We received an email from someone recently who hasn’t worked in the field for about 10 years now. They have a computer science degree and are wondering about our courses and what they need to get themselves seen in today’s market…
The advice in this VLOG is good for both people returning to the fold and for those just starting out, but I’m going to cherry-pick a few good starters to <hopefully> whet your appetite…
– “In the last ten years the big change in the web development field has been front-side development: HTML5, CSS3, etc. and how people work with front-side frameworks a lot more than they did 10 years ago…”
-Freelance work or not, you should have some sort of website up and running. Designer or code-monkey, get something that “legitimizes your profession”.
– Our courses (links at the bottom) teach the basics, it’s true, but we also teach how to build “simple but real-world projects”, that way you can launch right into it. So in other words, “you won’t be building facebook (yet), but definitely the beginnings of facebook.”
-As a freelancer PHP is a good way to go because a lot of small businesses use PHP, but you’ll also get a well rounded education on the “fundamentals”, so you can use whatever you need to get the work done efficiently and quickly.
There’s sooo much more that is touched on in the VLOG and you would really be doing yourself a favor to check it out. In the meantime, check out the links below to the courses we offer. Whether you’re the new kid on the block, curious about freelancing or a grizzled old veteran who just wants to sharpen their skills, we have something for everyone.
People tend to fall into “camps” when it comes to programming languages, operating systems, etc. They swear by a certain operating system or only code with a certain programming language… Simply put, if this is you, you’re going to have a bad time…
To use an analogy, “If I was doing home repairs…[I see] we’ve got some nails to hammer, I’m not going to pull out my screwdriver…”. “When you become a professional developer, you’re going to be language neutral. You’re going to look at all these languages as tools to leverage depending on the circumstance.”
Broken record time: it’s all about fundamentals. Learn your fundamentals, “…because every language, every technology has it’s purpose or has it’s strong points and weak points…with some exceptions, some technologies are just dated…and they’re old school and you’re not gonna use them anymore.”
Generally speaking “noobish developers will say that this language is the best and everything else sucks, and if somebody tells you that on youtube or anywhere else, you know by definition they’re noobs (…except for us LOL).”
Check out the VLOG for some other really fun analogies and a sweet dig at RUBY. It wouldn’t be right if we didn’t dig at it every now and then… Go out there, try it all and save the camping for summer vacation or FPS games!
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.
Is it even worth becoming a “web professional” now and what does that even mean?
It can be strange how we categorize our positions and professions. For example, what one person would call a web developer, another would call a web designer. Then there are web programmers and specialties like “front end”, “full stack”, “back end” and “mid-thigh carver” ( I made that last one up, and yes, the last place I came from was the butcher’s…). So then what is a web professional?
And there are other questions, like is web development going to be obsolete with products like WEBFLOW and the like (products that will take away the need to code)?
With these titles and questions swirling around it can be very easy to throw up your hands and say what am I doing?! Is this even worth my time?!
The answer is: yes, yes it is and as far as ‘what is a web professional?’, well, that is a little more complicated…
First off, shameless plug: We offer kick-ass, detailed, and laboriously designed courses that will help to answer this question. So a web professional is kind of all these things combined in different ratios: designer, developer, front end, full stack, braised tenderloin ( I think I’m getting hungry…), etc, etc. Some devs may specialize in specific things (ex: back end or client side whatever), but it’s all in there. Hodge-podge is not necessarily the right word, but it’s the first word that comes to mind…
And how do you, as a web professional, ensure you know all these things or have a passable knowledge/experience with them? You learn. Either from having “been around the block” or by taking our course <another shameless plug, I know!>… But seriously, web development or whatever you want to call yourself is not going anywhere, in fact if the rate at which things are becoming more and more technological keeps growing, we’re going to need more and more devs at all kinds of different strengths and experiences.
Check out the vlog for a way more detailed and in depth explanation of this subject and quick side dig at RUBY… -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.
Alright, shameless self-promotion time!! We offer a kick-ass course in FREELANCING. It’s super informative and affordable.
Now before we go any further, let’s talk about the difference between freelancer and contractors: Contractor: Typically brought into an organization and you have a particular task that’s assigned to you/ have to show up at specific time. It’s usually pretty structured/you are an employee without any benefits. Freelance: Also have no benefits but maximum flexibility in terms of your work hours. Essentially you chose when and how you’re going to work.
Now the nature of freelance and why it’s so alluring is that generally speaking you don’t have to be anywhere at any one specific time. You have the freedom to plan your day according to what the demands are: for example you can go meet a client and you can decide what tools you are going to use for the job they have, and generally speaking it’s up to you when you do it and how you do it… So let’s say you work 30 hours a week (guess) at a full-time brick and mortar job, you can easily budget out another 10-15 hours in that week for your freelance job (whatever that may be).
The hard part, of course, will be managing your time when you’re starting out and really being disciplined enough to do that freelancing job after a tough day at work, but maybe someone’s been through that experience already and is just dying to share it with you!
Check out the rest of this vid for some more insight into the subject plus a tight little drum intro in the beginning, AND a winter wonderland walk that culminates in a peek into my past dating life…
First things first, a kick-ass opening for this vlog with a (literally, for those afraid of heights) breath-taking view of Montreal, and then back into the “studio” to check out my rig (drums), all to a slick tune in the background. Maybe we’ll call this segment, “Weeee, so fly.”
But let’s dive right into it… Should you use JAVA for back end web app development?
A very specific question deserves a very specific answer: “At the end of the day you have to always judge your technology stacks based on both technical implications of the choice and market implications.”
Technology implications: Do you have experience with the language you’re using? Are you comfortable as programmer? “It depends how nerdy you are, if you are very comfortable writing code, you’re very comfortable as a developer and you’ve done web apps before, yeah, JAVA, could be a good choice, but you gotta consider more than just the technical aspects of the language…”
In terms of market implications: “…are there jobs there? Is there a long road ahead for that particular technology stack?” Now, there are plenty of jobs in JAVA but they tend to be in or with larger businesses/ organizations. Even with smaller businesses or freelance work “JAVA would not be my first, second, or third choice…”.
Check out the video for a super detailed answer to this question and the more broad lesson that we’re trying to teach: What can you do Vs. what will the market pay you for. Also, did you find our RUBY diss(es)? Oh, yeah, there might be more than one! Enjoy!
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!
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!