A little cheat here, and there never hurt anybody and wasn’t only helpful with “The Legend of Zelda” back in the days. Even developers need some assistance from time to time to boost their productivity or to solve particular problems. And that you are reading this article already shows a lot about you as a developer: you take your craft seriously. Sure, especially experience and training make you better, but these tools we want to introduce to you as well. You might not even have heard of them! Every month there are countless new tools on the market, so it’s tough to stay in the loop.
Here are our favorites, to prevent you from drowning in the Tool-Pool:
We wouldn’t be hy if we didn’t introduce you Trello. It’s very likely you’ve already heard a lot about this tool and might already use it on the regular. If not: Where the hell have you been? With the help of Trello, it’s so easy to have an overview of your project, and it’s development. It consists of Lists that can be added and shifted to Boards. Even if your team is using a more heavy duty tool like Jira, Trello can be useful, to keep track of your workload, learning goals or side projects. If it’s still unclear to you, how to use Trello: find some public Boards, here for some inspiration.
Challenges are a great way to train yourself and to become a better developer. It’s the same with artists and their quick sketches, juggling for football players and improvising for a pianist - it keeps us “warm” and stipulates your foundational skills. Code Wars offers hundreds of challenges that are classified by complexity factor. The cool thing about Code Wars is, that, after you finished the problem, you can see the solutions of others with the highest rating.
If brains could get bigger with every new information you get, developers would have a severe monster brain. But luckily there’s Evernote to relieve your monster brain. With this tool, you can save articles, shortcuts, ideas and what else comes to your mind in your day to day life, and review it another time. Everything is kept in a cloud, so you have access to your second brain whenever you need it!
Simply said: CodePen is an excellent platform for frontend developers with an even greater community that allows you to share code, get feedback and inspiration. CodePen also helps with getting work as a freelancer, as your profile can serve as a portfolio.
Code Climate is an automated tool for GitHub and GitHub Enterprise to analyze your code. As a developer, you can already “smell” a foul code. But Code Climate can tell you exactly where it smells and how you can get rid of the mold. It rates your app after usability, style, security and more. It’s free for the first two weeks after it’s 700€ a month for a team of 25 people.
Small but powerful! This single-board computer is the size of a credit card, only costs 40€ and can do so many cool and fun things! It makes you use your developer skills which you have to combine with the electronic components.
These are a few cool things you can do with the Raspberry Pi.
“If this then what” is a service, that allows you to let your apps talk to your devices. If you want to get out of a boring conversation, you can trigger a fake call with a simple SMS. You can automatically light the way for the pizza delivery guy or let Google Home find your phone. There are so many recipes to use IFTTT, so have fun with it and let it make your life a bit easier!
Which tools do you use daily?
Next up: The best communities for developers. Stay tuned!
“You are not alone!” - A Michael Jackson Song and a fact. It’s no secret that the life of a passionate developer can be lonely. Locked in our small closet, we pound away on our keyboard to fix the code, learn a new language or find a new way to build an app. No matter what you do or where you are in your career: It is essential to free yourself from the self-built cage and to understand that you’re not the only developer on this earth. Luckily there’s a large number of developer communities that make the exchange among another very easy.
How are those communities helpful?
These communities give you room to ask all kind of questions. No matter how stupid they may seem. Other people are more keen on helping out than you think. They give you a nudge in the right direction when you get lost trying to find a solution. Reveal an utterly new viewpoint to you, that you would’ve never considered, shares links and talks with you and, who knows, maybe you’ll find a new coding buddy as well? In this blog post, we don’t want to explain to you, why getting help is a good thing. You get it - you’re smart. But we want to help you fight your way through the jungle of communities to find the right one for you.
StackOverflow is the most popular and most prominent community looking at the amount of information it has to offer. If you ask us, it is an absolute must for all developers, who take their job seriously. With over 4.7 Million users, you can be sure to get an answer to your question in (averagely) 10 minutes. StackOverflow rewards its users for excellent and plentiful answers with guarantee prime responses.
“It is by programmers, for programmers, with the ultimate intent of collectively increasing the sum total of good programming knowledge in the world.” – Jeff Atwood, Co-Founder
Reddit is a website with character and a community that maintains this exact character. You can find “subreddits,” that allow you to discuss anything and everything. Really. With over 1.2 million subreddits you will find everything that your heart desires. You can start by following the credits in the photo down below. That’s a good start.
Are you already active on Reddit? Which subreddits are you following?
Toptal is a newcomer website that creates a network between freelance developers from over 100 countries. Every one of them had to pass a series of tests, which proved that they are the Ferraris amongst the developer. Toptal`s blog entries are written by developers who are up to date on every new trend of the field. We love that Toptal host events almost daily everywhere around the world, like the “End of the Year Gathering” in Zürich, Tbilisi, La Paz and a lot of other cities.
If you follow us from the start, you know that we’re a big fan of GitHub. GitHub is a little different to the other communities mentioned in a sense, that it doesn’t really simplify communication amongst the users. But it makes it super easy to share your code, which is perfect to find other developers for a collaboration. We would recommend pairing GitHub with the use of a community with a forum to get maximal support.
The SAP Community is great for everyone who wants to concentrate on business coding. If you don’t know what that is: Business coding is used by companies to build robust client-side servers. You stay in the loop on upcoming events and webinars, get help with finding a mentor, and you can download example code.
Sleek design, affordable and energetic community. Treehouse offers an excellent platform to learn to programme and get answers to questions of every level. Tags and categories sort everything and the design is unique on the eyes, so you enjoy spending time and learn on the website.
These are only a few communities, each one with their own character and their own goals. Now it’s on you to find the best one for your needs. There are absolutely no disadvantages to participating actively in a community. If you’re interested in specific languages or platforms; there are communities only a google search away. And remember, developers, are as helpful and friendly in real life as they are passionate in front of the screen. Definitely, use the possibility to go to events hosted by these communities.
Are you part of a community already? Is there one you want us to have a closer look at?
Next up: The pros and cons of working for a startup as a developer.
Should you not have noticed by the smell of candied almonds, the busy shopping malls and the extra kilos on the scale: Christmas is on its way!
For the Grinches and Ebenezer Scrooges among us, Christmas is nothing more than a big man-made disaster. For every group of carol singers, there will be one person, who is not afraid to shut the door in front of their faces before they can even start their performance. Christmas is also: a big pile of trash (literally), jammed highways, tasteless decorations, and very likely bad weather.
But even if these downsides outweigh for you, there’s still one great thing about it all, that doesn’t only make kids happy: presents. And how easy it can be to get the perfect present for a developer we want to show you now.
We already mentioned the Raspberry Pi in our article “helpful tools for a great developer.” And we feel like we need to mention this great thing here as well. The A+ Modell is smaller than the forerunner and is run by a 1,4 Gigahertz synchronized, tetranuclear Cortex-A53-ARM-CPU. Equipped with Wifi, Bluetooth and 512 Megabyte SDRAM, an HDMI-port, a USB-2.0-Port, CSI- and DSI-Interfaces, a composite video port, and MicroSD-drive. For DIY lovers the Raspberry Pi is an excellent present with low expense. You can get an idea of what cool things you can do with it here.
Something that developers like almost as much as the code is coffee. Without coffee no code. With this coffee cup, you can keep your love for code warm and toasty, show everyone in the office what you do without having to talk and man, this thing is microwave safe! Mug-cakes for daaaaays!
For all of the million memes that suit the developer humor, there is a shirt (and for the ones that don’t suit). The internet is your oyster. Google to a fare-thee-well, and you’ll find something that you find funny. At best, you can put a smile on someone’s face when you walk through the city or the office.
We all know this problem in the cold time of the year: We want to look up a route, answer emails and so on, but our hands are so warm and toasty in the gloves, that we don’t want to take them off. How cool would it be, if you didn’t have to put the gloves off to use the touchscreen? Okay, to be fair, touchscreen gloves aren’t the newest invention, but we still think it’s the best after sliced bread!
Let’s talk about Audible, baby! How good? With Audible, you can listen to all audiobooks you can imagine. Sherlock Holmes, “A short history of humankind” or “Die Drei ???” (we don’t judge). With Audible you’re using the time on the train/car wisely.
They belong to developers like ketchup to fries (or mayo, if you’re weird). A good pair of headphones is an investment that will make the presentee love you endlessly. Every day when he puts his headphones on in the train, gym or at work, he will think of you. Like of the accidental tattoo on his thigh that he is forced to see every time he uses the toilet. Only this would be good thoughts.
Simple drones are so 2017. How about an underwater drone instead? The Gladius drone can take videos in 4k, photos with a 16-megapixel camera and all of that up to hundred meters under water. It is navigated with a sort of gamepad which you can also connect to your smartphone.
VR glasses are fun for everyone. If a developer, geek or not. It is great to play games, watch movies or to connect with friends and family in an entirely new way. VR-glasses are available for just 20 Euros but if you can spend a bit more, have a look at the Oculus VR-glasses.
We are unsure if drum pants are the coolest thing that could lay under the Christmas tree and if it’s really worth it spending money on this. But sure is, it is a hella funny idea. Our mouth tho sure are open by amazement, so we have to let this video talk for us:
A job at Google, Microsoft, Siemens and other giants used to be the ultimate lucky strike. Rightly so? The grass seemed to be greener and covered by beautifully smelling roses at these concerns — good pay, strong social media game, amenities, good infrastructure and so on. However, a lot of developers are now swapping to start-ups that can be a hell of an intimidating monster to tame should you only now set foot in the working world or should you want to change careers. But luckily you’ve got us to bring light into the dark. Here you’ll find out why you should or shouldn’t work for a start-up:
Pro 1. You’ll learn a lot
Working in a start-up gives you the freedom to tinker like crazy, to play a part in a lot of areas like product development, funding, leadership, marketing. Because there’s no middle management, you can work directly with the founders and learn from them.
Even though a lot of the work you will do is not part of your job description, working in a dynamic and demanding environment like that definitely has its charm. Go - use your super brain!
Now you might think “Hell yeah that’s me!”. But we want to make sure you really understand what dedication in a start-up means. It means working when everyone else is long at home, maybe already sleeping, “holidays” is a foreign word and the work-life scale is way out of balance. Sure, the work can be “fun and games”, but the pressure to deliver, and therefore the stress, is high. There’s not much you want to do after work besides Netflix and chill to relieve your brain finally.
At a start-up, contrary to big companies, you really have the chance to leave a footprint. Start-ups need to grow fast to keep up, which gives you the license to be creative. No matter if you have new ideas, start new projects or bring a new point of view to the table, all of that is highly supported.
Sometimes, but only sometimes, a few stars disappear from the start-up sky.
Research has shown, that more than 90% of start-ups fail within their first three years. They need to fear, that new technical progress and new inventions beat them to it and kill them off. Risky, risky business.
Shoes off, feet on the table and beer in one hand, while the other hand is typing away on the keyboard. Often a cold beer and fresh fruit (balance is essential) is only a hand movement away. The door to the toilet is left open, and the tabletop soccer board is continuously in use. The office is just equipped with everything that you will ever need, so you don’t have to go home. (Good, cause you might spend most of the day working at the office anyway!)
Let’s be real; if you should decide on working for a start-up, you don’t do it because you can see yourself driving a Porsche to work soon. The pay gap is pretty obvious if you compare the same position in a start-up to the one of a typical company. Gruenderszene.de found out that skilled employees in the old economy make around 57,491 Euro per year and the ones in start-ups 40,978 euro yearly. That’s almost a difference of 8,000 kebabs!
In summary, you can say, that 60+ hour work weeks aren’t doable over a long period. Meaning the start-up you work for will have to become profitable sooner rather than later or needs to find an investor and hire enough people to keep you and other employees happy. Otherwise, it looks pretty gloomy. You should ask questions wisely at your job interview to eliminate the chance of bad surprises later on. Should you not be interested in the product, you are probably better with working for a traditional company.
What do you think? Can you imagine working for a start-up? Maybe even establishing a start-up on your own?
Next up: Working for a big corporation as a developer: Pro and Cons?
hy, you’re back! I’m sure you’ve read the article “Working for a Start-up as a developer: Pros and Cons” and you’re now hungry for more, or you want to know if the other side of the medal is shinier. We at hy are here to satisfy your hunger, be unconcerned. (Sadly just metaphorically, Foodora or the like is responsible for the rest) Buckle up, adjust your mirror - here it is, a pro and contra list that you wouldn’t be able to find a better one in 10th grades social studies.
Pro 1. Benefits and more Benefits
Not everything that shines is gold; my mother used to say. But sometimes she just doesn’t know what she is talking about. Gym membership? Company smartphones? Company pension? These are all things, that would cost you a lot of money, but are almost existential. I mean, what else would you do on the tram on the way back home, if you couldn’t look at your phone, completely emotionless?
“Johnny got fired yesterday!” - “Oh no! Who’s Johnny?”. Yeah, it could go down that way. And maybe you’re Johnny soon, should you decide on working in a big firm. No, we don’t want to scare you. But, indeed, it’s possible. When it gets to a certain number of employees, you can’t possibly know everyone by name. It’s possible you like that. But when your job is affected by someone else you haven’t met yet, it feels a bit weird. Sure, a lot of significant concerns but try to connect employees with another, however, this is rarely useful.
Unlike a start-up, the company structure is more precise. You are part of a (hopefully) well-oiled machine. From the day you start your job, your tasks in that machine are clear. After a while, you understand the pathways to a promotion, too. If you’re a fan of “template jobs,” you’ll like working for a corporation.
Yes, this clear structure can also be seen as a disadvantage. Should there still be a traditional hierarchy within the company, the employees will get minimal autonomy. Leadership positions will only make decisions. So if you are someone who doesn’t like to lean back and let other people do, but more so want to contribute, because, we know that this thing on top of your neck has a lot of great ideas, then a big enterprise might not be for you.
Pro 3. Support Programs
Big companies usually have more money to spend on their employees. For example to make entering a career easier for young people and to spend it on training for specific practices within the company.
Con 3. Working times and location
For all 9-5 fans, fixed working times are a dream. The daily routine stays the same - day in and day out. For everyone else, it’s a nightmare. Life admin gets postponed and postponed, till you completely lose track of your hobbies, interests or obligations outside of work. In a start-up you get flexible working times, so you can finally keep your doctor's appointment, you can visit your grandma at the old people's home but still, go to work after or even work from home. Flexible working times are great for the company, too. Not much to do? Work less. Lots to do? Work more. This is so much more productive.
Pro 4. Salary
Christmas bonus, holiday pay - money, money, money! We know what Dagobert Duck would decide on. We know too, that money isn’t utterly unimportant to you. The salary will definitely be higher at a big company.
In a big company, feedback travels way slower, than in a start-up. If your boss is the devil, that might be good, but usually, it’s advantageous for both sides, to get a response to your actions as soon as possible.
All in all, it’s crucial for you to understand what you are looking for in a job and what suits your style of working better. Where do you see yourself working in 1-2 years? Do you like what you see? During your job interview, you should ask for all one’s worth.
Maybe write down the essential points before, so you don’t forget in the heat of the battle.