Wern Ancheta

Adventures in Web Development.

Things I Learned on My First Job

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Its been almost 2 months since I joined RNLTEK media, a web design company based in Abucay, Bataan. I work for them remotely as a web developer. In this blog post I’m going to share some of the things that I learned while working with them.

Non-technical

  • Nothing is ever written on stone, the clients mind changes all the time. It’s always wise to prepare for changes that the client might want to push to the live website.
  • As developers we should always keep ourselves updated of the latest technology, software development methodology, or just things that happens in our industry. I’ve written a post about how we can stay updated as developers.
  • Not everything that the client wants is possible(or possible to accomplish in a short period of time) sometimes you just have to admit that you can’t do something rather than saying that you can do it and then the deadline comes and you really have nothing to show.
  • Be honest to yourself. If you can’t do it, you can’t do it(but you probably can given enough time).
  • Sometimes you just have to do things outside of the ticking clock. What I mean by this is that even if you’re being paid for a job at an hourly rate sometimes you just have to do things that are part of your job even if the clock is not ticking since its part of having pride in the job that you do and its a proof that you really love doing your job. Some of the things that I do when not directly working with my project is learning the technologies that I might probably use in the project. Just playing around with it will do. And by the time that you have to apply it to the project that you’re working on it will be as easy as pie.
  • Sometimes the payment gets delayed because of a bad weather or changes in the schedule of payment, or a problem in the company. These are normal and you really have to wait. But if the delay gets longer than 1 week, then it really is a problem and you probably need to set your own rules when it comes to delayed payments. Some people make it a point that when payment is delayed by a specific period of time they will charge twice the amount that is supposed to be paid, if it gets delayed another day they multiply it by 2 again. And we really can’t blame them(especially the rockstars, superstars and ninjas) since they do their work well, they deliver(even before deadlines), and they really take pride in the work that they do.
  • If you can’t work on a specific day do your best to tell your boss in advanced atleast 1 day before the day that you will be out tell your boss that you’re gonna be out. But of course you won’t be able to do this all the time. What if you suddenly got sick? or a rushed family outing, or your house has been flooded. In those cases you need to have the mobile number of your boss so you can always inform the situation even if you’re not in front of the computer.
  • There are different ways in which companies try to track your time. Some use a time-tracking software like time doctor which also takes screenshots of your desktop automatically. Some use a spreadsheet where you have to log what you’ve done for that particular day

Technical

There’s actually too many to mention in detail so here’s a few:

  • Openinviter – This is a PHP Class that is basically used for connecting to email service providers such as Gmail, Yahoo Mail and Hotmail
  • Hotmail API – I actually gave up half the way while trying to retrieve contacts from hotmail since they’re hashing the emails. But I might go back to working on this once required by the client.
  • Yahoo Query Language – just like SQL but you’re just querying Yahoo’s database. This is specifically useful for retrieving information for your yahoo mail contacts.
  • Facebook JavaScript SDK – I’ve learned how to set permissions using the scope property in which you set to a collection of strings separated by a comma(just a comma no other characters like whitespaces). I’ve also learned how to access basic user information and friends information. You can also specify extended permissions on the scope which allows you to do more awesome things using the Facebook API.
  • Facebook meta tags – most of the time the Facebook documentation doesn’t make any sense that’s why articles like that of David Walsh on Facebook Open Graph Meta Tags is always useful.
  • CPanel – I also learned how to use Cpanel specifically the parts where you create database, managing the database. I also experimented on the ssh stuff since I want to install Git on the server but that’s just a failed attempt coz I don’t have admin privileges. I haven’t really gotten much around with it because I might break something.
  • FTP – I also learned FTP specifically the Filezilla. FTP is basically a way to connect to a remote server given that you have the correct login information. I learned how to set file and folder permissions. There are 3 permission groups namely the owner , group and public and there are also specific number for file permissions 4 for read, 2 for write and 1 for execute, 0 if there’s no permission to do anything on that file or folder. So if you want to enable just the read and write and not execute the permission is 6(just add the numbers together) if the user can do anything on that file then the permission is 7
  • Smileys on Skype – ok this last one is probably(definitely) irrelevant but I actually learned how to use smileys/emoticons on skype. I’ve been using skype for almost a year and I haven’t realized that the happy face beside the SMS checkbox is where you can select emoticons to use on the conversation.

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