Category Archives: Podcast Projects

I made this podcast in hopes of reaching out to others within the web development field—to let you know that I’m in the trenches with you when it comes to code. I get excited about how our profession moves forward rapidly but at the same time I’d be lying if I said I’ve never been confused about it as well. That said, I felt compelled to process my thoughts through audio. I hope you enjoy these segments and please feel free to provide feedback.

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Teaching SQL to My Wife

Foreword

It’s the night before Thanksgiving. I have a laptop, a mic and an itch to talk to my wife about tech and not turkey. Aloha.

Introduction

What’s up everyone and welcome to season 3 series finale of allWebSD. It took a while to get to this episode, so I must apologize in advance. It looks like 5-6 episodes is what I can define as a season at this point for the show and I’m looking to regroup next year with Season 4. That said, let’s get to the topic on hand.

Tonight I’m joined by my wife Kyung Mi, Senior Data Administrator for San Diego based ResMed. And like many of us in 2020, she’s had to juggle a lot of moving parts. And somewhere along the way, aspiring to learn SQL has become part of her performance. 

Yes, you heard that right. SQL aka Structured Query Language. For me, the non-traditionalist, I say Sequel.

“…it never ends…like I feel like I don’t have a stop point where I can actually pull back from my day to day job to learn something new”

– My wife (when I asked what’s making it hard at the moment to pick up a new thing to learn)

Highlighted Topics

  1. Senior Data Administrator (Finance/Sales) – What is your role at ResMed?
  2. What is data in a nutshell for your line of work?
  3. What was the justification in learning SQL for you and your team?
  4. What is making it hard at the moment to pick up a new thing to learn?
  5. What book did we choose to learn SQL.

Oops, My Bad

Something I just realized is that I referenced the wrong book. I should have just suggested the original Sams Teach Yourself SQL in 10 Minutes but I pointed you in the direction of a more specific 10 minute book in, Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft SQL Server T-SQL.

My Suggestions

  • You need a tour of all the data. You need to know where the data lives in these specific repositories.
  • Make a long list (or a short list) about what the FAQs are when it comes to your business.

Conclusion

Thank you for listening. Stay tuned. Keep up to date. Wish us a lot of luck. It is the blind leading the blind and it’s going to be fun. And we’re just gonna leave it at that. So please give it a like, subscribe, a follow—allWebSD.com. Visit me on marklreyes.com. Check it out on all your professional networks, namely LinkedIn.

We’ll see you next time. And let’s hope we don’t delete any data. Uh oh. 😳


PS: I kept saying series finale. I should’ve kept saying season finale. See you in 2021!

PPS: Drop a comment, leave a line and tell us what’s going on. What ways, shapes or forms do you find to be most effective to learn a topic like this, especially from the ground up?


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Review of Soft Skills

Introduction

Coding is hard. And if you aren’t careful, it’ll suck you down a rabbit hole costing you the chance to be mindful of everything else. And that’s where this book comes into play.

Soft Skills: The software developer’s life manual by John Sonmez, is a book which helped me understand that there’s more to this career path than creating object oriented code or deploying things into a cloud.

Here’s my summary and why I think you should add this to your developer book shelf.

Summary

The book is broken down into 7 thoughtful sections including: “Career”, “Marketing Yourself”, “Learning”, “Productivity”, “Financial”, “Fitness” and “Spirit”.

Sections are divided into chapters, with each chapter offering advice in short order and action items to do at the end. Think of this as a tiny list for you to digest. Use it as a way to take stock to then apply to your situation.

What’s Important

At 400ish pages in length, here’s what you’ll want to focus on first.

Career

People skills: You need them more than you think – a 5 page pep talk on informing you that it’s not all about code. John channels his inner Dale Carnegie to give advice on the ineffectiveness of criticizing other people, the value in avoiding arguments and more.

Marketing Yourself

Marketing basics for code monkeys – this headfirst explanation is written for the developer to understand the value of marketing oneself and options on how to do so.

Learning

Finding gaps in your knowledge – take inventory of where your knowledge gaps are with this series of written exercises challenging you to write down your questions and hardships with an intention to revisit them down the line.

Productivity

Pomodoro Technique – a timing exercise applicable to your daily work life. Although I don’t prescribe to the timer down to the exact second, I still leverage some form of this pattern throughout my day. It’s a nice flow of focus and rest that I strongly recommend you explore.

Financial

What are you going to do with your paycheck? – John paints a broad brush on finances, consistent in his opinions like other financial experts. Stop thinking short term and distinguishing between an asset and a liability are my personal favorites.

Fitness

Why you need to hack your health – a commitment to your health. Need I say more?

Spirit

Having the right mental attitude: Rebooting – this chapter molds itself as a personal reflection you must take when it comes to your thoughts. Essentially, techniques are given on how to take an x-ray of your thoughts and what to do with them next.

Conclusion

Enjoy the read. Don’t barrel through it. Read it in order. Jump around. It doesn’t matter.

John’s tone is very empathic. His narrative offers a sense of calm throughout and the format is set up for readers to consume advice in digestible pieces. If you choose to be in the software development career for the long haul, buy this book and never let it go.



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Losing The Bid

Introduction

I’m fairly rusty with freelance. Frankly, my last freelance gig was almost a decade ago. A lot has changed since then…namely starting a family. But alas, with 2020 being so unique, I thought I’d take a stab at getting back into this arena part time and I wanted to outline some things which happened along the way.

Long story short, I did not get the job.

Denied

Through word of mouth, a colleague of mine connected me to one of his clients in Los Angeles. Their company – an app based service for home cooked meals. They had a web app written in AngularJS and looked to add new features on an existing screen.

After a few days and filtering the true needs to be met, I emailed a quote. Thereby getting this reply:

$…for one screen being updated is way out of our budget. I thank you for your time.  Perhaps we can do something together in the future.

– Client XYZ

What Now?

I can’t knock the receiving end for saying no. I too am a customer and I empathize that every scenario is already influenced with a prefixed budget in mind.

But could I have done something else to have supply and demand equal out?

Honestly…no. That said, I thought it’d be best to leave a checklist for those of you in similar scenarios. Here are my essentials I obsessed about behind the scenes before ever striking into a conversation.

Freelance Checklist 2020

✅ Do I really want the gig?

Seriously…do you? Have you spent enough time on your own deeds? Would family time be in jeopardy should you say yes? Decline immediately if you’re on the fence. Neither side will benefit if you’re not all in.

✅ Are my conversations free?

Some people charge like lawyers. I’m not one of them. Free conversations (albeit, you must time box them) is the opportunity for you to filter out what the true needs are from the client.

✅ What’s my quote?

The hardest part. Honestly, the best advice I received as of late came from two fronts.

First, my colleague who connected me. In short, billing from total project cost is recommended if you’re absolutely sure of everything you had to quote. If you have a sense of uncertainty, bill by the hour.

Second, what rate to charge? Make it up (thanks CareerFoundry.com).

Conclusion

At this point, what matters most isn’t that I didn’t close the deal, but the lessons I can uproot after the fact. I hope this checklist sheds some light on your next freelance endeavor.

How do you balance freelance with a full-time career and other lifestyle dynamics? I’d love to know your opinion. Feel free to contact me and hopefully we can get a conversation on this sometime in the future.

Thanks. 🤙🏾