Categories
Reviews

Quick Changes

There are times when things need completed urgently.

But there are methods to go about it.

First think about the 5 W’s.

Who, what, when, why, where.

Apply this logic to one of your tasks.

The ‘who’ will factor the ‘how’ situation, so don’t worry there.

But wait just there!

That’s great for adding features.

Anyone thought about removing features?

Check first if there are other features around the feature you’re about to remove.

If it’s the only feature there, question yourself again the following…

Does it look odd?

Before removing a feature that’s self isolated, try creating a replacement feature.

Without these scenarios, things will turn out half baked.

Categories
Branding Development Marketing

Find Yourself

Spare a moment?

Teach if you can.

Invest in some time.

Learn as much as you can.

Perhaps…

Share a thought together.

Maybe if you’re lucky…

Trade a skill for another?

Who knows what you’ll might find.

From entry level to fullstack…

There’s always something to learn.

Call it what you want.

The cycle of learning forms teaching.

Imagine and reiterate.

The above with the below.

Apply methods with different contexts.

Lifehacker.

Categories
Design Development Reviews

Sometime it’s not clear

It’s not always clear what to expect when building software especially when you’re reliant on user stories that don’t describe the full story.

But then again, sometimes user stories can’t be clear without some visual concepts what the users needs.

From experience with visual concepts, many users thought this was it, concrete.

Maybe that’s because it’s down to how polished a design concept is.

Depending what you’re target audience is, it should be very basic to explain itself to the user what each element of a concept does.

Factor in the user’s knowledge of what they may currently know to build the amount of detail needed in the design concept.

We all have to remember that visuals are just concepts, therefore there may be some changes in the pipeline that weren’t considered back then and that they may need looking into present.

Trying a different approach without the visuals is another challenge.

So when you’re building from scratch it only makes sense somewhere along the line where smaller components fit together but still don’t describe what they do.

Adding titles, labels, icons makes sense.

Then you start to see a pattern of inconsistency delivered in Agile methodology, that’s where you’re suppose to constantly deliver.

Sometime it’s better to extend and add a sprint to rectify these issues before it gets complicated to work with.

Yes it adds some time to productivity, but would you rather have this or the latter?

Categories
Reviews

Tackling programming languages from the past

Tasked to solve – is pretty much what one has been doing to date.

Not knowing, but yet comfortable challenging them while time is ticking away.

Rewind back to years, where self teaching new programming languages was ever so daunting.

The instincts of knowing a language that would update in increments or a full re-write that would extend maintenance time and having to explain that up the chain.

Working with PHP this week and some experience of WordPress remembered in the past – felt like a task that one should attempt, be it if one has only touch the surface of this language.

The attempt was successful and the feeling of confidence has gained tremendous.

So the lesson learned here was be calm and carry on.

Categories
Reviews

Office Politics

Things just keep changing constantly, another job another mess… a repetitive process of seeing code that may once have been produced to good business needs.

But while business changes are happening, there’s a lack of poor coding standard among the fast pace environment.

Factors may include limited time, short fall on talent, to miss communication between colleagues or teams, or just the nature of employment to human error.

I see that trending… a.. lot, even in well documented or reading materials, just check my Instagram feed out, pretty basic examples, but yet one may not see it straight away…

And here I am learning programming, how dynamic languages from learning JQuery to vanilla JS using React.js and Vue.js all work behind the scene, noticing state cycles and how interactive elements on markup react, whether it’s a button or a URL link.

Seeing data races when elements on pageload load slow or when users react to events on a page.

Or, when functions are buried within function and script files bundled randomly that causes conflicts among execution.

But, I’ve fixed the mess with some history behind what it should and shouldn’t do and where to look for these files to edit.

Sure it took several days or some week or two to get it correct, but not bad to say I don’t have the correct qualifications, just a heck of a lot minor qualifications and plenty of experience in and out my career progression.

Understanding ones code and then attempting to fix it, would be suicidal – it’s not easy as building something new with the common known tools one may use.

One true thing that does amazes me, how each user tries to navigate their way through a website or software looking for what they need/want in information or running certain tasks.

The way how one uses it, whether it was designed to do so or was designed to do something alternative – always look outside the box.

And now I’ve come to my senses there’s a lot I could do, but my time is worth so much more, only look at the bigger picture by prioritize crucial tasks first given working in scrum and using sprints to weed out the least irrelevant requirements, and when those fall together, the least irrelevant follow as if it becomes a waterfall of working code.

I still have lots to learn and cover, yet striding the tech stack swiftly with self motivation and some help from the smartest people I’ve come across, but one advice I’d give to all… Nothing is correct and not everything is also wrong, it’s finding that right balance of what is true and false using your own instincts, most likely from experience.

Those starting fresh, start early and make as many errors as possible, as later you’ll realise your strengths and collaborate where ever possible in teams or departments.

Categories
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
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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.