Tag Archives: web development

How to Fail as a Web Developer

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Coding & Programming Errors: How to Stay Calm

Three months into my first job out of college, as a web developer at a financial reporting company, I wiped out every single one of my company’s client records in one command. I had uploaded a script meant to eliminate one client, but quickly realized that it removed all of them and I couldn’t get the records back. (This was in the early 2000s, when it was less common to work locally before sending code to your live website.) I went into full-on crisis mode and started getting my resume ready, resigned to the fact that I was going to be fired. I was even Googling to see if I could be sued for what I had done.

Thankfully, a tech manager saved the day by telling me about the company’s nightly database backup and we quickly fixed most of the problem. But until that moment, I was sweating bullets.

As a web developer, you’re going to fail — often, and sometimes in huge ways — whether you’re a newbie or a veteran (see this recent mishap at GitLab.com, for example). But messing up doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, when it does happen, staying calm is key because panic can cloud your judgement and force you to make rash decisions.

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Inside the U.S. Defense Department’s New Tech Startup (P.S. They’re Hiring)

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Defense Digital Service Eric Fanning Army Chris Lynch

Former Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning (left) announces the creation of the Army Digital Service at a recent event at General Assembly’s NYC headquarters, alongside Defense Digital Service Director Chris Lynch and journalist Jeff Jarvis. Photo by Master Sgt. Jeremy Crisp.

National security and cybersecurity are growing concerns for many Americans, especially as talk of hacking and digital espionage dominate headlines and rattle daily life. Protecting the country and developing tools to keep citizens safe are top priorities for the U.S. government, and, in recent years, it has turned to top tech talent to rapidly innovate, problem solve, and find security vulnerabilities. This is particularly true within the Department of Defense, whose progress its staffers admit has been slowed down by outdated tools and processes that lag behind private tech companies’ capabilities.

That’s where Defense Digital Service (DDS) comes in. Since launching in late 2015, the program — a branch of the government’s tech startup, U.S. Digital Service (USDS) — has worked on projects involving cybersecurity, veterans’ medical records, cutting-edge GPS systems, and more. DDS’ cybersecurity initiatives Hack the Pentagon and Hack the Army (known as bug bounties) invited civilian hackers to search for vulnerabilities within five public-facing government websites, then rewarded them in cash for their findings.

Now the Army has its own dedicated team called Army Digital Service, which launched in December. Continuing the pioneering work of DDS, it will leverage tech expertise to solve inefficiencies related to Army recruiting, veteran affairs, and more. Earlier this month, Air Force Digital Service launched as well, and the team’s agenda is currently in the works.

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How to Break Into Web Development

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What Is Web Development General Assembly Mike Dang

Learning to code is the ultimate career-booster, whether you’re looking to elevate your current skill set or make it your full-time work. Having web development skills can land you a job in nearly any industry, including tech startups, financial services, media, and beyond.

Coding knowledge is power — whether you’re an independent business owner, creative professional, or simply someone with an interest in the web. When you know how to code, you can build your own website and have full control over your web presence. If you work regularly with your company’s web team, you’ll be able to speak their language and improve communication — and you’ll be able to make some changes yourself instead of calling on them to do it.

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General Assembly and Adobe Team Up to Bring New Talent to the Tech World

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General Assembly Adobe Digital Academy

Adobe Digital Academy students on the General Assembly campus in San Francisco

General Assembly is proud to be partnering with Adobe in the development of the Adobe Digital Academy, a Bay Area–based program focused on offering opportunities in technology to underrepresented communities. Adobe supports high-potential candidates through partnership with General Assembly’s Opportunity Fund and Adobe technical internships. Selected candidates receive Opportunity Fund scholarships for General Assembly’s Web Development Immersive (WDI) course followed by a three-month technical internship in Adobe’s offices, with the goal of hiring interns for a full-time position.

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From Phone to Mailbox: General Assembly Grads Reinvent the Traditional Postcard with Pennypost

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Send a postcard from your phone with pennypost

When General Assembly students graduate from their course — whether it’s user experience design or data science — it’s always exciting (and sometimes surprising) to see the range of products and passions that actualize as a result. In the case of Nathan Maas,a Web Development Immersive alumnus of GA Seattle, the product was an idea called pennypost. The passion? Connecting the world with homemade digital postcards that are easy to send and share.

Nathan—who took a range of night classes in product management, front-end development, and data science at GA before choosing WDI—developed a web (and soon-to-be iPhone) app, pennypost, which was inspired by his travels to nearly fifty countries across the globe. Though he bought postcards everywhere he went with the intention of sending them home, constraints like time, postage, and tracking down mailing addresses, meant he never actually sent them. An idea was born.

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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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GA Alumni Reimagines the Ticket Buying Experience: What’s the Rukkus About?

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rob-wyant-rukkus-1

Meet Rob Wyant, a General Assembly graduate whose latest work as lead iOS developer for Rukkus has brought virtual reality into the ticket-buying experience. Before Rukkus, Rob founded his own startup, Yapper, while in business school. During that time, he used General Assembly’s workshops to help him build confidence when discussing the technical aspects of his company. In 2014, he moved beyond workshops and graduated from GA’s first iOS Mobile Development course at our Washington, D.C. campus.

Aside from what he learned at GA, Rob is a self-taught programmer and is involved with NYC Swift Guild, a meetup for GA students. He says that none of what he’s accomplished with Yapper and Rukkus would have been possible without taking a GA course. “I tell that to anyone who’ll listen as often as I can!”

We connected with Rob to learn more about his journey with mobile development.

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Build Your First Watson Application in 4 Steps with this API

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App General Assembly

For as long as I can remember, technology has had a major influence on my life. Growing up as a child, my parents recall stories of me sitting down at our large clunky PC with floppy disk storage and learning new words on Encyclopedia Encarta. I received my first laptop at in the 4th grade. Since then, my daily life has been “connected.”

My journey learning to code began with my first course on an online education platform. Starting with JavaScript, a scripting language for web-based programming, I traversed through the modules starting first with the basics of defining a variable (e.g. var x = “Hello World”), moving on to primitive data structures such as arrays (e.g. var y = [1,2,3]), and eventually Object Oriented Programming.

Shortly after, I enrolled in my first computer science course at Emory University as part of my mathematics curriculum. Although this course focused heavily on Java, a coding language full of new-to-me syntax and functions, the fundamentals of programming translated seamlessly and I quickly picked up the language. By understanding the fundamental basics of coding, I wielded the power to work to create a cognitive application.

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Welcome Home, Colin Hart!

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Teaching and learning at General Assembly

From classical ballet dancer to software engineer and instructional leader, Colin Hart transformed his life and career when he graduated from General Assembly’s Back-End Web Development course (BEWD) and Web Development Immersive (WDI) in early 2014. He came back to GA to teach WDI and was recently snatched up by the new WDI Remote team to be a lead instructor for the pilot course, which launched on May 16. Colin sat with us to share his story about teaching and learning at General Assembly.

Tell me about your journey.

I spent my youth training to be a classical ballet dancer. Even though I wasn’t able to do it professionally, it was like my first career because I would spend five, six hours a day training and performing. Getting injured led me to attend college instead, and I ended up majoring in media and communications and focusing my studies on digital communications. I interned for the United Nations writing a preliminary literature review around rights and dangers for youth online in Malaysia.

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The Top 5 Highest Paying Careers in Tech

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Careers in tech

It’s no secret. Tech talent is in high demand across industries, but finding people with the skill sets to fill these roles has been challenging, causing competition amongst businesses for talent in tech—in programming, UX design, data science and marketing.

As a result, jobs in tech pay well.  

So what does “pay well” really mean? Using data from PayScale, Glassdoor.com, and our Hybrid Jobs report developed with Burning Glass, we’ve put together the numbers for the most common entry level roles in tech.
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