CakeDC Blog

TIPS, INSIGHTS AND THE LATEST FROM THE EXPERTS BEHIND CAKEPHP

Cake Development Corporation - The benefits of working for such a great team!

 

Cake Development Corporation was established in 2007 by Larry Masters, one of the founders of CakePHP. CakeDC provides professional development and consultancy services for a range of business needs, including startups, e-commerce and enterprise level corporations.

Besides being experts behind the CakePHP framework, the team is backed by 50 years of combined experience. The team is highly talented, extremely approachable and work as a focused team when putting forward any piece of work.

When the company was developed, the proposal was simple: to create a commercial entity that allows people to live and breathe CakePHP, doing what they love day-to-day, while also providing everyone with a means.

Did we mention that we are based all over the world? Working remotely? – it’s one of the many benefits you sign into when working for CakeDC. We're an international team that offers commercial support and professional training for one of the most popular PHP frameworks used by developers around the world.

But being based all over the world, we do look for key individuals to work with us. Some of the key aspects we look for in the ideal candidate include:

  • Good track history of Work Commitment and demonstrates good work ethic
  • Someone with full knowledge and/or experience of a full development cycle
  • Someone that demonstrates that they have good team spirit and takes initiatives
  • Ensuring they fulfill the qualifications outlined in the job post

For us at Cake Development Corporation, we feel that working remotely affords our employees a variety of benefits. Below are some of the main benefits from our team working remotely vs. being all centrally located.

  • With Remote employees we tend to have a lot more personal satisfaction which drives us to be independent.
  • Being based remotely, you obtain good results because the commitment is not pressuring for time, and being confined or distracted in a room with persons that may pose these issues.
  • We find that being a remote employee usually leads to being goal oriented and having the will to take the risk in working for as long as they want. Leaving the option be compensated for every hour of it and also doing exactly what they want.
  • Remote employees tend to be more productive as they are working in a conducive environment suited to their specific and individual needs.

At the Cake Development Corporation, we look out for employees who show

  • Discipline
  • Honesty and accountability
  • Ambitious
  • Focused
  • If Experienced, Demonstrate that experience

The distance doesn’t come in the way of getting to know our team or in the way of delivery impeccable work – with daily chats, catchups and integration tools, the team functions just like any other! CakeDC is on the forefront of modern organisations, recruiting top software developers and delivering top notch solutions to their clients!

We are a dynamic company based on meritocracy, where everyone is given the opportunity to make an impact on the various levels and disciplines of the business, as well as playing a key role in the CakePHP community as the commercial entity behind the framework - the opportunity for growth is endless.

And we haven’t even really gone into the real company benefits.. At CakeDC, everyone is appreciated, recognised and given the space and opportunity to grow.

Some of our many benefits include:

  • 100% flexible work schedules, you are given the choice to define your hours of availability, 36 hours minimum required per week..
  • Remote working environment with an international team and clients.
  • The opportunity to Engage in paid open source projects, becoming an integral part of the development of the community. At CakeDC, all developers work 20% of their (paid development) time on open source projects.
  • Annual performance based bonuses.
  • Paid Parental Leave. Up to 16 weeks maternity leave and up to 6 weeks paternity leave, at 100% paid salary. Single fathers, or primary caregivers, can also take up to 16 weeks.
  • Available vacation time:
    • 10 days working days (not including weekends) per year. A minimum time of 12 months working at the company is required to take vacation.
    • 20 days working days (not including weekends) per year. A minimum time of 24 months working at the company is required to take vacation.
    • 30 working days (not including weekends) per year.A minimum time of 36 months working at the company is required to take vacation.
    • Christmas and New years are Company Paid Vacations.
  • Team outings and meetups – Don’t think that because this team is based internationally that we don’t know each other. We know the importance of getting together once in awhile, so we have annual meet ups!
  • A fully paid for IDE (PHPStorm) licence to assist you with our work and make your life a little easier.

So how do you know if you are right to apply to be a part of CakeDC?

Well, if you aren’t shy, you know your stuff (Web application development, object orientated analysis and design, and of course, knowledge of CakePHP), are willing to put yourself out there and learn, and have a zest for life – then we are the right place for you!

Latest articles

Remote Work, Actually Works!

As a fully remote company, the Cake Development Corporation team is used to working from home. We communicate with our team daily, keep on top of tasks, hold each other accountable and support one another. Heck, a lot of us even do it with kids in the household, too! I consider us extremely lucky to be able to work while juggling an at home life at the same time.  It has worked for CakeDC over the past decade, and in my opinion, can work for most companies.   As of last month, an estimated 4.7 million people were working remotely, which grew 44% over the last 5 years. This is just in the United States. Remote work is becoming the norm.  Obviously for the next few weeks, this number will be drastically increased, but perhaps this will educate companies on the advantages of a WFH culture. Advantages to employers, besides the operations cost (other than payroll, of course), which can decrease by close to 90%, includes increased productivity. Decreased overhead results in higher salaries, which results in more quality candidates and employees.  I understand the concern of the ability to micro-manage (UGH) being unavailable, but according to statistics, 85% of businesses that work remotely confirmed that productivity increased in their companies. When there is more flexibility, there will be higher employee morale.  With the current situation arising from COVID-19, a lot of businesses are forced to transition employees to WFH in order to stay afloat. This not only keeps employees and clients safe, but family members too.  I have put together some stats and resources that may help CEO’s and employees transition a little bit easier.  

Communication:

It is absolutely essential to keep open communication among a team when everyone is working remotely. Our team uses RocketChat* ( I will include some links in the resource section at the end of this blog), and it has proved to be effective. A chat allows for quicker response time, as well as allowing individuals to set their status (like busy, away, at lunch, sick, etc.). This is a good way to get quick answers, as users can be alerted when they have been messaged or tagged in a company chat. Most of our team work in different timezones, so this is a good way to “stay in the know” about everything happening day to day. We separate chats according to their department. For example: marketing, development, general, etc. We also have the option to private message with co-workers when needed.  Other ideas, if not daily chat interaction, include scheduled meetings. For most of our team meetings, we use Zoom. This tool allows for audio only, as well as video chats.  

Accountability & Time Management:

It is important that tasks are managed and followed through. We use programs like Redmine* to track hours and work, in addition to weekly, or monthly conference calls for each department.  If you or your team are new to remote work, it may be in your best interest to assign a project manager, someone who will assign work, track hours, and ensure that work needed is being completed in a timely manner. Without each person being held accountable, the ship will sink, fast. For personal accountability, there are many free apps and tools available. One example is Trello*. This is a scheduling board so that tasks are not forgotten and you can plan your work week and stay organized. Once tasks placed on your “schedule board” are completed, you can make note of it and stay focused on each one according to their priority. You can also keep track of documents and reports. The boards look like this:    

Resources:

Documents & Recording - We <3 Google Docs - we are able to share and edit internally, we couldn’t function without it.  Docusign is a good tool for contracts / documents needing signatures Invision Freehand - this is a tool where you can create presentations, and allows comments and feedback between designers. Good for freelance designers!    Organization/Tasks -  Trello - for individual time management scheduling.  Redmine - for project assigning, time recording, HR management,    Communication -  RocketChat - allows for multiple internal chats all rolled into one link (allows for individual logins) Zoom - good for meetings. Allows audio and video chats for teams or reps and clients.  Slack - also a great option for expanded chats. Each person has a “screen name” and can be personally messaged, or public groups can be created (we use this as well). Slack also allows video calls with their paid subscription.  Google Hangouts WhatsApp - if your team is diverse, like ours, WhatsApp is a must. We are able to text each other, regardless of location - no fees, no service problems (if you have wifi of course).  World Time Buddy - this is a tool that I am not familiar with, but being the designated “scheduler of meetings”, I think I would find it useful. If your team works within different timezones, this allows you to add the location of your teammates, compare times, and find ideal times for meetings.    Community - In the development world, community support sites are absolutely one of the most important tools. This allows for individuals - inside or outside of your company - to communicate and help each other out. Most developers are aware and utilize these, but if not, may I suggest: Discourse - chat support  GitHub - our favorite team collaboration tool. GitHub allows for hosting, editing and managing products. We use it for building software and allow for community interaction. It also integrates with a lot of other tools, which is a plus!  

Take Away:

These resources are just a drop in the bucket compared to what is available to remote workers. I think this is a reflection of how WFH is becoming more accepted and more normal in the corporate world. I’d love to hear some of your favorites: amanda.goff@cakedc.com.  Let’s take away some positivity to the current quarantined times, and encourage more companies to follow suit. In today’s world, flexibility goes a long way and this type of transition can be mutually beneficial for employers and employees. I mean look at us, we are PRETTY normal… right?  Speaking of being in quarantine - stay healthy, stay inside, and wash your hands!  

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Two Factor Authentication & CakeDC Users Plugin

Why 2FA?

Nowadays we have noticed that many of the websites or applications that we access offer the option to activate an extra layer of security called Two Factor Authentication, better known as 2FA. Most of our lives happen on our mobile devices and laptops, so it’s not a secret that cyber-thieves would like to gain access to our personal and financial data. This is why adding an extra layer for protecting logins is worth it.  2FA  is an extra layer of security to make sure that someone that is trying to gain access to an account is who they say they are. The first layer is generally a combination of a username and password, and the second layer could ask for a code that is sent to your phone, a fingerprint scan or the name of your best friend. Currently 2FA has become a security standard in the digital world.

How does it work?

First the user will enter his username and password, then instead of getting in immediately into the system, he will be required to provide  additional information. Which could be one of the following options or factors:
  • Something you know : This could be a password, a personal identification number (PIN), answers to a secret question or a specific keystroke pattern.
  • Something you have: This is something the user owns, a physical device, like a mobile phone, an id card, an usb stick, a token, etc.
  • Something you are: This could be face or voice recognition, retina scan,  fingerprint, DNA, handwriting.

CakeDC Users Plugin and 2FA

There are various ways to implement Time-based One-Time Password (TOTP), Short Message Service (SMS), Electronic Mail (Email),  Universal Second Factor (U2F). CakeDC Users Plugin provides the ability to enable in your site TOTP or U2F. 
 

TOTP Google Authenticator

Enabling 2FA Google Authenticator in CakeDC Users Plugin is quite easy, it just takes a few minutes. In case you have not installed CakeDC Users Plugin in your application, follow the installation steps described here. Once you have installed the plugin and your basic login is working, you just need to do the following:
  1. Run the next command: composer require robthree/twofactorauth
  2. In Application::pluginBootstrap() add the following: Configure::write('OneTimePasswordAuthenticator.login', true);
  Once you have 2FA enabled in your site, when you try to login will happen next 
  1. Type your username and password.   
  2. You proceed to the next step where you are asked for the authentication code
    • First time you will be shown a QR code that you need to scan from your authenticator application.   
    • Next time you will only get the input to type your authentication code  
  3. You open the authenticator application to get a secondary code called a one-time password (OTP)—usually six characters in length. There are many options in the market for the authenticator application, some of the most used are: Google Authenticator, Duo Mobile, FreeOTP etc.
  4. You type the 6-digit code into the website, and you’re in!
 

FIDO U2F

If you want something more solid and reliable, then you could use U2F (Universal 2nd Factor) standard created by the FIDO Alliance. With this kind of authentication you use a physical security key, and insert that into your PC, touch the key’s button, and you’re “automatically” logged in.  U2F standard was implemented in CakeDC Users Plugin by using  the YubiKey, the most famous and common example of U2F. To enable 2FA via Yubico follow the next steps:
  1. Run the next command: composer require yubico/u2flib-server:^1.0
  2. In Application::pluginBootstrap() add the following: Configure::write(‘U2f.enabled’, true);
     
Yubico is a hardware based 2FA, it’s a small device with one end that slots into a standard Type-A USB port. You just need to Insert your YubiKey and touch it! You won’t need to manually enter the code. Take into account that you will need to use https to be able to use 2FA features in your applicatins.

So, what to choose for two-factor authentication? There is no universal answer, it will depend on the level of security you are expecting, but start protecting your account by enabling 2FA! In this article you could noticed how easy is to enable 2FA in any CakePHP application by using CakeDC Users Plugin.
  References: https://github.com/CakeDC/users https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-factor_authentication https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-time_password https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIDO_Alliance https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_2nd_Factor  

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