Documentation is super important in development. How important, you ask..?
[Throw head back and laugh charmingly & disarmingly – then suddenly and intensely] …But seriously it is.
While it’s not the norm, it is becoming more common that programmers don’t leave proper documentation, be it self describing code, comments (little notes that you leave to yourself in your code) or more formal documentation (ex: what type of database structure did you choose and why?).
Granted, sometimes you’re doing something fairly straightforward, like a simple authentication object; it’s not really necessary. But for other projects, you’re only really hurting yourself. When you come back in 3 months or 6 months and you don’t recognize the thought process behind the choices you made, you’re going to double or triple your workload.
Also, it’s just a good professional courtesy from one coder to another. “The worst thing for coders is to have to go into a code base where there’s no documentation, you have no idea what the developers were thinking at the time, and it’s very hard to patch, expand, bug repair; extend a code base where you don’t know the reasoning behind the basic architectural decisions.” Take the time and make everyone’s job much easier and enjoyable…especially yours.
A Code of Conduct about Coding and a play on words for sure!
It seems every profession, association or club has their own “code” of operation. A set of rules or procedures that govern how members dress, interact and methodically complete a project or task. Well guess what? We have one too. And ours is Waaayyy better because it’s a code…about coding (if you can’t do anything with that, maybe you’re just dead inside…).
The Master Developer’s Code
A set of 5 lessons that have been amassed over 20+ years as a programmer. Granted some of the lessons here can sound pretty obvious if you think about it, we rarely do in fact. Sometimes we get so caught up in wanting to be the best, wanting to WOW, that we can end up making a mountain out of a molehill or worse; not listening to client needs. After this video, I recommend checking out our “Keeping it Simple” article if you haven’t already. It’s worth it.
These days we have many options when it comes to building websites, but which is the best way to build in 2018?
Let’s talk websites and the building thereof… So, you’re a small business owner or an aspiring website creator? Maybe you’re just interested in what goes into building a website. Well, there are many options and each has their PROs & CONs:
HTML & CSS The traditional way to do web design coding, these would be the two “languages” you’d have to learn and they can (theoretically) build any type of website. “There is literally no limitations, in terms of what you could build if you got into the nuts & bolts: the basics of building a website.” However, the downside is that you’re going to have to learn it; that is to say time investment, theory, practice; all the stuff that goes into learning a skill. But that being said, you know how to program!
Web Design Programs These can range from programs where you have to know a little bit of code (Dreamweaver, Brackets, etc.) to content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, down to easy site builders like WIX, for example. All are very different approaches (which we will touch on in the video) and vary in the amount of control you will likely have…
The key word here is control. As we go from straight up coding down the line, we lose flexibility and versatility; it goes from creating the very thing you see in your mind’s eye, to “what you see is what you get” on the building sites. And of course, that’s fine too. There’s nothing wrong or lazy with building a “wham-bam” website if that’s what fills your needs, but check out our video and you might get an idea of how to better fill those needs. And check out the links at the bottom if you’re curious about the aforementioned web design languages. Mastering the code of website creation does have it’s perks…
Things have changed much since the late 1990’s, and modern SEO is much different. In fact, it has much more to do with web marketing.
SEO – For many businesses (and the departments they employ), it’s a three letter word of DOOM!! SEO or Search Engine Optimization has been a thorn in the side of both small and huge business owners, confounding all but the most “gifted” of programmers and webite DIYers. Originally, SEO was “going into code and fixing it up so that it was more search engine friendly”. “…You essentially had to add a whole bunch of attributes to make it readable by the search engines”, so that your website/business would be at the top of the search, traffic gets directed there and you make the sale, get the views/the ad revenue, etc…
Much has changed…
Without angering too many people, I think it’s safe to say that the search engine giant of today (and probably the last 15 years…) is Google. And part of what makes google’s search engine so thorough is it’s ability to effectively “read” sites. So code has taken a backseat to content (content is king, you’ll hear that here and in a lot of videos, both past and present). Also, marketing, social media and the ability to make these things work synergistically with each other further enhances the efficacy of the infamous SEO. Our video down below explains it best (and all while holding/gesturing/not spilling a hot coffee no less 😉 ).
Do Web Developers need to Promise Web Sales for Clients?
So you’ve got a client; maybe they’re your first, so you really want to do a good job and WOW them. Maybe they’re not but you’re a professional and always putting your best foot forward. But these clients are asking/demanding something that you’ve never really had to deal with before. They want you to prove the efficacy of your work. They want a tangible return on investment. Maybe you want this job so bad that you decide offer a guarantee that few others in your field can offer…
Can you/should you offer web sales?
Short answer: No. Why would you? That’s not really your job. General rule of thumb: “If you have to convince a business that a website is good for their business, then you probably should move on to another business.” “It’s like convincing a business that having a telephone is going to be good for business, so that the client can call them”. In short it a little crazy, bordering on unreasonable and not you responsibility.
On The Other Hand…
If you’re positive you can deliver on this promise (maybe you’ve even negotiated a tidy 25% of the sales generated from the website on top of your fee), then provided things go smoothly, Cha-Ching! But, would you be about to watch this video if you were 100% sure things were going to go smoothly? All sorts of problems can arise from you not being an expert in the client’s; not knowing what drives sales or their model, to your client booting you and you having no recourse, just to name a few…
We’re gonna look at some of the challenges facing web sales for clients and throw a few tips and strategies your way. And just in case you’re feeling a little anxious by all of this, stick around to the end of the vid where we’ve got a nice little view and a moment of serenity to keep things in perspective. For some of you already in the middle of a bad client web sales drama, take a breather.
Are you being original or just gumming up the works?
A simple -if not a little insulting- acronym. How many times have we come across a co-worker, a manager, or even a boss drooping the old “kiss bomb”. Keep it simple, stupid… easier said than done? Sometimes, YES: absolutely. But other times, when we take a step back and look at the whole picture (maybe even take our egos out of the equation), we come to realize that simplicity can be clean, elegant and best of all easy.
Huge messes of code are a symptom of one or more of the following:
1. bad developers
2. overly complex frameworks
3. coders purposely hiding code …. by making it insanely complex.
At the risk of sounding old, “It’s not cool to write complex cryptic code that nobody can understand. Simple code is the best code”…ya young punks! And really you’re only hurting yourselves… What’s gonna happen when you have to go in 6, 8, 10 months down the road for updates and you have no idea what’s going on?
The pros keep the their work simple and clean where they can and not only do they look good, competent and in control; it saves them time. So get out there make life simple for yourself.
Applies to web design and just about any type of programming too!
A HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO ALL!!
Let’s start off with a scary premise… You’re starting a project or maybe you’re knee deep in the middle of one and you just feel stuck, or trapped. You’ve become mired in details and trying to be a programming hero, and you feel like you’re going in all directions at once! You need a better way to manage your workflow, young padawan…
In this video we lay out 5 steps to speed up your workflow whether a web designer or a programmer you be! Without too many spoilers, I’ll give you a little taste of what I’m talking about with tip number 4: Get the UI in front of the client ASAP. You’d be surprised (or maybe you wouldn’t…) how many programmers and designers want to have this almost completed, work of DiVincian (yes that’s a word now) art to show the client. Nope, “You can mock all this up in HTML and you get the feedback from your client as quickly as possible.” Wouldn’t it suck to build something up and then have to change “…core behavior in your application because the client didn’t quite know what they wanted until they saw it?” Check out this video and free up some more time, money, and sanity for yourself.
There’s a lot of hype surrounding blockchain. But before you start signing up for blockchain 101 consider this…
Cryptocurrency. Bitcoin. Blockchain… These words have garnered their fair share of both esteem and infamy. But are we really talking about when we use these words? What’s the correlation and (let’s be honest with ourselves), how can we use it to make money?!
Well, let’s take Blockchain. Essentially it’s just a database, albeit an ingenious and very popular one right now, that regularly updates -and continually reconciles- all information stored on it (files, spreadsheets, etc.) in real time (for lack of a better word). Two users (or more likely two million users) can be messing around – editing and changing information at the same time- with no loss or corruption of data. Which makes it ideal for keeping track of and implementing Cryptocurrencies like BitCoin.
And just like any new and interesting thing on the market that can be implemented in ways that potentially save or make millions of dollars , there are classes and courses sprouting up everywhere offering education and certification in Blockchain – makes sense right? Should you drop everything and learn Blockchain? Not necessarily…
To be clear, we are not taking anything away from Blockchain, it is an amazing database that has and will have some incredible applications. We just think you should consider all your options. And as for cryptocurrencies like BitCoin, we have some insight and friendly advice into that too. But that’s another post… in fact, this one…right here…
Chasing Tech Trends and Cryptocurrency Fraudsters.
You’ve heard the stories, no doubt; a friend of a friend, or maybe even your cousin (yeah, that one…) bought Bitcoin for pennies a couple of years ago and now they’re rich…like stupid rich… Then you turn on the TV and you see a bunch of twenty-somethings who took all the money, in what little savings they had, and just threw it at the bitcoin machine and BAM! Millionaires. Financial Companies on TV, newspapers or even YOUTUBE channels are recommending anywhere from a gentle toe-dipping to a full on swan-dive into the Crypto-Ocean…the CryptOcean? Or maybe riding the Cryto…CURRENT…cy? Okay, THAT was the last one, for real!
Of course, we all want to make money. We all want to be that person who had the insight, the investment know-how, that “gut-feeling” that paid off big time in the face of all the doubters and nay-sayers! Unfortunately, there are others out there that are literally “banking” on just that. In this video we want to touch on the possible pitfalls of chasing trends and the fraudsters that are waiting to take advantage of those who “get caught up in the nerd hype”.
Now just a quick heads up, we are not putting down cryptocurrencies, Cryptoinvestments or Blockchain, they are amazing databases, decentralized banking opportunities, etc… We just want to give you a little advice from our perspective. And it’s only a perspective, legally speaking, of course… We do not mean to give you financial advise or investment advice, let’s leave that to more qualified people, shall we?
AI will eventually replace most jobs. But how soon will it replace programmers?
Whether we love or hate our job, we need it for financial support (also, sometimes as a reason to not attend our buddy’s improv show). And in this brave new world all of us have thought at one point or another, what will happen to me if/when automation takes my job? There’s no real easy answer as technology is rapidly evolving, but there are some things we should understand about AI to help us going forward…
“The way to look at AI, is to consider that pattern recognition is easiest for AI. [Therefore] Any jobs that are largely based on finding patterns will be the first to go.”
But how safe are programmers? One would think the very nature of their work would make it ripe for automation… you’d be surprised! In this video we pump the brakes on “Skynet”, and look into how automation will most likely be used in the workplace. No one can argue that the future is upon us, but we believe it’s a little more “human” than you think…