Crunch Time!

April 28, 2014

This week is the week before the final exams for my Master’s classes that I am taking. Guess who just stayed up until 3am in order to finish a project that is due tonight? This guy. Did I procrastinate? I would say a little bit; however, on top of work as well a current development project shown here, there is not a whole lot of time outside of my day to really sit down and work on some of these projects (well, not as much time as I would like anyways). So there I was, up until 3am this morning finishing up said projects to turn in for class today.

I’m sure many if not all of you had a deadline to meet one time or another for some sort of activity, whether it was for a class project, a work project, or merely something in order to give your kids something nice on Christmas.

So when “crunch time” happens, what do most of us do? We panic, rush around, and finish what needs to be done. We usually do not finish it well or up to snuff, but hey, it is done, right?

However, in the technology world, making sure things are “up to snuff” as well as meeting deadlines are very important factors to consider when it comes to development projects, including websites, web applications, and all technology. Would you want a car that can only run part of the time? What about an air conditioner? A heater? Electricity? All of these things must be done RIGHT; otherwise, those technology foundations that we take advantage of day in and day out would not be dependent at all.

So, for projects and other tasks, what can we do in order to make sure that we don’t reach “crunch time”?

1) Make a Plan
Make any kind of plan, from telling yourself you’re going to go shopping a couple weeks before Christmas to an elaborate enterprise project plan, any planning will do. Just some planning in order to organize your time so that it is guaranteed that you will have said time to do it.

2) Create Mini-Deadlines for Yourself
Surprisingly enough, creating more, smaller deadlines is much less stressful than one large final deadline. Use this to your advantage in your planning so that you will not be in a panic mode once the final deadline is approaching must faster than you would have ever thought it would.

3) Get Started!
The most daunting task is to actually get started. Studies have shown that those who start a project have a much easier time of finishing said project than those who do not start. So get started!

If you have any questions or comments regarding project organization, post a comment below or contact me! I will be more than willing to answer any of your questions or comments.

That’s all for now, until next time…keep that tech gear ticking.


Easter Celebrations

April 20, 2014

Hello, and happy easter to everyone!

I hope all of you have enjoyed your easter celebrations this year.

My easter certainly was different this year than most…

Normally, I spend my easter days taking a trip down to my grandmother’s house for a easter dinner; however, this year is the first easter since my grandmother passed away. It kind of felt a little bit out of place this year for me. There was no trip to her house..there was no big family was merely a small dinner with my parents. Although there certainly is nothing wrong with that, regardless it felt a little bit out of place since this is something different..something..changing…just did not feel right to me.

With this in mind..we can certainly apply the “no change” philosophy to technology.

We all have our preferred computer that we use, whether that computer runs Windows, Mac, or Linux. Even within those particular companies, there are battles between the company and its users. Just take for example Windows. When Windows moved to Windows 8 “Metro” Operating System, there was a big frenzy from its users (and this still exists today).

I see the same thing at my job. After three years of the same system being used, there are still complaints from users about it because the older system was active for almost fifteen years before this new system took over. Those users that were on the old system want those same functions and interfaces that the previous system had before.

With all of this, there’s one underlying theme…we do NOT like change.

So, with this in mind, how can the technology community improve their systems, but yet accommodate to this theme?

Well, for those Windows 8 users, there are some programs that exist to bring that start menu back that was the HUGE hubbub for its users: Start8 and Classic Shell 4.0 (credit to PC World for the links and reviews). These programs are add-ons to Windows 8 in order to bring back that start menu for its users.

So what about the others who really don’t like all of this change?

Well, for you all, it all comes down to your mindset. If you like a certain piece of software, stick to it as much as you can until you are forced to change. Windows XP has JUST been removed from Windows support, so if you really enjoyed Windows XP, you could have kept it up until very recently and still had it supported by Windows.

For you others that want to be kept up on the latest and greatest, just be prepared to be learning new software on a continuous basis, as technology changes so quickly nobody can keep up with it! Unfortunately, in most work environments, you cannot have the latest and greatest without learning something new in the technology world. So, if you want to have a piece of software do things that you originally had to do by hand, just be prepared to learn how to use it!

That’s all for now, until next time…keep that tech gear ticking.


The Beginning

April 17, 2014

Hello everyone, and welcome to my blog!

So, there I was, playing a computer game on Saturdays after a morning of watching some Saturday morning cartoons (which were pretty awesome by the way!) thinking to myself “I just love playing these video games! I would love to be doing this the rest of my life!” Interestingly enough, that interest in playing computer games for the rest of my life as a young middle school kid brought me to the technology world of computers.

Once high school rolled around, I certainly was still interested in those big computer boxes. How did they work? What are all of those plugs for? Where do they go? What do they do? All of these questions I had kept flowing around in my head…until I was a senior in high school, when I finally was able to take a course on computers. I jumped at this opportunity to learn about all of those plugs, wires, and “techy parts” in a computer that I just did not understand.

While I was taking this class, I also was playing some online video games on the side. These games really interested me, so my mind started thinking about those games..”how are they made? Could I make one?” Questions like these started swirling around. I started then learning about HTML, CSS, and PHP, which are the core programming languages for building a website.

I was able to finish that class, and with that class on my belt as well as some basic background knowledge, I then started in the web world…