Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Learn the f**king JavaScript

I briefly mentioned before that JavaScript is the king, not Weasley, but why? One reader asked the question with audacity. It's simple, JavaScript is the language of the web, Ryan, co-founder of Codecademy said so when asked why Js was the first track on the interactive learning website.

The first time I heard Ryan's interview, it did not sink in. The first time I saw that a multi-million dollar project is entirely built of SQL database, JavaScript and transaction-based JavaScript and SQL procs... but then there is all the modern concepts of web development: box model rather than table cells. But what really changed is the way people handle all the interactions of users.

Pick Google Map, users don't give a damn about the back-end. For them, it is just binary, it is good or bad, e.g. iOS iPhone Map = bad, iOS Google Map  = good! When it comes to accuracy, users often only see black and white. After all there are n't many to compare and contrast in terms of options of apps.

But many discussions and talks have been said about interactivity, user interface, user experience, graphics...

On the web part, JavaScript handles all the interactivity. Imagine that HTML is a muffin, a dark chocolate muffin, CSS is the icing on the cake that makes a lame looking muffin a glossy cupcake. But JavaScript is like the thing that makes those effing muffins dance.... well we don't care about dancing muffins, or cupcakes, but surprisingly, we like our web to jiggle, to shake, flash, and flip and somersault. We want modals, lightbox, carousel, slides, HTML flipping presentations.

That's when JavaScript comes in handy for all front-end developers, or all front-end designers that want to be more of an engineer. And did I mention JavaScript really is the default language of browsers? Pretty sure browsers cannot just C without aim. And JavaScript already has enough cross-browser issues, cough IE. Can we take more?

jQuery is like Rails in the sense that beginners love it, and super advanced programmers love it. When you agree on the second level, you have reached enlightenment. If you think jQuery is just easy, then you have not unleashed its power.

So you can use JavaScript to manipulate the HTML DOM, and twig the CSS, but it didn't use to be case that you can do much damage to the database or the data that is being displayed. Spaghetti codes are required for lines and lines to manipulate some simple data. Not any more, Node.js renders javascript backend ready, and many frameworks including those backed by Google are emerging to take over the world. Heard of Angular.js or Ember.js? How about that Backbone.

Did I mention that JavaScript is not easy to learn? It's also simple to get started, but the possibilities are endless. It's almost more relieving to use Rails, because there's the Rails way of doing things and the Ruby way of doing things. When it comes to JavaScript, just the best parts, then you are on your own. Makes it the most flexible yet entangled language to learn on your own. Start small but time to get started on Js for sure.
 

traveling and a brand new checklist

I frequently visit family in China, and this  year there's no difference. I will lose access to Youtube, blogger, twitter, facebook essentially all my social network. In exchange I get a glimpse of the unusual life of netizens in China. To be honest, it does not bother me in the short term. Internet has enabled much collaboration and information access between China and the rest of the world. It's truly an enabler despite that many may argue about its shortfalls and imperfection.

WeChat, QQ Tencent, Ren Ren, Sina Weibo... these are the technologies that get Chinese to chatter and share their thoughts.

For me, it really does not make a difference. I am mostly a visitor any where. it's like traveling to any other country, a visitor is there to observe absorb, and may be not in one day wishing to change all the technical landscape.

This time though, as I am packing the usual, I choose to have an unusual checklist:

1. jQuery codes
2. Handlebars
3. Underscore
4. jQuery books in ebook or Kindle format for easy traveling
5. JavaScript books, ebook and kindle
6. Ruby OOP books, ebook and kindle
7. Rails installer
8. Git enabled, and all dependency enabled computer

Yes, I am getting my local machine ready with source codes, books, and libraries so that i can continue to develop on my local no matter where I travel. I still bring my laptop and many gifts for relatives. But for the first time, my laptop has endless possibilities despite slower and more limited internet.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

用中文谈高科技编程和未来

我突然想起了自己以前的博客居然有好几万人在2000年-2012之间网络还比较平淡的时候来访。真是一个让人欣慰的事情。更让人觉得有意思的是现在中国的高科技软件矽谷竟然包括在环山四川的成都。成都人上http://www.codecademy.com 还开发游戏,甚至晋身全球超级网络和手机游戏之家。四川人真的很牛。

这就开发了我的想法,其实这个博客的内容也应该有中文的内容。向心急的中国家长美籍华人和蓬勃的年轻人提供他们期望的信息。而且这些信息要通过不同的平台来发放:
1.新浪微博而不是twitter
2.优酷而不是youtube
3. 博客大巴,新浪博客而不是blogger
4. 人人而不是facebook

这不是问题,而是一件很有意思的为中国人而存在的平台。很好,那下一步codesum.blogspot.com 和codediv.com都会尽量为大家提供中文的咨询。欢迎大家提供宝贵的意见。

Saturday, June 8, 2013

A day at Hack Reactor - for backbone.js by Girls Develop It

Girls Develop It hosted a half day backbone.js session that will extends another half day tomorrow. This weekend course is well worth the price. 

Hack Reactor is centrally located on market street near Westfield mall at a safe environment (gets tad sketchy at night).


Furnitures are new and fancy, fake leather chair, monitors and clean desks. Much better than Dev Bootcamp San Francisco in an old building. It reminds me of Coding Dojo. The kitchen is nice clean and friendly too(coding dojo doesn't have a kitchen). No creaking floors. Big plus


I will add a profile page on http://codediv.com too. And will post it here soon. I wasn't credited to write about hack reactor before, since I was yet to visit.

Backbone.js though is hosted by Girls Develop It but taught back Backlift's Cole. Cole is a steady spirit, a true developer with plenty of philosophy and tactical approaches of his own. Backlift allows one click install and hosting integrated with Dropbox.


Make no mistake, Pamela Fox was not idle whatsoever. She chimed in... More than chimedin... Going around helping students, pointing out real world application and usage of backbone and best practices.

Fast paced indeed but it was a solid experience. Going through backbone code school and quite a bit of JavaScript beginner+intermediate background will help a lot. But rails will be super helpful too. Underscores methods remind me of ruby.

Jquery is a must. But really you just have to focus on the selecting and basic Dom manipulation


Friday, June 7, 2013

CodeDivWeekly newsletter including tips and free video casts now available

Go to http://www.codediv.com  now you can sign up for our newsletter for free! Weekly very short email including a couple of tips, new technology alerts and also updates for existing subscribers. It's free for all.

If you are considering Code School my referral link here. I am learning a lot on Code School myself, I would love to get a kickback and support the free episodes and more education, so I can explain complex concepts in layman's term for more people!






If you are using TreeHouse , did you know that now Treehouse features a job board! Great news, it is a brand new feature.