Archive for "Productivity tools"
I recently did a performance review for a server setup running more than 200 websites. The infrastructure is hosted at Amazon Web Services (AWS). It contains multiple web servers behind multiple Varnish caching servers, uses Relational Database Service (RDS) for database storage, and uses Elastic File System (EFS) for storing assets like content images and documents. There were several areas of performance optimization to be done, which was a good development exercise and resulted in an improved user experience. Most importantly, though, the results also saved bandwidth; reduced the number of servers, number of CPUs, and amount of RAM required; and saved money! A faster site also improves SEO, which will drive more visitors / customers to your site, and will increase conversions.
Writing CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is critical to effectively describe how HTML elements must be displayed on a web page to define styles, design, layout, and everything you need to create a stunning website. But when you start working with large, complex sites, you might start to wonder if CSS could be better. If you are having these thoughts, congratulations! Your SASS time has come.
Intended audience: developers
Unix-like operating systems power the majority of the Internet, and if you’re a web developer, chances are you interact with them daily. Whether you’re using the Linux or macOS command line interface, the Windows Subsystem for Linux, a Vagrant box, or connecting to a remote server via SSH, here’s a list of five command line techniques to be more productive.
Infrastructure as Code: provisioning and configuration management with Vagrant, Terraform, and Ansible
Intended audience: technical managers, senior developers
Agile developers must constantly strike a balance between building solutions for a known existing case and building solutions that can scale to handle unknown future cases. On the one hand, Agile philosophy encourages us to build and iterate as necessary: Move Fast and Break Things. On the other, various programming best practices encourage us to build in an extensible and modular way from the start: Do One Thing and Do It Well. On smaller projects, these two goals can be achieved simultaneously; but on larger projects – especially given time and budget constraints – it is sometimes necessary to prioritize one over the other.
Project managers and full-stack developers face such choices almost immediately, during the initial development, staging, and deployment phases. For instance, a project may begin with a narrow scope and require only a single developer’s time. In this case, it often makes sense to forgo provisioning a dedicated development virtual machine (VM) or staging server, and instead, to use generic or shared environments. But as the scope of the project grows, for instance with caching or proxy layers, it often makes sense to implement better development, staging, and production parity.
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