Web Development Business

Life as a Software Consultant

John Boardman Business, Consulting, Keyhole, Opinion, Other Leave a Comment

I’ve been in the field of programming professionally since 1990. I started out as a corporate employee for 14 years, then as a consultant, back to an employee, and finally settled with consulting. In both positions, I’ve worked with small, medium, large, and huge Fortune 50 corporations. There are many similarities between being an employee and a consultant, but there are also some significant differences.

In this blog, I’ll explore what life has been like in each role and hopefully give some perspective to others who might just be starting out. Keep in mind when I write “employee,” I am specifically targeting programmers.

Web Development Business

Improving Performance in Enterprise Web Applications

Zach Gardner Opinion, Programming

Every team that builds a large web application can generally pick from the following: delivering application functionality on time, with high quality, or high performance. Teams can pick one or two of the options, but they can’t pick all three.

Most teams opt to only focus on performance if and when it becomes a problem. This, unfortunately, can be far too late for some projects. Anyone who has been in the industry can empathize with both sides of the equation – choosing to defer performance concerns, as well as seeing the negative impact it can have on the success of the product as a whole.

It is a lesson I’ve learned from hard experience, so I want to make sure others can learn from my mistakes. In this post, I suggest a handful of principles that help to find a happy medium for delivering high-quality software applications while focusing on performance.

Significant improvements can be realized even if only one or two of the principles are applied. Applying all of them, of course, will produce the best results.

Taking on the Azure Developer Certification (70-532) Exam

Vince Pendergrass .NET, Azure, Opinion, Service Fabric 6 Comments

Many of the companies that we work with use various cloud providers (such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft) for IT Service Delivery. This has created a great need for those who assist these companies to possess the technical skills required for proper and effective implementation of such services.

An excellent way to make yourself stand apart from the crowd in this space (and your company for that matter), is to obtain a developer/architect certification, such as the Microsoft Azure Developer Certification. Plus, if your company is focusing on becoming a Microsoft partner, it may be necessary to have a few developers on your team spend some time working to become certified. Fortunately, my awesome company Keyhole Software presented me with this opportunity.

In this blog, I share what I did to prepare for the Azure developer certification, specifically the 70-532 Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions Certification exam. I’ll include a couple of prep tools that helped me significantly, as well as a few unexpected “gotchas” I encountered when taking the exam…

Web Development Business

Technical Debt – Observe, React, Prevent

Keith Shakib Consulting, Opinion, Soft Skills Leave a Comment

The term “technical debt” was coined over a decade ago to help highlight a common problem in software development. Generally you can think of technical debt like this:

The cost of additional rework created by choosing an easy, shortcut solution now instead of the better approach that would take longer.

Delivering software to meet deadlines or functional goals that are wrought with technical debt is like buying items before you can afford them. Both practices can drastically affect your ability to reach your future goals, both long term and short term.

This article is a gentle reminder to recognize, fix, and avoid technical debt in your software projects.