Do you need certifications as a developer? Will a certification help you land that juicy software developer job?
Great question. In the past, certifications were a great way to show that you were knowledgeable in a certain skill/area of expertise and that you took the time/initiative to learn it. However this was also in a time before the internet and (relatively) free flow of information… We have indirectly addressed this in this article but let’s be a little more direct…
Full transparency: We offer certifications to schools that teach our courses and we are even working on certifications upon completion of our courses to the general public, but we’re going to address that tout-suite (right away).
So, “…certifications have a certain limited role, I mean [they] do play a certain limited role but they do play a role. In my own hiring practices…I admit that I do look at what, if any, certifications they may have: whether that is a university degree, college degree, or a boot camp…or just a certification in general. It plays a minimal role, how much does it impact my decision-making? …for me experience building real things is more important, but good certifications do indeed play a role”. Here’s a theoretical: if you’re working or looking to be employed by a ‘top shelf’/prestigious consulting firm and you’re wondering: ‘do I need a certification?’ The answer is, “…if the certification was going to cost you thousands of dollars, I probably wouldn’t… if it’s costing a couple of hundred dollars to get a few certifications to show that you’re up-to-date… it could impact your ability to get a job (not necessarily as a freelancer) …but as a consultant, it does add a bit”.
Another thing we’ve talked about before is that as any kind of person looking for work: freelancer or 9-5’er, you have your reputation, skill sets, and IP (intellectual property). “…certifications are part of your reputation; building structure, if you will.” So long story-short: in most cases (depending on who you’re working for or trying to get hired by) certifications will pale in comparison to real world experience, but much like having a secret bottle of rye whiskey hidden away in the back of your top drawer…on certain occasions it does help…
Check out the VLOG for a full dive into the grey area of certifications and experience. If ever there was a VLOG to check out, let it be this one -your job may depend on it… -Enjoy!
Another fatality in the war of ‘generalized’ vs. ‘specialized’?
A ZDnet article claims that the R programming language is on the decline, even in the face of a boom in statistical jobs, thanks in large part to devs and programmers using Python as the go-to language. We spoke to Kevin, one of our freelance developers and friendly pirate for confirmation and his reply was, “…yes, that is correct.” – Kevin is a consummate professional and doesn’t like to mix his freelance work with his other ventures in privateering and high-seas chicanery (long walk to get to that joke, but I get paid by the hour…).
Why should this not be surprising? (the R language thing, not the fact we have a pirate working for us). We would imagine, “that the people who love the R programming language will argue (and perhaps quite rightly), that R is better than Python in certain areas.” Well, we’ve said it in past articles and we’ll say it again here, “Open technologies/open languages that have more flexibility for you; easier to work with, they typically win out even over more ‘performante’ technology or languages.”
The VLOG is short but sweet and touches on the importance of the previous statement/lesson. Check it out and while you’re at it, look into our Python course that we offer in the links down below. In the words of Kevin, “Yarrr, there be no regrets here, because regrets are for the dead…”. Good guy, that Kevin…went to his wedding 2 months ago: amazing venue… -Enjoy!
Netflix uses Python in the ways that Python is commonly used. It’s a good way to look at common Python applications.
Whether you’re waiting for Disney or WB to roll out their new streaming site, you can’t deny that Netflix is a giant in the streaming game – and depending on how every Media corporation now having a streaming media initiative that we’ll have to pay for goes – the catalyst/scapegoat for how this will all play out…
But we’re here to talk about PYTHON and specifically how NETFLIX use it in their day to day. Now, this is somewhat connected to a VLOG we covered recently and if you need citations, here’s the original article, but, “Netflix as you might imagine being a pretty big company with 140 million users they have all kinds of systems writing, and so what they do is they use PYTHON to reinforce the security of the systems…to analyze alerts and data reports coming off the systems; like activity reports and so forth. They leverage PYTHON’s AI capability and machine learning capability to do things like analyze movies, and to optimize the streaming, and to pull out images as an example to display thumbnails to people, etc, etc.” It’s really pretty interesting and amazing that PYTHON is being used in this way, because we definitely don’t think about it when we’re binge watching NARCOS, GLOW, or any other guilty little pleasures we might be ashamed to admit…
Get ready for a meaty and technical VLOG filled with, but not limited to the PYTHON libraries used, how Amazon’s servers are involved, and even security. It’s illuminating, if not a little dizzying to think that something we almost take for granted has sooo many moving parts (well, not moving parts, but you know what I mean)… -Enjoy!
Python is the Fastest Growing Language of 2019. In some cases it’s even more popular than JAVA.
Don’t believe the hype? Here’s the link to the PYTHON article… Now it’s important to note that the article is saying that it’s the fastest growing language; it’s not better than JAVA, please don’t DM us with arguments or nerd rage. But yeah, so far PYTHON is the fastest growing language of this year by about 2 million new developers.
A pretty good reason for this is, “…most of that growth is in AI machine learning development…Python is a language that glues systems together, so PYTHON is used to automate back-end processes, …monitoring system alerts, making sure processes just work well – it’s one of those great general purpose languages”.
Other things that may contribute to PYTHON’s growth is its popularity in the community, the libraries available, and the ease at which it can be learned. And on that note, it’s shameless plug time… We offer a PYTHON course that is quick and efficient and fun (although that last part is up to you.). Links to that and another great web development course are down below the video.
Check out the VLOG for our quick and dirty ‘code on the go’ segment on PYTHON as well as some more details and facts about PYTHON and it’s sudden rise in popularity. -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
Look we’ve all been there, man… You’ve got a task to do and you don’t feel like doing it. You put it off… you do the dishes (maybe even clean your entire house), or just play video games and go down youtube’s rabbit hole…
It’s procrastination: pure and simple. You’ve fought it since you were 13 years old and had a 15 page essay to write, due in 2 weeks. But as a dev or a programmer; new or veteran, you’ve got a job to do and you can’t just put things off (for too long, anyway…).
Let’s start off by trying to understand procrastination and then we’ll go into some techniques to combat it…well, ONE technique really but it’s pretty effective. When it come to procrastination there are really 3 problems at play and you could have one, both or all mixed in a cocktail of “I’ll get to it later…”, which is a terrible cocktail cuz it never gets made <baddum-ching>.
1- Fear: Ah yes, that old chestnut… But yeah, fear this isn’t going to work, fear that you’re not going to go anywhere or that you’re missing out on other things, etc, etc. 2- Being Overwhelmed: There’s too much to do, too much to learn, etc… 3- Boredom: This one is pretty insidious. We don’t really have the end goal planned out (the job we’re going to get/money we plan on making, the skill we’ll have learned, etc.).
The key answer for all these problems and procrastination in general is something your mom or even your teacher might have told you (and believe me, I hate to admit they were onto something too)…
…Do 20 minutes a day…
I know it’s so simple you almost have to laugh but it’s true. Doing 20 minutes a day of any activity has so many benefits but I’m only going to list a few here: -It’s an easy to achieve goal. 20 minutes can go by pretty fast and if you find yourself ‘getting into it’ and want to take longer, you can! -You tend to learn much more quickly if you expose yourself on a frequent basis to that activity you need to get done. Some interesting math: 20 minutes a day for 5 days a week (cuz we need our weekends) is 100 minutes. That frequent exposure is going to help your brain learn faster and more effectively than 200 minutes once a week.
I can’t even begin to tell you the length at which this is covered in the VLOG and shameless self promotion: 20 minutes a day is roughly how long the lessons in our courses (link below) are structured for, so don’t have to sit there for hours wondering when it will end with a fried brain. Check it out…after the video game, heh. Enjoy!
Super quick vlog… Just wanted to say that I love all the questions I get from you guys, especially the really interesting ones that inspire me to make a new vlog. But alas, I am only one man. And I’m one man who also has to run a business… I sometimes can’t answer the sheer amount of questions I get asked. Please don’t feel like I’m ignoring you, chances are I may not even have seen it yet… Please feel free to repost questions on the comments section of the video; I do read those…although, sometimes I wonder why (the comments made can be ‘interesting’)… Keep asking your questions, I do love seeing them and answering as much as I can with the given time I have… Thanks so much and keep ’em coming!
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!
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!