Codecademy

Codecademy is an excellent resource for learning new programming languages and coding techniques. They provide lessons and exercises for everything from basic HTML and CSS to JavaScript, PHP, jQuery, Ruby, Python and so much more. They even have projects for you to accomplish by utilizing programming languages to create and style various web features.

They break projects down into numbered tasks to tackle, each one with hints and steps to complete in order to move on. Some of their sample projects include animating your name, creating your own animated galaxy, or building your own website. Aside from creating web applications and mobile apps, Codecademy is a great place to gain confidence in learning and using new programming skills and techniques.

Codecademy.com

Codecademy.com

Perfectionist Mode: ENGAGE

Sometimes “good enough” just isn’t quite good enough, and that search box really does need to move 3px to the left. Unluckily for perfectionists everywhere, it can be hard to communicate to peers, higher-ups, and engineers just how important 3px can be.

It is for those unlucky perfectionists that Braden Kowitz wrote this article at the Google Ventures blog. Kowitz outlines the language disconnect, specifically focusing on the point where engineers and designers find friction: implementation.

Kowtiz suggests an understanding, flexible approach. Batch up the work into a fix-it day the way bugs are often batched. Polish as you go, instead of expecting perfection upfront. And finally, do the engineers a favor and stay away from customization icebergs (custom tasks where there is a deceptively large amount of back-end work to keep up with).

Social Media Buttons Don’t Actually Work

Social media buttons are an appealing concept when sharing your work is crucial to success. But do they actually work? According to Sam Solomon, web developer and entrepreneur: no, not really.

Anecdotal evidence shows that share buttons don’t actually garner very many shares. Scrolling to the end of an article only to find a string of logos with zeros (zero shares on twitter, zero shares on facebook, zero shares on Google+) is just going to reinforce that the article isn’t worth sharing. Even worse, the share buttons often bring up annoying pop-ups, which is a quick way to drive any user away… even if they DID like the content.

The solution is simple, but as usual, easier said than done. If you write something especially interesting to your audience, they will put in the effort to write a tweet, status, or blog post about it. Rely on the strength of your content. 

Global App Design Dos and Don’ts

Have the next big idea for a global app? It’s important to think about basic rules that will help make your app design a success. The Next Web offers some important tips to keep in mind. TNW knows that designing an app takes a lot of creativity, planning and intensive labor and it doesn’t get easier when you’re designing for a global audience. Some do’s to keep in mind are; assessing the viability of launching in a new market, simplifying functionality, visualizing consistency, getting in real content ASAP, starting with high resolutions and double checking mobile OS adoption rates. Don’t forget the don’ts, which include leaving out animations, ignoring culture nuances, executing your strategy remotely and taking visual language lightly.

Source: blog.logmein.com

Source: blog.logmein.com

Coming up with an app may be easy; it’s getting it running smoothly that’s the challenge. For instance, animation is an eye catcher when designing. Animation brings characters to life; why not bring your app to life. Yes, animation may be the most difficult part to include when creating an app, but instead of trying to avoid it altogether why not include some sort of animation. Animation helps user to better understand the app and stay engaged.

Source: www.mobileapptesting.com

Source: www.mobileapptesting.com

Keep in mind that the key focus is to make this a global app and your audience is huge. People you least expect may end up downloading this app. Therefore, don’t ignore cultural nuances. You will be reaching out to different markets, don’t assume that all markets take the same language similarly. You don’t want to end up disrespecting someone or giving wrong instructions. Take the time and see which symbols, drawings, or text have mutual meanings no matter who is using it. Overall, just remember your audience is global and it’s important to properly cater to them. Always get a second opinion before you launch your final product. So there you have it folks – tips from the experts at TNW to get you started in globalizing your app.

Tech Skills Ruled 2013

As the presence of companies grows online, they are constantly looking for web developers with the skills to get the job done. Although preference in development software varies, there was a significant spike in searches for a particular set of skills. According to Stack Overflow’s statistics, a culmination of frequently searched keywords by companies to find job applicants, Java was the #1 searched skill keyword. Taking a look at the infographic below, out of the top ten searched developer skills of 2013 Java took first place by a solid 10%. Even development abilities in iOS and Android aren’t preferred nearly as much. Despite this, knowledge in Java is relevant for the development of Android systems. Regardless, technological skills, especially web development, are highly valuable in the ever-growing World Wide Web. Read more about skills that are in-demand at Readwrite’s article here.

Source: Readwrite

Source: Readwrite

Customize WordPress Themes in 4 Easy Steps

Everyone realizes it at some point – my WordPress theme is being used by thousands of other bloggers. So, how do you make your blog standout? Most people shy away from customization of their layouts because they believe it takes exceptional coding skills and mastery of all computer languages. Well, they’re wrong. There are a few simple things you can tweak on your blog to make it match your own individual flair. From fonts to images to colors to the basic layout of your blog, there are many ways to make your blog stand apart from the rest. Check out more tips on Copyblogger.

10 Crucial Tips for Web Designing

Less is more but simple is hard. Designing for the web can be the most rewarding activity, creating an interactive interface that many people will use – but it can also be the most tedious. There are a lot of things to consider before you start spinning your threads to create your website. The most important one is you can’t know everything. No designer knows everything. You know those programming geniuses on routine cop shows that know every possible route and there’s nothing that they can’t do? Wrong. Nobody is really like that. Designing for the web is about learning what tools work best for you and taking it day by day. Every project is going to be different: varying audiences, content, contexts, and reasons you’re doing this project. You’ll learn the most by doing – so go create! But first, you should probably read more about the things you need to know about designing for the web at Treehouse Blog.

Improving Your WordPress Design

It’s that time of year again where graduation is right around the corner; for PW seniors, this means creating your portfolio. Depending on what system you use, this involves creating a theme and layout for your overall site. WordPress is typically a favorite for its easy usability and user-friendly access.

Smashing Magazine interviewed several top theme designers and developers about how to improve and refine your theme development for new and amateur theme designers. They recommend developing locally instead of working with the live, “FTP commandos” as one designer says. This has more benefits and allows you to track your work and what you’ve changed and fix mistakes before they’re posted on a live website.

Other tips they have are using Git (“a distributed version-control system that is popular among developers all over the world”), cleaning up your source code (“indent nested lines, indent tabs always, be consistent with formatting”), and use a starter theme (“It cuts down on development time greatly”). It’s all about what works best for you as the designer; the takeaway is it’s all based on finding the time to learn and refine your workflow and techniques, helping your design planning and creating become more efficient.