As one of the partners of a Ruby on Rails software development agency, I speak with dozens of non-technical startup founders every week who are in various stages of building their first web or mobile application. The range of technical acumen, willingness to learn, and time and resources varies widely among the group.
As a firm, we’re not just competing with other NYC based agencies for their business, but also offshore devshops, freelancers, and in some cases, the prospective client who may want to execute internally.
At the end of the day, a non-technical founder who has decided that they must build something has two options: Pay someone else, or partner with people. Below are the pros and cons.
As a mother of two boys under age 10, I know how hungry to learn children can be. My kids could teach themselves to read literature in Russian if they thought it would be fun. I kept that in mind while researching the best resources to teach kids to code. What children need is something that makes coding engaging, exciting, and (the word that parents cannot utter without turning whatever they are talking about into anything but) cool. Here are some apps, online programs, and camps to help your future coders get started.
However you want to come at your next career or business idea, we at General Assembly have a class to help you do it. With on-campus courses in 12 cities—including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, London, Sydney, and Hong Kong—and online classes available everywhere, it’s just a matter of making your next move. Which will it be? Here are a few questions to help you find an educational opportunity that fits your goals and lifestyle.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, student, or stay-at-home parent, increasing productivity is always a good thing. And with the variety of devices and software available to help us stay organized, it can be easier than ever.
But no one needs or wants one more account to manage (password fatigue is a real thing, ok?). These three to-do list apps integrate with your existing Gmail account (a major plus for companies using Gmail as their email client), turbocharging the power of the platform to help you prioritize and track tasks without requiring the creation or maintenance of additional accounts. One less thing to do! You’re already making progress. Continue reading →
Although bad news seems to be the order of the day, there is reason for optimism on many fronts–one of them being the future of employment in the U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that a projected 20.5 million new jobs will have been added between 2010 and 2020, a 14.3% growth in employment. And if you’re technologically inclined (like us!), there’s even more reason to rejoice. Read on to find out which careers are most promising.Continue reading →
I’m a nerd. I have been taking apart, assembling, and programming machines since I was in the single digits. Being exposed to computers at an early age, I have a strong grasp on the way they think (sometimes even stronger than I do with humans). However, those of you who haven’t spent the majority of your lives speaking to machines may experience some frustrating challenges in your attempts to communicate.
Let’s face it, machines are dumb (for now), and we have to bring ourselves down to their level to have a successful conversation. I do, however, think there are some valuable lessons to be gained when learning to speak a technical language, even if your end goal is not to become a technical linguist (programmer). Continue reading →
Remember those all-night cramming sessions in college, when you would overcaffeinate, stay up for days, and muster all the focus you could to finish a paper or prepare for a test? Imagine a room full of computer programmers, developers, visionaries, and marketers doing the same thing for a day, a weekend, or even a full week. Instead of cramming, they are competing to create prototypes that innovate on a theme or improve upon an existing project. It’s called a hackathon, and it is has become a regular part of how technology companies do business. In fact, the power of the hackathon has extended beyond the tech industry into countless other sectors.
Is coding a job requirement for product managers? That’s a concrete question with a simple answer: No. It’s certainly possible for a product manager to capably bring a production from idea to market, guiding and managing engineers and designers along the process, and ensuring that the product is both loved and profitable, without writing a single line of code. When the question shifts to should product managers learn to code, the answer becomes a bit more subtle.
The advent of services like Squarespace has an increasing number of people asking whether learning code is still a worthwhile endeavor. They offer clean, well-designed templates with myriad customization options. They’ve received glowing feedback from even picky critics. Furthermore, Software as a Service (a.k.a. SaaS, software that is delivered remotely) like that of Squarespace offers some tantalizing perks; in addition to making sites a cinch to build, they provide hosting and support, and are constantly being retooled for greater refinement and accessibility—all for a low monthly fee.
So those debating their next Dev step are left with an interesting question: Why learn to code at all, when there’s Squarespace? The potential answers—like good code—pertain to the things that may not be readily apparent, but make all the difference in the world: what you need, what you love, and what will best serve you at the end of the day. Continue reading →