I’m a Hack Developer

Many people don’t realize what the word hacker means.  I pretty sure the definition refers to someone who uses computers to gain unauthorized access to data ie a cybercriminal, member of Anonymous, keylogger, pirate….etc. I don’t think this word should be used with so much negativity. 

I consider a hacker someone who is able to take different web technologies and put them together to make a very functional and cool looking website. In the fast paced world on tech why would you code every website from scratch when grabbing that code off the web is much easier and takes alot less time. 

I guess that’s why I love Bootstrap. Now I don’t have to worry about cross-browser compatibility and only have to focus on what I need to build. Life is too short to worry about the small stuff. 


Techvibes Tech Fest: Toronto

This was an awesome night. There’s so much energy in the tech scene right now. I saw some awesome pitches and had more then a few laughs.

I have to give a huge high to Anson next time I see him. He pitched for Top Hat. I had the opportunity to work (and have a few drinks) with him and he didn’t strike me as the type of guy with a really solid pitch. I was wrong. 

Andrew’s Bionym pitch. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with Andrew at Top Hat. He used to give these crazy speeches while he worked there and certainly did not disappoint last night. This guy knows how to motivate people … and throw a party. 

I blogged about Satish in one of my earlier posts on Shopify. It’s crazy how much things change in 2 years. Satish is obviously killing it and delivered a pretty aggressive speech and even swore a couple times. It makes sense – both he and Shopify are killing it. 

The last pitch I’ll talk about is the guy from Achievers. This was the best speech of the night. it was funny, inspirational, etc. but mostly is was authentic. I had a long talk with a developer on the achiever’s platform and it looked really cool. I’m thinking about interviewing with them. Their website looks awesome.



The Self-Made Developer

When I went back home to learn how to code I had no idea what to do. Considering all options can be overwhelming but I knew I had to move back to Kingston and get some sort of formal recognition for the learning I was about to do. Queens was out of the question, even though I did my undergrad there, because a 4-year Computer Science degree would be too big an investment. I choose the website design and development course at St. Lawrence College. It was cheap and completely online. 

At St. Lawrence I learned everything from hardcore procedural languages like Java and C to outdated programs like Flash and Dreamweaver. This seemed like wasted time but the program also offered classes in HTML, CSS and web usability. I was forced to work on projects which helped me start to build static websites. 

With this certificate I used a couple transfer classes and decided to do the same program at Ryerson. This program offered in personal traditional lectures with some project-based learning. The classes were conveniently offered at night so that I could support myself with a full time job during the day. Here I learned JavaScript and HTML5 API and started to work build dynamic websites. 

Now I’m looking to take the next step and looking at various Bootcamps. You learn code but writing code. Typically this requires you working on a specific project. With so many bootcamps finding the right one can be tricking and I’m researching which looks best. 

Developer, Programmer or Computer Scientist?

After reading each I find the description of the developer to be most interesting. “They are consummate generalists without any truly deep specializations.” This is interesting. I always wonder what my title will be one day – UX/UI designer, web developer, full-stack front-end, back-end, growth hacker, etc. Should I specialize in one area of web development or become a jack of all trades? Which direction would be more fulfilling and which, more lucrative?

I enjoy web development in different ways. While I enjoy creating a front-end design I also like to back-end coding as well. The back-end work reminds of solving Math problems at Queens. Ultimately I hope I’m on a cool dev team one day – process and team dynamics are my bread and butter skills.