Category: Career Advice

How I Got 2.7 Millions Views and 28,032 Subscribers on YouTube

Subscribe to the Podcast [saf] So, I guess this week is my 8-year anniversary/birthday of being on YouTube and I wanted to share the biggest lessons I’ve learned in that time that have made my YouTube a powerhouse of my entire online career. As the subject line suggests… I currently have had over 2.7 million views of my videos and have 28,302 subscribers to my YouTube channel. Not too shabby for a channel on coding! 🙂 I just published an article on Patreon revealing the 3 biggest lessons I’ve learned in the last 8 years and how you can use them to

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Weekly Web Developer Q&A (5/6/2016)

Subscribe to the Podcast [saf] If you sent me a question via email, Twitter, YouTube, etc this week… then look below because there’s a good chance I’m going to answer it. Crazy1985 via YouTube asked: “I am just going through the same thing and failed it, but I have learned that I need to learn more about specialising in something rather than being a Jack of all trades.“ Not 100% a question, but something I wanted to dive into. The single most important thing you can do to have more success as a freelancer is to stop being a “jack-of-all-trades”

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JMS081: Stop Freelance Clients From Lowballing You On Upwork

Subscribe to the Podcast [saf] Do you judge a suit by the tailor’s bill or the fit and finish of the clothes themselves? Do you judge a car by the MSRP or how it feels when you hit the gas? Do you judge a dinner by the cost or the taste and tenderness of the steak? I get this all the time… Freelancers who complain about freelancing sites like Upwork because clients always go with the lowest bidder. And, so-and-so from XYZ country can afford to low-ball me… yada, yada. Look, price is as big of a problem as you allow

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What To Do When You Worry You’re Too Old (Or Young) To Be a Web Developer

Subscribe to the Podcast [saf] At age 30, Harrison Ford was a carpenter. At age 30, Martha Stewart was a stockbroker. At age 37, Ang Lee was a stay-at-home-dad working odd jobs. Julia Child released her first cookbook at age 39, and got her own cooking show at age 51. Vera Wang failed to make the Olympic figure skating team, didn’t get the Editor-in-Chief position at Vogue, and designed her first dress at age 40. Stan Lee didn’t release his first big comic book until he was 40. Alan Rickman gave up his graphic design career to pursue acting at

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The Strange Ethics Of “Sleazy” Sales People You Should Steal

Subscribe to the Podcast [saf] I was Al Bundy. The first real sales job I had was selling shoes. And not the Foot Locker type selling… it was the shoe-shining, feet-measuring, shirt and tie type shoe-selling. I learned more about people, psychology and selling than I could have in a PhD. I was fortunate that my boss was a good dude. Probably the most honest, direct yet compassionate guy I’ve met. And, he taught me the “ethics” of salesmanship. As an employee, we spent time wearing every single shoe we sold in the store. And, he didn’t force you to

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Weekly Web Developer Q&A (4/29/2016)

Subscribe to the Podcast [saf] If you sent me a question via email, Twitter, YouTube, etc this week… then look below because there’s a good chance I’m going to answer it. Jon via Patreon asked: “I have to say, after going through almost all of your videos that there aren’t many questions I have at this point of my own personal development. I guess the only thing I am curious about is what happens AFTER you win a freelance bid. How does working with a client remotely work, any tips on keeping them happy, how do you get paid, etc.“ First

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Quitting Your Day Job

Subscribe to the Podcast [saf] I came across this story the other day about a woman who was arrested for defecating on her boss’ desk after she found out she won the lottery. Don’t lie… you’ve thought about it! 🙂 I had to look this up to see if it was true. Turns out, it wasn’t… dangit! I’m actually shocked it wasn’t. I mean… who hasn’t thought of making an “epic” exit to their day job. I know I used to. Thing is… You don’t need to win the lottery. Or put another way, you already have the winning lottery

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What To Do When Learning Web Development Gets Hard

Subscribe to the Podcast [saf] I don’t remember how far into the road march we were. I know we started marching before the sun came up in the morning and we finally stopped after the sun had gone down at night. My knees were throbbing. My back felt like it was about to snap. The straps from the ruck sack felt like they were slicing through my shoulders. Every part of me wanted to quit. But, I remembered the advice our drill sergeant had given all of us before we started that day. “Focus only on the next step and remember

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Weekly Web Developer Q&A (4/22/2016)

Subscribe to the Podcast [saf] If you sent me a question via email, Twitter, YouTube, etc this week… then look below because there’s a good chance I’m going to answer it. Knut via email asked: “I’m a student at a university in Romania. I study computer science and in about a month and a half i will have my final examination. The project I’m working on is a CMS for a website with stories about our town’s history. My question is, can you give me some advice about how should i proceed, like should i do it in plain php or

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Grizzly Bear Rips Freelancer to Shreds. You Take His Job

Subscribe to the Podcast [saf] Here’s the big thing to get to succeed as a freelance web developer: If you and your buddy are hiking in the forest and are suddenly attacked by a grizzly bear… you don’t need to be the fastest guy in the world. You just need to be faster than your buddy. There’s your uber-secret, stop-the-presses secret to success. Freelancing is a competition. To win, you don’t need to be perfect… you just need to be better than the next guy. And, let me tell you… most of your competition is epicly bad at this. The grizzly

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Being Too Professional Is Costing You Work

Subscribe to the Podcast [saf] When I was in the Army, we had this cadence we’d sing every morning as we marched over to chow. It went like this: “Here we go again. Same old [email protected]# again…” Kind of feeling that way today. No matter how much you try to help people… it seems some just never learn. You might remember last week I sent you an email about all that mindset “woo-woo” stuff. And, I told you the story of my dad, his accident and how his disability payments nearly killed him. You also might have noticed I threw

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How to Make a Living in Web Design Through the Coming Online Transition

Subscribe to the Podcast [saf] Sounds weird. Most people think the online explosion has already happened. But, I don’t think we’ve seen anything yet. And, I firmly believe that what we’re about to see is going to blow open the web design and development world and fundamentally change the way developers succeed forever. Starting around 2003-2004, a similar shift happened. I was a young web developer… in my first year learning code. Back then, everything was primarily text-based and built with tables (a sin today). What hit me was a fundamental change to how the web worked. It wasn’t a

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Winners VS Losers: My Dad, Me and a Tale of Two Emails

I’m big on the mindset woo-woo stuff. I’m a guy who grew up in fairly extreme poverty and my head warped by “poor man’s thinking”. Some people think that’s a myth. It’s not. Here’s an example: My dad was in a car accident with my brother and I when I was 8. As a result, he was disabled and therefore eligible to receive disability payments from good ‘ol Uncle Sam. The idea was to help him out until he could get back on his feet, find a career that worked for him and get off of the disability payments. It’s

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Should You Learn Node.js?

I get asked this all the time and some of my past statements may have been misleading so let me clear this up… Because it will save you a lot of time. If you don’t know, Node.js is a rapidly growing web server technology and Node developers are among some of the highest paid in the industry. It was created by Ryan Dahl in 2009 and has become something of a buzzword in web development circles. So, should you learn it? Yes, if… If you’re an experienced developer looking to expand your skillset OR you’re a new developer who is “all-in”

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Fridays Off: The BEST Way To Become A Full-Time Developer

He asked me this exact thing just two days ago. In fact, 1000s of developers from all over the world, from every walk of life and in every kind of financial situation have asked me this exact same thing. I love these guys. They’re just like you and me. Dads fighting to put food on the table without selling their soul to some boring 9-5. Single moms scratching and clawing to give their kids a life as close to “normal” as they can hope for. College kids… so optimistic and excited for their future. I’ve experienced all of these things

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[LIVE Q&A] Do you believe in the myth of the full stack developer?

In this week’s WebDev Q&A, I answer questions on: Do you believe in the myth of the full stack developer? How do I process checkboxes using PHP? How do I use PDO in my web pages? Watch below: Links mentioned in the video: Get the best price on Bluehost web hosting (affiliate) PHP Multiple Checkbox Array Handling How to Structure Database and Object Model How to Insert Form Data Into a MySQL Database Using PHP Let me help you publicize your blog Take my “How to Start a Blog” free tutorial Follow me on Periscope to ask questions live When

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7 Steps to Make Money on Upwork

My first few months on Upwork (Elance) were a disaster. I wasted a lot of time bidding on dead-end or low-payout jobs, working with horrible clients and making much less than I wanted (read: needed). About a year later, I was doing well enough to leave Upwork forever and get all my clients through repeat business, referrals and my own website… charging what I wanted and clients seeking me out. Now, I have an Upwork course where I’ve helped, to date, 3,739 other Upworkers make a similar kind of transition. I’m not special or overly smart. I just figured out

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13 Tips For Making Your Blog Posts More Interesting

The first blog post I ever wrote I didn’t publish for three days. I’d log in every day, open up the post and stare at the “Publish” button trying to work up the nerve to “just go for it”. “What if no one reads it?” “What if they do and think it’s terrible?” “What if I misspelled something and get made fun of for it?” Most of all, I was terrified people wouldn’t find it interesting and never come back. If you’ve ever had that same fear… don’t worry, we all have. Since then, I’ve spent a ton of time

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7 Smart Productivity Tips For Freelancers

I hate Facebook. Seriously. But, I love it. I get to keep in touch with all the most important people in my life… but it can so easily suck away my day. Email, YouTube (oh god!), Clash of Clans (insert demon face)… as a freelancer my time and income are intimately linked. And, if I blow a day watching 50 Cent interviews on YouTube or building the “perfect” base on CoC… I lose money. Here’s seven of the best productivity tips and resources I’ve found to STOP me from doing this day after day (after day): 5 Apps To Boost

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How to Position Yourself to Get More Freelance Jobs

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/161948278″ params=”color=2eaef0&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /] I was recently asked: “How do I fill out my profile on sites like Elance and oDesk? How do I fill them out in a way that’s honest but more impressive than leaving them blank?” Here’s the simplest way I can put this… Your unique situation can and SHOULD be positioned to highlight your advantages. For example, when I started looking to get hired for freelance IT jobs I was completely self-taught and I believed that was a disadvantage. I believed coders who had gone to school were in a better position than me

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The Most Important Freelance Job Getting Activity You’re Not Doing

Most web designers don’t this. Most web designers think it’s dumb or not necessary. Most web designers roll their eyes when I bring it up. Most web designers are also BROKE. There’s one single thing I’ve done that most other web designers don’t do (or don’t do that well) that brings me 99% of my freelance jobs… And, in this video I’ll show you what it is (and how to do it RIGHT): photo by: Dan Moyle

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2014 Trends That Could Make You Obsolete, Should You Use Code Frameworks, and How to Attract High-Paying Clients Using Content

Segment 1: Web Design Trends You Need to Watch Out For (2:56) Several years ago when the “Web 2.0” movement hit, I lost my entire freelance business because I didn’t actually know how to code. I had been using MS FrontPage to build static HTML web sites for clients. And the move to dynamic database-driven web sites killed me. That taught me to pay close attention to web trends and to break them down to understand the larger motivations at work. So, I could begin to predict trends and stay ahead of the curve. In this segment, I break down

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How to Get Hired on Elance and oDesk

Why You’re Not Getting Hired on Elance and oDesk When I first started out on Elance, I really had no clue what I was doing. In fact, I was pretty nervous about the whole thing. I had this sinking feeling that nobody was going to hire me and I’d quit the whole thing feeling like a failure (and maybe give up on coding for good). And, at first… that’s exactly what happened. The first few freelance jobs I bid on I got undercut by another developer willing to do the work for a price so low it made me question

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Be Remarkable… Or Don’t Be a Coder

remarkable(adj): worthy of attention; unlikely or surprising; likely to be noticed It was Iraq 2005 and there was a girl I liked. Problem was… so did every other guy. In fact, you could say she was overloaded with guys trying to get her attention. She was gorgeous… as you can see from this picture: And, she had an intriguing personality. She was the kind of person everybody just wanted to get to know. So, it was no surprise every guy was “after” her. And, I was stuck. I wanted to get to get her attention. I wanted to impress her.

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Separation of Concerns, MVC, and How to Get Started as a Freelance Coder

Build Better Websites Using a Separation of Concerns Easily one of the biggest mistakes new coders make… inter-mingling content, presentation, and behavior… making it a nightmare to maintain and update your code. In the first segment of this episode of the John Morris Show, I reveal how to avoid that whole mess by building your websites using a “separation of concerns”. What is MVC? How Do I Use It? I get this question every day. MVC has become a buzzword in the developer community and many developers have been told they need to build their applications this way… but don’t know

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Why Does Coding Take Forever to Learn? You’re Making THIS Mistake

This cost me 4 years of my life… 4 years I could have been doing what I loved for a living… 4 years I could have been living well instead of struggling to make ends meet… 4 years further down the road to success I could be right now… I regret those 4 years every day of my life because the mistake I was making is SO easy to solve… and it was a mistake I didn’t have to make. In this episode of the John Morris Show, I’m going to share with you what that mistake, why almost EVERY

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Have You Lost Your Passion for Coding?

Ever felt unmotivated or uninspired while working on a project? You felt it at first… you were super excited to get started… you felt like you could take on the world… Then, about halfway through it was ALL gone. No passion. No inspiration. No motivation. It happens for a reason. It’s not chance or luck. It’s not a fluke… or even something you necessarily did wrong. And, there IS a way to fix it.

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These 5 steps fast-track your coding career

One of the biggest mistakes I think coders make is getting so caught up in the technical side of their coding career that they lose track of all the other (often MORE important) aspects of being a successful coder. I know I did. In fact, for the longest time I held this completely erroneous belief that talent trumped everything. That all I needed to worry about was being talented and I’d be good. WRONG! Because of that I couldn’t figure out why I started to lose out on client after client and constantly get underbid by coders who I KNEW

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I Was Lost and Didn’t Know What to Do Next…

A few years ago, I was really lost in my coding career. I had spent so much time mastering the technical aspects of coding that I never gave any thought to my career as a whole. And as I was becoming more and more comfortable with the technical side, I began to wonder… What’s next? Where do I go from there and how do I get there? As I searched for answers, I discovered what I call the 5 stages of coding career development.

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How to Set Yourself Apart and Get Clients to Chase You

Several years ago, I was in a really tough spot with my freelance coding business. I kept getting undercut by low bidders on Elance and oDesk and it was hurting my family financially. Then, I discovered a little-known strategy for branding yourself as a coder. Now, I turn down more work than I accept, clients gladly pay my fees and, I’ve left the Elance bidding wars behind forever. In this episode, I share that same strategy with you and show you how you can implement it in your freelancing business.

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How I Get Clients to Chase Me

Notes: Here’s the link to Michael Hyatt’s FREE Platform Revolution Series: http://j.mp/1gaFYwX The transcript of this video is posted below for your reference — As coders, we all want more money… We all want more freedom… to NOT be chained to our computers 24/7… to work with clients we like and care about… to be able to travel and spend time with our families… And, we all want to have more impact… to work on projects that really matter… that make people’s lives better… and to be able to turn down projects that make our skin crawl… The problem? All the

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Why YOUR Freelance Jobs are Getting Outsourced to Someone Who’ll Do It Cheaper

The answer: You’re not branding yourself effectively. If you were, your potential clients would never hire another developer just because they’re cheaper. As business guru, Tom Peters, puts it: “All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” Of course, the big question is… how do you brand yourself effectively and fix your “outsourcing problem”?

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Justin Bieber Should Learn How to Code

Apparently, the Biebs was arrested this morning in Miami for drag racing and driving under the influence. If you’ve paid even a little attention, you know this has been coming for awhile now. I don’t really hate on the kid too much because I understand he’s a kid with a lot of money and a lot of fame… and I wonder what kind of decisions I’d have made at that age with that money and that fame. Probably not great ones. But, it does make me think dude should learn how to code! Why? Here’s a few reasons why:

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Should You Just Give Up Learning How to Code?

I was recently asked: Man… I truly hope I can just know what to do at some point without having to ask. You think PHP is an easy language to learn though? When I read that, it reminds of the frustration I felt when I first started learning how to code. It can be very frustrating and make you feel like you want to give up. Should you? Here’s why I think you shouldn’t: It will get easier. The first few months are the most difficult. It truly is like learning a new language… not just a new way of speaking

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Why I Code

It was mid-June 2011 in Texas. I had just been released from Active Duty for the Army and was on my way to pick up my then 3-year-old son, Davin, from daycare. I pulled into the parking lot, hopped out of my car and headed toward the front door of the daycare. I remember feeling the heat hit my face as I strode across the parking lot. It was hot… but it was a beautiful summer day. Not at all like what I was about to discover inside the daycare. I made my way across the parking lot and in the

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Coding Isn’t For You

I’ve been coding for almost 10 years now and I’m finally fully embracing that coding isn’t for me. It’s taken me awhile to reach this point, but the release of frustration is pretty amazing. Please read on, though, because it’s probably not what you think. You see, when I first started out coding… I did it for me. It was about me expressing myself, doing what I loved, making ME a living. But, the reality of coding is that you’ll spend the majority of your time building stuff for other people. And, that’s why coding isn’t for YOU… it’s for

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How to Fail in 2014

Brace for impact. As we near the end of 2013, you’re going to be hit with an onslaught of “how to succeed in 2014” posts. That’s all fine and well… But, sometimes knowing what NOT to do can be more powerful that knowing what TO do. This is one of the times. Imagine this… Imagine if you were around 100 or so years ago and were a horse and buggy maker. Imagine if you had ignore this new “fancy” technology called a combustion engine that was making waves at the time. Imagine how in a few short years you’d be

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How Fear Can Kill Your Coding Career and How You Can Easily Overcome It

[powerpress] How to Subscribe to the Podcast Subscribe on iTunes Subscribe on Stitcher (Android) Subscribe via RSS It’s Really All About Fear, Isn’t It? Today’s going to be a little tough I think… because today is about standing in front of the mirror a little bit. Let’s talk about fear. Let’s just put it on the table… you’re scared. It’s okay. So am I… every day. Scared you don’t really know what the hell you’re doing. Scared somebody will find out. Scared somebody will see your code and flame you into oblivion. Scared you’ll wreck your client’s site. Scared you’ll

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How Targeting Can Trump Credibility As a Freelancer

[powerpress] Awhile back, I posted a video talking about how you can make more money in web design by laser-targeting the services you offer. Since then, I’ve received a little push-back from a few coders and I wanted to address their concerns. Their two main arguments are: Being too specific will cause you to lose jobs when you’re first starting out. You have to build up credibility/rapport before you can start targeting more specifically In the podcast, I cover both of these… but let me briefly summarize the points I made: You CANNOT Get Too Specific. Period. It’s as close

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How Wealthy Developers REALLY Succeed

You know, I’ve spent a lot of time teaching coders technical skills. How to upload files using PHP, how to create website templates, how to hack, twist and mold WordPress to your will, and so on. In fact, the entire site over at LearnPHP.co is about exactly this when it comes to PHP. I have an entire category on this site called Code Snippets where I do exactly that. All of my YouTube videos do the exact same thing. But, to be honest, I’ve never really talked much about what it REALLY takes to be successful as a developer. Because,

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Think Small

What if I could tell you the secret making a major breakthrough in your work… in 2 words? How to stop spinning your wheels 1,000 miles an hour but getting nowhere? How to stop being overwhelmed with “everything you’ve gotta do” and start working on only the things that matter?

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The simple secrets to high-paying freelance clients

What makes clients willing to pay $5,000, $10,000 even $20,000 and up for your services? Download and install my mobile app and I’ll show you. It’s free. Just click the button below:

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WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

Xan Barksdale

Xan Barksdale

Very professional worker who is extremely knowledgable in WordPress and Wishlist Member. I would definitely hire again.

Michael Skye

Michael Skye

John is a man of integrity, who gives generously of himself to projects and people he cares about.

Jason Rumley

Jason Rumley

John has a habit of over-delivering on the expectations he sets up. That’s why he’s the best.

Ray Edwards

I recommend John every chance I get. If every person I worked with were as committed to excellence, punctuality, value, and unquestionable integrity… the world would be a better place. Highest recommendation.

Andrew Malone

Andrew Malone

John Morris is exceptional in his ability to give focused insight into Freelancing and starting one’s business. His direct methods inspire confidence in his honesty.

Daniel Mohlendick

On the Freelancing on Upwork course: “This is by far the best course i have watched on Skillshare!! Thank you so much.”

Oliver Wainwright

Oliver Wainwright

I’m a fan. I have completed several of John’s courses. I find him very knowledgeable and he has a great delivery.

Jim DeJonge

Jim DeJonge

John has a relaxed and engaging manner. His advice is solid and the explanations are well thought out.

Aaron Gott

Aaron Gott

John has a particular knack for the development and training of others.

Bob Patterson

Not only is John a very talented programmer and developer, he is also an excellent communicator. He has a talent for taking complex subjects and communicating them in terms that anyone can understand. This is a rare combination. This ability has enabled me to take my skills and knowledge to the next level. Thank you John for for all that you do.

Thabo Motsoahae

John is one of the best instructors I have come across, I learned a lot from his online tutorials.

Lori Grant

John did an outstanding job on my project. I highly recommend him and look forward to working with him on future projects.