Loadshedding & Web Development

Being a resident of South Africa since birth, growing up & following the path of a web developer, there has been ups & downs. One aspect of being a web developer is having a stable flow of electricity (power). Before 2010 when we hosted the world cup football tournament, power was an insignificant issue at the time. Even from home, it was a possibility to manage your own hosting servers etc.

Portable power station powering laptop for website development

Power has changed in recent years and proven itself as a non-reliable source for web development. Power outages appear more often now than ever before due to continuous failing infrastructure in the country. This means that web developers have had to adjust to meet the challenges of not having the power to use machines to develop.

Yes, laptops do have a source of power that should last long enough to save your work but that also is not enough many times to provide power for around 2-hours of load shedding. Developers have had various solutions to this problem, some being:

girl drawing my candle light
  • Backup Power Supply (PSU)
  • Solar Power (For PSU to charge)
  • Spare Notebook Battery (that can be charged & inserted when needed)
  • Relocating to where the power grid does not experience load-shedding.
  • Going to a coffee shop with a generator, WiFi & plugs
  • Taking a break in load-shedding times
  • Tethering your Mobile phone to connect to the internet
  • Creating content from a smartphone & sending that to be loaded when the power returns. (with some leftover power on the battery)

These workarounds include pricy options out of the budget range of many developers, for the common folk the options are pretty limited, but there are options.

Broken light bulb signifying power outage

Being able to work consistently, not being interrupted & being able to change according to the environment to manage the day's tasks that need completing becomes valuable if you wish to achieve your goals as a developer. Having a plan for Load-shedding in South Africa is now a part of all our lives, or get left in the dark, literally.

Time management is a part of the solution when choosing how to spend the time when the power is out. To measure your productivity, you can see what options are available to spend the time working on your projects. Mobile devices help a lot when it comes to power outages and can be used to increase productivity in those dark times.

Website development and Programming mobile responsive websites

A blog by Stefan de Beer