back-end web development Tag Archives - General Assembly Blog

How Learning to Code Helped Me Grow as a Recruiter

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Learning to code

One of the best perks of working at General Assembly is that employees can take any part-time class or workshop for free. Last year, I took General Assembly’s Backend Web Development Course (BEWD) to learn how to code. As someone who works in Talent Acquisition at General Assembly, I thought this would be valuable so I could better understand our product offering. I also figured it would be easier to interview technical candidates if I understood the lingo.

Next week, I’m attending the Greenhouse Open, a three-day gathering of talent acquisition and HR professionals in San Francisco from May 25-27.  I am really looking forward to the “Programming for Recruiters” workshop with Michael Bouffard, VP of Engineering at Greenhouse, on Friday, May 27. I think every recruiter, especially one who speaks with engineers on a regular basis, should understand programming basics. As I prepare to attend Greenhouse Open next week, I’m reflecting on my experience taking BEWD and how it’s been helpful in my day to day role recruiting talent, as well as managing our systems and tools.

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Laugh & Learn Newsletter Lightens Up The Tech Conversation

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Salman came to General Assembly as an engineer looking for a tech community to jump into. He ended up as a beloved Back-End Web Development instructor, both in New York City and San Francisco. Realizing the importance of “soft skills” for developers, he started the Laugh & Learn newsletter to provide a well-rounded continued learning experience for his students and job-seeking techies. 

Salman will be teaching Building Startup Ideas at our San Francisco campus on Thursday 7, May, 2015.

Follow Salman on Twitter: @daretorant

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Engineered to Code: A Civil Engineer’s Journey Back to Basics

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When Martin isn’t relaxing by the campfire with one of his favorite sci-fi novels, you may find him coding his next project. Having worked as a Civil Engineer for years, an NPR marketplace segment (ironically featuring one of our Web Development Immersive graduates) inspired him to make a career shift. Twelve weeks later, he’s on the hunt for his first job in his new career. 

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4 Reasons To Code Your Website, Even Though There’s Squarespace

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Inroduction HTML CSS image

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.
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A Website is like a House. Here’s Why

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Website House Metaphor

Metaphors are great ways to bridge the knowledge gap between technical and non-technical team members. But instead of bombarding non-technical folks with acronyms and jargon, it helps to first establish a baseline understanding of how different technologies work together. One way I like to do this is by comparing a website to a house.

1. The Frame: HTML (HyperText Markup Language)

A house has rooms, and each room contains furniture and electric appliances. Similarly, a webpage has sections (e.g. header, body, footer), and each section contains images and text. HTML organizes and presents elements of a webpage in a structured hierarchy. Here’s an example of pseudo-HTML describing the elements in our house:

[code language=”html”]
<house>
<second_floor>
<bedroom>
<bed />
</bedroom>
</second_floor>
<first_floor>
<living_room>
<television />
</living_room>
<kitchen>
<fridge />
</kitchen>
<entrance>
<front_door>
<door_bell>
</front_door>
</entrance>
</first_floor>
</house>
[/code]

2. The Look: CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

Not all rooms, tables, and chairs look the same, nor do words or images on a page. That’s where CSS comes in – CSS defines how elements look, describing their color, size, position, shape, and more. Here’s an example of how we’d use pseudo-CSS to style a bedroom in our house:

[code language=”css”]
bedroom {
width: 12ft;
height: 8ft;
walls: 1mm wallpaper matte;
floor: carpet
}
[/code]

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5 Steps for Getting Started Coding a Web App

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Keep your goals in sight. You’ve made your resolutions — we want to help you keep them (at least the ones that aren’t food related). That’s why we’ve put together five simple things you can do to get started in Back-End Web Development using Ruby on Rails.

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