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11 Jul 2018

Technology Basics for the Absolute Beginner

We all have to interact with technology - and for many of us, our jobs depend on it. Gone are the days of computers not being ‘your thing’. With technology becoming integral to almost every industry, a basic understanding of how computers and technology work is necessary for success. As the creators of a successful software developer training school, we have learned quite a lot about how to break the subject down to the learner. We believe technology is for everyone, and we are hoping to remove the barriers to entry that have stopped many people from really being able to understand and use technology with our Technology Basics book series. These books include: • Technology Basics Dictionary • Learn Coding Basics in Hours with Python • Learn Coding Basics in Hours with Small Basic • Learn Coding Basics in Hours with Javascript Most technology training makes the mistake of assuming some prior knowledge of computers, which leaves room for misunderstanding. We wrote these books to handle that problem. ‘The Technology Basics Dictionary’ is for everyone - from the absolute beginner to the experienced pro. Those new to the subject will be able to clear up all the confusion and mystery from the subject; those already familiar with technology will gain the ability to explain complex concepts to others in simple, clear ways. ‘Learn Coding Basics in Hours’ is a series of books written for the absolute beginner who is interested in learning how to code. With the Technology Basics Dictionary and any (or all!) of the training books, you’ll gain a basic understanding of how computer programs work and learn how to write simple code in no time! Don’t just take our word for it — here are what some people are saying about the Technology Basics books on Amazon.com: “My copy just came in the mail this morning and I've been happily paging through it. This is a very, very, very useful thing to have and the best example of this kind of reference I've seen. Definitions include brief and simple discussions of other concepts you'd have to understand to understand the term being defined and derivation/word histories. I recommend this to anyone and I'm really happy to have mine.” — Gabriel Becket, 12/4/2017 “Wow, what an effective tool. As an aspiring computer programmer I love it. My husband works in IT and says it's a quality product that ranges from simple to quite advanced in the offered information. We're very happy!” — Amazon user GET81 1/14/2018 “If you are learning computer programs at all, this dictionary is an invaluable tool!” — Amazon user Greatshades, 3/27/2018 If you're interested in purchasing one of the books click on the "Book Series" link under the "About" tab!

 
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16 Jul 2018

The Tech Academy Denver

Posted By: Lindsey Young, Marketing Director

Even though we’re only half way through 2018, this year has been one of considerable growth for The Tech Academy. This year alone The Tech Academy has opened a second campus in Seattle, WA, expanded and remodeled our Portland campus, and partnered with Concordia University to offer a CIS Minor. Since it began in 2014, The Tech Academy has grown from a small class of four in Beaverton, Oregon to a thriving software developer bootcamp headquartered in downtown Portland with hundreds of employed graduates. Continuing this trend, The Tech Academy is excited to announce the opening of our third campus in Denver, CO on July 16, 2018! According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics software developer jobs are expected to grow 24% from 2016 to 2026, (bls.gov) With increasing demand for developers comes increasing demand for training programs like The Tech Academy. Overseeing the operations and instruction at our third software developer boot camp will be Cole Dixon, assisted by Dean of The Tech Academy Brett Caudle. Cole previously worked as an instructor for The Tech Academy in Portland before relocating to Denver to work as a Software Developer. Cole was the first name to come to mind when planning our expansion to Denver, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome him back to the team. The Tech Academy Denver will follow the same model as our other two locations offering open enrollment, with self-paced and flexible study schedules options. Denver students will also go through job placement training led by our exceptional Job Placement Director Aaron Frichtl, and will have access to our remote instructors when studying during off-hours or weekends. Enrollment is now open for The Tech Academy Denver, with the option for students to begin their training online prior to the opening of the campus. The campus will be open to students and for tours starting July 16, 2018. With the success we’ve found in just 6 months at The Tech Academy Seattle, and through the years in Portland, we are eager to replicate that success in Denver and continue to offer outstanding software developer training.

 
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17 Jul 2018

The Family Smartphone: A Look at Planned Obsolescence and Durapoly

Just Because You’re Paranoid... Buddy: “I know for a fact that [device company] is going to destroy my [device] with this new update. This always happens two years after I buy one of these [expletive deleted] things!” Friendo #1: I know, right! So it’s not just me? That’s why I never do the updates. That’s my way of stickin’ it to the man.” Friendo #2 (mutters): That’s probably why your [device] stops working after two years.” Buddy, Friendo #1 (in unison): “[expletive deleted], man! What do you know?” End scene. Pure Shakespeare, I know. But they bring up a good point. What do we know? The Shadowy Puppeteers of Minor Inconveniences Let’s take a look at a couple of important definitions: “Planned obsolescence, or built-in obsolescence, in industrial design and economics is a policy of planning or designing a product with an artificially limited useful life, so it will become obsolete (that is, unfashionable or no longer functional) after a certain period of time. The rationale behind the strategy is to generate long-term sales volume by reducing the time between repeat purchases (referred to as "shortening the replacement cycle").” SOURCE “In industrial organization and in particular monopoly theory, a durapolist or durable-good monopolist is a producer that manipulates the durability of its product.” SOURCE Basically, we’re going to quickly examine the paranoia you experience when you think that Apple put a gremlin in your smartphone that will awaken and wreak havoc the second the next generation is released. Nobody Is To Blame There is a spectrum of reasons why durable products fail and must be replaced, and a spectrum of spectrums within that spectrum, so try to take everything into consideration before you freak out and go Luddite. On one end, technology has moved on and the product is just plain antiquated. It happens. The other end is the dark side; someone or a group of someones hit a wall, did the research (see Coase Conjecture and Pacman Conjecture), and made the decision to implement some sort of timed fault in an otherwise perfectly functioning product. As malicious as this may seem, it is a logical solution to a very real problem. The bicycle industry was one of the earliest culprits, and the automobile industry integrated and perfected the practice of artificially manipulating the durability of their products. Look up Edward Bernays. He thinks that we are cattle. I think that we are smart, if not misguided at times. At certain moments in history, the ugly end of the planned obsolescence spectrum has been proposed as an altruistic implementation; in 1932, Bernard London suggested that regulatory forced obsolescence could end the Great Depression. It’s also important to consider the product itself, specifically its value. We expect both the Toyota and the wingnut to work for 20 years, but we don’t have a mental breakdown when we lose a wingnut in the garage, we buy a new one and move on with our lives. Again, see those two conjectures above. Apples to Apples to Apples to... These days, planned obsolescence complaints are almost always related to electronics, and more specifically, computers and smartphones, and even more specifically, Apple products. Why Apple? They are incredibly expensive They are incredibly trendy They are incredibly reliable (when they work) They are incredibly user-friendly (when they work) They are incredibly impossible to fix yourself (especially newer models) They are incredibly self-contained (I’m not 100% sure what I mean by that, but I think you know what I’m talking about) They brand themselves as incredibly humanistic, but being a massive corporation, rarely live up to it...incredibly Easy target. Apple spends a lot of money on out-upgrading the competition, so the consumer reaps the technological benefits of having the latest/greatest, and is in turn reaped by the profit-locomotive hand that feeds them. Technology moves fast, so if you want to hold the future in your hand, you have to pay to keep up. Admit It, You Wanted A New Phone Anyways So, what do we do about it? In the end, it’s just a machine and it’s up to you to purchase machines that you can keep running. As far as computers and phones go, stay on top of updates and try to keep around 25% of your memory free for processing. Get rid of most of your apps and take advantage of cloud storage for music and photos. Computers are for processing, not storage. Keep your desktop tidy and keep opened documents and tabs to a minimum. I’ll include some helpful blog links. If you really want to protest something, protest our throw-away culture. Don’t buy things that you can’t fix yourself and most importantly, don’t buy into the trend! And if you do happen to lose your Corolla in the garage, check under the wingnut. --------------------------------------------------------------- Coding bootcamps are a great place to learn about everything technology and get into the profitable, steadily expanding, and incredibly interesting field of software development (Friendo #2 went to one, I can tell)! My favorite coding bootcamp is, of course, the Tech Academy. The Tech Academy offers a paced, but relaxed, learning experience online or locally in Portland, OR and Seattle, WA. Log into the future at www.learncodinganywhere.com. Some helpful links: IPhone: https://www.macworld.co.uk/how-to/iphone/how-to-speed-up-an-iphone-3463276/ Mac: https://lifehacker.com/how-to-clean-up-and-optimize-your-sluggish-mac-1794877821 Android: https://www.lifewire.com/fix-slow-running-android-4134643 PC: https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2364937,00.asp

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17 Jul 2018

Imposter Syndrome: Tech Talk with Dan Linn

Posted By: Lindsey Young, Marketing Director

Imposter Syndrome is a pattern of thought where individuals doubt their accomplishments and skills, and are constantly being worried about being exposed as a fraud. This is a phenomena that transcends the tech world, and can be found in most professionals today in any field of work. In this Tech Talk with Dan Linn of HelloWorld Devs, our speaker talks about imposter syndrome (or the “Imposties” as he jokingly calls them), his own experience with questioning his abilities throughout his career, and practices he’s used to help ease the doubtful thoughts and curb the feeling of being an imposter at work.

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17 Jul 2018

The Metrics Society: The IoT and its Role in Marketing Automation

Posted By: Davis Van Luven

Gartner predicts 26 billion devices will be connected to the IoT by 2020. ABI predicts 30 billion devices will be connected wirelessly. The 2015 UK budget puts aside £40,000,000 for research into the Internet of Things. The completed scenario calls for people, animals, and products to be tagged with a unique IP address. New versions of IP are under development to answer to the Big Data issues involved with the IoT. The Internet of Things is no more an endgame then the internet itself, but it is a foreseeable future. It may lead to the interconnection of every card-carrying human on the planet. It may lead to civilization and everything it produces locking into a quantifiable, accessible network and perhaps, an over reliance on a complex automation. The IoT will lend to breaches in security and compromised personal privacy. It is science fiction becoming a reality. The only sure bet is that it will be extremely beneficial to marketing practices and the generation of quality leads through the use of socio-environmental analytics. The primary benefit will be the perfection of marketing automation. An example: Watchmaster is a hypothetical company that manufactures middle to high-shelf wrist watches. The product is integrated with smart technology, powered by a low-functioning OS. It displays the weather, time, and other personalized information. It is a fitness tracker and a heart rate monitor. But most importantly, it is connected to the internet. The information recorded by the watch is stored online. The records are then viewed by the watch-wearer through an application that presents the results as easy-to-read schematics, it logs times into a calendar, it recommends new routines, and so on and so forth. But what other information could it be sending and to whom? The most practical application is automated troubleshooting solutions. The watch malfunctions and the error is automatically reported to the manufacturer’s server. The error is then processed and measured against other errors sent from other watches. That specific class of error is then reported, filed, and quantified so that the problem can be easily analyzed by the programmers who would then mend the program and remotely fix the broken watch. The patch would be in place and any future errors of that class would be automatically mended. An apology message would be sent to the watch wearer. Feedback would be instantaneous. Excellent. But it doesn’t end there. Because of the nature of smart technology and its close proximity to the user, the list of quantifiable observations is endless. Therefore, the marketing response is limitless. The watch isn’t working and the watch wearer has realized this. The wearer is responding. Where is the wearer? Where does the wearer go? What is the wearer’s heart rate? Is the watch removed? How often does the wearer check the watch to see if it’s working again? Then, once the problem is fixed, all of same questions can be asked and the answers can be compared and analyzed. Eventually, the analytic model will be completely automated: •Information is collected from tangibles •Statistical analytics •Energy usage and practical usage •Marketing analytics •Feedback This cycle would repeat for every unit sold. Every car, head of cattle, light bulb, and door knob. Perhaps, every child born. A complete picture is formed. The results are filtered and repetitive task are fully automated to drastically reduce the chances of human error. Will it become a dystopian nightmare or a marketers dream? Or does one hand lead the other?


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