Come yung’uns, gather by the fire that I may tell you a story… well more of a walk-through really… The older kids have heard it before and have gone on their separate ways… Now, you’ll hear it and make your choices and go your separate way… I see you’re all fresh-faced and want to make a splash at being a developer but you feel inexperienced and unequal to some of the bigger boys and girls out there. You wonder, ‘what can I do to become a pro ASAP?’ Well huddle ’round the fire quickly and listen, before you start asking yourself why are a bunch of ‘young’ developers huddling around a fire to listen to an old man? Wait, what’s happening, where are we?!
Well, that’s it yung’uns… Any questions or something you need more explanation on, check out this Vlog where we go into detail on all the points and of course, feel free to check out the links below to our courses, you won’t regret it <SHAMELESS PLUG3>. I’m going to go talk to our location director… -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.
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!
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!
Alright we’re going to lightly touch on this and if there’s enough of a public outcry, we’ll gladly do a deep dive but for now let’s skim over client side Vs. server side rendering. YAY!!
Now, full disclosure: It’s better to watch the video than to spend time reading what’s being written. The video is quick articulate and makes good and knowledgeable arguments for sides better than writing this out. But if you still feel like reading on, here’s the (very) skinny…
CLIENT SIDE RENDERING: So when you’re looking at the app/website, the views you render/send out (to the web browser) for the client to see. Generally you want to keep the views pretty simple when it comes to the processing power behind it.
The downside? Not everyone has the same hardware on their computers and may encounter trouble viewing the page (ex: web browsers not up to date, lag, slow load times, etc.)
SERVER SIDE: Does not rely on your viewers having the most up to date web-browser or fastest computer but it does require a lot of server side processing power…
So what’s a dev to do?
Check out our video for answers and opinions. Enjoy!
In a word …Nah… “I don’t think there’s ever going to be an official CSS4 specification…in terms of how CSS is developed…they now release CSS in terms of being module, so components of new CSS comes out…and are widely excepted by all the browser manufacturers.”
But before you go grabbing all the new and shiny things, we do have a warning for you as an active web professional/developer: just because you see a certain technology or feature is implemented in the specifications, it doesn’t mean that you can use it. “It takes awhile for browser manufacturers… to put into place these new capabilities according to the specification.”
And the kicker? Even if these browser manufacturers do streamline these capabilities into the newest versions of their product, not every person, business, or entity will not be using that browser, they’ll be suing an older browser and not even an the updated version of it. “A lot of people do not upgrade their browsers on a regular basis; some don’t upgrade them for years! So depending on your target market, …you may not be able to implement a particular feature that very modern browsers implement.” I know, it’s frustrating, right!?
So in conclusion, there’s not gonna be an official CSS4, there will be new CSS capabilities released into the ecosystem, but shinier is not always better.
Check out the video for a more robust explanation by a human (me) and <shameless plug>: we do offer a CSS course where we teach the foundations do you really get the sense of how it works. Also, for our followers out there or people interested, we go into how we chose which features to implement when we designed webstudio and the thinking that went behind it. Enjoy!
PS – We were just having a little bit of fun with words in the headline…we love you, CSS
Coder burnout is more common than you think and everyone loses motivation once in a while…
First let’s talk about burnout.
Sadly, it happens. Does this sound familiar? You’re focusing so hard on either the work or the theory that goes into the work. You live it; you breathe it! You are the fountain of knowledge from which all inspiration for the project flows forth and then…mayday, mayday!! Crash and burn<out>. All of a sudden you need to take 3 months to a year off because you either have nothing left to give or the very thought of the work gives you the shakes… Good news is you’re not alone, we’ve been there and here’s a tip:
Unplug: For serious. Go outside, go to the gym (check out our previous vids about working out and staying fit…). A change of scenery will always help, even a good meal ( like, one you cook, if you can.) can help calm, nourish and refocus your energy. The work will always be there when you get back. And with your brain re-energized and calm, it can refocus you can reap the benefits. Honestly, even taking a walk to go grab a coffee has been shown to hit the brakes on stress and refocus that narrow vision…
Now, about motivation…
It’s totally normal. We are all human beings and every now and then we lose interest and lack motivation. Something else enters our field of vision and we deem it important and tend to push everything else to the side. Sometimes we even leave the tech space and take a hiatus only to comeback (years) later. What can we do about that?
Take it Slow: You can’t expect to come back in your first day “and be firing on all cylinders”. Especially if you’ve been out of the game for awhile, there might be some new things to learn and that’s okay. The good news is for the most part, things haven’t changed (for example you still have front end/back end), perhaps the way you used to think about the tech space will have to change but some or most of the process remain…
Check out or video for a more in-depth talk about this subject and be good to yourself. Take time and relax when you can; it’s a good habit to get into and you’re gonna need it eventually… Enjoy!
Hard to learn, easy to write … but slow to code with
ALSO: It’s dog-slow at run time when writing desktop applications (never mind mobile apps).
So there you have it, from a guy that loves JAVA. It’s super verbose and heavily detailed in the writing (which also means less errors because you’re being explicit), and that writing code takes much more time, much more time means much more work and money/cost: “I wouldn’t do it.”
Check out the video for a more in-depth explanation PLUS what’s coming up with us with STUDIOWEB and other fundamental stuff we’re working on; super exciting stuff!
In the name of the JAVA; The RUN(time), And the HTML / PYTHON …DRUPAL.
THIS just in, from the Department of Urban Humanity or “DUH”: Programming Languages Are Not Religions! You’re all grown up professionals and we’re sure you have better things to do with your time than this, right?
Now if this doesn’t apply to you, please click on the video and enjoy the show…
But if you feel like “yeah but”-ing us about this, know that this isn’t a good look for you: both personally and professionally. Personally you come across as an arrogant jerk that has a “my way or the highway” approach (and not in a fun, sassy way), and professionally, well, you look like an amateur or a stunted, mid-level programmer that has no imagination or flexibility.
I know that seems harsh but it’s just such a waste of time when there’s amazing and inspired work to be done. Truly creative stuff that transcends the boundaries of algorithms and languages; and here we are chirping each other out cuz we don’t like the other person’s choice of programming language? C’mon!!
If you still feel the need to argue over this, might we suggest taking all that good energy and hitting the gym?Or maybe going to an actual church, breathing in some incense and chilling out in the back pew to some hymns? I mean, it should go without saying that even religions themselves shouldn’t be argued over like they’re religions, but here we are…
I don’r really know how to end this except by saying, be cool to each other guys. Life’s too short and you got better things to do with your time.
Unless you’re using RUBY, ya backwoods savages!! …just kidding!! …ish…