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Reviews

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, simply 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 lead to thinking what other incentives do one offer… in-house training?

Doubt that, given the reasons above.

Categories
Activities 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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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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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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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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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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History

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!

Categories
Reviews

Where am I at now?

Over my 6 month probation period and not knowing where I am, puts me on edge.

When things are getting overcomplicated as more work is coming in for your boss to deal with while dealing with internal problems doesn’t really help.

There has been this continuous workflow problem since the day I started where work is getting overwritten and some of us are repeating what we have just finished.

Having backup of this helped me so many times to fix those mistakes quickly. But how do you stop professionals who know what they are doing, but disrupting the workflow process? What happens if they are the ones that are teaching us what to do too?

You have the choice to tell your boss, but they are just blanking what your saying and putting both employees in a meeting room to find a solution to stop this overwriting workflow from happening.

You’ve given your opinion based on previous experiences and they still go with a different solution, the workflow still seems sketchy. There is no record of what we are actually edited between each other. I think this is vital for when things doesn’t work as expected.

Is it really a mistake after several mistakes or is it a way to put employees in the bad books of their boss, especially of employees that have nearly fulfilled their time?

I would prefer it if employers just communicated this directly, rather than getting others to do this.

Of course this isn’t going to happen as they don’t want you work for another company, especially in the same industry or their competitors.

That’s life, complicated.

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Reviews

Happy New Year

It’s time to reflect on the previous year and make some new goals for the year ahead, by observing the nature around me and making some bold decisions.

Addressing where I work online cause some attractions to recruiters and while I could stay away from this as much as possible, I realise why people higher up the chain remain anonymous to the web. It’s a no brainer really, you’re exposing yourself to the web, a chance to rank up or down in your career, or the fact you could gain work for the company too.

By doing this I made some new contacts. Yes, maybe some were irrelevant and some relevant. I mean some will support you based on no knowledge of what you do, or some that do and will recommend you to others who are in the same or similar industry. I recommend those that don’t to do a little more research – after all it’s about being honest to yourself and others around you.

Having spent 3 month jobless, I realise in future I’ll have to remain anonymous to keep hold of my job – though I like to be open about the things I do; sharing is caring!

Another issue is why are all IT related vacancies held by recruitment companies? Surely there’s a can of worms here about to explode.

I can see several options for companies in which one might not have the time to find employees or the cost that arise in investing in time and passing this onto recruitment for a little fee, but one could argue to find a suitable candidate for employability could cost more than its worth with recruitment.

Arguable, but the truth is everyone has cost to pay and therefore cutting salaries down from an employee, could make an employee think twice about the work they do, in which is the reason some employees jump from companies to companies.

During this period, I had to be active as more than ever looking for vacancies at a time when vacancies are rare and same time finding a way to support myself. I realised the word trust was something that is pretty hard to rely on and trusting your gut instincts puts you on an edge – out of comfort zone; making you do things that was never planned to happen.

Trusting gut instincts, I referred back to using my previous skills from upbringing and those gained from being a merchant seller for Amazon to eBay. Now you will be wondering why not create my own website platform for this? Again it’s a complex issue right now, while going through a transitioning period with career movement (maybe something for the future to think about or blog about).

Many different suggestions was given by people around me while being out of work and some sounded off the wall and so strange that I thought why not give it a try.

Continuing to pursuit the eBay platform, which is now gaining attraction with my previous reputation with Amazon. I am learning and developing behaviour patterns by buyers and advertising strategies. I am also learning about the products that I sell and always up for learning something new whether it’s worthy or worthless.

Anyway while that is going on in my personal life and focusing back to my day job, I was listening to a few podcasts recently, which relates to career goals and life in general that did inspire me to do more things. Somewhere along the lines of having a day job to pay your expenses and a hobby or passion to pursuit, but if you do the same thing as a day job then make sure you have got the stamina to progress.

As always for me, a chance to adapt new roots suits me fine, finding niches, doing things differently are what I am interested in, but most of all doing a variety of things. I really don’t like to be limited; its dull being repetitive and eventually does gets boring.

So that’s the past and now for the present; I am looking for changes and new challenges with my day job. With my personal life, I have piles of resources that have been accumulating from being busy at my previous job. So top priorities are to sift through these as quickly as possible and start to refine my skills for my day job.

The best bit of my day job is having a passion for the career I’ve always worked for and to work there more than having time spent at home, which allows me to develop better and also give me a little room to try something different from home.

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Reviews

Back on Track

Just over 3 months jobless, but hunger for work – I was hired to get the work done in time for Christmas & New Year.

It’s been 2 weeks, half way in the month of December, picking up the business workflow and finding myself fit in the role as Front End Developer working with, between designer and developer on board.

I saw opportunities to boost workflow and technologies, which is currently in process for the New Year.

There were stacks of client work that needed creating, amending existing and finishing current work before Christmas – so a quick turnaround solution was needed.

Coming from a background learning popular software and new technologies, I had to step back and backtrack to using old for temporary basis – I knew the company was in a transitioning period, where it just so happen, I managed to blend in well.

3 clients websites all needed to be published live and another, a few tweaks here and there on the live site.

Lucky enough all the work met its deadline and happened so quickly just on time!

This is the shortest blog I have done and a glimpse of the beginning to a fresh new start for the New Years.

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!