During the first half of 2019, XP Bytes had two interns on the
payroll. This time it were two students from Techniek College Rotterdam, both studying to become an "Applicatieontwikkelaar" (Software Developer). As a general rule at XP Bytes, before students may accept their position, they have to agree to a few things, among which:
- Reading and summarising at least 4 articles as given by the program manager
- Keep their programming fresh with exercises regarding their internship
If a student is unable or uncomfortable to read in English, which might not be their first language, or a language they're proficient at, we will attempt to provide alternatives in the form of recording or audible content.
Both students graduated with good grades, and it's now time to close the book on past year's projects, which also includes archiving and documenting all the content that came out of this internship. To that end, we will release a series of articles that may aid you during your road to become a developer or may be used as a potential reading list.
Before I list the articles, you should know one more thing. We don't expect the student to understand everything or even grasp all the details. Instead, it's to prepare them on writing technical or semi-technical articles for the weeks to come, as well as trying to get them interested in the various products and aspects of writing software. If you're reading some of these and feel as if you don't know enough, that's okay. I would suggest to read it anyway, and come back to it, once you know more.
11 November 2012, 11 min read
This article by Joel Spolsky might be "old", its contents are (still) relevant. The reason we put it on the reading list, is that we often see incorrect or inconvenient abstractions, regardless of the level of the developer. However, It's good to know that abstractions are exactly that: not the concrete reality, and that every abstraction leaks: they are imperfect. And that's okay. This article shows how some well known abstractions are imperfect.
13 June 2017, 9 min read
Most of us no longer use the waterfall model as our development cycle; we often have way more ideas than time to implement those ideas; we don't know where to start when we're building an app. Building an MVP (minimal viable product) can be a great strategy when tackling issues and challenges surrounding these concepts.
12 June 2017, 5 min read
27 December 2017, 4 min read
13 August 2017, 17 min read
Our interns and juniors often know what fonts are and that you can use certain ones via CSS on web pages. Sometimes they also know about services such as Google's web fonts. It usually comes as a shocker when one of us tells them about all the issue, limitations and challenges that come with using web fonts. This article is a good summary of our decision tree for using or not using web fonts.
10 July 2018, 27 min read
If you use Google Photos you might have noticed how well it scrolls, and how nicely it can zoom in and out. Sometimes our interns need to build an app that can display thousands of items of data. We don't expect them to be able to optimise that, but we do want to give them some sense in what went into it at the tech giant Google. Hopefully they (and you) find this as intruiging as we find it. It's not meant as a tutorial, but definitely should be a good and interesting read.
26 September 2017, 8 min read
Naming things is hard, versioning is harder, or so I personally like to say. Especially for those interns and juniors that will work on or build an API, we like to give them this article first, before they dive into the way we have implemented API versioning in our system. Additionally, if it makes sense, we send them over to read this article about Stripe's API and their versioning.
7 November 2017, 11 min read
The subtitle is "The basic architecture concepts I wish I knew when I was getting started as a web developer" and I think that pretty much sums up why we recommend this article. It's mostly a nice glossary and explanation of certain concepts you'll need to think about when building on and for the web.
20 July 2018, 15 min read
5 September 2018, 11 min read
I personally don't agree that this is thé ultimate guide, but it certainly is comprehensive, and most of all crystal clear. The animations itself are executed perfectly, conveying exactly what they intend to convey. Animation is not necessarily hard, but it's easy to try to slap on animation. This guide gives great guidelines and rules when it comes to using animation to benefit UX instead of just using animation.
19 October 2018, 14 min read
Skeleton screens are powerful and research shows that they can help reducing the perceived load time of any application (Web or not). This article is a good in-depth resource about that exact research, the different ways to accomplish adding a skeleton screen and what exactly should be on it / in it.
13 December 2018, 11 min read
Whereas the "ultimate guide" is an amazing "rules and guidelines" article, this particular entry of our recommended reading list talks about the properties of animation and concepts on a bit more abstract level. In other words, if you work with these concepts in mind, you hopefully don't need the guidelines at all.
The reading list is not the final list of resources our interns used this year
and we'll be releasing more resources as time passes, as part of a series.