#QuizACoder – Meet Howard!

We’re excited to announce the premier of our #QuizACoder series where we talk with coolblueweb devs and get insight on their hobbies and experiences, as well as any advice they have for eCommerce companies or aspiring developers. This series will be a great way to get to know our coders on a deeper (and occasionally sillier) level. If you have questions for our coders, send us a message at [email protected] or give us a shout on twitter using the hashtag #QuizACoder. We might include your question in our next video!

For our first video we spoke with Howard, who has been working with coolblueweb since 2014. Howard had a lot of good insights and resources to offer, more than we were able to include in the video, so we included a special, expanded content section below. Once you’re done watching the view, read on if you’d even like more Howard!

What blogs do you read for educational purposes and for fun?

I like following Jeffrey Way and Taylor Otwell. They’re both in the laravel sphere and they both have insightful articles on how to  structure your web applications. They do tutorial-based things, but they also have more theoretical stuff. For fun, I sometimes read Cliff Mass’s blog.

So what are some of your favorite development tools?

I use PhpStorm, which I think is the best IDE I’ve ever worked with. It has a lot of extensions for Magento or whatever framework you’re working with and it has so many different, really useful, time-saving functions.

What about any chrome extensions?

Mostly stuff like Wappalyzer and Form Filler. Both are timesavers and convenience tools.

Are there any beta tools you’re playing with?

Somebody here at coolblueweb has come up with this really nice environment setup tool called Tugboat. Tugboat was created by our very own Bryan Littlefield. It works off the Docker Platform and it’s a really convenient way to setup an local environment for doing web dev. It’s kind of like Scotch Box for Docker. I’ve been really impressed by what Bryan’s been able to do with it. It cuts back on time doing web development. The goal for this tool is to get every conceivable extension you need installed on the local server right off the bat, so you don’t need to go around trying to install extensions or find the right repositories for them, so it does save a lot of time. Go Bryan!

What new skills and technologies are you most interested in learning?

I haven’t really dived too deeply into the front end framework realm, so I’m looking to start working on some Vue.js next . It’s a really exciting field of development, because that’s the area the field is changing the fastest and there’s lots of interesting stuff being done.

What are a couple of sites you admire?

One site I admire is the duolingo site, because there is a lot of stuff going on with it. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s a language learning web app that also has an app for your phone. It’s very simply laid out and has a clean design, but does a lot of stuff behind the scenes. It has a nice user flow and it is capturing so much data about all how you’re doing all the exercises and dynamically assigning exercises to you based on how you’ve done in the past. It’s pretty responsive considering how much data it must be storing.

What’s your favorite food?

One of them is definitely sushi. Anything raw fish related. I’m loving the new poke trend that’s happening in Seattle. I don’t know where it came from, but I’m excited poke is popping up everywhere.

If someone asked you the best way to learn how to code, what would you tell them?

Coding is one of the easiest things to try yourself, because there are so many resources online. I would suggest trying it out on one of the many available sites. Code academy is one of them, which is a nice first step to see if you even like the process. It makes it really easy. There are also a lot of courses being offered through coursera. That’s a good way to see if you’re even into it, then you can explore a more formal education from there. Or, if you’re a really good autodidact, there are a number of good tools where you can get a pretty comprehensive education yourself, if you have the motivation to do so.




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