’m also interested in supporting my global community with quality reading material. So stop wasting your precious reading hours on mindless web surfing for salient source material and start actually… reading! Below are the top 10 (truly) best technology websites you’ll find.

 

LifeHacker

A simple, no frills, direct technology website. The content is well written and original, which is hard to come by. Apart from tech news, it has an extensive array of subjects ranging from gadgets, business tips, product deals and consumer tidbits, as well as productivity techniques. There are some articles peppered throughout the site one would expect to see in a “Psychology Today” magazine such Patrick Allan’s write up on “How to control your temper before you loose it“. In brief, you won’t be let down.

~Agreed on by 3 other sites:

http://www.tripwiremagazine.com/2013/04/technology-websites-for-inspiration.html

http://www.topsite.com/best/technology

http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2008/11/15/top-40-technology-news-sites-the-definitive-guide/

 

CNET.com

Sophisticated and sleek are the first words that come to mind when entering CNET.com. Definitely catering to the high-brow, business oriented readers. CNET has a flashy (not to be confused with flash) website that retains a subtle form of competence, order and class. Excellent source for users wanting to learn, as it offers a “How To” drop down menu for it’s readers.

~Agreed on by 3 other sites:

http://www.tripwiremagazine.com/2013/04/technology-websites-for-inspiration.html

http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2008/11/15/top-40-technology-news-sites-the-definitive-guide/<

http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/gadget-websites

 

Engadget

What I enjoy about Engadget is the sense of authenticity. Their articles are not recycled from other sites. When reading any one of their copious write-ups, it seems as though the writers are really doing the foot work. When it comes to sampling and reviewing products, these guys put the time in. Great place to go for gadgets and reviews.

~Agreed on by 3 other sites:

http://www.tripwiremagazine.com/2013/04/technology-websites-for-inspiration.html

http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2008/11/15/top-40-technology-news-sites-the-definitive-guide/

http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/gadget-websites

 

Ars Technica

Something I really appreciate about this blog is the simplicity in the navigation bar. Often times with many tech sites it seems they have so much to say and share they will bombard the reader with anything and everything all at once. However, with Ars Technica all their articles are neatly compartmentalized into clear, concise categories. Whether it be information technology, business, gaming, hacking or reviews, this site is bound to satiate your proclivity for hard earned amusement.

~Agreed on by 3 other sites:

http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2008/11/15/top-40-technology-news-sites-the-definitive-guide/

http://www.topsite.com/best/technology

http://www.tripwiremagazine.com/2013/04/technology-websites-for-inspiration.html

 

Gizmodo

While the blog layout might seem a bit disorganized, the voice behind the writing is poignant and savvy. The best part about the content on this blog is the witty humor. If you are a tech geek who is looking for some more textured, personalized content, where you can actually hear the voice behind the written word, Gizmodo might just meet your fancy!

~Agreed on by 3 other sites:

http://www.tripwiremagazine.com/2013/04/technology-websites-for-inspiration.html

http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2008/11/15/top-40-technology-news-sites-the-definitive-guide/

http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/gadget-websites

 

All Things Digital

All Things Digital is a Wall Street Journal technology blog. Well organized and the go-to for more information-hungry tech nerds. Articles are written by reputable sources the educated reader can trust. Writing is extensive and thought provoking with excellent opinions and commentary pieces. One of my favorite features on this blog is how it offers a “Companies” section, allowing the reader to find specific coverage on any major tech company.

~Agreed on by 2 other sites:

http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2008/11/15/top-40-technology-news-sites-the-definitive-guide/

http://www.tripwiremagazine.com/2013/04/technology-websites-for-inspiration.html

 

Boy Genius Report

More of a blog than a developed website, the Boy Genius Report makes it’s content accessible to both the everyday internet troll as well as the hardwired tech nerd. Their topics run the gamut of business, cars, ebooks, gaming, hardware, opinions and celebrities. The review section encompasses a wide array of products, with a particular focus on Samsung and Apple.

~Agreed on by 2 other sites:

http://www.tripwiremagazine.com/2013/04/technology-websites-for-inspiration.html

http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2008/11/15/top-40-technology-news-sites-the-definitive-guide/

 

Download Squad

A Huffington Post technology blog that provides up-to-date news coverage on big news in technology. Great source for those who are already admirers of The Huffington Post. While it provides pointed news in tech, it also publishes a handful of more eclectic articles that one wouldn’t expect to run into on a tech website/blog. One of its most admirable attributes is it’s reviews on downloadable applications of Windows, Mac, Linux and mobile devices.

~Agreed on by 2 other sites:

http://www.tripwiremagazine.com/2013/04/technology-websites-for-inspiration.html

http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2008/11/15/top-40-technology-news-sites-the-definitive-guide/

 

Electronista

Advertises itself as a source that covers “gadgets for geeks”. Provides news, reviews, forums and services in a very basic and clear delivery. A bit of a “no bullshit” website. Not for the pop-culture techies – no glitter or frills are found here.

~Agreed on by 2 other sites:

http://www.tripwiremagazine.com/2013/04/technology-websites-for-inspiration.html

http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2008/11/15/top-40-technology-news-sites-the-definitive-guide/

 

Wired

A little quirky, but without a doubt interesting, Wired is full of eccentrics and variety. You never know what you might come across in any of their featured sections. Whether it be a review of an iphone design or a design of a ziplock bag, Wired will most likely have it covered. This site draws interest from the rationalist, to the innovator, to the obscure tech rule breaker.

~Agreed on by 2 other sites:

http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2008/11/15/top-40-technology-news-sites-the-definitive-guide/

http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/gadget-websites

 

Amazon and Google tap into Home Service Market

The Home Service industry has estimated to be generating somewhere between $400 to $800 billion annually. Because of the lucrative nature of such vocational work including, but certainty not limited to – plumbers, electricians, arborists, ETC – many smaller start-ups have found an outlet to nuzzle their way into the market by creating and offering an online, third party platform – connecting customers to services. There hasn’t been much competition in this market, apart from Angie’s list – the 20 year subscription service that vets local services for customer review and purchase. However, recently Google, having acquired most of the online advertising market since the internet’s inception, and Amazon, owning more of the transactionary market than any other online provider, have both seen opportunities in capitalizing on this type of service and are now cashing in on their resources, perhaps plowing over all the smaller third-parties that came before them in the meantime.

The initial idea for creating a vetted Home Service platform was to bring high tech to low tech – bringing the efficiencies and transparency of the internet to the, at times, convoluted world of Home Services. Keeping services local, not contracting outside the remote area of where the customer lived to keep the money in the community. As most of us know, however, this is nearly impossible to do if there is a third-party involved, being that most third-parties, especially those that exist on the internet, are only able to profit by extending their network outside of localized areas. Nonetheless, they do keep your services local, taking a small cut from the final transaction for the connection they made. But what is happening now is, the little guys are getting their “science project ideas” stolen from them for the big guys to get to benefit and receive the fame. As Google and Amazon steal adopt the Home Service market for themselves, the smaller companies either have to converge into the larger companies, or move out, because lets face it, these two would hands-down win in a consumer loyalty competition. Thumbtack what? Pro.com maybe? Angie’s list? Okay I have heard of it a bit. But Amazon and Google? They are a mainstay, where consumers feel safe, secure and at home..

Initially, Google financed other Home Service platforms, financially backing them while profiting from their advertisements. However, as Google attempts to now utilized their advertisement ubiquity in the more consumer-based transactionary world, it is drawing out of their investments in the smaller companies while in incubation mode on their own google-fied version of a service offering platform. Whether or not google is intending to expand their dystopia utopia by buying into the marketplace of “vetting service providers”, or simply attempting to get their “hands-in-more-pots” by providing another option for loyal Google users, it is hard to say. But it is clear that the temperatures are rising as the competition begins to heat up. With increased competition comes more of an innovative push for creative endeavors and alternative options. For example, Angie’s List recently released an app that not only connects customers with services but now allows the potential customer to take pictures of their defective appliance in the effort to find the most appropriate specialist.

Amazon’s initiative to jump on the “Home Services’ bandwagon has been a bit more expected, being the company already offers an online store that helps customers find, buy and begin using software; providing an additional service to connect their customers to specialists in their area seemed like a pretty natural transition for a company that is attempting to take over the virtual world. Amazon is attempting to tap into the market a bit differently than it’s competition. While Google is pulling out of it’s investment with Thumbtack, Amazon is continuing to keep it’s investments with various smaller businesses. It seems to be wanting to have its hands in as companies as it can, not in an altruistic way but more in an attempt to stay in as much control of the market as possible.

Either way, this is an emerging lucrative outlet and the bigger players don’t just want “in”, their grandeur nature wants it all – even the garnish!

While Amazon customers have been waiting for the online store to fill-in the gap of the Home Service needs, and therefore expected to happen pretty rapidly as the company already has an online offering, Google on the other hand, will be slower with their transition. As it starts to transition away from being simply a conduit for other companies and into a newer realm of engaging directly with customers through transactions, Google will begin to have a facelift. It has already made strides to compete with Amazon via “Google express” marketplace, however, it still needs to work on advertising itself as a online store, as it begins to tiptoe it’s way to the retail side of things.

Amazon has the consumer-based market, while Google reins over advertising. If the two could merge and join forces, they would make an insurmountable team, giving all the startups a run for their money. However, contention is where growth and innovation prevail for these two companies and therefore, they will inevitable work independently.

As we start to see these third-party Home Service platforms pop-up, 90% of which will eventually be split between Amazon and Google, many of the companies that provide the specialists may have to cut their prices in the effort to stay competitive amongst the other specialists in their field that the third parties also advertise. Therefore, perhaps more money will be funneled into the mega-corporations and less given directly to the actual workers who provides the services, keeping the middle class caged in the middle class – and the hierarchy prevails. Let us just stop and consider for a moment what it actually entails to get a plumber, an electrician, or a construction worker yourself? An internet scan, a conversation with a neighbor, or perhaps the yellow pages (do they still make phone books anymore)? Either way it doesn’t require much. If we continue to expect there to be a service for everything – in this case, a service for a service – I believe there will be detrimental outcomes. Historically, laziness has gotten entire populations in immense amounts of trouble. And history repeats itself.

 

Are recycled grass phones the future?

It has become mandatory to own a cell phone this day-and-age. Without one, you are not only missing calls, but also loads of inside jokes shared via text, emotive emojiis and hundreds of applications that will supposedly improve your cognitive development (perhaps attempting to counteract the brain degradation that the radiation from cell phones have been found to cause). With that being said, some of us activists out there cringe at the morals we compromise when using a cellphone. Environmental and health factors run the gamut of depleting numerous natural resources alongside of using an excessive supply of energy and water, contributing directly to byproducts that cause an unreasonable amount of pollution and waste. I’ll spare you the statistics here, but just knowing that more than 140 million cell phones make their way into landfills each year, leaking lead directly into the earth and groundwater, is enough for most reasonable citizens to demand alternative options for future technology. The sacrifices that are made for our convenience is appalling.  Moreover, the one initiative we as cellphone consumers have the ability to make is the choice to recycle our phones, along with other electronics, at the end of their life line, however, less than 25% actually are reprocessed.

Therefore, for reasons that are obvious, innovators and inventors have been researching for more sustainable options in recent years and fortunate for us, it’s looking as though there may be some hope.

Just this past month, designer Sean Miles developed a cell phone that might give some of us painstaking-purists some relief for the future of gadgets. After 240 hours in the studio, Miles crafted a cell phone made entirely from recycled products and natural elements, including treated pulped grass clippings and recycled resin. He described it as a composite material similar to carbon fire – finally a sustainable alternative to plastic molding. This design was originally developed as a one-time prototype for O2 Recycle to represent the value of recycling. However, Design Works was impressed with the first model and is now continuing to look into the possibility of replicating it on a larger scale.

Cell phones are one of the major contributors to the e-waste crisis we are dealing with on a day-to-day basis. Cuttting down on some of the excess material by making these small adjustments to the design is a much-needed small step in the right direction for reducing our technology waste over time. Perhaps one day, hopefully in the not-so-distant future, we will all sport compostable phones, not because it will be a fad but rather, because it will be a compulsory country-wide mandate. One can only hope.