FAST Technology

There is always new technology. We are adopting a tech stack that produces incredibly fast sites. As well as content management (i.e. being able to post your own content) there is delivery speed. Why is this important? Because successful people do not waste time.

An example FAST site created by remotedevelopment.co.uk is https://sfsw.net which is a business prototype offering remote development services to help your online business on a subscription basis.

The technology stack that creates this site:

Sveltekit Static Site Generation
Laravel with mysql

We publish updates to the site every day or so, these take a few minutes due to new technology. If your business wants to transact online, a FAST subscription site may be an inexpensive way to collaboratively develop and host your content.

Working from Home – how to stay focused

Working from Home is not a holiday. It is a chance to succeed without travelling to the office and with the current policy of social isolation, it has become a normality.

How is it possible to stay focused with the horror of the news and the collapsing economy? By maintaining tight contact with your colleagues using online video and communication software such as Slack. By working with established goals and mini-goals – a task management system can be a todo list or it can be full-blown project management. But the sense of micro-achievement is really important. Project managers are increasingly important to the process of keeping people focused on a specific achievement.

There is no place for conflict. Resolution must be swift or completely unnecesary. If someone feels a bit weird, if a friend needs a chat, give them a video call. Do not try and resolve their problems, try and listen.

Take breaks. It is important to maintain the self with proper meals and take time to talk with your family. Your office should have a door you can close, but you should also walk around and be with others to stay in balance. Avoid bad news.

Play games. I do not mean Playstation, I mean race with yourself to achieve targets. Find reasons to feel little achievements. Do not stress. Relax and be effective.

And if you are self employed, make sure that you keep your timesheets, billing and accounting up to date! At the end of the day, that is how you get paid.

And never be afraid to have a bit of a laugh with your boss, as well as your peers. Bosses are human, too. Let’s remember, we are all in this world together and only by cooperation and coordination can we beat this infection disease.

We are smarter than the virus. Let’s stay smart by being calm and in control of our day. And then share time with your family during the evening. Most of all, be safe, be optimistic and encourage others to do that too. By example is more effective than by lecture.

Hope this helps someone. Have a good day!

Working from Home

I have been working from home for the last two years. With the Covid-19 crisis resulting in Governments asking people to work from home, I thought it would be useful to document things that may help those who are not used to working away from others, in the safety of their own home.

Firstly, you have to manage yourself. You need a quiet space so you can conduct online meetings and using one of the many meeting tools available (Microsoft Teams, Slack, webex, Skype, plus many more) have daily meetings with your colleagues. Meetings should start with 5 minutes of chat, humour and human contact. And if you are Agile, a standup is very useful to quickly share progress on tasks, and plans for the day.

Use a time management system. I recommend Harvest, as it provides timers, so you can see what you have done at the end of the day. A project management system like Jira or Trello is very useful to control progress and coordination. Use Harvest (or another timing system) so you can see how much time you are spending on each task.

Take time for yourself. Make absolutely sure you take your lunch break, and time between tasks to take a brisk walk, have a coffee or chat with people. Do not allow the distraction of being alone to embed, reach out, talk with your flatmates or partner, or phone your mum. Spend a little time each day, especially if you are living alone, to connect with people online. Use Social Networks but do not engage in online rage or indulge your imagination with conspiracy links. This is a disease, pure and simple. It is an accident of nature that our bodies have evolved self-learning defenses for, but some people will become very sick and a percentage of the most vulnerable will die. It is like a war, a quiet war.

And if you get sick, you are entitled to take time away from work, do not add to your stress by trying to work and manage symptoms if you are having difficulty.

And finally, value your work. Just because you are not in the office under the watchful eyes of your project management team or HR, it does not mean that your contribution is not valued. You are a useful person and part of a team with a goal.

Be responsible for your own success.

Laravel and VueJS

Full stack development means we create a structure or framework that carries the application data and create views of it to manage resources or client information.

Using Laravel, we are able to progress an applications “back end” swiftly and evolve the database. This means that during a sprint we can add new data to core tables or add new ways to store data.

Using Laravel’s template system, we can rapidly create Views of that data on sophisticated screens that allow user interactions. This is not enough, today’s applications require interactivity and for this we employ the very powerful and fast VueJS framework.

For example: you run a booking system for hotel rooms. You want the end customer to drag and drop features visually into a search listing to find their idea room. This requires a display that interacts both with the data and the user.

Projects

Your business opens a new market for a new product or service and now needs a new web application.  Your budget is committed to marketing and you do not have time to build a team, that can take months or even years.  

You think about hiring contractors, but just as they are about to start, they move to greener fields.  Or you do manage to secure a good contractor or two, add them to your team, and your perm staff get itchy feet.

Change costs time and money. When it is your growth time and your investors’ money, then you are accountable.

When projects get stalled, blocked it is a cost without a benefit. In our fast-changing world, this is no longer acceptable.

The purpose of Remote Development is to take on your project, and grow it quickly in useful stages. Using techniques such as Agile, and Continuous Improvement, a project can be useful at every stage of development.

By focusing on delivery phases, and releasing upgrades each sprint, remote developers can provide you with a web application that no only works but one that evolves as your business evolves.

Development of a new product takes time and thought. It takes multiple levels of expertise in a number of fields. Our developers focus on specific delivery methods that can evolve a prototype quickly and by publishing often, your software can work for you.

Remote Employment

Remote developers do not have to only work on contract, sometimes better roles are available on a long-term basis, or permanent employment which may be more practical as an arrangement or for career progression than contracting.

Here are a set of terms for permanent remote development I have sent to a prospective employer.  Of course, any such deal must benefit both parties and an employer wants stability and to build a team.  This sometimes works, although our sprint basis for contracting works better, for some developers this may not be appropriate.

The main thing with perm roles is that I would need to be able to maintain my IP in my own projects in my company without difficulty. I do not want to throw away years of work or be obliged to assign it to an employer – so contract roles obviously are better for me. I worked out to successfully replace my daily rate with a livable solution a perm role would have to fulfil certain criteria: £XXk annual, the right to maintain my existing web business development ideas (which are cloud hosted) and clients (a small handful – really not much work – mainly support these days – but only in my own time!)

A two-year employment contract with mutually flexible terms would seem appropriate – when I take on an assignment – I take it very seriously. The opportunity to progress to be able to do significant time in remote development on company projects is also important as my partner has a house in Italy.

The other thing is simply the tech stack has to be progressive for me and my technical path needs to be good for the employer. Laravel and VueJS/Angular and/or GOlang, and/or NodeJS are areas of interest.

It needs to be a proper Agile environment and/or CI. I am happy to introduce modern methodologies to the company or act as a Lead or Second Lead or Solo developer with some dev ops responsibility. Lastly, it needs to be a role that I love or a company that means something to me.

I hope this clarifies. I do believe there are good contract opportunities in the market right now. And you never know – if you specify what you want there may be an opportunity for it.

SPA version of Remote Development

The SPA version of Remote Development shall be the website that this CMS site augments.

Its functions are to sell the concept of remote development as directly as possible and then to present three CTAs:

  • Online Application
  • Manage your own content
  • Sell products and services online

No complexity, no verbiage, no rubbish.  Just sell.

Components

As a VueJS SPA, it is built of components.  These may include any or some of the following:

  • Page zones
    • Header
    • Footer
    • column
  • Containers
    • Introbox
    • panel
    • panel2
    • double panel
  • Functional
    • Menu
    • CTA button
    • Select list
    • Dropdown
    • Action link
  • Decoration
    • Line
    • Colour block
  • Media
    • Image
    • Video

Components need to fit together.  Along panels or held by magnets, or have a tendancy to be on one side, or the top or bottom of a “page”.

A page is a collection of components that scrolls into the view.  components comprise the page.

components do not scroll within a page

components have the following props:

  • width
  • max width
  • height
  • max height
  • background

 

 

 

 

Improving client route

We seem to spend more time under the bonnet than we should but the admin system of https://live.remotedevelopment.co.uk/ must be able to manage the data structures created by new or existing clients.

Now we have to improve the client interface.    It is not bad. But it needs to work and at the moment it is a bit like a structure or foundation rather than being the journey it needs to be.

It is already a series of Vue Components and now here is the beauty of Vue.  To replace them all I need to know is what parameter is being passed in.  Most of these screens do not need to know much – they are more to do with the story they tell.  How to advance from one idea to the next – are they correlated in a way people understand or that only someone who works with Data Logic will follow.

One of the strange reasons I stayed with Windows so long is that I could not work out immediately and instinctively how to drive a Mac.  What an admission, I know.  But I find this quite often – with correctly thought out designs that people get, sometimes I find that just as confusing as I realise they may find my marketing based screens.  I think I have overbaked it and without looking it – well I asked my favourite artist for her opinion and she said something that echoes through time “Make it simple.”

The only superior datum there is is indeed a contraction of it itself (see what I mean, more simply put: The only thing more important are the first two words) make it.

It figures that the programming mind and the visual mind may use similar muscles. It is what makes “Full-Stack” development more difficult but effective sometimes at growing according to a vision.

Sales should encourage and open dialogue between client and worker.  The data worker is best served with concise information.  This comes from written text.  It only comes to light after verbal discussion.  We use presentions, diagrams and use-cases to ensure we understand a requirement but the only thing that is subjective is the user interface.  We want to agree on the back-end and that also has to be flexible as new ideas arise.

This is getting too long.  Typical.  Maybe should be programming.  To be continued…