Tech it or Leave it

Apologies for the title that is shitty and my lame attempt at being witty. That rhymed. /hides in a corner

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Unrelated illustration. Made it yesterday with some things I found on the innernets.

I’d like to believe that I’m not a very superstitious person. However, I also can’t help but think that some part of the universe is involved when the tv show I watched, the book I read, and my actual life all share a common theme.

A couple of weeks ago, I finished reading Microserfs, a book about a group of ex-Microsoft employees who moved to Silicon Valley to form their own startup company. Last week, I watched two seasons of Silicon Valley, an HBO sitcom about a guy who left his job at a huge tech corporation, to start.. guess what. His own startup company. And currently, I work for a startup company that also happens to be a Microsoft Partner and distributor. It’s divine providence!

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Or maybe like one of those convoluted conspiracy theories you read online (side note, I came across this Swiftgron theory that says Dianna Agron and Taylor Swift dated! Swiftgron sounds like a Pokemon but whatever, I ship it. Speaking of which: we went on a Pokemon Go adventure in Singapore and it was awesome!)

Anyway, the universe may or may not be telling me something. But hell I love it when coincidences like these happen.

On Microserfs

I initially read this book thinking that it’ll be like what The Internship is to Google. Endless tales of free food, bean bags and awesome facilities that will make you hate your packed lunch and your 2.25 sqm cubicle. But, thank goodness, it’s not. It’s very much closer to reality, which says a lot, considering that it was a life before Facebook, iPhones, and Google (well, technically, Google was only three years young in the year the book was published).

Some interesting details to note:

  • Apple once sued Microsoft — and lost.
  • “Why do we always underestimate our shipping schedules?” This. Aside from coding, I am inclined to believe that developers are also very fond of digging their own graves by setting unrealistic deadlines.
  • “A good piece of technology dreams of the day when it will be replaced by a newer piece of technology. This is one definition of progress.”

The moments when the characters pause to reflect and ramble about random stuff are my favorite parts. But that is just one of the many good things about this book. The story is solid, and you finish the book feeling optimistic somehow.

On Silicon Valley

And then there’s Silicon freakin’ Valley. This show. Funny, but also stressful as hell. I mean, I don’t know why I’d expect anything else from the same channel that gave us Game of Thrones, but man I was not prepared for this.

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“I booby-trapped the house with corporate resources!” I have very mixed feelings about Jared, but this is a good one.

Richard, the CEO of Pied Piper, just cannot catch a break. It is one obstacle right after the other, and I think it’s more stressful than GoT because it is all too familiar! I’m rooting for him so badly! (Except when I sneaked a peak into Season 3. It seems like he is turning into another anti-hero Heisenberg type of thing.)

Some interesting details to note:

  • In the world of tech, Manny Pacquiao — champion boxer, singer, basketball player, and, most importantly, homophobic Senator (insert sad disgusted face here) — is still, unfortunately, a big figure.
  • “I don’t know about you people, but I don’t want to live in a world where someone else makes the world a better place better than we do.” LOL
  • I just had a realization that HBO was willing to produce a show about five guys who aren’t exactly attractive! I mean, why can’t they do this for female leads? Look at HBO’s GIRLS. A show about four women, okay. But all of them are white, and two of them has to be really freakin’ attractive. (I’m not saying I hate GIRLS, I love that show, it’s just a perfect example for my point.)

Then there is the real life. Last Saturday I attended Google I/O Extended Cavite. A couple of weekends ago, I attended this Basic Javascript workshop in the Mozilla Community Space in Makati. Currently, I am working on a mobile scanner app, a new workflow for a current software, AND a new revamped version of that software. It’s a handful so I guess I gotta get some sleep.

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Moodboard: Not-so Neutral

 

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One perk of getting older is that you get a better idea of what you like and don’t like. It did not escape me that all the things I’ve been browsing recently have the same look and feel — all neutral tones and feminine styles (florals and skirts all day, everyday).

So I felt I just had to do this moodboard. Enjoy!

Design Agency: Saturday StudioThe simplicity and elegance of their work make me feel a certain type of way.

Blog: the leedayStumbled upon this blog just recently, and I am happy (slash ashamed) to report that I’ve read every single blog post here. The nice pictures and the lovely cafés… these are the stuff of dreams.

Shameless plug: my own websiteI designed and developed this under construction page, okay. It’s going to be updated real soon, so maybe watch out for that.

Designer: Amber AsaySo many eye candies!

Style: totally crushing on this skirt from ZaloraI plan to buy this in at least 2 different colors. I need it in my life.

Website: Hart & Vine. Aside from their divine logo, their website is so tastefully designed! It’s inspiring.

 

 

 

Life Currently: Last of May

It has been a while since I did a ‘life currently‘ type of post and I kinda missed it. There are so many happenings this month and I figured it’s the perfect time to just do it.

Bae-ler trip!

I’m kicking myself for not thinking of this pun sooner, but me and K spent the first week of May in Baler. I organised everything so he didn’t know where we’re going (who said women can’t surprise their boyfriends?) We went surfing, biking around town, and walking off our full bellies. (PSA: Baler has the best pizza I have ever tasted — the Tuyo + Bawang + Kamatis pizza from Angela’s Cafe.) More on our Baler adventure on another post.

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The Noob’s Guide to Putting Up A Website Using GoDaddy and GitHub

(First of all, am I the only one who thinks GoDaddy sounds a little dirty? No? Just me? Okay.)

If you want to create a website and you have the resources (time, money, skillz), but you don’t know where to start, then look no more! My nonexistent web dev skills are here to the rescue. (This tutorial will not be possible without my brilliant web developer friend, Alfred. So check his site here).

First things first: Buying a Domain

Buying a domain from GoDaddy.com is the easy part. I used my BDO Kabayan Savings card and a coupon code that I got from groupon. Using the code ‘cjcgroupc‘, I reduced the first year of my subscription to only PHP 45. Neat. But I opted for a two-year subscription with some privacy settings, so that all amounted to PHP 1,309.28.

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This is how your website will look initially. Not cute. Time to fix that.

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24 Hours in Melaka, Malaysia

Originally posted in R/Life After Five.

  • Where to stay: Layang Layang Guesthouse ($25-$35 per night via Agoda)
  • Where to eat: Backlane Coffee
  • What to do: Rent a bike, visit the museums and churches, go shopping at night in Jonker Street

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Melaka (or Malacca) is a lovely state South East from Kuala Lumpur. For anyone looking for a quick getaway from the modern city vibe of KL and you only have a couple of days to spare, Melaka is your best bet.

Getting there

There are many different ways to go to Melaka. The cheap and practical way is by bus. A two-way ticket via a Transnasional bus line cost us around 20 RM/$6 per person. The trip will take around four hours, so maybe do some butt crunches before settling down.

Directions for getting there by car, plane, etc. can be found here.

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Self-studying Design and Other Things

After graduating from college almost two years ago (damn it, I feel so old), I made a personal vow to never stop learning. I enrolled myself in an Intro to Finance class in Coursera (from design to finance – go figure), and I made it through the end, except for one little thing: the Final Exam LOL.

But, it was a great experience. The most challenging part with self-studying is actually sticking with it ’till the end because you go at your own pace. You don’t really need to follow a strict schedule like in university. Fast forward to now: I’ve come across various methods of free online self-studying (Coursera is obvs great so I won’t include it here), and here are just some of my thoughts on it:

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Free April Wallpaper/Calendar

It’s a little late, but I’ve finally come around to creating a calendar for April. I still have some problems editing out the texture of the watercolor, will work on that next month, probably.

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Here it is in its actual form.

I have mad respect for the people who can document their process properly. I usually play with watercolor after work at nighttime, so there’s no natural light, and it’s messy everywhere. I only managed to take a few WIP snaps, thanks to Snapchat. Follow me @celenajasmin if you want to see that kind of stuff.

Here’s the download link! ❤

I Saw Design… Articles

(Note: I spent my entire commute home thinking of a title for this post and I’m super proud of what I came up with, okay. Except it turns out a lot of people have thought of this punny phrase before GDI.)

Here’s a roundup of some interesting internet things that I’ve found during my recent travels around the world wide web. This time it’s all about articles (or essays, or thinkpieces, whatever ya wanna call it).

Your logo is making me sick! – UX MAG

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TL;DR: Don’t use your logo in error messages/screens if you don’t want your users to associate it with their frustrations.

This light but informative article from UX Magazine uses the term ‘brand poisoning‘ in which negative scenarios are wrongly branded. Humans are highly visual, thus the ‘blue screen of death‘ and the rainbow wheel of death’, so prominently placing your logo (as seen in the example above) in cases like these is not a good idea. Instead, the designers should at least find a way to make the experience suck less, like so:

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No internet connection? No problem, says Google Chrome.

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Two Weeks – Singapore photodiary

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Half of February was spent in this little red dot called Singapore. It has been a month since I visited and I find myself missing it! The erratic downpours, the busy streets, the quiet HDBs. Despite of my trips here in the past couple of years, I still learn something new about it every time.

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..except for this food joint near Furama Riverfront Hotel. I did not waste time and immediately stuffed myself with maling rice on my first night.

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Celebrating World Information Architecture Day

Ever had those moments when you’re reviewing for an exam and you just get overwhelmed by all the things you just re-learned? Or those times when you just have too many tabs open and you don’t even know where to start?

No? Just me? Ok.

Well, this is called information overload (or infobesity, or infoxication according to my dear ol’ wiki). Imagine this situation, multiplied a hundred times across communities – this is why Information Architecture exists.

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Inside the National Design Centre – Singapore’s venue for this year’s World IA Day

So what exactly is Information Architecture?

Information architecture (IA) focuses on organizing, structuring, and labeling content in an effective and sustainable way.  The goal is to help users find information and complete tasks.  To do this, you need to understand how the pieces fit together to create the larger picture, how items relate to each other within the system. (source)

Basically: IA is the practice of bringing order to chaos. Or, more relevantly: the practice of getting shit together.

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