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Know Your Tools

February 2018

Tooling around web development has only become more complicated as each year passes. There are probably tools to help you manage and tame all the tools you need to get your work done. This month, we take a look at tools to help you understand just what’s going on under the hood.

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Containers Are a Pile of Lies! Part One

By Larry Garfield

Containers are the hot technology these days. They make hosting more flexible and reliable. They make development environments easier to set up. They’re like lightweight VMs. And, based on the marketing they also taste great and are less filling. But, what are they, really?

Love/Hate—The Dysfunctional Relationship We Have With Tools

By Shahina Patel

In software and product development, it’s easy to find yourself in a constant love-hate relationship with the tools of your trade. A proper toolkit improves your productivity and adds a bit of joy to your work life; a bad one holds you back and can cause mind-numbing frustration. It’s worth spending the time to get your tool choices right.

Drupal for Symfony Developers

By Antonio Perić-Mažar

As a digital agency we need to have a good content management solution for our clients. Even in situations where we are developing more custom apps than content web applications, we still need a good, modular CMS solution. As Symfony developers, we wanted to find powerful CMS solutions built on Symfony. We wanted to use our Symfony knowledge for building custom things on our chosen CMS solution. In this article, I will show you what we learned and how you can build things using Symfony inside Drupal.

Artisanal: Full-Text Searching with Scout

By Joe Ferguson

Laravel Scout is a package that makes adding full-text searching of your Eloquent models simple. Scout is driver based, which means you will need to use a driver for the data source you’ll be searching. Scout ships with the Algolia driver out of the box. While Algolia is a fine solution offering a free tier and reasonable rates, what if you aren’t ready for such a level of commitment? We’re going to cover installing and configuring Laravel Scout and utilizing a community supported MySQL driver so you can test drive Scout in your application before making the leap to Algolia (or another driver).

The Dev Lead Trenches: Coming Aboard!

By Chris Tankersley

The need to onboard new hires is one of the most significant reasons why adding workers to a project does not actually increase the project’s productivity. It takes time to get them up to speed with how the system works, what their role is, day-to-day workflows, and a host of other things. The goal of any new hire, even ones where you aren’t trying to fill in gaps during emergencies, is to get new hires as productive as possible as quickly as possible.

Security Corner: Application-level Data Security

By Eric Mann

Developers often conflate two different modes of data encryption when protecting the systems on which their applications run. One is encryption at rest—actually encrypting the files the database engine uses to persist state to the hard drive. The other is application-level encryption—where the application itself knows the encryption key and protects data directly. These approaches are similar, but they are not the same. It behooves the savvy developer to understand the difference between them and how to leverage both to secure application data fully.

The Journey to Becoming a Speaker

By James Titcumb

There is a wealth of great advice on becoming a speaker. Speaking isn’t for everyone, but if you’re on the fence and wondering if it’s for you, my advice is to give it a go!

Education Station: Shifting and Masking with a Side of Crypto

By Edward Barnard

The basics can be tricky. This month we take a careful walk-through of a few lines of cryptographic code in PHP. This leads us through the difference between ones’ complement and two’s complement representation. We achieve weirdness by combining logical AND with integer addition.

finally{}: Blue Collar Coders

By Eli White

All jobs come with a salary, and that salary is usually tied to a simple concept: Supply and Demand. Yes, it’s often the case that jobs that pay more, require much more intensive training that whittles out all but the most die-hard people, but that itself is a limiting factor of supply.

Responses and Pingbacks

I enjoyed James’s article on becoming a speaker, it is something I want to work on this year to become better and help more people.

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