Why Recruiters Are Bad For Your Career

At some point or another, every technical person will conduct a job search. And either by design or accident, they will encounter the nemesis of job searching: The Recruiter. These individuals are employed by companies whose sole purpose is to serve as an intermediary between job seekers and potential employers. Their marketing literature will say that they match you to potential jobs, and since they spend their days looking around for potential job openings, they have a better grasp of whats out there than you do. It’s their claim, anyway.

The big problem with recruiters is that they are typically paid based on two criteria: the salary of the jobs they put people in, and how many people they place. This might sound like a win-win, but really, it’s a win for the recruiter and a loss for the job candidate. What common strategies do recruiters use to lure job applicants, and why are they bad for you? Let’s take a look… (more…)

Friday, February 25th, 2011 @ 8:48 am | Comment (25) | Categories: Employment, Technology
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The Five Tools I Can’t Develop Without

Every developer has a toolkit of favorite tools and applications that help them develop more effectively. Being individuals, developers often differ (and in some cases, argue) about the tools they use. One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is “what are the tools you use?” and that was the genesis of this blog post. While there are many tools that I would feel lost without, I have listed the five that I see as most crucial to my ability to effectively develop software.

Dual monitors with a fast machine

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Monday, February 7th, 2011 @ 12:09 pm | Comment (25) | Categories: Opinion, Software Development, Technology
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A Reflection On Adopting Zend Framework – One Year Later

About a year ago, I was introduced to Zend Framework as the framework I was going to be working with almost every day. And for nearly a year now, every day I have worked closely with Zend Framework, learning it’s intricacies and dealing with its warts. I sat down in March of last year and wrote a case study about learning Zend Framework. A year after adopting it seemed like a good time to reevaluate the framework and reflect.

Learning Zend Framework was a daunting, challenging experience that tested myself and those I worked with. I learned a few lessons that I think are important, and I think are worth sharing.

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Thursday, February 3rd, 2011 @ 12:00 pm | Comment (10) | Categories: Technology, Web Architecture, Zend Framework
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July Slides

July was a month of talks and travel, including speaking at OSCON and user group talks to DCPHP and PDXPHP.

For those who saw the “Micro Optimize This!” talk, you can download the slides here.

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Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 @ 11:28 am | Comment (4) | Categories: Technology, Conferences, System Architecture, PHP 5, Object-Oriented Development
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Some Thoughts On Software Licensing

This past week saw a huge dust-up over the issue of whether or not WordPress themes are GPL. It’s not my goal to rehash the debate, or even to discuss it in particular; instead, my goal is to share some thoughts I’ve had about software licensing, and in particular, licensing going forward as a result of the WordPress theme dispute.

The reality of the debate is that many, if not most of the participants are software developers of some kind – that is, they derive a considerable amount if not the majority of their income from developing applications of some kind. Given this liklihood, it makes much sense that they have a “dog in this fight” as much as anyone else. And so, the community is doing what it seems to do best: disagreeing, sometimes civilly, sometimes not, and trying to work out a solution.

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Friday, July 16th, 2010 @ 11:11 pm | Comments (0) | Categories: Technology, Open Source
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Interfaces Make Testing Easier

I, along with others, have written on interfaces many times before but recently I had occasion to find a new thing about them that makes them really awesome. A few days ago I was tasked with implementing PHPUnit against a Zend Framework application. This application, like many others, makes use of Zend_Auth, and in doing so makes use of the Zend_Auth_Storage_Session class. The problem with unit testing is that sessions aren’t supported very well, and I ran into all kinds of challenges when I tried to use the existing functionality.

But it turns out that Zend Framework includes an interface, called Zend_Auth_Storage_Interface, which defines the methods that must exist in a storage object. The Zend_Auth_Storage_Session class implements this interface (as it’s required to do by the type hinting in the Zend_Auth::setStorage() method). This meant that I could mock a storage object, give my mocked object to the Zend_Auth::setStorage() method, and avoid all the issues surrounding sessions and unit testing. And what’s more, because the interface defined for me the methods that needed to be implemented, I could have confidence that my tests functioned properly.

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Wednesday, May 26th, 2010 @ 7:00 am | Comment (5) | Categories: Object-Oriented Development, Technology
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