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Software creation

We all partake in software creation, as developers, architects, analysts… This category covers topics for all these people and probably more, from coding tools and best practices to architecture and management recommendations.

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Prefer Standard Fonts for Your Website

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When designing a website, we’re often tempted to use custom webfonts to make it stand out. Yet, the French collective for a responsible design of digital services provides one simple rule in their referential for web ecodesign:

Use standard typefaces

translated from Référentiel d'écoconception web (FR), Collectif Conception responsable de service numérique

Let’s have a look at what’s behind this rule.

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What You Should Know About Logging

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A few weeks back, I reviewed code from a young developer. It was impressive work for a topic he didn’t know beforehand, except on one aspect: every output used System.out.println(). That’s understandable: that’s how Java developers learn to code, just like Python developers do their first tests with print. But that’s not something that’ll be handy for a live application.

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Why I Don’t Like the Word “Developer”

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You may or may not have noticed it, but I try to avoid the terms “developer,” “coder” and “programming” on Keyboard Playing, except maybe when I’m focusing on the activity of writing code. There’s a reason to it: in our field, it’s common to use these words to describe a variety of jobs. Actually, about anyone who writes or edits code may be called a developer.

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Make Sure These Node Modules Are Those You Wanted

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Sometimes, I don’t understand something, so I search the answer and sharing it is natural. Sometimes, I don’t think sharing it will be any use, until I realize that some people, even in my team, struggle with the same thing. This post is in the second category.

If you use NPM regularly, you must have noticed it adds tildes (~) or carets (^) in front of your dependencies' version number. You may also have noticed it creates a package-lock.json file. If you don’t know what any of these are, this post will shed some light.

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How to Choose Your OJDBC Driver

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When you develop a Java program that accesses a database, you’re likely to need a JDBC driver. When that database is an Oracle product, you keep that O for OJDBC.

For years, I just used the version an architect had selected. Then, I became the architect and I had to understand which version to choose. It’s not that complicated, just not really well explained. Let me try to contribute…

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We Are Creating the Future

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To conclude this series about sustainable digital, I wanted to write a bit about some impacts of software creation that we rarely think about. We’ve all seen movies where a mad scientist creates something that they think is awesome until it escapes their control and threatens life as we know it.

Everybody’s a mad scientist, and life is their lab. We’re all trying to experiment to find a way to live, to solve problems, to fend off madness and chaos. David Cronenberg

That’s especially true about us software creators: we innovate, create new technologies for thousands or millions of people. If we’re not careful about those creations, they may transform the whole society, though not necessarily in the way we assumed they would.

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The Role of Software Creators for a Sustainable Digital

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Last week, I posted about the environmental footprint of digital. Most of it may have seemed pretty hardware considerations—and several companies or associations fight for more modular, repairable and globally speaking sustainable electronics.

Now, you’re willing to help, but you can’t see how you can make a difference because work on software exclusively and have no say about the hardware that it’ll run on? This post will give you some hints about how to include these considerations into the design of your application.

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A Review of My 2019 Readings

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The end of the year is a good time for assessments. A good one is, “what have I learned this year?” IT is a field that keeps moving, and we need to stay up to date if we don’t want to drown. In our culture, most of our knowledge is stored and shared through writing, so a part of my question becomes, “what have I read that was enlightening this year?”

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Learn the Technology, not the Framework

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I’ve discussed with several people, this year. Technical leads, technical supervisors, architects… You get the gist. Among those discussions, I heard a recurring complaint, which I previously feared to be my demanding nature expressing itself.

But no! Other people noticed it too, and it basically boils down to something like this: we’re facing a new generation of developers, who like to do things fast and don’t care much about how things work deep down, and we’re living in an era proposing a new framework to help them go faster and not understand. The two together won’t make for great developers. Good developers, maybe, but not great ones.

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The Cost of Time

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More than once in my—no-so-long—career, I’ve had to work on machines that were not appropriate to my development needs. These were most often the result of company policies designed to reduce the cost of machines to a reasonable level, but that doesn’t take the specific case of developers into account. In the (not-so-)long run, it’s actually often money sent down the drain nonetheless.

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