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Darwin and business plans, coding schools learning to adapt or die

(TECHNOLOGY NEWS) As some coding schools shutter their doors, others are tapping into survival of the fittest and finding ways to adapt.

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pluralsight computer desktop working master's degree coding

Coding schools are everywhere

Ask one person about them and you’ll hear all about how they’re all the rage and an excellent way for someone who has no previous experience to get their foot in the door. Ask someone else, and you might get a scoff and a lecture about bootcamp graduates being of lesser-caliber and ill-equipped for the big-kids-world of engineering.

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Those who’ve graduated from coding schools and those in pursuit of attending one are on a tightrope walk between the stigma of bootcamps and being able to compete in a dog-eat-dog job market.

Coding Dojo

We’ve written previously about the over saturation of coding schools after the recent closure of two major national institutions, and while isn’t enough evidence to support a growing trend, it does bring to light discussion regarding the legitimacy of the claims of the schools.

Coding Dojo is offering a new curriculum that proclaims is one of the broadest available in order to match the fast-evolving developer job market.

Dojo recently dropped their Ruby on Rails program (in certain locations) which is slated to retire at the end of 2017, and added a full-stack Java course. Coding Dojo also offers all the stacks for Python/Django, MEAN, Ruby on Rails (again, in some locations), LAMP, iOS/Swift and C#/ASP.NET Core, plus short curriculum material covering React, Amazon Alexa, and other technologies.

Respect the grind

While some coding schools are shutting their doors forever, others like Coding Dojo are hustling to stay current and relevant to the current job market.
That sounds fine and dandy, but it can be difficult to put a price tag on something that’s constantly changing that can be done for less or even for free. That said, does this invalidate the education someone received at a coding school? Would a self-taught coder or someone with a four-year degree in Computer Science be regarded more highly in comparison?

Much of the resentment of coding schools comes from the idea that “you get what you pay for.”

Some schools may be up to snuff with new and relevant course material while others might be your usual for-profit “diploma mill,” leaving many students feeling sold something they couldn’t use. And if you were one of the current students or graduated of Dev Bootcamp or The Iron Yard, how does that name look on your resume in the eyes of recruiters? Should job seekers be fearful of adding what was once an accomplishment but now considered a stamp of shame to their resumes?

Can and should aren’t the same

There’s been an initiative in recent years with the rallying cry “everyone should learn to code,” but should they? Motivation is a huge factor, and if you’re just going through the motions and following along the steps to create an app, I’m afraid you’ll be floundering in a real world scenario if your hearts just not into it.

Coding takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to truly understand and write on one’s own, and it’s both a language and an art that needs constant refining and following.

You’ve got to keep up. A certificate can look great on paper, but ultimately your success will amount to the time and energy that you put into your work, and how badly you want something. Employers want to see what you can do.

Head down, work hard

Code schools are not for everyone, but if it’s what you’re after, be like Rudy: you may get rejection letters here and there, but that means you need to keep learning and pushing yourself until someone notices.

You’ll do fine.

#Coding

Ashe Segovia is a Staff Writer at The American Genius with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Southwestern University. A huge film nerd with a passion for acting and 80's movies and synthpop; the pop-cultural references are never-ending.

Tech News

Not just for gaming: How virtual reality can save PTSD patients

(TECH NEWS) Thanks to its ability to simulate situations safely, virtual reality technologies are proving effective in therapy for PTSD patients.

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Woman wearing a VR headset in warm sunny lighting, PTSD patients treatment

Over the last year, a great many people have developed a new and sometimes dangerous relationship with a new emotional state, anxiety. I know that personally I’d never had a panic attack in my life until the middle of the pandemic. For many these emotions have taken the form of actual disorders. Actual mental influences which affect everyday life on a large scale. One of the most common forms of which is PTSD.

This disorder has many different aspects and can affect people in a number of different and debilitating ways. Finding treatments for PTSD patients and other anxiety disorders – especially treatments that don’t involve drugging people into oblivion has been difficult.

A lot of these disorders require exposure therapy. Putting people back into similar situations which caused the original trauma so that their brains can adjust to the situation and not get stuck in pain or panic loops. But how do you do that for things like battlefield trauma. You can’t just create situations with gunfire and dead bodies! Or can you?

This is where VR starts coming in. Thanks to the falling cost of VR headsets, noted by The Economist, psychologists are more capable of creating these real world situations that can actually help people adjust to their individual trauma.

One therapist went so far as to compare it to easy access opioids for therapy. This tool is so powerful that of the 20 veterans that they started with, 16 of them no longer qualify for the categories of PTSD. That’s a 75% success rate with an over-the-counter medicine. I can think of antihistamines and painkillers that aren’t that good.

I’ve grown up around PTSD patients. The majority of my family have been in the military. I was even looking at a career before I was denied service. I have enough friends that deal with PTSD issues that I have a list of things I remember not to invite certain people to so as not to trigger it. Any and every tool available that could help people adapt to their trauma is worthwhile.

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Tech News

Tired of email spam? This silly, petty solution might provide vindication

(TECH NEWS) If you struggle to keep your inbox clean thanks to a multitude of emails, the widget “You’ve Got Spam” could provide some petty catharsis.

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Email icon with 20 possible spam emails on phone screen.

We’re all spending a lot of time behind our computers and inside of our inboxes these days, so it makes sense that some people—not naming names—might be sick of seeing several unsolicited emails a day from marketers and other unsavory businesses.

While we can’t recommend a mature, adult solution that hasn’t already been beaten to death (looking at you, “inbox zero” crowd), we can recommend a childish one: Signing solicitors up for spam.

If you do decide to go the petty route, “You’ve Got Spam”—a free email widget from MSCHF—has you covered. Upon installing the widget, you can configure it to respond automatically to incoming cold-marketing emails with tons of subscriptions to spam sources, thus resulting in overwhelming the sender with a crowded inbox and cultivating a potentially misplaced sense of catharsis for yourself.

The widget itself is fairly simple: You only need to install it to Gmail from the MSCHF website. The rest is pretty self-explanatory. When you receive an email from a person from whom you can safely assume you’ll never be receiving favors ever again, you can open it and click the “You’ve Got Spam” icon to sign the sender up for spam lists galore.

See? Petty, but effective.

The developer page does fail to make the distinction between the promised “100” subscriptions and the “hundreds of spam subscriptions” discussed on Product Hunt. But one can assume that anyone who dares trespass on the sacred grounds of your squeaky-clean inbox will rue the day they did so regardless of the exact number of cat litter magazine subscriptions they receive.

Of course, actually using something like “You’ve Got Spam” is, realistically, a poor choice. It takes exactly as much effort to type, “We’ll pass – thanks!” as a response to anyone cold-emailing you, and you’re substantially less likely to piss off the actual human being on the other side by doing so. Services like this are heavy on the comedic shock value, but the empathy side tends to lack a discernible presence.

That said, if you absolutely must wreck someone’s day—and inbox—MSCHF’s “You’ve Got Spam” is a pretty ingenious way to do it.

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Tech News

Clubhouse finally made it to Android, but has its time passed?

(TECH NEWS) Social media felt the impact of Clubhouse, but the internet moves fast, and even though it is finally on Android, it’s time may be waning.

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Woman holding book and a phone, with headphones, participating in Clubhouse.

Clubhouse finally got an Android release, and while many people clamored for such a thing months ago, others argue that it’s too little, too late.

If you aren’t familiar with Clubhouse, it’s an audio-only “social platform” that encourages discussions through live chat rooms. Users can drop into various rooms and listen to people talk, request the option to chime in, and follow a variety of rooms (or “topics”) to stay engaged over time. Users can even create their own rooms that feature them as speakers.

Clubhouse also has a certain allure to it in that the app requires new users to put their names on a waitlist that creates an “invite-only” culture of exclusivity.

But while iPhone users have had access to Clubhouse since its inception, Android users have been not-so-patiently waiting for their own release—and, now that Clubhouse for Android is available, it may have outstayed its welcome.

Part of the problem is the launch itself. The Android Clubhouse app launched with limited functionality; Android users weren’t able to follow the topics they like, change their account information, and so on. This made the release feel underwhelming, further highlighting Clubhouse’s affinity for Apple users.

A more complicated problem is the prevalence of audio options in other social media services. Slack, for example, recently released their audio-only rooms, and services such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have placed a spotlight on voice-only mediums of expression.

Initially, Clubhouse was the only app to incorporate audio as a strong central focus, but the ubiquitous fascination with voice-posting has expanded to comprise most major communication platforms. As such, Clubhouse’s sought-after exclusivity is no more—something that was also arguably damaged by expanding to Android.

It should be noted that interest in the app itself is decreasing, and not just on Android. Social Media Today reported that, in March of 2021, Clubhouse downloads were down 72 percent from February’s 9.6 million downloads. The publication also pointed out that difficulty finding rooms was a substantial issue that is unlikely to do anything but worsen with a surge of Android users, necessitating some back-end fixes from the owners.

As it sits, Clubhouse is still very much in use, and Android users are poised to reignite interest as iOS users stagnate. Whether or not that interest will persevere in the current social media ecosystem remains to be seen.

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