How Much Should a Developer Make?

Developer salaries vary widely. Let’s talk about money. What should you be getting paid? Let’s walk through the factors to take into account when negotiating a pay raise or getting your first job.

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Are Programmers the New Blue Collar Worker?

Programmers, developers, software engineers, web designers – whatever you want to call them – may be the new blue collar workers. Over the last decade the internet has become an integral part of all of our lives. Name a day that you didn’t use the internet for something. Can you even point to a one hour period of time where the internet wasn’t present in your life? It’s hard if not impossible. As the way we navigate the world and live our lives becomes more reliant on the internet the people who build these systems we use every day are becoming more numerous. Just a few years ago being involved with web development would associate you with the professional class or white collar workers. Now we have a whole class of people who are a mixed bag of college grads and college dropouts building the Ubers, Facebooks, and Snapchats of the world. Having worked in the industry since 2007 I’m starting to wonder if we’re becoming the new blue collar worker and whether that’s good or not.

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How to Get Things Done

Ever since I became a competent developer I have had a flood of ideas every day all day that I’ve wanted to build and create. Many of them related to coding, others related to my other passions like music. I think we can all relate to the issue of having too many ideas and spreading yourself too thin. Having too many ongoing projects at once is a productivity killer. I’ve recently come up with a strategy that I want to share with other developers out there struggling with this same issue of “option paralysis” or “analysis paralysis” that should help you clear your ever frantic brain and calm the constant stream of todos running through your head at any given time. So let’s talk about how to cut the clutter and organize this frantic mess.

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Private Key Mismatch Errors on AWS - Fixed

So you’re running an EC2 instance on AWS and you need to install an SSL certificate served up by Nginx. Normally this is a straightforward process but this time you get a strange key mismatch error. The other day I had this happen to me and I’m by no means new to installing SSL certificates. If you’re running Nginx or even Apache and it’s complaining about some sort of key mismatch error this is what will fix it.

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Your Startup Idea Sucks and You’re Going to Fail

If I had a nickel for every time a developer came to me with a startup idea I’d be a rich man. It happens so often that I feel compelled to tell you right now that your idea probably sucks and your company is most likely going to fail. And that’s if it even gets off the ground. I’m not just trash talking here. I’ve seen it, I’ve done it, and I’m seeing others make the same mistakes. If you want to avoid the default outcome for your precious startup – which is failure – then stop networking, life hacking, and hustling for just a second and read some real advice from a regular person on not just why you’re going to fail but possibly how to avoid it. Oh, you’re not a regular person you say? Well thinking you’re somehow special is problem number one. For the everyone else willing to put their special snowflake egos aside for a moment, let’s go over how to not suck and fail.

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Are Code Schools Worth It?

If you’re looking for a job then technology is a great choice right now. As our lives become more reliant on computers and, more specifically, the web, jobs supporting this technology and the infrastructure that runs it will continue to be in demand while jobs that used to be done by humans will be done by computers. So it’s not surprising that code schools have popped up in just about every major city across the US and abroad. Having taught at one of these code schools I know the curriculum and have made some real positive relationships with my students. Eventually the question of cost vs. return on investment comes up. So are code schools (whether online, part-time onsite, or full-time onsite) worth the money? The answer depends on your goals. If you’re trying to figure out if enrolling is worth it for you then maybe this will help you decide.

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Do You Even Microservice, Bro?

Microservices are not new nor are they the hottest technique on the block anymore and that’s why now is a great time to learn about them. They’re tried and true. They’ve been tested and perfected over time by developers far smarter than me or you. Let’s talk about microservices. What they are, when they’re useful, how you can use them, and maybe some pitfalls you might want to avoid.

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Using React With Webpack and ES6 in a Grunt Task

Grunt has fallen out of fashion as the preferred JavaScript task runner but it’s still powerful nonetheless and millions of people are still using it and making modules for it. Like other technologies before it there have been new tools developed and adopted by the community but both Grunt and Gulp are both used by a large portion of the Node community. Normally when we talk about Webpack we’d assume a configuration where the project uses Gulp as their task runner. Today I want to show you how to create a React app using Grunt tasks to run your scripts through Webpack, Babel to support JSX, and add support for ES6 syntax.

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Why Developers Hate Being Called by Recruiters

Last year around this time I was teaching web development to novices who could squeak by and pass a Codecademy course on HTML and CSS. We took those novices and turned them into competent full-stack web developers. We tried to get every one of those students a job. There were offers that came directly to the boot camp from hiring managers all the time but many of my old students ended up being contacted by recruiters after they graduated with little success and much frustration. I myself have used recruiters to find work before and I know why developers are, to put it nicely, annoyed by them.

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How to Be WCAG Compliant

If you’re a frequent visitor then you know I write about what I’m working on and lately it’s been all about web accessibility and WCAG compliance. So maybe you have a client and they want or need to be WCAG compliant to satisfy their legal department, bragging rights, or just because it’s the right thing to do. Well, this is how you do it. Some sites are easier than others but whether you’re developing single page apps, hybrid apps, or plain old static sites it’s not as hard as you might think. Here is how to make your site accessible and WCAG compliant regardless of its complexity.

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