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.
These days we have many options when it comes to building websites, but which is the best way to build in 2018?
Let’s talk websites and the building thereof… So, you’re a small business owner or an aspiring website creator? Maybe you’re just interested in what goes into building a website. Well, there are many options and each has their PROs & CONs:
HTML & CSS The traditional way to do web design coding, these would be the two “languages” you’d have to learn and they can (theoretically) build any type of website. “There is literally no limitations, in terms of what you could build if you got into the nuts & bolts: the basics of building a website.” However, the downside is that you’re going to have to learn it; that is to say time investment, theory, practice; all the stuff that goes into learning a skill. But that being said, you know how to program!
Web Design Programs These can range from programs where you have to know a little bit of code (Dreamweaver, Brackets, etc.) to content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, down to easy site builders like WIX, for example. All are very different approaches (which we will touch on in the video) and vary in the amount of control you will likely have…
The key word here is control. As we go from straight up coding down the line, we lose flexibility and versatility; it goes from creating the very thing you see in your mind’s eye, to “what you see is what you get” on the building sites. And of course, that’s fine too. There’s nothing wrong or lazy with building a “wham-bam” website if that’s what fills your needs, but check out our video and you might get an idea of how to better fill those needs. And check out the links at the bottom if you’re curious about the aforementioned web design languages. Mastering the code of website creation does have it’s perks…
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.
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…
Some of the most important things programmers need to learn, are the foundational concepts and techniques I refer to as the ‘core’.
Here are few examples:
• consistent and proper naming conventions.
• code formatting.
• simple modular code.
• using accepted design patterns like MVC.
• importance of being consistent with the way an apps’ codebase is structured.
Sadly, fundamentals like these are omitted by most online courses. These lessons should be interwoven within the context of any good programming course.
The ‘core’ principles are soooooo important, because they not only provide a solid foundation, they actually speed up the process of learning.
Check out my popular web design and development training package:
There is a growing awareness in the value of vocational education. For many students, college and university may not be their best choice, so it makes sense prepare them with valuable in demand skills.
With that in mind, it’s safe to say that coding and programming, is the 21st century vocational skill.
StudioWeb’s unique curriculum
A vocationally capable code curriculum is hard to find. In fact, I haven’t found any other than StudioWeb.
This is probably because to create an effective set of courses, that teach both practical coding skills and theory, the courses (and software) has to be created by someone who:
Has teaching experience and skill.
Has commercial experience writing code.
Is an accomplished presenter and author.
Seven years ago, when I first designed the software and course structure for StudioWeb, I was able to pour into it my years of experience teaching code, creating courses, and writing commercial software. I believe this combination, was a key reason why StudioWeb’s curriculum has proven to be so popular with students and teachers.
Everyone knows that kids should learn to code for a variety of reasons. Here are just a few:
Opens up possibilities for future jobs
Develops problem solving skills
Develops logical thinking skills
… As such, we are starting to see the growth of coding camps for kids.
Schools are slowly introducing coding
Often times, schools have limited time and resources, and as such, it will likely be many more years until coding is part of core curriculum in many schools.
Parents around the world are taking the initiative to give their kids a headstart, and are enrolling them in code camps. These camps take place either during the summer months, or throughout the school year, after regular school hours. Many entrepreneurs are stepping up to meet this growing need.
What are the skills required to start a code camp?
Typically, if you are to teach code, you need a person who knows how to write code, and who knows how to teach as well. Not a common skillset, and not that easy for the average person to learn both skills.
Code camp owners have a few options: build these skills (which is a daunting task for most,) or hire a teacher/developer. But both options presents its’ own problems. Another solution is to use StudioWeb, a system that allows just about anyone to successfully manage a code class.
StudioWeb allows teachers to facilitate a code classroom
… Among the many features, StudioWeb generates accurate grades, usage reports, and even awards badges and certificates that students can print and mount. All handled by the StudioWeb web application, and is practically effortless to manage. Teachers love it. Especially teachers who don’t know code!
Advantages of starting a code camp:
No coding skills required with StudioWeb.
Great for stay-at-home moms!
Very small startup cost, since most students will have a laptop, or the camp will only need to supply inexpensive Chromebooks and inexpensive headphones.
Easy to get people excited to sign up to a camp.
If you would be interested in setting up a code camp, feel free to contact StudioWeb.