Archive for the ‘skill’ Category

Freelancer sites

Friday, 22nd December, 2017

I had a little sniff around the freelancer sites again, as I do from time to time…

Previously I have excluded rentacoder as they wanted to install some spyware on my pc so ‘clients’ could check what I was doing.

This time I actually registered on PeoplePerHour a few days ago. I just deactivated, over my short residence I was unable to decide if it was just a giant scam or not.

I realise that as the service provider we are the ‘stock’ of these sites but when the freelancer site has more, and more onerous, terms and conditions than an investment banking employment contract, shits messed up. right? Their T&Cs maybe aren’t quite as long as Apples, but run it close.

On Pph you have to pay to send a proposal to a someone offering a project. You get a few credits initially, but then you have to pay real cash money. The proposal needs firm costs, unless its an hourly rate project. So…

When the full and complete project description is:

“I need android app developing”

How much would you quote? Would you pay money (even toy money) to apply? (I might be doing something wrong here – 30 other people have already applied)

Then pph take 25% of the fee you quote the seller (upto 500 per month, a bit less after – but its hard to see how you could earn more than 500, tbh. Maybe that’s a skillset thing?). Most UK agencies take less than that these days, and they provide a bit more (just) than a contacts website.

Like RAC, Pph are obsessed with keeping all comms on site – of course, it would be so easy for people to connect there and then take the project offsite and keep their 25% cut. But the downside of that is as a supplier its hard to leverage non pph resources to differentiate. For example I can’t point people to codematic to suggest I know a bit about Excel dev. The fragility of this particular point I think, dooms these sites to long term failure. Certainly on a 25% cut.

If it was 5 or 10% and they were offering useful workflow and customer management tools then maybe, but at 25% the benefits of moving offsite will be irresistible for too many I think.

I had been advising people to use these sites to build up experience and a visible portfolio, but now, having done so I don’t think I would again.

Do you have suggestions for better freelancer sites?

Define better? supplier friendly, reasonable rates, sustainable process, significant work opportunities, reasonable T&Cs.

cheers

simon

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Agile

Wednesday, 20th December, 2017

If agile is so good, why do we need so many Agile coaches?

I see these roles advertised all the time and it makes me sad. Your development *process* is so involved you need a full time specialist just to show you how to do the *process*. Its mind numbing.

I have never seen a role for a RAD coach, waterfall coach, or an ad-hoc coach, or a slap-dash coach.

You have to be pretty sure your current process is beyond rubbish if you can justify a full-time equivalent overhead to coach your team in the new way. Will they really deliver so much better software so much faster than if you recruited another dev to your current process?

Plus the rates are amazing, nearly as good as SAP job-fer-lifing, another shitfest I aim to avoid.

I won’t mention scum master, or scam master because I just can’t bear to talk about scrum its so retarded. Well maybe it isn’t when properly applied to an appropriate project, I have seen more unicorns. Mind that’s another well paid zero value none job, of which there seems to be more and more.

Shame no one seems to want Rapid Application Development any more, even if it was sometime a bit more slow app dev. Hey ho.

Happy xmas if I can’t be arsed to post again before the big day. :-)

cheers

simon

VBA third most hated language

Thursday, 2nd November, 2017

amongst Stack Overflow devs anyway…

On SO devs can mention tech they would rather avoid. Perl was top at being avoid worthy, then Delphi (is that even still alive??) followed closely by our own VBA.

This is developers so its not really a surprise they prefer to avoid VBA. They want to be playing with new shit not adding business value.

Interestingly SO reported that VBA is still an actively tagged language so still popular in use, just not by devs.

In fact, of those languages disliked by over 3% of mentions, VBA is the only one not shrinking in tag mentions, in fact its growing slightly.

VBA course hosting

Friday, 27th October, 2017

I think I might have mentioned that I am thinking of making an online video VBA course?

Well anyway, I haven’t exactly finished the content yet…

But I have been poking around for a ‘platform’.

I was initially thinking of Udemy, and I still might go that way initially, but I have heard a few not so positive things about them from an instructor POV. Although I am not sure if that is all old stuff or recent.

Cost wise I imagine the course being around 50 quid/dollars/francs.

I had a look at this place and they have that price as an example.

If the student pays 50 quid the instructor can get as little as 3.15!!!!!

That is the content creator, the author, gets just over 5% of the price the student pays!!

I just can’t quite believe it!

I think I might look into creating a ‘platform’ instead. Its only hosting with a few bells and whistles, most of which I won’t use.

Maybe I’ll have to do youtube with ads after all.

Some Blog stats

Saturday, 7th October, 2017

Here are the top 10 or so pages on this blog over the last 10 years. Not perfect as some of these have probably been here for 10 years, some might be merely months old.

But still the focus on 2007 errors makes me laugh. Maybe I didn’t post much about 2010 errors (2003, as we know didn’t have any (ha ha)).

In fairness 2010 was much better than 2007 in almost every way. Well, except dev tools maybe (the bit we looked at ironically).

Home page / Archives 171,829
Excel 2007 workbook window not visible 75,716
Excel 2007 Error: Link source not found 15,901
R1C1 notation 13,728
The spreadsheet disadvantage 12,988
Excel 2007 screen lock up 10,373
Code execution has been interrupted 10,280
Excel 2007 =#N/A error 9,550
xlls With ExcelDNA 7,530
Excel 2007 screen / video issues 6,290

Delighted to see ExcelDNA in there too, it is an excellent tool.

And lo, what’s that? a spreadsheet quality post in the mix? Methinks a far sighted undergrad course may have pointed the students towards some research into the disadvantages of using spreadsheets (for everything).

I never started SOS to get big viewer numbers, I wanted to have a conversation about more advanced Excel development related topics. Somewhere where XLM would not be auto ‘corrected’ to XML, somewhere we could discuss the merits of the C API v the COM interface, or the merits of manual calc v auto calc without drowning in ‘my Excel stopped adding up’ cries.

I have always resisted going for the bulk beginner audience here. But I am contemplating developing a beginner level VBA course at the moment, so may have to revisit that. Although I would probs set up yet another blog I think.

So anyway there you go, at least 75,000 people came here because they could not find their Excel 2007 workbook window.

Drum roll please…

Friday, 2nd June, 2017

To avoid polluting this place with loads of off topic nonsense and to try and preserve it as a mainly spreadsheet development resource I have created a new blog.

Its mainly about my new life as an Android developer, so if you are interested in that topic or just find my writing A-fookin-mazing, or you are that stalker that nicks my underpants off the washing line, be sure to follow me over there… on.. wait for it.. in a moment of blinding originality… MURF ON MOBILE. :-)

Excel Conference in Amsterdam

Tuesday, 5th January, 2016

I just saw this (on linkedin of all places – I only go there twice a year).

Dunno much about it, except its being run by a gang of well known Excel experts so should be very excellent.

I won’t be going as Excel is basically dead to me these days.

If you are going, have fun.

cheers

simon

 

 

Linux

Tuesday, 23rd September, 2014

I’m doing my first proper commercial Linux project at the moment.

Might need to resurrect my Eclipse and dust off my Java skillz.

cool…

Excel Modeling World Championships 2014

Wednesday, 27th August, 2014

I saw this last year and thought it was a great idea, and have just been prompted to mention it.

Here is all the info

Big wedge for the winner…

And the fame of course…

ciao, peeps

Video Somnolency

Tuesday, 28th January, 2014

As discussed previously I have concerns about the market viability of the old Excel/VBA/C# skill set, so I am developing other skills.

Part of this reskilling involves watching some very good videos.

Every time I put one on I get extreme head lolling syndrome.

I was watching one on the train last night and nearly missed my stop I was so flat out asleep.

I’m getting scared to put the videos on as they seem to just flick an off switch in my brain, and within 5 mins I’m snoring like a good-un.

As I mentioned they are good videos, so I really don’t think it is the fault of the producers.

I remember the same from years (decades!!) ago when I was learning Access 2.0, it seems I’m just not very good at learning from videos.

Maybe I should put them on my iplop and watch them whilst walking, although latest research suggests that using a smart device on the move is the cause of an increasing number of accidents. I have never fallen asleep whilst walking but I have dozed off whilst standing, so this could be risky.

I have some related books that are pretty heavy going too. Maybe I just need to start straightaway building something, even if it is very badly, and cobble it together as I go. But before I do that I was really wanting to get some perspective about what is possible. Maybe I just have to resign myself to building the same thing half a dozen times as I learn more and more…

Do you have the same video learning problems? (Maybe this is an important issue for all these MOOC’s)

What do you find is the best way to introduce new stuff for you?

cheers

simon