Training Wheels

Services like Heroku, Elastic Beanstalk, and the rest are great tools for “easy” and “fast” web application deployment. While I can’t deny the benefits of these PaaS providers I think that some of their users are doing a disservice to themselves by choosing to use them. When PaaS services like Heroku get used as a developer’s first introduction to application deployment it can have a lasting, sometimes negative impact on their growth trajectory.

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How to Destroy Your Startup

Anyone can start a startup but can you destroy one? Sure you can! It’s easier than starting one!

Let me tell you the tale of the startup that died a slow death that could have been avoided by just acknowledging enormous red flags along the way. If you’ve read my posts over the years you know I have some issues with startup culture and the sort of cult mentality that surrounds them and resides within them. I’m not anti-startup by any means but I am against bad, dare I say selfish and stupid, business practices that are common among inexperienced entrepreneurs that puts a stain on all startups much like the diversity issues that have been plaguing this same world for years now. So here’s how to not destroy your startup – or how to destroy it depending on how you interpret this. It’s a parable based on personal experience. It’s an amalgamation of anecdotes, experiences, and patterns I’ve seen over the past decade personally.

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Taking Startup Advice

Are you a young twenty-something fresh out of college (or dropping out of college)? Do you consider yourself a hustler? Ever feel like no one gets you and you could never work for someone else? Then you’re probably thinking of starting a startup (oh how I loathe that word). If so, I’ve got advice for you and if you’re like every other idiot founder out there you’re probably going to ignore it so you can leave now. Because you’re a special snowflake that has it all figured out. For the rest of you who are serious about business keep reading.

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List of MySQL Commands - MySQL Cheat Sheet

Because the bookmark for the page that had all the MySQL Commands I needed to create and manage new databases succumbed to link rot I’m hosting my own page of common and general MySQL commands. It’s focused mostly on getting new databases up and running, and managing users but I’ll add more as I need it. This you can bookmark this page for future reference because I’m never – really, never – going to take down this page and this site will be up for as long as I’m alive (another 40 years at least).

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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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