Can you still make money as a freelance web designer in 2019-2020?
No clever title today, young devs… We received an email that had so many good, topical questions that we decided we didn’t have time to get ‘cute’ and just wanted to dive right in…
Is freelancing web design still viable in 2019-2020? -More than ever. There is an unprecedented amount of freelancers in North America and the world. “I’m not talking about web programming; just general purpose autonomous people working on their own businesses, whether it be in the tech space or outside of the tech space: this is the trend. …It has jumped quite a bit in the last 10 years and continues to accelerate. All these independent contractors and small business owners if they don’t already have a website, they’re going to need websites.”
Re: Freelancing in AI/Machine Learning: This is big but still in the early stages, I don’t see there being too many freelance jobs in that space -probably lots of work working for people full time- but in terms of AI/machine learning, I don’t see it as a freelancer thing yet. It’s not to say that it won’t be a ‘thing’, it’s just to say that it might take longer for people to come around to it. Like in the way that most companies didn’t even know what a website was in ’95 and now [pretty much] every company has one…
Another thing we’d like to add on the viability of being a freelancer in 2019/20, is “there was a period 4 or 5 years ago (give of take) where people were looking at websites as being less important -better to build your social media presence (like on Facebook or something)- but things have changed, we’ve seen how FB can take people down -they ultimately control your presence on their platform- so smart business owners are starting to realize it’s much better to have your own website, your own space on the web and then have a ‘satellite’ FB presence (Instagram, YouTube, etc…).” Meaning there will be a continued rise in the need for web development professionals (web design, etc).
So there you have it. Now the VLOG goes into a much deeper dive and the answers are much more robust (I mean how much can you really read here in the five minutes you have to drink your coffee while you’re supposed to be working… :] ), you should really check it out. And if it turns out you have 10 minutes instead of 5 for slacking off, check out our courses (especially ‘WEB DEVELOPMENT‘ ) which are not only built from the ground up, but also take advantage of almost 3 decades in the industry! -Enjoy!
Will AI replace software developers in a short time?
For those of you keeping score at home we actually dove into this a year ago, but since a newly published Forbes article has pointed out some advancements in AI learning, we’d like to comment on the, ‘next step towards Skynet’.
So in the interest of calming your fears, we’re going to heighten them -only for a little while, I promise! But essentially, “… AI has really accelerated quite a bit over the last ten years, and they’re saying it’s about to go into a hyper-accelerated wave…”. There are very understandable reasons for this: 1- I Got the Power!: From a purely material stance, specialized AI chip sets have greatly increased their computing power. 2- We’re Feeding the Beast: For AI to work, it needs data, “…so the nerds came up with these things called data lakes -where all the data is pooled- so you can throw your AI at it and the AI can learn. The more data, the better the data -the better the data is segmented- , the better your AI will operate.” 3- Smarter, Faster: The AI algorithms are just getting better.
The latest application of AI has been the ‘Tab9‘ project wherein, “…a couple of guys basically took their AI, pointed it at 2 million github files and now they have a plugin…and the AI can do code completion much more effectively than traditional code completion”. But don’t start stocking up on canned food and making plans to reinforce your basement just yet, because now that we’ve whipped you into a frothing mass of fear and foreboding, we’re going to calmly bring you back down to the serene, put together, and well mannered developer you are…
The Road is Long… We’re not going to lie to you; AI is a growing technology and everyday new applications are being found. But that doesn’t mean that AI will be taking your job anytime soon. “…they’re not replacing developers, they’re [AI] just assisting developers in [their] process.” However, we can’t say with great certainty that everyone else’s job is safe; “…long before AI replaces software development, it’s going to replace truckers, replace accountants, many legal jobs, many medical jobs -you get the idea… .” But just in case you’re not a programmer and you’re reading this blog and feeling a little ‘tight’ in the chest, let us offer you an olive branch; “…before it gets to developers, AI will have replaced huge parts of industry, and as a result of that, …the entire infrastructure of society will have to be modified accordingly -so I wouldn’t worry about it because there’ll be warning sign years in advance before developers will be taken out by AI.”
The VLOG goes into way more detail and some more sweet scenery of the MTL skyline. Plus, we’ve teamed up with InMotion hosting for a really amazing offer where they pay for you to take our courses and learn how to become a web developer. Link below. -Enjoy!
Another fatality in the war of ‘generalized’ vs. ‘specialized’?
A ZDnet article claims that the R programming language is on the decline, even in the face of a boom in statistical jobs, thanks in large part to devs and programmers using Python as the go-to language. We spoke to Kevin, one of our freelance developers and friendly pirate for confirmation and his reply was, “…yes, that is correct.” – Kevin is a consummate professional and doesn’t like to mix his freelance work with his other ventures in privateering and high-seas chicanery (long walk to get to that joke, but I get paid by the hour…).
Why should this not be surprising? (the R language thing, not the fact we have a pirate working for us). We would imagine, “that the people who love the R programming language will argue (and perhaps quite rightly), that R is better than Python in certain areas.” Well, we’ve said it in past articles and we’ll say it again here, “Open technologies/open languages that have more flexibility for you; easier to work with, they typically win out even over more ‘performante’ technology or languages.”
The VLOG is short but sweet and touches on the importance of the previous statement/lesson. Check it out and while you’re at it, look into our Python course that we offer in the links down below. In the words of Kevin, “Yarrr, there be no regrets here, because regrets are for the dead…”. Good guy, that Kevin…went to his wedding 2 months ago: amazing venue… -Enjoy!
What if AI’s Impact on Society is actually exaggerated?
We think no matter what side of the fence you’re on when it comes to AI, we can agree that it’s a game-changing technology. Whether you embrace it as the new way that humans will live longer, faster and easier lives, or you distrust the ‘big brother’ implementations or even fear the ‘terminator’ films idea of how mankind is practically wiped off the planet by the fictitious ‘skynet’ AI, we’re here to tell you that, “…the rate at which it will change the game/change your society is greatly exaggerated.”
“What you’re going to see is AI machine learning is going to be used to enhance processes, not replace processes.” For example, take self-driving cars: the literature is that they are almost 95% fully automated but the last 5% is super tricky, there’s a lot of nuance and human -in the field/happening right now/this is bananas- complexity to contend with. “…what they have done they’ve used AI machine learning to enhance the driving experience; so lane warning detection that slows you down or stops if it sees something in front of it, etc, etc.”
The VLOG goes into way more detail and gives us an overview of what we can actually expect from AI in the years to come. “Our brains are designed to over-exaggerate fears, our brains are designed to over-exaggerate risk. Why? think about it in an evolutionary way: if you’re a cave-person running through the jungle and you hear rustling, you’re immediately going into hyper-alert [because] if that’s a predator, …you’re toast”. Unless an AI knew you were obsessing over this and sent you this VLOG to lull you into a false sense of security…? -Enjoy!
Netflix uses Python in the ways that Python is commonly used. It’s a good way to look at common Python applications.
Whether you’re waiting for Disney or WB to roll out their new streaming site, you can’t deny that Netflix is a giant in the streaming game – and depending on how every Media corporation now having a streaming media initiative that we’ll have to pay for goes – the catalyst/scapegoat for how this will all play out…
But we’re here to talk about PYTHON and specifically how NETFLIX use it in their day to day. Now, this is somewhat connected to a VLOG we covered recently and if you need citations, here’s the original article, but, “Netflix as you might imagine being a pretty big company with 140 million users they have all kinds of systems writing, and so what they do is they use PYTHON to reinforce the security of the systems…to analyze alerts and data reports coming off the systems; like activity reports and so forth. They leverage PYTHON’s AI capability and machine learning capability to do things like analyze movies, and to optimize the streaming, and to pull out images as an example to display thumbnails to people, etc, etc.” It’s really pretty interesting and amazing that PYTHON is being used in this way, because we definitely don’t think about it when we’re binge watching NARCOS, GLOW, or any other guilty little pleasures we might be ashamed to admit…
Get ready for a meaty and technical VLOG filled with, but not limited to the PYTHON libraries used, how Amazon’s servers are involved, and even security. It’s illuminating, if not a little dizzying to think that something we almost take for granted has sooo many moving parts (well, not moving parts, but you know what I mean)… -Enjoy!
The belief that the cutting edge tech must be the tech you use in your projects.
You may have heard your dad or your grandpa say something pretty close to this while grumbling about cars, phones or television sets; and that’s ‘shiny and new isn’t always better’. “As beginners you hear about this new technology is so great, that new technology is so great, etc, etc, and you can get overwhelmed and caught up with all this. …It’s chasing the illusion of perfection.”
And no demographic is more vulnerable to this illusion than young developers. For ease (and fun) let’s refer to this demographic as “noob” developers. “…[Noob] developers will chase perfection in their application development looking for ‘the better language’, or ‘the better framework’.” No only is this a waste of precious time but also a brisk jaunt into the realm of madness. “Don’t get me wrong, there are frameworks that are more ‘mature’ [or] ‘better’ than other frameworks given the application that you want to build. [For example]…If you’re building an AI based system, you’re not gonna wanna do that with PHP…you could…people have done machine learning with PHP – I wouldn’t do it – no, no you do PYTHON because that’s where all the action is, that’s where the market share is: that’s where it’s ‘mature’. …[But] you’ll find that any of the prominent frameworks and languages out there today…they’re going to produce good work…whether the app is good or not is up to you.”
Break your foot off on this VLOG for a very in-depth (and tangent-filled) dive into the “new tech trap” and remember, “in general all these frameworks and languages have pros and cons and everything looks greener on the other side of the fence until you get there.” -Enjoy.
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…
A little while back I talked about Ai and job prospects. I mistakenly said in that video, that you were likely going to be working for large organizations if you were interested in Ai work. As it turns out, I was wrong about that one!
In fact, Ai jobs can be found in small businesses too. I actually personally know two companies who are doing it!
One of my former employees and a mentee of mine, went off and cofounded an educational startup that is working hard to integrate Ai into their product. I can’t get into the details because they wouldn’t be too happy if I spilled the beans, but needless to say, it is some interesting stuff!
The other company that is leveraging Ai, is in a completely different field and they are much more advanced in their project. About 90% of the way there, already the app’s Ai implementation is impressive.
… My buddy was showing me demos that were pretty cool.