Any experienced developer will tell you that soft skills makes the difference, if you want to move up in the ranks … maybe become a tech lead, or software architect.
Our culture used to idolize the cowboy. That loner who does things his own way and to hell with the consequences. He doesn’t say much unless he’s telling people what’s what, and rides off into the sunset with everyone all the better for having come into contact with him…
And what did we used to say about anyone who didn’t automatically strike out as a tough guy? Anyone who used words and diplomacy? We’d say they were “emotionally intelligent”; that they has a set of “soft skills”… oddly patronizing, no?
Well, the truth is that the “cowboy” is a blowhard that can’t work well in the group, and “the group” is the better way to get things done. Talking to people, working with them and making them feel their opinion/input matters. That’s how you build relationships (business or otherwise) that will last.
Check out the video, it expertly touches on what we’ve hinted at, but it’s pretty much what you’d expect:
“…being self aware both emotionally and intelligently.” Knowing your strengths and weakness (and being confident or humble about them accordingly). In other words, “Know where you suck” and also “realize where you’re good too”. In the end “being self-aware like this, both emotionally and intellectually is a very good thing to be; it’s good to be in that state of mind…it’ll have a tremendous positive impact in your life.” 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!
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…
Thinking of kick-starting your freelance web design career?
Alright, it doesn’t matter the reasons that got you here, (but I agree, if you have to listen to one more of Brad-in-accounting’s “tight” 2 minute sets that he’s put together for his always upcoming/never happening open mic night, it was either gonna be him or you!), you’ve decided to strike out on your own and become a freelance web designer, congrats!
Now before we get to work, we just want to make sure that we’re clear on the terminology here when we say freelance. We don’t mean that you shopped your resume around and found work with another small company or start-up…
We’re talking <Peter Parker selling his “pictures of spider-man ;)” to J.Jonah Jameson, for money and if he doesn’t do it again tomorrow, he doesn’t get paid/doesn’t eat > freelance. But we’re not just gonna leave you “hanging” with no help at all; we’ve got 7 great tips that will help propel you into the freelance web designer-verse. Go get’em tiger!
Make Sure It Looks Good: You’ve got your skills and you feel confident. Well, the client may have no idea what they’re looking at, so always make sure it’s aesthetically pleasing (pleasing to the eye) that way even though they have no idea what it is you do, they know it looks great!
Small Jobs/Practice Jobs: Heads up you may work for next to/nothing your first few gigs. It’s fine: think of it as stretching your legs and seeing what you can do. Contact friends, family, or friends of family and local businesses to get these small jobs. You’re really just learning to work with other people/clients and gaining reputation…rep. is huge (we’ll get back to that).
Try Online Markets: If you can’t find local stuff (or you’re tired of it and want to try something a little more challenging and “long distance”, there are websites where you can sell your skills (not for much though, remember you want experience and reputation). Some quick sites that come to mind: “Fiverr”, “upwork”, to start. But google it and you’ll start your journey down the rabbit hole…
Social Presence: This is just becoming a MUST for anyone in almost any field. You know the rules: keep it professional. Let people see what you’ve achieved (ie: certifications) and what you’re capable of (the work you done for others). Again, build that reputation!
Specialize in a Business Sector(OPTIONAL): Not strictly necessary but it does help. Maybe you work designing websites for only coffee shops? There’s lots of them (and more on every street corner, amarite?), but it would be a specialized area to know exactly what every coffee shop needs if they want to seriously compete in the online space. Real estate agent websites are another really good expertise to have, which brings us to our last tip…
Develop Workflows to Cut Down on Time & Maximize Profitability: A mouthful of a final tip but it’s the very zenith of freelancing…to be so damn good/knowledgeable at what you do that you can get it done fast/easily and for muchos bucks!! This is where reputation kicks in. Now that you’re known for doing that thing you do so well, you can finally charge what you’re worth (and then some), and do it in half the time while still making it look tight and outta sight!
You’re money, baby!
Of course, check out the vid for more detailed info for each step, plus a little PSA about keeping your body (almost) as sharp as your mind. Trust us, it’s all fun n’ games until you pull a muscle getting off the couch one day… Enjoy!
What Programming Languages do the Most Popular Websites Use? The results may surprise you!
So, I was on what the kids call wiki-wiki-pedia the other day and I thought I’d look up what programming languages the most popular websites use. I know, most people look for civil war factoids or if their favorite band from their teenage years is still around but I guess I’m just weird like that…
But seriously, check out the vid to put it all into context.
Also, blink and you might miss it: another quick dig at RUBY (mwahaha). Enjoy!
What to expect with the new developer related vlogs…
So full disclosure, this vlog is late but not because of me, our copy-writer is late and having to play catch up [don’t worry, he’s been beaten accordingly… 😉 ].
But what I really want to talk about is these new vlogs. It’s a “reach out to you” kind of idea, and thus will include more commentary on new technology, etc.
I’ll be presenting 4 content categories to you in these vlogs in some way, shape or form:
1. More Q&A videos
2. More Career talks.
3. Deep dive into tech videos.
4. My take on new programming related news.
The idea is you will be able to find what you want, in relation to where you are career-wise, and the challenges you may be facing.
Also some new announcements on this vlog, which you’ll just have to watch to find out.
Check it out and enjoy!
Kotlin is a general purpose, open source, statically typed “pragmatic” programming language developed by “Jetbrains” and endorsed by Google. As a light, nimble way to take advantage of the vast Java ecosystem and libraries, without the weight of Java code, spoiler alert…it’s gonna be pretty awesome. Now that being said, should you drop everything (including JAVA) and start learning KOTLIN?
Not necessarily. As we’ve said before stick to your fundamentals/basics, remember: “Newb programmers will think in terms of languages, -OMG, my career is based on THIS language- The reality of the situation is advanced developers will move from language to language, from framework to framework, depending on the requirements of the job at hand, depending on where the work is.”
So what’s the big deal about KOTLIN? Well it’s more about what KOTLIN represents… it’s a lighter/faster version of JAVA, it’s pretty versatile in terms of what it can be used for (including android apps), and to put that into perspective, “lighter languages tend to win out over other heavier, more verbose languages”. With computers getting more and more powerful and faster and faster, the preferential choice is given to languages that are quick, adaptable and versatile, and KOTLIN checks all these boxes.
Click here for some hardcore mountain-driving scenery, which will turn into city driving, but not before we give RUBY the slightest little dig…mwahaha.
Blah, blah, blah, should you learn THIS in whatever year we’re in?
Yadda, yadda, yadda, stick to simple, clean code…
Who am I? Apparently, that’s all I sound like to some people; I just keep repeating the same tings over and over again and you’ve heard it already… (also, is it weird that I just did an impression of myself or it it META…?)
Well, good, sounds like I got through, which in this day and age of background noise and feedback is no small feat…
But seriously, I’m glad you guys are listening and while I may sound like I’m repeating myself, I do strive to put variations to the theme to make it a applicable in the here and now. The landscape does change and evolve and we try to keep up with it. Also, I do it for the newbies too. People who come across this channel or one of my videos may not necessarily be interested on my ideas on a topic a year ago when they have a burning question about the here and now, ya know?
So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, A: thanks for tuning in often enough where you can see a pattern emerging or a theme, and B: whether you’re new to this or not, I will always try to bring you the best mash-up of what I know, what I’ve experienced and what it is now.
Alright, I think we’ve stewed with the idea of DIS long enough…
We touched on it lightly last post but let’s talk about some tangible solutions to get passed it.
A sort of “life after getting DIS’d” – that’s right STILL not tired of it! I’m gonna milk it as much as I can… DIS is the hill I’m going to die on… 🙂
Of course, the vlog will go into a lot more detail, and I recommend you watch it but I’m just going to give you a little TL:DW if you’re on the move…
As we stated previously , there is no unicorn (know it all) developer, know your basics and then pick up the rest on a need to know basis and having a good resource pool will help a lot. Now let’s add to that: diving into projects and writing easy to understand code will help: it’ll get the project done quickly and efficiently. Clean, simple, and easy to understand code IS professional and professionals get paid. Also, Specializing in a niche (of programming) that makes you money (ex: machine learning code, e-commerce for small businesses, etc.). Again, check out the vlog for a little more detail and stick around in ’til the end for “Montreal in February” or “a -23 meditation”. Keep warm and enjoy!
So, you’ve been a developer for maybe two or three years? You’ve got some gigs and you’ve gotten paid and now you’re starting to work with the big fish… You’re maybe even working alongside other developers with 5-8 years of experience and suddenly you feel a kick in the pit of your gut… “WTF am I doing here?”
“I’m wayyyy in over my head, everyone knows what’s going on; they get their work done faster, they know which languages to use for any given situation. I don’t belong here.”
Ya just got DIS’d, son!
Yup, developer imposter syndrome…’d.
Now for some of you I may be spot on and for others, you either have felt this way and gotten past it <bravo>, or you haven’t crossed this particularly crappy bridge yet. And though I know it’s hard to come to any universal agreement on the internet, I think even in the back of our mind we can understand, sympathetically, “You can never ignore the emotional aspects of anything you do in life; especially career.”
Everyone Gets DIS’d, Bro:
(yes, I’m enjoying the hell outta this acronym)
But seriously, as unpleasant and humbling as these feelings are, they are completely normal. Everyone has felt these feels; even outside of the development field (it’s just called plain “Imposter Syndrome”, I know IS = boring acronym, but you should look it up). Ironically, feeling like we don’t belong (an Imposter), is something that everyone feels at one time or another. And perversely, it’s kind of a milestone; it means you’re “moving up in the ranks” and coming into your own by being around other more experienced programmers/devs who you should be taking the opportunity to learn from, or if you’re a little more solitary in your work, branching out finding a community you can learn from and feel supported in.
Alright I Got DIS’d, Now What? (Still not tired of it, mwahaha.)
Guess what? “There is no unicorn developer”, that is to say there’s no one that know every language, has been in every situation and knows everything. If there was, clients would just hire him/her and there would never be a need for anymore programmers or devs. Check out this vlog: if for no other reason than to see me freezing my butt off in the cold as we switch from a tight “man on a mission” shot to FPS mode and then the car for some “real talk”… It’s a fun way to talk about what can be a pretty frustrating subject. Me? I’m gonna sit here and think of how I can work this acronym into a sentence where I DIS your mom! OOOOOOHHHHH, snap!