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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Hackbright Launches part-time evening Intro to Programming classes with a focus on Python


Coding bootcamp, web development school, Hackbright is focused on nurturing women engineers who will enter the Silicon Valley high tech working scene after intensive project based training and hands-on coding experiences. The school just launched a series of evening classes. These part-time classes are great for working professionals with limited time and resources and who may not want to leave their job and commit to an immersive bootcamp yet. 
See Hackbright newsletter info below:

If you have any questions, please join us on Thursday, 3/10 for an Info Session on Intro to Programming at Hackbright from 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM. You'll learn all about the curriculum and chat with our Program Manager of Part-Time Education (me!), Admissions Manager and recent students. RSVP here. We look forward to meeting you!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Weekly Digest Startup, Growthing Hacking, Learn to Code 2

Keywords covered in this tech and startup news digest : Twitter, Uber, Cisco, deals, recommendation engine, logo, branding, design, PR, Internet of things (IoT), Super Bowl 50 advertisement, marketing, reach, growth hack, lifehack, productivity, philosophy, Industrial Age, manufacturing design, startup work culture, yahoo developer conference, event, YUI, AWS 101 beginner getting started webinar, coding bootcamp App Academy offers bootcamp prep, pebble promotional discount 

Uber head of design steps down amidst sharp rebranding criticism. (Hashtag: Uber, startup, branding, design, logo, Fast Company, PR). 

The Twittersphere went crazy over ... Twitter, until CEO Jack Dorsey denied a report that the social-media site plans to rejigger its algorithm to make messages appear by popularity rather than chronology. That report infuriated many users who accused it of selling out to emulate Facebook. #RIPTwitter was the top trending hashtag on the site. (Bloomberg news)

Twitter signs deal with Selerity, which is responsible for leaking twitter's earning data early. Selerity can now offer a white label solution that allows users to consume tweets based on theirs interests and the relevance of the tweets automatically calculated by Selerity. For example, Selerity is smart enough to not show family vacation tweets from Xyz company CFO to those who follow him or her for earnings news and reports.
http://uk.businessinsider.com/selerity-signs-data-deal-with-twitter-2016-2?IR=T


* Cisco acquires Jasper, a Santa Clara based Internet of Things (IoT) platform

* How much is #SuperBowlAds worth per viewer? #SuperBowl #marketing #ad #freakonomics #viral http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/020116/are-super-bowl-ads-worth-their-high-cost.asp

* How an Industrial Age blue collar worker dilemma lends insight to a modern attention span issue: constantly checking emails stuns productivity. Fast Company An Industrial Age solution to email overload. (Startup culture and productivity) http://www.fastcompany.com/3056141/work-smart/an-industrial-age-solution-to-email-overload

* Yahoo developer conference Feb 18 (yahoo conference website) http://ymdcsf2016.tumblr.com

* Getting started with AWS (Amazon Web Services Pop-up Website) https://www.thinkreg.com/coral/viewWebsite.do?pageId=8a94a8b447fa4f710147ff5b0a17069e&mkt_tok

* App Academy offers pre bootcamp prep that guarantees acceptance to top selected coding bootcamp like itself (learn to code and bootcamp news).  http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/app-academy-launches-bootcamp-prep-guaranteeing-graduates-acceptance-into-the-most-selective-coding-bootcamps-in-the-world-300212633.html
Comment : not sure why that's necessary. 

* Promotions : pebble offers 28% off for two pebble time rounds for Valentine's Day and 14% off a pebble time round bundled with an accessory. 
Comment: not sure if this is really an attractive deal. pebble time round is still very expensive.  

Codecademy Learn Java tutorial walkthrough 10: relational operators

Codecademy basics tutorials always cover relational operators for each programming language taught. Relational operators refer to the !=, >, ==, <= in (5!=3) or (5>3) or  (5==5)  or (5 <= 7). Each is a test to see if the left and right side of the relational operator has the said relation. For example, 5!=3 will evaluate to true because it is testing for whether it is true 5 doesn't equal to 3, and that is indeed the case, so the result is true. What about (5==3)? It tests if 5 equals to 3, and the answer is no so it evaluates to false. The result of a statement with a relational operator almost always only returns only true or false. Do you remember what's the name of the data type that can only be true or false? Yes a Boolean. A Boolean can either be true or false. Why are relational operators useful?

For example in the previous exercise, we used Modulo to see if z % 2 is zero, which means z is even. We can ask the program to do something only of z is even. Below so the pseudo code to do that (pseudo code is descriptive English words that explains what the code which is yet to be written is intended to do).

if ( (z % 2) ==0) print "z is even!"

This code reads first calculate z % 2, and if that is 0, print out a message saying z is even


See the screenshot above for one of the many solutions to this exercise. Remember Codecademy requires you to use two whole numbers. And don't forget to end the line with a semicolon, else you may get a confusing error.


Codecademy Learn Java tutorial walkthrough 9 Math:modulo %

Modulo has always been a difficult concept for beginners. Codecademy tutorials always cover Modulo operator (the percentage sign %) because it is extremely useful in math, programming and engineering in general. This is a step by step, detailed programming language agnostic guide to how to use and understand the modulo operator. 

First of all don't think too much about the name of the percentage symbol. Let's first understand the concept of modulo. 

It's very useful when determining whether number x is divisible by number y. Say 10 is divisible by 1, 2, 5, and 10. The result is always a whole number: 10, 5, 2, 1 respectively. When x is divisible by y, the result of x modulo y is always zero. 10 % 1 = 0, 10 % 2 = 0. When x is divisible by y, the result is always zero, because there's no remainder. 10 % 3 = 1. Because 3x3=9 plus the remainder 1 equals to 10. And in this case, x moduloes y is not zero, and hence x is not divisible by y. 

And now another commonly used case for the modulo operator: determining whether a number is even or odd. It's useful say Udacity has an online class full of students, and now wants to divide the students methodically into different groups. The sorting method will be different depends on whether the number of students is even or odd. We can calculate that using z % 2. Z is the number of students. example 10%2 =0 makes 10 even. 9%2 = 1, so 9 is not even.


In this exercise, I set int myNumber equal to 11%3, and the remainder will be 2 because 3 x3 is 9, 9 plus 2 is 11, see the illustrated traditional calculation 




Udacity launches new "class" feature Career Advisor Program for Students who study programming online

Udacity new feature Career Advisory Program report, review, and offering walkthrough.Udacity announces new programming initiative - a career advisory service for online students seeking a job as a Front-End Web Developer, Full Stack Web Developer, iOS developer, android developer, and data analyst (basically all of its nano degree tracks. Think of this service as a derivative of the growth and expansion of Udacity nanodegree programs. With the hefty price tag of those programs, paying customers demand better job placements upon graduation). 

Services
What's Included
  • A direct connection to our hiring partners with your Udacity profile

  • Interview practice and resources

  • Expert review of your personal brand (resume, LinkedIn and GitHub profiles)

  • Training for cover letter writing and other important communications

  • A free resume review during your free trial


    The meat of the offering is really Udacity's hiring partners programs As usual, Udacity boasts premium partners like Google (which is always on the list, given the founder Sebastian T's Google background). However, the real effectiveness of these programs and their placement rates are largely unknown. There's no objective 3rd party report of such numbers. 


    It is reported by Udacity itself that its hiring partners include Google, 

    AT&T, Microsoft, and Priceline. These are not the sexiest of Silicon Valley tech companies. However, they do hire a very large number of developers. May be newly minted developers should consider these larger and less sexy companies after all. 






Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Codecademy Learn Java tutorial walkthrough 8 : Math +,-,*,/



In this exercise 8/12, Codecademy requires you to do some basic arithmetics using Java. Use the plus symbol + for addition, the minus symbol - for subtraction (it's a very short dash like the in the word "half-life"), the asterisk or the multiply symbol * for multiplication, the forward slash or the divide symbol / for division (the backward flash is \). 

In this case, you just have to multiply two whole numbers and store the result in a variable that can hold an integer. And that's exactly what line 4 does 
int myNumber = 5 * 6;

Don't forget the semicolon or ; at the end of the line. That's how Java knows a line has ended. Or else it will get confused when trying to execute line 4 and line 5 together and throw a nasty error message. This error message is Codecademy specific and can be confusing. If you included the semicolon correctly but still got this message check if you really multiply two integers and stored it successfully in a variable that int holds integers and the variable is called myNumber. 



The error message reads:
Did you multiply two integers?
Remember, integers are whole numbers only.

What's a whole number? 1, 3, 70, but not 3.5

Codecademy Learn Java tutorial walkthrough 7 comments

In this Codecademy.com Java exercise 7/12 Comments, the exercise requires you to "comment out" line 4 and make a multi-line comment.

Engineers use comment frequently to make their code more readable for other engineers and also their future self. Professional developers write thousands line of code in a matter of months or even days. It will be hard to remember all the nuances. Comments in plain concise English really helps. It's also a great way for beginners to take notes while learning to code.

"Commenting out" a line refers to prefixing the line with a // double slash in Java or surrounding the multi-line code (a code that continues on multiple lines) with /* and then ending with */ 

This seemingly trivial exercise is actually a testing method frequently used by developers to test what a line of code does or should not do. They comment out the target code line(s) to see how the program run without those line(s) of code.

In this exercise, part 2, you must write a multi-line comment. A single line comment marked with // won't pass part 2 of the exercise. Codecademy will throw an error. 

See my sample code screenshot below:




Saturday, February 6, 2016

TheCodePlayer video castes line by line coding walkthroughs learn to code resource

TheCodePlayer is a video tutorial site where professional developers offer line by line video walkthroughs of their code for a UI element or a feature. They will go over their thought process and refractor on the fly. This can be a good resource for learning to code.

http://thecodeplayer.com

The Eighth Network acquired TheCodePlayer and added a small membership fee along with new content and stock photos, themes and graphic assets.

Here's their announcement:

Change the site over to a $5/month membership (or $100 one-time lifetime fee) site where 100% of your dollars go back into resources for it's members. Your membership would include:
  • New code walk-thoughs every single day
  • Thousands of downloadable code snippets
  • Thousands of license-free stock photos available no where else
  • Thousands of license-free graphics and icons available no where else
  • Website themes for Wordpress, Drupal and other CMS as well as HTML5
  • Curated E-books with research on topics like SEO, website growth, monetizing guides and more
  • In-depth research on usability, case studies, A/B testing and premium content
  • Access to job postings and freelance work
  • A technology podcast with interviews from some of the best programmers in the world
  • No ads, no spam, ever.
  • Probably more, but that's it for now.

Silicon vanity.com is not affiliated with TheCodePlayer. We write blog post about resources that beginners and professional developers can use to learn programming languages. TheCodePlayer stood out as one of the first sites to offer step-by-step walkthrough.


Friday, February 5, 2016

Udacity Intro to Java Programming course lesson review and rating

Udacity offers intro to Java programming for free as a prerequisite for many of its classes, tracks and nano degrees such as Android Developer. It is a quick overview of the language, but it is not an in-depth introduction to the language. This course is mostly useful for begin or Udacity not so much for anyone else who is seriously getting started with Java.

The first few lessons are long but could have been much shorter. The setup and configuration for BlueJ and the algorithm introduction can be useful. Because of its video format, going through this course is quite time-consuming. As usual, Udacity's exercise is a well designed, real world of exercises, and some of them are quite tricky.

The class has an astounding 281K students.

Udacity intro to Java programming walk-through syllabus learn to code resource

Why is this walkthrough useful? you can preview the curriculum.It's accessible even when internet connection is poor. It's a text-based way to learn java if you don't like video instructions.

udacity intro to java programming Syllabus https://www.udacity.com/wiki/cs046
What is programming? : An useful explanation using analogies.
Java (section title) : why learn java because it is a very popular language, mostly simple, safe - will give students helpful and obvious errors. Useful for web, image processing even android development.
Hello, World (section title): write first java program. the line that is System.out.println is the most important line.other parts are setting up the program forthis line

Downloading Blue J (Section title): instructions for installing java and Blue J on windows and mac quiz 0:find the first Contributor to blueJ

Download the course code (lesson title): link to zip file. Assignment is to look for a secret code in one of the text files.



Hello, Udacity! (less on title):create a project in blue J with the help of starter code.Modify the println code Hit the compile button. Right click the orange boxthat represents the project.Select main () method in dropdown and run it.

Create a test project : create a new project or open the test project in lesson 1 code provided by Udacity. Right click and select edit in the dropdown to use the main )method.If creating a new project, need to create a new class, open to edit, delete extra code

Hello World Two lines (lesson title): assignment use two
System.out.println()
to print out Hello on a line andworld on another.Udacity will show you how.

Text and Numbers (lesson title): 
System.out.println(3+4+5);
versus
System.out.println("3+4+5");
There is a quiz. Basically Java will do arithmic on numbers (will add the numbers up in this case) but will display text as it is,word for word.In Java and many languages text is known as a string and is surrounded by a pair of quotes

Our First Program (lesson title): It's possible to twig a program without understanding every detail. Breaks down the System.out.println("Hello, world!"); into object, method and a string. 

print and println (lesson title): difference between ps that print moves the cursor to the end of the printed result, println() move the cursor to one line below the result. It is tricky. 



How to fix Evernote sync issue

Sometimes sync issues occur when using Evernote with poor Wi-Fi or Internet connection or accessing Evernote across different devices (mobile and desktop for example). There is a very simple way to resolve it. 

Simply create a new note, copy the contents over into the new note and give me the old one. Viola problem solved. Always back up important information before making big changes like this.

Bookmark and visit siliconvanity.com to see news, tips and analysis on startups, apps, gadgets, learn to code; computer science, high tech and Silicon Valley developer and tech lifestyle. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Startup small business tax part 2 California franchise tax and other tax filings for foreign entities

We all know Silicon Valley as the technology and startup center of the world. In fact, many YCombinator startups incorporate in Delaware and do business in California especially during their 3 months stay at the accelerator. This blog post contains my notes from previous internet searches on California Franchise Tax, sales tax and filings for foreign entities (companies doing business in California that are incorporated in another state.). 

Foreign Entity
Any business with nexus needs to register as a foreign entity in California, i.e. an out-of-state company. If you have one employee in California, one warehouse, office and now even if you just do business and take in some sales revenue in Cal. Amazon used to move its warehouses and offices outside Californian to avoid nexus. But eventually agreed to collect sales tax for all California shipping addresses. Making companies register is a great way for the government to monitor and collect tax due. Nexus in colloquial terms just means sufficient physical presence. Here's an intuit article about Nexus. http://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/taxes/what-is-nexus-and-how-does-it-affect-your-small-business

$800 Dollars Californian Franchise Tax
This franchise has nothing to do with fast food chains. It's a type of corporate tax, one of the prices you have to pay to main a corporate status rather than a sole proprietorship (of which your entire personal asset may be liable). California Franchise Tax will collect a minimum of $800 dollars. 

Register with Secretary of State
If a company is doing business in California, such as a startup headquartered here and has employees, the company must register with the Secretary of State of California prior to incurring transactions here. In reality, some startups are slow at filing and may incur financial penalties though not right away. It's a risk.

The registration process is simple and straightforward. Including a stamped, addressed envelope along with an extra copy of the filing and request the agency to stamp for confirmation can also be very helpful.

It's best to register early if you intend or already are doing repeated or successive transactions within California.

Failure to register and qualified to do a business in a state may cost you A venture capital deal
This blog post below from tech startup lawyers dot com mentions a term often seen in startup investment and venture capital deals that allow investors to back out of a deal if the company fail to qualify for business in a designated state.
http://www.techstartuplawyer.com/checklists/incorporation-checklist/incorporating-a-technology-startup-qualifying-to-do-business/

Filing Fee
Usually the government also charges a filing fee along with the tax due.

Disclaimer: always check internet information against government websites, and only trust information posted on government tax agency websites. Only certified CPA of the state can give accurate advice. Please only consider this blog post notes of my own personal research NOT as legal or accounting advice.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Startup small business tax part 1 - Delaware franchise tax

Did you know that it is said 70% of companies listed on New York Stock Exchange are incorporated in Delaware? Thanks to its mature corporate laws, ease of incorporating & filing, and protection for shareholders and business owners. 

Companies registered in Delaware must maintain a registered agent, who will notify the business of any required filings and tax due. For my internet based startup for example, I got a letter notifying me of tax and annual filing due before March 1, 2016 and March 1st of each year. This is the annual required filing and Delaware franchise tax. 

The annual report can be filed online. A fixed fee $25-$50 dollars will be accessed in addition to tax due - ranging $75-$165 million depends on the revenue, company type and share structure.

Filing Fee
Usually the government also charges a filing fee along with the tax due.

Disclaimer: always check internet information against government websites, and only trust information posted on government tax agency websites. Only certified CPA of the state can give accurate advice. Please only consider this blog post notes of my own personal research NOT as legal or accounting advice.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Learn to Code make iOS apps and getting started with ionic framework and AngularJS official getting started video

Here're the notes and summary of the official getting started with ionic framework video http://youtu.be/1RQCjwnlTRk
from the ionic framework YouTube channel. 

Ionic is a frontend html5 framework build on Cordova, it's underlining platform. It conveniently created iOS and android mobiles app (hard to create!) from just front end tools - HTML Css and JavaScript. Prerequisites or required installations include Xcode, Xcode command line tools (important! As you see can see in the video, most installations are done in the command line terminal. Skipping this step will cause quite a few problems down the road.), and node.js. Ionic makes use of the npm package management system. 

STEP 1 install ionic from command line via npm
STEP 2 Ionic out of box is platform agnostic. Install the iOS module or the android module. This will allow the use of iOS simulator and android simulator. 
STEP 3 choose an application template example choose tap zap to create a tap based application. 

Please note knowing how to use command line to code is important for ionic!