Someone asked me, if I had to pick the most important things you can do to improve your programming, what would it be?
Have a consistent self describing naming convention. This saves you yuuge time because you will make less mistakes and be able to code more quickly.
Keep your code fine-grained. This means you write functions and methods that do only 1 thing … Not five. This will keep your code easy to understand, to debug and expand.
The first thing to do when starting a new project, is to see what others have done. Perhaps there will be libraries to leverage, perhaps even entire open-source software you can use as a starting point. This is yuuge!
Love the YouTube channel, I just wondered what your thoughts on Webflow are? Will it spell the end of web development as we know it (coding) or will developers have to adopt a more visual approach to building a website with such as platforms like Webflow? I realise that the system is built for designers, however without the need for a developer on a platform such as this, the code is seminally marked up, they keep increasing the features capability and complexity, I ask the question where do we fit in if platforms like this become very popular?
I don’t see it as a threat – it is a tool.
A big part of modern web design and development goes WAY beyond code:
Site aesthetic design – pre code design if you will
UX – making the site EASY to use
Information design / architecture, if you will. WHAT to place on the site
Setting up the domain, hosting … the basic mechanics of it
Tweaking – I’ve always found that no matter how good the tool, you will need to know code to tweak it
Then there is consulting on social media strategy, content marketing strategy
Finally, the websites function: do they need an e-commerce setup, wordpress, etc …
So Webflow, if it works as perfectly, can help automate the process and perhaps shift your time allocation (meaning you’ll write less code,) but you will still have plenty of work to do as a web designer/developer.
This is nothing new. In the early 2000’s, we did lots of stuff as web designer / developers that we no longer have to do because of better tools … and it’s a good thing!
Regardless of the tools that come out, it’s still good to know the code behind the pages and to learn how to put things together, because it will make you life easier as a web professional and even as a small business owner.
… The challenge many schools are facing though, is finding teachers to teach the coding classes.
StudioWeb’s Professional Development in Teaching Code
After working with many schools in the US and abroad, StudioWeb has developed an effective and engaging professional development program for teachers who have never written a single line of code!
Learn to teach code as you learn the course material for your classes
Teacher’s are super busy, and so it makes sense for them to learn to teach code, with the course material that they will be using to teach their students with. It’s a two for one!! The StudioWeb program has proven to fit that role perfectly.
How does it work?
As teachers learn to code, they will also be learning the structure of the lessons, quizzes, projects and the code challenges!
Now teachers know how to code, and they know the courses they will be teaching with!
So rather than learning the coding languages, then having to find or develop a curriculum … professional development with StudioWeb means you get both at the same time.
… Needless to say, teachers love it!
If you are interested in learning how to teach code with our teacher approved (and proven!) curriculum, you are invited to contact us.
When learning a programming language, you are going to make many mistakes – it’s normal that your code won’t work the first few times. That said, the key to learning code, is to write code as soon as possible, and as often as possible.
… Even if the code you are writing, does not make sense to you at the time.
The anxiety when learning something new
I was recently reminded of the anxiety most people experience when learning something new. Case in point, though I’ve been creating videos for many years, I always just used the camera’s automatic settings. I didn’t really know much about my equipment.
A little while ago, I decided that I wanted to do more, and so I ventured into more advanced functions like:
… I wanted more control over the video I was shooting.
At first, understanding these basic concepts was confusing, and I was wondering when it would all sink in … therein lies the anxiety. The not knowing if you will ever get it.
In the end, as it is with learning to write code, I just had to use the camera … you have to jump into it and start practicing.
What is the best way to learn to code?
Over the years (since 1994,) I’ve learned 9 programming languages. That may sound impressive, but it isn’t really. Like learning to drive a car, once you understand one programming language, you pretty much understand the basics of all programming languages!
So having done this many times, I can tell you that if you want to learn to code, you have to dive in and write code.
It comes down to these steps:
Do a little theory.
Write code that was taught in the theory.
… It’s about bite-size morsels of delicious little code bits! You have to write lots of code, make mistakes and write more code. Repetition goes a long way.
I’ve been in the web development business for over 20yrs now, and one consistent problem for many well meaning nerds, is the over engineering of web apps. This extends to all development as well, not just the web developers.
… The old KISS acronym “Keep it simple, stupid”, seems to be forgotten with every new generation of developers.
So today we have once again, new and overly complex frameworks and apps being thrust upon us. I vlogged about this recently in this video:
I am writing just to say how happy I am with the courses. Although, I am a member of Lynda and Udemi, your courses are way better. For me you are the HIDDEN GEM, the YODA of web design. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.
I’ve been building websites and building apps since the early 1990’s. In that time, I’ve learned many different languages, and explored many different strategies when it comes to writing good code.
This is going to be my first blog post on the business of coding. In this series, I will not be getting into the finer details of writing code (I cover that easily in my courses,) instead, I will talking about things that only 20+ years of development experience can teach you. But if you follow this series, you will learn these useful tips much more quickly!
Tip #1: Giving time for your mind to rest will pay dividends in your coding and business career.
I am not a big fan of them because there is so much work out there. You could be getting paid to code (and learn) rather that doing a hackathon.
In addition, the only way you get coding chops, is by building real apps for real clients. One thing a lot of developers miss, is that being able to manage a project has a lot to do with managing non-nerd clients … you only get that experience in the real world.
I used to see the same sort of thing in martial arts, where certain styles are really big into drills and exercises. The problem is, that they put much less (if any) time into actual fighting.
… Then they take a beating when they are unlucky enough to mix it up with someone who spent his time sparring, rather than running through drills.
That said, the more code you write the better, so codathons will improve your abilities no doubt … but nothing compares to the real thing. Pick your analogy! 🙂