There is no better teacher of software development than the long term experience of building and refining a commercial app used by countless users.
As we get older we have friends who get married and have children. Sometimes while hanging out, maybe while having drinks or dinner, you might ask them how parenthood is going or (heavens forbid), you let it slip that you can’t wait to have children yourself, that it would be ‘fun’… Then you get to watch their brows furrow and the mood get very somber (did the lights suddenly dim in here? Did it get colder?!), and with a gaze that seems to penetrate your very soul they say in a foreboding voice, ‘YOU.HAVE.NO.IDEA.’. That somehow the scope and challenge of raising children is completely out your experience and in the abstract and ethereal, and one can never hope to grasp it until they are waist deep in it… Wow, that got ranty real fast…
Well, we’re going to make a statement that might put us in the same category as those pretentious parents but unlike those parents, we do it with love and encouragement…but we will dim the lights for dramatic effect… “You don’t really know app development until you’ve developed an app, taken it to market, gotten feedback, refactored/refined, and then made money with that app, or at least been part of a team that’s gone through that process where you’ve seen the app go from inception to actual functional use with the end user.” I know, for some of you ‘thems fightin’ words‘, but what we mean is that version 1 of your app, is not going to be the end – far from it in fact. A lot of (young) developers [devs] coming up are under the assumption that if they write the ‘perfect’ code, that the app will be perfect and there will be no need for a version 2, 3 or even 4. “…You have to expect that when you become a professional developer, that you’re going to go through many iterations…”. There is a purely academic idea that has been making the rounds lately in articles and even some YouTube videos about the “purity of code” or “purity of implementation”, and when you’re making commercial software, it’s just not the case.
The VLOG goes into waaaaayyyyy more robust detail, stemming from over 3 decades of experience in the business (which is like 269 years in young dev time), but what we really want you to know is, with regards to your app: (A) – Don’t worry about making mistakes (B) – Don’t expect that your first iteration of your code and your software is going to be perfect –it will never be perfect. so “…get your app out quickly (within reason, of course), don’t waste your time with perfect implementation.” Also, bonus material: We make fun of RUBY a lot. But at the end of the Vlog is a sort of postmortem theorizing -from a reliable source- why RUBY lost out on a huge share of the market. Plus, some sweet aerial scenery of MTL. -Enjoy!
We make fun of Ruby a lot here: 1. because it’s fun and 2. … …okay, it’s just fun really, but a question did come up recently from an individual who was offered a job working with Ruby on Rails. They come from a PHP – Laravel background and while they don’t know how to use Ruby, per se, their potential employer also offered to pay them while they learn it. So the question was do they take the job knowing that the use of Ruby on Rails has diminished or should they look for something else?
Now Ruby aside, we’d like to answer this question in general terms if you ever find yourself in a situation like this and you’re on the fence… “If you don’t have other work and the job is high paying, why not? …A language or framework does not define you as a programmer… you [just] happen to be using those tools at that particular time”. Now, specifically regarding Ruby jobs: “…it’s not gonna disappear over night and in fact we’ll probably see Ruby development for the next five years, at least, so …you do that for one year, two years, 3 years; what have you…”
Another question we’ve been getting recently is if Java is dead? With Google making the switch to Kotlin for app development and Oracle charging for Java licensing, what will be happening to Java jobs? “Does that mean the whole Java-Android development is going to collapse overnight? Probably not: it won’t, it’ll probably take a couple of years.” That being said, “if you’re writing code for your android app using Java, you’ll be able to transition into Kotlin very, very quickly.”
Check out the VLOG for a more sensible and detailed answers to these questions, and remember, “you cannot lose learning any programming language.” -Enjoy!
The tech giant will still support Java but Kotlin is king for Android development.
A quick snippet to be sure, but Google has announced that when it comes to Android development, going forward it will use Kotlin. There will still be support for Java, “…but in terms of documentation, new libraries and so fourth…they said, ‘that’s it! Kotlin is our beast’.”
Without sounding like a broken record (probably a dated reference…), this does go back to what we were saying about a language that is easy to write in, generally gets more use/support and ends up winning out over more verbose/heavy languages. “Kotlin is an easier language to write in, it’s far more productive so…if you are looking for native Android development (and that I think is going to diminish over time…), …then I would lean towards Kotlin.”
The VLOG goes onto mention other casualties in the “simplicity wars” of languages and frameworks, like Apple’s ‘objective C’ being replaced by Swift. It’s worth a look just for the nostalgia factor alone. -Enjoy!
…That’s ‘Positive Mental Attitude’ for ‘Progressive Web Apps’…
We keep on getting requests to cover PWA/RWD’s and because we’re not DJs or that small band at the back of the bar that’s playing ‘only originals’, we’re taking those requests…and 5-6-7-8…
So a PWA is a progressive web app and an RWD is a responsive web design. How are the two related? Well first off, “RWD is basically writing your HTML5 and your CSS code so that the layout of the site will flex and change depending on the size of the screen of the web browser that is visiting your site. So if you have a smartphone or a 75 inch flat panel TV, a properly coded responsive website or web app will look just fine.” So the idea being that fonts, images, layout, etc. will change size depending on the size of the screen you’re viewing them on. As you can imagine, with the way consume data and media, it was a pretty big deal.
Now the VLOG will go into really good detail weighing the pros and cons of PWA or native (and believe me there are way more pros), but as a dev or a freelancer you should always be thinking about where businesses are coming from. Most of the time they’re not interested in the “nerd” implications of the languages, frameworks, etc. that you use, they just want to get up and running fast and get the product or service out there and PWA is your best bet. -ENJOY
What kind of highly complex and crazy work will you be doing? The answer may surprise you…
So what is the most common web developer job that is going to be out there in 2019? Are you gonna be building the next FACEBOOK from NODEjs or the next WordPress.com with PHP? The short answer is…maybe, but probably not…
“The most likely situation is you’re going to be working with small to medium sized businesses. Web developers will be building wordpress-based sites with custom mini apps, perhaps. You might be modifying shopify sites and deploying those for people.” Not as glamorous as you thought, is it? Well, it’s the truth…
Think of your standard web developer “…like a GP in the medical [professional]. You got medical doctors that are general practitioners, they don’t specialize in brain surgery, which would be kind of the equivalent of a NODEjs master or a PHP-Laravel master. The most common doctor out there is the GP (general practitioner): someone who takes care of most people’s medical needs. That is what a web professional is, you might do a Paypal integration, another day you might do a WordPress theme customizer…this is where a lot of the professional web-based jobs are gonna be.”
Don’t get us wrong, there’ going to be plenty of work building highly complex apps from scratch, “… but at the end of the day for every advanced app that’s built with NODEjs, there’s going to be five hundred, maybe thousands of jobs where you’re going to modify and build up a WordPress-based site, or work on a Shopify site for somebody.”
The VLOG really does this subject justice, including an answer to the common question of money. Specifically why does the NODEjs master make as much as the common web developer who’s just modifying Shopify or WordPress, etc. and it’s a good answer. -Enjoy!
Some criteria to consider when selecting a programming language to learn…
We get this question all the time in some form or another; “I really want to be a developer, but what language (programming) should I learn?” Well, let’s jump into it:
1- Consider the Job: The type of coding or kind of programming you want to do. For example do you need to do/want to build an iOS or android app? Web for small businesses? Etc… These decisions will play a role in what language you choose. 2- Consider the Ecosystem around the Language: You don’t necessarily want to jump into a technology that was not yet well enough established. Generally speaking if there’s no support/community for that framework/language, it might not progress or evolve with the “times”… 3- Consider the Job Opportunities Around the Language: Kinda relates to #2, if there’s not a lot of cross-platform support or community base, then generally speaking, you’re going to have a hard time finding a job with a more obscure language… Sometimes the “niche” market pays off but those opportunities are few and far between. 4- Consider the Market Forces: Competition can play a big role in choosing a language. How many other devs will you be competing against? What’s their experience? What is the Language that the majority of the market uses? All these things should at least be considered when you’re choosing a language.
Now that we’ve wound you up tight with anxiety and nervousness for choosing the right language (or failing miserably right out of the gate), let us offer you calming and relaxing idea to soothe you mind… It doesn’t really matter what language you pick… “Most of the modern languages share 80-90% (depending on language) of the same principles and constructs. The syntax or code that you write may be different, but at the end of the day…it’s the underlying architecture that makes the language…” so don’t worry about nailing your choice right outta the gate.
Check out the vlog for a more in depth explanation of how to go about choosing a language. And when in doubt, choose an open platform over a closed one; they tend to win out in the end. Enjoy.
I often laugh when I think to myself that even in a digital world, we still need a place to put all our stuff. Whether it be .txt files, videos, or pics, as long as we have a place to put stuff, we can let our digital hoarder run free!
But what’s the best option for “backin’ dat work up?” Well, for those of us who still remember the days of totally NOT downloading illegal mp3s, there were backup drives that you could buy and that took up physical space. They ranged in storage size, price and quality but they did the trick…until that is, they were lost, destroyed, or even (dun, dun, DUHN!!) corrupted.
So, this should come as no surprise: we recommend “cloud storage” for a few reasons: 1- It’s Automatic: “if you have to manually backup your backup, it’s not a good backup.” There’s going to come a time when you forget to backup and that’s when files will be lost or corrupted. Automatic is nice and easy and most times, seamless. 2- Affordable: If you’re coding, generally speaking your work isn’t going to take up much space and even if it does, the price of a 2 terabyte (TB) hardrive (that you will have to replace in 5-10 years, if it hasn’t blown out already) is wayyyyy more than a cloud service that costs you 10-15$ a year for that kind of space. I mean most cloud storage services offered are free as long as you keep them under a certain amount of gig (GB)… 3- Peace of Mind: “…the chance that Apple’s cloud drive goes or that Google’s cloud drive goes, are a billion to one.” And yes, we have heard of celebrity’s cloud drives being “hacked”, but some major fail-safes would have to be breached for that to happen and security is already pretty tight and getting tighter everyday. Also, for the average person who’s backing up their work, we’re pretty sure you have much less to worry about…
Check out the video below for deeper look into the subject as we try and figure out what to do with all these fried back up drives we have that bring us NO joy…
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!!
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!