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.
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.
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…
I’ve been using video to send bug reports to my developers for years. That said, I’ve been doing it the hard way with screen casting software, and manual uploads to cloud storage, to share my videos with the developers. With BugReplay, it takes care of all that for you … and it’s super easy!
What is BugReplay?
BugReplay is a browser plugin that makes it easy to record bugs, and send video reports to your developers. It is a huge time saver for web app developers.
Here are some of the highlights:
Facilitates communication between devs and non-devs; and between companies and their end-users
Available as a Chrome extension and Firefox add-on- very simply browser extension install and quick setup
Network requests and responses are synced with the screencast
WebSocket data is displayed alongside HTTP requests
All the environmental data is there so you don’t have to ask the basic questions to get the information you need (e.g. what’s your browser, operating system, geographic location, system memory, are cookies enabled, etc, etc)
Unlimited screenshots (and you can add helpful notes to them)
Integrates with Slack, GitHub, JIRA
You can create a shareable URL for the video bug report and share with anyone (they don’t have to have a BugReplay account)
With Feedback By BugReplay, our consumer-facing product, you can also send requests to your customers/end-users, and they can very easily submit video bug reports without creating an account
Unlimited users (we don’t charge per team members)
PHP is probably the best web app development language out there today for a bunch of reason technical, and market oriented. But it’s not the only language out there and it doesn’t have a monopoly of good programming.
Comparing Programming Languages
An important lessons that my 20+ years of programming experience has taught me, is that one of the best ways to learn one programming language, is to learn another! By learning different programming languages, you will start to gain deeper insights about your first programming language.
From the chapter: How to Learn Technical Skills Faster
Now that I’ve given you a nice long list of technical skills to develop, you might be wondering how you are going to develop all of those skills and how long it is going to take you.
Well, as for the length of time—don’t worry—you’ll be developing your technical skills as long as you are a software developer. Think of it as a journey, not a destination.
You will always be able to get better—if you choose to.
I’ve spent plenty of time developing my technical skills the wrong way.
However, in my three years of creating over 50 highly-technical developer training courses on Pluralsight, I’ve also learned how to develop technical skills at a lightning fast speed while teaching others at the same time.
I used to think the best way to learn a technical skill was to take a big reference book and read it cover-to-cover.
Back then, I read too many 800+ page books to count and didn’t benefit much from the exercise; although my arms might have grown from carrying around books of that size.
I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I did, and if you already have, I want to show you a better way.
Learning How to Learn Quickly
Before we get into the specifics about learning technical skills, I think it’s worth taking a second to talk about learning anything quickly and teaching yourself in general.
We’ll go much more in-depth about the topic of teaching yourself in an upcoming chapter in this section, but I want to go over the basics here and talk about a methodology I use to learn anything quickly.
As I mentioned, I spent a large amount of time both learning and teaching various technologies.
I learned whole programming languages in a matter of weeks and then turned around and taught courses on them.
During that process, I developed a reliable system for learning just about anything I needed to learn.
This wasn’t so much a conscious effort as it was a necessity. I was trying to learn at such a rapid rate that I had to come up with efficient ways of doing things, and naturally, patterns of learning developed which helped me to become faster and faster.
I’m just going to cover the basics here, since you can find a whole course I put together on the subject at 10 Steps to Learn or in a few chapters in my Soft Skills book.
I am happy to announce that we will be releasing a new course for schools: Powerful Python 3. Part of our collection of coding courses, designed specially for classroom learning.
Powerful Python 3 is designed for students (and teachers) who are totally new to code! The course is made up of easy to follow video lessons, followed by fun and effective quizzing and code challenges.
… Like all StudioWeb courses, we provide a complete curriculum that includes projects, a grading rubric and our powerful auto-grading system that provides accurate grades by course, chapter and lesson.
StudioWeb’s Python course will finally make learning and teaching Python, easy for the novice coder.
Please feel to contact us if you have any questions!