KillerSites Blog

Real World Web Design

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

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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

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Quality of the Bean: JavaScript Vs. CoffeeScript

August 1, 2019

Another great example of the ‘Shiny Tech Trap’…

JavaScript needs no introduction… even a quick google search will give you all you need to know. But at one time JS had a rival, a new kid on the block and it was called CoffeeScript (You can google it if you want but don’t bother…). “A few years back people were like ‘oohhh, CoffeeScript!’, the hipster nerds were, ‘Ooooh, CoffeeScript runs faster than JS, it’s better – you gotta use CoffeeScript!’.” And the sad thing was CoffeeScript did have some advantages and was actually slightly faster than JS but, “Rule of thumb: when you have a technology, whether it be a programming language or framework but it’s extremely dominant in the marketplace, for it to be replaced there would literally have to be some paradigm shift for that to happen. It is very very rare that you see a very established technology replaced by something that’s maybe 20% or 30% better…It has to be 5 times better! …or more.”

“Now CoffeeScript was faster blah blah blah, JS was so dominant that all JS people had to do was come in with es6, which is the latest version of JS…and CoffeeScript is now {indicates ‘thumbs down’ motion and ‘failure’ sound effect}…no more.”

This falls into something we talked about here not too long ago, called ‘the shiny tech trap’, which is abandoning more mature/tried and true/old technology for something that’s brand-spanking new and purports to do things slightly faster and better. Unless it’s a HUGE leap forward the absolutely changes everything for the better, it’s generally not going to happen…

Take a sip of the steaming-hot cuppa VLOG to really get a sense of what we’re talking about and as a bonus, we talk about RUBY but not in a terrible way…I mean not a great way, but not terrible. Check it out.
-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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Get Your Shoes On – Jump Right In!

July 31, 2019

Some advice for people learning to code.

Alright, so you’re learning to code and you feel like you’ve got a relatively good grasp of the fundamentals, you’ve done a few tutorials and they confirm that from a theoretical standpoint: you got this!

Well, that’s good news…so what’s next? Maybe some more challenging tutorials to really put your knowledge to the test? Perhaps we send out some resumes to companies telling them we’d be on board for some intern/unpaid work to “try things out”? …Oh no, my sweet little birdie…it’s time to spread your wings and fly! “When people are learning anything new (and coding is not unique in this regard), …there’s often a lot of fear or trepidation: the unknown, the new, is kind of…it’s anxiety-provoking for people, especially career-oriented choices.”

Just Jump In, Man…
Now full disclosure here, when we’re advocating “jumping in”, we’re assuming 1-That you’ve done our courses (shameless plug), which are designed to take advantage of over almost 3 decades in the business and to prepare you quickly and efficiently to handle almost any problem right out of the gate, or 2- That you’re trained to the gills and really just don’t know what you’re next step is. “A good course will give you the confidence to feel that you can move forward and actually do something for real. [When] you can build responsive a website, you’re ready to go. Do you know everything? No. But you’re ready to go.” “You learn so much more by building real-world projects for real people as opposed to walking through tutorials. Because what you’re going to learn: a big part of being a developer is interacting/speaking/communicating with the client; figuring out problems along the way.”

The VLOG goes into more detail and closes with a really nice bit of advice, which we recommend checking out, but it wouldn’t be a great VLOG if we didn’t have a mind-bending, super mario galaxy-inspired shot at the end, which we also recommend checking out.
-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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What Type of Web Work is Most Common in 2019

July 30, 2019

What kind of highly complex and crazy work will you be doing? The answer may surprise you…

So what is the most common web developer job that is going to be out there in 2019? Are you gonna be building the next FACEBOOK from NODEjs or the next WordPress.com with PHP? The short answer is…maybe, but probably not…

“The most likely situation is you’re going to be working with small to medium sized businesses. Web developers will be building wordpress-based sites with custom mini apps, perhaps. You might be modifying shopify sites and deploying those for people.” Not as glamorous as you thought, is it? Well, it’s the truth…

Think of your standard web developer “…like a GP in the medical [professional]. You got medical doctors that are general practitioners, they don’t specialize in brain surgery, which would be kind of the equivalent of a NODEjs master or a PHP-Laravel master. The most common doctor out there is the GP (general practitioner): someone who takes care of most people’s medical needs. That is what a web professional is, you might do a Paypal integration, another day you might do a WordPress theme customizer…this is where a lot of the professional web-based jobs are gonna be.”

Don’t get us wrong, there’ going to be plenty of work building highly complex apps from scratch, “… but at the end of the day for every advanced app that’s built with NODEjs, there’s going to be five hundred, maybe thousands of jobs where you’re going to modify and build up a WordPress-based site, or work on a Shopify site for somebody.”

The VLOG really does this subject justice, including an answer to the common question of money. Specifically why does the NODEjs master make as much as the common web developer who’s just modifying Shopify or WordPress, etc. and it’s a good answer.
-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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Investing in College Vs Investing in Yourself

July 30, 2019

With more and more people accruing astronomical student loan debt, many wonder is education really better than real world experience.

Full transparency:.
1. This is mostly an American/North America problem.
2. Not all higher learning institutions are created equal.
3. We are talking mostly about software engineers.
4. There will be shameless plugs to our online courses.

If you’ve been a young adult on this planet in the last 120 years, you’ve heard the sales pitch: Go to school, get a degree/diploma, get a really good job, make money, get married, buy a house, settle down and pump out 2.5 kids and get a dog…maybe a cat. And we’ve all accepted and railed against this pitch to varying degrees. But more and more (and this is especially prevalent in the US and Canada), graduates are leaving colleges and universities with astronomical student debts and <almost> worthless degrees. Which in turn begs the question; ‘What did I do with the last 3-5 years of my life if I can’t get a job in my field of study?’

Now I feel I need to say that this is not always the case for everyone. And there are fields like medicine where higher learning and degrees are expected and can be worthwhile, but let’s talk about software engineers…and maybe people with philosophy degrees…sorry, artistic types.

I’ll get to the point quickly because if you’ve just graduated a 3 year program at $30K/year you either don’t have time to read all of this at your 9-5 entry level job you had to take to pay back your almost $100K student debt or you really should stop reading this and go back to looking for a job to pay it off… But that’s the problem isn’t it? You have this crazy debt and no guarantee of a job in your field, while someone who hasn’t gone to college or university, and has taken a well put together online course…like STUDIO WEB ( sorry, that was shameless), has completed the course in way less time than you, has had time to garner real world experience and is now just as qualified, if not more so, to work in your field.

This has a lot of people wondering is a higher learning degree worth it? Look, I know it’s hard for colleges and universities, they have a lot of staff to pay; academic and administrative. They have curriculum that take long to approve, which almost always guarantees that the knowledge being passed down to you is dated or even irrelevant. While courses being offered online for less than half the price of admission, or even just going in with no education but ability to jump in and get your hands dirty has gotten others to better positions in the field in (sometimes) way less time.

Check out the VLOG for an almost surgical analysis of this subject. Heads up, it’s a meaty one. But there are article quotes read and then in depth experiences that are shared. We’re not saying to not get your education or to drop out if your already…institutionalized? All we’re saying is to weigh your options, look at the market (in your field), and think of what is really important in that field; most times while education is an important foundation, real world experience wins out almost every time. And if you can take our awesome STUDIO WEB courses, and our freelance courses (<links at the bottom>/ Shameless promo #2, sorrynotsorry…) and get that foundation in months, that would leave you way more time to accrue that oh-so-sought after real world experience…

-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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Pro[grammer]crastination!

July 18, 2019

Stop putting s*%t off with these easy steps

Look we’ve all been there, man… You’ve got a task to do and you don’t feel like doing it. You put it off… you do the dishes (maybe even clean your entire house), or just play video games and go down youtube’s rabbit hole…

It’s procrastination: pure and simple. You’ve fought it since you were 13 years old and had a 15 page essay to write, due in 2 weeks. But as a dev or a programmer; new or veteran, you’ve got a job to do and you can’t just put things off (for too long, anyway…).

Let’s start off by trying to understand procrastination and then we’ll go into some techniques to combat it…well, ONE technique really but it’s pretty effective. When it come to procrastination there are really 3 problems at play and you could have one, both or all mixed in a cocktail of “I’ll get to it later…”, which is a terrible cocktail cuz it never gets made <baddum-ching>.

1- Fear: Ah yes, that old chestnut… But yeah, fear this isn’t going to work, fear that you’re not going to go anywhere or that you’re missing out on other things, etc, etc.
2- Being Overwhelmed: There’s too much to do, too much to learn, etc…
3- Boredom: This one is pretty insidious. We don’t really have the end goal planned out (the job we’re going to get/money we plan on making, the skill we’ll have learned, etc.).

The key answer for all these problems and procrastination in general is something your mom or even your teacher might have told you (and believe me, I hate to admit they were onto something too)…

…Do 20 minutes a day…

I know it’s so simple you almost have to laugh but it’s true. Doing 20 minutes a day of any activity has so many benefits but I’m only going to list a few here:
-It’s an easy to achieve goal. 20 minutes can go by pretty fast and if you find yourself ‘getting into it’ and want to take longer, you can!
-You tend to learn much more quickly if you expose yourself on a frequent basis to that activity you need to get done.
Some interesting math: 20 minutes a day for 5 days a week (cuz we need our weekends) is 100 minutes. That frequent exposure is going to help your brain learn faster and more effectively than 200 minutes once a week.

I can’t even begin to tell you the length at which this is covered in the VLOG and shameless self promotion: 20 minutes a day is roughly how long the lessons in our courses (link below) are structured for, so don’t have to sit there for hours wondering when it will end with a fried brain. Check it out…after the video game, heh.
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

Thanks!

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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 haveĀ  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

read more