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!
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!
We’ve touched on this before in past VLOGS but maybe you haven’t seen that one or you want a more up-to-date take on this subject.
So, short answer: Java is really best for web application development, and Android client development. It never took off for desktop applications (we go into more detail in the VLOG).
If you don’t believe us, check out the job market. We would venture to guess that very little to zero jobs are going to have you building desktops apps with JAVA; “JAVA is not client-side, …it is server-side programming”.
The VLOG comes equipped with not only my lovable mug crooning to you about all the finer points about this, but I also offer solutions to in forms of other languages and options that will optimize your time and output for creating desktop apps. You should check it out, it’s less than 4 minutes!
A top tip for solving complex development problems. This problem solving tip also works in all other aspects of life…except dating.
The number 1 problem solving tip, huh? I know, everyone and their mom claims to have the number 1 problem solving tip to end all problem solving tips… But unlike THOSE guys, ours isn’t just the top ranked, it’s also the first in a series of problem solving tips that we can continue if this gets popular.
So what is it, you ask? Strategy: “…to break down the problem into simpler components and then deal with those components individually.”
By taking a complex problem and breaking it down to it’s smaller components, it makes it much easier than trying to tackle this big, giant of a problem and either drowning in the sheer mass of the problem or just plain rage-quitting.
We tackle much more than just the philosophy of STRATEGY in the VLOG. We talk about how this technique has great roots in “object oriented programming” and even how you can apply this technique in aspects of your everyday life. Once you try it, it’ll be hard to solve problems any other way.
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.
So when we’re writing code, do we prefer the almighty desktop or the versatile laptop? Great question, and one that has two answers:
First, the general answer: It doesn’t matter so long as you do the work in a comfortable and productive environment… And the actual answer: We like laptops. Why? They’re flexible and you can take them anywhere, which means you can work anywhere. And, “these days computers [laptops] are so powerful, that writing code will not even put pressure on a five year old laptop (or desktop); you don’t need much horsepower to write code…”. Of course there are some exceptions (ex: code compiling, etc.), but as a general rule laptops offer way more flexibility and even the slightly older ones still have the horse power to get the job done.
Check out the video for more in depth discussion and the specs on the laptop we’re currently using to write code. Plus stick around til the end of the video to see what is either a beautiful shot of the clouds parting and the sun gently taking back the day…or the beginning of the day the dragons flew in, took over and made us their slaves… all hail CRTHYXSIS: great and powerful lord of the horde!! 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!