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Coding and Design Tips & Tutorials

What Is Git & Why Should You Use It?

From web developers to app developers, Git is useful to anyone who writes code or track changes to files. So what’s it all about and why should you start using it?

What is Git?

Git is the most commonly used version control system. Git tracks the changes you make to files, so you have a record of what has been done, and you can revert to specific versions should you ever need to. Git also makes collaboration easier, allowing changes by multiple people to all be merged into one source. 

So regardless of whether you write code that only you will see, or work as part of a team, Git will be useful for you.

Git is software that runs locally. Your files and their history are stored on your computer. You can also use online hosts (such as GitHub or Bitbucket) to store a copy of the files and their revision history. Having a centrally located place where you can upload your changes and download changes from others, enable you to collaborate more easily with other developers. Git can automatically merge the changes, so two people can even work on different parts of the same file and later merge those changes without loosing each other’s work!

Web Design  Web Development

Go To Line in Sublime Text

In Sublime Text, you can quickly jump to any line in the code. Hit Ctrl–G (Mac and Windows). Type in a line number and hit Return/Enter to go to that line.

Coding Tips

Should I Learn Front-end or Back-end Web Development?

Aspiring coders often ask, should I learn front-end or back-end development? The best coding language to learn and whether you learn front or back-end development depends on what you intend to do. Different languages are used to create webpage layouts, style text, create slideshows, build ecommerce functionality, program search functions, etc. Some software, such as Salesforce, allow you to customize the software to your needs with specific coding languages.

The two primary categories of coding languages for the web are:

  • Front-end Languages: HTML, CSS, JavaScript are used to design the look and feel of a website. These languages alter color, typography, layout, animation, interaction, text, and images. Everything that the user sees and interacts with is built with front-end languages.
  • Back-end Languages: PHP, MySQL, and Python are back-end languages that manage data and input from website users. For example, when you type a message into a website contact form and hit send, PHP code can send the data to a recipient’s email, or store it into a database. Data typed into a search engine, contact form, or searchable directory are other types of data that would be managed on the back-end.

What about frameworks? Framework (such as Bootstrap, jQuery, and GreenSock) are not coding languages, they are collections of code that allow you to do things more efficiently in a specific language. For example, the Bootstrap framework consists of CSS and JavaScript that simplify complex processes like creating grid-based layouts, buttons, menus, and more. jQuery and GreenSock are JavaScript frameworks that let you quickly add interactive JavaScript functionality to websites, faster than writing plain JavaScript.

Coding on a Laptop

Web Design  Web Development

What is UX Design?

UX and UI Design

Before we dive into UX, let’s clarify the difference between User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) design. Think of UX as the experience of going on a road trip, and UI as the stop lights, signs, and lane markings that shape the events on the road. The appearance of the stop lights, signs, and lane markings each had to be designed (like the UI of a website or app), but how they all affect your driving experience defines the overall user experience (UX). 

What Do UX Designers Do?

UX designers are responsible for creating a customer experience that is easy, intuitive, and anticipates the customer’s needs. UX designers are generally concerned with the total customer experience including the ease of finding information within the product and accomplishing tasks quickly, easily, and enjoyably. (UI designers focus on visual elements such as graphics, typography, color, and composition.)

UX Design

Jump to the Beginning or End of a Line

To jump to the beginning or end of the line, hold Cmd and hit Left or Right Arrow (Mac). Windows users, hit Home to jump to the beginning of the line and End to jump to the end of the line. This is an operating system feature so it should work in any text editor. 

Coding Tips

You May Not Need a Full-Time Course to Change Careers

This post was written by Erica Freedman, Content Marketing Specialist at SwitchUp.

In recent years, the coding bootcamp boom has saturated the market with a variety of programs. Many software engineering and coding bootcamps offer full-time, immersive programs that can cost as much as $17,000 and require months of time to complete. Individuals who are working in full-time positions may not have the ability to quit their current career to pursue a new one. Flexible options offer a potential route to achieving a shift, but some individuals may not need a full-length course to achieve their professional dreams.

Web Design  Web Development  UX Design  UI Design

Paste From Recent History in Sublime Text

Sublime Text remembers the last 15 items you’ve copied and you can paste any one of them!

Hit Cmd–Option–V (Mac) or Ctrl–K then Ctrl–V in quick succession (Windows) to access the list of copied items. Use the arrow keys to select an item and hit Return/Enter to paste.

Paste From Recent History in Sublime Text

Coding Tips

Quickly Select One or More Lines in Sublime Text

In Sublime Text, you can select lines with a keystroke. Hit Cmd–L (Mac) or Ctrl–L (Windows) to select the current line. Repeat the keystroke to add the line below.

Coding Tips

Join Lines in Sublime Text

Sublime Text allows you to quickly join lines together. Select the lines and hit Cmd–J (Mac) or Ctrl–J (Windows).

If nothing is selected, Sublime Text will join the line below to the current line.

Join Lines in Sublime Text

Coding Tips

Noble Desktop Website Redesign

We launched a major website redesign earlier this month and we’d like to share some insights into the process. We’ll be discussing UX improvements, user testing, how to handle lots of content, CSS grid, flexbox, and speed.

A Major Improvement to the UX (User Experience)

We completely overhauled the visual look of the site, but one of the primary goals was to make the site easier to use. The last time we redesigned our website, we taught fewer classes. We simply outgrew that design.

Our previous registration process required multiple screens and was too complicated. We knew we could make it faster and easier, and we've already seen improved conversion rates. You can now see all class dates directly on a class page (at both the top and bottom of the page, so they are easy to find). One click and the class is added to your cart.

one click registration

An even bigger improvement is for certificate programs which contain multiple classes. Previously you couldn't see the dates on the certificate page and had to go to another screen to select the certificate program. Now you see all the dates, and one click adds all the appropriate classes to your cart. The results we've seen in just a few weeks prove what we already knew, simple and easy = more conversions.

Web Design  Web Development