Hello, Salute and Hola! Let’s talk about languages, specifically programming languages…
I often get a lot of emails and messages (Yeah, I’m kind of a big deal…lol.), and one of the main questions is what is the best programming language for me to start out with, or what would the perfect programming language be?
Short Answer: There’s no such thing. Pick a language and let’s rock n’ roll. If you’ve seen any of my videos, I’ve broached this subject before and I think, “there’s really no number one language. This is a fantasy, an illusion (WILL saves – BOOM; old school DnD reference.) that beginners would be interested in because at the end of the day, the language that’s going to be number one depends on the type of work you’re going to do, depends on where you live, depends on the type of programming you want to do…”.
“First rule of programming: You don’t lose if you learn a language…All the modern languages share a lot of the same fundamentals, qualities and characteristics…”. Think of it like this: you’re 10 yrs. old in your parents basement playing super mario bros. on your nintendo ( please don’t sue, nintendo.). Then your older brother or sister enters and pops in super mario 2! At first, you’re a little trepidatious – different levels, different enemies – but after 3o seconds you’re back in saddle as you realize it’s still the same game – jump, jump, beat the boss, / next level: jump, jump, warpzone, / jump, jump, beat the final boss, finish the game, grab a pizza pocket and a soda, go to your room and air guitar to the RUSH album you stole from your brother’s room <the 80’s were a simpler time, yung’unns>.
Of course we’re going to go into more depth in the video <plus another RUBY zing :)>. But know that’s there’s really no one perfect programming language. Get out there, learn your craft, and you’ll always have the tools you need!
…Fair warning: this may get a little depressing but it’s worth it; promise…
Chances are at one point or another you’ve felt the itch. That feeling of wanting a change of [job] scenery, maybe even a new career path. Some of us grab opportunity by the horns and just make that switch, others make a more calculated move that usually involves taking some courses, making some phone calls and waiting for the right time to jump and land on the “terra-firma” of a new career.
Much to the utter amazement of the last group of us who unfortunately feel like there’s no chance; maybe we feel like we’re under-educated, maybe our present job has sucked all the motivation out of us or maybe we’re just scared to fail and fall behind on payments (mortgage,bills,etc.).
I’d imagine the issue becomes especially worse when you’re looking into technology jobs, like a software developer. Our insecurities about our own skill and ability to learn can be almost crippling. We may even ask ourselves what are real benefits of investing myself in this field? Not to mention the time/energy commitment and how much money are we really going to make?
Short (and admittedly somewhat vague) answer: lots of things. But right after job satisfaction, let’s face it: it’s money. How much will do I stand to make? Check out this video and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised…
Also, if you’re wondering how stable a software development job is, check out this page.
The good news is, the more time you invest in learning new skills and competencies, the more money you can charge knowing that you are fully worth that amount <the more you learn, the more you earn>. So get out there and absorb all the knowledge you can. It may take time, it may take more energy than you thought, but it’s worth it and so are you!
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.
A Code of Conduct about Coding and a play on words for sure!
It seems every profession, association or club has their own “code” of operation. A set of rules or procedures that govern how members dress, interact and methodically complete a project or task. Well guess what? We have one too. And ours is Waaayyy better because it’s a code…about coding (if you can’t do anything with that, maybe you’re just dead inside…).
The Master Developer’s Code
A set of 5 lessons that have been amassed over 20+ years as a programmer. Granted some of the lessons here can sound pretty obvious if you think about it, we rarely do in fact. Sometimes we get so caught up in wanting to be the best, wanting to WOW, that we can end up making a mountain out of a molehill or worse; not listening to client needs. After this video, I recommend checking out our “Keeping it Simple” article if you haven’t already. It’s worth it.
Are you being original or just gumming up the works?
A simple -if not a little insulting- acronym. How many times have we come across a co-worker, a manager, or even a boss drooping the old “kiss bomb”. Keep it simple, stupid… easier said than done? Sometimes, YES: absolutely. But other times, when we take a step back and look at the whole picture (maybe even take our egos out of the equation), we come to realize that simplicity can be clean, elegant and best of all easy.
Huge messes of code are a symptom of one or more of the following:
1. bad developers
2. overly complex frameworks
3. coders purposely hiding code …. by making it insanely complex.
At the risk of sounding old, “It’s not cool to write complex cryptic code that nobody can understand. Simple code is the best code”…ya young punks! And really you’re only hurting yourselves… What’s gonna happen when you have to go in 6, 8, 10 months down the road for updates and you have no idea what’s going on?
The pros keep the their work simple and clean where they can and not only do they look good, competent and in control; it saves them time. So get out there make life simple for yourself.
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.
There’s a lot of hype surrounding blockchain. But before you start signing up for blockchain 101 consider this…
Cryptocurrency. Bitcoin. Blockchain… These words have garnered their fair share of both esteem and infamy. But are we really talking about when we use these words? What’s the correlation and (let’s be honest with ourselves), how can we use it to make money?!
Well, let’s take Blockchain. Essentially it’s just a database, albeit an ingenious and very popular one right now, that regularly updates -and continually reconciles- all information stored on it (files, spreadsheets, etc.) in real time (for lack of a better word). Two users (or more likely two million users) can be messing around – editing and changing information at the same time- with no loss or corruption of data. Which makes it ideal for keeping track of and implementing Cryptocurrencies like BitCoin.
And just like any new and interesting thing on the market that can be implemented in ways that potentially save or make millions of dollars , there are classes and courses sprouting up everywhere offering education and certification in Blockchain – makes sense right? Should you drop everything and learn Blockchain? Not necessarily…
To be clear, we are not taking anything away from Blockchain, it is an amazing database that has and will have some incredible applications. We just think you should consider all your options. And as for cryptocurrencies like BitCoin, we have some insight and friendly advice into that too. But that’s another post… in fact, this one…right here…
Without a degree, your best chances of getting work is with a small business. Over 80% of small businesses use PHP to power their websites. So that makes PHP the #1 choice for those with no degrees.
PHP is old and sucks – no?
LOL! No! Old PHP from the 1990’s wasn’t very good, but much has changed since PHP4. Today PHP is at version 7 and it has all the ability and security as any of the other mainstream languages including:
… So don’t let uninformed nerds convince you that somehow PHP has problems. It doesn’t.
If PHP is the top language, what are the others?
How to pick the best language for you?
After 23 years of writing code and building real software, my philosophy is to be language neutral … all programming languages have their strengths and weaknesses. The choice of language just depends on:
What KIND of programming you want to do.
If you have a degree or not.
The job options in your part of the world.
… You may love Java, but if there are no Java jobs where you are, what’s the point? So the best approach is to learn the fundamentals of programming and then with your new nerd-eyes, you will be better able to judge which path to go on. I recommend learning the web stack and Python.
… All my students will tell you, you can’t go wrong with that! Check out what my students think about my courses:
– Click on the above image to view the testimonials.
I created a video on the best programming languages if you DON’T have a degree:
But when it comes to the development of high demand (in terms of performance) mobile apps, using native languages like Swift for iOS and Java for Android is still the way to go. This might change with Googles Flutter framework.