It’s 2017!

A new blog post due for this year and already one month gone by so quick!
(Brace yourself this might be the longest post ever).

I’ve put aside the thought of applying for vacancies three months after my previous post back in July, simply because it was enough time for any response and I decided to focus on what I said I’d do next.

Making progress in many avenues my health and wellbeing via Instagram, my ability to learn new technologies seen via LinkedIn and still continuing.

The general sense of interests in design and history, currency or money, but no value, curiosity most of all took place, knowing it might be small margins, trusting my gut instincts, filtering through people’s opinions and whether the media has anything to do with it.

Using my expertise and knowledge gathered through the web, my eBay store has gained some impressions and slowly gaining community support whether it’s genuine collectors or just support from different people around the web.

Up to this date, there’s only been one bad review and that was the first person that had purchased from a zero-rated seller, that’s pretty understandable and acceptable. But rounding up to three hundred, five-star positive reviews, it’s pretty untouchable and maintaining this tall order is not easy I can tell you this, a lot of effort has to be put in via communication and manual admin work; that’s what general people think is easy. It’s only easy if you’re just doing that!

I find it somewhat amusing that I can get interviews, but cannot gain a single decent salary from a vacancy. Was I too honest? Either way my heart was set in favour of those who had trusted me to deliver what I could.

It’s helped gained new insights to what is possible and gained me some (well a heck of a lot of) new skills where less knowledge was applicable and that comes to another point in my journey…

The last developer standing; always comes to a point when you’re the only developer in an agency to leave and I figured out exactly why.

There are many methods to build the same or similar approach whether using new or old technical languages.

The problem is not all new languages are available for old technology and when you’re dealing with less technical people, that is super hard to explain across in layman’s term.

Developers like myself either find a job elsewhere with more technical minded people around them or maybe higher salary often the case, but for me I knew I’d have to just quit ahead to find more time to pursue these problems.

It took me 6 months after a senior web developer left and I quickly realised my boundaries and I realised what these were and off I went on a heavy mission of self learning all different levels of development and that penny just dropped to how much work there really is in web development and why the demand of salary is oh so high with limited time frame expectations by bosses or clients.

Anyways, as a developer problem solving my self learning and living on savings made me realised something more important than ever over a vacancy and that is family and friends, they stay by you even when times are hard.

Been to two university friends and a close relative weddings and a christening after my previous blog post events; has put life concept into perspective. It’s not really about just a job or salary… it’s about having the finer balance of life. I can vouch for it by realising working early mornings and late evenings every week; soon or later that gets dull and depressing resulting burnout.

On another level having much more time, meetups in the technology community is rising and my mission is to attend as many as I can, meet people in communities who share similar interests and hopefully find some useful tips from there to progress forward.

Having a general understanding of many programming languages; how do these go into a CV that is somewhat out-dated far too often and it comes to a question is there really any need for a CV, especially when there are websites out there that you can use as professional CV profiles to do the job?

I’ll save this thought for a future post and until then, peace! ✌

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Posted in Activities, Reviews

Right Now…

Right now I feel relieved from the stress caused through work, knowing I have helped wherever I could and also help personal and family matters too; car accident, Grandfather passing and sisters wedding; my gut instincts told me I made the right choice here.

Having much more time, I’ve got myself into a daily routine of positive thoughts and actions, starting at spending some time in technology meet ups through meetup.com – a place to meet people in communities who share similar interests.

This was something I heard a while back that was gaining some reputation for tech meet ups, be it small and large size companies talking about how to improve management, methods and processes at different scales of production; it’s interesting and at the same time relating to experience.

While upcoming events are planned out, I’ve started self studying further more in particular technologies in the hope it will overcome the struggles in development work and keeping an eye out for new relevant vacancies.

My concern with job vacancies are the majority of listings are far from being specialist, it’s a do it all fully fledged developer, which does put me off from applying and the fact most jobs are advertised through recruitment rather than the companies themselves. I do get why they list nearly every possible technical skill, but don’t get me started with the advertised salaries, there’s just such a big difference when discussing this in interviews.

Still I do apply to ones that I can relate to or could develop in, but it’s just a shame there’s a big gap between skilled and highly skilled developers and that this scope widens as every company is looking out for the best.

This is why I spend my time mostly in experimenting with the web, what can I achieve on my own and what is really possible with the web.

At the same time since being in employment, my health has had its toll sitting down at a desk nearly all day, so gym has been a priority every other day, trying to constantly beat my previous goal.

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Posted in Activities, Reviews

I left the process.

Finally finding out you’re the only one with a technical mind, a logical system thinker.

Trying to make ends meet and continuing to learn as much as I could with the limited time I had in and out of office hours.

I didn’t see any clear opportunities left after knowing the learning qualifications were in another’s name.

The situation was just getting worse hiring external Back End Developers and my role slightly moving towards Project Management – not something that really interested me, but I had no choice.

I was at a breaking point; realising managing external developers is a nightmare. Set deadlines and external developers not responding in time for client expectations.

It was that time; I knew I couldn’t do anything more and thinking about the other colleagues in the moment of time and my personal activities – like my sister’s wedding preparations coming up…

I decided enough is enough; a much advance developer is needed for this role and with this in mind I handed my notice and continued to work till the end of the process.

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Posted in Reviews

I’m in a sticky situation…

I’ve somehow managed to survive over one year of mayhem, demonstrating a higher accuracy rate and cleaner code with multiple solutions – now on my own out of comfort zones to challenge the unknown path to success.

After continuing for three months, I’ve realised just how much work is involved in web development; my strengths, my weaknesses and the lack of knowledge in certain grey areas – has lowered my confidence.

The state of my current issue; same salary, double the workload, but given the opportunity to get trained using any preferred method of learning resources, all paid by the agency – as long as I don’t break the bank balance!

My initial thoughts were… is this fair? Spending more time learning, doubling up the workload of another employee who’d left the process and still spending only the same amount of hours (9am-5.30pm) as one employee? Is it fair to compare in house Developers to Freelance Developers who have more time behind the scenes to get the work done on time? I’m feeling a little short changed here if you had asked me!

I eventually found out at my career progression that build had multiple meanings; given my CV had amends with reference to design and build, which I did and still do actually agree to in my interview process.

How I perceived the term build was using WordPress from the admin panel; using pages and post to build a website like many WordPress users would – not actually how the agency thought it, from the admin editor or backend of WordPress files using FTP. I guess this was the professional edge for hiring agencies to build custom websites.

Sure I do get it now after using CSS files to style many current client websites up, but where does Front End and Back End stand?

I’ve gradually picked some parts of the ropes up, but every time I get stuck at some stage of the back end building process, there wasn’t anyone to turn to and that this was a reminder that I did say I could build in the eyes of the agency.

At the time I joined in December 2014 with the agency, all sites were blocked from updating to newer versions of content management system and plugins. I found this very strange as I had come from another company who would update their client sites on a regular basis – yes a Back End Developer or a much higher rank Developer; be it Lead or Senior – they would of done this for me at the time.

I’ve done work in the past from a Front End perspective, but now I am doing both; Back End as well. I’d spend lots of time after work trying to improve the current state of client-managed websites as they were getting hacked on a daily basis when the Lead Developer was with us.

I am slightly concerned that in this day and age there are still agencies out there that do this, but moreover shocked at the Lead Developer for not taking this responsibility seriously and had left the process as I gradually unveiled the truth why website were getting hacked; it was mainly down to the current state of the websites with legacy versions of CMS and plugins.

Digital war is on the rise and hacking is occurring more often than not and I took the opportunity to slow the hacking process down, as there is really no full bulletproof plan to protect websites. There are numerous of methods that can lead to hackers hacking away at any sites, but there are also many ways to delay the process by restricting and strengthening websites.

Anyway cut to the chase, my beef is now to find solutions to problems I really don’t know how to solve. It’s a classic nightmare for me, but also a challenge to prove I can do this time and time again – pretty hard especially on your own.

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Posted in Reviews

Hidden Web Technologies

Hidden web technologies you might want to know, that’s if you’re a marketer, an online business owner, or if you just hate spyware tracking your every move online activity! Here are some of the tech I have come across while browsing many websites.

Remember privacy is NOT an option, but you can always try though.

I’ve linked most of these web technologies to their official websites for further information.

I might add more to this list as I come across them, so in the meantime help yourself to investigate them.

If you do know more web tech out there, please do leave a comment below – thanks!

Adobe TagManager
Adobe Test & Target
Adzerk
Alexa Metrics
Amazon Associates
Atlas
BlueKai
Cedexis Radar
Crazy Egg
DC StormIQ
Demandbase
Disqus
DoubleClick
Ensighten
Facebook Social Graph
Floodlight
GoSquared
Google AdWords Conversion
Google Analytics
Google AJAX Search API
Google Tag Manager
Google+ Platform
Gravatar
Hotjar
iPerceptions
KissInsights
Kissmetrics
LineZing
LinkedIn Ads
LivePerson
Marketo
Media Optimizer (Adobe)
Mixpanel
New Relic
Olark
Omniture (Adobe Analytics)
Optimizely
Piwik Analytics
Quantcast
Sailthru Horizon
ScoreCard Research Beacon
Segment
ThreatMetrix
Typekit by Adobe
Visual Website Optimizer
WebTrends

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Posted in Web Technologies

What’s driving me to do better?

These images below and my previous posts… the good memories and the bad… the hole in the soul… the missing jigsaw to my realisation to life commitments.

This image is compilation of photographs taken at university in 2008, a few days after hearing the closest person I knew had passed away. This was one of my grandmothers who was like another mother at heart, my mother’s mother in context. The series of photographs captured my feelings and thoughts at the time when in split emotion realising I couldn’t make it home to pay my respects and help my parents straight away at the time of studying.

My parents are business owners meaning shopkeepers running newsagent from 5.30am-10pm without any breaks 7 days a week. Now it shuts at 9pm, although there’s always the odd person banging on the shop front to get served during late nights or early mornings, but we just don’t answer as my parent do enough hours throughout the day. Businesses like these used to be a backbone of thriving economy till internet and the supermarkets came to play. Longer hours is a must and a standard normality of lifestyle for most people who live in the UK.

So during this period I had a university project that involved making artist books, which I took to a personal level wanting to show how much I cared about both worlds, the things going on around back home while wanting to do well at university.

This was the result…

Some serious steady hands and being patiently calm. A typography project with dual material, a lightweight plastic film with a poem soldered through it and the other with the same poem carved into heavy stone tiles with a scalpel. The plastic film and the stone tiles were conceptualised as the soul and body of my grandmother who were mentioned throughout the poem.

Not only did it happen once, but twice in the following year with my father’s mother. My father’s parents were living in India and my father had to go visit straight away. My other grandmother who I only ever saw twice, once when an infant and again during end of my GCSE period.

By then my heart completely sank and I wasn’t in the best fit of minds to continue my degree, but by chance my university mates and tutors helped me around at the time. It was also my first time being independent living outside my home for 4 years too at the time, so homesickness was in the mix.

Thinking from an opposite view, I now get to see both grandfathers pretty much every few months or days. My mother’s father lives with my uncle and aunt and my father’s father with us. Sadly both are not feeling any better in terms of health, so we all try to do what we can to help around. I believe family values are important and that we must step up when in need of help.

Now a days, I visit my blog every so often to remind myself of the past and how I’ve overcome this and encouraged to do better, remove the negatives in life and turn them into positives!

Life for me has completely changed, more responsibilities is a must. I work for small agency that involves a lot more work, but I like the challenge. It also keeps me focused learning new skills, understanding workflows, technologies, implement them into the office and encourage to change old habits into new improvements. Currently I am working on tightening current client website securities and revamping our company website, both pretty much needs doing urgently while time is ticking away.

I still haven’t forgotten the post that’s due about my career progress I mentioned a few posts ago and my recent post about privacy. Right now, I’m just stretched out with all sorts around me, so I will see how it goes from here.

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Posted in History, Reviews

If you must know…

I have discovered the Internet Archive Wayback Machine also know as archive.org – it’s great if you want to look back in time for something particular in the realm of digital web.

I always had this thought in the back of my mind, it would be great to trace back and reflect on websites I had created more than 10 years ago that are no longer to their existence – sadly technology is moving at a fast pace erasing the old due to legacy in hardware and software.

Wayback Machine crawls randomly on websites to archive and I was shocked what I could find… my activity since I was a kid let loose on the web!

Back then I had big interests in design and culture, which then led me to designing, crafting, building online social networks. YES way before the boom of social networks (MySpace, Bebo, Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

In fact I was way too young to be even be on the web. Back then the web had full of nastiness and you’ll probably have had to grant adult supervision, now a day there’s software for adults that can restrict time or activity usage for their children.

I used Microsoft MSN Messenger quiet a lot during then to keep in touch with schoolmates and using MSN.com to go on the online Messenger and accessing emails. By then I started using MSN.com like a default homepage.

Having a passion for cars I started reading and tracking MSN Cars, a sub category of topics they published weekly of news and articles. Having a short attention span, I moved into crawling other parts of MSN.com and the same with AOL.com when DSL modems were popular.

Anyone remember MSN Groups? Back then they were chat rooms mainly for the adult dating. I bring this up because it’s somewhere/somewhat where I started to learn quiet a lot of things, the good, the bad – what can I say… I was curious and fascinated what the web can do during that age, I guess I still am in a way – what make the web so popular and the use of programming languages behind it. I guess it’s the same when referring to.. looking for your next car, wanting to know what’s under the hood.

I learnt a bit of programming if you could call it that back then creating basic HTML pages and creating animated, glittery, metal-like, typography .gifs. This was the boom of .gif animations!

I got a lot of attention when I did this, mainly because I was young and had created a very highly hunger for visual graphics that set apart from other groups, by then group members evolved from all ages reaching to 1000 users joining as members in a few years.

Funny enough it was just an experiment based on my own culture and trying to meet other people like myself at the time – pretty niche!

Anyway, today this number is nothing compared to the scale of major social networks we have today.

Slowly I came round and was intrigued by technologies and ever since have been learning, developing and deploying my skills to the web we take for granted.

Going back to Internet Archive Wayback Machine website, here is what I could find – unfortunately the .gifs and images are gone due to discontinued MSN services and that not all pages where archived or cached. Reading the guess book was a little amusing at the time of finding these pages.

https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://groups.msn.com/bigupdahindumassiv
https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://groups.msn.com/bigupdahindumassiv2005
https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.bigupdahindumassiv.tk
https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.diviyeshpatel.com
https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.diviyeshpatel.co.uk
https://web.archive.org/web/*/www.div-bot.com

I was hoping someone/something/somewhere it would have been cached for history to reveal itself. It just goes to show what is achievable throughout history and that online activity and privacy on the web is not an option. I’ll elaborate further in my next coming post about privacy, as again it’s a can of worms!

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Posted in History