What is the best career advice for a software developer to earn a higher salary?

I went from making 55K to 140K in five years.

Here are my lessons learnt:

1) Increasing skill sets alone is of little use if you cannot market them. Market your skill sets. Two things to keep in mind here:

a) Invest in skill sets that will pay. No use learning something just because you like it. Learn something for which companies are willing to pay top dollar.

b) Certifications – Get certified in things for which there will be a long-term demand. Not many developers do this. Build a diverse portfolio here. Just don’t do all your certifications in Java for example. Something like Scrum, Salesforce, and AWS is a good mix.

2) Look at your colleagues who are 10+ years older than you and ask yourself if you want to be doing the same stuff they are doing today. If the answer is no, find out what you need to do differently so as not to land in the same position as theirs ten years from now.

3) Read, Read, Read: Readers are Leaders / Leaders are Readers.

4) Come back here

earn more salary
earn more
after you have doubled your salary and share your experiences here so that others can benefit.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using GCM (Google Cloud Messaging) for iOS push notifications compared to APNS (Apple Push Notification Service)?

With the addition of iOS push notification support to GCM it is now possible to implement very similar logic to send a push notification to either an iOS or Android device through a single platform.

Are there any disadvantages to using GCM over APNS for this purpose or situations where sending a notification directly through APNS would be a better choice? What additional advantages (beyond code re-usability) does GCM bring to the table?

Cloud Messaging Options
Which is better Cloud Messaging

Why is the iPhone 6s so expensive?

It’s not. It’s the same price as the iPhone 6 when it was introduced.

What people forget is that they have a pretty powerful computer in their hands, not just a cell phone or texting device. An iPhone does a lot of the things a laptop or desktop computer does, yet it fits in your pocket. Usually, when you buy something that is smaller, it costs more (a desktop computer vs a laptop, for instance).

Also, an iPhone 6s is comparably priced to the equivalent Samsung Galaxy models, so I really can’t agree that it is “so expensive.”

Too expensive?
iPhone 6

What does it mean when they say the data is “encrypted” And is it really encrypted on the iPhone?

Data on an iPhone is scrambled in an encoded and unreadable way which can only be decoded with the private, device-unique key.

That private key is stored inside a dedicated chip, the “Secure Enclave.” Without the key, the data is unreadable.

If the iPhone has a passcode set, that private key cannot be accessed without the passcode. Even with specialized tools, the encrypted data cannot be read from the phone without the user releasing the private key. The “Secure Enclave” hardware is designed so that the key cannot be directly read; data is decrypted by passing through the chip once it is unlocked with a passcode. If an attacker keeps randomly guessing passkeys, the delay between accepting keys grows exponentially with each bad guess, stopping a brute force guessing attack.

This very secure level of encryption makes governments very nervous, and they are frantically trying to outlaw this capability.

is phone data encrypted
phone data encryption

How will I know that my cellphone is being tapped?

That is not the correct question. The correct question is “How do I know my cellphone is NOT being tapped?” You always have to make the assumption that your phone, email, etc is being tapped all the time and as a result act accordingly. You can never assume privacy.

When I worked at Cisco I happened to visit a large quasi-governmental company that was buying tens of milions of dollars of storage equipment. I was shown a warehouse sized room filled with storage. It sounded like a jet engine with the amount of ventilation and cooling it required. The workers had to wear headphones to protect their hearing. When I asked what they were doing with all this storage I was proudly told that this company could “re-create any day in the history of the United States since 2003. Every financial transaction; every single email; every text message; every phone call.” If it was sent digitally, they preserved it. Your information is already being stored somewhere. “Tapping” can take place years after the fact. All they have to do is go back into those files and find your data.

The cryptic internet assault group Anonymous has a saying: “Don’t think. If you think, never say. If you say, never write it down. If you write it, don’t sign. If you think it, say it, write it and sign it, don’t be surprised by what happens to you.” Also, playwrite David Mamet said, “Assume that every word you speak on the telephone will be recorded and held against you. Remember, that in practice, the presumption of innocence applies only to the guilty. Should you, God forbid, be tortured, make sure you have something to confess.”
I don’t think truer words have ever been spoken.

is your phone being tapped
phone being tapped

What is the best thing to do with your old cell phone? Donate it? Sell it? Re-use it for parts?

If your phone does not have any resale value, you might enjoy taking your smartphone apart to see how it all works (in a very crude and functional way…oh! this is the RAM…oh! this is the gyroscope chip…and this is the WiFi receiver). This is especially fun if you have kids (or are a kid, physically or mentally), and doing it on an old phone will give you the confidence to switch out individual parts on your new phone if they fail.

I recently took apart my old Samsung Captivate (the last phone with a physical retractable keyboard that Samsung made) and now I am obsessed with teardowns. All acquaintances should hide their old phones.

Take apart old phones
Old phones