Tag Archives: Javascript

Near Future

Came across an article on Hacker News titled This is 2016, not 2012. A very good read summarizing what is happening and what will be happening in the near future. Basically, what the article says is that, with the huge hype towards programming where everyone is starting to learn programming, coined as the literacy of the 21st century, soon, there will be a lot of people with basic/elementary programming skills.

So what then, will be the demanded skills? They say, when everyone starts to come onboard, you know you are too late onto the bandwagon.

Nonetheless, I still think that digitization will only get more and more integrated into our lives, and you need hardcore programmers to support that and make that work. So in order to be really good and to stand out, one should focus only on one aspect and specialize in one skill. Either front end, or back end, or dealing with clouding.

If you are interested in the article, which is a super good read, here you go:

Her eyebrows knot themselves. A pencil grates back and forth on her legal pad. Scratch. Scratch. My back itches; a tiny incessant itch that demands more attention with each passing second. Should I itch it? 

Better wait. 

I can hear the sound of a clock ticking somewhere else in the office. Tick. Tick. Tick. I’m still wondering whether I should scratch my back.

“Can you describe any relevant background experience you have for the position?” Her eyebrows unknot themselves expectantly.

“Well, I’ve been programming since I was 10 years old,” I start.

“What languages?” She cuts me off before I can finish.

“Started in Basic, but I’ve done Java, C, C++, and a lot of web stuff: Rails, Python, Javascript. You name it.”

“It says here you went to the University of Pennsylvania for undergrad. Were you an engineer there?”

“No I actually studied Philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences, but I did take some computer sciences classes there.” Fuck. I look like an asshole.

“Which classes?” She retorts. Eyebrows slightly furrowed.

I list a few of them that I can remember. Mostly intro ones. I didn’t go to them very much.

“I see,” she says. Her pencil hovers over the pad again.

“But I did do a lot of programming in school,” I start. If she marks her pad one more time I’m done for. “Freshman year I started a website with some friends called WhereMyFriends.Be. We got over 40,000 signups. That was in Mashable. I also interviewed at Y Combinator. Then sophomore year I built a site called DomainPolish and sold it in a few months. That was in TheNextWeb. And then I created Airtime for Email with a few friends. I’m not sure if you took a look at the articles I attached with my resume. We raised a bunch of money, and we were profitable. Eventually we had to shut it down but it was a great experience.” At this point she must know that I’m well qualified for this job.

She clears her throat and puts the pencil down.

“Dan, can I be honest with you about this position?” She glances up at me with a concerned look on her face.

“Of course.”

“I applaud your entrepreneurial initiative, I really do. In fact three of my coworkers ran funded companies as well so I understand what kind of drive and dedication it takes to do something like that,” she starts in.

“And I see that you also have some technical experience. But this position requires more than just web-development skills. The problems we’re working on involve in-depth data analysis that require an extensive math and algorithms background. Most of the people applying studied computer science in school and have relevant work experience in that area. Can you point to any experience in that area?”

“Not specifically, but I mean I’m sure I can learn on the fly,” I reply sheepishly. At this point anything I say is like spitting into a hurricane.

“Believe me I’m sure you could. A few years ago building an app or a website was enough to get you a job at a lot of different companies. But it’s not like that anymore. We just have too many qualified candidates to take a chance on someone with limited in-depth technical experience. This is 2016 not 2012.”

The pencil hovers over the pad again. Scratch.

Programming 101

Recently I’ve been busy learning to code. =) Decided to pick up coding so that I could help up a bit here and there for Lunchsparks and also because its cool to have programming as a skill. Started off with Javascript simply because the interactive website that i came across – Codecademy (which just landed an investment of 2.5million USD) teaches in Javascript (it is super fun trust me), and I came across another site – the New Boston, which is super cool, and I have been hanging around at the site for a few hours per day without knowing it. It has everything you need to know about programming and all the tutorials there are free!

Programming is fun.

Makes me feel smart.

For those who want to learn how to code and wondering whether is it too late to learn how to code? Quora has a similar discussion and has really awesome answers from those who have been there and done that:

Q:

Is it too late to learn to code?

I’m a sophomore electrical engineering student and I’m really interested in the technology startup culture. I want to prepare myself for that area, but I’m not sure how to proceed. My initial thinking is to learn to code, but I feel as though I’m so far behind people who started coding when they were younger that it’s too late. Thanks!

A:
Short Answer: No

Long Answer: No, but you have to play catch up and find really smart people to work with. If you find coding fun, then just put the time and have a blast. Your opportunity to catch up is when the people ahead of you go into production. Going from hacker mode to production and support mode slows people down. Go fast and work hard.

The key to getting good at this stuff is to work on great problems. My most memorable projects are (a) my never-ending game engine (b) my computer algebra system (c) my programming language.I recommend starting with graphics. since you get instant gratification and can tweak it on the fly. You can see how complexity limits what you can do. You can set goals and work towards reaching them and then study how to build a flexible architecture around it. Just taking people’s demo code and then factoring it into a consistent architecture will teach a lot about complexity, organization, and how the machine works.

Programming languages are for the more hard-core as you have to study and think through some gnarly ideas.

Then find something to code that makes someone else happy. My computer algebra system made my college algebra students very happy.

This represents a personal opinion. If you have read this far, you should definitely follow me on Twitter.