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Monthly Archives: November 2014

Why I chose HackerYou

I just completed the Full-Time Front-End Web Development bootcamp at HackerYou and I’m really proud of all I’ve accomplished in 9 quick weeks. As this type of “bootcamp” education is a fairly new concept, I thought I’d shed some light on why I chose HackerYou over so many other courses and options out there.

  1. Heather Payne is at the top of this list. As the CEO, she personally interviews each candidate that enters the bootcamp and selects only the people that she can see will be a good fit for the program and will ultimately succeed in the industry. She boasts a near 0% dropout rate and is proud to say it because she picks the best – with 101 total HackerYou bootcamp grads out in the world to prove it.
  2. An 8:1 ratio of mentors/instructors to students, not to mention all of the previous HackerYou graduates who are always available to teach and help. We were – and continue to be – surrounded by smart people who are always more than willing to share their skills and experience.
  3. With a big project due each week, we didn’t just learn new skills, we immediately applied them. Spending a lot of time in our text editors pushing ourselves to build amazing websites with an end goal of building awesome portfolios.
  4. We covered all of the latest technologies, without a set-in-stone curriculum, our teachers adapted as new technology became industry standard and made adjustments based on the students needs and requests.
  5. And finally – because the job interview is the final exam. There are no midterms in the real world, there is Google in the real world. We didn’t spend our time cramming for exams, we spent our time actually building websites and making stellar portfolios with a goal of getting hired.  HackerYou teaches students how to be resourceful, read the documentation and get projects done, all while considering best practices in order to do the work properly.

I can now proudly say that I am part of the HackerYou alumni family and it feels so good.

Web Tools I Love

November 5, 2014

  • Sublime Text – if you take only one tool from this list, let it be Sublime Text, most of the web development community will agree that this is the best text editor available – and if you want to dig deeper into the shortcuts and tools available, check out “Sublime Text Power User” by HackerYou teacher Wes Bos
  • Emmet – a Sublime Text shortcuts tool, it significantly improves efficiency as you code (here’s a full list of the shortcuts)
  • Can I Use… – resource for cross-browser compatibility
  • Responsinator – lets you input any website and shows you what that site looks like on different devices
  • Unheap – a useful and user-friendly repository of jQuery plugins
  • Hurl.it – helps you build and test API requests
  • Font Awesome – I use this for the social icons, it allows you to incorporate them into your HTML and style with CSS like any text on your page
  • Noun Project – an amazing database of icons, most of which are available for free and can be downloaded as PNGs or SVGs
  • Pesticide – Chrome extension that outlines all the divs on any web page – surprisingly useful
  • WhatFont – Chrome extension that allows you to hover over text on any website to find out what font was used
  • Panda – Chrome extension that replaces your Google homepage and gives you the latest news in the web development and design communities
  • 0to255 – enter a hex value and you’re given a gradient of that colour to choose from

Image via Unsplash

Twitter for Beginners

Twitter can be an amazing tool for networking and building a name for yourself, but I’ve had so many conversations with people who are starting new careers and are intimidated by it. I’m hoping this will help with that.

Below is a summary of my HackerYou Show & Tell presentation from Week 1 of the course. These are the frequently asked questions or overheard comments I’ve gathered with my answers.

Problem 1: “I don’t have anything to tweet about!”

This is a common problem people raise, especially people who are relatively new to an industry and don’t feel that they have anything valuable to contribute. I have one thing to say to you:

Community-Jeff-wrong

You should be using your Twitter profile as a public face for your personal brand. Share articles, videos, tips and tools you come across IRL throughout your day. Join conversations that are already happening. Tweet personal anecdotes or photos to show you’re not a robot. Share updates on what you’re working on, even if you’re not an expert, tweeting your progress will show that you are able to learn, adapt and grow. The more you tweet, the easier it will get.

Problem 2: “But I don’t know the difference between a hashtag and a handle!”

  • Hashtag: Think of the hashtag as a way to participate in a conversation. If everyone who talked about pie added the hashtag #pie to their tweets, then pie lovers around the world could search for the hashtag #pie and see all of the pie conversations and engage with fellow pie lovers. Huzzah.
  • Handle: Twitter handles are your Twitter name, so if you wanted to have a conversation with me, you would add @moyamiller to your tweet, that is all there is to it.

Problem 3: “What are these Reply, Retweet and Favorite buttons and how should I use them?”

  • Reply: If you want to send a message to someone, you would use the “Reply” button and include their handle at the beginning of your tweet. NOTE: people often start a tweet with a Twitter handle and then wonder why none of their followers saw the tweet, this is because if you @Reply someone it will only be visible to people who follow both you and the person you mentioned. In order for the message to be seen by all of your followers, you have to add a character in front of the @ symbol, most people use “.” Example below:

This tweet will only be visible to followers of both @EmiliaKathleen and @WhatMakesAMan_:

emilia1

This tweet will be visible to all of Emilia’s followers (note the “.”):

emilia2

(side note – you should definitely check out What Makes A Man – amazing website by Emilia!)

  • Retweet: If you like a tweet that someone else has written and want to share it with your followers, hit the Retweet button, it will re-distribute the tweet to the followers on your feed
  • Favorite: I think the Favorite button is totally underrated. Think of it as a high-five or a thumbs up, if you see someone has written a great tweet, or shared something useful, you don’t always want to Retweet that out to all of your followers, so hit the “Favorite” button to let them know you liked it

Problem 4: “How do I get Followers? Cause I want ALL OF THE FOLLOWERS!!!”

Followers will happen organically over time. Think of the old adage “If you build it, they will come.” That totally applies here, the more interesting and vocal you are on Twitter, the more people will want to follow you.

And don’t follow all of the internet, it looks really bad if you’re following 100000 people and have 5 followers in return. Try to keep your following/follower ratio to a similar number.

Problem 5: “The number of Tweets is overwhelming! How do I keep track of everything?

I would recommend free tools like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. They allow you to set up streams based on filters like hashtags, search terms, handles or lists, you can even tweet directly from these platforms, so it totally eliminates the need to visit twitter.com.

And that’s how you do the Twitter. Questions? Comments? Ask below!

And Follow Me :)

Images via: Twitter bird created by me, GIF via Sporadic Reads

HackerYou Recap: Week 7

  • WordPress week! We covered: PHP, configuring wordpress, themes, plugins, widgets and navigation, troubleshooting and deploying
  • We built our own WordPress themes – you’ll see mine featured in my portfolio (coming soon!)
  • I mentored another Ladies Learning Code workshop – Intro to WordPress with Jessica Duarte
  • Zoe spoke to us about building a strong resume – she also wrote an excellent blog post with her top tips here
  • We had a great panel on freelancing by SarahJana, DanielleKristenMarg and Peter
  • And finally – we enjoyed some spooky Halloween festivities:

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