Fighting for your attention

There’s a point throughout the working process where your attention to knowledge is needed elsewhere, but what do you do if you have scheduled work and clients fighting between themselves for your attention, but also here and there trying to bypass paying for such services?

Fair play, I don’t mind helping people here and there, but when expecting work to be completed at such short notice, especially which is an experimental approach (meaning something you’re willing to do that isn’t in your skill set) – what do you do?

Charge them a premium? Ask them to wait in line? Or, squeeze them in wherever possible? What if you’re unsure how long a work process would take given it’s not in your remit? Question, is this an accurate decision to take? Something that always keeps me awake at night!

Instincts tell me to be careful there may be a borderline, causing disaster without knowing and while others around you hang in there waiting for this moment to happen. A quick decision whether the attempt was worthy of you being in employment or a means to end employment if work wasn’t carried out accordingly to their expectations.

This is where backups are a highly important and should be available to recover if needed. A rule of thumb to anyone working in the digital realm, keep a backup!

Spending personal time to self-develop has shown many methods to approach different cases in work environment, but what if you have to develop others that constantly needing help? Leading the way for clients and their staff included.

I’ve been there myself too and realise the flaw in the working environment.

No one wants to teach others if they have to teach themselves to learn and develop while earning bread and butter to live (this doesn’t even include personal activities) – that’s like double work loading and shortening life balance. So what is the solution here you may ask?

There are genuine people asking me all sorts of questions, some even I don’t have the answer to, but I guess from my experience, if you really want to know something, start spending personal time to self-develop and stop relying on others.

Sounds harsh right? Welcome to reality.

Working in a software environment made me realise a lot of differences and advantages for potential improvements in business and self-development plans.

Ability to discover and make ground breaking improvement whether it’s just an idea/thought or tweaks in code. This is something that attracts me to keep working with determination no matter what is offered to the table.

This boils down to one personal question that always rises above others during interviews, what type of development plans are in place for personal development for employees (this is a big factor for my case that most businesses tend to rule out, simplify because they expect you to know ‘apparently’ to become successfully hired).

There’s also the case one may already have these services in place and by experiences not all training platforms cover the true ‘know how’s’, which lends to thinking what other incentives do one offer… in-house training?

Doubt that, given the reasons above.

Posted in Reviews

Caught in a mix of emotions…

Caught in a mix of emotions being happy and sad… maybe confused, just when you think you’re overcoming the barriers to life and career path… a double knock back within a month.

It’s already been a bumpy ride this year, fighting for what I wanted and excelling in particular activities – online and offline.

People around the globe and the places I go noticing my sheer efforts of change from negative to positive vibes…

Becoming pretty toned, more confident than ever before, from gym to running, to upside-down pull-ups, 7 days a week with work on the go – I was feeling… well… words that I cannot describe, due to the fact I was never into sports – I still feel the same about it now.

Trying new tech and getting caught in the moment of performing better than your best – gets addictive. Highest record of time vs. distance in one hour and five minutes racking up eleven point four kilometres, my daily step count with the Fitbit watch was over 20k and that raised some stakes via the app with other avid hot steppers where they’d invite me to challenges.

Notice that I mentioned work somewhere above?

I took a job role on in the exact career path where I’d left from, but with a software company that values and understands the process. Yes, I kept this low, why? Well, I didn’t want the hassle of people approaching me, knowing one in a niche market, with skills somewhat spanning across the border and having that extra year spent on intense online training.

Another silver lining… if you take the time to self-study and progress, you can go a long way with the right kind of people.

Why did I take it?

You know at some point in life the three-letter word hangs and clings around your life… it pretty much stops you from going forward in personal life. Being in a comfort zone having no title, but making growth online where others wouldn’t have seen it, makes you feel misunderstood.

I folded and realised something from a positive view, when something is that good then it’s probably priceless to put a price on and that made me realise something else, you just can’t put a price to how much one can know and that flaw I saw in most of my interviews.

But there was one particular interview before this job at their headquarters that truly broke me when I was trying to convince my passion, my strengths, my evidence and efforts to getting a job that I already knew I could do.

That outcome was among the lines of one doing such thorough in-depth learning with a verbal test… it would be a shame to put one in this role not using those skills and that was coming from a large supermarket retailer. They knew it, I knew it, and so we parted our ways.

But this month “November” has been another eventful time for my family and relatives.

My cousin 34-year-old passed away earlier this week and my mothers dad, my granddad passed during the week, he was in his eighties and that put another view on things, no matter how young or old you are anything can happen, so enjoy what you have and make the most of it, life is truly too short.

Going through a family/relative crisis in the past and after seeing one family help the suffering, I wouldn’t want anyone to suffer more just to live on if they were in pure pain. It also has a knock on effect with those around who had been helping out too; those memories will stay to the end.

Being in his eighties, made me feel he did well for himself, but for my cousin, thirty-four… is just way too short. He left two young beautiful kids behind. This will be the most heart touching thing when they will realise this.

As the oldest male cousin from my mother’s side, I feel we have some responsibilities to my young nephews and give them company whenever they come to visit and this is why this blog post was called “caught in a mix of emotions”.

💐 A spilt of happiness and sad times… 🌹

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Posted in Activities, Reviews

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