Tag Archives: programming

Are you making these 10 common coding mistakes?

coding mistakes

GUEST POST. Jade Gardner is a PHP developer at Hire PHP Develop. She likes to share thoughts on coding, development and web design.

It’s easy for coders to fall into pitfalls, if they’re unaware of the right points to follow. Simple yet powerful coding mistakes can make you fall deep in a mess, from where it’s hard to come back.

But if the coders are well aware of common mistakes beforehand, then half of their work is done. They won’t risk making those mistakes, once they are aware of the negative consequences.

It’s time to learn a bit more about the top 10 coding mistakes:

Billers, coders and other practice managers are cordially invited to take a quick look at the coding mistakes, which many of us make unknowingly.

1. Don’t play it fast

Remember that failing to learn the basics can undercut your code instantly. Most of the time, people overlook the arbitrary behavior of the user, which can otherwise affect your programming session.

2. Using reference like value

Coders try to control the values; they are assigned to or focus entirely on the reference of the exiting objects. Now this decision can only be take place by the programmer, known for writing this object and not by those, initialing and assigning it to the chosen variable.

3. Don’t trust your client blindly

Some of the worst security bugs will take place when the developers assume their client’s device will do the proper thing. And trusting clients blindly can be a foolish idea.

4. Neglecting the present libraries

This is a great mistake, especially common with Java coders. They do not have the right to just ignore the multiple numbers of libraries, as written in the Java sector.

5. Forgetting to free up resources

Whenever any program opens a new file, it is duty of the coder to free some resources. And that needs to be one, when they are through with the program.

6. Misunderstanding the default value

In some programming section, value types cannot be null. These are uninitialized variables with a value to it, termed as default value. And the coders must understand this default value for some variables, too.

7. Missing the “break” keyword

Java issues can be quite embarrassing and can remain undiscovered unless those are run in production. Therefore, coders must work on the “break” keyword, for a promising switch case block.

8. Working too much on frameworks

Coders have a tendency to function more towards frameworks and dedicate most of their time on that. This can be an easy mistake to overcome.

9. Control simplification

Coders, avoid those complicated controlling codes. Simplifications can go a long way.

10. Don’t sweat the details

Do not try to infuse more towards details. That will take some unnecessary time and devoid you from performing on next codes.

Following these 10 points is crucial if you want to avoid mistakes in near future.

The tech jobs with the highest gender pay gap in the UK

GenderPayGap

As odd as it can be, women and men are not paid equally.

In the UK’s tech industry, female workers earn less than their male colleagues in all jobs, from computer programming to data processing.

According to the ONS’s Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, women’s salaries can be as much as 37 per cent less than men’s.

In the graphic below, it’s possible to see the salary gender gap in seven jobs in the UK tech industry.

The highest gap is seen in the role “data processing and web portals”. While male workers earn £726 per week, women are paid much less, at £457.

Even in computer programming, where the payment difference is the smallest among the jobs analysed, female programmers still make 22 per cent less than men. Women earn £534.70 per week, while men get £689.90.

The graphic below shows that there is no equality in salaries in any job considered in the analysis. Other roles in the survey, such as software designing and computer games, couldn’t be analysed as there was no sufficient data about women’s earnings.

ChartSalaryGap

“Raise awareness”

Earlier this month, the group Girls in Tech launched a campaign to bring awareness to the gender pay gap in the tech industry.

The campaign is a response to the recent comments by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who said during an interview in the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference that women should rather trust the system than ask for a raise.

Girls in Tech campaign promises to raise the gender wage gap with companies such as Microsoft, Google, Facebook, IBM, PayPal and others.

Kate Brodock, Girls in Tech president, said:

“By teaching employees how to effectively ask for a raise and creating a system that supports that, we hope to empower those women that are currently hesitant to ask for a raise, and gain productive partners in the participating companies.”

Featured image: credit to European Union 2015 – European Parliament

BattleHack: coding for good in London

DSC01671

Coders and developers gathered together from April 25-26 at BattleHack London, a hackathon that encourages participants to build projects that would have a good impact on society.

On Sunday (26) the groups pitched their ideas to a juror made of names such as Jess Williamson, director of TechStars, Julia Shalet, product doctor at The Mobile Academy, and John Lunn, senior director at Braintree_Dev, a branch of PayPal.

The topics pitched went from helping victims in natural disasters to enhancing urban mobility.

Women in Tech London was represented by team “I am Home Safe” and got a sponsor prize.

The winner was @Risk, for their project focused on elderly people. They developed an app that tracks the routine of elders and make automatic calls to the elder’s emergency contacts.

The team will compete in the finals in November at Silicon Valley, for a chance to win a US$ 100,000 prize.

Check our Storify for a summary of the best ideas presented at the weekend.

https://storify.com/ProjectAda_/battlehack-a-hackathon-for-good

Cambridge and Oxford fail to attract female computer science students

cambridge university gender disparity

Less than one in five people enrolled on the UK’s top computer science programmes are female – and Oxford and Cambridge have fewer female computer science students than any other top university.

The technology industry is disproportionate from the educational level as it fails to attract females to enroll on its key courses, data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency reveals.

The UK’s top ten computer science programmes are 84.55 per cent male – with the worst performing university having nine times as many men than women.

Gender balance on top computer science courses

Out of the UK’s best computer science courses, University College London has the most female students. Of its 355 students, 95 are female, accounting for just over one in four graduates.

The Universities of Cambridge and Oxford are the worst for gender representation in computer science, with 10 and 10.5 per cent female students respectively.

Featured image: The University of Cambridge, Richie

Tanya Cordrey: Progress for women in tech has stagnated

tanya_guardian

Tanya Cordrey, the Guardian‘s chief digital officer, is a leading figure in innovating the way we consume information online.

She’s in charge of engineering the Guardian’s digital product, using data analytics and testing labs to improve user experience.

One of the joys of working in digital media is that “you learn something almost every day,”  according to Cordrey. She emphasises the importance of “developing in the open,” with the launch of the Guardian‘s new website last Wednesday, stressing how essential it is to use tests to continually improve your product.

“Over the years I have become a complete evangelist around developing in the open – I’m a big believer that getting feedback and constantly learning from it is a really important process.”

tanya cordrey digital officer guardian observer

What’s the situation for women in tech?

Cordrey reflected on the “sad” reality that there are still many barriers for women looking to build a career in the technology industry.

“One can always think back on your career and there are probably several instances of things that have happened that I feel grieved about when I was treated a certain way because I was a woman.”

For example, when she had a child, her working hours shifted – coming in earlier in the morning, leaving at five to pick up her baby, and then working online after.

Colleagues had warned her that she was “putting my career on hold” while working fewer hours to look after her child. She said that leaving the office to pick up her daughter would be seen with disapproval:

There’s a kind of macho culture at the office of who can stay the latest

“What is more damaging and more pervasive is those constant everyday things: when you see women not getting invites to contribute as much; or women being described in different ways to men.

“If a man is described as ‘forthright’ or ‘decisive’, sometimes a woman can be described as ‘strident’ or ‘bossy’.

“It’s just that sort of underlying pervasiveness of it, not just in technology but in society overall.”

I’m not sure it’s got any better over the last few decades

On the working conditions for women in tech, she said that progress had stagnated. She described it as “sad”, adding: “I’m not sure it’s really got any better over the last few decades.”

Cordrey’s teenage daughter is coming up to the age where she starts looking for a job. “The truth is,” she said, “I’m not sure my daughter’s going to experience huge improvements being a woman entering society – because I’m not sure over the last twenty years, things have actually got that much better.”

When asked about why there are more male than female applicants for technological roles, Cordrey said that the “problem starts at a very young age”.

Her daughter has been to coding classes where, Cordrey thinks, she may have been the only girl.

There’s something going wrong at a very early age – where young girls are not being encouraged to do these activities

“There’s something going wrong at a very early age – where many young girls are not really drawn or being encouraged to do these activities. To help stop the problem we have to work when people are very young.”

guardian observer office kings place london

Photo: Bryantbob

So what can we do?

“I think that many people – both men and women – are doing a great job. They’re often humble and don’t think to stand up and be counted as a role model, but I would encourage all women who work in technology to take a deep breath and realise that they are role models.”

She would encourage them “to do what they can – put themselves forward to speak at conferences, put themselves forward to help organise events, put themselves forward to mentor younger women in the organisation or help with graduate recruitment programmes.”

I encourage all women who work in technology to take a deep breath and realise that they are role models

There are, of course, challenges with this – such as the “utterly depressing” abuse that women can get when they decide to be high profile on places such as Twitter.

She said it is also important to “give lots of support to the men you work with as well, because I know there are many men in the industry who are also despairing over the low numbers of women and are keen to address that.”

What does the future hold?

Looking forward to the future in digital media, Cordrey sees women playing a vital role.

It’s a “very exciting time” in the industry – with expansions in video, new forms of storytelling and user-focused innovations in design and interface.

Cordrey is confident that there will be greater equality for women in tech in the future. She is sure that women will be playing a “really important part” in tackling “all of these wonderful challenges ahead of us”.

What happens in a workplace with almost only men?

bros

What’s it like to have almost only male colleagues? As in the rest of the tech industry, there are very few female academics in computer science.

To find out what that does to a workplace, we spoke to Dr Simone Stumpf about her experiences. She told us the gender balance is certainly something she is ‘aware of’.

Dr Stumpf works at the computer science department at City University London. A scrape of the university website showed that only 7 of the 41 academics in that department were female. That’s 17%. The other 34, including the head of the department, are male.

“17% is actually relatively high”

This is lower even than several major tech companies, but nothing unusual for the world of STEM in academia.

“You could look at it the other way around, and look at the usual intake into computing,” argued Dr Stumpf.

“17% is actually relatively high, ironically, because the female intake among undergraduates who go on to a Ph D is actually quite appalling. Nationally, not just here,” she said.

The undergraduate intake into computer science hovers just over 17%, but declines further at a postgraduate level.

“Casually misogynistic” programming culture

When we asked about the work environment in the programming world outside academia, Dr Stumpf brought up the casually misogynistic ‘brogrammer culture’ which leaves women excluded.

The idea of programmers having to go into a darkened room and refuse to emerge for days on end is still prevalent, according to Dr Stumpf.

“And programming is something that you can’t just dip into and dip out when the muse kisses you. You have to dedicate some time to understanding the code, so you have to have a sustained effort,” she said, adding:

“But that doesn’t mean that you have to spend 24 hours living on beer and pizza.”

“Have to take the fear away”

Dr Stumpf was inspired to go into computer science early on, as she sat in her school computer lab programming in Basic back in the 80s, and says that it was the problem-solving that attracted her to it from the start.

“It was that sense that I could get things to work, figure out what to do about it, and then solve that problem using a computer program.”

She believes society is still dissuading women from choosing this field, and that we need to change our attitudes. When we asked her how this could change, she said that a lot of it is about ‘taking the fear away’.

(Photo of Dreamhack 2012 by Kelly Kline/Flickr.)

Decoded CEO: Lack of confidence keeping women from tech

decoded

Boosting confidence and a new perspective about what tech is. That’s the key to getting more women to choose a career path in tech, according to Kathryn Parsons.

Kathryn Parsons

Kathryn Parsons. Photo: Decoded

Parsons, the CEO and co-founder of London-based start-up Decoded, is here to spread her gospel and get the world – not least women – into coding.

“We believe it is a journey, and the first step is the hardest,” she told Project Ada.

Goal: Changing the idea of tech

Decoded’s Code in a Day classes get beginners rolling. You can arrive never having written a line of code, and go home having created a web app. In between, there’s time to go through the basics of computational thinking and the basics of languages like HTML, CSS and Javascript.

Kathryn Parsons says that she wants to reframe the world’s idea of what tech is. She describes going into classrooms of 17 year-old girls, and asking who thought of themselves as brilliant coders.

“Not one of them puts up their hand. When I ask them ‘are you a good problem solver?’ Are you a good creative thinker?’ all hands shoot up.”

Decoded was founded in 2011, and has now gone bi-continental, with the New York offices soon to celebrate their first birthday.

“We’re passionate evangelists”

Having studied languages at university, Kathryn Parsons herself comes from an entrepreneurial background, rather than from the tech world. Most of the Decoded staff are also self-taught coders who used to work with something else. But Kathryn Parsons doesn’t see that as a problem.

code in a day

Code in a Day participants. Photo: Decoded

“We’re all passionate evangelists. We want to communicate skills. Tech can often talk only to tech, not to the rest of the world. It can feel quite exclusive,” she said.

That exclusive feel may go some way towards explaining the lack of women working in the tech industry. The percentage of women in the workplace is not just low – but actually dropping, from 22% in 2001 to 17% in 2011.

“The stats are pretty awful,” she agreed.

Women lacking confidence

Among Decoded participants, who are pretty equally split among men and women, there’s no difference between genders in aptitude for programming, according to Kathryn Parsons.

“The difference is a huge lack of confidence among women,” she said.

Unsurprising, perhaps, considering the sexist attitudes that still abound about women and technology.

“People still say to me ‘women’s brains don’t really work that way’. It happens every week. I won’t stop until I never hear that phrase again.”

How can playing cards combat gender inequality?

cards

Can playing cards help combat gender inequality in tech? The internet certainly seems to feel that way, as a Kickstarter campaign to make card decks promoting promoting women in computing raised over $15,000 from over 350 backers.

Jessica Dickinson Goodman, one of the card deck’s creators, was overwhelmed by the response.

“I knew something special was happening when we reached that $3,000 goal in the first 2 days. We’re now at 400% of funding and climbing,” she told Project Ada on Friday.

In its last 24 hours, the Kickstarter campaign raised another $1,000 to land on just over $15,000.

The idea is to promote the many women who’ve been leaders in computer science, from Project Ada’s own namesake Ada Lovelace, to Grace Hopper, inventor of the first compiler for programming languages – and credited with the term ‘debugging’.

Ada Lovelace

Photo: Wikimedia

According to the creators, no enough of women’s contributions to the tech industry are remembered. The card deck is a way to promote role models for today and tomorrow’s women in computing.

“When I was a little girl, my Mom gave me a deck of cards with names and stories of women who fought in the American Civil War. I played a lot of Hearts and Poker growing up, and those cards were a constant reminder that women change history,” Jessica Dickinson Goodman said.

Notable Women in Computing card deckShe created the card decks along with her mother Katy Dickinson, and sponsors Everwise and Duke University. The Kickstarter campaign was launched to get the playing cards into their second edition – and in less than a month has already quadrupled its goal of $3,000.

The back of every card includes the text ‘Keep our history: Create or expand a Wikipedia page for a notable woman in computing.’  Indeed, getting more women onto Wikipedia was an important goal for the creators.

Less than 1 in 10 Wikipedia editors are female, a 2011 survey from the Wikimedia Foundation showed, and the gender gap hasn’t closed since.

“I figure if Donald Trump has 12,000 words dedicated to him on Wikipedia then Chieko Asakawa, a leader in accessibility research and a role-model in the visually impaired technical community, deserves at least as many,” Jessica Dickinson Goodman said.

Read more about all the women included here.