December 21, 2016

My Goals for 2017

Believe it or not, a human being, not a robot, runs this website. I usually only post when I have a new technical tutorial to share, but I’d like to begin actually blogging. You know, sharing my thoughts and experiences in an informal way and on a somewhat regular basis.

I’ve read countless articles explaining that if you share your goals publicly you are more likely to stay committed to them. I guess it’s some basic part of human psychology 🙂 .  So without further ado here are my goals for 2017:

  1. Actually write blog posts
  2. Launch Premium Course: WordPress for Beginners
  3. Launch Premium Course: WordPress for Developers
  4. Launch Premium Course: Backend Node.js (Express and MongoDB)
  5. Launch Premium Course: React
  6. Not abandon my YouTube channel
  7. Redesign this website

Let’s go through each of these items in a bit of detail.

Actually Write Blog Posts

When I was a kid I loved writing. I wanted to be an author or journalist when I grew up. I studied literature and education in college instead of anything related to computers.

I want to start blogging on a regular basis. Sounds easy, right? Well, the challenge is that I have zero desire to write about JavaScript, or any other coding language. I already cover that in my videos. I want to write about attitude, productivity, entrepreneurship, my dreams, the creative process, working-from-home-tips, imposter-syndrome-rants, etc… you know, human stuff 🙂 .

I’m not sure my current audience has any interest in those topics, but it’s pretty easy to ignore blog posts you don’t care about so I’m not going to let that stop me.

Premium Course: WordPress for Beginners

I’m working on completing a new premium video course aimed at people who want to learn WordPress and have no real prior experience. The course doesn’t involve any coding whatsoever, even though coding is usually the only thing I teach.  Still, I’m convinced this course will help a lot of people. I recently taught a local night class for people who wanted to learn WordPress and it inspired me to create this online video course. You might think, “Hey, aren’t there already like 50,000 online WordPress for Beginner courses” and you might be correct. But I think many of them are taught by beginners!

A little piece of me dies every time I hear a WordPress “teacher” say “Yep, then just go install these 791 plugins and you’re golden, now you can just drag ‘n’ drop and create the site of your dreams.

Every extra plugin you use has the potential to slow down your site, make it less secure and less maintainable.  If you take the time to actually learn the “WordPress way” of doing things I don’t think the average site needs very many plugins at all. My course focuses on the essentials and gives people a strong foundation regardless of whether they want to (A) create websites without ever writing a single line of code or (B) transition into coding their own custom themes.

Premium Course: WordPress for Developers

In this video course we code a WordPress website from scratch. The website is for a fictional university and we learn how to create relationships between different types of content (i.e. professors, courses, campuses, etc…). We use the new WP REST API to display live search results for degree-programs & professors as-you-type. We learn how to get the most out of “Advanced Custom Fields.” We allow for basic user registration, and learn how to deploy our site from our development environment up to a real hosting environment. I also demonstrate how to use the popular template language named Twig instead of spaghetti code PHP logic mixed into our HTML.

Premium Course: Backend Node.js (Express and MongoDB)

One of my top goals for 2014, 2015, and 2016 was to learn non-DOM-related JavaScript. I’m still no Addy Osmani, but I’ve made tremendous progress from my jQuery-roots. This course will involve building a simple CRUD web application that allows user registration, sign-in / sign-out, user-specific content, and finally deploying live to Heroku or a similar service.  We’ll use Node.js and Express as our server and MongoDB as our database. If you’ve been wanting to learn PHP and MySQL this course will essentially teach the modern “cool kid” equivalent technologies.

Premium Course: React

I wouldn’t say I’m anti-Angular, but I’m more of a React guy. This course makes zero assumptions about your current knowledge. We’ll learn basic SPA (single page application) concepts from scratch in addition to learning React itself.

Not abandon my YouTube channel

A few months ago I revived my YouTube channel. Prior to that I hadn’t posted any new videos in ~2 years. If I’m going to achieve all of my other goals for 2017 I realize I might not be able to keep up a weekly-upload schedule on YouTube.  Missing a week or two here and there won’t be the end of the world, but I don’t ever want to go longer than 2-3 weeks at the longest without a fresh new video.

I’ve gained a lot of new subscribers lately and I don’t want to let them down. I remember when I got my first 10, first 100, first 700, first 2,000 subscribers. Each number felt like a huge milestone. As of this blog post I have 68,700. If you’re a subscriber and you’re reading this; thank you! I never thought I’d even hit 1,000 subscribers, and my subs are what inspire me to create each new video I record. Also, my comments section is one of the kindest, most respectful places on YouTube. I only get insulted in about 1 out of every 5 videos. That’s got to be one of the best ratios of any YouTube creator 🙂 .

If we do hit 100,000 subscribers I’ll film a fat celebration/party video complete with my cat, catnip, maybe a burrito and a Capri Sun.

Redesign This Website

Have you heard the “the cobbler’s children have no shoes” phrase? If not, Google it. Basically, if I teach web design and development why is this website so basic/ugly? The reality is, I’ve just never spent the time to make this website something I’m proud of. I always spent my time on other tasks that would help me pay the bills. But if I’m going to continue to focus on blogging and creating premium video courses I should probably go the extra mile and actually use my skill-set to create a beautiful website for my own project.

That’s it! Even if I only achieve half of these things in 2017 that’s fine with me. It’ll give me a start for my 2018 list 🙂 .

About the Author

Brad Schiff

Brad Schiff is a front-end developer, designer, and educator who has been building user interfaces for over a decade. He’s done work for Fortune 500 companies, national political campaigns, and international technology leaders. His proudest achievement is helping people learn front-end web development.

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14 thoughts on “My Goals for 2017

  1. Hi, I am a new guy in web development and I am a Chinese student. When I learn how to make a wordpress website, I found your chanel on Youtube, I want to say thank you! and this blog is so nice!

  2. As for me, I certainly look forward to your weekly videos and I’m typically one of the first to sign up for your coursed.

    One of my goals for 2017 is to learn more from Brad Schiff!

    Keep up the excellent work! We will help support your endeavors.

  3. love your work and literally can not wait for your new course to arrive.
    You have a lot on your hands in the new year.How can I help

  4. Looking forward to all of your upcoming courses and will take almost all for sure. But I have a request for you. Can you please think about a new course of JavaScript fundamentals. I tried lots of tutorials out there but still not comfortable with JavaScript. I can imagine how great it would be to watching your JavaScript language fundamentals to be a JavaScript developer.

  5. Brad, you are a great teacher. I have learnt so much from you.

    Now, concerning your last goal for 2017 which is: Redesigning Your Website , I want request that you record the process, so that your subscribers and fans can see firsthand how you go about design an awesome website.

    Thanks in advance.

    Still looking out for your WordPress Theme Development course.

    1. That’s a great idea! I hadn’t thought of that, but redesigning the site could be an interesting vlog / blog series. Thanks!!

  6. Hi Brad, I love your tutorials. That’s why I’m esp. looking forward to your upcoming React course. Any chance to convince you to put this first in your priority list? 😉

    Cheers and happy new year!

  7. Hello and thanks for your videos, I like to learn with you, your videos are well explain and easy to learn, right know I’m looking for the code to show a line of text with all of the options, selected together. Will continue watching your videos. Happy New Year 2017.

  8. Just love your teaching style because it makes me understand stuff easily! I recommended your Git class to my mom and a colleague of mine after I finished it. They are also benefiting a lot from it. I am watching for your upcoming wordpress as well as react/node javascript courses! Please come soon!!

  9. I love your 2017 goals! I took your Git a Web Developer Job Udemy course and loved it. I can’t wait to see what your advanced WordPress course brings. I currently use WordPress in my day job and have many years experience in it. But I have never delved into the world of theme and plugin development. Happy 2017!

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