Fan of HBO's Silicon Valley may remember the episode where Richard was made fun of for preferring tabs over spaces for indentation. Well, it turns out it's no joke - at least when it comes to making money as a developer. Stack Overflow's recent programmer survey revealed an interesting tidbit: devs who uses spaces make around 8.6 per cent more than their tab-tapping counterparts.
Tagged With programming
With a focus on power and performance, Sublime Text is easily one of the best text / code editors around (it's also Australian-made, which doesn't hurt). Now, the same developer has released Sublime Merge, a Git front-end designed with a similar philosophy. And not only is it free, it looks amazing.
While computers are poor at creativity, they are adept at crunching through vast numbers of solutions to modern problems where there are numerous complex variables at play. Take the question of finding the best delivery plan for a distribution company - where best to begin? How many vehicles? Which stretches of road need to be avoided at which times? If you want to get close to a sensible answer, you need to ask a computer.
Python is one of the best programming languages to learn. As you get started, this one-page reference sheet of variables, methods and formatting options could come in handy.
Patrick Moberg has wasted hours of your life, or of the life of someone next to you in a waiting room. His studio Dots created the beautiful and addictive mobile game Dots (the thinking person's Candy Crush), and its sequels Two Dots and Dots & Co, all of which are on millions of phones. We talked to him about the game development process, his favourite games, and his children's book.
Artificial intelligence isn't just for scary algorithms poised to take over our lives — it can also be a fun thing to play with, as we learned when we trained a computer to generate Lifehacker headlines. But you can't play until you have some good data sets to start with.
Invoicing service FreshBooks is part of the software canon for freelancers and entrepreneurs. It's shown up in Lifehacker recommendations from 2009 to 2018, and it's still one of the best ways to stay sane when billing multiple clients. Two years ago, the company rolled out an entirely new version that it had secretly developed under the name Bill Spring. We talked to FreshBooks co-founder and CEO Mike McDerment about building his own company's biggest competitor.
Lifehacker has collected a lot of "learn to code" resources that are especially helpful to new learners. But if you've already done a little coding or taken just a couple of courses, and you want a more thorough education in both theory and practice, start with the site Teach Yourself Computer Science.
Machine learning (AKA AI) seems bizarre and complicated. It's the tech behind image and speech recognition, recommendation systems, and all kinds of tasks that computers used to be really bad at but are now really good at. It involves teaching a computer to teach itself. And you can learn to do it in well under a year, according to data scientist Bargava. You'll need to put in a solid 10-20 hours a week, but you will learn a lot along the way.
Changing career paths, getting an idea for an app out of your head, or just learning something new and useful are all great reasons to get started programming. Learning a programming language might sound as intimidating as learning an actual foreign language, but with the right tips, hints and resources (conveniently provided below), you can go from bumbling bash user to the viscount of vim.
Programmers can be difficult to talk to. Not because they're socially inept (although that can sometimes be a problem too), but because you have no idea how to do their jobs. This makes it tricky to know exactly how long a requested task will realistically take to complete - or even if it's feasible.
This flowchart from visual designer Anna Vitals explains how to direct the conversation without coming across as rude or clueless.
Brian Fox is a titan of open source software. As the first employee of Richard Stallman's Free Software Foundation, he wrote several core GNU components, including the GNU Bash shell. Now he's a board member of the National Association of Voting Officials and co-founder of Orchid Labs, which delivers uncensored and private internet access to users such as those behind China's firewall. We talked to him about his career and how he works.