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  • Show Your Work: Demonstrating Progress on Your Projects

    by Eileen Webb · · 11 Comments

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how actual progress on a project doesn’t always match the impression of progress—sometimes a lot of code has changed but nothing looks very different, while other times a small change in code gives the sense that the whole project has moved leaps and bounds.

  • An Excellent Week

    by Tim Murtaugh · · 3 Comments

    A couple of big announcements are making the rounds this week: Google advises progressive enhancement and the W3C publishes an official HTML5 recommendation.

  • The Couch Cone of Silence

    by Mica McPheeters · · 7 Comments

    About five years ago, I bought a cushy couch for my office. (Okay, yes, I did get the model that could flatten into an emergency nap station, but let’s just say that I plan for contingencies—it sounds more professional that way.) Our projects required a lot of office-to-office visiting to discuss situations in person, and eventually, said couch (and therefore, my office) became a veritable beacon, attracting anyone looking for an excuse to decompress. Such is the life of a one-couch, 50-chair business.

  • Beyond You

    by Anthony Colangelo · · 1 Comment

    In client work, it’s our responsibility to ensure that our work lives beyond ourselves. Sometimes that means making sure the CMS can handle clients’ ever-changing business needs, or making sure it continually teaches its users. For clients with an internal development team that will be taking over after you, it means making sure the design system you create is flexible enough to handle changes, yet rigid enough to maintain consistency.

  • Learning to Be Flexible

    by Susan Robertson · · 6 Comments

    As a freelancer, I work in a lot of different code repos. Almost every team I work with has different ideas of how code should be organized, maintained, and structured. Now, I’m not here to start a battle about tabs versus spaces or alphabetical order of CSS properties versus organizing in terms of concerns (positioning styles, then element layout styles, then whatever else), because I’m honestly not attached to any one system anymore.

  • Personalizing Git with Aliases

    by Jeff Lembeck · · 3 Comments

    Part of getting comfortable with the command line is making it your own. Small customizations, shortcuts, and time saving techniques become second nature once you spend enough time fiddling around in your terminal. Since Git is my Version Control System of choice (due partially to its incredible popularity via GitHub), I like to spend lots of time optimizing my experience there.

  • Routines Aren’t the Enemy

    by Susan Robertson · · 1 Comment

    I recently read Greg Smith’s piece on Bocoup's blog about how they think about time tracking, including all the fascinating data about how your brain works to solve problems. It interested me a lot, since I've been thinking about not just how I track projects, but also how I structure my day as a freelancer.

  • Making Our Events More Inclusive For Those Under 21 (and Also Everyone Else)

    by Anna Debenham · · 16 Comments

    On Saturday, Benjamin Hollway, a 16 year old front-end developer, wrote a post about his recent experiences attending industry events. He’s been coding since he was eight, and earlier this year he was shortlisted for Netmag's Emerging Talent category. Yet none of the people in this category are able to participate fully in the sort of activities most of us take for granted.

  • Shellshock: A Bigger Threat than Heartbleed?

    by Tim Murtaugh · · 2 Comments

    A newly-discovered Linux flaw may be more pervasive, and more dangerous, than last spring’s Heartbleed.

  • It Was Just A Thing

    by Anthony Colangelo · · 1 Comment

    A little less than two months ago, I wrote about the most dangerous word in software development: just. A lot of assumptions hide behind that seemingly harmless word, but there’s another side to it.

The Latest Issue

Issue № 414 ·

  • The Specialist-Generalist Balance

    by Garin Evans · 7 Comments

    Specialists? Generalists? It’s not a question of which is better, but about finding the right mix for your team and your work. Specialists offer valuable expertise, but over-reliance on specialization isn’t always good for workflow—too many niches can lead to silos, bottlenecks, and poor communication. Garin Evans recommends that, instead, we build teams that play off the best traits of specialists and generalists, encouraging collaboration and innovation as we go.

  • A New Way to Listen

    by Indi Young · 4 Comments

    Empathy can have an enormous impact on how we work. By learning to better understand others—what they think, how they feel, what guides their decisions and behaviors—we add balance, clarity, and depth to our business practices. In this excerpt from Chapter 4 of Practical Empathy, Indi Young explains how listening intently can lay the groundwork for developing empathy.

Recent Columns

Antoine Lefeuvre on The Web, Worldwide

Designing for Post-Connected Users — Part 1, the Diagnostic

How sustainable is a model where social networks take a central role in our daily routine? Antoine Lefeuvre believes there’s growing awareness that social networking tools don’t necessarily bring out the best in us. While we do want and appreciate tools that let us engage with others and do things together, we’re getting tired of the high price in attention and stress.

Rian van der Merwe on A View from a Different Valley

Managing and Making: It Doesn’t Have to Be One or the Other

We take it for granted that career progress means moving into a management role. Even people who thrive in the individual contributor role feel the pressure to join management. Shouldn’t both capacities be valued, so we can find where we genuinely fit in and do our best work? Rian van der Merwe has gone scouting up the career path and realized it’s okay to turn back and be the other, oft-overlooked but equally important half of the management/making dynamic.