After all, age is just a number

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Always be coding — an eternal lesson (Image source: Meme Generator)

Approximately one year ago, I wrote a piece for FreeCodeCamp, called 7 Important Lessons About Programming That I’ve Learned at 17.

I never expected that so many people would be willing to hear what I had learned about programming. Thus far, 31,000 people have viewed the story, with an average reading time of 2.5 minutes — not terrible for a five-minute read.

Since then, I’ve continued programming on my own, but most importantly, I got my first full-time programming job. I’ve learned a lot this past year, and I’m once again going to share some lessons I’ve learned.

I’m still far from being an excellent developer, but I’m a little closer, so here are eight more lessons I’ve learned for programming, from an average 18-year-old developer. …

A quick look at the fantastic API for building on top of one of the most popular remote tools in the world

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It is no secret that remote work tools are exploding in popularity as more and more people are required from home, and Slack is no exception. Slack’s stock is at its highest in about the last 10 months.

So, as its usage is growing as working from home becomes the new normal, why not use your developer skills to create a fun game, useful add-on, or whatever your heart desires inside this work-place behemoth?

I’ve put together what I think to be the most essential information, so you can start building your own slack app.

The Basics of Creating a Slack App

To create your very own slack app, you’ll only need two…

Integrations are taking over the web — here’s what you should know about them

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Image credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

What Is an Integration?

An integration is about joining together different pieces of software that bring benefits to the user by their new ease of use.

They can talk to each other, read data, and perform actions in each other. An easy example of an integration is the Google Calendar Slack integration. You can see your daily calendar, make event updates, update invites — all inside of Slack.

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A good integration connects two entities together — ones that should be connected together. …

Tips for not getting distracted by every noise and conversation during work

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photo from unsplash

I recently started working in my first office job full-time. I found when I first started that I was getting distracted by every little thing. Someone watching a video, people having a conversation, a loud motorcycle outside, all got my attention. As time has passed, I’ve figured out some ways to keep myself focused.

Drown out the sounds

This first method is the most obvious one to try. It’s “brute forcing” your way to not be distracted by noise. Play some music, or a podcast, loudly through some headphones, and obviously, it’s even more effective if they’re noise-canceling.

I’ve noticed people that will only wear one ear-cup to make sure they can still hear what’s going on around them — presumably if someone calls their name. Don’t do this! Wear your headphones, or don’t. At least in my office, wearing headphones means your trying to get work done, so don’t half-ass wear them if you don’t want to be distracted! …

After participating in six interviews (three of which were for a fake position), learning Golang, and competing in a hackathon, I landed a full-time development job

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Photo by Jefferson Santos on Unsplash

The Background

I’m going to tell you the story of how I finally landed my first full-time web-development job.

But it took a long time to get here, over a year of searching. I did six interviews, wrote countless emails, learned a new programming language, competed in a hackathon, and completed a small internship before I got a full-time position.

The Initial Search

I live in Victoria, British Columbia. It’s a small city of about 400,000 people. We have a small tech sector, but it has quite a few startups downtown.

I decided to approach one of the bigger companies, Sendwithus (Dyspatch), about becoming a summer intern. They seemed excited at the prospect of having a summer intern — they mentioned they had some SaaS products they’d like to have integrated together. …

Everything you need to know about using APIs

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I swear you can see the fear in his eyes! That’s how I look when working with APIs — slightly terrified, but internalize the fear. Photo by Proxyclick Visitor Manager System on Pexels

An API Introduction

An API is an Application Programming Interface. If there’s one thing you learn from this article, please don’t let it be that!

My definition would be: an API is a collection of URLs (or endpoints, as they’re called) that provide you with data or access to data you don’t have.

For example, Slack has a very popular API. Slack provides a way for developers to access — with permission — users’ organizations, channels, the people in their organization, etc.

I could never get information about someone else’s Slack groups or messages, but through an API I can. …

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two folks coding! source

I was sitting at the Toronto airport waiting to catch my flight back home when I noticed two guys nearby who were deep in discussion.

I noticed some key things:

  1. Their clothes: grey hoodies — one of which had a small but obvious Google logo on the front — both of them wore jeans, and running shoes.
  2. Their discussion, I couldn’t hear much, but I caught a few keywords like “big data,” “data structure,” and “documentation.”
  3. Their computers, I couldn’t see what was on the screen, but there were some funky stickers slapped on them.

This combination of factors should only lead you to one conclusion, these guys are developers. …

You’re never too young or old to get started

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Always be coding— this is the most important lesson of all! (Image source: Meme Generator via Twitter)

Hey there, I’m Alec. I’m 17 years old, and I’ve been learning web development since I was 12. I’m far from an excellent developer, but I’ve definitely learned some things about being an average one.

Here are some lessons I’ve learned that I think every developer, especially new developers, need to know.

No One Knows Everything

No developer knows everything, and you don’t need to know everything.

There is so much more to being a developer than knowing by heart, for example, the methods of manipulating arrays in PHP version 5.6. …

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I’m 15, and I recently signed up for the Global Hackathon by Product Hunt. It runs for the month of November and there are 7,950 people participating from around the world 😲. Crazy!

From what I’ve seen in my 3 years as a student programmer, developers love hackathons. They’re an opportunity for product makers meet up, drink Red Bulls, and stay up all night coding.

It’s kind of like a triathlon for developers, who often go for days with minimal sleep. …

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I’ve read plenty of stories about startups getting acquired, but I never imagined it would happen to me — especially for my first product.

At 14, I built a chat-based homework tracking bot that caught on and blew up in the U.K and Thailand — and got the attention of a young celebrity and major global news networks.

If you don’t like to watch the sequel before seeing the original, here’s how it all happened.

All this coverage eventually caught the interest a NYC-based education startup, and soon after, they decided to make an offer for my creation, Christopher Bot.


Alec Jones

Just Do It. Seriously, like just go and do it.

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