Software Engineering

Code exit strategy - 3 tips

It seems many developers get stuck in the same systems maintaining the same code for years and years. While it may be a common phenomenon there are a few things you can do as a developer to avoid being trapped in your own code forever. First make things readable. While your brain may be wired to a system of only using single character variable and function names or naming global variables after your cats, no one else will get the system.

Simple Webpage Slideshow

At work we produce a few websites and have a few “web dashboards”. Wouldn’t it be nice, if public screens around the office could play a little loop mixing the websites and the dashboards together in a slideshow loop? After an hour of javascript debugging, a nice little generic webpage slideshow was put together, and if you have a similar need a copy is now available in the lab. It’s simple, it should work in most browsers, and it probably has the least features of any slideshow out there.

Quality of code

Not all code are created equal. Some pieces of code are more important than others. The code that powers critical parts of a nuclear power plant is hopefully of a much higher standard than the code behind this site, but how do you recognize which quality of code you should aim for when developing websites? A website may not have one set level for all content - usually the various pieces which make up the site (no matter if it be classes, files or functions - in PHP).

How do you know good code?

One of the great challenges of PHP is that it’s so easy to learn, that just about anyone can learn it with not too much of an effort. While this is great for the number of PHP developers, it also seems to have the effect, that there is a huge number of bad examples of code out there. How do you then know good code? In my book there are a few signs, which you could judge from – and they may even apply broader than just php-code.

Caching & WebApplications

One of the funny observations as a web developer: It’s amazing how many people consider caching bad by definition. If you know what you’re doing, caching is an amazingly powerful tool, which can provide cheap and efficient scaling to those who know how to use it. Know when it’s okay to cache If thousands of people see the same non-personal frontpage of your website - do you then do the 20+ database queries to build a fresh one for each visitor or do you just refresh a cacheable version from time to time?