Even if you are new to software development, you may have heard about running your code in a development environment versus a production environment. You may have even deployed something you have written somewhere like Heroku or Netlify, or in GitHub pages — which is running your application in a production environment.

What are these environments and why do we care as developers?

An environment is just a system or configured set of resources on which your code executes, and from which it is accessed by users.

In this article, I will focus on four general types of environments —…

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You may have seen a message like the one below when you try to execute a file from the command line:

bash: hello.sh: command not found

What does that mean?

If you tried to search for help online, you may have seen advice to “add the file to the PATH”. This will fix the problem, but what does it mean to add it to the PATH, and should you always do that? In this post, I’ll explain what the PATH is, and how you should use it.

File execution requires the full path

By default, executing any file that you create or download onto your system…

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I’ve recently started becoming reacquainted with python after a very long time. I want to share a simple post on setting up an environment for python development.

In my example, I’m assuming you are using either a Linux distro (I’m using Ubuntu 18) or the Ubuntu 18 WSL (on Windows 10). There wouldn’t be many changes if you are using a Mac.

I’m going to describe setting up a local development environment (using virtual environments), because it is nice to learn, and comes in handy when you develop lots of different python projects on a single machine and may want…

Image from the Atlassian Git flow tutorial

A lot of new developers work on projects — for class, for their portfolio, to learn, by themselves, and with others. Mastering a good development flow can save a lot of frustration and panic, helping to ensure that your code remains stable and that your hard work isn’t lost.

In this article I’ll describe a flow that works really well when working on small to medium size projects. In larger projects, there would be more automation involved, but some of these practices would hold there too.

Git flow and repository

When you are working on a project alone or in a small group, it…

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I’m currently a lead educator at Coder Academy, and I have been a software engineer for over twenty years. For a lot of those years, I led development teams and for some of them I was an engineering manager — both roles came with responsibility for making sure I had the best people on my teams for the project, and that they worked together well to get things done. I’ve worked with hundreds of other developers in my career, and I’ve mentored at least fifty individuals, all at different points in their career journey. …

I’ve always been a UNIX fan (and if I’m being honest, a bit of a Windows bigot), but I recognise it’s because my roots are in UNIX. I worked for 17 years as an AIX programmer for IBM.

In the full stack web development bootcamp I teach, a fair number of students come to class with Windows installed on their laptops. Experienced developers know that Windows isn’t the most friendly OS for web development (Ok — it’s downright painful). …

Programming is fun, and also challenging. It’s easy to get caught up in the syntax and semantics of the languages and frameworks themselves, and there are so many languages and frameworks. While it is important to learn syntax and semantics, I would say that is a less challenging part of programming because you can always just look it up. When you know lots (or even just a few) languages, you have to look it up, because you forget which syntax goes with which language. At least, I do!

A much more challenging aspect of programming is learning to think like…

Photo by © Shane Brandon

Impostor syndrome. It’s reported that 70% of people suffer from it. As a woman who has worked in software development for more than 20 years and who is currently an instructor for a coding bootcamp, I see it in the people I interact with all the time. Programmers are known for having this particular malady.

There are a lot of good articles and stories about what it’s like to have impostor syndrome and how to cope with it. …

Photo by © Shane Brandon

I meditate every day. Sometimes I formally sit in meditation, usually on my train commute to and from the city for work. More often, I meditate in the flow of life, while I’m in the middle of my day and doing other things.

I think that meditation is key to my happiness, success, and peace. It contributes more than anything else I do to my emotional intelligence, which means my interactions with others are more enjoyable and productive. …

Image from https://pixabay.com/en/photos/einstein/

I’ve been a software developer for about 20 years. I’m not the best or the brightest, but I have had a successful and rewarding career that seems to just keep getting better. In my time, I’ve come to know hundreds of other developers pretty well, and thousands in passing. Why so many? Well — I have been around for a while and I’ve worked on many different teams. I’ve also always been out there in my career, perhaps unlike the stereotypical developer (but honestly I’m not too sure how accurate that stereotype is). …

Janel Brandon

I am a coder and teacher with 20+ years experience in software development. Success is measured by happiness so it's available to all of us every day.

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