My Latest Posts

5 Efficient Programming Productivity Tips

5-efficient-programming-productivity-tips-true

Thоѕе whо work іn computer рrоgrаmmіng appear tо hаvе a сеrtаіn set оf traits thаt bеnеfіt thеm іn thеіr саrееrѕ. Whеn раіrеd with the ѕkіllѕ lеаrnеd thrоugh hіghеr еduсаtіоn thеѕе traits саn help рrоgrаmmеrѕ become ѕuссеѕѕful. Cоmрutеr рrоgrаmmеrѕ can соmрlеtе a numbеr of specific dutіеѕ duе to the traits thеу саrrу thаt are bеnеfісіаl tо thіѕ tуре оf wоrk. Cоmрutеr рrоgrаmmеrѕ аrе vеrу detailed thinkers аnd аrе аblе tо еxсеl іn thеіr роѕіtіоnѕ due tо thе vаrіоuѕ traits аnd ѕkіllѕ thеу possess.

Those Distractions

We’re all guіltу оf аllоwіng thе little things to distract uѕ frоm whаt we should be doing. Inѕtеаd of working, wе сhаt wіth our frіеndѕ оr co-workers, сhесk thе lаtеѕt сhаіn еmаіl in оur іnbоx, ѕurf the іntеrnеt, and dо everything wе can tо аvоіd wоrkіng. Whу? Because wе dоn’t fееl lіkе wоrkіng – wе’rе too busy daydreaming about bеіng оn the bеасh in Hаwаіі sipping a MаіTаі or skiing thе slopes. I’d lіkе thаt tоо, but thе fact іѕ thаt іn order to gеt whеrе уоu wаnt to bе, you hаvе tо dо thе wоrk rеԛuіrеd tо achieve уоur goals аnd еxреrіеnсе ultіmаtе ѕuссеѕѕ. (more…)

How to Become A Top 5% Freelancer

Aѕріrіng frееlаnсе соmрutеr programmers thеѕе dауѕ hаvе аn аdvаntаgе thаt their рrеdесеѕѕоrѕ never had – the internet. Onlу a few years ago іt would hаvе been еxсерtіоnаllу difficult for a computer рrоgrаmmеr tо simply decide tо go freelance аnd buіld their оwn company wоrkіng оn their own, wіthоut fіrѕt joining a large соmраnу аnd buіldіng up thеіr рrоgrаmmіng resumé.

With multiple jоb websites аll оvеr thе іntеrnеt dеvоtеd tо advertising соmрutеr рrоgrаmmіng jobs іt is nоw еаѕу to fіnd frееlаnсе рrоgrаmmіng wоrk and gеt going rіght аt thе ѕtаrt оf уоur career.

Advertise your Expertise

Thе best jоbѕ out thеrе wіll still require ԛuаlіfісаtіоnѕ аnd probably a сеrtаіn аmоunt оf рrоgrаmmіng еxреrіеnсе. Hоwеvеr, thе іntеrnеt hаѕ rеvоlutіоnіzеd hоw уоu get that еxреrіеnсе and it іѕ nоw роѕѕіblе fоr new рrоgrаmmеrѕ tо get out there аnd find their оwn frееlаnсе соntrасtѕ еаrlу іn their саrееrѕ аnd to buіld a рrоgrаmmіng rеѕumé іn оrdеr tо bе аblе to apply fоr thоѕе bіggеr jоbѕ. (more…)

My 5 Favorite Strangest Hobbies I Like

My 5 Favorite Strangest Hobbies I Like

Do You Have Hobby?

If уоu’rе lіkе the vast mаjоrіtу оf uѕ, уоu wоrk long hоurѕ аt thе оffісе, уоu dоn’t gеt еnоugh ѕlеер and уоu’rе ultimately lасkіng іn lеіѕurе tіmе. This саn mаkе it рrеttу dіffісult to сultіvаtе аnу interests, or hоbbіеѕ thаt are nоn wоrk-rеlаtеd. Wе obviously саn’t all fly planes, gо реаrl dіvіng or rebuild еngіnеѕ іn оur ѕраrе tіmе, but hаvіng a hоbbу thаt you trulу enjoy can rеаllу make the lоng wоrk dауѕ muсh more bеаrаblе.

Time to Live a Little

Sо іt’ѕ tіmе tо mаkе ѕоmе room іn уоur ѕсhеdulе fоr a little fun. Shake thіngѕ uр a bіt аnd try ѕоmеthіng nеw. If уоu’vе bееn inactive fоr ѕо mаnу уеаrѕ thаt you have аbѕоlutеlу nо іdеа whеrе to ѕtаrt, don’t worry, I’vе gоt you соvеrеd with a lіѕt оf interesting аnd highly enjoyable hоbbіеѕ bеlоw. Now these are the ones I find interesting. I’m not saying I do any of them as I don’t wish to incriminate myself. (more…)

The Best Way to Learn Hardware/Software Programming

Computer systems are getting more and more expensive now. Around 2005 or so computers were somewhat costly but not horribly expensive; now a MacBook Pro can run close to $2000 or more. That is way too expensive to do experiments with. And that is a shame, because a whole generation of people will grow up with computers that are easy to break with a few ill-executed lines of software code; it is not too hard to brick your computer just by making a small mistake if you’re playing with the inner workings.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has recognized these problems, and has taken steps to address them. The Raspberry Pi is a series of single-board computers with 1 GB. of RAM and anywhere from 8-32 GB. of storage. These computers reduce computing to the bare essentials; if there’s a way to break them beyond repair by experimenting with them I have yet to find it. Here are some reasons that the Raspberry Pi is the best way to learn hardware and software programming.

They’re Cheap

A Raspberry Pi board runs about $35 USD or less. That is NOTHING for a computer system. These units have more power than any computer of the 1990s; you could in a pinch use them as an office computer for basic applications. I was able to get a Raspberry Pi plus a whole huge bag of accessories for me to do projects with for less than $100. You can start yours for far less than that; I’m just a junkie for all kinds of cool gear.

They’re Versatile

There are so many projects that you can do with your Raspberry Pi. If you look up any YouTube series you will see that people have done everything from creating VPN servers (a fairly simple process) to creating Bitcoin Mining devices (a fairly complex process). I was able to make a small desktop computer where was able to browse the internet easily and do normal activities. To test it, the first site I visited was dogsrant.com. I recently bought a dog DNA test from them because I wanted to see exactly what my mixed breed dog WAS. And I was not disappointed. With my regular computer down, the Raspberry Pi worked wonderfully!

They’re Demanding

Raspberry Pi computers don’t work out of the box. They do not ship with an operating system; you have to install that yourself. If you want to get your Raspberry Pi working you HAVE to learn how to do some basic command line operations. You are forced to learn some things along the way, so by the end of it you’ll have a much stronger knowledge of computers and hardware and software interactions than you did before.

I love my Raspberry Pi. It was not hard for me to get mine running, but it might take you a little more time. And that’s fine! Because the goal is learning, and the Pi will teach how you!

3 Skills Every Freelancer Should Know

3-skills-every-freelancer-should-know

As a freelancer, you are like a medieval-era tinkerer; you had to know how to repair everything using only the tools in your bag, and you had to be likable and know a whole bunch of cool stories and entertaining tales on top of that. Sometimes being a freelancer feels a bit like that; if your area of expertise is writing web copy, sooner or later you will get someone who wants you to build their website from the ground up. And man, that $1000 price tag for a 5-page website looks REALLY good. Trust me. I’ve taken stock of my own skills and have selected the top 3 that make me money. Here you are: three skills you need to know as a freelancer!

  1. Copywriting Knowledge

If you don’t bother to learn copywriting because you “don’t want to learn all of that sales stuff” you are leaving a massive amount of money on the table. Less than 6 months after starting my career as a freelancer part-time in college, I had a client offer me $200 for 2000 words of web copy. $200 is a LOT of money to a student, or anyone else! I would read the books “Web Copy That Sells” by Maria Vellos and “Triggers” by Joe Sugarman to get an idea of how to write web copy that makes people buy. You can make a lot of money for very little effort that way!

  1. How to Build a Website

Ultimately, you should learn HTML coding to learn how to build a website of your own. That is by far the best way to build a fully-customized website that doesn’t look like any other, and people pay well for that. You can also start by setting up people’s WordPress sites; many people don’t know how to do this very well. A happy medium is to learn HTML and CSS coding, and then create WordPress sites and fully customize them. That way it’s easy to create a website because you don’t have to build it from the ground up, and a broad variety of servers accept WordPress code without any additional compatibility issues. http://kronuscollars.com/ is a great example of a hybrid site like this.

  1. How To Sell

Dear freelancer, if you’ve ever told yourself that you don’t need to know how to sell, apologize to yourself for lying right away. If you don’t know how to sell, you will lose customers hand-over-fist and never know why. Selling is not just the act of getting people to buy; it’s how to interact with them AFTER you get them to buy! I would read “Selling 101” by Zig Ziglar and “Advanced Selling Strategies” by Brian Tracy to learn how to sell like a professional. You’ll learn a lot about human behavior on the way!

If you follow these 3 strategies, no matter in what business you are right now; you are bound to succeed.

You’ll have more orders than you can fit into a massive shipping pallet! Your selling, design, and writing skills will take you as far in life as you want to go.

Best Programming Languages

Off the top of your head, what is the most useful language on Earth? Is it English, one of the most common? Is it Spanish? French maybe? No; think even MORE modern! Coding is rapidly becoming the most important language on Earth. However, there are quite a few dialects to coding languages; I want to help you figure out which ones you need to learn. You don’t need to know them all, but learning a few will help your programming journey out a lot!

Java

Java (not the same as Javascript!) is another one of the most famous and well-known programming languages. This is the way that Amazon and Netflix run, as well as every single native Android app. So if you want to be an Android developer, you need to learn Java! This language is logic-based and easy to learn; it’s like the difference between learning a flute from Wind Plays and learning the Tuba. The small instrument is easier to use! Java is the same way; not too difficult to learn.

HTML/CSS

HTML/CSS code is some of the most useful code that you can learn. Period. It is the first one that most beginning programmers learn, because it is rather similar to the English language. HTML is the base code for pretty much every website; that is how web browsers interpret code. CSS is the “skin” that makes HTML code look good; once you combine the two you have the basis for pretty much every website in existence.

SQL

This language is the basis of Dropbox and Google. Many hospitals and IT systems use it as well. It is designed to be used as a database language. If you ever want to go into business IT you will need to know this language. It is not too difficult to learn, and it is the most in-demand programming language on the planet.

Javascript

This is another amazing language that allows you to create a website that looks truly stunning. This is what allows you to embed moving animations and videos into your website. HTML/CSS is a great start to web design, but you really need to learn Javascript to create a truly great website that really looks good.

iOS/Swift

This is another very useful language if you want to go into app development. You need to know this language if you ever want to make anything for Apple iPhones. This is not an easy language to learn at first, but it can lead to very highly-paid jobs so it’s worth it! iPhone apps have netted their developers millions… So you could make a lot of money!

Programming is the most valuable second language that you could ever learn. It can be difficult, but worth it. It takes practice, just like an instrument from this place. But once you practice, you can get paid the big bucks!

Most Effective Ways To Deal With Freelancer Burn Out

Most Effective Ways To Deal With Freelancer Burn OutHave you ever felt like you’re overextending and overworking yourself to the point of fatigue? That sense of having to stretch your day to complete your workload?

You’re not alone. I’ve found myself in this exact same shoe.

Considering the monotonous, repetitive and dull tasks that freelancers work on, as well as the seeming lack of social interaction, getting burnt out is fairly common in our work. If not carefully managed, burn out can lead to lack of motivation and stagnation. It’s terrible!

Every now and then, I find myself fending off burnout feelings. When I’m in the verge of falling into this trap, I step back, take some rest and try to learn new things. Just a couple of years ago, I learned how to play the drums while going through a severe episode of work exhaustion. I even bought a drum machine that I read about here at this link. I found it very helpful learning new things, helping me rediscover my lost creativity.

For someone who single-handedly runs a business, I cannot afford to succumb in work fatigue. In this post, I’ll share with you some tips to help prevent freelance burnout.

  1. Avoid over committing.

You might easily get tempted to say “yes” to every project that comes your way, but this can lead to over-committing. Before getting any new tasks, make sure that you have enough time to do all the other commitments you have previously entered into. If you are finding a difficult time meeting your deadlines, you might need to evaluate your time management.

  1. Deal with stress.

Eliminate stressors in your life. Don’t less stress pile up and make your life miserable. Stressors can come in different forms. They can be annoying client or problems at home or financial troubles. Having good stress management skills is an essential trait every freelancer needs to harness.

  1. Ask for help.

As freelancers, we try to single-handedly manage things by ourselves: budgeting, client communications, marketing, project estimates, invoicing, advertising, and many other business-related tasks. But all of this can be a source of stress and burnout. Instead of overstretching yourself, ask help from others. Spending a little is better than sacrificing the quality of your work.

  1. Learn new things.

Doing repetitive tasks can easily lead to burnout. Just like in my experience, I took a few weeks away from freelancing and tried drums. I found hitting the beginner drum set like the one here at http://barkingdrum.com/ a good way to de-stress and regain my creativity. Try to switch things up every now and then. Add exciting experiences in your routine to avoid feeling dull.

  1. Set limits.

Consider freelancing like a regular, 9-5 work. Set schedule so that you won’t overwork. The freedom that our work offers can also work against us, especially if you are poor with time management. Often times, we spend most of our waking hours on tasks that are unrelated with our work thus requiring us to work too late in the night. Moreover, with the goal of earning more, we tend to overstretch to the detriment of our overall well-being. It’s essential for every freelancer to learn how to say “no” to avoid burn-out.

Top 5 Tips For Effectively Marketing Your Online Business Offline

Top 5 Tips For Effectively Marketing Your Online Business Offline

It may seem ironic but marketing your freelance business offline may actually be the boost your business needs. Over the years, I’ve heard fellow freelancers complain about the difficulty of promoting their own business online.

Often than not, the task of marketing and selling your business is the most difficult part of freelancing. In a heavily saturated digital world, where countless freelancers compete for limited projects, standing out of the pack is a gargantuan challenge.

While there’s a lot of helpful resources about how to promote your freelance business online, following these tips and tricks still seems not enough. Offline promotion can be a deal-breaker – and I can attest to that!

A few months ago, I joined my cousin on a hunting trip organized by his local hunting club. He even helped me look for a good a hunting air rifle for beginners. I read some nice air rifle reviews here at http://riflejudge.com/. It was a fantastic experience — and what made it even more fantastic is that I bagged a few programming projects from some of the hunting enthusiasts that I met. These enthusiasts happened to be managers, entrepreneurs and businessmen who also have programming needs. After a few introductions and some nice chat, I closed several deals with them. And the best thing is that many of these projects led to long-term collaborations.

I never really believed how offline promotion can actually help increase business until then!

So, how do you promote your online business offline? Here are 6 simple ideas:

  1. Introductions

When you meet someone new, don’t be too timid about your work. Say something like, “I am a business owner who specializes in writing or programming services” instead of just saying “I’m just a freelance programmer working at home.” Be proud of what you do.

  1. Family and friends

Make sure your family and friends know exactly what you do. Most of time, people closest to you are the last to know how freelancers make a living. Word of mouth advertising is still the best offline marketing strategy, so make sure they know what to say about your business.

  1. Business cards

A lot of freelancers don’t even consider making a business card. I’ve found it particularly useful when you suddenly meet someone who needs your service. Moreover, having a business card makes your business appear more professional.

  1. Advertise

Despite the ubiquity of the internet, there are still some people who prefer traditional media. You can tap on this market by advertising offline. This doesn’t have to be expensive. For instance, taking out an ad space in a local newspaper doesn’t cost that much.

  1. Join a group

This one I’ve proven to be an effective way to promote your business offline. Joining local clubs and business-related organizations expands your network of contacts. It’s also a great way to learn new things. When I joined the hunting enthusiasts club of my cousin, I got to learn a lot of things about the latest hunting rifles such as the Gamo Bone Collector Bull Whisper IGT.

Those are five of my offline marketing strategies that prove to be helpful. They’re actually simpler than online promotions and would work great for your freelance business. Some won’t even cost a penny!

5 Traits A Freelancer Can Learn From a Musician

I was recently tapped to design and set up a website for a local chorale. They wanted something that would capture the warmth and camaraderie of the team. So, they invited me to spend a week with them to get to know them more.

Spending seven full days with a bunch of musically-gifted individuals is definitely a first in my books. It’s a refreshing experience especially in my mundane freelancer schedule.

Aside from learning to play short tunes on a digital piano like the ones you can see at Digitalpianojudge.com, I also learned a lot of things from musicians that I can use as a freelancer.

Here let me share with you the top 5 traits freelancers can learn from a musician:

  1. Adventurous and confident

Being a musician requires a lot of confidence and courage, traits that we need as freelancers. Like freelancing, the music industry does not offer a stable income. By choosing to follow their dreams and chart their own career, musicians don’t enjoy the safety measures that traditional jobs offer. They need to be adventurous as they journey toward success! They put 200 percent effort as they improve their craft. All of these we also need as freelancers.

  1. Hard workers

Some might think that musicians just sit idly all day and play music. In truth, successful musicians are real hard worker, learning the ropes by themselves and charting their own careers. They need to know how to market, promote and find their own gigs. In the same way, freelancers also need to create their own brand. We have to search for those paid projects and be competitive in a crowded freelancing scene. And to achieve all of these, you have to be a hard worker.

  1. Passion to learn

The music industry is ever evolving. Stagnation is a no-no. Musicians consider daily practice and constant innovation a vital part of their craft. It’s not uncommon to see musicians wearing a headphone like those reviewed here at https://digitalpianojudge.com/10-best-headphones/ while listening to fresh inspiration. Having the same passion is also helpful for freelancers especially in an ultra-competitive market.

  1. Good with budgets

Being a musician requires that you are willing to live a modest life and be good with budgets. This career does not guarantee a wellspring of income. Depending on what type of musician you are, money could be sporadic, leaving a lot of stress and anxiety. You have to be smart in spending your income. Freelancers must learn the art of budgeting, especially if your work is project-based and does not guarantee continuous income. Like musicians, those into freelance jobs must stick to their budget and learn how to live modestly.

  1. Patience

This is a trait of musicians I can completely relate to. As a freelancer, persistence and patience are vital traits to develop. Most of the time, you will need to wait long and toil hard to be able to land a nice paying freelance project. Musicians too are always in the lookout for that ‘big break.’ Some choose to give up while others remain persistent as they journey towards their goal. The truth is, many of the highly successful musicians started out from zero. The success stories of these individuals are enough reasons for freelancers to stay patient.

So there you have it – the five traits we can borrow from successful musicians! Little did I know that I would enjoy this truly rewarding experience!