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Stop coding tests, and start testing code

A Friday afternoon discussion in a couple of slacks today made me think about "coding tests" that companies like to implement.

While I don't often encounter them myself any more, I certainly have in the past. They're apparently loved by hiring managers, but detested by developers, and I'd like to give some feedback on why they're not helpful (and how to make them better).

There are a few different types of coding test that I've seen in the wild:

Solving a puzzle: ranging from FizzBuzz to complex problems, these are designed to test problem solving skills, and adherence to specifications. The pro…

The Editor With No Name - an informal case study into what went wrong with Gutenberg

So WordPress 5.0 has been released. It happened just in time for WordCamp US, conveniently enough, and now "Gutenberg" is just referred to as "The Editor". Of course the "Classic Editor" (which was actually TinyMCE all along) has been given a more recognisable name reminiscent of "Classic Coke", but stock WordPress 5.0 includes the editor formerly known as "Gutenberg" by default.

This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

But why is the community so angry? Essentially this comes down to one thing - Gutenberg is a prime example of how not to bring a new prod…

Four development methods you didn't know you were using!

Waterfall is hard, and agile is confusing, so why should you put your team through them? Instead, you are probably already using some of these alternative development techniques! You won't learn about these in a text book, but you'll find them in use all over the software industry. Let's learn about how we manage small teams:

1. Whack-a-mole development

This is the most common development methodology around. Almost all small teams do this to begin with, and businesses can grow huge off the back of Whack-a-mole development. So what is it?

Whack-a-mole development is a process where your developer…

The Guten, the Berg, and the Ugly

Or: How I learned to stop worrying, and love like accept Gutenberg.

For those not in the loop, Gutenberg is the controversial new editor for WordPress. Despite not using WordPress on this blog, for reasons poorly explained elsewhere, I do use WordPress for client work. With Gutenberg becoming the default editor in the fast-approaching version 5.0 of WordPress, I figured that I should install the plugin version, and at least try to understand what it's all about.

Why a new editor?

Because the old editor is crap.

Ok, now that I've offended everyone, it's not crap, but it's also not sufficient for b…

The small tips about freelancing that I've learned over the years.

This was originally a post on /r/freelance over on reddit, but I'm re-posting here for posterity.

I've been at this for a fair while, and this is some of the wisdom that I've been told or learned, often the hard way.

The typical full-time employee costs a company 2-3 times their nominal salary

Use this as a basis for deciding your rate. $90/hr might sound like an expensive replacement for an employee getting paid $30/hr, but that $90 is the total cost, and stops immediately when the project ends.

A client asking for 6+ hours in a day will cost you 8 hours

You will achieve nothing useful (read: bil…