photo by Robert Agthe

Do We All Need to Learn to Code?

Throughout 2013 and into this year, there’s been a huge  push for people to learn how to code. We’ve got CodeYear, we’ve got NBA players telling us we should, and even the president telling kids that they should learn.

I’m someone who benefited greatly from learning HTML/CSS as a kid in the 90s. I taught myself how to make lens-flare-laden wallpapers and put them up on my own website that I coded myself at 14 years old. It was fairly impressive for the time (but man were those wallpapers ugly) and it taught me many of the skills I use for my own projects and in my job every single day.

photo by Robert Agthe

Having said that, I don’t think that everyone needs to do it. I absolutely believe that there are a lot more skills that are more useful to 100% of the population than learning to code.

Why not learn a language instead of code?

You can say that learning a coding language is learning a language, sure. But does learning Ruby allow you to communicate with more people than you can right now? Not really.

In the amount of time it takes you to write something functionally useful in a coding language (taking CodeYear’s estimate of 4 weeks), you could learn how to read and write the Korean and Russian alphabets, as well as two out of three of the Japanese writing systems. If you pick just one language, you can learn how to introduce yourself, have a brief conversation and ask for directions. And if you really enjoy it, you can continue and be like Benny from Fluent in 3 Months, who has become functionally fluent in many languages in just 3 months each. Continue reading

Zero to Hero: 30 Days to a Better Blog

What is Universal Bunny? 2014 Edition

This month, I’m doing Zero to Hero, a 30 day better blog program by WordPress.

 

Zero to Hero: 30 Days to a Better Blog

I’ve introduced myself and the goal of Universal Bunny before, but now’s a great time to revisit it. Posts on here have been all over the place at times and picking the right mix of topics is challenging.

Day 1 of Zero to Hero was to introduce yourself and your blog, the direction you want to go in and your goals. Let’s take a look at the questions and my answers.

Why are you blogging, rather than keeping a personal journal?

I blog so I can share some of my thoughts in a space longer than a Facebook status, and to better my writing and WordPress skills for myself and for my career. My job is in digital marketing, editing and laying out site content for clients, so writing for the web on my own can only make me better at my work.

I’m also a blog reading fiend (my Newsblur account has over 200 in it), so why not throw my own hat into the ring?  Continue reading

Kyari has lofty goals

5 Ways to Start 2014 Right

Happy 2014 everyone! Whether you woke up this morning refreshed or a little hazy, it’s a new year so make the best of it! (Even though I did say already  that you didn’t have to wait.)

Kyari has lofty goals

Most people pick random, unattainable goals for each new year, like losing 50 pounds in 6 months, becoming a marathon runner, learning Swahili or whatever else. 95% of the time, these aren’t things that are going to happen so these resolutions get dropped in a hot minute.

For those who are looking for some resolutions that will earn you a gold star of completion (with some instant gratification thrown in), here’s a list of things that will take 5 minutes to an hour to complete, and will make you feel totally prepared for 2014.

1. Clear Your Inbox & Unsubscribe from Junk

Every morning, I go through my inbox and delete a LOT of crap. A good portion of it is Freecycle alerts, but there are also shopping and political stuff that automatically goes to the bin. Instead of deleting this stuff every day, take a few minutes to unsubscribe from the ones you really don’t want. After a few days, your inbox will be much easier to manage, and you won’t be annoyed at the same companies sending you stuff every morning.

 2. Delete People You Don’t Know on Social Media

You don’t know Cindy who sat on the other side of the room in junior year English class. Or that guy you talked to for 10 minutes at a party 3 years ago. Unless people are actually your friends, or they post interesting things and you interact with them, let them go. Do you want strangers looking at your friends-locked posts and pictures on Facebook? Probably not. Go ahead and remove them, right now. Continue reading