Passwords and Best Practices

Using the same password across several services isn’t advisable, from a security standpoint. If one website is compromised, anyone can use the same password to gain access to (for example) your email address and other login credentials, and from there, access your accounts. Hackers know that people are lazy and don’t bother to come up with different passwords for different accounts. They’ll stop at nothing to break into your account and steal your identity. Ideally, you should have a unique password for each separate account. If you find it impossible to remember all the account details, you could use a password manager.

Some question the necessity of using a password manager. Considering that doing so can help to protect your accounts and your device, it may be worth pursuing. A password manager is essentially a software application that generates secure passwords that are unlikely to be hacked, for use with local applications and web-based services. The software stores the generated passwords in an encrypted database. With a mobile application, you can access them at any time; you can retrieve whichever password you need. Some password managers even allow users to sync the password database across all of their devices. Following these suggestions will go a long way towards securing the login process.


In the case of a data breach, if you use a password like “123456”, it will be most likely decrypted in a matter of seconds. Basically, you’re voluntarily giving away your credentials in plaintext. For better security, you need a strong, unique password for each account, to ensure greater protection against decryption. The question now is: How are you supposed to remember all those unique login credentials when you have a large number of accounts? The answer is to use a password manager, which will take the heavy load off your mind. Then, you don’t have to worry that you’ll suffer during a data breach, because your passwords were weak enough to be decrypted.

If you place all your passwords in one single repository, you need to be careful. To be more precise, set a master password so that you can access all the other login credentials. Since that password will be used to encrypt the contents of your password vault, it must be a strong password. Think about using spaces or hyphens between words to make your master password easier to type. Let’s summarize some of the benefits of using a password manager.

  • Not having to memorize all your passwords ever again – If you’re like everyone else, you do your best to memorize one or two passwords and use them across various services. This is a huge mistake from a security standpoint. Cybercriminals are able to guess what login credentials you use and break into your accounts.
  • Generating highly secure passwords – Recent and past researchers have demonstrated that people generally don’t use secure passwords, meaning that they’re vulnerable when it comes to data breaches. Don’t assume that using uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers or special characters alone, will make your password more secure.
  • Being alerted to phishing scams – Con artists and fraudulent criminals are looking for account identifiers and passwords, which can be used to commit identity theft. They send emails that look like they’re coming from a legitimate sender, such as a friend, coworker or known organization. If you use a password manager, if you are to visit the phishing site, you’re protected because the software won’t auto-complete the field for your username or password, because it (correctly) doesn’t recognize the website.

Falling victim to opportunistic cybercriminals is avoidable, as is protecting yourself from the risks of data breaches. The right tools will ensure that sensitive data isn’t exposed. The features discussed above make a password management solution effective and easy to use.

Safer than the alternative

If you don’t use a password manager to safely handle your login credentials, you’ll find it extremely difficult to remember all the unique, strong passwords you’ve created. You’ll most likely end up in the situation of reusing passwords. As you use your mobile device more often, and as more websites offer an optimized mobile experience, using a password manager is increasingly important. You’ll find numerous password manager apps with Android and iOS compatibility. There are many password managers on the market, including the free BitWarden software, which is popular among the open source community, as well as other commercial alternatives like 1password, Dashlane, LastPass and others. One of the most popular password managers right now is LastPass. Researchers have found that it has serious flaws, so it’s not the best choice.

Over the years, there have been several issues with LastPass, which could have allowed malicious actors to steal users’ login credentials. Penetration tester Mike Kukets discovered seven trackers in the LastPass Android app, covering user profiling and advertisements. Many cybersecurity resources strongly recommend that LastPass users switch to alternatives. Let’s assess one alternative, 1Password; it offers additional security features, such as Watchtower, 2FA, and Travel Mode, with the ability to share an all-access vault.

Undoubtedly, password managers can have flaws and vulnerabilities. At the end of the day, it’s not only the password manager that protects sensitive information. You should deploy anti-virus software so that that malware won’t infect your device. This way, you won’t experience an identity breach or suffer financial losses. Relying on less secure methods of password management isn’t recommended.

For further and final recommendations; add multiple layers to your security practices, so that you have multiple vaults. Additionally, use a smartphone-only vault. Many phones now have fingerprint readers and facial recognition access controls, so it’s a lot easier to secure your device. In summary, there are several things you can do to make your password manager more secure. You may find that doing so makes your online experience safe and stress-free.

Productivity in Tech Companies

If you have worked in the tech industry, you may have heard of the “mythical man-month“. The term comes from a famous book first published in 1975 by Frederick P. Brooks. The book was written about managing software projects, but the term “mythical man-month” has also become a catchphrase for the challenges of managing projects in general. Brooks’ central thesis is that adding more people to software projects is often the wrong thing to do, because productivity doesn’t scale the way you think it should.

In the book, Brooks points out that as soon as you hire your first employee, you have to start thinking about managing him or her. That’s easy when it’s just one person. But as your team grows, it quickly becomes more and more difficult to manage. It’s easy to overlook details. You have to start planning for meetings and writing reports, which take time away from actually doing work.

Brooks also notes that software development is a complex process that requires a lot of thinking. He gives an example where each person on the team can be expected to produce about 10 lines of code per day. If you need to produce a 1,000-line program, it may take 10 people a month. But if you add a single person to the team, the cost of managing that person will probably more than offset the amount of work the extra person can do. So the total productivity of the project will go down.

Managing Software Projects

Software, and by extension the tools for managing large projects, has come a long way since Brooks wrote this book. It’s still true that you can’t simply add more people to a project to get it done faster. But it is possible to manage software projects more effectively.

In particular, there are tools that help you keep track of project progress and plan future work that didn’t exist in the past. Powerful project management software lets you track the time that your team members spend on different tasks, helps you manage complex projects, and lets you keep track of the resources available for different projects.

A good project management solution can also help you make better decisions about how to use your team’s time. If you’re trying to decide which features to add to your product, you can run a simulation of how different features will affect your company’s growth.

The 1% Rule

Another piece of conventional wisdom that is often thrown around is the so-called 1% rule: 1% of programmers on a given project account for 99% of the productive output. Sometimes it’s 10% or 0.1%, but the idea is the same. A small number of the best programmers assigned to a project produce all of the useful work, and the remainder mostly get in the way.

The 1% rule is usually applied to software development, but it has been cited in other contexts as well. For example, the same principle supposedly applies to investments, where a fraction of top companies account for almost all of the returns in a portfolio.

The top 1% of programmers are often referred to as “rockstars”, a term borrowed from the music industry. It’s meant to convey that these programmers are exceptionally talented, both in terms of their raw programming skills and their ability to provide value to customers.

The 1% rule is an attractive idea for managers because it means that it’s possible to get a lot of value from comparatively few people – you just have to find these people and get them on your team. But is the 1% rule true?

There is some research that suggests it is. For example, a study of the Linux community found that 1% of developers accounted for 20% of the code written. This is not 99%, but the idea is the same. Another study of Wikipedia contributors found that 1% of editors accounted for 50% of the edits. There is also anecdotal evidence from tech companies, who often recruit a small number of top programmers and give them the freedom to work on whatever they deem to be most important. Google is a notable example of this – they are highly selective in their hiring processes, but the rockstars who work there are often very free.

If the 1% rule is correct, it means that there is a very small number of programmers who can do a disproportionate amount of good work. If you want to build a successful tech company, it’s probably a good idea to hire those people.

Rockstars Are People, Too

No matter who you have on your tech team, you still can’t escape the fact that programmer productivity, like that of any group of employees, is maximized when developers are happy, relaxed, and well looked after. Stress is particularly counterproductive to coding work, because without complete focus on the task at hand, productivity goes out the window (whether your team are rockstars or not). So do everything you can to reduce it in your team!

I have seen mindfulness programs for corporations used to great effect in this regard. Mindfulness is a great stress reducer for anyone, but seems to work particularly well for technologists. Perhaps this is because it becomes an intellectual pursuit, and is well suited to the analytical mind. At any rate, before you conduct a mass fire-and-rehire exercise, I would urge you to take a good look at corporate meditation programs, especially those that know how to work with high performers. You may be surprised at the difference it makes.

Other things you can do to reduce stress and improve productivity include providing ample coffee, relaxing deadlines and giving as much freedom as possible, and providing paid time off. You may find you’re sitting on a team of rockstars that aren’t performing because of simple things that you can fix.


Managing developers is still a challenge. The best way to manage your tech company is still to have a good team, but it’s good to know what tools are available to help you manage your team effectively. The industry is notorious for employee mobility, so if you have a good team, make sure you look after them.