KillerSites Blog

Web Design

More Than Dress to Impress…

August 22, 2019

How do you impress as a new developer?

You just landed your first job as a programmer or a dev… Congratulations! Now how do you keep that job? We gotcha.
First, read this.
That’s a lot to remember, are you freaking out? No problem.
All you really need to do is remember step 1 or (for those of you that didn’t read it):

Communication. “Communicate; listen, that’s a big part of it. …Being somebody they can count on, somebody that gets along, somebody that they can speak to is a huge part of the job. …Just work with people, listen, and that is like 90% of it.”
-also-
Don’t ask Google-able questions. “…If you find that you’re having difficulty, don’t be afraid to ask questions …short, concise questions -don’t ask super long-winded questions- keep it pithy/to the point… …[And] don’t ask too many questions -especially questions that you could research on Google (ultimately they’re hiring you to get the job done).” But stuff happens, for example, “…there could be some design issues, there could be some specifics with regards to their particular software…hopefully they’ll be able to provide that [answers] for you…”
-and-
The ‘Ramp-up’. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fresh-faced noob or a grizzled old veteran programmer, no one with brain in their skull expects you to get things right outta the gate. There’s a ‘ramp-up’: “When they first bring you in there’s going to be some expectation of a ‘ramp-up’ time. You’re not going to know everything …if they have an advanced piece of software, …you’re going to have to get to know the code base, and that could take time depending on the complexity of the software. It’s not your code, you’re going to have to learn it. And in your first little while go out of your way to make sure you try as quickly as possible to learn the code -don’t kill yourself; don’t get all sweaty and nervous about it- …but ask your coworker, your lead. ‘what do I need to do first so I can get up to speed and help you guys?’ “.

After that, it’s like any other job, “…be sure to double-check your work: make sure you don’t make any silly mistakes, …if you’re assigned to a task, make sure you get things done on time, …and hopefully you didn’t lie on your resume and say you were a ‘master nerd’, cuz they’re going to figure you out pretty quickly…”.

Check out the VLOG for some really good advice and <Shameless Promo> generally speaking, if you’ve taken the web stack course, you might find yourself ahead of the game as many people found out once they got the job…
-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/stefanmisch…
Twitter: https://twitter.com/killersites

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One Bite at a Time…

August 22, 2019

How do you get through really boring and/or tedious tasks?

If you’ve been a human on this planet for more than 8 minutes, chances are you’ve come across a tedious task – something that you just didn’t want to do (maybe it’s boring, not your interest, or even expertise) and for some reason, you are being forced to do it. After rolling your eyes, and groaning the groan of a tortured soul, you stare at the task and ask yourself, ‘How the #%$@ am I going to get through this?’

The first and easiest answer is ‘farm it out’, that is hiring/paying someone else to do it. …And after that’s done, you’ll have plenty of time to go yachting off the coast of France, daddy Warbucks! But for those of us that don’t have the money to do that, the answer is a little more pragmatic, but only slightly less painful…

“I just go in there and I say, ‘okay, I’m just gonna do 20 minutes’, …I’m just gonna move the ball 2 or 3 feet forward. And you just discipline yourself to do little chunks of work of the stuff you hate, because if you try to do something you hate doing or you don’t wanna do, and you wait to do it on the last day, and you got hours of this crappy work to do, it’s gonna be painful.” Breaking boring, tedious, or just plain crappy chunks of work up into smaller sections will save you time in the long run and your sanity.

Check out the VLOG, it’s short and sweet. Check out our courses, if you haven’t already and just like eating your aunt’s salted cod and boiled peas dish, take it one bite at a time…
-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/stefanmisch…
Twitter: https://twitter.com/killersites

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The Sincerest Form of Flattery…

August 20, 2019

Is using developer tutorials cheating? Or are they the steps you need to take to move from beginner to advanced developer?

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…and in some cases, it’s also the quickest way to a lawsuit. Beginner devs are often cautious (and quite rightly so) when looking at someone else’s work/tutorial and wonder if making something similar is ‘cheating’?

Generally speaking, “it’s not cheating. Everything that you see in this world, whether it be software development, music, martial arts -whatever, it’s all based on other people’s work.” Some would even argue that’s how things evolve and get better; by different people messing around and riffing on the same idea. BUT, let’s clarify that, “if you’re stealing it; line for line, that’s bad -it’s illegal and it’s immoral. But if you’re learning how to do something…it’s not cheating to do a tutorial and then based off of that tutorial, you build your own app.” Of course, please do your due diligence, for example, “unless they give you specific permission to copy the code, don’t copy the code. But you can basically learn from it, and then write your own thing accordingly.”

At the end of the day your code/project will be different because everybody’s needs are different, so your app, project, etc, will be not be a carbon copy unless you want it to be…in which case lawyer up! But everyone had to start out somewhere and they became experienced by using what they saw and adding their own thing to reflect the needs of their client, employer, or the very project they were creating.

The VLOG goes into greater detail and you should check it out. Go out there and create, learn and be better than you were.
-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/stefanmisch…
Twitter: https://twitter.com/killersites

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Number 5 is Alive! …And It’s Killing Me

August 19, 2019

Complex development can linger in production, as you work on the last 5% of the job.

So you’ve got your project, your app – mobile or web, etc. ready to go and you’re almost done, “You’ve got the end and use case defined, meaning people can run through your system, you’ve got the UX defined, you got your UI in place…now at this point you’ve got just 5% left -so you figure, ‘we’re going to crack this thing out in a month…or a week depending on the scope of the thing over all- but what you’re going to find is that last 5% lingers…” Oh yes, ladies and gentleman, like a fart left in the back of an airplane bathroom…it lingers.

Light at the End of the Tunnel
To get that crucial 5% working from end to end takes longer than you think and that is just par for the course. “[You’ll] find all these little things: this has to be fixed here, that has to be fixed here…this is normal. Keep that in mind when you’re first getting into the game, especially when you’re dealing with clients, and you’re building their system; you’ve got to account for that last bit of back and forth.”

So there it is my weary devs… Check out the VLOG for the some more insight into ‘the forced march of the last 5%’ and just know that it’s normal and to always account for the back and forth between you and the client when you hit that last 5%…
-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/stefanmisch…
Twitter: https://twitter.com/killersites

read more

When to Start Freelancing, After Taking the Web Developer Course?

August 19, 2019

Heads up! This is going to be geared to our courses (specifically our web development course), but you can definitely take advantage of the information we’ll be providing…but it works best with our courses 🙂

So, when should you start freelancing after taking our developer course?
“This is what I’d do: you finished my full stack course, you do all the foundations training, you do the first few projects that I suggest on the project section, and then the thing which you should do at this point is if you got my freelance course, you should read the first few chapters of the freelance course which gives you the framework to setup your freelance business. Then you have to complete your web design training as a padawan web designer or web developer-junior: what you do is you go out there and you do one or two small…SMALL projects as a freelancer for some independent company/third party.” Consider this your final exam cuz you’re going to be out there doing work AND communicating with clients! “…And if you have our freelance course, you’re going to get all the templates, the contracts, the initial proposal templates, etc…”

So there you have it. The VLOG goes into even more detail and you can even hear about how Stef got started out as a freelancer, having no idea how to build a CRUD based application and what he did. Thanks for listening to our shameless promos and if you’ve had your interest peaked by what it is we offer, check out our courses, it’s definitely worth your time.
-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/stefanmisch…
Twitter: https://twitter.com/killersites

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Young at Heart but Long in the Tooth 3: Forever!

August 14, 2019

How old can you be and still be a successful freelance coder / developer?

Gonna be a short article and VLOG, it’s mostly just a ‘WOW’ piece.
For a quick refresher check out this and that previous article but there’s a man out there who is still a freelancing programmer at 83 years old!!

I mean C’mon! That’s insane! This guy either loves what he does, or owes some serious money. But it really does go to show you that age is just a number and where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Check out the VLOG for the whole story and keep on rockin’ in the free[lance] world!
-Enjoy!

<Shameless promo> check out the really cool and thoughtfully put together courses that we offer. Whether it’s freelancing, or learning web development, you’ll be taking advantage of almost 3 decades of experience in all these subjects AND if you click here, you can take advantage of a super deal! We’ve teamed up with InMotion hosting for a really amazing offer where they essentially pay for you to take my course and learn how to become a web developer. Links to all these offers are below as well.
-Enjoy!

Special web design and development training offer: https://www.killersites.com/blog/2019…

Check out my popular freelance course – great for any age!
Complete Freelancer: https://www.killervideostore.com/free…

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

Complete Entrepreneur: https://www.killervideostore.com/vide…

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

read more

How Important are Developer Certifications?

August 12, 2019

Do you need certifications as a developer? Will a certification help you land that juicy software developer job?

Great question. In the past, certifications were a great way to show that you were knowledgeable in a certain skill/area of expertise and that you took the time/initiative to learn it. However this was also in a time before the internet and (relatively) free flow of information… We have indirectly addressed this in this article but let’s be a little more direct…

Full transparency: We offer certifications to schools that teach our courses and we are even working on certifications upon completion of our courses to the general public, but we’re going to address that tout-suite (right away).

So, “…certifications have a certain limited role, I mean [they] do play a certain limited role but they do play a role. In my own hiring practices…I admit that I do look at what, if any, certifications they may have: whether that is a university degree, college degree, or a boot camp…or just a certification in general. It plays a minimal role, how much does it impact my decision-making? …for me experience building real things is more important, but good certifications do indeed play a role”. Here’s a theoretical: if you’re working or looking to be employed by a ‘top shelf’/prestigious consulting firm and you’re wondering: ‘do I need a certification?’ The answer is, “…if the certification was going to cost you thousands of dollars, I probably wouldn’t… if it’s costing a couple of hundred dollars to get a few certifications to show that you’re up-to-date… it could impact your ability to get a job (not necessarily as a freelancer) …but as a consultant, it does add a bit”.

Another thing we’ve talked about before is that as any kind of person looking for work: freelancer or 9-5’er, you have your reputation, skill sets, and IP (intellectual property). “…certifications are part of your reputation; building structure, if you will.” So long story-short: in most cases (depending on who you’re working for or trying to get hired by) certifications will pale in comparison to real world experience, but much like having a secret bottle of rye whiskey hidden away in the back of your top drawer…on certain occasions it does help…

Check out the VLOG for a full dive into the grey area of certifications and experience. If ever there was a VLOG to check out, let it be this one -your job may depend on it…
-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/stefanmisch…
Twitter: https://twitter.com/killersites

read more

Stef’s Top 10 Programming Rules – A MUST LEARN!!

August 11, 2019

…Or you can spend 25 years writing code to figure these rules out for yourself. Your choice… 😉

We use the royal we a lot here, but the man in charge and captain at the helm is Stef. He’s the guy whose over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur, freelancer, and programmer, etc. is presented on a shiny platter of VLOG-ness every week, not to mention the courses offered (links below).

But when we <Stef> release a top 10 programming rules for you to take advantage of, well ya gotta give the devil <also Stef> his due and drop the pretense. And when we say 25 years of experience we don’t just mean showing up, doing your job, drinking coffee and then calling it a day… It’s also hard-knocks, disappointments, and life lessons. Stef doesn’t want a medal or anything, he just wants to save you a little heartache by listening to what he has to say. That way you have more time (and heart) left to do the things you enjoy.

I’m not gonna tell you what the programming rules are, you should watch the VLOG for that, but I’ll give you a hint: if you’ve been watching these VLOGs, even casually or out of sequence, you’ve come across all or most of them. This is just a condensed version of everything: the ‘from concentrate’ orange juice that has not yet been watered down at that small diner that you get breakfast sometimes, you know the one, their home fries are soooo good, but why do they ‘cheap out’ on the OJ?!

Check out the VLOG, it’s worth it. Or, like the subtitle says, spend 25 years figuring it out for yourself. Thanks, Stef (can I have a raise?).
-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/stefanmisch…
Twitter: https://twitter.com/killersites

read more

Experience Vs. Exuberance: Do You Need a Job Before Freelancing?

August 10, 2019

Do you need to have had work experience working for someone to become a freelancer?

American poet and playwright Edna St. Vincent Millay is quoted as saying, “I am glad that I paid so little attention to good advice; had I abided by it I might have been saved from some of my most valuable mistakes“. Even though that classy, gangsta quote sounds like something the Dowager Countess of Grantham would say on Downton Abbey, it is super applicable today when we broach the topic of freelancing and previous experience.

On our ‘code-on-the-go’ segment we answer the oft-asked question: should young devs get experience working for a company prior to getting into freelancing? Can a self-taught freelancer get as skillful as a dev who works within a company?

“Short answer is yes – not a problem. I’ve had many of my mentees come right outta school and they start freelancing; working for me as contractors: I start them with little projects and they would build up that way.” We’ve talked about this in past and even dedicated a whole article to it regarding field experience vs. class/book learning, but essentially “…learn your foundations, one or two quick project courses and then what you do is you start asking around local businesses about whether they need a website (if you’re doing web stack), and start with small simple projects…the key is to build your portfolio…yes, self-taught programmers can become just as skillful…”.

Check out the VLOG. Although it’s short I can guarantee you’re going to be illuminated. Also<Shameless Plug> if you’re interested in freelancing but don’t know where to start or you’ve just started and don’t think you’re doing it right, check out our course: ‘The Complete Freelancer‘. We wouldn’t offer it unless we were confident that you could profit from our over 3 decades of experience in the field. Links down below…
-Enjoy!

Learn EVERYTHING about freelancing with my popular course:
Complete Freelancer: https://www.killervideostore.com/free…

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/stefanmisch…
Twitter: https://twitter.com/killersites

read more

Wix Picks: When to Use Web Builders Over CMS or Build From Scratch.

August 10, 2019

Wix is another tool that web designers can use to build out simple client websites and for some client websites, using Wix just makes sense.

When it comes to building websites for clients most devs will turn to CMS giant WordPress but there are other less complicated web-builders out there like Wix, SquareSpace, Weebly, etc. that generally let you create websites easily at the cost of versatility. And that’s not altogether a bad thing, depending on what the client’s needs are.

And from these sites that offer simplicity and ease have risen freelancers in their own right. “If you look at Wix today or shopify…even though they’re much easier to use than, let’s say building from scratch: using a template or something, it’s still something that many small business owners don’t want to tackle. …In terms of freelance work, I call it becoming a web professional. A web professional is not necessarily somebody who is a developer (although they could be), …[It’s] somebody who knows how to put up websites, knows the different options; knows how to build from scratch, …you understand when those types of builders make sense, …hosting options, …domain names …this is what a web professional brings to the table.”

Don’t call Wix and the other builders a niche – I’ve been here for years, rockin’ my peers, puttin’ others in fear…okay seriously though, “…because it’s such a huge demand, this type of freelancer is gonna make a lot of money because there’s so many small businesses out there who are positioned on the web in some form or another and they don’t have all this knowledge, they don’t understand the differences between these different platforms and they’re probably not aware of most of these platforms…”

So should you consider using Wix, shopify, etc when choosing how to service client(s) demands over WordPress? “So your job as a consultant/web professional is to direct them in the right direction. Shopify, Wix, SquareSpace, etc. they’re not competition, they’re not taking away from web design and development, they are just tools in your toolbox. …Go in there first [and] talk to your client: see what their needs are and then you as a web professional can determine whether or not the Wix platform can support that.” As previously mentioned, “the thing about these web builders… they’re typically limited: the simplification comes at the cost of flexibility. …When you simplify you usually remove options that you have on the table. So you have to determine whether you need those options or not; maybe you don’t/maybe you do…”. Hey, we never said it was gonna be easy…

The VLOG goes into a way better explanation, you should check it out. And maybe while you’re at it <shameless promo> check out the really cool and thoughtfully put together courses that we offer. Whether is freelancing, or learning web development, you’ll be taking advantage of almost 3 decades of experience in all these subjects AND if you click here, you can take advantage of a super deal! We’ve teamed up with InMotion hosting for a really amazing offer where they essentially pay for you to take my course and learn how to become a web developer. Links to all these offers are below as well.
-Enjoy!

Web hosting company pays for your web design and development training: https://www.killersites.com/blog/2019…

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/stefanmisch…
Twitter: https://twitter.com/killersites

read more