Who to Hire to Do Web Development?

1. Staff

Pros: easy to collaborate with, having them on-site all day long.

Cons: value (talent for the cost). Strong engineering talent is very hard to find -you’d have to pay a lot more than you would pay S&F for the same level of talent (if you could even find it). Most likely you’ll find someone junior who will cost about the same as S&F.

2. Contractor(s)

Pros: same as above if on-site. If off-site, could be cheaper because individuals typically spend less time than a team.

Cons: same as above if on-site. Of off-site, you’ll run into management issues, availability, responsiveness, etc. You don’t get access to specialized talent that comes with the team: you are limited with the knowledge that the individual contractor has.

3. Team

Pros: you get access to all the skills on the team (QA, DevOps, front-end, back-end, Scrum Master, etc.). The company does development for living: they would never let you down and deliver a product no mater what, as long as it’s funded. They herd the cats for you.

Cons: can be more expensive since teams come with a management overhead.

Your smart refrigerator can be my enemy

Akamai reports that hackers are turning “smart” devices into botnets.  The typical use is a proxy that allow hitting a target from a variety of locations.  The most widespread device is a CCTV camera with a DVR, satellite antennas, networking routers and modems, and NAS.

Savings by cutting out daily Scrum?

You do have to pay for the daily Scrum time.  Why not cut it out?  Imagine how much money you can save with a 5-person team if they don’t have to spend time in daily scrums, doing “work” instead? That’s 6 hours/week.

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Trying out Meteor

The JS frameworks I’ve looked at all suffered from over-configuration and exposing too much detail. Error reporting was usually obscure, there were too many ways to do the same thing, and there were no clearly defined conventions.

And then came Meteor, a “full-stack JavaScript platform for developing modern web and mobile applications.” It just works out of the box, provides a nice command line tool with readable output, and definitely establishes a “meteor way” of doing things.

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Switching Themes Programmatically in Drupal 8

Sometimes we need to use different designs for separate pages or for separate menu items in a site. The most obvious way to perform this task is to set separate templates for each case in the current theme and customize CSS and JS for these pages. But there is another way which is a less complex front-end solution. We can use a different theme.

I used this solution for the first time in Drupal 5. My team worked on an informational resource about the state of Colorado, and each county had a different design. To resolve this we used the Taxonomy Theme module.

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Java’s Anonymous Inner Classes: Proceed With Caution

Java’s anonymous inner classes can be useful, but you must take care when using them. In particular: A memory leak will occur if an instance of an inner class survives longer than its containing outer class because the inner class maintains a reference to its outer class.

This is not a merely academic concern, this comes up in Android development when we use inner classes to encapsulate and pass around some code, and instances of an outer class (Activities) can be constantly created and destroyed. Read More

Exploring South America

SpeedAndFunction Can Relax, Not Just Work

Recently we spent a month exploring South America. During the month, we visited Brazil (north, south and Amazon), Peru (Lima and Cusco with Machu picchu), Bolivia (La Paz, Santa Cruz and Salar de Uyuni), and Paraguay (Asuncion).

We arrived in São Paulo which is a municipality located in the southeast region of Brazil.


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Exploring the Balkans: Budva

I have always dreamed of a job that allowed me to travel. Perhaps, a lot of people in the world dream of the same thing, but most of them are swamped with their schedules and routine work. Eleven years ago, I was lucky to become a web technology specialist, which gave me a hope, as many people in the industry are not bound to specific locations. And finally, with Speed and Function, my dreams started coming true :)

Last year I went on a few-months trip to Montenegro, a small country in Southeast Europe, on the west of the Balkan Peninsula. Since that time, I have been lucky to visit a number of beautiful places, make new friends and learn more about life.

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Drupal for Front-End Developers

Let’s be blunt: Many Drupal projects look like a real mess from the front-end point of view. The reason is simple. Front-end developers know how it should look but don’t know how to change templates. Back-end developers know how to change templates but usually are not good with the front end.

What do we get as a result? Read More

Communication is Almost Everything

spend a lot of time walking around my flat, thinking about various topics. One day, while in the middle of my living room, I remembered my call with a client the following day. The current sprint was almost done, everything was going well, and on this next call the team and I were going to discuss the scope of the next Sprint. Everything was going to be great!

Fast forward to the call… Read More