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!
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!
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!
Alright, shameless self-promotion time!! We offer a kick-ass course in FREELANCING. It’s super informative and affordable.
Now before we go any further, let’s talk about the difference between freelancer and contractors: Contractor: Typically brought into an organization and you have a particular task that’s assigned to you/ have to show up at specific time. It’s usually pretty structured/you are an employee without any benefits. Freelance: Also have no benefits but maximum flexibility in terms of your work hours. Essentially you chose when and how you’re going to work.
Now the nature of freelance and why it’s so alluring is that generally speaking you don’t have to be anywhere at any one specific time. You have the freedom to plan your day according to what the demands are: for example you can go meet a client and you can decide what tools you are going to use for the job they have, and generally speaking it’s up to you when you do it and how you do it… So let’s say you work 30 hours a week (guess) at a full-time brick and mortar job, you can easily budget out another 10-15 hours in that week for your freelance job (whatever that may be).
The hard part, of course, will be managing your time when you’re starting out and really being disciplined enough to do that freelancing job after a tough day at work, but maybe someone’s been through that experience already and is just dying to share it with you!
Check out the rest of this vid for some more insight into the subject plus a tight little drum intro in the beginning, AND a winter wonderland walk that culminates in a peek into my past dating life…
Another breaking discovery from the Department of Urban Humanity or ‘DUH’: “You are a flesh and blood human being and the software “tools” you choose do not define you. Whatever programs, hardware, etc. other people use is their own business and has nothing to do with you. Go live your life!”
The main reason for this VLOG is because we had the audacity to mention that some lifelong MAC users were switching to WINDOWS for a bunch of reasons, hardware inconsistencies, etc… And some people (and one in particular) practically pooped a kitten!
Now, trolls and general sh*t disturbers aside, we know that most people either have too much common sense or not enough time to care about this statement. But for those of you who genuinely have your back up: “it’s just an opinion, man. Who cares!”
Check out the VLOG below or if you feel like you’re on the outside looking in, checkout the links to some great courses that we offer, that way you can learn coding and then spew your opinion all over the internet…or take those amazing skills and become a highly paid and respected DEVELOPER SUPREME!!
First things first, a kick-ass opening for this vlog with a (literally, for those afraid of heights) breath-taking view of Montreal, and then back into the “studio” to check out my rig (drums), all to a slick tune in the background. Maybe we’ll call this segment, “Weeee, so fly.”
But let’s dive right into it… Should you use JAVA for back end web app development?
A very specific question deserves a very specific answer: “At the end of the day you have to always judge your technology stacks based on both technical implications of the choice and market implications.”
Technology implications: Do you have experience with the language you’re using? Are you comfortable as programmer? “It depends how nerdy you are, if you are very comfortable writing code, you’re very comfortable as a developer and you’ve done web apps before, yeah, JAVA, could be a good choice, but you gotta consider more than just the technical aspects of the language…”
In terms of market implications: “…are there jobs there? Is there a long road ahead for that particular technology stack?” Now, there are plenty of jobs in JAVA but they tend to be in or with larger businesses/ organizations. Even with smaller businesses or freelance work “JAVA would not be my first, second, or third choice…”.
Check out the video for a super detailed answer to this question and the more broad lesson that we’re trying to teach: What can you do Vs. what will the market pay you for. Also, did you find our RUBY diss(es)? Oh, yeah, there might be more than one! Enjoy!
Full transparency: We have a book and we do videos, so we know what we’re talking about having been on both sides of the fence… And of course, our answer is (unsurprisingly) both-ish; kinda like a two pronged attack…
Books are great for referencing material, for example, you need to look something up, you find the page and boom: there it is! As opposed to sometimes having to watch a 15-20 minute video that has great material but it’s buried deep in the vid. You might have to start jumping around on the time bar to find it or it won’t be covered til minute 8 or the 15 minutes, which can be pretty frustrating when time is a factor.
Video on the other hand is great for “…engaging with the material you just learned.” If you’ve been following us for awhile, you know we have online courses that are tailor-made to helping you learn and then put to practice (through questions, exercises, etc.) the things you just learned. While with a book the learning tends to be more passive and in the case of retention, it’s hard to put it down sometimes and start practicing what you just read…
Now we’re not knocking anyone’s learning style, if you can retain and use information you’ve just read in a book, that’s great! We’re just trying to lay out what we think is the best of both worlds and will yield the best results vs. effort. Check out the vid where we go into MAJOR detail. And check out our links at the bottom to our kickass courses: it’s super effective! Enjoy!