A Guide For Non-Technical Startup Founders In Need of Web Development

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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.

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Why You Need a Mentor Early in Your Career

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As young careers get going, it’s a great idea to seek the advice of mentors when faced with new obstacles. Arthur Woods, co-founder and COO of Imperative, certainly learned this as he transitioned from the non-profit to for-profit sector early in his career. Watch his interview here to learn more about how he made the most of his time at Google and how his mentor taught him how to let his personal and professional identities healthily coexist.

Arthur Woods is the co-founder and COO of Imperative, a career management platform that helps both individuals and companies foster professional development. Prior to co-founding Imperative, Woods led operations at YouTube EDU, as well as co-founded Compass Fellowship.

For more Lessons Learned videos like this one, sign up for our 5-part series, delivered conveniently to your inbox.

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10 Blogs Written For Entrepreneurs by Entrepreneurs

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Starting a company is hard, and finding reliable advice along the way can be even harder. There are thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, and bloggers who claim to be experts, churning out new business advice every day, but how can you trust that it’s advice worth taking?

We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite business blogs written by startup founders for aspiring entrepreneurs. These resources offer practical advice that is bound to keep you well-informed and inspired as you follow your business dreams.

Related Story: 11 Success Entrepreneurs That You Should Be Following on Twitter

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The Best Interactive Tools To Help Kids Learn To Code (While Having Fun)

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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.

Related Story: The Biggest Subject We Should Be Teaching Kids, But Aren’t

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7 User Experience Designers You Should Be Following on Twitter

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User experience designers to follow on Twitter

User experience design — the practice of enhancing the usability, functionality, and aesthetic value of a website or product — is a growing industry. And as such, the online community of user experience designers and those interested in UX design is growing too. A simple Twitter search for UX designers yields thousands of results, and while you might learn something from following a few at random, you’ll get the most out of following the designers who will keep your finger on the pulse with industry news and resources, informed insights, and thoughtful conversation.

So just who are those designers? We’ve chosen 7 of the best to follow now.

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Chart Your Course: Which General Assembly Class Is Right for You?

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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.

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Essential Reading: 5 Must-Read User Experience Design Books

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When you visit a website that is useful, intuitive, and easy-on-the-eyes, you have a user experience designer to thank. UX designers are the individuals behind the scenes making sure that your experience on a website is a good one — that you aren’t turned off by lack of accessibility, poor design, or functionality hiccups.

It’s a big job, and many rookie UX designers feel intimidated by all of the responsibility. But it’s also a fun and creative job, and with the right training and tools you’ll feel confident taking on any design challenge that comes your way.

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What does User Experience Design have to do with Architecture?

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The fierce might of Chichen Itza’s Mayan pyramid, iconic arches of the Golden Gate Bridge, and enduring grandeur of Notre Dame are all testaments to the lasting power of humanity’s best architecture. They were created with superior materials, an eye to the future, and attention to detail (also, depending on who you ask, a little help from E.T.). For these reasons, they’ve stood the test of time and continue to inspire us with their presence.

User experience design (UX Design) is essentially what it sounds like—the art of creating a particular experience for the user of your service or product. Although it can technically encompass any part of a user experience from start to finish (delivery methods, packaging, aftercare), we most often associate the discipline with the development of interfaces for websites and applications.

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Learn From the Best: Most Inspiring CEOs To Follow on LinkedIn

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It’s Official: LinkedIn has emerged to claim its place as the better-dressed, networking-savvy big brother of all social media platforms. Although you may already appreciate the site for its infinite utility during a job search, there’s even more to be gleaned by following the influential and thought-provoking CEOs who come there to share their wisdom.

Although fewer than 1/3 of Top 500 CEOs use social media, according to Forbes, those that do are overwhelmingly active on LinkedIn. Even more telling, the site is actually more popular with CEOs than it is with the general public.

Here are a few picks to enlighten, inform, and entertain.  Continue reading

7 Ways to Optimize Your LinkedIn To Boost Your Personal Brand

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With more than 275 million users, including executives of nearly every Fortune 500 Company, LinkedIn has become a powerful tool for defining your personal brand, establishing credibility, and networking with business connections. Are you making the most out of your presence within this network?

Getting setup on the platform is just step one—below are seven ways to ensure you are putting your best foot forward on this essential platform. To dive deeper into this subject, watch “Use LinkedIn to Land a Job in Digital Marketing” by our Outcomes & Alumni manager, Katie Hudson.

1. Headshot

Think of your headshot as your first impression for your future employer. You may love that beach pic from your vacation in Maui, or that one shot of you and your squad at the bar—but (most) employers aren’t looking for a buddy to go out with, they are looking for a sharp and reliable worker. Make sure to use a clean, professional image of yourself (and just yourself) that comes off as friendly and polished, focusing on just your head and shoulders.

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