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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Tutorial : Getting Started with SQL and Database Basics in Minutes

This video tutorial demos how to get started with SQL and practice it easily in a browser / on the web without installing additional database components. It also provides an intuitive example and analogy for beginners to visualize database and database tables using Excel. I did a quick walkthrough of how to use W3School's Try SQL feature to practice SQL language on the web.

Essential Product Management Skills | How to Become a Product Manager in Silicon Valley

This is a short list of essential skills that a product manager in Silicon Valley will want to have. Ideally, the candidate has a lot of experiences and a computer science degree if he/she wants to work for Google / Facebook. This is a first post, will add follow-up posts about 1. a day in life of a product manager 2. interviews of high paying Silicon Valley product managers 3. sample interview questions.

In practice, you don't have to have all skills. Experiences and results really speak louder than a traditional resume. In a later post, we will cover the "touchy feely" "soft" side of Product Management. Comment and ask questions below.

Skills & Tasks
Wireframing prototyping skills
Web analytics skills
Marketing, campaigning the product, Public Relations (PR), "getting the word out"
Product marketing, publicity
Managing prioritizing backlog
Presenting roadmap, flow chart
Engineering estimates
Leading teams
Gathering and researching inputs from stakeholders and customers:

  • From internal teams such as sales, business development, marketing etc.
  • From customers through customer research, define target customers and personas
  • On external market forces such as competition, market dynamic etc.

Product vision
Feature requirements
MVP wireframes (product feature list)
Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
User flow chart
Use cases, epics
Product launch plan
Product description
Product release (beta programs)

User testing
Functional testing

Tools & Techniques
Agile tools and techniques
Waterfall versus agile
PM best practices

Managing / Coordinating people
Product development teams
Product owners

Beginner Tutorial: Getting Started with AngularJS Hello World in Minutes

This demo tutorial (as opposed to follow-along tutorial) shows that you can hook up AngularJS to your html file in just minutes. Things we cover including how to start the ng-app, evaluate an expression {{ 1+2 }}, set up a controller, even debugging AngularJS.

AngularJS is a big topic and I am not the best developer to explain it. However, I want to demo that just like jQuery, AngularJS requires some initial setup. It takes a bit of muscle memory to get used to. After that, you can start your AngularJS app quickly, and take your time to get better at it.


Why do we use a Mac?
Many modern web developers use Mac for various reasons. For beginners, it's easy to program on Macs. The configuration and setup is usually smooth. Some languages are preinstalled and readily available like Ruby and Python.

Why do we use Sublime?
It's a free powerful and clean-cut text editor, which makes it great for beginners.

Why do we use CDN or a hyperlink for the AngularJS source code?
It's easy, readily available, optimized. We don't have to download a copy of the source code and that's nice.

How to debug AngularJS?
AngularJS is JavaScript after all. For beginners, console.log is always your best friend. Use console.log often to make sure your scripts and code is connected.


  • We like to use a basic expression {{ 1+2 }} that AngularJS can compute to demonstrate that AngularJS code is connected successfully.  We think an AngularJS hello world example is to make this expression evaluate to 3.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Codecademy Adds Command Line Class Unit 2 Learn to Code Resource

This is a busy year for the sleep giant of Learn to Code movement - Thankfully it has come back with a bang, launching solid courses in Ruby on Rails, Authentication, AngularJS, and now Command Line, Unit 2. +Codecademy #commandline #learntocode

It covers the basics ls, pwd, nano in Unit 1, now it's ready to show some serious chaining and piping, two shell command concepts that professional programmers constantly use. It's easy for beginners to lose track.

What is 

$ sort deserts.txt | uniq > uniq-deserts.txt

What is uniq, what is in deserts.txt and uniq-deserts.txt, and what will be returned in the terminal or shell. 

During professional front-end interviews, senior JavaScript will often ask tricky questions that can be easily tested in the command prompt, but interviewees will have to come up with the answer in their head, by logic.

As a learn-to-code junkie, I can safely say made JavaScript learning really easy. It's still the best way to iron the grammar of JavaScript in beginners. Unlike others, Codecademy is a habit-forming interactive coding and learning environment that's strangely addictive as it is black & white. Now with these flashy Rails, AngularJS and Command Line, projects added onto its outdated API pack, is luring its users back. And we are very happy to be back.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

New Codecademy Course Review Command Line

Codecademy launches new BETA course on Command Line.
Useful for beginner Ruby on Rails and Python coders.

Recently more than stepped up its game to launch new blockbuster and real-world relevant courses like Rails Authentication, AngularJS and Command Line. The new command line course is short, 1-hour long, aims to introduce learn-to-code students to basic shell commands like ls, pwd, touch. As usual, the practice is completely interactive and self contained in the browser. Students equipped with desktops of all Operating Systems can easily play with code as long as there's internet connection.

While the website is responsive, the exercises, however, are not responsive. It is the best to use a Chrome browser to complete exercises and avoid unnecessary browser-specific complications.

Investing in learning Command Line early is a wise choice (personally, one of the best choices I have ever made). Command line basics are extremely important in Ruby on Rails, Python and Django development, and Heroku Deployment. It's like JavaScript, there is no escape.

The early BETA course set is quite easy, at most, 1-2 lines of commands per exercise.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Developer Tools to Keep in Mind - A Learn to Code Guide for Beginners

Fitness Tracking with Pebble Time - Use Pebble Time with Jawbone UP

The new Pebble Time works with Jawbone UP fitness tracking using its build-in accelerator and manual sleep tracking app, no Jawbone UP device required. Jawbone UP is an official Pebble Time partner. The feature requires a bit of a setup but essentially is well supported and work seamlessly.

Up for Pebble watchface displays time with progress
proportionally to your daily goaln

Setup requirements

Caveats :

The UP for Pebble watch-face displays step progress along with digital time. The upward app has small dots that represents your daily goal (which you can set in the UP app). The dots will proportionally turn into little squares as you progress towards your daily goal.  See picture

Note the UP for Pebble "app" is actually a watch face (versus a  pebble app) that you would install on Pebble Time.  Search for "up for pebble" in the "watchface" tab.

Jawbone UP purple app works well with
Pebble Time no additional device required

Just like the Pebble Time requires a different iOS app from the old Pebble, Jawbone UP app requires you using the UP app with a purple icon if you have no UP device (versus the blue account). The Jawbone UP app "purple" is essentially a free and awesome fitness step tracking app for anyone with iOS!

Here's a longer video I found on Youtube that explains this in details. Caution the beginning is a bit loud