What are the differences between HTML, XML, PHP, CSS and JavaScript in layman terms?

This is a very useful discussion on Quora regarding the differences between  – HTML, XML, PHP, CSS and JavaScript in layman terms.

Quora Link

Or in other words as Ankit Gauray puts it: Web Development in Layman’s Terms.

HTML: It contains the set of all the text and media files(images, videos) that you see in a website. Kept alone, it is boring to look at or deal with.

CSS: The designer. Places the boring html set in beautiful format.

PHP: The logic maker. It decides what to present to the html to show to you. Works behind the scene. Incognito Master!

MySQL: The Store Keeper. It stores the data in an orgainsed way, ready to be presented by HTML, elegantly by CSS with the help of PHP codes.

XML: The elder brother of html. It unlike html that only displays data, can also describe the data. That is, it understands the way data is to be stored or transferred to other programs. Use this to move all your contacts from one device to another.

Now that you know how all the four mentioned above work in cooperation with one another, you must understand it’s not possible to write a complex website using only one of the four you mentioned.

Further reading: I recommend honest reading through W3Schools Online Web Tutorialsfor all of the above. They can teach you web development within 15-20 days. (You need to be sincere though.)

Ankit Gaurav, Founder ( handybooks.in ), Self-taught web developer


Microsoft eBook – .NET Technology guide for Business Applications

Microsoft have released a very useful (for those that work in this area or have a general interest) ebook guide on its .net technologies.

The below is taken directly from the ‘purpose of the guide’ on page 4:

This guide will help you effectively select the right Microsoft development technologies and approaches for your .NET custom application development, depending on the priorities you have for your application and for your business domain.

This guide will be useful to decision makers, software architects, development leads, and developers who are involved in selecting the technologies to use for their applications and projects based on Microsoft development platforms.

It can be downloaded here: Microsoft Link

Or directly here: Link

Microsoft Development Platform Technologies

LEGO Flow Game

I recently attended another workshop that was very insightful and also entertaining. This was the LEGO Flow Game. The rules are outlined in the link below if you want to read about how the game works.

It was extremely interesting to see how the different methodologies used (Waterfall, Scrum, Kanban) affected the process and outputs of the work that was being done. I have to say that Waterfall seemed the least affective, but the tasks were very ‘product line creation’ driven so perhaps its not best suited to begin with.

However the presenter, Julian Daddy, who works at the Discovery channel did state that he has done the game numerous times and with every team there is a different result, no matter what the methodology. So the team, the people and the communication is just as important as the process that is used.

The rules are outlined in the page below, but if you run this game yourself feel free to adapt them; as there is not a set in stone way of doing them.




Experimentation in the Workplace

I recently attended a very interesting work shop regarding experimentation in the work place. One of the great things from experimenting is that you not only learn a great deal you would not otherwise. But it also stops you from getting stuck in a set approach or way of thinking.

A summary that was provided about the workshop is below:

“Companies who experiment and try new things more, learn more and discover more. Rather than following best practices forever, they understand when the complexity of a situation requires experimentation – Build-Measure-Learn approach to figure out the best way forward. And complexity is all around is – in our product innovations, in our organisational social networks and in our company culture.”

The workshop was ran by:

Andrea Darabos (A lean agile coach and trainer, m3.0 facilitator. Twitter @adarabos)  and Ryan Behrman (Organisational and Team Process Improvement Coach and Trainer)

Further Reading – Experimentation in the work place: http://www.slideshare.net/andreadarabos79/experimentation-in-the-workplace-london-m30-meetup-nov-2015

Celebration Grid: https://management30.com/leadership-resource-hub/celebration-grids/


Scrum: The Structure of Scrum

This is an excellent short video with Jeff Sutherland. He gives a high level break down of where some of the processes of Scrum came from and how it was developed. For such a short video I found it a really interesting watch and would recommend it even if you don’t work in an agile environment.

The Power of Habit

I recently read, “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg and I found it an extremely interesting read. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about human habits, habitual thinking and how this can affect behaviour in both our work and personal lives.

It contains several very interesting case studies, stories and information on how we approach the tasks and things we do and how ingrained habits are in our actions, behaviour and characters. It also covers how to change or cultivate them if and where required.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

“UK businesses must evolve how they approach project management” by Chloe Green.

An interesting read by Chloe Green, although it doesn’t say anything new and restates many facts and factors many of us already know. Worth a read though and serves as a good mini refresh on some of the points she goes over.