Social Innovation Camp Kosovo

Last weekend, I had the pleasure and opportunity, to be mentoring for the second Social Innovation Camp Kosovo, together with Dan McQuillan, Fisnik Ismaili, Laura HahnPeter Manning, and Josh Harvey .

 

During a 48 hours challenge, six groups of young Kosovars tried to make reality the idea they had proposed, which intended to make a social impact in Kosovo. After 48 hours of hard work and fun, teams came up with the prototypes of their ideas, went out to test their prototypes with other people, and then presented their prototype together with the impressions gathered outside, in front of the independent judge panel.

After all the fun and hard work, three teams excelled and won prices to continue forward their ideas. The winners were:

  • Eventor – A project which intends to put together events and scholarships for Kosovars, and make them available for students and others to get informed.
  • KapLexo – An idea around book exchanging for second hand books, while making also possible for people to review, comment, meet and discuss, about the books they like and have read.
  • ParkingLot – An idea which intends to make free parking slots in maps (web and mobile) through social participation.

Personally, I would like to thank UNICEF Innovation Labs Kosovo for making this event possible, which creates opportunities for young people to start new projects which could have positive impact in Kosovo.

My productivity apps

As for most of us, time is the most precious and scarce resource we have. I am passionate about organizing my time, but I would say that would not be easy without using some very good apps.

Daily tasks

Organizing daily tasks is a crucial activity towards increasing the productivity during the day. My daily tasks do cover all major activities I should perform during the day. As such, I need something which could give me a way to track the activities, track what’s done and what’s pending, as well as separate tasks based on relativity. My favorite app for this is Wunderlist. It is present in all major mobile platforms, as a Windows app as well as from a good web access. It has features like creating lists of tasks, setting reminders, due dates, sub-tasks, and notes on tasks.

Development tasks

When organizing my development tasks, I do use Trello. It offers to create boards of cards, where in a card you can write a simple description, or a detailed checklist of tasks, set due dates, attach files, comment, and share it with others. You can create mini boards within a board, which could make easy to represent the development stages, and move cards from stage to stage to help agile development.

Time tracking

When we work on projects, it is often required to track how much time we spent on a specific project, or a task, I do use Toggl. It is a very simple tool, which is focused on time tracking. It can help also if you use productivity methodologies such as Pomodoro.

Using these apps, I do manage my day to day activities, and would recommend to anyone.

My impressions on 70-480 certification

In my last post, I gave some details about the Microsoft’s campaign on 70-480 Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3 certification. As many out there, I decided to benefit from this offer as well as challenge my knowledge a little, and took the test today. Fortunately, I did pass the certification. In this post, I would like to share with you my impressions on 70-480 certification exam.

This certification was recently introduced by Microsoft, with the new MCSD line of certifications. It counts as a credit towards two MCSD lines: Web applications and Windows Store Apps using HTML5. As such, it is an important exam for those who do want to certify their knolwedge in Web front end development as well as developing windows HTML5 apps using JavaScript and CSS3.

The title of the exam, and the skills measured might make you think, this is a pure Web Development certification, and might disorient your expectations, as it did to me :). I also had another miscalculation. As I have several years of experience in web development, I thought that there is no need to learn much about this. But, there was a difference between what I use daily and what I was going to be tested on.

One of the two main topics on questions I faced (which counted more than 10% of total questions) were about making AJAX requests, and manipulating DOM. On my daily job, I use jQuery to perform these tasks, and rarely touch pure JavaScript functions to do this. As the exam was to cover the web path as well as Windows store app development path, questions were generic, without using libraries such as jQuery. This was a part, I did not take care much, however, now that I passed the exam, I learned a lot about this part too, and this is the benefit of getting certified.

Apart of these details, the questions in the test, were mainly focused on data validation, making client side requests to WCF web services, manipulating DOM, creating and using Web Workers, inheritance in JavaScript, layout formating using CSS3, and new HTML5 elements.

So, my advice to those preparing for the test: prepare to be tested on pure JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS3. Forget about libraries you use on your daily programming. Good luck.

Macedonian Code Camp 2012

Macedonian Code Camp 2012 is a yearly development conference organized by Macedonian .NET User Group. This year, I will be presenting the topic ‘Optimizing ASP.NET Web pages‘ to the Macedonian .NET community.

The presentation will include demonstration of web optimization techniques such as:

  • Bundling & Minification (CSS & JavaScript)
  • Caching
  • Using Web Essentials Visual Studio extension to optimize pages

Demonstrations will show the audience how they can optimize the page load time and page size in ASP.NET web applications and pages.

I will be posting the details of the presentation after the Code Camp is over. If interested, you are welcome to my session. See you there…