KillerSites Blog

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Python Course for Middle School

February 6, 2017

I am happy to announce that we will be releasing a new course for schools: Powerful Python 3. Part of our collection of coding courses, designed specially for classroom learning.

Powerful Python 3 is designed for students (and teachers) who are totally new to code! The course is made up of easy to follow video lessons, followed by fun and effective quizzing and code challenges.

… Like all StudioWeb courses, we provide a complete curriculum that includes projects, a grading rubric and our powerful auto-grading system that provides accurate grades by course, chapter and lesson.

StudioWeb’s Python course will finally make learning and teaching Python, easy for the novice coder.

Please feel to contact us if you have any questions!

Stefan Mischook
StudioWeb.com

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My book tweeted at me

August 13, 2016

Hi,

Some of you know, that I wrote a book last year. Sales are actually increasing. I like it when someone tweets a photo of my book:

web design start here book

You can pick it up on Amazon.

Thanks,

Stefan

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The future of IT industry.

July 20, 2016

Hi!

I got this question today:

Stefan, could you make a video about the future of IT industry? Many people say, that programmers are gonna disappear pretty soon as artificial intelligence will be able to solve programming tasks. What is your opinion?

My answer:

AI has problems with figuring out context in a sentence – so I wouldn’t worry too much. That said, in time it will happen, and when it does (10-20yrs?) … there will be super advanced robotics as well, and super advanced renewable energy.

A massive change in society altogether

So that would suggest to me (if we keep the politicians in check) a society where resources are nearly unlimited. They’re will be no need to work, as there will be plenty for all. I know it sounds crazy, but we’ve already seen a huge upheaval in society with the industrial revolution, where the whole human context was changed dramatically. It will happen again when AI, renewable energy and robotics hit the tipping point.

… So don’t worry about AI taking your coding jobs. When AI can code, the whole world will change for the better.

Stef

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Surface Pro 4 is great, but it can also suck.

February 8, 2016

Hi,

So I bought the Surface Pro 4 shortly after it came out, something I rarely do, because it’s dangerous to buy new tech products when they first come out.  So after a couple of months of use, I can tell you that Surface Pro 4 is both very cool and annoying.

The good:

  • Microsoft got the perfect blend of full computer and tablet. Amazing!
  • The pen is great – I take a lot of notes by hand. Love it!
  • Great screen and the kick-stand is HUGE!

The bad:

  • Whatever you do, don’t put it in sleep mode – many times, it doesn’t wake up and you have to restart. And that’s a pain because the Surface Pro gives you no indicator as to what’s going on.
  • The Surface Doc (that cost $250) doesn’t work half the time. It has troubles driving USB devices and even the monitor.
  • Some general minor flakiness: sometimes the touchscreen doesn’t work (you have to restart,) sometimes the pen doesn’t work … you have to restart.
  • Mouse pointer and UI element size issues: sometimes the mouse pointer looks like one of those giant foam hands you see at a football game. Other times, app buttons are so tiny, you need to buy a magnifying glass to see them. I’ve confirmed these issues weren’t the fault of the apps, because in other Windows 10 machines, this problem does not exist. It is Surface Pro 4.

So overall, it is a great computer that is in late beta. Please fix this otherwise great product Microsoft.

Stefan Mischook
Killersites.com

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My new book is getting unanimous 5 star reviews!

January 22, 2016

Hi!

Altogether I have 7-8 reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca and Amazon.co.uk … but they are all 5 star! It’s a start!

I haven’t asked yet, but if you bought the book, I would really appreciate it if you could head over to Amazon, and give it a review.

Thanks!

Stefan Mischook

book-5-star-reviews

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How to end lower back pain – for web developers.

January 14, 2016

coders-lower-back-pain

Hi,

Coders can get lower back pain because:

  1. They sit all day.
  2. They don’t exercise.
  3. They don’t stretch.

How to end lower back pain:

First, do the opposite of what is listed above: don’t sit all day, take breaks, walk around, and do some hamstring stretches. Here’s the list of what to do to end lower back pain:

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The Secret to Learning Web Design

January 6, 2015

webmentor.org

Hi,

I’ve been building websites since 1994 and teaching web design and development since 2002 … give or take 6 months. In that time, I’ve been able to figure out the best way to both learn and teach web design:

The key is to NOT get distracted with the unimportant techniques and technology. That means being able to figure out what you really need to learn, and to cut out what isn’t so important.

… That’s where an experienced teacher and actual web developer can guide you.

Web Design is a big subject that is always evolving!

Over the years, web design has evolved considerably. The process of building websites in 2015 is very different from how we did it in the early 2000’s, let alone the 1990’s! Despite these big changes, there is a consistency in web design that has carried through to today; being able to identify these patterns (and techniques) will help you keep your skills future-proof to a large extent.

… Yes, you should always count on having to learn new techniques and technology, but you can make the process much, much easier when you have a great foundation.

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How to get into the Gaming industry.

November 6, 2014

Hi,

I was recently asked by my dentist if I had any information for his daughter, who wanted to get into the gaming industry, on the artistic side of things.

So I consulted the nerd-herd and then came back with what you will read below. Though KillerSites is hardly a gaming blog, I figured I would repost here anyway because my dentist told me that this was by far the most information he and daughter had seen on the subject.

Anyway, here you go …

From Sean:

Hey Stef

Gaming is a more stable environment than Film or Television. More often than not film and TV animators travel to work in different companies around the world. As for Gaming even when the economy is tanking people still love to get away from life and sink into a game world.

[ Film and TV / Games ]
Position available for art students include:
Storyboarding
http://www.wikihow.com/Create-a-Storyboard
Conceptualization Art
http://www.conceptroot.com/
Matte Painting
http://mattepainting.org/

Proficiency in Photoshop/Illustrator
https://www.adobe.com/ca/products/photoshop.html
https://www.adobe.com/ca/products/illustrator.html

[ 3D Software ]
The 3D Software I would recommend using is Maya.
Free Educational version
http://www.autodesk.com/education/free-software/maya

[ Schools ]
Alot of home grown 3d gaming talent have pass thought the doors of the NAD Center. They have teachers that currently work in the industry and can become a great reference for job opening in the indusrty.

Nad
http://nad.ca/en

Online
Animation Mentor
http://www.animationmentor.com

http://www.animationmentor.com/student-life/student-showcases/

Anim School
http://www.animschool.com/


[ Traditional Animation ]
Traditional Key Frame Animation, frames drawn every frame by hand, is very important to take to become a great animator.

This on a book that most animators have on their shelves at home.
Animators Survival Kit by Richard Williams
Here is a pdf of the Book
http://courses.cs.washington.edu/courses/cse460/07sp/reading/richard_williams-animators_survival_kit.pdf

[ DEMO ]
A Great DEMO, is the most important as it shows what you can do. Some artistes, animators, modelers etc. I know are self taught so school was not involved. A great DEMO can often speak louder than a certificate form a school. It is what you can do with what you know and not what you know.

Hope this helps. Need any other direction let me know

Scot

From Luke – a director at a leading gaming company:

I think Sean covered it pretty well from a technical point of view! Additional info that I can say about gaming is the following:

There are many options she can take:

Gameplay Animation
Cinematic Animation
Concept Artist
Technical Artist
Character Artist
VFX Artist
UI Artist

Some companies name the titles differently but more or less do the same things.

I would suggest starting to become active in various gaming industry forums and websites. Look for forums that companies offer, for instance at EA we have the following LinkeIn forum that people can follow: InsideEA: (Electronic Arts) People, Games & Careers. Other companies have their own similar forums. Also check out game company’s websites in their career sections. They offer lots of info and recommendations. Our’s is Jobs.ea.com.

Follow up on all the industry trade shows(E3, PAX, GamesCom, ComicCon, GDC(Game Developers Conference)) and media(IGN,GamesSpot, etc…)…

A lot of what helped me get into the industry is doing research on all the above info…kinda like the Wook does! 😉

Gaming is a constantly evolving industry so people need to stay well aware of tech and changes going on. Best way is to read a lot of gaming news and info!

Lee

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Facebook Advertising … is it worth it?

March 27, 2014

Hi,

Strong evidence is showing that Facebook is a good place to pour your money into … IF you want to dump cash into a black hole of no return!!

Advertising on Facebook is revealing itself to be extremely sucky in a few ways:

  • Most Facebook friends are likely fake. Especially if you promote to get them.
  • Facebook is cutting off access to these friends – now it’s at about 15% and it is said to be heading towards 1% as a matter of company policy. This is called ‘organic reach’ … and the organism is dying fast.
  • There are accusations (that seem credible) that Facebook is padding the numbers, in terms of traffic it claims to be sending advertisers way. Facebook does NOT allow you to have outside audits of their traffic flows – that should tell you something!!
  • A huge number of Facebook profiles are fake – a huge number!

Here a few comments I picked up on the Web:

Facebook has already slashed the organic reach. It’s not coming, it’s here. I run the page for my company and at best 10 out 757 people are seeing what I post. Sometimes only 2-3 people see it. I’ve also heard from pages I personally follow (that aren’t big brands) that they’ve seen this trend for over a year now.

We all have seen crushing decrease on the number of engagements over the course of last 3-4 months. And this has caused us to go and look elsewhere.

The organic algorithm is not currently this low, so if in fact they are reducing it to 1-2%, that is news. Currently ablout 8-20% of my fans organically see my posts.

That is false, I have a local sports conference page on which I post highly viral content, the recent changes have taken likes and shares on posts from 1,000 to 2,000 on a viral post down to 250 to 500 sometimes even less. People liked the posts and responded as their friends and family responded but now they flat out aren’t getting the chance to see them.

Just so we all understand the racket: Facebook sells you Page Like ads so you can acquire an audience. After you acquire an audience, they want you to pay a second, third, fourth (etc.) time to reach the audience that you’ve already paid (at least in part) to acquire. Facebook is a business, for sure, and needs to make money in order to keep shareholders happy, but its business ethics are questionable at best.

Some things to read:

About Facebook likes

On Facebook organic reach

Facebook $600 000 ad spend disaster

I have no inside information but it seems to me something is going down.

Stefan
killersites.com

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