Andreas Rau – How pilots communicate

… and what we as Software Engineers/ Designers and Businessmen can learn from it

TLDR

In this article you will learn about miscommunication pitfalls in aviation and that the same pitfalls occur in software development, design, and business. We will dive deeper into topics like the aviation decision-making (ADM) process. Have a glance at intercultural communication. How it dictates the way we speak and understand our world. Further an introduction to my own personal experiences and how you can sabotage the productivity of your organization effectively.

In the end, we will apply the ADM to foster and improve your communication.

How miscommunication can trigger disasters

On 25th January 1995, the Avianca flight from Bogota, Colombia, to JFK Airport in New York, was running out of fuel. Air traffic control (ATC) at JFK kept the airplane in a holding position until their plane’s fuel tank was running dangerously low. When revisiting the conversation between the airplane and the ATC at no point in time the word “emergency” or “mayday” was communicated by the pilots. The captain reportedly told the first officer to “tell them we are in an emergency”. instead of letting ATC know that the airplane is in a serious situation, the word “emergency” was not communicated. Instead, the first officer told ATC “We’re running out of fuel” “With air traffic control unaware of the gravity of the problem, the plane crashed just nine minutes later. Out of the 158 people on board, 73 died, including the pilot and the co-pilot.”

The complexity of reality

The Austrian philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein already shared with the world in 1921 in his famous book “Tractatus logico-philosophicus”.

“Ordinary language is imperfect and cannot capture the full complexity of reality.”

From this, we can derive that even under calm conditions the human language fails. In the before shown example, it gets even worse under stressful conditions.

From Aviation to Software Development

First of all a disclaimer. I am a software developer and paragliding pilot. I am well aware that in airline aviation serious mistakes can endanger passenger lives and software development in most cases does not. What I am interested in, are the circumstances of mistakes and the diversity of people involved as well as their communication. When I was revealed how many aviation accidents happened because of miscommunication I started to question if the same situations occur in my day-to-day job and even in my private life. In both worlds, we face time-critical decisions. We both need to react to events that happen while we are executing tasks. I see only a few differences. One of them is that there are more decisions and events to consider in aviation. This means that there are more of them in a shorter amount of time. Both worlds make decisions. In software development, those decisions and their effects as well as their execution by 3rd parties take more time than in aviation. Think about this statement for a moment. Compare a 2h flight with all the decisions that you might need to take as a pilot to a software development sprint of two weeks.

I am a paragliding pilot, so nothing close to a real pilot, but in my experience, the amount of decisions I have to take in a 2h flight compared to a two-week sprint is about the same. In the next part, we will dive deeper into how the aviation industry takes decisions.

The aeronautical decision-making (ADM) process

The airline industry has identified a process that every aircraft pilot has to obey. Aeronautical decision-making (ADM) is a five-step process that a pilot needs to conduct when facing an unexpected or critical event. Adhering to this process helps the pilot to maximize his success chance.

  1. Start to identify your situation, this is the most important step. Accurately detecting it enables you to make correct decisions and raise the probability of success.
  2. Evaluate your options and in my experience, there are often more than I expected to be in the beginning.
  3. Choose from your generated options while accessing the risks and viability.
  4. Act according to your plan.
  5. Evaluate if your action was successful and prepare for further decisions. You will always have further decision points where you need to start the process of ADM again.

This process is only one of many more in aviation.

Let’s apply this to a software bug.

  1. Identify your situation
    • What is the real cause for the bug?
    • Is it reproducable, part of my product scope or not?
    • Did this bug occur because of our code changes or of dependency updates?
    • Is this bug on live systems?
    • Can I resolve the bug?
    • Do I need help?
    • Can I get more information?
  2. Evaluate your options
    • Patch the bug with a new version.
    • Ask for help.
    • Investigate further
    • Decline because it’s a feature and the user is using it incorrectly.
  3. Choose
    • Let’s assume the bug is on a live system and needs to be fixed asap -> Patch the bug with a new version.
  4. Act
    • Please enter your routine for fixing a bug here
  5. Evaluate if your action was successful
    • Is the live system running as expected and was the bug resolved?
    • Should we establish a standardized process to fix bugs?
    • Did I resolve the bug in time? If not practice time management.
    • Is there anything we can do to mature the product?
    • Feedback to QA.
    • Share your insights.
    • Improve test procedures.

This is an easy example to illustrate how the ADM process can be applied to software development. A lesson I learned from paragliding and software development is to always finish your plan even if the circumstances change during your action. Trust in your abilities and execute your plan. If you followed the previous steps correctly your actions cannot be severely wrong. Given that the information you based your analysis on was correct.

Which language we use is an important part of correctly communicating with each other, let’s have a look at aviation English next.

Aviation English

Pilots and crew, regardless of their own native language or any other languages they speak, travel across the world. They have to be able to communicate with every airport and every ATC they face, on a daily basis. This was a challenge to solve, which occurred with the rise of civil aviation in the mid-20th century. There was already an unspoken agreement in place. The language of the sky at that time was Aviation English. Now Aviation English is, as misleading as it sounds not the English language that we know. In fact, it is a separate language compared to what is spoken on the ground. Even native English speakers have quite a long road to learn it ahead of them. It uses standardized phraseology in radio communications to ensure aviation safety. Since the manufacturing, as well as the operation of air crafts, was dominated by English-speaking countries. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) slowly but steadily understood one thing.

Good processes and procedures themselves will not solve the issue.

In 1951 they suggested that English should be the de facto international language of civil aviation. Let me emphasize that ICAO in 1951 only suggested, that English should be the language of the sky. It took them 50 more years, in 2001, to actually determine English as the standardized language of air transport. With said standardization, they published a directive. It stated that all aviation personnel, including pilots, flight attendants, and aircraft controllers must pass an English proficiency test and meet the requirements. Before that, language skills were not checked in any standard way.

Now let that sink in for a moment.

Tech/Design/Business English

In Tech, Design and Business we do have our own set of languages. I am not talking about programming languages. Try to explain to your grandma/grandpa what exactly was decided in the last SAFE PI planning. You can substitute PI planning with almost every other meeting we have in our company. Now ask for honest feedback: “Can you summarize what I just told you?” Be prepared, it might be the case, that your elderly relatives are very kind to you and try to avoid the task you just gave them. But they will most likely not be able to summarize what you have explained to them. I already have issues trying to explain such things to my parents. I can already sense while speaking, that my parents won’t understand a word.

Although you and I were using English as a language. Our terminology, acronyms, processes, and neologism makes Tech/Design/Business English a very complex language.

¿Habla español?

I had the luck to work with many great people in my career so far and I am more than grateful for every one of them. Nevertheless, I discovered a couple of things for myself over the years. We are all working in the field of Information Technology, Design, and Business. We are all speaking the same language and share the same enthusiasm and skills. And still, we are different. We are all shaped and formed during our private and professional lives in ways one can only imagine. We all have a wide range of different religious, social, ethnic, and educational backgrounds. Living close to our families or far away from them. These differences became more and more visible to me with the amount of time I have spent with them. Differences in how colleagues perceive what you are trying to tell them. Differences in how people value their pursuits and sometimes sacrifice their benefits for the sake of the group. Differences in how authorities communicate with subordinates and vice versa. And these are only the people that I had the chance to work with. You have made your own experiences and shared time with so many more great souls.

What we are now tapping into is the field of intercultural communication. Gert (Gerard Hendrik) Hofstede (Dutchman, born on October 3, 1928, Haarlem, Netherlands) is a Dutch sociologist who proposed an indicators set that determines the various people’s cultural characteristics based on research conducted in the 1960-70s. The subject was part of my studies for one semester. At that time my brain did not understand the extent of the topic and how important it will be for my future life. Intercultural communication describes the discipline that studies communication across different cultures and social groups. In other words, how culture affects communication. There is an impressive amount of research done in the field of intercultural communication which investigates topics like:

  • Collectivist versus Individualistic
  • High Context versus Low Context
  • Power Distance
  • Feminity versus Masculinity
  • Uncertainty Avoidance
  • Long-term Orientation versus Short-term Orientation
  • Indulgence versus Restraint

All of them are worth investigating and I encourage you to do so. I have gathered further readings which should get you started.

Personal

On top of every culture, there is you, you how you perceive the world around you, and you, how you make sense of everything which is shaping you. Your personal touch might very well steer you into a counter course of what your culture tried to induce into you for the entirety of your childhood and more. I hereby am not suggesting that you are all rebels. I want to highlight that the personal level of communication can be far off from how the folks back in your hometown used to talk. If you haven’t already met a vast variety of people during your school time you will definitely do so in your professional life. In Software Development I have had the chance to work with many great people from all over the world. Although at some point already familiar with the concept of intercultural communication I often unknowingly said or did something I thought would be appropriate at this exact moment in time… it wasn’t. Having the basics of intercultural communication in mind is necessary but not sufficient. Get to know the person you are talking to and discover a new level of communication.

Interim

We have learned a couple of things about communication, let’s take a second look at the introductory example. The first officer, in disregard of what the pilot told him, made a severe mistake in not properly communicating the extent of the situation. Maybe, in her/his culture, it is common to understate issues and it can be rude to talk about severe issues or problems directly. Nevertheless, the situation required clear and fact-based information. Correct identification of the situation was therefore not possible. All further steps in the aeronautical decision-making process of the ATC were from then on based on false information and we all know the outcome. I often find myself in meetings where colleagues or superiors introduce me to a brand new process that will revolutionize how our company works, solve all the problems and issues at once and make us all happier. Thanks to good marketing everybody is excited and eager to implement the new processes with huge costs in time, money, and motivation only to find out that in the end, it didn’t work — again. I do not want to sound pessimistic, I want to tell you my perspective. Looking into software development and all the processes we have, I want to learn from aviation and invest more time and effort into educating our colleagues on how to properly and fruitfully communicate in a standardized and organized way.

Important factors for this, in my opinion, are honest, transparent, and truthful communication where hidden agendas or intercultural communication pitfalls are avoided. And to make one point clear, more communication is not equal to better communication. I think based on this foundation, processes can be fruitful.

Lost in translation

An enterprise company operating in multiple countries spread over multiple continents. What is the first thing that comes into your mind? For me, it is a rich and diverse project team over as many time zones as possible. During my early career, I was exposed to a trend in IT where teams could not be diverse enough. I know many companies which still steer 100% in this direction, but I also know many who are not. What I am trying to do here is to make you as a reader think. Think about your current circumstances, where are you working? Who are your colleagues? Do you work effectively together? Is communication easy for you or is it a burden? Do you have the feeling that meetings actually create useful artifacts or are they mostly a waste of time? Ask yourselves these questions and assess. I can only speak for myself and I have observed both. In my work, a rich and diverse team can accelerate me, but there have also been times when it slowed me down. When looking at the example I showed you earlier. Aviation English is a language that was an agreement on communication but it was not part of any training or checks. It is important to say, that this has nothing to do with the people per se. When I came to college, in Germany, I had the opportunity to choose if I wanted my studies and lectures in German or English. I was motivated and although my mother tongue is German, I wanted my studies to be in English. This was exciting to me and silly young me thought it would be good to already study in English since the language of IT was English. Now I really regret my decision. During all of my studies, I was confronted with a lot of bad English. Many interesting topics got lost in translation, simply because the lecturer was not proficient enough in her/his language skills. Please do not get me wrong here, my English at that time was not better either. I am just trying to make the point that the content of a message can be severely harmed when not communicated properly. During my career, I often did applicant interviews and had to clearly state my veto. The applicant might have had the best CV, and great experience, but bad English skills. In the IT industry, we have the great opportunity to have rich and diverse teams. This is a circumstance not exclusive to IT but it is still in my opinion a gift we should be thankful for. To make sure we respect and maintain said privilege I have a suggestion. I am suggesting that if we put so much emphasis on what technologies an applicant knows, for how many years she/he has worked with tech stack a, b or c. We should also check thoroughly if her/his English skills are proficient enough to communicate properly in a big and diverse company. We should offer and also expect and check from new hires to improve their language skills, if necessary. Language should never be a limiting factor. Coming from IT and especially web development, I have to deal with accessibility day in and day out. For me, it is easy to understand that digital tools and devices are about inclusion. In my opinion, it is the same with language.

Let’s take this a step further. A good colleague of mine introduced me to an amazing article on some second world war CIA practices.

How to effectively sabotage your organization’s productivity

The CIA created the “Simple Sabotage Field Manual” in 1944 on how everyday people could help the allies weaken their country by reducing production in factories, offices, and transportation lines. There is a wonderful article from the business insider which highlights that. Despite being written in 1944 these instructions are timeless. I am sharing with you the selected list of instructions from the business insider article, filtered for communication. See if any of those listed below remind you of our organization, your colleagues, or even yourself.

Organizations and Conferences

  • Insist on doing everything through “channels.” Never permit shortcuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.
  • Make “speeches.” Talk as frequently as possible and at great length. Illustrate your “points” by long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences.
  • When possible, refer all matters to committees, for “further study and consideration.” Attempt to make the committee as large as possible — never less than five.
  • Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.
  • Haggle over precise wordings of communications, minutes, and resolutions.
  • Refer back to matters decided upon at the last meeting and attempt to re-open the question of the advisability of that decision.

Managers

  • Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done.
  • Multiply the procedures and clearances involved in issuing instructions, paychecks, and so on. See that three people have to approve everything where one would do.

Employees

  • Work slowly.
  • Contrive as many interruptions to your work as you can.
  • Do your work poorly and blame it on bad tools, machinery, or equipment. Complain that these things are preventing you from doing your job right.
  • Never pass on your skill and experience to a new or less skillful worker.

I highly encourage you to read the full business insider article for some more bitter-sweet laughs.

Foster your communication

Although being funny to read, the sad truth is that some of these instructions are common practice in our organization. I advise you to take this list into your notes, bookmark the article, read through it frequently, and ask yourself: Do my communication behaviors fall into the same categories? If yes, no worries! Everybody has to start from somewhere. Remember the ADM process:

  • Identify your situation and ask yourself: Am I sabotaging my company? It’s important, to be honest here! (Remember: Accurately detecting it enables you to make correct decisions and raise the probability of success)
  • Evaluate your options, there are plenty! Seek feedback from people you trust and ask them for honest feedback on your ways of communication, do an Udemy course. Heck, maybe even join a debating club!
  • Choose from your generated options while accessing the risks and viability.
  • Act according to your plan.
  • Evaluate if your action was successful and prepare for further decisions.

This is not easy – but it can be done. You can do it!

Now to bring this article to an end let’s look at the last dimension of communication.

Are you talking to me?

I often find myself in situations where I talk about colleagues and superiors rather than talking with them. Talking about colleagues is easy, but with most things in life, the outcome of easy is not great. It takes courage to work on yourself and even more to reach out for help. There is no effortless solution, be honest and ask yourself if you really want to change something about how you communicate and how you are perceived while communicating. This article is at most only a catalyst that will hopefully ignite your own journey.

Recap

We have learned how two, at first sight, completely different professions share many fundamental communication skills. We have had a look at the aeronautical decision-making process, what intercultural communication is, that processes are only as good as the material we put into them to be processed, how to effectively sabotage your company and what you can do to foster and improve your communication.

We touched on many topics today and I hope this article touched you personally in at least one of them. If you now think about what you have read in the last couple of minutes I feel already successful in my educational mission and if you remember only one thing then something along the lines of this:

‘Don’t worry the worst mistake you can make, is to not communicate at all.’

Further readings

As promised here you have a small collection to further educate yourself about the topics in this article.

Full blown ADM

Aviation English

Understanding Intercultural Communication

Gert Hofstede – Intercultural Communication

Business insider – How to sabotage your organizations productivity

Workplace Communication


Photo by Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash

Pairing is daring

WHY PAIR PROGRAMMING SHOULD BE IN EVERY TEAM’S TOOLBOX

Pair programming is old news for most developers. It’s quite possible that you “paired” with a colleague before and might have had some good and some bad experiences. In this blog post, you will get a quick overview of pair programming. You will learn that there are lots of benefits and potential downsides. Additionally, there are some hints on the process and pitfalls to keep in mind. Finally, you will find a quick overview of remote collaboration tools.

BENEFITS OF PAIR PROGRAMMING

According to a study conducted by a Microsoft Research team [1], participating developers reported “fewer bugs”, the “spread of code understanding”, and “higher quality of code” as the main benefits of pair programming.

Fewer Bugs

In many work areas, the four-eyes principle allows teams to spot errors early on. Developers usually conduct code reviews before code goes out to production. Think of pair programming as giving a programmer a second pair of eyes. They might spot bugs right away, leading to reduced friction down the road. The earlier you spot a bug, the easier it is to fix.

@Saad Bin Akhlaq: After a pairing session, I have more confidence in pushing the code since 2 engineers have already gone over it.

Spread of Code Understanding

According to the Agile Alliance, a team that applies pair programming will gain “better diffusion of knowledge among the team, in particular when a developer unfamiliar with a component is pairing with one who knows it much better.” You will notice a “better transfer of skills, as junior developers pick up micro-techniques or broader skills from more experienced team members.” Furthermore, the Microsoft study highlights that “there is never only one person in the team who knows all the code”.

In the paper “The Costs and Benefits of Pair Programming” [2] by Alistair Cockburn and Laurie Williams, they claim that “if [a] pair can work together, then they learn ways to communicate more easily and they communicate more often. This raises the communication bandwidth and frequency within the project, increasing overall information flow within the team.”

@Jobrann Mous: I especially enjoy a pairing session when I am exposed to different topics, codebases, and coding practices.

Higher Quality Code

The authors of the Microsoft study state that pair programming helps to improve code quality “through more extensive review and collaboration.” Also, “‘Programming out loud’ leads to a clearer articulation of the complexities and hidden details in coding tasks, reducing the risk of error or going down blind alleys”, says the Agile Alliance.

In addition to that, a quantitative study at the University of Utah [3] showed that pairs not only completed their programs with superior quality, but they consistently implemented the same functionality as the individuals in fewer lines of code.

Critique of pair programming

In the same study from Microsoft, developers listed cost efficiency, scheduling, and personality clash as their biggest problems when applying pair programming.

Cost efficiency

Management most likely is in doubt about the efficiency of pair programming. In the Microsoft study “the number one problem reported with pair programming is cost. Two people are being paid to do the work of one.” On paper, you halve the allocatable time of two developers. But there are studies suggesting that pair programming actually increases time spent by only 15% (and not 100%), while at the same time reducing the error rate by 15%. [2] Occasional pairing programming will balance out the cost with the benefits.

Scheduling

Yet another meeting? Calendars are already full and scheduling meetings is a pain? Pair programming will not improve the situation. If scheduling a spontaneous pairing session is hard, your team should review the number of meetings in general.

What worked well for the cross-functional engineering teams of Bertha and Mercedes Me Service apps, is a fixed pairing slot every two weeks. The engineers begin the 2 hours slot with a short alignment, check who is available, and what topics they can pair on. Then the pairs (or sometimes groups of more than two) start their sessions.

During sprint planning for Bertha, we schedule pairing sessions to tackle tickets with high estimations together.

The backend team of Reach Me is doing it differently. Instead of scheduling anything, they start their day with a Teams-call which they keep running in the background for most of the day. It simulates a being-together-in-the-office feeling and allows for spontaneous conversations, some of which lead to pair programming sessions.

Personality clash

Pair programming is not the best work mode for every problem. While some of us are happy to collaborate on a task and align with a colleague, others need alone time. They want to play around with different possible solutions, sketch something, etc.

Most programmers tend to shy away from collaborative tasks. They want to be on their own while coding. Practice (and constant nudging) is your only chance to convince introverted people to pick up pairing more often.

There are also big differences in the way people articulate themselves. Pairing a person who thinks longer before answering with a fast speaker might end up in a one-sided conversation. It’s important to give everyone enough space. You don’t need to rush anything.

It is an acquired taste

You sometimes hear “I need to get this done, I don’t have time for a pairing session”. Or “it will take me half the time explaining the issue to my colleague before being productive”. Please reconsider. True, pair programming comes with a cost. You have to set it up, agree on a work mode, explain the context. It adds cognitive overhead. Practice can mitigate most of that. If you are getting used to pair-programming it becomes a standard way of working within your team. Doing so will feel normal, and you will consider it for more and more assignments. Jumping on a pairing session with someone lacking the context should be the outlier.

HOW TO DO PAIR PROGRAMMING

4 simple tips for pair programming. Just give it a try.

Agree on topic and scope

There should be a common understanding of what the problem is, and a general direction of how to tackle it. Keep reminding each other when you are deviating too far from your goal. It’s easy to get lost. Now you have someone helping you to focus!

Pick your role, switch them

Usually, when sitting next to each other at one desk, there is one keyboard to share. This puts the person on the keyboard in a different position than the person next to them. The person who types – the “driver” – is more concerned about the coding details, types, syntax, formatting. The person off the keyboard – the “navigator” – can think about the bigger picture, e.g. abstraction layers, dependencies, potential refactorings, etc.

That situation changes when you are leveraging remote collaboration tools. All participants can now write to the current codebase, they can be “drivers” and “navigators” at the same time.

Regardless of the setup, you should keep all participants engaged by flipping through the two roles. This allows everyone to contribute to the lower-level and big-picture problems.

Acknowledge different pairing situations

You should always be aware of the circumstances and the setting of each session.

@Svitlana Piddubna: “Not all tasks are equally good for pairing, so I think it works best when someone sees a ticket that could be a good one for pairing and offers to work on it together”

Are you and your pairing partner on the same page about the issue? Can you both focus on the issue at hand? Does the schedule suit both of you?

Plan enough breaks beforehand. This allows accommodating for individual daily routines, habits, speed of thought, etc. Especially during a pandemic, we need to pay special attention to a flexible schedule (eg: no daycare!). Some people need their time thinking through things alone. Take a break from the session when needed. Pair programming doesn’t mean you are bound to each other for the whole session.

Consider also the implicit or explicit power dynamic within a pair. An example: You are the most experienced developer in your team. Your pairing partner is a junior member with knowledge of the context, but lacking coding experience. As a senior, you have the responsibility to motivate, acknowledge, and drive the conversation positively. Don’t be condescending, don’t turn it into a lecturing lesson. You only get the inspiration of your counterpart flowing when it is a mutual experience.

Programming out loud

Reflection is an important step in learning. You are allowing your brain to streamline your thoughts on a topic. More often than not, only when attempting to write down or articulate, do you realize that you haven’t understood a problem. Now imagine you are articulating and reflecting on your current assignment. You gain an improved understanding of the topic and your pairing partner gains insights into your thought process.

The Agile Alliance advised, that “‘Programming out loud’ leads to a clearer articulation of the complexities and hidden details in coding tasks, reducing the risk of error or going down blind alleys.”

PRO TIP: Think of TV chefs and how they orate every detail of their process.

Remote pair programming

The obvious downside of remote pair programming is the fact that you can’t grab the keyboard and switch between navigator and driver. The “navigator” is not looking at the same monitor as the person who “drives”. To overcome these barriers, a variety of tools can help.
The easiest and most intuitive solution is simple screen-sharing. If you need more elaborate features, look at tools like JetBrain’s Code With Me and Microsoft’s Live Share. They come with plenty of features to accommodate for a sophisticated pairing session.

Microsoft Teams

At Mercedes-Benz.io the main tool for remote collaboration is Microsoft Teams. Its screen sharing feature already allows for a great remote pairing environment. You set up a call, share your screen, and go. There is even a function to take over the controls of the shared screen. This can be helpful when a topic is hard to articulate or to switch roles between “driver” and “navigator”.

JetBrains Code With Me

The Code With Me service [4] allows any JetBrains IDE user to share and open up their codebase for collaboration with remote colleagues. It works across almost all their IDEs (Android Studio coming soon). You can give your colleagues instant access to your current project. Up to 10 developers can join one session, and collaborate on one codebase. Especially for a mob-programming session, this is quite a valuable solution. Each participant can choose to either sync with (or follow) the “driver” and see what they are seeing, or work on their code area, all within one session.

Visual Studio Live Share

Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code offer a similar service, Live Share [5]. You can start a collaboration session and share a link to it for others to join. You have fine-grained control over the permissions the session members get.

Conclusion

Pair programming is an important tool in the arsenal of software engineering teams. It’s a great way to share knowledge, reduce friction, and increase communication bandwidth. Most of us are currently working remotely. Introducing collaborative work methodologies like pair programming helps you to cope with that. Remote collaboration tools like screen sharing make it super easy to do. Now that you know more about pair programming, try it out more. You will be surprised about the positive outcome!

Reference

[1] https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/esem-begel-2008.pdf
[2] https://collaboration.csc.ncsu.edu/laurie/Papers/XPSardinia.PDF
[3] https://web.archive.org/web/20041129085715/http://www.cs.utah.edu/~lwilliam/Papers/ieeeSoftware.PDF
[4] https://www.jetbrains.com/code-with-me/
[5] https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/de/services/live-share/

The top five articles of January from tech practice

We hope you had as good a start to the new year as we did. In the new year, we have news fodder again and therefore prepared small snacks for you to digest. #

UPCOMING CONFERECES

– Not only reading but attending conferences is also a great way to absorb new knowledge. Getting a good overview of upcoming conferences and finding the right ones for you is important. Dev.events created a helpful list from different tech areas. The list can be filtered by country and preferred technology. Pick the right one for you.


FOR ALL DILIGENT DIAGRAM ARTISTS 

– there is an extension for draw.io diagrams for visual studio code. This is worth its weight in gold if you want to manipulate values and diagrams programmatically or collaborate with others.


NOT ONLY VISUAL STUDIO CODE IS EVOLVING 

–  Jetbrains is also working on improving the user experience. That’s why they have a new editor currently in the preview phase called Fleet. The IDE promises lightweight, flexibility, collaboration, language inclusion, and much more. Check out the features in detail or subscribe to the updates once the IDE is available after the preview phase.


THE HISTORY OF THE <div> ELEMENT 

– the article shows the misuse and spans the arc to the semantically correct use of elements. Of course also the resulting advantages in terms of accessibility.


A NEW FUNCTION structuredClone() 

– will soon be supported by most browsers. It creates deep copies of objects. This blog post explains how it works.

BONUS
Are you still using git stash, new branch, and git stash apply then? Optimize your workflow and check out git switch.

ARTICLES BY MB.IONEERS
Hido has written another great article on the topic of remote work. There he illuminates this with a psychological eye and gives you tips to use at home. Check it out.

Andre wrote an article about what has been concerning us for a long time. He offers a solution on how to realize the execution of multiple versions of a stencil design system without conflicts. Check it out.

Enjoy reading and stay curious.

TECH PRACTICE: TOP 5 ARTICLES OF OCTOBER

For us, it is important to share interesting tech articles related to programming and our work environment.

In our October list, you find valuable insights from the areas of frontend development, mobile development, and quality assurance. Get inspired by the news we have gathered for you!

THE TOP FIVE OF OCTOBER:

1. An Interview With Elad Shechter on “The New CSS Reset”
2. This article discusses the benefits of Shift Left Testing in the software development lifecycle and the key considerations on how to maximize the success of a product by using this approach.
3. VS Code introduces a lightweight version of vscode.dev that runs entirely in the browser. Coding can thus also be done via a smartphone. Clicking on the “.” button in any public repository will open the vscode browser version for comfortable multi-editing of the files. What do you think, will you make use of it?
4. Apple introduces Tech Talks 2021, live online sessions for developers offering the opportunity to talk directly with Apple experts for receiving personal advice.
5. In this article, you find exciting and fun things we can do with CSS for common UI challenges.

BONUS

1. Netflix developers are pretty good at writing articles on their own tech blog. Have a look. 
2. This article in particular is recommended for people who want to get to grips with image formats in a very excessive way.

Stay curious.

A big thank you to Claudio, Gabriel, Ruben, and Christian who regularly share interesting news with us.