Chris Tankersley

Chris Tankersley is a husband, father, author, speaker, podcast host, and PHP developer. He works for InQuest, a network security company out of Washington, DC, but lives in Northwest Ohio. Chris has worked with many different frameworks and languages throughout his twelve years of programming but spends most of his day working in PHP and Python. He is the author of Docker for Developers and works with companies and developers for integrating containers into their workflows.

twitter: @dragonmantank

Articles

The Dev Lead Trenches: Creating a Culture

By Chris Tankersley

I have spent much time talking about creating and managing a working team, but there is one important piece I’ve left out of the puzzle until now—creating and crafting a culture that makes people want to work on your team and stay on your team. If you have a company culture which does not attract people, employees will be hard to find.

The Dev Lead Trenches: The Talk

By Chris Tankersley

About the only thing that makes me upset as a lead developer is people that do not play ball. I am completely for questioning authority, asking questions about workflows, and having ideas on making what we do work for everyone, but it really bugs me when someone doesn’t even try to work with the team.

The Dev Lead Trenches: Burning Out

By Chris Tankersley

The tech industry is a double-edged sword. On the one side, we (generally) have well-paying jobs with nice perks, but on the other, we can easily slip into not only boring, repetitive work but figurative death marches. The former is used by most companies as an offset to the latter, but that rarely works out well. This leads many developers to come face-to-face with burnout. Burnout is unhealthy for any individual, but it will kill your team’s productivity, increase turnover, and make it harder to recruit as people learn about the environment at your company.

The Dev Lead Trenches: How Long Will It Take?

By Chris Tankersley

This month, let’s discuss what we can do to help come up with better estimates. I hate estimating, but it is an unfortunate part of software development. We cannot come up with schedules without estimates. My boss wants to know I’m not wasting his time when I say something will take 40 developer hours. I want to make sure my team is doing things in the best possible order and not waiting until the very end to deliver a big feature.

The Dev Lead Trenches: From Issues to Code

By Chris Tankersley

Everyone on your team should have a good idea of the actual problem or feature they are working on before any code is written. Once the issue itself is ready to go, the work can begin. Every company will be slightly different in how they want to handle actual commits, but this month I will detail the most common workflows I use with teams to manage changes to a codebase.

The Dev Lead Trenches: Issue Workflows for Teams

By Chris Tankersley

Issues and issue tracking are central to your team’s communications about what’s getting worked on and needs fixing. Having a clear and agreed upon standard for working with them will keep your team focused and productive while minimizing misunderstanding.

The Dev Lead Trenches: What Not To Do

By Chris Tankersley

Over the last nine months, I have talked about all of the things you should be doing as a technical and developer lead. There are many things that you should be doing, and I hope that so far the advice has helped. These are some of the habits and problems I have seen as developers move into the more managerial role a lead developer actually is.

The Dev Lead Trenches: It’s Toxic

By Chris Tankersley

The tech industry is a relatively young industry, and in many ways, it shows. In one of my favorite books, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, Steven Levy talks about the birth of the open source industry going back to the late fifties and early sixties. Many of his descriptions of programmers then are not vastly different than programmers today. These problems are not technical and can drive good programmers away. What can we do to avoid these issues?

The Dev Lead Trenches: Ongoing Education

By Chris Tankersley

As a development lead, one of the best things you can do for your team is encouraging and fostering an environment of ongoing learning. There is an entire world of developers out there who stagnate in their jobs because they don’t learn anything new. It does not have to be a whole new language, but every developer should be learning constantly. There are a few ways you can help with this.

The Workshop: The Road to 7.3, Part One

By Chris Tankersley

Last month as I was writing “The Workshop: Producing Packages (Part Three)” I had a feeling I would regret the line “This will be the third and final installment in this series.” Sure enough, I have one more topic I want to cover: upgrading to a new PHP version.

Education Station: DevOps and You

By Chris Tankersley

The tech industry is always awash with new ideas that are actually old. One which gained traction in the last ten years is the idea of “DevOps.” This term is the combination of “Development” and “Operations” and is meant to show these two roles can be combined for more efficiency.