Category: “Productivity”

Switching from Windows to Linux

Four weeks ago I started working on a new project for a client.

The first task was to load up a Vagrant box to run their platform locally on my machine.

So I cloned the Git repo and ran ‘vagrant up’.

Immediately I was presented with errors… Tons of nasty, confusing errors.

It turns out that the Vagrant box was using the Ansible provisioner, which isn’t well supported on Windows.

I look for a solution, none of them are ideal.

I can either run the Ansible provisioner in a separate VM (in which case I practically need to re-write the Vagrant setup) or I can spend hours hacking away inside the ugly Windows Command Prompt window to do some black magic hackery and get Ansible working with Cygwin…

And I thought Vagrant was meant to make coding easier!

I ask around to see if anyone else has had the same issue. It turns out not a single member of the team is using Windows.

They all use either Linux or Mac OS (mostly Linux).

That’s when I decided it was time for me to make the switch away from Windows and give Linux a try.

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My experience with Dell Support (Dell Hell 2.0)

As a software engineer, the most important tool you will ever need for your job is your computer.

In January 2015 I decided it was time to get a new laptop.

I was currently using an Acer Aspire V3-571 which lasted me a good year (which was impressive considering it only cost about £500) but eventually it started to slow down and became difficult to work with.

I decided it was time to invest in a professional grade laptop with good support. I wanted something that was lightweight, powerful and reliable.

I spent a considerable amount of time researching the different products on the market and finally landed on the Dell XPS 15. Here’s why:

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Attitude vs Experience: What’s more important for developers?

When I was looking for my first software development job, I kept hearing the same thing: “you don’t have enough commercial experience for this role”…

I kept persisting and eventually I got a job at a startup, where I worked for two years.

When I decided to go freelance I was surprised that, after having two years experience as a developer (which in my eyes is a like a century in the fast-changing technology world), I was still hearing the same thing: “you don’t have enough experience for this role…”

But I kept on trying. I worked on my own projects. I published them online. I kept reading and learning new things…

After a few months I got my first freelance contract working with Python.
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10 Productivity Hacks for Developers

How can you be a more productive developer? That’s the million dollar question.

As a professional developer, one of the most difficult challenges you are faced with is being able to stay focused on tedious lines of code for hours at a time. Whether you’re programming professionally or just fun, you probably have goals you want to achieve, and staying focused is key to achieving them.

I always had trouble staying focused, so over the years I figured out a number of techniques or hacks that have since helped me become a lot more productive.

Although I haven’t found a way (yet) to meticulously measure this – my guess is that, when implemented, these hacks increase my productivity by 100-200%.

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How to ask questions on Stack Overflow (and get answers)

A lot of people ask me questions when something isn’t working.

While I’m more than happy to help where I can, the questions I tend to get don’t outline enough information for me to be able to answer them. But more importantly, I might not be the best-suited developer to help.

Which is why every programmer should learn how to ask questions properly on Stack Overflow — to get the answers that they’re looking for.

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