Lately, I’ve been spending time going through Google Analytics while messing with Ad-words after releasing my latest website. After receiving our first lead recently for a prospective client wanting an e-commerce website, I’ve decided to find all the most recent online work I have to offer into a portfolio. Sadly, I could only find 4 sites remaining.
Looking back, most websites I’ve made over the years have been taken down for various reasons. Companies upgrade platforms, projects get completed, Events become history, and clients reinvent themselves. Examples used to be found with H.T.Hackney’s Miami branch intranet, a local fashion show, multiple artists’ websites, and a few more). The Parasite video game website, one of the few ones still available, is probably overdo to be taken down at some point too. Random funny fact: The Parasite Game site generates about 1 hit a day still; half come from “parasite game” web search, the other half from an image search for “kenvin_yanes_balloon.png”. So Kevin, If you ever read this, Your Team!
I guess this all means I need to document my work a bit better. I’ve realized that even though all of the technology used on some of the older sites is obsolete, the fact that they were completed is still valuable and tangible. To anyone reading this, learn my lesson :P.
I’ve finally got a handle on the flow of our new website at computersolutionsofflorida.com. It’s taken every bit of effort and patience I’ve got to get it bundled together just right in less than 2 months. I’ll have to admit, some parts of this have been a little scary when I know I’ve improvised on almost half of what I’m doing (shh! that’s what makes me a computer magician! ) 1 part courage, 1 part smart moves, 1 part previous experiences, a little dumb luck to speed things along, and presto, things are working out! Overall, my favorite part of this whole process has been the learning experience behind it all. I get to walk away knowing WordPress inside and out as well as making and integrating my own theme! Not bad!
After using WordPress on this blog, I found it’s ease of use quite Impressive. I was really curious if the underlying API was as easy to use and figured that my desire to avoid reinventing the wheel with my own content management system (CMS) would encourage me to take a risk. I decided to try to build my own theme into it. In the past I’ve encountered mountains of spaghetti code with various other CMS which have prompted me to just write my own from scratch. As you can guess WordPress was the best calculated risk I have ever taken in web development! It has in fact worked out beyond expectations!
The main reason I wanted to have a CMS is to enlist Sandy’s help. I knew half the work was going to be creating the theme design and the underlying code. The other half involved creating the actual content that goes on the pages. I don’t have enough time to do both unfortunately. With drag and drop menus and a visual page editor, this has more than made up for the extra effort of learning to make a theme. Neither of us have to really worry about “breaking” the page with all of our editing and adjustments. sandy alone has at least half a dozen revisions, additions, and design changes as we market ourselves on every page and everything just works. Not only that, but the best part is that my theme is flexible enough that it can serve as a template for any projects I take on. A win-win!
I finished up the last of the CSS detailing this week and submitted our site to Google, Bing, and some other search engines. To my surprise. I only had 2 SEO mark down warnings on the entire site. They were some minor things like filling in the missing logo image alternate text, a 30 second fix. I expected a lot worse considering how quickly this was put together.
Looking back now, while I don’t want to sound like a fan boy, I do have to appreciate how much time I have saved thanks to WordPress. I’ve never been much of a fan of anything, but after using it on 2 sites, building a theme, and even modifying some of the working code, I have to admit that I am completely impressed at how well thought out the entire system is. I’ve worked at record speeds without having to second check myself most of the way. It just works beautifully.Now at last begins the long journey of entrepreneurship. To grow this business and live out my dreams. So much to do, so little time!
Recently, I’ve found myself sharing this bit of perspective with a handful of people who have been having trouble in their lives. It’s a tool I keep around to help focus on possible weak points in relationships. While the words on the image can be slightly altered to reflect just about any relationship, I’m going to focus on the relationship of a couple seeking love. This triangle represents how a person tends to prioritize his thoughts on a given relationship. As a side note: the word “Romance” should probably be replaced by “intimacy”, but I think the use of three “R” words leading to “relationship” is more memorable. I will interchangeably use the two words below.
A rather quick breakdown would be:
Respect – Admiration of a person’s personality, ethics, leadership, actions, etc. Respect is related to trust. It is the mental focus on the individual. It is an important foundation to many friendships.
Recreation – How two people spend time in the public eye or under its influence. This can describe how 2 people have fun, or how they interact at work. Recreation as a social focus is related to social and financial status. It is the mental focus on the group. It is an important foundation to networking.
Romance – How 2 people share and experience intimacy with each other. This goes beyond just sex with things like kissing or even just sharing secrets. The intimate focus is related to emotional desires. It is an important part of social selection (who you choose to hang around).
A college friend of mine contacted me last night, asking for my opinion of this video. I became very excited after reading the title! Half way through the video however, I began to feel like 3/4 of the advice on how to filter out bad schools also happened to apply to Full Sail University, where we both earned degrees in game development. While it’s impossible to get a clear, one-size-fits-all guideline on what makes a school right for you, I must emphasize that the person attending a school has as much influence on their experience as the school itself. Just because some people do not get their expectations met does not mean the school is bad. The person is as much to blame in many cases. One particular mantra that seemed to radiate from the Extra Credits video but was never really outright said is, “You will only ever get out what you put in to it,” a fact that holds true for any school because, quite frankly, you can get a “worthless degree” anywhere if you do nothing with it.
Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of uncertainty and speculation on the future of XNA. Today I read that Shawn Hargreaves has left the xna team. ( Yes, I know, I’m 8 months behind on that news lol.)
So what does this mean to me? Limbo. Xna is likely going to be abandoned as Microsoft pushes forward Windows 8. My guess is, Windows 8 will now only be graphically powered by DirectX at its core. This means they will probably eliminate GDI and DirectX will simply be wrapped up for standard apps using something like WPF.
Until we know for sure though, all we can do is hope we aren’t really wasting our time making games that won’t run. It’s not a problem with finishing our first game that is bothering me. It’s actually the fact that our engine will only probably be good for only 1 release and then we’ll likely have to port years worth of game engine work to C++ or some other platform. It would be terrible to watch such a novel platform become obsolete.
I’ve been feeling frustrated with corporate ideals lately. Working for a large corporation of 7000+ employees has given me the opportunity to see first hand how ideals and theories play out on a day-to-day basis in every department. There are many things that I feel are done for outdated reasons, or entirely the wrong reasons. The pot roast story often comes to mind as I observe my environment. This isn’t going to be a rant, however. It’s instead going to be an analysis on what the root of the problem is and how we can improve it, focusing on one theory in particular that seems basic and fundamental to business decision-making that has become corrupt and obsolete in my eyes.
Through some mysterious luck, the universe has brought to me BetweenCode.com. How I managed to land such a perfect previously unlisted domain name for a blog I’ll never know. While I have always had the intention of writing down my thoughts on the internet somewhere, writing to a public blog like live journal never felt right. I can’t shake the feeling that at any moment they can take it down, and I hate the idea of having ads all over the place. This place feels like home, and I very well think I can contribute to the world from here.