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Stephen Young
459 followers -
I'm fascinated by the underlying principles that connect seemingly unrelated concepts.
I'm fascinated by the underlying principles that connect seemingly unrelated concepts.

459 followers
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Why you must tame complexity to become a better programmer
Have you ever worked on a system that was just impossible to maintain?

You spend hours trawling through the code until you finally think you understand what’s going on but when you make your change things fall apart. You introduce ten new bugs in places you thought had nothing to do with the code you changed.

You wade through line after line of code only to discover the method you are trying to understand isn’t being called anymore. It’s dead weight dragging the codebase down.

It feels like you’re seeing double, there are multiple pieces of code that seem to do almost the same thing but not quite. They are 90% the same with a few minor differences.

You are not alone.

This scenario is more the norm than an exception. Luckily there is an explanation and a way to avoid having your code end up in the same situation:

http://aestheticio.com/become-a-better-programmer-tame-complexity/
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How to become a better programmer
by learning how you understand code

Why do some programmers seem to have this magical ability to extract meaning from code in the blink of an eye?

To try and answer this question I’ve gone digging to see what science knows about how we understand code.

As it turns out we know a lot about the psychology of code comprehension and we can use this knowledge to become better programmers. It allows you to develop all aspects of the understanding process so you don’t end up with bottlenecks in your programming skills.

http://aestheticio.com/become-better-programmer-learning-understand-code/

In this post I take a look at what we know about program understanding and discuss three ways we can use this knowledge to become better programmers.
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Web application architecture basics

In this post I talk about a few of the most common web application architectures you are likely to come across. Every web application has it’s own unique set of requirements and constraints so the architectures I will be listing here are just general examples. Your app might suit one of the architectures below, a hybrid or something completely different.

http://aestheticio.com/web-application-architecture-basics/

Are there any other basic web architectures you think are worth discussing for a new developer? I would love to get your opinions.

Thanks,
Stephen
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An interview I did with one of my good friends Grant van Zyl is finally up.
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Why your code is so hard to understand

“What the hell was I thinking?!?”

http://aestheticio.com/why-your-code-is-hard-to-understand/

It’s 1:30AM and I am staring at a piece of code I wrote no more than a month ago. At the time it seemed like a work of art. It all made sense. It was elegant and simple and amazing. Not anymore. I have a deadline tomorrow and discovered a bug a few hours ago. What seemed simple and logical at the time just doesn't make sense anymore. Surely if I wrote the code I should be smart enough to understand it?

After one too many experiences like this I started thinking seriously about why my code makes perfect sense while I am writing it but looks like gibberish when I go back to it a few weeks or months later.

The blog post below are my thoughts on the subject.

http://aestheticio.com/why-your-code-is-hard-to-understand/
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How to become a web designer

Learning how to become a good web designer consist of 3 important pillars. If you don’t take the time to develop all 3 pillars you will struggle to reach your full potential.

The pillars of web design:
Learn the fundamentals of design
Understand your medium
Get to know your tools

http://aestheticio.com/become-web-designer/

In this post I will point out the most important aspects to focus on in each pillar if you want to learn how to become a great web designer.

While you will have a head start by focusing on the right things the real magic happens when you practice and try to apply what you learn in real projects. Understanding a principle and being able to apply it effectively isn't the same thing.
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How to become a web developer
Part 4 : Functional Programming

In the previous installment of this series on becoming a web developer we looked at the core Object Oriented Design principles you need to understand. Today we delve into some Functional Programming.

http://aestheticio.com/become-web-developer-part-4-functional-programming/

No, Functional Programming will solve all your coding problems.

It's just another tool in your arsenal.  The more tools you have at your disposal the better programmer you will be.
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10 questions developers should be asking themselves.
So you want to become a developer?

Well then it’s time to put down that “Learn Super Duper Language v8.3 in 24 hours” book. Instead, make it a habit to ask yourself these 10 questions every day.

http://www.slideshare.net/StephenYoung11/10-questions-developers-should-ask-themselves
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