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The technology industry moves fast. Stuff is happening all day long, and all night – since there are developments going on all over the world in Europe, Asia and so on. So I read as much as I can to keep my skills relevant and know about as much going on as possible.

Here’s a collection of stuff I found interesting this week. Data on front-end tools, an interactive programming course, a device digital nomads are gonna love, and a post on how to sell yourself better.

Learn.co from the Flatiron School

The Flatiron School allegedly has a huge success rate with their students. They teach them to code, and reportedly get almost all of them jobs after graduation.

They just launched is Learn.co, an online learning platform that actually seems to teach practical skills. For example: you have coding lessons right there in your browser, and when you click a button it forks a GitHub repository and opens up your editor for you. It holds your hand through actual (VERY relevant) tasks like this, and then takes the training wheels off for you to do them manually when you’re ready.

I find this hugely appealing since lots of interactive training seems to walk you through fundamentals (like programming language constructs), but often leaves out very important job skills like working with repositories, deploying, etc. This tool looks very promising.

How To Market Your Programming Services

John Sonmez on the art of self promotion for programmers. He talks about the types of visitors to your website to consider, and how to design around them.

For many, the hardest part of being successful as a programmer – particularly a freelance one – isn’t the coding itself! It’s selling yourself. Lots of us are naturally comfortable with coding, but not so much with self-promotion. I myself learned it gradually over time, and am always looking to improve it – especially in the online world.

HTML5 – Can’tStopWon’tStop

Knowing HTML5 well is no longer the exclusive domain of front-end developers: it’s mandatory as 63% of business apps are being created in it, and it’s growing fast. Check the data in this research study TechCrunch covered:  HTML5 On The Rise: No Longer Ahead Of Its Time.

However exact this study might be, there’s no arguing that HTML5 is essential. And if you’re a front-end developer – especially a freelance front-end developer – it’s more important than ever that you keep your HTML up to date. Along with your Javascript, of course – which leads us to the next one…

Developers aren’t using ES6 yet!

At least, that’s this JavaScript Live Twitter poll says, for what that’s worth. I’ll say this though: I’m honestly not using ES6 primarily yet, but it’s high up on the todo list.

If you don’t know what ES6 is, it’s what the Javascript language will be in the not-so-distant future. Browsers will eventually let you write like this. To make your skills relevant and future-proof (i.e., they’ll still be relevant when the browsers make ES6 mandatory), it’s best to learn it now.

You can start using the features in ES6 now, though, by running your code through a transpiler like Babel.

There’s a crash course on ES6 by Smashing Magazine, check it out here:  ECMAScript 6 (ES6): What’s New In The Next Version Of JavaScript

Take this poll with a grain of salt though; I’ll be looking for a significantly bigger data set than this. But if it’s anything like this survey, it looks like a lot of us are behind the curve.

Karma wifi hotspot

I’ve heard about Karma before; it’s a little wifi hotspot with really flexible data plans. After seeing it demoed at the New York Tech Meetup this week, I’m dying for one. The mobile app looks sick – you can track your usage by the month, day, hour.

And the data plans are even more impressive than I though. You also get 100MB free when you let a new user join the hotspot – which sounded like a fairly quick way to get free data (as long as they’re not watching netflix on it). Can’t wait to try one of these puppies out!

 

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