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Editor Bytes, April 2021



Effective project management is essential to ensure your application thrives. In this issue, we look at why everyone needs some technical knowledge and how you can learn from beekeepers to stay agile. We also look at containerizing legacy applications, designing REST APIs, revisit password hashing, preparing for the worst, and more.

Too often, we tell ourselves that code quality, our tech stack, and the automated tools we use to enhance our code are the only things that matter so that our project succeeds. And yet, technical supremacy alone does not guarantee success. Old-timers will remember the Betamax-VHS format wars, an oft-cited example. We frequently learn the reasons that a website didn’t work as intended, crashed at launch, or had bugs were because of poor scheduling, lack of coordination between teams, and ill-defined requirements. The choice of technologies used is usually further down the list.

Let’s realize that we can’t rely on code and technology alone to dictate success. Ensuring that we meet our deadlines, understand our requirements, and avoid burnout due to long work hours requires that we manage our projects proactively. We have to push back against a coders-versus-managers mentality and instead learn to collaborate honestly.

Terri Morgan writes Technical Literacy: Yes, You Need to Know and explains why roles viewed as “non-technical” do require an understanding of technology, trade-offs, and their impact. In How Agile Taught Me to be a Better Beekeeper, Mark Kelnar explains how using an agile approach helped him succeed in his hobby and reinforce how the lessons apply to software development.

Sherri Wheeler shares her solution to Rock Paper Scissors from last month and will be taking a break from her column. In The Workshop: Refactoring to an Object Store, Joe Ferguson shares a case study in updating how a legacy application manages file uploads so that he could migrate it to use containers. Eric Mann reviews the Basics of Password Hashing in Security Corner. Verifying passwords is not simply comparing hashes, and he shows how to tune the process while using PHP’s built-in functions. Chris Tankersley dives into Designing a REST API in Education Station. Specifically, he goes over how the OpenAPI standard and tooling can help you design one before writing code. In Community Corner: A Bref of Fresh Air, Eric Van Johnson interviews Matthieu Napoli. He created the Bref project, which makes it easier to use AWS’s Lambda service with PHP. In Sustainable PHP: Machine Learning and Yoda, Edward Barnard explains why preventing costly errors can justify using less-than-ideal syntax. He also touches upon how he’s preparing his codebase for PHP 8. To close the issue, Beth Tucker Long reminds us that we’re all Doomsday Prepping in finally{}.

Air date April 26, 2021
Hosted by Oscar Merida

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