So you want to build a mobile app. Maybe your product is mobile-first, or maybe you have an existing website and want to supplement it with a native app. This is a big decision, since switching between native and hybrid apps down the road means starting over. So how do you decide, especially in the… Continue reading I want to build an app! Should it be native or hybrid?
Some of the disagreements I’ve had with non-engineers in my career stem from an assumption that because someone else is doing it, we can do it too. While this sounds logical, it is not always realistic. Why not? They own the data As discussed in my last post about APIs, companies have proprietary data that… Continue reading Facebook does it. Why can’t we?
“API” is a ubiquitous term in modern application development. Technically, it stands for “Application Programming Interface,” but nobody calls it that. It’s a broad term, but it basically defines how one system communications with another system. I’ll divide it into two subcategories: third party APIs and internal APIs. Third Party APIs You probably hear about… Continue reading WTF is an API?
By now you’ve learned WTF a tech stack is and, after consulting with your engineer, you’ve discovered that they’re building the app in Ruby on Rails. Or Python/Django. Or Python/Flask. Why do they always come in pairs? A programming language is what we use to tell a computer what to do. I can write a… Continue reading What’s the difference between a programming language and a framework?
If you’re a CEO or other business type, when you think “scaling” you think “I’m excited to increase our userbase and revenue by orders of magnitude!” If you’re a backend engineer, when you think “scaling” you think “oh shit. What’s going to happen to my platform when it grows by orders of magnitude?” As a… Continue reading Why do engineers worry about scaling?
Your engineer keeps saying her team really needs to dedicate some time to reducing technical debt. WTF does that mean? Why can’t they just focus on building features like they’re supposed to? Did I hire crappy engineers? Not necessarily. I’ve never worked at a company whose engineers – including myself – thought their codebase was just… Continue reading WTF is technical debt?
So you’re a woke MBA who learned HTML last weekend, took a class in SQL, or even audited a 6-week Rails bootcamp. That’s wonderful! Learning some aspects of coding is a great way to build cred among your engineers, communicate with them more efficiently, and reduce some of the burden of your overworked engineering team.… Continue reading I wrote the SQL query in 5 mins. Why does my engineer say it will take a month?