Launching a Newsletter

I’m excited to finally announce the launch of a monthly newsletter full of the top resources that I’ve compiled. I’ve long shared resources via twitter and this new list will act as a digest of the top 5 to 15 items. I’ll also be adding additional commentary and share a mix of other helpful tips.

The first issue is scheduled for February and you can signup today.

It’s a great time to be a PHP developer

It’s important that we be true to ourselves. PHP had a number of frustrating, dark years and some great developers jumped over to Ruby on Rails, Python, Go and other languages. I can’t fault them for their move.

PHP has me excited again. After being close to making the switch myself, I’m happy that I stuck it out. Working with Composer, Laravel, and a number of great packages over the last couple of years, I can say that PHP is back. The modular direction, open sharing of knowledge and resurgence in energy are all pointing to a great future.

What will the most popular web languages be in 10 years? It’s hard to say. But, PHP is the most used language, has the most common CMS, and I’m comfortable calling it home for the foreseeable future.

P.S. If you happen to reside in Ohio, consider attending ColumbusPHP or OhioLaravel. I’d love to put a real face to your avatar. 

 

Latest Slideshare Content: Digital Literacy & Modern Web Security

Digital Literacy – Basic Technical Concepts (Session 1)

As part of my current role at LMG, I’m tasked with bringing the entire team into the digital space, and filling in any knowledge gaps that may exist. I’ve received some helpful feedback from the first session so far, but would always welcome more.

Modern Web Security

I recently spoke at the Dayton Web Developers meet up on the topic of security and thought I’d share it here as well.

Understanding Digital QA

A couple of weeks back I attended a local QA (Quality Assurance) conference in Columbus and I’d like to share some of the topics and insights presented.

#1 Testing Types

Unit Tests
These are small tests written by a developer that check a small bit of code functions correctly. An example would be if a request to list all customers in fact returns all customers. There will
typically be a large number of these and they should cover the core of the website or application. These tests are run by a developer during the course of development and before each release. These can and should be setup to be highly automated.

Integration Tests
Tests written by a developer that verify modules work correctly together. An example would be that when a user is submitted to the signup service all of the steps in the process complete
successfully (create the user in the database, added to the newsletter, and the welcome email is sent). These tests are run by a developer during the course of development and before each
release. These can can and should be setup to be highly automated.

Acceptance Tests
Tests that check the website or application behaves in the expected manner from within a browser (or API), which includes page elements, interactivity/functionality, and error handling. An acceptance test could cover entering user login data, clicking on the login button, and checking for the result. These may be run manually, but should also be automated when possible. These are run by end users, project managers, and developers.

Manual Tests
While manual tests may include acceptance tests, they also should be used to cover UI appearance, and link locations. Manual testing should be completed primary by the end client and project manager, but it’s recommended that all parties participate.

#2 Costs of Failure

The cost of failure gets more expensive as you work through the process (up the triangle), and as such, errors should be caught as early as possible. In an optimal scenario unit tests will cover all of the components, integration tests will test all systems, and acceptance tests will test all interfaces (or at least the user stories), leaving manual testing as an efficient final formality.

QA Triangle

#3 Testing Environment

Web testing environments should mirror the production environment as much as possible, guaranteeing the
production environment will be sufficient. Because physical infrastructure can be costly to replicate, most web applications can be efficiently hosted on a virtualized platform, bringing full testing environments into reach for nearly all budgets.

Environments should use a copy of production data and connect to live APIs whenever possible.

#4 Maximize Automation

Whenever possible, opportunities to utilize automation should be taken to decrease testing time, reduce errors, and increase release timeliness. However, automation will take additional time to setup and may not be the best option for short, non-recurring projects. Having a fully automated test suite allows for agile projects, continuous integration, and generally a higher
confidence in quality.

#5 Whole Team Approach

Effective testing includes a whole team approach, shared information, straightforward results, and a commitment to quality. No one party will have full exposure to the entire lifecycle of the project, requiring testing from multiple parties.

Additional QA(ish) Testing

Load Testing
Tests the amount of concurrent traffic a website can handle before becoming unresponsive or unusable. This may also test that a site automatically scales correctly, if the platform is designed to automatically add servers during periods of high activity.

Security
Tests the system for exploits that leak sensitive data or allow unauthorized access. Security tests can include third-party scans, penetration testing, and white-box security testing.

Disaster + Recovery
Tests that cover the procedures when the environment fails and the reliability of backups. If the environment is designed for high availability, this could test automatic or manual fail-overs for
each geographic zones.

Speed
Tests the load time for the website or application. These will focus on server response times, number of resources (images, scripts, etc) requested, and optimization techniques utilized.

Accessibility
Tests that accessibility criteria is addressed, which includes image alternate text data, proper headings, and other section 508 guidelines. Many commercial sites must properly handle
accessibility or be subject to litigation and/or heavy fines.

Conference Resource

http://www.qaorthehighway.com/2014_Presentations.html

Webby Honor for CD1025

Webby HonoreeI was excited to receive news that a CD1025, a site I built last year, has been selected as a Webby 2013 Honoree. I’m really proud of what I was able to do with their site, along with Jon Poma, Phil FranksMichael Waclo, and Andy Hutter. Congrats to the rest of the team and the WWCD/1025 group!

This is the third Webby Honoree/Nomination that I received as part of Dynamit (charleys.com, ccad.edu).

Our company and my photo is featured on hiVelocity

I’ve been proud to be part of a number of great teams in the past (Dynamit, Coexist, etc) and my current role at Fundable is no exception. We’ve recently had some  good questions posed to us on reddit and pushed out some really good blog posts. It’s exciting to be in the middle of all of this movement.

One of the recent pieces of recent publicity is from hiVelocity, which covers Ohio companies. As part of the feature on us, we have a photo placement on the homepage (as of 4/28 at least). The photo is one that I snapped pretty quickly, so it’s neat to see it being used prominently on a news site.

photo_on_velocity