Stop playing games, learn to code for the real-world:
Ok guys, let’s separate the fun n’ games from the work. That’s not to say that work can’t be fun and rewarding like a game would be, but I think we can all agree work is work, yeah? Great.
Now that we’re all on same page; competitive coding/programming: that is where you have to write a certain amount of code in a certain period of time, or figure out some little algorithm/mind-teasers of coding or snippets that you have to solve (sometimes while timed), does not necessarily make you a good programmer.
I know, I know where the hell do I get off? But hear me out, this is fun n’ games, that’s all. Since when does being able to do something fast, make you good at it? In fact, I think we can all think of many instances in our lives when the exact opposite was true…
“At the end of the day what makes a professional coder…[they] know how to write clean, reusable code that is decoupled from everything else (decentralized, if you will)…and very readable and maintainable.” “Speed coding…might be good if you’re doing some light scripting maybe for MAYA or some video game or video game processing…and even that is very debatable…” I think we can all agree that it doesn’t matter if you can write code 30, 40 or even 50% faster if the code sucks. Usually you would more than double the actual time spent on edits and corrections…
So here’s the hot take: At the end of the day fun n’ games is fun: we get a little challenge, we get a laugh, we might even make a friend or two and feel embraced by a community, but it’s not serious, it’s not planned or deliberate: it’s not work.
Check out the Video where we go into more detail about this and <Shameless Self-Promotion>, we offer some kick-ass courses on coding/programming that are both fun and deliberate 🙂 Enjoy!
Alright, shameless self-promotion time!! We offer a kick-ass course in FREELANCING. It’s super informative and affordable.
Now before we go any further, let’s talk about the difference between freelancer and contractors: Contractor: Typically brought into an organization and you have a particular task that’s assigned to you/ have to show up at specific time. It’s usually pretty structured/you are an employee without any benefits. Freelance: Also have no benefits but maximum flexibility in terms of your work hours. Essentially you chose when and how you’re going to work.
Now the nature of freelance and why it’s so alluring is that generally speaking you don’t have to be anywhere at any one specific time. You have the freedom to plan your day according to what the demands are: for example you can go meet a client and you can decide what tools you are going to use for the job they have, and generally speaking it’s up to you when you do it and how you do it… So let’s say you work 30 hours a week (guess) at a full-time brick and mortar job, you can easily budget out another 10-15 hours in that week for your freelance job (whatever that may be).
The hard part, of course, will be managing your time when you’re starting out and really being disciplined enough to do that freelancing job after a tough day at work, but maybe someone’s been through that experience already and is just dying to share it with you!
Check out the rest of this vid for some more insight into the subject plus a tight little drum intro in the beginning, AND a winter wonderland walk that culminates in a peek into my past dating life…
Another breaking discovery from the Department of Urban Humanity or ‘DUH’: “You are a flesh and blood human being and the software “tools” you choose do not define you. Whatever programs, hardware, etc. other people use is their own business and has nothing to do with you. Go live your life!”
The main reason for this VLOG is because we had the audacity to mention that some lifelong MAC users were switching to WINDOWS for a bunch of reasons, hardware inconsistencies, etc… And some people (and one in particular) practically pooped a kitten!
Now, trolls and general sh*t disturbers aside, we know that most people either have too much common sense or not enough time to care about this statement. But for those of you who genuinely have your back up: “it’s just an opinion, man. Who cares!”
Check out the VLOG below or if you feel like you’re on the outside looking in, checkout the links to some great courses that we offer, that way you can learn coding and then spew your opinion all over the internet…or take those amazing skills and become a highly paid and respected DEVELOPER SUPREME!!
First things first, a kick-ass opening for this vlog with a (literally, for those afraid of heights) breath-taking view of Montreal, and then back into the “studio” to check out my rig (drums), all to a slick tune in the background. Maybe we’ll call this segment, “Weeee, so fly.”
But let’s dive right into it… Should you use JAVA for back end web app development?
A very specific question deserves a very specific answer: “At the end of the day you have to always judge your technology stacks based on both technical implications of the choice and market implications.”
Technology implications: Do you have experience with the language you’re using? Are you comfortable as programmer? “It depends how nerdy you are, if you are very comfortable writing code, you’re very comfortable as a developer and you’ve done web apps before, yeah, JAVA, could be a good choice, but you gotta consider more than just the technical aspects of the language…”
In terms of market implications: “…are there jobs there? Is there a long road ahead for that particular technology stack?” Now, there are plenty of jobs in JAVA but they tend to be in or with larger businesses/ organizations. Even with smaller businesses or freelance work “JAVA would not be my first, second, or third choice…”.
Check out the video for a super detailed answer to this question and the more broad lesson that we’re trying to teach: What can you do Vs. what will the market pay you for. Also, did you find our RUBY diss(es)? Oh, yeah, there might be more than one! Enjoy!
Full transparency: We have a book and we do videos, so we know what we’re talking about having been on both sides of the fence… And of course, our answer is (unsurprisingly) both-ish; kinda like a two pronged attack…
Books are great for referencing material, for example, you need to look something up, you find the page and boom: there it is! As opposed to sometimes having to watch a 15-20 minute video that has great material but it’s buried deep in the vid. You might have to start jumping around on the time bar to find it or it won’t be covered til minute 8 or the 15 minutes, which can be pretty frustrating when time is a factor.
Video on the other hand is great for “…engaging with the material you just learned.” If you’ve been following us for awhile, you know we have online courses that are tailor-made to helping you learn and then put to practice (through questions, exercises, etc.) the things you just learned. While with a book the learning tends to be more passive and in the case of retention, it’s hard to put it down sometimes and start practicing what you just read…
Now we’re not knocking anyone’s learning style, if you can retain and use information you’ve just read in a book, that’s great! We’re just trying to lay out what we think is the best of both worlds and will yield the best results vs. effort. Check out the vid where we go into MAJOR detail. And check out our links at the bottom to our kickass courses: it’s super effective! Enjoy!
Apple laptops have been the go-to computers for creative types, developers, web designers and hipsters. But recently some big name nerds are switching to Windows 10!
Depending on how old you are, there are certain things that come to mind when you hear the word: WINDOWS[insert year here]. For some of us, it’s the gods-forsaken opening riff to a song that will swirl around in your head for the rest of the day (minimum), evoking images of aging rock stars strutting up and down a stage like semi desiccated poultry, making you both laugh and curse yourself at the same time, then going back to your iPhone [insert letter-number combination] and living your life, secure in the knowledge that you are using the popular tech… But wait my friend, Apple’s door might be slowly closing, and the tech gods may be opening a…Window? <sorry, I had to…>
There is a slow (but steadily growing) movement back to Windows for a number of reasons but here are 3 main ones:
1) The gear: Say what you want about Apple’s gear, it ain’t cheap. Laptops, phones, etc. are pricey. Could be because of the cutting edge tech, could be because Apple is (arguably) the top of the food chain and they get to set the price.
2) Out of touch or trail-blazing: Recently Apple has come under fire for omitting certain hardware from their gear. Be it only USB-C ports in place of the previous USB and SD card ports, super thin (and fragile) keyboards or just getting rid of audio/headphone jacks, you could say that Apple is paving the way for new innovations… However, if you’re a content creator that needs all the ports for up/downloading to/from other devices, you could also say the Apple is giving you the finger and forcing you to buy all their new stuff or be left out in the cold.
3) They don’t play nice: Apple gear isn’t known to work well with third party peripherals, software or hardware. You know the story, you buy a new iPhone and guess what, your third party car charger is suddenly incompatible and won’t charge your phone.
“The big problem I see with Apple is they’re starting to favor form over function…to me that’s a big mistake…”
Now let’s be honest, Windows is no angel, even though it’s creator looks and dresses like a pastor from some sleepy English village, but Microsoft has been getting back in touch with what consumers want; mainly a streamlined, accessible and simple to use interface that can be customized (with 3rd party apps) to the comfort of the user. Not to mention the one-two punch of almost all the ports you need (USB, SD, etc.) and a considerably lower price tag.
Now, we’re not saying that Apple is going the way of the dodo bird. If anything they’ll probably bounce back in some amazing way with next gen tech that blows us all away. We’re just reporting on an interesting trend…
Check out the video for a waaayyy more in depth dive into the subject. Start me up! …that’s gonna be in my head all day now… Enjoy!
How to get Clients to Produce Content for their Websites?
Clients, man… Can’t live with ’em, can’t make a living without them, amirite?
On your travels out there as a freelancer, you’re going to come across times when clients aren’t are late with, or aren’t delivering the content you need to work with. Maybe you find yourself doing what should be their responsibility or job, just to move things along so you can get to completing YOUR job on time. What can we do?
First off -SHAMELESS PLUG- we tackle this in our “Freelancer Course”; links at the bottom.
Second, essentially, you’re going to need to specify a lot this in your contract. Yeah, I know it’s more work for you to write this out, but it’ll save you so much grief in the long run. For example, something like ‘after the second draft has received approval, I will then need pictures, written content, etc. going forward’ if the content is to be delivered in whatever time you specified (ex: 30 days), work will be halted until ‘content’ has been received, etc.
Third, “gentle reminders” and emails. Clients sometimes forget things, they’ve got stuff going on too… so you email them with a “gentle reminder” (and seriously, be gentle. Use phrases like “at your leisure”, “when you have a second”, etc.), letting them know that you need ‘X’ material to continue. Also, we really do recommend you email them. That way there is a time-stamped copy of the request so they cannot come to you later saying that you were late on the project or anything else. You simply (and calmly) call up the email and show them that you attempted to get the material…
Lastly, unfortunately, this is “par for the course”, meaning that it happens and it’s totally normal if not expected. Have some other projects going on so that when one stalls, you simply refocus your effort the next. Now, fair warning: This does involve time management and juggling, so don’t bite off more than you can chew, especially if more than one of these projects has the capability to suddenly demand all of your attention at the same time…
Check out the video where we into more detail and check out our “freelancer course” link at the bottom so you can benefit from our mistakes experiences in the past, when dealing with client expectations. At the end of the day, it’s best that everyone knows where they stand and what expected of them. Enjoy!
Another shocking discovery from the Department of Urban Humanity or “DUH”… Communication skills are a big deal for developers. I know, I know; save yourself the twitter rant but believe it or not it does bare repeating.
Look, we understand, ten or 15 years ago developers were (for lack of a better term), alone in the business world. They were largely left alone to their own devices mostly because businesses didn’t necessarily know or understand what they did…only that they needed their skills if the wanted “an online presence.” And who could developers talk to about their projects, their frustrations and victories? Other developers… So you can see why, historically, some devs might not be in a very “social” mood…
However, unless you’ve been under a rock which was then covered in concrete, lowered into well and then sealed with more concrete, you’d know that “the world went and got itself in a big damn hurry…”(that’s a quote from ‘the shawshank redemption’, which you probably haven’t seen if you were under the aforementioned rock…you should check it out, great film.).
But yeah, devs aren’t the rare birds they once were and neither is their work the stuff of wizardry. Most people/companies know what they want and how to <relatively> get it, or have access to a host of devs who can get it for them… So what’s gonna set you apart? Communication! Your sparkling wit, easy demeanor, and sly and inviting grin as you effortlessly deliver what the client wants and make the necessary changes right in front of them assuring them that not only are you knowledgeable, but so easy to get along with! They’re so lucky they found you and look forward to working with you on all their future projects!
Check out the vid, where we give you personal experiences of these situations and illuminate on the skill on communication. I mean, sure there might be lots of devs who can do what you do…but can they deliver it, like YOU deliver it? Enjoy!
PS- stick around to the end to see footage of the minute before the lich lords attacked and made us their unwilling thralls…
Many developers aspire to create their own companies and become entrepreneurs. What are the most important things that people should pay attention to?
Perhaps a side project of yours is about to receive some funding? Or maybe you’re just tired of working for someone else, you have this great idea and want to see it through… No matter the reason, you’re going from being a developer to an entrepreneur. Great! Now what? Well, I’m not gonna lie to you, there’s a lot of pitfalls out there, but if you can cut through the crap (that’s right I said it), and stay focused on your goals, you might just have a chance…
Figure out where you shine: “Figure out where your talents lie as an entrepreneur and then either hire in…hire people who do the job you cannot do…you have to realize where you suck…the biggest mistake people make is they assume they can do everything better than everybody else: that’s silly. You won’t be able to grow your business if you try and do every job out there.”
Be very careful with your money: “The lifeblood of any business is cash; how much cash you have. As long as you cash in the bank (and not your own cash -the company’s cash – don’t put all your money into it and wind up bankrupt and destitute in three years), as long as the company has cash, you’re in business.”
Be ready to pivot: “You might have to change your business model/change your product depending on what the market tells you; you have to be responsive to the market. So get ready to put out your idea and then you might have to shift and change accordingly…”
There’s so much more to get into and we do touch on it. Also, shameless plug: we offer a business course called “The Complete Entrepreneur”,(links below) and it’s worth it but you do you. Start off by watching this video and let’s take it from there. Enjoy!
PS- stay to the end of the video to watch me be an Entre…plant…eur. Sorry.