Deciding Between Building or Buying Software. Part 1

If you’re starting a new business or expanding an existing one, you’re likely to rely on some software to drive it. When this moment comes, the usual question you’ll need to ask yourself is whether you should build it yourself, or buy an off-the-shelf product. This is important and will have a major impact on your business from day one. The first thing people look at is the initial cost of buying or developing a custom product.

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From Infrastructure as Clicks to Infrastructure as Code

Configuring cloud infrastructure can be painful. Especially, if you’re doing it by hand. Especially, if you’re doing it frequently and at scale.

It can take a long time to set up the required resources in the cloud, even for a medium-sized project. And you need to be really careful, otherwise, you risk setting everything up just to realize, that you’ve defined an incorrect CIDR block for a virtual network, or made a typo in a name of a resource. And now you have to start all over again because these settings cannot be changed. Ouch.

There should be a better way, than doing it manually, and this is where automation and code come into play. We can create scripts to set up our cloud infrastructure for us. This approach is called Infrastructure as Code, or IaC.

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Helpful Industry Reports and Surveys

For IT leaders to make the right decisions, they should be up to date on the trends on the market. And while there’s plenty of information on new developments available on social media, blogs, and podcasts, it can sometimes it can be challenging to grasp the full picture. For this, it’s useful to turn to broader reports on what’s happening in IT in general and its specific areas. And even if you have a good understanding of the market, it’s just so satisfying to read reports that prove you’re in the right place.

Here are some of the reports I follow and can recommend, in no particular order.

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How do you even start software development?

Friends and acquaintances occasionally ask “How do you become a software developer?” Most of them already have careers in different fields and are interested in software development for different reasons. Some are unsure about the future of their industry and think that IT owns the future. Others are attracted to high salaries. And some are just curious to learn a new thing.

Regardless of their reasons are and whether this is the correct choice for them, I’ve started thinking about the different ways it’s possible to join the industry. When I started, my approach was easy: sit in front of the computer 10 hours per day six days a week and learn everything you can get your hands on. Easy peasy. I was able to pull that off since I was a student and I only had to balance that with my studies and occasional nights out. When you have a family, a job, and other obligations in life, this is a tad more difficult.

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How to Become a Better Software Developer

Today I would like to share some thoughts on ways a software developers can improve their professional skills and become better at their work. The topics raised here are universal and not specific to any technology stack. Most of them are not even specific to IT, for that matter. These are general advice on how to develop your personal traits, improve collaboration with colleagues and clients, and advance your career as a software developer.

Some of the things in this article are subjective and reflect my personal experience, while others have been adopted and successfully used by others.

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