7 Websites Every Developer Should Know

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Programming is 10% writing code and 90% looking up how to do that.

We all know the scenes in Hollywood movies where a nerdy hacker sits in his poorly lit room, types seemingly random keys on his keyboard and a few seconds later the pentagon is hacked! In reality, coding looks very different. Countless times I had to look up simple stuff like “How to format a Java LocalDate” or “Rename git commit after push”.
I hope this blog post will introduce a few sites you didn’t know yet, to reduce your research time in future.


Let’s start with the elephant in the room:

stackoverflow.com

Stack Overflow is a question and answer site for professional and enthusiast programmers. It serves 120 million people every month, making it one of the 50 most popular websites in the world.
I’m pretty sure there’s a large number of developers spending more time on Stack Overflow than in their IDE.
Next to Stack Overflow, there are 172 more Q&A communities in the Stackexchange network. For example:


regex101.com

Working with regular expressions is hard and even if you exactly know what you’re doing, you might want to test your regex to verify that it is correct. Regex101 not only provides a regex tester but also a big library of community-created expressions for almost every use-case.


explainshell.com

Explainshell is a fairly unknown page that does exactly what it says. You can paste any Unix CLI command and the page explains in detail what every part of the command does. It helped me quite a lot in the past to get better at shell scripting.


mockaroo.com

Need some mock data to test your code? Mockaroo provides a simple way to generate a lot of realistic-looking Test-Data. You can choose between more than 140 different types of fake data. From email and IP-addresses to movie titles and many more. It provides also an API to get the test data directly from your code.


placeholder.com

The image above is not an error ;). It’s a placeholder image generated by placeholder.com! This page lets you create placeholder images in any resolutions and colours you like. Just open https://via.placeholder.com/900×512.png?text=placeholder.com and adjust the dimensions and text in the URL accordingly.


httpbin.org

httpbin.org is a simple website that provides REST-Endpoints for testing. For example:

  • https://httpbin.org/delay/x -> Waits for x seconds before responding
  • https://httpbin.org/status/x -> Returns a response with HTTP status code x
  • https://httpbin.org/ip -> Returns the public IP of the caller
  • …and many more! There are lots of other useful endpoints!

xkcd.com

Last but not least xkcd. “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language”. While not necessarily a programming resource, bookmarking this page is almost required for every decent developer.

Do we love coding?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

a non-scientific try to investigate the passion between man and coding

Since you have managed to get to this blog, the mystical behavior of the internet is not completely foreign to you.
Things in your life such as your mobile phone, your washing machine, your TV, your car, your game console and much more are animated by magic of the same secret interaction and offer you comfort, information, benefit and joy.

🤖  Coding?  In order to make it all work, it requires instances that control the entire process of your inputs and their outputs to the (mostly) expected result. We exclude all imaginable forms of existence of the implementation of these seemingly complex processes and refer to the ordinary person known to us. To be precise, I would like to limit it to an ambitious and highly motivated employee, a software engineer, in our company.

  Love?  I’ll make it short … what we do is what we obviously can or should be good at. To put it even deliberately: That’s our job!
Isn’t it true that we only really succeed if we identify with it or feel emotionally connected? Yes, maybe I am exaggerating with this daring statement. So as not to go too deep into moral and ethical realms, we find that here we speak of an obviously great passion and affection.

so …

For outsiders, it really seems to have the appearance that we are here after cookie-cutter approach incorporate cryptic things in our machines, which then as a matter of course, e.g. can display a webpage on your device.
It seems unimaginable that the effort of making even a big, beautiful picture appear on the screen is really an enormously complicated matter. Also the click on a button and the following action is no big deal. And you are right! And not.

It is comparable to a cozy sports evening in front of the TV. We see all these athletes who make a lot of money with it, for example to chase a ball accurate, in a breakneck speed, on the tennis court and amuse us about balls that land in the net. Everything looks so easy and simple. In reality, if you try it yourself, you will first realize what a tremendous achievement is behind it and that it is not as all easy as it seemed to be. It is very very very much a lot of training, diligence, overcoming, will and experience behind it. Just like it is to generate code.

But there is also another aspect to consider. The artistic. Of course!

To generate code is actually somehow text-book or guidelines and standards to be followed (better yet). Nor should the geometric triangle be reinvented.
But as with an orchestral conductor, the art is now to bring together individual components that are obviously needed to get the desired result. Here, the nuances, interpretations, deviations and also new ideas set the tone.

The creative, innovative and courageous part makes it all. Even for problems that have not yet been solved satisfactorily or for this one special case, there is no solution … suddenly the creativity is in focus.
Of course, it requires the understanding and mastery of the tools necessary for this. The analytical and logical thinking. The art of composition leads to a comparable Mr.Spock & Cpt. Kirk relationship!

Now, looking at this, there seems to be more compelling reasons to ask “Do we love to generate code?” to agree in the affirmative. Or does it rather seem to be a community of convenience and thus a love-hate shape? It’s not just about typing, commonly as actual “coding”. People begin to rationally separate means and purpose.

You may know that too?
On the weekend you eat a really nice, maybe opulent, meal at a well-laid table; preferably with family and friends. (dishwashing not considered)

On the one hand, there is cooking and on the other, eating as an event. Both have emotionality.
The cooking is possibly comparable to coding. You prepare something. Different ingredients are put together or separately in the right condition and at the very end … it comes to the table, where even the consumers are waiting eagerly for it. The actual eating process is then, as well as I would almost say, meditative state to describe.

Anyway, …. finally, it is that this whole event has been divided into different phases aka love affairs. The chef and guest comparable to software engineer and internet user or service provider and customer.

We like to 
be your chef!

We gain more from our actions than just intrinsic satisfaction. Everything, except to bring you into rapture, is alien to us! We want that … we need that! That is our mission and passion.

Coding as a term of necessity.
The mechanical move of the fingers over the keyboard. The process routines such as e.g. to saving and committing the code. Do we love that (okay, some may have an obsession to it) or is it much more than only this?

If we imagine that we do that without achieving a result, then … yes, what then? I think that would be very unsatisfactory! But we don’t want to get into this condition!
We are more than that! We see ourselves as enablers. As a big hitter. As those who make your life a little bit easier, better, more enjoyable and more beneficial..

… we love it!