Talent Development Centre

Tag Archives: coding

All Talent Development Centre posts for Canadian technology contractors relating to coding.

Should You Pay for a Coding Bootcamp?

Perhaps more than any other trade, the IT space provides some of the most fast-paced change and biggest challenges in keeping up with the latest technologies and skills. Independent IT contractors have even bigger challenges because taking time to learn those skills means they cannot be making money, adding to the cost of professional development.

Coding bootcamps are a popular method of building new skills and, according to Switchup, have been appearing in major Canadian cities since 2013, backed by mega-companies such as Shopify, Salesforce and Cisco Systems. Coding bootcamps are certainly a popular option for skills development, but are they the right option for you?

This infographic from CodingNomads breaks down the decision into 8 questions. Bootcamps are far from free, nor are they always efficient, so if you’re considering one, follow the map and remember to answer the questions honestly.

Should You Pay for a Coding Bootcamp?

7 Tips for New Programmers to Improve Their Skills

Learning the ins and outs of various codes is challenging enough, and we tip our hat to anybody who has taken the time to become great at writing it. Solving problems and delivering creative solutions to clients takes skill and deserves credit, regardless of your level or experience. Still, there are subtle things beginner programmers do when they write code that make an intermediate or expert programmer cringe, and reveal a true noob.

If you’re starting out your programming career and want to improve your skills, check out this video by Andy Sterkowitz. He explains these 7 tips to help make your code more readable and easier to work with:

  1. Avoid Abbreviating Variables
  2. Limit Function Arguments
  3. Simplify Conditional Expressions
  4. Declare Variables Close to Their Usage
  5. Avoid Unintended Consequences in Functions
  6. Functions Should Do One Thing (avoid long functions)
  7. Stop Writing ZOMBIE CODE

Does Everyone Really Need to Learn to Code?

As an IT contractor, you will not be surprised to hear that experts forecast a surge in programming jobs for many years to come. Consumers are continuing to demand new technology at increasing paces and IT companies will meet or exceed those demands so they can remain competitive. The result is a common train of thought that everyone should learn how to code because their job is going to require it. Even on this blog, we’ve made this argument and a recent quick poll proves that many IT professionals agree.

But this video from PolyMatter has a different opinion. Instead, they argue the push for teaching everyone to code is strictly political and, in fact, a developer role is nothing more than a skilled career path like a surgeon. “It is just a job, not a basic universal skill.” What do you think? Should everyone learn to code?

History’s Most Embarrassing Software Bugs

Do you remember a year and a half ago when a developer at Amazon made a mistake and broke the Internet? That was embarrassing, but it was fixed relatively quickly and didn’t cause too much damage, at least not compared to some other technology mishaps.

This infographic we found on graphicspedia.net highlights five of the most legendary bloopers in software history, all because a bit of code wasn’t written properly by a developer. These aren’t small mistakes and the companies are well-known — AT&T, Pentium, NASA, Microsoft and Apple. If these intelligent IT professionals can make a mistake like this, then maybe you shouldn’t feel bad when you slow down your client’s services for a few minutes.

The Embarrassing History of Software Bugs - Infographic

Steps to the Best Code Review and Giving the Imminent Feedback

Giving feedback is a regular task for all IT contractors, regardless of your core area of expertise. Whether its to a colleague, a client or a direct report, feedback comes in a variety of forms and usually starts with an evaluation. For example, you may give a colleague feedback on their presentation after seeing it, give a fellow contractor feedback on their resume after reading it, and or give a developer feedback on their code after a careful review.

Unlike sitting through a presentation or glancing over a resume, reviewing code and giving feedback requires extensive focus, knowledge and attention to detail. That’s why the best code reviewers are able to land jobs working on the most exciting projects.

In a recent article published by The Muse, Full Stack Engineer Neely Kartha comments on some of her struggles when she first began reviewing code, specifically the stress that can come from the expectations. Obviously a great problem-solver with initiative, Kartha explains how she interviewed other professionals to collect tips on how to best review code. Here are the 5 most important ones she discovered:

  1. Think about the overall impact
  2. Consider security
  3. Focus on bugs
  4. Be a team player
  5. Use the process for learning and knowledge sharing

While the first three points require strong technical skills and experience to truly excel, the final two — being a team player and embracing the opportunity to grow — are soft skills that can often be more challenging. Kartha points out at the end of her article that the steps in providing feedback are a great opportunity to exercise your people skills. She suggests giving people the benefit of the doubt while trying to dispel defensiveness. Obviously this is no easy task, but surely something that top code reviewers have mastered.

Do you review code? If so, do you have any additional tips for a successful review that ensures a quality product and maintains good relationships with the author? We’d love your tips, please share them in the comments below.

Contractor Quick Poll: When Should Kids Learn to Code?

Earlier this week we shared results of a HackerRanker survey of 40,000 developers. Among many interesting findings, it pointed out that the majority of developers started coding before the age of 20 and many while they were just kids. Others, however, didn’t start to learn until they were over 30.

IT professionals of all kinds are in high-demand and to ensure the top skills are available in Canada, it’s important we encourage training for such skills at any age. That means that a young child with an interest in technology should have access to expand their knowledge, and an adult looking to start a new career should have an easy avenue to learn more.

More than 2 years ago, David O’Brien, a Vice-President at Eagle, wrote a post here stating that Coding is the New Cursive.  He argued that it is now just as important, if not more important, for students to learn coding skills in school as it is for them to learn cursive writing. Would you agree and, if so, what age do you believe kids should start learning to code?

How to Teach Yourself Code (Infographic)

Knowing a programming language is a great addition to anyone’s skillset, whether you’re in IT or not. Being fluent in multiple languages would make somebody even more valuable. If you want an advantage in your job search, you may be considering learning a new coding language but are unsure where to start. In which case, review this infographic from Lime and see if there’s anything there that can help you. The pricing and info is UK-based, but in most cases, these resources offer Canadian packages as well.

How to Teach Yourself Code (Infographic)

Fun Ways Kids Can Learn to Code (Infographic)

In David O’Brien’s article last December, Coding is the New Cursive, he explained the importance of coding for the up-and-coming generation and how many young children are already learning the basics of the important skill in school. If you’re an IT contractor, then you probably also buy into this train-of-thought and want to ensure your children are picking up some of this basic knowledge in school.

In case your school isn’t offering it, or you’d like to help move it along, this infographic from WhoIsHostingThis? is an awesome resource. It suggests helpful ideas, games, and apps that making learning to code fun for kids.

Fun Ways Kids Can Learn to Code - Via Who Is Hosting This: The Blog

Source: WhoIsHostingThis.com

Common Bad Habits in Coding (Video)

Hey programmer! Ya, you. Do you have any bad habits? Not things like biting your nails, smoking or spending too much (though you should tone that down), but have you picked up any bad habits when writing your code? If you have, then LearnToProgram: You Can Code wants you to stop. Take a look at their video below and see if there’s anywhere you can improve.

Learning to Code: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet

Nobody knows your skillset better than you do. Only you truly understand your proficiency with specific codes, your capabilities, and your interests for future learning. There are so many options for coding out there, though, that when it comes to prioritizing which skills to learn or improve, you may be struggling.

If this sounds familiar, then have a look at this extremely in-depth infographic created by make a websitehub.com. It reveals the capabilities, pros, cons, and job potential for all of the major codes, including Python, Java, C, C++, JavaScript, C#, Ruby, PHP, and Obj [C].

Learning

Infographic Courtesy of Makeawebsitehub.com