US Soccer Scenarios Broken Down – Can We Advance?

US Soccer Scenarios

The US Soccer team has kept me on the edge of my seat so far this World Cup. I have been handed my fair share of highs and lows. Dempsey chest and Jones’ rocket for goals yesterday were highs. Ronaldo’s amazing assist for the equalizer, low. After yesterday’s tie I wanted to know what all the US soccer scenarios are, for the team to advance. So I turned to my friend Google to find out all the possibilities for the “Death Group”, aka Group G.

After a semi disappointing tie Sunday night, Google only assured me of what I was thinking. The United States faces a crazy array of possibilities heading into its final match in the World Cup’s group stage. Here is what I found and the basic facts to keep in mind. The US Soccer team will advance to the elimination round by:

US Soccer Scenarios – The Easy Way

The US gets a win or a tie against Germany on Thursday.

US Soccer Scenarios – The Complicated Way

If the US loses to Germany.

When I say “complicated” I mean complicated! But it can be broken down. This chart, which is from Andy Keller, explains what happens to the US in every scenario in the two remaining Group G games.

Click on the chart below to expand it.

US Soccer ScenariosThere are so many outcomes depending on both games that are left in Group G. The US hasn’t let our country down yet, and there is no reason to stop believing. I believe. Go US!

To get you as excited as I am for the next game against Germany, check out this song made by a Utah Native, Branden Steineckert, who is one of the founding members of The Used, current drummer for Rancid, and the originator of ‘Believe’ for my hometown team Real Salt Lake

First iPhone app, this was my experience

My First iPhone App in the App Store

I would like to start off by saying I am a complete mobile app newbie and by no means know what I am doing. I hope that no mobile gurus will come here and say I’m an idiot, because I went into this knowing that already. But some how my first iPhone app, Logo Layover, is in the App Store. I thought I would share about my experience.

It is every entrepreneur’s dream to have passive income from a business that runs with minimal involvement. I have heard of others accomplishing this through mobile apps and I officially decided to try my hand at it. So with out further ado, here is what I experienced in building my first iPhone app.


The last few months I have been managing social media content for two companies I am involved with. I found myself constantly taking pictures and posting them to each company’s social media accounts to engage followers of the brands. I was always editing the pictures in Photoshop or Illustrator prior to posting. I would add a blur her or a color there, but mainly I was editing the photos in order to slap our company’s logo in the corner of the picture. After a few months of doing this I thought to myself “there’s gotta be an app for that.” I searched the App Store and found apps that could do what I wanted, but being the designer that I am, they seemed broken and ugly. So I set out on a mission to build my first iPhone app. My goal was for it to do one thing, but one thing very well… layover a logo onto a picture. Hence the name was born, Logo Layover.


It has been 5 years since I wrote my first line of code. I have a bit of web development under my belt, with a huge emphasis on front end, so I know a bit about coding. But I am no iOS developer. I talked to a friend who had previously made an app using hired help from ODesk. He said his experience was not the greatest but that it got the job done. I decided to still try it out.

Before posting to ODesk I started preparing the idea for my first iPhone app. I have had some experience before in Xcode. I previously built the bare bones structure of an app for a company of mine, so I did the same with Logo Layover. I designed it out, laid out the screens, framed them, and got the body of the app ready in Photoshop mock ups and in Xcode.

my first iPhone app

Designing the whole app was a huge part of the process. Taking the app from idea, to design, to the Xcode storyboard was the main preparation I did before submitting the job to ODesk. I plan on writing a post in the future on how exactly I did the design phase (pre-ODesk). I figured the less someone had to do on ODesk the cheaper I could get the job done for. I did not want to shell out $1000 in development work for a product I was only experimenting with.

First iPhone App posting on Odesk

I signed up for ODesk and posted the job. It was a super simple job posting that included a few screen shots and a basic description of what I wanted done. I posted the job for a $100 flat fee. I know that sounds super cheap. but I had already done all of the design work and storyboard. All I needed someone to do was connect the dots in Objective-C. Which I wish I knew, but plan on learning.

About 24 hours later, I had 10 offers from 10 developers wanting the job. One of these, a Chinese iOS developer name Jin, said he would do the job for $90. So naturally, I took his low-ball offer and it was off to the races with my new found buddy.

After some late night Skype sessions and some language barriers, Jin finished what he needed to do with the app. In less than a week he delivered the source code, I paid him $90 bucks, and that part of the process was done. I know I make that sound too easy, but it really was. The preparation I put into the app prior to ODesk made the ODesk process easy. My friend who had told me about ODesk said that my app experience with ODesk has been a way better turn out than his. I don’t know, maybe I just lucked out with Jin who is secretly a Google level coder, but I think it was my initial preparation that made it easy for Jin to just wrap it all up nicely.


So far the juice had been worth the squeeze. In a little over a week from when I originally hired a developer, and $90 later, I had an app ready to be uploaded to the App Store for approval. It was ready to make its debut to the world.

But first, to submit an app I had to be an official “Apple Developer.” I had to enroll in the Apple Developer Program. I have had access to this program with previous companies’ accounts, but I did not want to use those companies’ licenses for my personally developed first iPhone app. I purchased an individual Apple Developer License for $100. This then gave me access to all of Apple’s developer tools.


Then I set up the iTunes Connect record. This is very straight forward. Once I had my individual Apple Developers license, I had access to iTunes Connect. I simply added a new app to my profile by following the step-by-step process that it takes you through. 

iTunes Connect prompted me to fill out the app description, upload app icons, app screenshots, and app metadata. Once the profile for my new app, Logo Layover, was completed the status was changed to “waiting for upload.” That meant it was time to upload the binary code via Xcode and to assign it to the iTunes Connect record I had just made.

My first iPhone app in iTunes Connect

Before uploading the code of my first iPhone app, I needed to make sure that I had an App ID, a valid distribution certificate, and a valid provisioning profile. This is the most confusing part of the process for us non-iOS/iPhone developers. It took me some reading and searching online to figure out how to do this. I will hurry along that process for you by pointing you toward what I found: here and here. With the App ID, distribution certificate, and provisioning profile in place, and my build settings in Xcode, I then uploaded the binary source code to iTunes Connect via Xcode. 

After uploading the binary, I submitted the app! It felt good.

Then it was the waiting game. I had to wait for the dreaded response from Apple for the approval of my app. I think the whole approval process took 3 days. To my surprise my app was approved on my first submittal. I received an email randomly in my inbox telling me that my app was approved and that it was processing for the App Store.


After receiving the email I searched for “Logo Layover” on Google and sure enough my app was live.


I definitely wanted my first iPhone app to be free, mainly because I almost never pay for apps myself. I figured placing ads in the app to make a little bit of money over time would be better than charging $0.99 upfront. The decision was a tough one, especially when I was paying development costs before getting a single download.  But ultimately, I figured, no one would be willing to pay for such a simple app.

To monetize, I added ads to my first iPhone app. I chose to go with the AdMob mobile ad network from Google. I chose AdMob after a little bit of research and because I already had an AdSense account. AdMob combines with all of my YouTube ads into a single AdSense account. It is all in one spot and makes managing and analyzing it all much easier. AdMob handles all the ads and advertisers and is super easy to implement. I do not have experience with other mobile ad serving platforms (if you have had better experiences with others please comment), but all I had to do was basically copy and paste code into my app’s source code with my AdMob key ID.

I heard that AdMob gives horrible eCPM (thats ad lingo for effective cost per thousand impressions and it is the amount of money you get for every one thousand impressions of ads in your app) but I honestly didn’t care. By no means did I expect my first iPhone app to explode with success, which it hasn’t. I don’t expect it to be downloaded thousands of times. But for my future apps, I might change.

My First iPhone App Advertising

I decided to put interstitial, modal (pop-up) ads in my first iPhone app. I didn’t originally design the app for banner ads and I didn’t want to throw off the whole design by scrunching everything vertically with banner ads. I felt like it would take away from the user experience. I admittedly did not research what type of ads perform better. I didn’t think it would make too much of a difference.


My app launched on June 8th. The next morning (and literally every day since) I woke up and first thing I checked was my iTunes Connect account to check the stats. On day one Logo Layover was downloaded 64 times. The next day, oddly enough, it was downloaded 64 times again. The majority of the downloads came from Europe and Asia.

Now since June 8th, my first iPhone app has been downloaded 263 times. That is an average of 30 downloads or so a day. It started as a small side project with the explicit goal of hopefully generating some kind of income. Maybe something equivalent to paying for a meal for me every month. As of yesterday it’s generated a grand total of $7.41 in revenue from ads.


While it is not anything close to amazingly successful, I’ve already got my first meal paid for. I’m pretty pumped about how my first app dry run turned out.

In summary, I successfully launched an app I designed. It took less than two weeks for everything, and it’s now live on the App Store. In many ways, you could say that I accomplished my mission. However, there is a lot more potential to be tapped. I learned a lot and I feel like I can replicate this again but with more know-how. If you have any ideas for my next app, let me know. I can’t wait for the next idea to spring into my head, because I am going to act on it as soon as I can.

Fix : iOS 8 Beta Touchscreen Tap Events Not Working

iOS 8 Beta

Apple released their iOS 8 beta yesterday for iOS developers. Developers can now download iOS 8 and install it manually on their iPhones. The only problem is…it is a beta! It is buggy.

I installed it on one of my phones today and immediately found iOS 8 leaving my iPhone completely unusable. My iPhone’s touchscreen was not registering any taps correctly! For example, If I tapped “Q” on my keyboard, the iPhone would think I was tapping “M”. I then tapped an icon on the home screen in the left column and it registers on an icon in the third column. What good is the new iOS 8 if the touchscreen become utterly uncalibrated. I found that when I restarted my iPhone it was fixed for about 10 seconds and then the issue would start right back up again. Of course you can restore the phone back to iOS 7.1.1, but here is how to fix it with out going through all that trouble:

Problem: Tap events are horizontally offset by roughly half a screen. For example, you tap an icon on the home screen in the left column and it registers on an icon in the third column.

Affects: iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 4s on iOS 8 Beta

Fix: Disable “Zoom” — under Settings > General > Accessibility > Zoom

That’s it! For some reason there is a weird bug in iOS 8 when the zoom setting is on. It renders each tap event completely off. Hope that helps. If this worked for you, please share. I am sure there are a lot of unhappy iOS 8 Beta users out there that want to throw their phones across the room.


Baby Richards is on the way!

Baby Richards

I am so excited to announce that Nicole is pregnant with our first baby! She is 13 weeks along and I couldn’t be more excited. We have had a few check ups and are just patiently waiting for the lil Richards to join us. I want a boy of course, and Nicole wants a girl. We will just have to wait and see. Go to to check out the site dedicated to our baby’s updates. Or if you want your updates just naturally in your feed, follow Baby Richards on Instagram @babyrichards.

Facebook Pages Ratings complete with New 5 Stars

Has anyone noticed the new stars by the names of Facebook Pages? Facebook is apparently testing the ability of displaying star ratings on Pages on the desktop version of its site. The new Facebook pages ratings are star ratings, out of a possible five. I have the Star ratings on all the Pages I run, but Facebook is only allowing a small subsection of users to view the stars.

Even though this looks new, apparently using a star system for place and page ratings isn’t entirely new. Facebook has been collecting star ratings from users on the desktop and via local search for quite a while now, and also seeking star ratings on content and apps via Timeline. What is new is literally just the displaying of the rating itself, in a prominent place on a business or place Page.

If the Facebook pages ratings move from the testing phase to a complete Facebook adoption I see this causing a couple of weird changes. First, it gives users a degree of opinionated information surrounding places and content that is more than just a simple like or do not like. It will be comparable to the social ranking of the number of Likes something has and how that number indicates how present it is in the public eye. But now if Facebook rolls out the 5-star ranking to everyone, Likes will now communicate how each user feels about their Like.

Facebook pages ratings with 5 stars

I personally hope that for businesses the displaying of this rating will be optional. Who would want to display a rating of 2 out of 5 stars? No one. If Facebook is making a play to compete with the Yelps, Foursquares and TripAdvisors of the world then it would only make sense that the 5-star ranking has to be required by default. Some businesses would be very pissed about that. Mainly because business couldnt just maintain a presense on FB by throwing up memes and random pictures every so often. If the 5-stars roll out, and are mandatory for businesses, that means businesses have to place alot more emphasis on customer service on their pages. Likes are easy, after all, but getting users to fill up the new Facebook pages ratings’ star bar will require a lot more effort and interaction.

Apparently Facebook said “We’re extending star ratings on Facebook from mobile to desktop – to make it easier for people to discover great businesses around them. This is beneficial for both businesses and consumers. Star ratings encourage more people to rate a business, making it eligible to appear in News Feed and help others discover a business they didn’t know about previously. For businesses themselves, this also leads to greater brand awareness.

As you may recall, star ratings launched in early 2012 with the introduction of Nearby on mobile. Now we’re bringing the visibility of star ratings to a more prominent spot at the top of Pages’ timeline on desktop and to the preview in News Feed.”

That is the vaguest answer of all time. Basically she said they are going to do it. But I want answers like, who is actually rating the pages? How do I change the pages rating and can I hide it? Why wont they answer questions like these?

Well from what I’ve found it looks like Facebook users can give bad star ratings, not based on the actual business but rather based on the Facebook content of the posts. So for example, if you are a page who has ads and promoted posts I would lay off the spammy looking ads. If Facebook users don’t like your ad or see it alot, it is more than likely that they will give you a 1 star rating. Then BAM, just like that, your rating will go down.

I guess only time will tell but I don’t think the rating will be here to stay. Too many pages are already complaining about them.

iPhone 5s & 5c Rumor Timeline

iPhone 5s Rumor Timeline

The date is set, invitations have been sent, and the Apple community is buzzing about September 10th’s iPhone announcement. In keeping with Apple’s naming convention there is no doubt this will predictably, and rather boringly, be called the iPhone 5S. But that’s not all. It’s now almost certain that the iPhone 5S will be accompanied by the cheaper and more fancy-free iPhone 5C (the c standing for ‘cheaper’ and not ‘cheap’).

The iPhone 5S isn’t expected to differentiate itself from the iPhone 5 too drastically. With all the rumors flying around it is hard to know which of them all are true. Here is timeline of when rumors were made. You decipher if they are true or not.


iPhone 5S Rumor Timeline






iPhone 5S Pictures


Gold iPhone5s

Gold / Champagne color iPhone 5s

iPhone 5s Gold and Graphite

Up to this point, it has been thought that the iPhone 5S will only come in 3 colors: Gold, Slate, and white with silver trim. According to a new image, it appears the iPhone 5S may also come in a 4th color – a grey or graphite color with a black trim.

iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c

The iPhone 5C is shown in blue, but it will come in an array of colors including blue, green, red, yellow, and white. Apple is not expected to produce a black iPhone 5C, but all of the 5Cs will feature standard black faceplates with a matching black Apple logo on the back of the device.

iPhone 5s - New Home Button

The iPhone 5s’s home button is surrounded by a new silver ring and pictured without the iconic square in the middle. The design is in line with rumors suggesting the iPhone 5S home button will have an expected fingerprint sensor.

iPhone 5c

Rendering of Apple’s Low-Cost iPhone 5C



Seek Revenue not Funding

seek revenue

It is time to seek revenue over funding!

These last three months make up the second summer I have been involved with Utah’s top accelerator BoomStartup. I have had quite a unique perspective. A year ago I was in the program with a company of my own. This time around I am on the management side. By helping run operations it has been a whole new experience. I have seen companies come and go, succeed and fail, start-up and fizzle-out.

If you know anything about business accelerators then you know that the intent is to give startup businesses a set amount of money in exchange for a small percentage of ownership in the company. In addition to the money the accelerator offers services, mentoring, training, and exposure to influential people. This helps these small startup companies to have a better chance of survival and a better chance at raising capital from investors.

Most accelerators, and their mentors, push the accepted startups to work toward a goal of raising the necessary capital. Many countless hours and sweat are spent working toward the ultimate goal of making a deal with a Venture Capitalists and firms. Companies are told to seek investment so many times that it has evolved into the holy grail. It becomes the only thing startups think about. They think once they have VC money that they have made it.

I am here to tell you, it is not true. I raised money. Then I spent money. Trust me, I am still on quest for success.

Business Funding V. Revenue

Every day we read about multi-million dollar fundings of startups without ever really understanding how or why. The companies receiving these amounts of money are represented as successful. This is sending the wrong message to the every day startup: that they need to raise money and it will all be ok.

Honestly, we’ve heard this for a very long time and it has now become the norm. In my opinion it isn’t about raising the money. It is about making it. If you make revenue, it solves problems.

If I could go back to when my team and I were accepted into BoomStartup I would change many things. The biggest change would have been getting to revenue sooner. Companies who have entered into an accelerator are so worried about landing the largest amount of capital from investors that they forget to start making revenue. I don’t care who you are, if you and your company are making money hand over fist, investors are going to be knocking on your door step.

Why? Because money is the ultimate goal for everyone. Investors and founders alike. Investors want to be part of a deal that makes them money. Normally something that gives them 10x what they invest.

This isn’t to say that seeking out investment is not important, because it is. What I am saying is that a company should concentrate on generating money, then with that traction the ‘seeking’ of seeking investment becomes alot easier.

Every company should ask themselves (especially those in an accelerator) an important question before hunting for an investor: How well can we demonstrate our ability to generate sufficient financial returns for a potential investor?

Cash flow needs to be stable and regular. It would be better to have a track record of recurring or growing revenue that is documented. It isn’t necessary (look at Instagram or even the Utah local Scan) but I would recommend it if you want any investor to look seriously. Many angel investment groups will not even consider you if you are pre-revenue.

Seek revenue people!

Accelerators everywhere need to be focusing on their companies generating revenues. I hope the accelerator ‘seek funding’ facade blows over because I got tangled up in it, and you could too.



Why Duck Dynasty hit 11.8M viewers and Breaking Bad didn’t

Breaking Bad v. Duck Dynasty

This is my personal rationale trying to break down why Duck Dynasty hit 11.8M viewers and Breaking Bad didn’t.


For those who haven’t heard, Louisiana’s “Duck Dynasty” family set another cable-TV ratings record with Wednesday’s premiere of season 4 on A&E. A record 11.8 million viewers tuned in, making it the most watched non-fiction series in cable history.

“Breaking Bad” did great for AMC. Last Sunday they kicked off the final eight episodes which drew 5.9 million viewers, more than double the number who watched the opening episode last summer.

Being a fan of both of these shows I was actually very surprised by the numbers they both pulled. I was floored that comparatively Duck Dynasty was so high and that Breaking Bad was so low.

Breaking Bad v. Duck Dynasty

In my mind I see both shows as top contenders for the most popular currently running TV programs. I love me some Si Robertson “hey” and some Jesse Pinkman “b****”.

But why didn’t Breaking Bad keep up?

Sunday’s episode of Breaking Bad was all anyone was talking about for the past few weeks. I swear every morning show, late-night show, the Internet, and even my social circles were anticipating episode 9 of season 5. Twitter near blew up during the super intense final scene. People like Rihanna were the ones tweeting about it.

But again, why didn’t Breaking Bad keep up?

Both shows have equally impressive Facebook Pages. Duck Dynasty has 5,445,774 likes with Breaking Bad close behind with 5,089,881. If the Facebook Fan Page and Twitter followers race is neck and neck then why isn’t Breaking Bad up in the 11 Million viewer range like Duck Dynasty?

Illegal Downloads

It comes down to one piece of modern day technology. Bit Torrents.

Figures collected by tech blog TorrentFreak indicate that plenty of viewers downloaded the Breaking Bad episode via torrent sites instead. The site claims that 80,000 people were sharing the episode within hours of it appearing online, and that torrented downloads had topped half a million within 12 hours.

Breaking Bad Illegal Downloads

Breaking Bad’s season premiere illegal downloads distribution world wide

That my friends is only counting downloads. Let alone how many viewers were watching each played copy or how many times each download was given to friends or family. I know every time I watch an episode of either show I wait for those I watch with to come over, pop some jiffy, and mold our butts to the couch. It’s a majestic time.

It’s also unknown how many people watched Breaking Bad on unlicensed streaming sites, which have become an increasingly high-profile headache for TV channels like AMC or A&E.

Duck Dynasty’s season premiere had less than 10% the illegal downloads that Breaking Bad’s received. The famous bittorrent site Pirate Bay can prove it. The most downloaded Duck Dynasty season 4 premiere torrent was downloaded 636 times. The most downloaded Breaking Bad season premiere torrent was downloaded 23,643 times and counting.

We have to take in account the type of viewers that each show is attracting.

Breaking Bad is a drama, about drugs, murder, and the DEA. Duck Dynasty is about duck calls, family life, and Si Robertson. You only need common sense to see that Breaking Bad is like a bone in front of a dog’s face to the hacker community. It is boils down to a stereotype that the type of person that illegally downloads is more likely to watch Breaking Bad.

This was unthinkable half a decade ago, but piracy is still far from defeated. Good or bad thing? Let me know in the comments below.


Duck Dynasty didn’t get the views because it is a better show.

If you ask me, Breaking Bad is more popular than Duck Dynasty. The only thing is that the numbers don’t show it. Tough break AMC. If it weren’t for illegal downloads, Breaking Bad would have been right up there with 11.8 Million viewers for it’s season premiere.

That being said, I don’t miss one episode of Duck Dynasty either.

Rip off and design – an Entrepreneurs best friend

Why is rip off and design an entrepreneurs best friend? Because finding opportunity where others can’t is the job of an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurial leaders, like greats in the past, create opportunities in any fashion they know how. I wanted to post about this to prove that to “rip off and design” is not that uncommon.

Sometimes the opportunities come by introducing a new product or service based on an unmet need. Sometimes the opportunity is built around an existing product or service from one market and then introduced into another where it may not be available. Or sometimes opportunity is made from literally taking an idea that has been tried/tested before and doing it again.

We call this Entrepreneurial R & D. Also known as Rip Off and Design.

“Entrepreneurs seldom invent and market unique products; rather, they build their ventures around incremental innovations and modifications.” – HBR 1998 The Road well Traveled

What is Rip Off and Design?

Rip off and design is literally when you identify a good idea from your neighbor where there is a significant pain or opportunity. Then modify, add to, take away, make it better, use it differently, or completely change the product. This is not blatantly copying a product but changing it to improve it.

Being unique is overrated. So many companies have taken the rip off and design approach and been successful. They took someone else’s idea and ran with it, making it worth millions or even billions in the process.

Facebook - Rip Off and Design


You’ve probably heard how Mark Zuckerburg stole the idea for Facebook from his Harvard classmates and founders of ConnectU. This story has been told in the news, made into a movie, and has been settled in a courtroom.

But you might not have heard about Friendster. A social networking made back in 2002.

Friendster sprang up before MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn. Arguably, they were the first website with the idea of connecting friends and letting them share content. It simply was the first of social networking, including things like uploading and sharing.

So what should you do when your company can not grow because of another company’s intellectual property? You buy all their patents! Which is exactly what Facebook did.

Twitter - Rip Off and Design


Originally Twitter was a system that would send messages to mobile phones to keep specific groups up to date on specific things. Smartphones were super rare when Twitter (or twttr as it was known) first started, but the idea spread like wildfire.

But it wasn’t original. Another company, called TechRadium, did it first.

TechRadium was a mass notification system. The idea was that an author could send a note out to subscribers via text, email or voicemail. It wasn’t exactly the same but Twitter definitely ripped off and designed.

Hulu - Rip Off and Design


We all have heard of Hulu. But what about Joost?

Joost was founded by the guys who created Skype, got millions of dollars in cash from big corporations, and signed on Viacom and CBS as partners. But there was a big problem: downloading.

Joost required users to download a software and then users had to download the shows before you could watch them, and back in the day it took a while! That was a deal breaker.

Seeing the problem, Hulu burst onto the scene by basically copying Joost but tweaking it to allow users to watch shows instantly. Lets just say that was pretty much the end of Joost.

PayPal - Rip Off and Design


Before PayPal existed, Billpoint was a fast and easy way to pay for auctions on eBay. At first eBay endorseed the crap out of Billpoint. But it only brought mixed results among bidders and sellers. Eventually, eBay bought PayPal and phased out acceptance of Billpoint.

Billpoint lost in that battle.

It boils down to two simple scenarios: 1) That some brilliant ideas are simply too ahead of their time. And 2) Others companies are too slow and just fall behind while competitors improve and spread like wildfire. Then smart entrepreneurs resurrect the idea, tweak it, and make millions.

If you’ve abandoned one of your ideas because you were hammered by someone else, dust it off and take another whack at it. Or you can simply R&D. That is what this country has done since it’s birth. Thats what America is all about. You might find a way to improve on an idea, or you might just be able to execute it better. Who knows, you might be the next Mark Zuckerburg.



Web Development Career Change – To Change Or Not To Change

Web Development Career Change

Recently I have been approached by many people who have asked me about DevMountain. They want to know if a web development career change is the right thing for them. For those who don’t know in a nutshell it is an after-hours, intense, web development school located in Provo where you’re trained and mentored by industry experts in 12 weeks to learn how to code.

Those asking me about DevMountain always ask the same follow up question about changing their career. I have had a handful of people saying that they hate their job and how every job posting they see is for a form of programming or tech job. They continue talking about how they aren’t exactly super-stoked about where their life might be headed if they continue on with their current employer.

It doesn’t have to be this way. If you have any sort of interest in web development I say shoot for it. It may be the perfect time for a web development career change. Honestly, I’ve seen more people start doing this thing called “web development” during their current 9-to-5 job and start not only loving it but making a serious living off of it. I know because I did it.

I’ve decided to post my brief story.


No I have never officially changed careers because I have never really officially had a career. I always dabbled in things that strike me as interesting. I graduated this last April from BYU and I haven’t even entertained the idea of a corporate career.

Through out college I had a job at a very respectable business here in Provo. I worked early morning hours and then went to school in the late afternoon. This job was a customer service call center. I hated this job. I literally remember wanting to be at school more than at my job (If you know me I hate school!).


While still working this call center job I met a local web developer who I had meet through my father. I expressed interest in learning how to code like him. Luckily for me this programmer had a love for teaching and after some heavy persuading he agreed to teach me.

We met according to his schedule and sometimes only once a week. But eventually he taught me enough to where I felt comfortable to code on my own. I put hours and hours into it everyday because I was so interested. I fell in love with the creation process and seeing the end product in the form of a lit up browser screen.


Before I knew it I bought my first hosting subscription and threw up my first website. I started to learn more and more and finally about 6 months later I found myself landing basic design/html/css jobs for local businesses.

I remember before my very first freelance job, the company wanting to hire me emailed me to ask how much I charged hourly. I had no clue, so naturally I Googled “web design hourly wage”. Google did nothing for me and I ended up telling the company that I charged $50 an hour. That company ended up hiring me. Then later they let me go 2 weeks later because I really honestly didn’t know that much.

I lowered my hourly rate and continued grabbing freelance jobs every chance I could. As my skills went up, so did my pay.


The point of that story isn’t to endorse lying your way into getting a job. The point is to show you that companies are in dire need of web developers of any kind. The point is to show you that these skilled can be learned no matter at what point you are in your life or career.

Sure, it’ll take a commitment on your part and some serious motivation to get started, but it’s not like you’re using any of that energy in your current job, right?

Here are some ways that I think you could take “baby steps” to becoming a world class web developer. To be clear, you don’t have to be an expert to make money or pivot your career.


Here are some resources for you to check out to start building your foundation:


w3schools was my best friend when starting out. It is a coding wikipedia. w3schools has a reputation of not keeping updated with best practices and coding techniques. That is a bit true but it is still a great resource to keep close by.


Codecademy teaches you html, css, and other programming languages basics for free. It literally is $0. Sign up and start the Web Fundamentals course and you’ll be slinging code in no time.

Other tools that are online self-teaching like Codecademy:


Or if you are super serious about it and want to learn quick look into personalized real classroom setting web development schools. Like the one on one lessons I had, this is the way that I learned. I am a hands on learner and this was perfect for me. Schools like:

I think anyone can have a successful career, one that is incredibly satisfying and that creates value for huge amounts of people. Life is far too short to be doing stuff that you dread and it’s time to do something about it.

I am a firm believer in working in something that you not only love but are passionate about; and at the same time working in something that realistically makes money. We all have to support someone, even if that someone is ourselves.

Many of us are stuck in dead-end jobs that are incredibly difficult to be passionate about. In fact, you may literally groan at every green light on your way to work because you just don’t want to go that bad (I’ve been there).

Get started in web development, you’ll be glad you did!