Messy wires – the hidden cost of self-hosted services – featured image Messy wires – the hidden cost of self-hosted services – featured image

The Internet is teeming with services you can take advantage of. You can store your files in the cloud, share movies, organize photo collections, talk with friends, manage your projects and so on. It also means that your data is stored outside your computer and you don’t have full control over it. 

You may use self-hosted counterparts of services. Instead of accepting vague privacy policies, you may set the rules. However, you are fully responsible for sustaining your data. 

I used to consider self-hosted services as a privacy-respective and cheap alternatives of popular services. The former is true, however, the latter factor is often far-fetched.

Old control panel – use make as task runner – featured image Old control panel – use make as task runner – featured image

During development, you probably take advantage of some extra command-line tools. In PHP world it could be a mess detector or program to check the code style. The framework you use also exposes some functionalities to clear cache, migrate database or generate documentation. All these commands are helpful but you need to look for them until you memorize the most useful ones.

Sometimes you need to perform a task, like project initialization or restoring a stable snapshot of the database. It’s rarely an atomic operation, so you need to execute a few commands in a specific order.

This is a place where a task runner comes to play. Take a look at how a program called make can help you organize common tasks in your project.

Macbook and notepad on the desk Macbook and notepad on the desk

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5 years have passed since I had started working as a professional software developer. Although the programming was my hobby since the early years, my skill started to grow when I had taken a real job.

I was surprised when I had recalled my very beginning because I noticed how much I had changed and how big progress I had taken. So, I decided to write it down.

In this article, I’ll take you on a short journey where I’ll tell you about my development process. You’ll find out what I’ve been thinking about, what I’ve been working on and ultimately what changed from my perspective. Ready?

Two stacks of old papers and notes Two stacks of old papers and notes

I create a lot of notes. Seriously, I write tons of notes. Inspired by Getting Things Done method, I treat my mind as a thoughts generator rather than the storage. I capture thoughts, ideas, inspiring quotes, links, and pictures. Mostly using files.

Although I’m on the early stage of creating my custom note-taking solution, I’ve done some work to synchronize notes between devices and versioning them. In this article, I’d like to focus on the latter and I’m going to show you how to set up automatic files versioning.

I’m a software developer so, unsurprisingly, I use git to versioning my notes as well. Instead of manually committing changes, I take advantage of tools like fswatch and launchd to automate this process.

Sharp pencil on the notebook Sharp pencil on the notebook

If someone would ask me about my favorite keyword in PHP, I would certainly answer: final. It doesn’t mean I write this modifier in each class or method. It not only shows the intention but also provides a mechanism to protect the code. At least from the assumption.

The final keyword can be used both on the class level and on the method level. It prevents future extension of functionalities in a non-effective way. If a class is marked as final, then we can’t inherit from it. If a method is marked as final, we can’t override it.

The theory sounds good. Let’s go to details.

The book on desk The book on desk

Repositories are a special example of a class. They usually have a lot of methods designed to retrieve data from the database or the other storage. To mark this operation in the name of the method, we can use one of the common words: find, get, search. Are all them mean the same? In this article, I would like to show you a practical difference between getById and findById methods.

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JavaScript is one of the most versatile programming languages I know, however, I had a constant problem with the testing. Since I run into TDD, I was looking for something that allows me to build my solutions using this approach. When I had been creating a small project in React, I accidentally discovered Jest.

It surprised me because it hadn’t required any extra configuration. I thought that the configuration was built-in into the create-react-app tool. It turns out that zero-configuration is one of the philosophies behind this tool. I decided to try using it outside the React application. Since this moment, this is a standard tool for my unit tests for the JavaScript.

Let me show how easy work with Jest is.

Set up a multi-container environment with Docker - featured image Set up a multi-container environment with Docker - featured image

I remember this time when I discovered Vagrant. The magic behind this tool and the general idea of scaffolding the whole environment using single command was pretty genius. Moreover, I had programmed on Windows and thankfully I could get rid of the XAMP and any other Windows-oriented web server packages.

In my previous job, my boss showed me a tool called Docker. I instantaneously got the point of the concept behind it and I started exploring the big universe of the possibilities of use. In this article, I’m going to show the most common use-case for docker – a proposed local environment suited for PHP application development.

This article is devoted to the configuration rather than explanation what the Docker really is. I would like to show the actual use-case rather than showing my point of view – I’ll follow it in one of the next articles.

Code is common - featured image Code is common - featured image

I joined to the project that was developed by one guy. He was an amazing developer with plenty of ideas and skills. He had also the best knowledge about the system – its domain, architecture, used solutions, hidden tricks, and workarounds. In every single task, I needed his support because I didn’t understand how things worked. My main goal was to retrieve as much knowledge as possible from his head. The reason was simple – his contract is ending in a month. I wish I didn’t know about it before.

The project had the long to-do list of features. Some of them were partially implemented. Some other functionalities had specified time–frame because of the seasonal nature of the project. Everything was important from the business point of view.

There were no tests, no code’s style guide, no documentation (besides a few out of date README.md files across repository). I didn’t want to touch anything because the code was unstable and cause a lot of side–effects. After one month of torment, I thought – “f*ck it, let’s make it works“.

Do your team has defined own code deprecation strategy? - featured image Do your team has defined own code deprecation strategy? - featured image

I didn’t always work in a larger team. At the beginning of my journey as a computer programmer, I was the only one person in a project. It meant that I had had a free-hand (or semi-free-hand) to choose how I could write a code and which solutions I could use. From day to day I could perform a little revolution in the codebase. No consequences and no problems because the only user of the code was me.

Although this situation might look as the best case for a programmer, it doesn’t. Especially for the junior programmer. You have no opportunity to learn from someone else. You can’t validate your ideas and thoughts with others. Ultimately your only friends and co-workers are Google and Mr. StackOverflow.

After some time, I got a new job and I started to work as a part of the team. As a new person in the company, I had tons of ideas and tools that we could use in a project to make our work better, more pleasant and easier. It was relatively easy to introduce new features into the codebase. On the other hand, it was almost impossible to remove the old ones. Why?

Because we didn’t have the code deprecation strategy.