KillerSites Blog

Programming

Free As a Bird: 7 Tips That Will Launch Your Coding Career As a Freelancer

March 19, 2019

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!

 

  1. Get your skills: First, you need the foundational skills: HTML5, CSS3, some JavaScript. Also, if there’s time or the chance, a little certification is always a plus… Now this is the only time we’re going to do this but we do offer a particularly kick-ass online course, and that’s the last shameless promo, we promise (what, we gotta eat too! You’re not the only superhero analogy swinging around out here, dang!).
  2. 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!
  3. 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).
  4. 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…
  5. 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!
  6. 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…
  7. 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!

My popular courses:
Learn web development fast: https://shop.killervideostore.com/
Learn Python 3 fast: http://www.killervideostore.com/python/

My business courses:
Complete Entrepreneur: https://www.killervideostore.com/vide…

My social links:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stefanmischook
Twitter: https://twitter.com/killersites

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Suit Up and Strike Out: The Developer’s Job Interview

March 19, 2019

Are developer job interviews always hard?

In a word…Yes. Depending of course on the size of the company; massive companies tend to give intense (technical) interviews. “They’ll throw everything at you including the kitchen sink…They have  HR departments where they’re ticking off boxes, and there’s a tendency in those circumstances that they’re going to ask you for everything.”

Conversely, smaller businesses “…tend to be more accurate in terms of what the requirements that are stated for the job are, relative to the actual job.” Chances are the ‘iron curtain’ may be pulled back and you’ll even get to talk to the lead developer right away and then you can ask and be asked questions in a little less formal setup…

That being said, there really is no limit to the stuff you could be asked (as we’ll explain in the video), no matter the size of the company. A lot of the testing may not even really be applicable to what you do, for example they may want to test your knowledge of deep algorithms, even of you’re going to be working with a simple/clean code.

All-in-all, it’s not uncommon. In this video we’ll break down some suggestions for making sure you’re not too caught by surprise and even have a little bit of company knowledge to surprise your interviewers with. As we’ve said before know your fundamentals and you’ll always have an idea of what’s going on.

Enjoy!

My popular courses:
Learn web development fast: https://shop.killervideostore.com/
Learn Python 3 fast: http://www.killervideostore.com/python/

My business courses:
Complete Freelancer: https://www.killervideostore.com/free…
Complete Entrepreneur: https://www.killervideostore.com/vide…

My social links:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stefanmischook
Twitter: https://twitter.com/killersites

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Now You’re Speaking My Language

March 14, 2019

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…

Now, I’ll be honest with you, it’s better to watch this vid to see firsthand what I’m talking about but, quick spoiler, on the front end (that’s to say “code that lives in the web browser”.) it’s all JavaScript. But what’s most surprising is the back end where it’s almost all JAVA, PYTHON, C, C++, PHP, etc. Yup, pretty surprising (or not, if you’re pretending to be one of those “I’ve seen it all” programmers). The reason I bring this to your attention is that I want to “give you some insight into how effective a programming language is; how ‘serious’ a programming language is…Some people look at a programming language and say ‘it’s not serious, it can’t work on big projects’.” Well when you consider what these giants of the industry are doing (and you’re assuming they know their onions), you start to see that these languages are still very capable of doing the “heavy lifting”.

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!

My popular courses:
Learn web development fast: https://shop.killervideostore.com/
Learn Python 3 fast: http://www.killervideostore.com/python/

My business courses:
Complete Freelancer: https://www.killervideostore.com/free…
Complete Entrepreneur: https://www.killervideostore.com/vide…

My social links:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stefanmischook
Twitter: https://twitter.com/killersites

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DRUPAL Jobs In 2019

March 12, 2019

Widely used by some big name organizations like Nasa and Harvard, is a job working with DRUPAL outdated in 2019?

DRUPAL is (arguably) the 2nd most popular CMS in the world…second only to WordPress (again, arguably…). There a many high paying DRUPAL jobs out there. To work with DRUPAL, you need to know HTML5, CSS3, some JavaScript and PHP … and of course, you need to know DRUPAL.
We’ve been asked if DRUPAL is a dinosaur, an aging language that won’t matter in the years to come and if anyone who works in it will be working towards obsolescence (whoa…heavy, huh?).

Well the short answer is “…no…”
The long answer is (thankfully) a little more detailed and available here in what I’d like to be the first to describe as a “Sausage” explanation. In that it is both meaty (detailed) and has a hint of spiciness (fun nerd ranting) mixed in…yeah, ya know what never mind, I’m regretting this metaphor already…apologies…
Suffice it to say that it’s better to experience this explanation in it’s entirety, with the relevant senses than to write it out. Plus, there a bonus RUBY dig (mwahaha…). Long story short if this is a first job for you, we all have to start somewhere and work looks good on a resume no matter what (not to mention experience) and you’d be surprised how many languages are still being used today…
Enjoy!

My popular courses:
Learn web development fast: https://shop.killervideostore.com/
Learn Python 3 fast: http://www.killervideostore.com/python/

My business courses:
Complete Freelancer: https://www.killervideostore.com/free…
Complete Entrepreneur: https://www.killervideostore.com/vide…

My social links:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stefanmischook
Twitter: https://twitter.com/killersites

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Is Kotlin Important In 2019?

March 12, 2019

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.

Now, like we said in the second paragraph, there’s no need to drop everything and worship new and fast, especially if you already know JAVA, JAVASCRIPT, C#, PYTHON, PHP, etc… they share so many similarities that you could jump into them relatively easily. If anything, rejoice guys! Stick to you basics and your job may be faster and easier…and hopefully more fun too.

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.
Enjoy!

My popular courses:
Learn web development fast: https://shop.killervideostore.com/
Learn Python 3 fast: http://www.killervideostore.com/python/

My business courses:
Complete Freelancer: https://www.killervideostore.com/free…
Complete Entrepreneur: https://www.killervideostore.com/vide…

My social links:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stefanmischook
Twitter: https://twitter.com/killersites

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Should you Learn C# in 2019?

March 5, 2019

C# is probably Microsoft’s flagship language … is it worth learning 2019?

Well, is it worth learning? “If you want to interact with the Microsoft(MS) stack: …building web-based apps that are going to be interfacing with back-end MS technologies…AND you learn C# if you want to get into game programming with UNITY as an example”

Based around JAVA, this modern language was built by MS to function like JAVA but with some “robust” differences… But enough about that, let’s talk jobs!

There are lot of job opportunities working on .Net architecture (ie: web apps), mostly with big corporations…however most of them will require certification in C#. The good news, if you try it out and decide that C# is not for you, you haven’t wasted your time at all, because “all these modern languages(C#, JAVA, Dart, ,etc.) are based on the same principles [more or less]”. If you’ve learned C#, it’s like 80% transferable, “…you cannot lose when you learn a programming language…”

Check out the VLOG for a more in depth explanation, some wisdom about the game developer experience and a little heart2heart…awww. Enjoy!

My popular courses:
Learn web development fast: https://shop.killervideostore.com/
Learn Python 3 fast: http://www.killervideostore.com/python/

My business courses:
Complete Freelancer: https://www.killervideostore.com/free…
Complete Entrepreneur: https://www.killervideostore.com/vide…

My social links:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stefanmischook
Twitter: https://twitter.com/killersites

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The Python Programming Deception?

February 22, 2019

Is Python really that much better than C#, Java or JavaScript, when it comes to jobs and what you can create as a python developer?

I think you really need to watch the vlog to put this into proper context…
We received an email that pointed out an interesting idiosyncrasy when it comes to learning programming languages. Long story short, it was pointed out that while python was a great language to learn, there are not many jobs (outside of AI) that actually use python today, thus making it harder to enter the job market. With so many other languages being used for other purposes, for example,  games: C++/C# for games, and for native app development there’s swift/java/kotlin, to name a few, it doesn’t seem to be worthwhile to learn python if you want to get right into work…

Okay, now before we go any further, I strongly urge you to watch the video for context, I don’t want to start a nerd war; there are far better uses of our time…
That being said, for the most part, “there’s a lot of truth to that. Python is the go-to language in AI/machine learning and it’s the second [or] tertiary language…in many other areas.” The email goes on to conclude that “learning webstack is the best way to getting employed quickly.” I can’t argue with that, but where does that leave us with python?

“Python is a great language, it’s a language that glues everything together. If you’re working in large organizations, you might find the need for python. …A lot of schools teach with python now…because it is an easier language to teach people how to program with. …It’s accessible…Productivity of the language, in terms of how long it takes you to write things is a huge factor today, when you’re looking at programming languages…” But if you’re out to get employed right away then maybe webstack is the best thing for you. However, if you find yourself struggling and maybe you’ve had problems with other languages, python could be a great way to connect the missing pieces and streamline it all. The job opportunities will be less, not zero but less, unless you have a relevant university degree. Full transparency, yes, I do offer Python course but they teach foundations, modules, programming, etc. “…it’s just a vehicle to teach certain programming concepts and mechanisms.”  I feel like the best way explain this is to watch the vlog, it really puts the things I’m saying here into perspective. Plus, at the end of the vlog, I look outside only to find February hasn’t left yet…jeez, get a clue, man! Enjoy!

My popular courses:
Learn web development fast: https://shop.killervideostore.com/
Learn Python 3 fast: http://www.killervideostore.com/python/

My business courses:
Complete Freelancer: https://www.killervideostore.com/free…
Complete Entrepreneur: https://www.killervideostore.com/vide…

My social links:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stefanmischook
Twitter: https://twitter.com/killersites

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Part2 Gettin’ DIS’d: How To Beat Developer Imposter Syndrome

February 20, 2019

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!

My popular courses:
Learn web development fast: https://shop.killervideostore.com/
Learn Python 3 fast: http://www.killervideostore.com/python/

My social links:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stefanmischook
Twitter: https://twitter.com/killersites

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Part1 Gettin’ DIS’d: Developer Imposter Syndrome

February 8, 2019

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!
Enjoy!

PS – RUBY gets a backhanded compliment FTW!

My popular courses:
Learn web development fast: https://shop.killervideostore.com/
Learn Python 3 fast: http://www.killervideostore.com/python/

My social links:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stefanmischook
Twitter: https://twitter.com/killersites

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C++ in 2019: Relic of the Past or King of the Mountain?

January 23, 2019

In the age of fast CPU’s and mature development platforms, will C++ see its’ use slowly diminish over time…

Oh, how the mighty have fallen…
C++: a programming language of immense speed and power has always been the poster child for learning to be a  programmer. It’s still used in video games (for it’s processing speed) and other programs (and some apps), but all that power/speed does come at a price. Well, more of trade-off, really… the programming language is notoriously difficult and time consuming to write out [program], and paying programmers to write out such a time-consuming language can be expensive to a fledgling company or even a huge corporation in the red.

Now credit where credit’s due: C++ Is. A. Beast (in every way), and it’s not going anywhere any time soon but, “…it was created 30 years, 40 years ago; something like that… it was created at a time when computers were far far less powerful. The hardware was far less powerful so we needed to design programming languages that really took advantage of the limited resources in terms of memory and it terms of CPU.” With hardware becoming more and more powerful, other less…hardcore, let’s call it…languages have emerged that take advantage of those capabilities that come standard (compare the standard hardware setup of a computer in 1995 and 2010? Heck, 2005 even!) and in turn offer more flexibility with time and framework.

This video goes way more in depth about it (it also starts off trippy in a “Little Big Planet” kinda way). Enjoy the effects, the content and the GoPro magic…

My popular courses:
Learn web development fast: https://shop.killervideostore.com/
Learn Python 3 fast: http://www.killervideostore.com/python/

My social links:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stefanmischook
Twitter: https://twitter.com/killersites

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