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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

Google chrome: The anti-cookie monster in 2022

(TECH NEWS) If you are tired of third party cookies trying to grab every bit of data about you, google has heard and responded with their new updates.

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3rd party cookies

Google has announced the end of third-party tracking cookies on its Chrome browser within the next two years in an effort to grant users better means of security and privacy. With third-party cookies having been relied upon by advertising and social media networks, this move will undoubtedly have ramifications on the digital ad sector.

Google’s announcement was made in a blog post by Chrome engineering director, Justin Schuh. This follows Google’s Privacy Sandbox launch back in August, an initiative meant to brainstorm ideas concerning behavioral advertising online without using third-party cookies.

Chrome is currently the most popular browser, comprising of 64% of the global browser market. Additionally, Google has staked out its role as the world’s largest online ad company with countless partners and intermediaries. This change and any others made by Google will affect this army of partnerships.

This comes in the wake of rising popularity for anti-tracking features on web browsers across the board. Safari and Firefox have both launched updates (Intelligent Tracking Prevention for Safari and the Enhanced Tracking Prevention for Firefox) with Microsoft having recently released the new Edge browser which automatically utilizes tracking prevention. These changes have rocked share prices for ad tech companies since last year.

The two-year grace period before Chrome goes cookie-less has given the ad and media industries time to absorb the shock and develop plans of action. The transition has soften the blow, demonstrating Google’s willingness to keep positive working relations with ad partnerships. Although users can look forward to better privacy protection and choice over how their data is used, Google has made it clear it’s trying to keep balance in the web ecosystems which will likely mean compromises for everyone involved.

Chrome’s SameSite cookie update will launch in February, requiring publishers and ad tech vendors to label third-party cookies that can be used elsewhere on the web.

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Tech News

Computer vision helps AI create a recipe from just a photo

(TECH NEWS) It’s so hard to find the right recipe for that beautiful meal you saw on tv or online. Well computer vision helps AI recreate it from a picture!

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computer vision recreates recipe

Ever seen at a photo of a delicious looking meal on Instagram and wondered how the heck to make that? Now there’s an AI for that, kind of.

Facebook’s AI research lab has been developing a system that can analyze a photo of food and then create a recipe. So, is Facebook trying to take on all the food bloggers of the world now too?

Well, not exactly, the AI is part of an ongoing effort to teach AI how to see and then understand the visual world. Food is just a fun and challenging training exercise. They have been referring to it as “inverse cooking.”

According to Facebook, “The “inverse cooking” system uses computer vision, technology that extracts information from digital images and videos to give computers a high level of understanding of the visual world,”

The concept of computer vision isn’t new. Computer vision is the guiding force behind mobile apps that can identify something just by snapping a picture. If you’ve ever taken a photo of your credit card on an app instead of typing out all the numbers, then you’ve seen computer vision in action.

Facebook researchers insist that this is no ordinary computer vision because their system uses two networks to arrive at the solution, therefore increasing accuracy. According to Facebook research scientist Michal Drozdzal, the system works by dividing the problem into two parts. A neutral network works to identify ingredients that are visible in the image, while the second network pulls a recipe from a kind of database.

These two networks have been the key to researcher’s success with more complicated dishes where you can’t necessarily see every ingredient. Of course, the tech team hasn’t stepped foot in the kitchen yet, so the jury is still out.

This sounds neat and all, but why should you care if the computer is learning how to cook?

Research projects like this one carry AI technology a long way. As the AI gets smarter and expands its limits, researchers are able to conceptualize new ways to put the technology to use in our everyday lives. For now, AI like this is saving you the trouble of typing out your entire credit card number, but someday it could analyze images on a much grander scale.

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Tech News

Xiaomi accidentally sent security video from one home to another

(TECH NEWS) Xiaomi finds out that while modern smart and security devices have helped us all, but there are still plenty of flaws and openings for security breeches.

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Xiaomi home device

The reason for setting up security cameras around your home is so the photos can get streamed to your neighbor’s device, right?

Okay, that’s obviously not why most (if any) of us get security cameras, but unfortunately, that scenario of the leaked images isn’t a hypothetical. Xiaomi cameras have been streaming photos to the wrong Google Home devices. This was first reported on Reddit, with user Dio-V posting a video of it happening on their device.

Xiaomi is a Chinese electronics company that has only recently started to gain traction in the U.S. markets. While their smartphones still remain abroad, two of Xiaomi’s security cameras are sold through mainstream companies like Wal-Mart and Amazon for as low as $40. Their affordable prices have made the products even more popular and Xiaomi’s presence has grown, both nationally and abroad.

To be fair, when the leaked photos surfaced, both Google and Xiaomi responded quickly. Google cut off access to Xiaomi devices until the problem was resolved to ensure it wouldn’t happen again. Meanwhile, Xiaomi worked to identify and fix the issue, which was caused by a cache update, and has since been fixed.

But the incident still raises questions about smart security devices in the first place.

Any smart device is going to be inherently vulnerable due to the internet connection. Whether it’s hackers, governments, or the tech companies themselves, there are plenty of people who can fairly easily gain access to the very things that are supposed to keep your home secure.

Of course, unlike these risks, which involve people actively trying to access your data, this most recent incident with Xiaomi and Google shows that your intimate details might even be shared to strangers who aren’t even trying to break into your system. Unfortunately, bugs are inevitable when it comes to keeping technology up to date, so it’s fairly likely something like this could happen again in the future.

That’s right, your child’s room might be streamed to a total stranger by complete accident.

Granted, Xiaomi’s integration mistake only affected a fraction of their users and many risks are likely to decrease as time goes on. Still, as it stands now, your smart security devices might provide a facade of safety, but there are plenty of risks involved.

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