USS Dominik @ Croxley

USS stands for underground’s secret search, and it is about exploring things around London’s underground station. Read more about it in my introduction: https://dominiksymonowicz.com/2017/07/07/uss-dominik-underground-secrets-search-introduction/

Croxley
Croxley

Originally opened as Croxley Green on 2.11’1925. I visited this station on 15.06’2017. The station is in Zone 7, and at first, the only feature I liked was a very spacious toilet with a glass roof. On the way out I saw a few posters with a history of the steam train. Sadly, nothing is interesting about surrounding because area because it is a typical suburbs station with a crap looking shops. The Croxley is maybe dull regarding the architecture except if you like old neglected cottage houses, but Croxley is full of green places to explore.

 

Is Good independent coffee place nearby?

I didn’t find anything interesting near the station, but if you walk a few minutes towards Croxley Green, then you can find a place called “Coffee House And Deli” (http://coffeehouseanddeli.co.uk/about-our-coffee/). They have a good but too expensive coffee. Latte cost £3 which is a typically higher price for coffee in the city, but it is too much for suburbs.  While I was there, I saw something heartwarming. Cleaner in this place was a disabled person, and I admire how the staff took great care of him.

They offer some hipster-friendly “fodder”, but I didn’ try it.

Is Good pub nearby?

There are a few pubs but they look like chains. I need to do more research on it.

Is Good restaurant nearby?

There is no good restaurant in this area, but there is a farmhouse pizza that offers decent pizza to take away.

Is interesting places to see nearby?

No.

Interesting walks nearby?

The only reason to come here if you are not live here is many walk options.

  1. Walk around Croxley Common Moor. (http://croxleycommonmoor.org.uk/index.html)
  2. Walk from Croxley to Rickmansworth or Watford via Ebury walk.
  3. There is as well Croxley Green Boundary Walk that hasn’t done yet (but I walk most parts as part of different walks)

Summary

Croxley is a great starting point for some walk around Croxley or goes to Rickmansworth, Watford or even Chesham (via Chess Valley walk).

Note: All resources I used to gather knowledge I will keep on the introduction page (https://dominiksymonowicz.com/2017/07/07/uss-dominik-underground-secrets-search-introduction/)

Preparations to travel to China

This is my list of useful tips and advices from my experience with flying to China. I hope you will find them useful too.

  1. Do make a copy of your passport, driving licence and/or ID card and email them to yourself. It’s also a good idea to take photos of these and save them to the camera on your phone in case you don’t have internet access when you get to your destination.
  2. Buy Travel guide or download from internet
  3. Take Dictionary with you or install app that has ability to work offline and do not depend on Google or other banned services in China.
  4. Buy some medicine for diarrhoea, ache and anti-vomit stuff.
  5. Mini first-aid kit.(Put to check-in lugagge as some items will not go in hand luggage like scissors.
  6. Learn how to switch off roaming in your smartphones.
  7. Embassy contact details.
  8. If is  adventure left travel details to friend or family.
  9. Arrange health and travel insurance.
  10. Book your vaccinations.
  11. Do place essentials (PJs, toothbrush, toothpaste) at the top of your bag if you’re landing at night so you don’t have the hassle of unpacking everything when you arrive at your destination.
  12. Do pack your heaviest items (e.g. shoes, jeans) in the bottom of your wheelie suitcase. You’ll find it’s much easier to roll as the weight will be more evenly distributed.
  13. Never join the security queue with kids in.
  14. Don’t waste unused space – roll your clothes instead of folding. They’ll wrinkle less and you’ll have much more room in your luggage to fit in any extras you pick up while you’re away.
  15. Eating lots of garlic helps body fight bacteria that can be found in food.
  16. If you struggle with digestion is to drink lemon before go to sleep or after wake up and eat apple.

Working with people in the disabilities.

WARNING!

I know that writing bad things is trendy on the internet of the anonymous hate, so honest warning, this note will contain good thing about McDonald’s.

carlos

I just read about McDonald’s worker with down syndrome who is celebrating 30 years at work. (Article can be found here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3869008/McDonald-s-worker-syndrome-Russell-O-Grady-celebrates-30-years-job.html ).

That inspired me to write about my experience of working with the disabled people. When I worked at McDonald’s my favourite day was Wednesday because I could work with Matthew and Carlos (on the picture with me) and they had a disability but working with them was a fantastic experience because they bring happiness and shows how to be happy about simple things.

How? There is one moment that burns into my head as it is one of the most important lessons in my life.

One day, Carlos was near fries station, and Debbie ( btw. a really excellent manager) got the idea .. why we don’t teach him properly how to made a fries? I said I will do it and Debbie and I spent some time to explain all the steps he needs to do it. Due to his problem with hearing we needed to figure out how to help him recognised that fries are ready, but we found the way.

We did formal training and ask Carlos to do fries on his own. Believe or not, he managed not only put fries in the fryer, but when they were ready, he got very excited, and then he took out and add salt and prepare some medium-sized packages.
Fries looks perfect according to McDonald’s standards so he passed this course and Carlos was super proud of himself, and It was a moment when I feel really proud of him and I understood how important is to be happy about achievement despite how easy is to others.

That was and still is a reminder to me that even simple achievement is still achievement despite how easy it is for others because simple steps help you achieve complex goals.

 

I believe it is crucial that we employ these people because they deserve to be a valuable member of our society and they can show us an example of simple happiness and add some empathy

Ps. He is officially employer and he still working there on Wednesday and Friday! I think he works there for 15 or even more years!

USS Dominik @ Heathrow Terminal 1,2,3,4,5 .. 100

USS stands for underground secret search, and it is about exploring things around London’s underground station. Read more about it in my introduction: https://dominiksymonowicz.com/2017/07/07/uss-dominik-underground-secrets-search-introduction/

This station was open in 1977. I visited this station on 30.10’2017.

A small airfield was build here in 1929, and then there was a plan to build a military airport, but due to end of the World War II, UK government decided changed their mind and redesign to be a civil airport that was opened as London Airport in 1946 and was renamed Heathrow Airport in 1966. Tube started to arrived here 31 years later.

Any interesting historical events and Trivia

  • This is only place on the London Underground when you can travel for free (Travel between terminals is free).
  • Heathrow is usually in top 5 busiest airport in the world regarding passenger traffic and cargo.
  • Despite Terminal 1 was closed in 2015 ( According to a few taxi drivers gossip due to cock up with the design of new Terminal 2 but I didn’t find any resource to prove that) and removed from TfL map. Piccadilly line still going to “Heathrow Terminals 1-2-3.”
  • If you travel to Terminal 2 or 3 (it is faster to use a train that terminates on Terminal 5 (1,2,3 & 5). Trains that go through terminal 4 usually stop there for few minutes so it will be faster if you use 1,2,3 and 5.

Airport, as you can expect is full of coffee shops, pubs and restaurants but all of them are chains and they only difference is .. they are more expensive. Nothing unique can be found there. If you are here is because you are happy to go somewhere or sad because of you back from somewhere.

Note: All resources I used to gather knowledge I will keep on the introduction page (https://dominiksymonowicz.com/2017/07/07/uss-dominik-underground-secrets-search-introduction/)

USS Dominik @ Uxbridge

USS stands for underground’s secret search, and it is about exploring things around London’s underground station. Read more about it in my introduction: https://dominiksymonowicz.com/2017/07/07/uss-dominik-underground-secrets-search-introduction/

This station was open on 04.07’1904. I visited this station on 06.06’2018

Uxbridge
Uxbridge

Uxbridge station is one of my favourite stations on the London Underground as It shows that concrete buildings can look cool and has lots of little remainings of how station looked in the past. My favourite element is a stained glass panel designed by Erwin Bossanyi. Station has also a cigarette vending machine(??), some odd penny machine and sign to the buffet.

Interesting historical events and Trivia

  1. District line run some services here from 1910 until 1959.
  2. It starts as a terminus for Metropolitan line but the building looks very similar to other Cockfosters station that is terminus station for Piccadilly station because was designed by the same person.

 

Is Good independent coffee place nearby?

Sadly , I didn’t discover any good place. I tried a Coffee Break and it is an OK’ish place to go for English breakfast. Coffee is drinkable. Food was OK. The place looks ordinary.  Service has done their job.

Is any Good pub nearby?

So far, no luck.

Is any Good restaurant nearby?

They have a Chinese restaurant called “New oriental kitchen”. It is a worse version of Chill Cool near Euston (one of the last decent Sichuan Restaurant in London). Food was OK’ish without being great BUT Service is friendlier than typical experience for Chinese Restaurants. The restaurant looks quite nice but bit neglected.

Is any compelling places to see nearby?

I want to go to Battle of Britain Bunker which is not too far. More about it can be found here: https://www.hillingdon.gov.uk/article/31369/Visiting-the-Battle-of-Britain-Bunker

Is any stunning walks nearby?

You can do walk from here to Rickmansworth via the Grand Union Canal. It is a nice 3-hour idyllic walk. You can stop for a pint in The Coy Carp (Food there is a mixed bag.  Once was disappointing but another time  fish and chips was really good.)

 

Note: All resources I used to gather knowledge I will keep on the introduction page (https://dominiksymonowicz.com/2017/07/07/uss-dominik-underground-secrets-search-introduction/)

 

Doms learn Chinese: Word Game v75 released.

Doms learn Chinese: Word Game
v75

You can download from here:
It is a content update release.
CHANGELOG
  1. Fix shameful crash.
  2. Add some words.
  3. Add few questions and sentences
  4. Correct few mistakes spotted by some user. Thank you
  5. Various minor improvements but nothing worth mentioned.
  6. Change version system
LINKS

Twitter:

USS Dominik @ Warren Street

USS stands for underground’s secret search, and it is about exploring things around London’s underground station. Read more about it in my introduction: https://dominiksymonowicz.com/2017/07/07/uss-dominik-underground-secrets-search-introduction/

warren street
warren street

This station was open on 22.06’1907 as Euston Road. I visited this station on 05.06’2018.

This station is small, but corridor seems to be quite long.  I like this station for characterful design.

Some interesting trivia about the station:

  1. The original name was Euston Road. You can still see original station name on tiles on Northen line platform.
  2. On the way out from Victoria line, you can pass corridor that has a display about the history of the London underground. On the day I went, there was the display about Women.
  3. Warren Street with King’s Cross was the first stations to get free WiFi. (http://www.digitalspy.com/tech/internet/news/a385792/london-kings-cross-and-warren-street-tube-stations-get-free-wifi/

 

Is Good independent coffee place nearby?

 I went to a place called Coffee, and it was a great experience. They have 3 blends to chose from. My small latte cost 3 pounds which is pricey, but you pay for quality and suitability. Coffee. Cofee looks fantastic at the taste even better. The place itself looks like the classic wooden place for hipsters. Service was good. If you in this area then it is worth pay visit.

Is Good pub nearby?

I saw a few promising places to visit, but I didn’t have time as I was on lunch break.

Is Good restaurant nearby?

I didn’t explore restaurant here yet.

 

Is any compelling places to see nearby?

There is a Fitzroy Square a few minutes away. It is one of few remaining garden squares designed by Humphry Repton and example how green space adds to the beauty of city area.

More about it you can read in my Russel Square post or check the article about the designer of this garden in this article: https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2018/mar/25/humphrey-repton-landscape-gardener-exhibition-london-squares

Another thing is Tottenham court road is full of electronic shops where you can buy lots of interesting electronic gadgets.

Is any stunning walks nearby?

No.

 

Note: All resources I used to gather knowledge I will keep on the introduction page (https://dominiksymonowicz.com/2017/07/07/uss-dominik-underground-secrets-search-introduction/)

USS Dominik @ Ruislip Gardens

USS stands for secret underground search, and it is about exploring things around London’s underground station. Read more about it in my introduction: https://dominiksymonowicz.com/2017/07/07/uss-dominik-underground-secrets-search-introduction/

Ruslip Gardens
Ruislip Gardens

This station was open on 9.07.1934. I visited this station on 06.06’2018.

I was shocked with this station. The station looks a bit abandoned by TfL.

IMG_20180606_172758.jpg

I expected to see some gardens nearby, but I found grass field called … Ruislip Gardens. I was walking around and I did not find any interesting independent coffee, pub, restaurant or places. High Street has a depressing selection of boring shops. I think you can walk from here to North Harrow using Yeading Brook tributary.

I guess the only reason why you will get there is to pop into RAF Northolt airport.

Note: All resources I used to gather knowledge I will keep on the introduction page (https://dominiksymonowicz.com/2017/07/07/uss-dominik-underground-secrets-search-introduction/)

USS Dominik @ Aldgate East

Aldgate East
Aldgate East

I visited this station on 1.09’2017. Aldgate East station was opened on 6.10’1884. It is in the City of London. It quite lovely station with few exciting elements like a clock below:

The clock at Aldgate East
The clock at Aldgate East

It is one of the older stations on the network. These are interesting facts I found:

  • Station was resited and re-opened on 31.10.1938
  • The station has no surface buildings.

I like tiles that you can see on some stations:

Is Good independent coffee place nearby?

 

 

I went to Flock. The place has a great ambience. I ordered a Latte Coffee, and its taste is flavoursome. Staff was friendly and even give a bottle of tap water to everybody as it was a rather warm day.

Is Good pub nearby?  

I went to the Hoop & Grapes which is part of Nicholsons pubs chain. The place looks quite unique because according to their website: “The Great Fire of London in 1666 stopped just 50 yards from The Hoop and Grapes and we were lucky to be one of the few timber-framed buildings to survive from this period“. They serve typical beers with typical “city” prices. Service was good.

If you are around I recommended going to this pub.

Is Good restaurant nearby?

I didn’t look for a good restaurant in this area.

Is interesting places to see or walks nearby?

As Aldgate, this area looks quite dull as it lost its character due to re-development that demolish old buildings and replace them with soulless monsters full of concrete and glass. One of the victims was, for example, a Britain’s oldest manufacturing company cast tower bells that were closed down in 2017.

Walk to Whitechapel where are more interesting places.

USS Dominik @ Borough

USS stands for underground secret search and it is about exploring things around London’s underground station. Read more about it in my introduction: https://dominiksymonowicz.com/2017/07/07/uss-dominik-underground-secrets-search-introduction/

Borough Tube Station
Borough Tube Station

The station was opened on 18.12’1890. Sadly current surface building is just small remains of the original station built by City and South London Railway.

You can get access to/from the platform via lifts or 102 steps staircase that as usual for London Underground must be used in the emergencies only.

What I really like about this staircase is they have a lovely bench to sit and rest while you are on your epic adventure to surface/the platform.

 

Borough has very unique mash vibe. There are various styles of buildings that exist next to each but without overall ‘theme’. It looks very confusing but it has one little advantage. If you don’t have time to explore south London then Borough is a great place as will show you various bits and pieces of what you will find in South London.

In my opinion, if you walking around Waterloo and Blackfriars area to visit for example Tate Modern then Borough is a great spot to rest and drink coffee, beverages and eat food.

Is Good independent coffee place nearby?

I went to The Watch House (https://www.thewatchhouse.com/)  which an amazing little place with and the building itself has a history. It is in the place was household for the watch (precursor of the Police) to guard churchyard nearby. Latte costs £3 but it is worth price as it tastes flavourful. Service was friendly and engaging.

It is worth noting that The Watch House is cashless.

If you nearby and you are fancy coffee then I highly recommended this place!

Is Good pub nearby?

I went to The Royal Oak ( https://www.harveys.org.uk/pubs/the-royal-oak-london/)  It looks spectacular as this is how I always imagined the look and feel of a traditional British pub.  It has a great selection of unique beers.  Sadly, food was a disappointment. Staff was neutral or as I call: fake friendly.

I recommended seeing this place and try local ale.

Is Good restaurant nearby?

As I ate in The Royal Oak. I didn’t try any restaurant nearby.

Interesting walks nearby?

There is no any known walks nearby.

 

Resources:

Wikipedia
https://thegoodpubguide.co.uk/pub/se1+4ju/royal+oak/
The London Coffee Guide

 

USS Dominik @ Aldgate

Aldgate
Aldgate

Aldgate station was opened on 18.11’1876. It is in the City of London. It is a terminus of Metropolitan Line. This station looks bit unloved and neglected but if TfL put some effort this station could look much better and have a great character.

It is one of the older stations on the network and these are interesting facts I found:

  • Station was built on the site of a plague pit which contains many  ~1,000 bodies.
  • Metropolitan line does not have a direct interchange with District Line but you can see District line trains that are going toward Aldgate East from Aldgate station.

I guess this place must look much better in the past as these days it is full of concrete and glass.Things worth to see are:

  • 3 churches: St. Botolph’s, and St Andrew Undershaft and St Katharine Cree
  • and is the oldest synagogue in the United Kingdom.
  • Aldgate tube station

Is Good independent coffee place nearby?

I went to Flock. The place has a great ambience. I ordered a Latte Coffee and its taste is flavoursome.

Is Good pub nearby?

TODO: do research and go to one of them

Is Good restaurant nearby?

TODO: I am planning to go to Bavarian Beerhouse ( http://www.bavarian-beerhouse.co.uk/london/ )

Is interesting places to see or walks nearby?

No. Area is quite boring. This is a place full of concrete and glass without any interesting architecture

 

Garmin Vivoactive HR review

If you do not bother to read the whole article, then this is a main take away points:

GOOD

  1. Battery life
  2. Accuracy
  3. The clock can be set up automatically.
  4. USB port
  5. Custom apps
  6. Auto-generated challenges
BAD

  1. Pairing
  2. Bluetooth sync is challenging
  3. Unique USB port
  4. Garmin Support channels are useless as they provide ads but not support.
  Summary. This watch brings back happiness to do more and more steps and activities that I lost when I was using Fitbit Surge. It simply works and allows you to do the day out activity anywhere .. even abroad. It is not perfect though and it has few more issues than forerunner 220.

 

STORY

I used Fitbit Surge but I got fed up with. (If you are interested, you can check my review on my IT blog: Fitbit Surge Review.  In shortcut. Fitbit struggles with work on GPS for 10 hours and measurements were flaky in the beginning  ( it gets much better over time). Smart light woke me up many times during sleep. Changing time was f.. nightmare. Pairing was a pain in the ass on Windows. There were many bugs with the website. It annoys me to level that I just give up care about it. It was one reason why I gave up on being fit. (Like Runkeeper app 6 years ago).

I wanted to go back to fit and I decided to back to Garmin as I used Garmin Forerunner 220 in the past. Time to another advertisement .. if you interested in  “After 1-year review ” can be found here:  Garmin forerunner 220 everyday review and impression after one year of usage. I was thinking about Garmin Forerunner 235 or Garmin Vivoactive HR. I did some research and it turns out that Garmin Vivoactive HR is better in my case. Why?

I look for an activity tracker that :

  • The watch must work ~10 hours using GPS (to be able to walk a marathon or be able to do many walks on a weekend out.
  • It must have built-in HRM.
  • Accurate measurement of steps and distance
  • Silent alarm so it will wake me up but not my son.
  • Easy pairing with application/website.
  • Lots of stats.

From various reviews, I got into conclusion that Garmin Vivoactive HR will suit me more as Garmin Forerunner 235 better for running while Garmin Vivoactive HR focus on keeping you active.

FIRST IMPRESSION

It came in the small compact box. As always I will skip unboxing video of middle age getting exciting about a new toy. The first impression with this watch is exactly opposite to Fitbit Surge. It was ready to use in few minutes. ( I spent few hours before I was able to use Fitbit).

  • Watch works out of the box!
  • It setup time using GPS (Something that Fitbit cannot do!)
  • Install Garmin Express. No problem.
  • Update devices. No problem.
  • Pairing is the biggest pain in the ass in Garmin. There is a tricky way to do it and it works.

MY DAILY EXPERIENCE

  • The battery is fantastic. I am impressed that watch can hold very long on battery. I went for walk for more 5 hours and there was plenty battery left. Even if you are using GPS, Bluetooth then the battery will last for many hours. I used to watch for a week and occasionally use GPS and it was OK.  Fitbit struggles badly with a heavy load for more than 6’ish hours. Forerunner 220 battery is enough for around 8hours of heavy load. Vivoactive didn’t have any problem with the weekend out where I used for more than 9 hours in total. For the size of the watch and under heavy load. I charge this watch up to 2 times per week. In comparison to the similar workload. I got a similar result on Forerunner 220 but I needed to do 3 to 4 times on Fitbit. Once I was stuck for 8 days abroad and I still have 19% battery left.
  • Sync via Bluetooth is challenging and it is very annoying. It works .. sometimes. It gets much better and better with each update but it still sucks.
  • Web application works much better than was before. It went off-line once for few hours. Garmin support couldn’t be bothered to provide any information.
  • (Vibration) Alarm clock works well.
  • The screen is clear and sharp. It usable in normal condition, swimming and foggy conditions. Touch is good but not great. It feels cumbersome in responding sometimes. It works underwater too … more-less. During swimming, i saw press any key message (to unlock ) appear every few seconds.
  • USB charge works well. can but if you lost then you are screwed. However, it is very stable when u con.
  • My biggest problem was with pairing device with Android devices. I took me 2 hours with tablet and few minutes with Huawei phone. I got annoyed that I couldn’t be connected with tablet and I thought that probably you can connect this shit in the toilet only … and for laugh, i decided to try … and guess what .. it pairs without a problem ! I was shocked. From the test, I perform u can pair device without problem when phone/tablet has internet access but there are none Bluetooth devices nearby.
  • The only problem I had was with the plug-in. For some reason, it works on USB 2.0 but not on USB 3.0 ( However, most devices struggle with this port on my old laptop.
  • Another problem I had with pair watch with a tablet. It took me 2 hours to figure out how to pair.

SUMMARY

This watch brings back happiness to do more and more steps and activities that I lost when I was using Fitbit Surge. It simply works and allows you to do the day out activity anywhere .. even abroad. It is not perfect though and it has few more issues than forerunner 220 but overall I really enjoyed and I recommend to everybody who wants keep yourself active. In comparison, Fitbit Surge is a hipster “MVP” toy that simulates activity tracker.

 

My thoughts on Star Trek Discovery Season 1

If you do not bother to read the whole article, then this is a main take away points:

GOOD

  1. Plot
  2. On average episodes in the first season are much better than episodes in other TV series.
  3. Space shots
  4. Cast and character development
  5. Sound effects
  6. Intro
  7.  Hugh-Paul relationship
  8. Klingon subtitles
BAD

  1. Klingons
  2. Seasons Finale
  3. After Trek
  4. “Fans”
  5. Mind-meld as Intergalactic Whatsapp
  Summary. It was the best first season in Star Trek history. In my opinion Star Trek: Discovery has consistently good or great episodes. The cast is fantastic. The character development is excellent. Plots are interesting with exception of Klingons. There is still the spirit of Star Trek despite new approach and re-design. Space shots are spectacular but some bits like the battle in binary stars looks shit. It is a great first season worth to watch twice.

I just finished watching Star Trek Discovery second time and I am impressed. I feel it was It was the best first season in Star Trek history not perfect but I don’t expect perfection anyway. In this post I want to share my thoughts about Episodes, Plot, Cast and lose opinion about the first season.

 

Episodes

I already said my opinion about prologue episodes here: https://dominiksymonowicz.com/2017/09/29/my-quick-thoughts-on-new-star-trek-discovery/ First proper episode (episode 3) was good. I like the spooky ambience of this episode with the very interesting plot of the rescue of the USS Gleen. I like how the cast of Discovery was introduced. I was really confused about behaving of USS Discovery’s crew but by end of the season I understood and I like it. The fifth episode is worth mention as It has good elements but many things bored me or annoyed me because the idea was great but the execution was terrible.

  • F-word bomb sounds like a great idea to use in Star Trek. There were many opportunities where Tilly could use it. Sadly, however … in this instance was … pointless. It didn’t add any value. It sounds like teenager got excited before taking some drugs for the first time. It annoyed me.
  • The story was poor.  The way how the captain was kidnap was crap and the way how they find ship was … even more, crap.
  • Luckily, however … character development in this episode was fantastic. Doctor, Paul Stamets, Ash and Saru.
  • Spore drive animation looks cool.

The sixth episode was one of the worst in this series. Why? Well, mind-meld as Intergalactic Whatsapp? Really? Self-destructive Vulcan. The story in this episode was uninteresting. At least this episode has a decent special effect. Good news is that after not so good episode was a great episode with Mudd. I am not a fan of time loop type episodes but I must admit this one was good.  The plot was interesting. I like when the story has sometimes connected with the previous event and it adds some character development.

The eight-episode was one of the classic style episodes of the Star Trek and it was great.  Episode  9 was mid-season finally and it is one of the best episodes in the series. It has a fantastic well-paced plot. You can feel drama and tension in the scene when Hugh asked Tilly “How many jumps” .. .96 … I enjoyed being very engaged while watching this episode. I really like Hugh-Paul relation plot and talk about long-term rape and abuse. I wish season finally be at least half good as this one.

I wait for ages to see episode 10 and it was worth it. It is another one of the best episodes in this series. The story starts slowly and speeds up very quickly. Only thing I didn’t like in this season Ash-Micheal relationship. I feel it was unnecessary. I wish they explore a more of Hugh-Paul relationship. I must admit the way how Capital Lorca character is developed is just amazing  I admire Jason Isaacs for his play.

Episode 11 wasn’t as good as 2 previous episodes but It was still very good. The plot was fantastic especially around reveal the truth of Ash/Voq. We finally see emperor – an evil Philippa Georgiou. My only problem was with landing party sequence which looks stupid. It was awesome to see other races from the cannon like Andorian.

The 12th episode was spectacular. I like how they reveal the truth about Lorca and I like Voq story with exception of ‘Ash fix’. Episode ending was one of the best.

And then … last 3 episodes happen.

Episode 13 was a very good episode but it was way too short and after watching Episode 14 and 15 I was very disappointed about it. It could be a fantastic 3 episodes with excellent finale but It was ruined by lighting fast rushing epilogues in a chaotic manner.

Stories in last 2 episodes were very .. stress-free. They were no drama. Everything went smoothly and without any continuity. They show a plan for attack Klingon’s homeworld in episode 14 and in 15th they did something else without any reasonable explanation behind it. Some part gets even boring caused by ‘endless hours’ of boring relationship chats. The epilogue of some interesting mini plots was rushed and disappointing (Klingon war, Emperor and so on). I feel very perplexed about Seasons finale. It had an amazing potential if they spend much more thoughts on the season finale. I am aware that this was probably many issues behind the scene but it is shame. However last 3 episodes have good bits too.

  • The last scene with the appearance of Star Trek Enterprise was sublime.
  • One of my favourite moments in this episode was a chat between Emperor and Sarak about their ‘child’.
  • Quite a few nice space shots! Finally!
  • I like cadet Tilly for her humour scenes ( for example: chat with Emperor)
  • Speeches. Saru’s speech was powerful and meaningful. I like Burham speech.
  • The extra bit of section 31 and Emperor that haven’t been included in the episode but shows in social media should be there.

 

Overall. I enjoyed most of the episodes.

My favourite episodes were 9 and 10 because of an engaging plot with good pace. The worst one was 6th episode.

PLOT

I think Arc storytelling in this season was great despite some bumps with the story, especially around season finale. I like the idea of the season-wide plot and a few parallel mini-plots. It makes stories in this season meaningful. It allows characters to be developed over time based on events that are connected to each other. Continuity adds an interesting twist to the stories which make them are fantastic. It makes Deep Sleep 9 a great shows when they introduce dominion war. Xindi season makes Enterprise show much more very interesting in comparison to occasional temporal cold war. It works very well for Discovery too.

There are a few glitches with sticking to canon. They cocked up Klingon and intergalactic mind-meld and they could easily be being avoided. It is shame that Klingons universe wasn’t explored in any meaningful way. The idea itself is great.It will be great to explore other major races and their culture. I love it. Execution of this idea was .. well .. rubbish.  I like how Voq was revealed but L’Rell was a most underused character in the series.  It has such a potential that was wasted due to what it looks like the abandoned idea of Klingons story. Luckily ‘real plot’ was about Lorca on his quest to back to his universe to become an emperor. This part was sublime. Little references here and there make this season worth watching twice.  like how they show evil version of the characters.

I believe the 2nd season will be much better because I think all threads in the arc will be more cohesive as I hope there will no drama as it was in season 1.

CAST

I am really impressed how all characters have been developed over time. It was a problem in other TV series with characters like  B. Crusher, Doctor Bashir, Ensign Kim and especially Enterprise where the cast was plain and uninteresting except maybe Archer, Phlox and Soval.

    Michael Burnham – I cannot verbalise why but I am struggling to like and enjoy this character. When I see scenes with Michael I feel bored and disconnected. Sonequa Martin-Green played exceptionally well and character development is great but … I don’t like it and what worse I cannot explain why.  Saru in other hand is the best character in terms of development. Doug Jones is an outstanding actor. I feel like he is a Kelpien not human. Ash Tyler/ Voq is another great character. In the way how it develops over time and how is true identity was revealed was great and how he deals with a multi-race personality disorder.  I didn’t like Michael-Ash relationship part. There were boring for me (It doesn’t mean there are bad, it is just not my cup of the tea).  Paul Stamets is another awesome character. I really liked his transformation from a pain in the ass nerd to enlighten entity. His relationship with Hugh was much more interesting that Michal-Ash one. Sylvia Tilly is a millennial generation version of Wil Wheaton. She has very warm-heart personality with lots funny scenes.  Captain Gabriel Lorca played by Jason was exceptional.

The even recurring character was great like Admiral Cornwell, Sarak, background bridge cast and especially Dr Hugh Culber and Captain/Emperor  Philippa Georgiou. It amazed how I was attached to this Captain/Emperor  Philippa Georgiou and when he was killed and it makes me very upset. Michelle Yeoh – I think it was a great double character as it shows that depends on how you use wisdom and skills result can be completely different. I feel crew need 1-2 crew members.

 

My loose opinion

  • The intro is stunning. I like visual aesthetic with beautiful music. It is not traditional intro but I feel it has Star Trek spirit without being traditional ‘copy and paste’.
  • After Trek was a great idea but the execution was annoying and unwatchable for me. The show was presented by Matt Mira who was like some hipster after hallucinations drugs living in the happy universe. I hope people enjoy watching Matt Mira and it is just me.
  • Biggest problems are orthodox fans who are so closed minded that it has a negative impact on the show. These fans just focus on ‘shit storm’.  They moaning about everything for example  “These ships are too big for this era” .. Well why not? We haven’t seen all ships in the universe another things most advanced does not mean it must be the biggest ship ever built. There tons of this rubbish that can be canon if you use a bit of imagination which most of these fans lack.
  • Klingons. I can understand outrage with Klingons. It was a great idea for a plot but I didn’t understand this war and why Klingons suddenly became terrorist like race.
  • I hope they will have more stand-alone episodes (where they can develop character a little bit instead of 20 minutes chat chat chat like during episode 14).
  • Many ships design are astonishing. USS Discovery, USS Gagarin, USS Shenzhou. For example Shot of the USS Enterprise 1701 was astonishing and breathtaking.
  • Space shots were spectacular but they were not enough of them. Another disappointment was space battles. They were a rubbish.  I hate binary stars battle especially. Luckily there were many great shots like the arrival of USS Enterprise, spore jumps
  • I like the consistency of secondary cast on the bridge. In the past, you can see new faces all the time.
  • I really liked that some elements were super confusing like crew behave not as Starfleet normally does and when ‘truth’ reveals many things suddenly has sense.
  • I really like some subtitles references to TOS (especially sounds effects).

SUMMARY

It was the best first season in Star Trek history. In my opinion Star Trek: Discovery has consist developed good or great episodes with fewer that usually ‘pointless season fill’ episodes. Great plot with some bumps. All main characters were well developed including secondary bridge members. The cast was fantastic. Music and sound effects were sublime. Special effects are an extremely mixed bag. Some of them were spectacular. Some of them like battle were rubbish. Sadly, there were not enough of them.

I really enjoyed watching the first season of the Star Trek: Discovery. It is not classical Star Trek and that’s what I am happy about it because it is a modern tv show but it still has a ‘spirit of Star Trek’ and that is a great thing. I am looking forward to seeing the 2nd season in 2019.

 

btw. This blog may contain spoilers.

Huawei Mediapad M3 8.4 daily experience review

This review is for people who are interesting in the daily experience of using Huawei Mediapad M3 8.4. This is not a professional review. so if you looking for synthetic tests, horny teenager unboxing and so on then you can leave this page as you will waste your precious time.

If you do not bother to read the whole article, then this is a main take away points:

GOOD

  1. Great Quality and Value for money.
  2. Screen.
  3. AKG earphones with 128GB version.
  4. You can use as a smartphone but you will look …weird.
  5. Devices get regular minor updates.
  6. Dual Speakers.
  7. Split Screen works great.
  8. Battery life on battery saver if you use the tablet to listen to music and reading/writing, 
BAD

  1. Battery size is mediocre.
  2. Huawei’s virtual keyboard can be annoying because I keep pressing 123 buttons accidentally.
  3. I had some problems with Bluetooth  (resolved in one of the updates).
  4. Speaker position.
  5. Performance is not too good on battery saver. (It got better over time)
  6. Lack of fast charging.
  SUMMARY. It is a decent tablet reasonably priced. It is not perfect as you can see it has few bad parts but the overall experience is great. It is worth its price if you need a tablet for a daily long commute, long-haul trips (well with help of battery saver) and medium-range walks/ hiking.

STORY

When I bought Nexus 9 I knew that the main problem will be RAM as 2 GB was OK in the beginning but a 2 years later it causes lots of troubles and it makes tablet unusable. I needed the new one and I decided to buy a new one.

MY EXPECTATION was:

  • Great screen that will not destroy my eyes
  • Long battery life
  • Decent performance
  • 64GB storage
  • 4GB RAM
  • Good sound quality

Problem is .. .there is not many tablets to choose from these days.

  • I did not want iPad because it is waste of money and it uses iOS.
  • I hate Samsung for an endless amount of shitty products they made in the past so I have a rule now. DO NOT BUY ANYTHING MADE BY SAMSUNG.
  • Sony got the waterproof model but above my budget.
  • There are many cheap Chinese tablets but they are rubbish too.
  • Google tablet is ridiculously expensive.

While I was in China, I saw a guy calling from Honor tablet and I was shocked but then I decided to check is Huawei has a decent tablet. From the model’s that Huawei has, I found Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4. Other models were mediocre at best. I check others Chinese brands but as I already wrote they were crap and because I was happy with Huawei P9 and I decided to buy MediaPad M3. I planned to buy 64GB version but because they had great offer so I bought the 128GB version with 4GB RAM with AKG earphones.

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Huawei Mediapad M3

FIRST IMPRESSION

    When I touch tablet it feels very fragile. Over time I found it is not as fragile after a few accidental drops. I decided to turn on and then screen impressed me. It was a clean and sharp screen. When I start using and install apps and like this tablet more and more. Everything works smoothly. There are many settings to personalise tablet in the way you prefer. I tried to call somebody and it works well, but I look … ridiculous. However, I  use this tablet to call occasionally but I use my headphones. Battery life starts worrying me because during my trip back to the UK I noticed that battery starts to draining quite quickly. I managed to survive because I used battery saving mode but then I start to have some minors performance problems. Overall impression was very good.

MY DAILY EXPERIENCE WITH Huawei Mediapad M3

  • The screen is great. Everything is clear and quite sharp. You have many settings so you can set a screen that suit you best.
  • The sound quality is good but speakers are in crap place. It means in landscape mode if u hold tablet normally, you will cover speakers and affect the sound. HTC sorted this out much better.
  • Battery. This is the saddest part. The battery is too small. 5100 is perfect for a smartphone but for tablet … It is just too small. If u use a tablet for long commute then is not a problem. It gets problematic if you are using for long-haul travelling or adventure. It can be a bigger problem if you are using Bluetooth to connect to your watch and headphones, GPS for find way and WiFi/4G for internet then battery life will drain quite quickly. Yes. It can be fixed with power bank but it is an inconvenience. Luckily you can turn out power saving to extend battery life and it works well but performance degradation will be visible but the tablet will be usable. I found it that when I uninstall Facebook then battery life is better by 5-10%!
  • WiFi works smoothly. I had no problem with connecting to home or enterprise network.
  • Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about Bluetooth. I had a few problems with Bluetooth. For example, when I press volume up on a tablet it deactivated my headphones and switch to the loudspeaker (Bose Q35). I had many problems with Bluetooth LE when I pair with smartwatches. (It took me 2 hours on Garmin and it refused  to work with Fitbit). Some bugs were caused by watches and some were caused by the tablet. All problems caused by tablet was fixed in one of the tablet’s software updates.
  • Speaking of updates. This tablet didn’t get Android 8 but it gets quite many minor updates where they add some feature, improve battery life and fix problems (they fix all problems I had with Bluetooth).
  • I like Huawei’s EMUI. It is not as beautiful as HTC but it has the great functionality I found useful. Some people moaning about aggressive app killing which I really like. In fact, you can always adjust app killing settings to set which app can/should be murdered when not in use.
  • It is very stable. I didn’t have encounter any crashes.
  • I had some hiccups with performance in battery saver mode in split mode but are rare.
  • There is no dual sim version.
  • Back Camera is poor.
  • Front Camera is ok for video chats but I guess it will be crap for selfies (Sorry, I am not expert in selfies).
  • It uses a normal charger not fast one so charging … takes time. However, on my USB charger that has IQ fast charge .. it charges quite quickly … not as good as Huawei with fast charging functionality but still acceptable.

SUMMARY

After few months I am very happy with this tablet. It is not perfect. Battery life is medium, the speaker should be positioned better and performance on battery saver is a bit too low. However, advantages overcome bad side. It has a great screen, decent dual speakers, good performance while using split screen. Is worth buy it?  It is worth its price if you need a tablet for a daily long commute, medium-haul trips and medium-range walks/ hiking.  Depends on your requirements it can be a great option but Huawei Mediapad M5 coming soon and it has many interesting improvements but it also means the price of Huawei Mediapad M3 will go down and it will be an even more attractive option.

I hope it was useful for you. If you have any questions about this tablet, feel free to ask. Meanwhile, have an awesome rest part of your day/night!

How looks process of finding job as software developer part 13 : Conclusion

WARNINGS:
This is a NOT a professional advice.It based on my personal experience only and resources that I read on the internet.It will contain many grammar mistakes.Please drink double espresso and energy drink as the article is long and boring.

 

CONCLUSIONS

That’s all! Good luck to you!

I know, it can be hard, depressing and annoying but it worth to do proper preparation when you are looking for your next a dream/great job. Once you found it. It will be very rewarding to you.

It took me 2 months to learn all these things before I actually seriously start looking for a job.

My biggest…

  • .. success was to find an interesting job.
  • .. achievement was that I constantly follow my plan.
  • .. problem was dealing with recruiters and they waste 85% of my time.
  • .. disappointment was LinkedIn as I hoped, it will be my social network
Few misc. bullets point :

“Życie mieszkańców Chin pod koniec dynasti Ming” we Wrocławiu.

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Podczas ostatniej wizyty we Wroclawiu miałem pecha i podczas powrotu do domu musiałem przez przejeść przez rynek bo tramwaje utkneły na ul. Kazimierza Wielkiego  przez masakryczny wypadek.  Pozay przymusowym spacerem (który przy zatruciu pokarmowymm frajdą nie jest) odkryłem wystawę “Życie mieszkańców Chin pod koniec dynasti Ming” w muzeum narodowym. Wystawa jest otwarta już od 12.12’2017 i będzie dostępna do 11.03’2018.

Mikro wystawa jest ukryta gdzieś na podaszu  gdzie możemy  zobaczyć rożne eksponaty pochodzące ze  stołecznego muzeum Chin w Pekinie. Zawieraja one krótkie informacje o Chinach , wierze , przyborach które były typowe dla tego okresu.

Zwiedzanie zajeło mi ok. 30 mimut i zwiedzalo sie bardzo milo. Bądźmy szczerzy … nie będziesz ekspertem od Chin po tej wystawie ale jest to całkiem kompaktowa wystawa. Tekst wyjaśnia co widzimy i nie ma jakis esejów do czytania.  Troche lipa, że projektor z jakimś obrazkiem jest wrzucony na siłe, bo mogli by zaszaleć i pokazać filmiki z różnymi ciekawostkami z tego okresu.

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Szału nie ma ale jeśli masz  dyszkę to polecam wpaść tam a jeśli nigdy nie byłeś w muzeum narodowym to polecam tam wpaść bo budynek wygląda zajebiaszczo i ma ducha starego Breslau.

Stronka: http://www.mnwr.art.pl/

Adres: pl. Powstańców Warszawy 5, 50-153 Wrocław

How looks process of finding a job as software developer part 12: WHAT TO DO, IF YOU GET 2 AND MORE OFFERS.

WARNINGS:

This is a NOT a professional advice.It based on my personal experience only and resources that I read on the internet.It will contain many grammar mistakes.Please drink double espresso and energy drink as the article is long and boring.

WHAT TO DO, IF YOU GET 2 AND MORE OFFERS. (which one, I should choose?)

WELL DONE! You got many offers to choose from.

There are 3 important points.

  1. Most important. YOU and only YOU should make your decision.
  2. Give yourself 24-72 hours to make a decision.
  3. If you apply through external recruiters. Say to them that you need 24-72 hours and nothing else. DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM! They want you to chose their company because they earn money from that, not because a specific company is better for you. They will use psychological tricks to make your mind. YOU MUST MAKE THIS DECISION. Don’t allow them to mess with your brain!

If You are lucky, just follow your ‘sixth sense’, otherwise… there are many ways to make a decision. You should google it and find one that it will support your decision-making process. My way is :

  1. Write down your requirements (Must have, Should have. all other minor requirements).
  2. I write down all advantages/disadvantages of each company.
  3. Give them priority (how this advantage/disadvantage is important to you) and trade-offs.
  4. Create score system and compare.
  5. Go to sleep.
  6. Make a decision in the morning. 

There are many many things to consider (not only): The team, location, commute, annual leave, the flexibility of holidays and so on.

Reminder! This is my way of making a decision. Your way to make a decision can and should be different.

Conclusion:

  • YOU and only YOU should make your decision.
  • Give yourself some time to make a decision.
  • DO NOT LISTEN TO RECRUITERS!
  • If You are lucky, just follow your ‘sixth sense’, otherwise… try to write down all advantages/disadvantages compare and make decisions. 
  • Give yourself 24-72 hours.

 

One more thing. When you make your decision let’s other company know about it and say thank you very much and stay in touch with them.It can come handy if you discover that company you chose wasn’t perfect. It shows respect to other company as recruiters do not like to pass this information.

CONGRATULATIONS!

How looks process of finding job as software developer part 11: Troubleshooting.

WARNINGS:

This is a NOT a professional advice.It based on my personal experience only and resources that I read on the internet.It will contain many grammar mistakes.Please drink double espresso and energy drink as an article is long and boring.

COMMON TROUBLESHOOTING WITH INTERVIEWS

What to do, when you have a blind mind?

It happens to everybody .. what to do, when you get too stressed and your mind go blind? I suggest taking deep breath and drink a bit of water. If you struggle, the o to toilet and relax, but don’t go to toilet every 3 minutes. Remember don’t panic when you stuck . Try to think out loud and explain your ideas.

 

I don’t know the answer to the question.What should I do?

It happens.However, before giving up, try:

  • If you don’t understand the question, clarify! Ask for the hint, if you are not sure.
  • Think out loud and try to get a tip, asking questions, repeating a certain statement, engaging the interviewer(s) in a thoughtful conversation. They would certainly understand the situation and share some tipping points which you should be ready to catch and relate to the ongoing reasoning.

If it is problem-solving question.Give yourself 10-30 second to think and then answer.If you have some ideas but you are not sure.. say them anyway and explain what you trying to achieve.Always fight to the end.If you don’t know, you can admit that, BUT again. If you had any thoughts mention them..interviewer can help you if can believe that your thoughts can be correct. The correct answer is one thing.Shows how you dealing in difficult situation is very important too.

 

How to relax before the interview?

Everybody has own way to relax. Smoking, etc. (Don’t drink alcohol, don’t take drugs, just don’t). Don’t think about interview.Treat this as simple to do task on that day and focus on plan after that .(shopping, challenge your self with extreme exercise etc.Different people using different techniques to relax and it is topic for the book and I am not expert.What I do to ?

  • I do not think about it at all.I treat going to interview as going to shop for milk.Come, Screw up and Go.
  • Think about future. I think about what else i need to do (like planning holiday with wife, new feature for my game

How to deal with sadness after rejection?

I will be honest! Shit happens. Don’t care about it.Simply. It doesn’t matter is it or it is not your fault. It matters what u learn from the interview. That’s a reason why you should always ask for honest feedback. It will be almost always a valuable experience that will pay off in the future.Don’t think “if I will not make this mistake then ..” as if you didn’t make that mistake you could always make a worse mistake, so whatever you learnt from this, it will help you in future to find better job.

 

How looks process of finding job as software developer part 10: FACE TO FACE INTERVIEW

WARNINGS:

This is a NOT a professional advice.It based on my personal experience only and resources that I read on the internet.It will contain many grammar mistakes.Please drink double espresso and energy drink as an article is long and boring. 

 

FACE TO FACE INTERVIEW

This is always a most important partThis is a time, where you can sell yourself and prove your value.

 

Do research about the company and read the latest news. If you are using good recruiters then they will give you information about the company and latest news.

 

Gather information about interviewers from LinkedIn and use this information in the interview.
Let’s start with the most important part. BE ON TIME.  Only valid excuses are some sort of Armageddon or 1 nanometer of snow that caused havoc in public transport in London.

 

Face to face interview has many forms. It is conversation stage, there is one important rule. Give the right type of answer to a person, who do the interview with you is :

 

  • Questions by the developer are technical and your answer should be .. technical as well. Some developers like to ask a tricky question, so make sure that you read articles about common tricky questions. If you struggle with question try to have fun, ask for clarification and be creative. If you don’t know because you never did multi-threading then .. just say it and trying to do an educated guess.
  • Questions by a business analyst, product owner or in general a non-technical people will ask about your skills to deliver a solution and explain them in an understandable way for a normal human. If you never had contact with this kind of person, I suggest practising a little bit. ( I failed badly in one interview with the business analyst as I wasn’t aware of ‘slang’ required to explain some stuff (for example what are trade-offs between specific template engines. I talk using technical terms but he was more interested about how this will speed up the process and so on). 

Questions can be about experience with technologies and methodologies you mentioned in the CV and are used in the company you are applying for. When you give answers then try to give some examples how you use it and what is your real experience. Do NOT claim you are expert. Some of the questions are about to check your knowledge about language and technology and how did you use it in previous companies.

One of the stages is usually to do some code exercise. Simplify version of offline task or extension to the task you did. Rules from the chapter about tasks apply here too. It may be done in pseudo pair programming style. You write code with some guy who gave you more tasks. Speak what are you planning to do and why. Engage your pair in conversation about the solution.

So there are a few pieces of advice I have for you:

  • Read the question carefully and with understanding. If you don’t understand or you are not sure.ALWAYS ASK FOR CLARIFICATION.
  • Take a breath, Think about question,’design’ answer and then do it.
  • Smile and treat this as a conversation with business partner.
  • Never give up and fight to the end. Answer as best as you can and if you are not sure .. write this down anyway (and explain why you are not sure). Do not know the answer? Say what you don’t understand and say out loud what you think you will try in this situation.
  • Always try teamwork approach.
  • Link your answer with your experience from work, assignments and etc.
  • When you provide a solution to your problem/task explain advantages and disadvantages.

Another thing that is worth mention. If you have a chance, try to ask them about various things to figure out, is company offer you a job that meets your requirements and it will make you happy to work there. If you care about the company you surprise them with ask questions like How your company is doing despite global crisis (good question in 2009)? How your company is prepared to deal with Brexit?

If you still working and your interview is in the different city, then I have a few tips:

  1. Be on time!
  2. Try to have max 1 interviews per day (max 2), but have a plenty time between them as my one of my 45 minutes interview took 140 minutes|
  3. If face to face interview is the first contact with the company. I suggest having small chat before (phone screening) to make sure that this company is what you looking for and they think that you sound like a right person.
  4. Buy Powerpack to your mobile as you will discover how quickly a battery can disappear on that day!
  5. Do not think too much before Interview.

CONCLUSIONS

  • Be on time!
  • Be relaxed but don’t drugs or alcohol.  It is not a good idea to look like you have epilepsy. I understand your excitement and determination but treat this interview as chat with your colleague at the official meeting, not like a teenage girl who saw Justin Binliner, Bieder or whatever his surname is.
  • THINK, before you answer! After a question, think about the question and then answer.
  • Have answers ready for the common questions.  Always remember these question and try to prepare an answer for them so it will make future interviews go smoothly.(You will quickly collect a set of common questions). For example: What you will do if you won big money in the lottery?

Groov-e 3600mAh Portable Solar Charger Pack review

If you do not bother to read the whole article, then this is a main take away points:

GOOD

  1. It is designed in the UK.
  2. You can buy pre-charged at the airport.
  3. When its charge in 2A mode then it charges quite quickly.
  4. Solar panel idea.
BAD

  1. ‘Intelligent’ charger works randomly.
  2. Too expensive for what it offers.
  3.  The solar charging is useless in practice.
  4. It does not contain information about capacity on the charger so u will struggle to go through security check on the airport. (for example in China).
  Summary. If u want to waste your money on a toy that imitates power bank then … I hope u enjoy this product. If looking for small power bank to charge your devices via USB then it is a bad choice.

STORY

I needed small power bank to be able to charge my Phone for a long-haul flight. I didn’t  have time to buy it online so I bought precharged Groov-e 3600mAh Portable Solar Charger. My hope was that I may be able to buy it cheaper but at least I bought a good quality product.

MY EXPECTATION

It should be light and be able to charge devices quickly. That’s all.

MY DAILY EXPERIENCE

  • I was happy that you can use it out of the box as it is pre-charged.
  • It claims it has 3600mAh but I struggle to charge more than 95% on HTC Butterfly S which has 3200mAh.
  • Charging power pack was always quick. Charging devices with this power pack is a very random experience.
  • The solar panel works only one time .. bearly.

‘Intelligent’ charging.

It supposes to detect can you charge with 1A or 2A. In reality, it works …. sometimes. Nexus 9 was charged 1A or 2A depends on the day. On my HTC butterfly S it was always 1A and it took ages sometimes to charge. Samsung Galaxy 4 was charged with 1A Huawei MediaPad M3  was 2A (most of the times). When it charging at 2A rate then it charges quite quickly but it often switches back to 1A.

Solar charging.

This feature worked once but it took 2 days but It does not work indoors or outdoors anymore. They claimed it will charge in 25 hours after around 15 hours of charging outdoors and 40  hours indoors it still didn’t charge even 25%!

The idea itself sounds great. If you could charge 3000mAh for 8 hours it will be a useful feature but at the moment it is not and it doesn’t really work.

SUMMARY

It works but I feel disappointed when I was using on daily basis. Groov-e describes this as Portable Solar Charger but it isn’t.  It looks like classic branded  ‘white label’ product from China but sadly not too good one. In my humble opinion if you want to waste your money on a toy that imitates power bank then … I hope u enjoy this product. If looking for small power bank to charge your devices via USB then it is a bad choice.

Company website: http://www.groov-e.co.uk/about-us

USS Dominik @ Pimlico

cof

Basic info:
Opened. 14.09.1972  and that’s all that I can really say about this area. Pimlico station looks quite ordinary but I managed to find few interesting facts:

  • It is the only station on the Victoria line which does not have an interchange with another Underground/Overground line and/or national rail.
  • It is the least used station on Victoria line.
  • This station was last open on Victoria line.

When I started walking around my first impression was … this place looks dodgy as I saw a few weird people but while I  walk around I discovered that Pimlico has an interesting architectural mix and has few interesting little independent shop with cheese, Italian food and old cameras.

Is Good independent coffee place nearby?

My favourite place for coffee is Gastronomia Italia  (8 Upper Tachbrook St, Pimlico, London SW1V 1SH). It is a small independent place where they sell good Italian food and really decent coffee.

Is Good pub nearby?

My favourite pub in this area is Windsor Castle but it is near Victoria Station. I like architecture and ambience. They selling Samuel Smith beers.

Is Good restaurant nearby?

If you fancy a British breakfast then there is an amazing place called Regency Cafe ( http://regencycafe.co.uk). Customer service is unique as the man shouting at you and you can sit on the table only when you have a

 

How looks process of finding job as software developer part 9 : HOMEWORK (Tests, Task ,etc.)

 

WARNINGS:

 

This is a NOT a professional advice.It based on my personal experience only and resources that I read on the internet.It will contain many grammar mistakes.Please drink double espresso and energy drink as an article is long and boring.

 

Homework (Tests, Task,etc.)

 Quite often in IT sector, you will ask to do:
  • on-line test
  • on-line task
  • off-line task

ONLINE TEST

Some companies doing online tests to check your knowledge and it is pointless as most of them are copied and pasted from the internet. I had few interviews, where questions were the same and it very similar …order. After a quick research, I found few websites, that provide answers to questions. Maybe they check how quick you can find the answer on StackOverflow.com)? Usually, these questions ask about basics of language and framework and few ‘tricky’ questions.

Easy to pass, usually and pointless.

OFFLINE TASK

The good news is that tasks are more interesting to do. Especially, if you like programming.

They are usually not too hard BUT make sure that you do 1 task at the time and 1-2 per day. Why? If you will have many tests over and over again then you will more tired you are a focus on finish task rather than finish refactor and polish. It gets harder when you currently working.

If You just graduated, you need to make sure that you learn and practice following basics:

  • Know all funky stuff about Java (read many tricky questions about Java ) or your main language.
  • If you struggle with reasonable Code style follow well known open source projects code style like this:
  • Design Pattern (Head First book is the best for start or Gang of Four if you are orthodox programmer;) )
  • TDD (Good way to practice and learn to test with JUnit.).
  • Knows basics command in Windows and Linux.
  • Knows shortcuts in IDE.
  • Ensure you write README.md (or README.txt ) with how to run program and tests

What is important about the task:

  • Should use right solution for the task. For example do not use list, where map is better (i like using lists and made this mistake) or don’t use bubble sort for sorting (I have done it too 😉 )
  • The project should have a reasonable structure.
  • Code must be formatted.
  • The code should be simple.
  • Code style should be consistent. Remember! There are lots of randomises in what person who checks your code likes. There are only two things which you can do:
    • Check if the company has an open source project on GitHub, BitBucket and etc. if yes, download and follow it their code format and style.
    • Ask for what you should focus on and ask how looks they code style.
  • Create Readme.txt to explain how to run the code.
  • Prepare ‘template’ for new projects.
  • Try to apply patterns in right cases.

Your process should look less like that:

  • Prepare Energy drink, coffees, beers or other beverages. Prepare some snacks .(energy bar or breakfast bar are the best).
  • Read question.
  • If you don’t understand anything. Ask for clarification.
  • Design your application.
  • Write tests that will answer questions and tasks.
  • Write a program that passes all tests.
  • Double check it.
  • Write readme how to run a program.
  • Check if your instruction in readme works.
  • Send it.

ON-LINE TASK

(hackerrank.com and so on)

It is a great idea but very troublesome in practice. They similar to an offline task but they are few extra points:

  • You need practice on that site because writing in the online editor is full of quirky problems.
  • Ensure you are in place where internet connection is stable。
  • I prefer to write in IDE and then copy to the online editor.
  • They can be time-based so be careful. I forgot once about it and let’s face it my result wasn’t impressive.

CONCLUSIONS

  • Limit numbers of test to one at the time and 1-2 per day.
  • Read question few times. If you don’t understand anything, ask for clarification.
  • Prepare your process (my process is above, but treat this as an example, not something that you should follow blindly) and follow it.
  • Make code simple, well formatted, sensible structured.
  • Don’t be surprised, if 2 companies will have opposite opinion about your code.
  • Always ask politely for feedback.
  • Always upload your result even if you think rubbish. Always add a comment, if you believe that something could be improved.
  • if You find any company’s source code, follow their code style.

Doms learn Chinese: Word Game v18.1 released.

Doms learn Chinese: Word Game
v18.1

You can download from here:
It is a content update release.
CHANGELOG
  1. Add some words. (words that become popular recently in China)
  2. Add few questions and sentences
  3. Correct few mistakes spotted by some user. Thank you
  4. Various minor improvements but nothing worth mentioned.
  5. Complete migration code to Java8 😉
LINKS

Twitter:

What is the difference between a graduate, a junior, a senior and What is the difference between a developer, engineer, a team leader and an architect in software development?

Let’s start with the obvious and correct answer.
There is NO A CLEAR LINE when you become junior, mid-level, senior developer/engineer. There is NO CLEAR LINE which decides when you are a developer and when you are an engineer.

So .. How to answer questions?

  • What is the difference between Junior / Mid / Senior Developer?
  • What is the difference between Developer and Engineer?
  • What does mean from a company point of view?

Well … My eyes start to bleed when I read some emails from recruiters with some cutting-edge vocabulary from ‘marketing bulls**t’ dictionary to tell me how great role and company are without the focus on the description of what is a Junior role I should apply for (I saw Junior role with 5 years experience in some technology that exists for 4 years and so on).

I know most recruiters (80%) do not care about what they talking about it as they care about commission and Christmas bonus so I can understand them but companies description can be super confusing too.

I did some pseudo-research about it and I realized that there are no clear definitions for junior, senior, developer or engineer. I mean there are many definitions and answer to these question on StackOverflow but … they feel incomplete and incorrect.

I decided to write this to show my ‘loose’ definitions of these word with some explanations and examples.

Let’s start with seniority. Seniority varies from Graduate, Junior, Mid to the Senior role.

The main reason why there is much confusion about distinguishing when you start to become mid-level or senior person due to blurry understating of “Seniority”. For me: Seniority role based on the variety of experience in problem-solving not on expertise in particular language, framework or technology. Seniority does not depend on time duration. For example coding, 5 years in Java do not mean you become a senior person. Yes, you may be an expert in the syntax of that language but still, struggle to solve a simple problem.
Whole life cycle looks more less like this:
  • Student when you learn about problem-solving through exercise.
  • The graduate is a first professional role after you finish learning (at university, at home or online course) where you learn about solving real problems, life cycle and methodology. They are guided by senior and tech lead on how to be a better gamer … I mean … programmer.
  • A junior role is a place in your career when you focus on having fun with writing software and get exciting when you get more and more experience with solving problems and get much help from senior people.
  • Mid-level is a sweet spot where you solve interesting problems and write lots of clever code.
  • Senior Role is when your focus more on leading and helping graduate/ junior developers to become an epic programmer by guiding them through solving the problem and help them to make decisions and trade-offs and you focus less on writing code (you usually solve most complicated problem cases and enjoy more and more meetings).

That’s all.

What’s difference between developer and engineer?

At university* where I studied it means in practice it usually means clever students are engineers and less gifted students are developers who in teamwork behave as engineer’s slavers that perform simple repeatable tasks. In real life is not like that.
(*) It sounds bit negative but my overall impression of study computer science in Aberstywyth was great. I highly recommend.
What it means in the real world? Well, I will start with a conclusion that for me it is the same thing and I can use exchangeably because I  didn’t see any pragmatic reasons to distinguish between developers and engineers. I did some research and I understood that both developers and engineers write software. The difference is that Engineers write software (framework, library and/or fundaments for the platform) that is used by developers to write software that is built on it.
That’s all.

Where is an architect in this?

Software architect* focus on leading architecture solution for the platform and contribute code like engineers (yes, I believe software architect role should exist and they should write software too).
(*I apologize for all ‘Agile’ orthodox for swearing here.)
    It does not mean it follows strict mediaeval hierarchy where that junior developer does donkey work by taking order from tech lead who is a senior engineer who took part of software development build on fundaments of the platform created by Veteran Architect because the success of delivering great software in given time depends on collaboration and knowledge share between all of them in the team.

What about Team/Tech leader?

    For me, It is a person who is most experience with project, domain and has the ability to provide a bridge between business (Product Owner), Software Architecture (Platform) and team.

Summary.

    When you describe your seniority and when company define who they are looking for then they should treat describe Seniority role based on the variety of experience in problem-solving and how this person will fit in the team. If you feel, you can distinguish between engineers who build core platform/ framework and developers that build functionality on your the platform.

Who am I in this context?

I am Sarcastic (mid-level) Java Developer. Why ? Because I have some experience with problem-solving using Java as my a primary language.
This is my view on what junior/mid-level/senior developer/engineer role means on the team.
What’s your point?
Share with me in comments her or on LinkedIn.

How looks process of finding a job as software developer part 8: PHONE INTERVIEW

WARNINGS:

This is a NOT a professional advice. It based on my personal experience only and resources that I read on the internet. It will contain many grammar mistakes. Please drink double espresso and energy drink as an article is long and boring.

It is part of series “How looks process of finding a job as a software developer”.

PHONE INTERVIEW

I hate talk over the phone. It is a most annoying way of communication for me. This is a reason, why it is always a big challenge for me to have a phone interview. Phone interview usually takes 20-75 minutes, so plan each for 90 minutes.

What is worth to remember:
  1. The company has a very limited amount of time to read your CV, so don’t feel offended, if they ask a question about things that you wrote in your CV. Actually, it is a good thing as you can add useful information about your experience that is relevant to a position that You are applying for, but you omitted in your CV.
  2. If an interview is not in your native language then I suggest … a bit of practice with answering typical questions and practice name of common technologies.
  3. Practice pronunciation (I still remember my embarrassment during the interview with the developer, who didn’t disconnect after my few attempts to pronounce “Atlassian” :).
  4. FIND a very QUIET place to talk. I actually have done one interview in noisy Costa coffee and my interview ended in 2 minutes! I guess you must be shocked to read that I haven’t been invited to next stage.
  5. FIND s place, where is a good range coverage.
  6. Don’t do a few phone interview one after another.  Ensure you have at least 45 minutes break between interviews. It is very stressful when during the phone interview to get a call from another company. It will increase the chance to messed up both phone interviews.
In my opinion phone interview helps you to figure out chemistry with people from the company. It helps the company to find are you the right fit for them before they invest time in other stages of the interview that are time-consuming.
For example, Travel Corp. rejected me as I didn’t have experience with working in the corporation. Some phone interviews gave me enough information that company didn’t suit me due for example during long working hours or using waterfall methodology. It can save your and company time. I believe doing the technical interview over the phone is a waste of time.

SUMMARY

  • Find a QUIET place to talk.
  • It must in place when you have GOOD phone range!
  • Practice PRONUNCIATION… before the interview (to avoid embarrassment).
  • THINK, before you answer! After a question, think about the question and then answer.
  • When you talk about skills REMEMBER to match with experience and vice versa.
  • Do not laugh, if somebody has a funny accent or behave weirdly.
  • It is a great opportunity for a phone interview to link skills in bullet points in your CV with experience.
  • Have a bottle of still spring water with you.
  • Don’t do phones interview marathon
Phone screening (optional)
If you have a limited amount of time for face to face interviews or you live far away from company location, then I suggest asking for a phone screening if they don’t have phone interview as the first stage. What is it? It is like an informal phone interview where you can find information about a role (and place) is suitable for you or not. What question for ask? Everything that u want and to know what company (In my cases, it was asking a question from COMPANY’S JOB SPECIFICATION section, plus I asked details about the role and required skills in details.
Phone Screening is a good technique to ensure that job is worth to apply and a great way to figure out is company for you and is it worth investing your time in the interview.
A little warning. Some companies refuse phone screening due to various reasons. If they said that they have strict recruitment process and they cannot change (typical for corporations), then it sounds reasonable, but if they don’t want because .. they don’t want, then it may indicate bad ‘company culture’.  I actually went for one interview to confirm my theory I and .. I was right :). It works quite well for me but it can be few exceptions to this rule.

 

How looks process of finding a job as software developer part 7: Recruiters

WARNINGS:

This is a NOT a professional advice.It based on my personal experience only and resources that I read on the internet.It will contain many grammar mistakes.Please drink double espresso and energy drink as an article is long and boring.

 

It is part of series “How looks process of finding a job as software developer”.

RECRUITERS

In last 4 years, I had a privilege to chat with more than 200 recruiters and my conclusion is one. The overwhelming majority of recruiters are useless and they nightmare to deal with in and make finding the right job for you much harder.


They make looking for a job much more difficult.
  • 5% of them are useful.
  • 10% OK’ish.
  • Rest of them ( just 85% ) is a pain in the ass.

MY EXPECTATION ABOUT RECRUITERS:

  • I told them, what I want and what I don’t want. They will contact me when an opportunity appears.
  • They will guide me through the process.
  • Helps me improve my CV and other forms.
  • Gives me useful tips and resources about the company before the interview.
  • Be friendly and professional.
  • Always respond in a timely manner.
  • Let me know the result as soon as possible with honest feedback.
  • Be personal. don’t use the shitty template we ‘crap recruiter’ keywords.
    I knew, that I was a bit ambitious about my expectations, but holy crap, I didn’t expect that dealing with recruiters will be like swimming in the septic tank.

Why? In most cases talking to them, It is like talking about colours with a blind person. They helpfulness to find job looks like finding a needle in the haystack at night without light when you are completely drunk.In reality :

  • I told them, what I want and what I don’t want and they will contact me when an opportunity appears.
    • Most of them just spam you with the job opportunity that matches a few keywords. For example,  if you are Java Developer in London but you mentioned that you got experience with Angular. They will send you to offer for Senior Front-End Developer in Glasgow.
    • They are using e shitty template we ‘crap recruiter’ keywords and marketing bullshit a lot.
  • They will guide me through the process.
    • Some of them actually are quite helpful.
  • Helps me improve my CV and other forms.
    • They modify CV but results can be catastrophic.
  • Gives me useful tips and resources about the company before the interview.
    • Some of them give and some of them do not give an xxx about it.
  • Be friendly and professional.
    • They sound ‘ fake friendly’. They talking using recruiter dialect that does not say anything useful.
  • Always respond in a timely manner and let me know the result as soon as possible with honest feedback
    • If you get rejected then the majority will not tell you about it until you call them and some of them like about reason why you failed. Ask the company for feedback.
    • If you get an offer, they will ask you accept ASAP and they will call you all the time say that you need give an answer NOW NOW NOW. 
  • Be personal. don’t use the shitty template we ‘crap recruiter’ keywords.
    • It looks like people who want be recruiter need be great in copy and paste templates and great at lying to sell the product.
  • They will manipulate you using mind tricks and they will lie a lot.
    • Always give yourself up 72 hours to make a decision. If they push you, then warn them that this behaviour will be not tolerated and you will say to company and recruiter’s manager that you will withdraw (they will stop 🙂 )

HOW TO DEALT WITH RECRUITERS:

If you decide to use ‘recruiters’ as a way to find a job, then:

  1. Start from learning how to detect is recruiters have a brain or it is just another shithead:
Shithead is “A complete dumbass; a genuine moron. Someone who has committed an act in which causes harm or temporary discomfort to another.”  .  Source: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=shithead).
2. It always starts with ‘generic ‘ conversation. Try to be friendly with them at first. The positive first impression will increase your chance to have a good bond with a recruiter (if useful). Shows your strong interest. Usually, good recruiters will tell you about role ask additional information based on information in CV, where Shitheads usually ask questions about your experience that you have in CV to fill the form like they never seen CV, but not always.
Remember as well, that you can’t blame a screwdriver for not being a hammer. They are recruiters, not software developers, so they will do not know details, but they must know basics about technology and what they are for. 

3.  Always asked them to send a ‘role opportunity’ to your e-mail, where you can scan job’s specification.

If job specification does not answer all question you have, then ask the recruiter to answer these question. If recruiter’s answer is “I don’t know” (or they answer means “I don’t know” but they using nice wording ), then ask for clarification (or ask them to ask the company to answer these questions). If recruiters don’t want to do that (by answering that he is busy or it doesn’t have time as the deadline is coming very very soon and he need act fast, then …Well done!
You found a Shithead recruiter.
From my experience, I have a simple advice.
Say thank you, withdraw from representation and delete him on your phone and e-mail. You can’t imagine how much time you will save.
.

4.  While you are dealing various stages of the interview.

Recruiters should help you with preparations providing resources for the company or how looks each stage and provide tips and hints. If not then you dealing with crap recruiter.

However! It is not always recruiter fault. It may indicate a crap company.

I must ‘honestly’ admit, I had one case, where I suspect that recruiter is a crap but troubles were caused by company (the company didn’t want phone screening that I requested to avoid unnecessary travelling if role is not what I want or I am not  right. They just wanted to go to directly an interview). It turns out that interview date matches time when I suppose to do other interviews so I use this opportunity to check company. 

I went for an interview and it was the first time when I wanted to run away. It was a most gloomy interview in my life. I felt in this place like I was in a Psychiatric hospital where they conduct some odd experiments on me. 

I spoke to few people about my results and we agreed that weird problems before the interview like lack of interest in pre-interview communication usually indicate a bad place to work but sometimes some company are very strict about interview methodology.

5.  When you about making a decision, do not allow the recruiter to mess up with your brain.

As I wrote before. Always give yourself up 72 hours to make a decision. If they push you, then warn them that this behaviour will be not tolerated and you will say to company and recruiter’s manager that you will withdraw (they will stop 🙂 ). More about making a decision in future part of How looks process of finding the job as software developer.

MY APPROACH TO UNKNOWN/PRIVATE CALLS

In the past, I usually avoid pick-up calls from unknown/private calls. It does not rule, but many rude/annoying recruiters. Another problem is No numbers mean I cannot call back (i cannot add to useful contact or banned), so I prefer to ignore it. I had quite a few rude conversation and all of them were from the unknown call. This is one of the examples (worst one):

Recruiter: I saw your CV on (website)  and I have an exciting new role in the company who uses agile and cutting-edge technologies to develop software based in Manchester.Are you interested?

Me: I am sorry, but  I wrote that I looked for a job in London ONLY.

recruiter (with irritated and angry voice:  Why London? Manchester is a fantastic city. FUCK YOU. (And he disconnected).

It is not a rule! It is just my preferences. You will find good recruiters use unknown numbers too (landline in office).

If you are happy with job’s spec and recruiter then you can agree to be represented by

 SUMMARY

I just repeat to be clear. Most of the recruiters are crap, but they are quite a few a good one. Quicker you learn, how to distinguish good from bad, then more efficient looking for a job will be. Unfortunately, the majority are shitheads, so I am not surprise to see this kind of things on company’s websites: http://uk.moo.com/about/recruiters.html
  • Remember, recruiters, do not care about your career as they don’t provide service to help you find the best job. They want you to get a job so they will earn money from commissions. As result IF YOU CAN AVOID FINDING JOB THROUGH RECRUITERS .. DON’T USE THEM.  With exception of internal recruiters or if the company using specific recruitment agency exclusively for recruitment).
  • DO NOT ALLOW RECRUITERS MAKE ANY DECISION. ALWAYS TAKE SOME TIME TO MAKE IMPORTANT AND  DECISION.
  • Do NOT add recruiters to LinkedIn. Many of them are just lazy spammers will flood you with jobs that in most cases are not relevant to your target.
  • Don’t forget to be nice and friendly to them in the first contact as they are human! The first impression is also important to create a good bond with a recruiter.
  • Many recruiters will use lots of psychological tricks against you. Most of them based on build pressure around you into force you to make a decision. Always gives yourself up to 72 hours to makes decision.
  • If they give any material about company or tips. Check it out!
  • Verify what recruiter said. ALWAYS. Especially about of location/public transport.
  • Do not give any information about other jobs. NEVER.
  • If you are happy with job’s spec and recruiter then you can agree to be represented by them.
  • If you are unhappy with a recruiter to remember to write an email that you withdraw from being represented by specific. Be assertive.
  • If you find recruiter understand your needs then keep contact with him/her.

Doms learn Chinese: Word Game v18.0 released!

Doms learn Chinese: Word Game
v18.0

 You can download from here:
It contains major improvements but it does not have new major feature. However bigger changes coming soon.
CHANGE LOG
  1. Add bonus points for guess word Wrocław
  2. Add some words.
  3. Correct some mistakes in Words, Questions and Sentences.
  4. Lots of little improvements and code clean up
LINKS

How looks process of finding a job as software developer part 6: Company’s job specification

WARNINGS:

This is a NOT a professional advice. It based on my personal experience only and resources that I read on the internet.It will contain many grammar mistakes. Please drink double espresso and energy drink as an article is long and boring.
It is part of series “How looks process of finding a job as software developer”.

COMPANY’S JOB SPECIFICATION

        When you know what you want to do and you wrote your CV and create website/ account on LinkedIn / portfolio then it is the right time to look for a job.

        One of the most important is to clear understanding of Job specification. It is very important because you need to understand your role, so during the process, you can show your skills that match required criteria. The bad news is that many Job specification is very blurry or they are ‘censored’ by recruiters.

If you have any doubt ask few questions to clarify job specification before you apply. Internal recruiters are usually happy to answer but with others recruiters

This is my selection of question, which I usually ask :

  • What has required a certain level of experience for these skills? It is good to know what skills are essential, optional or nice to have.
  • What is proper job title and what is about? The title is not important, but it can give you more-less clue about the role. It is a bit tricky as for example I looked for Junior Java Developer role and for me there are differences between software developer, engineer and architect, while for many people is blurry or synonym.
  • How looks recruitment process? How many stages? What types (phone interview?test? etc. ? )  It is important to ask as it will help you prepare correctly to interview and avoid after-interview depression and crying to friends “I didn’t expect that it will be tested on interview”.
  • Is for Graduate/Junior/Medium/Senior Role? It is a very important question to ask, but you must know your skills first. How to determine  0-1 Graduate, 1-4 Junior 5-9 Mid, 10+ senior. Many recruiters said  ” If you see Senior role but recruiter said, that you should apply. In all cases, recruiters lie.
  • Do they have specific certification, education and any other requirements before I am even considered? It is good to know or you will waste your time.
  •  How looks specific responsibilities expected of my role?
    • I would like to know more details to evaluate its role is interesting to me or not.
  • How flexible is this role (can I do various position over time) and how the role could develop?
  • What methodology are they using?
    • Everybody said these days that they are … AGILE, but … what they mean by that can be completely different things, so if you see agile, then ask for details (especially recruiters).
  • How big team is?
  • Is it work in a team, alone, mixed?
  • What about the company itself?
  • How big it is?
    • How looks company culture and working style? It is important to question if you care about work.
  • Is work is only on company’s premises? Is it required travelling?
    • It depends on your preferences but some people like me do not like work on various premises.
  • Might they even be able to work from home when possible?
  • What personality they look for?
    • It depends on your preferences but working with right people and have compatibility with them is usually a most important aspect of work.
  • When they expect a successful candidate start to work?
    • If a company looks for somebody NOW and don’t want wait 1 month, then usually indicate poor management, HR or job itself. I, by default, ignore all jobs.

 

Companies usually respond very well and provide all necessary information. Answers from recruiters vary. Some of them give you what you want but don’t be surprised if the answer has no f…ing clue what they talking about. If this happens, then ask again or give up. Believe me, you will save a lot of time.

For example :

What methodology are they using? – Agile

Problem is that everybody is Agile except everybody defines Agile … in a different way as … 

How big team is? – Very big, but I don’t know numbers.

In fact, it was only 10 people … 

Ask these question and request answer on email (this information is good to remember during the recruitment process and for other purposes). If recruiters wrote stuff like ” I’m extremely busy at the moment also so I understand, but I’ll be able to answer these questions after 6. ” it usually means “fuck off, I don’t bother to answer these question  or because I don’t know answers and cannot makes answer blurry like over phone”.In 4/5 cases I didn’t get any answer.
Conclusion:
  • Clarify job spec to ensure that you apply what you are looking for.
  • If you apply through recruiters who don’t give you enough information about the role or don’t bother to find details. Simply reject role and if you gave permission to be represented then cancelled it. You will save you a lot of time and help you focus on better roles.

How looks process of finding a job as software developer part 5: Do I need LinkedIn?

WARNINGS:
This is a NOT a professional advice. It based on my personal experience only and resources that I read on the internet.It will contain many grammar mistakes. Please drink double espresso and energy drink as an article is long and boring.

It is part of series “How looks process of finding a job as software developer”.

DO I NEED LINKEDIN?

It is an optional thing. LinkedIn sounds like great idea, but …

 It is worth to have, because:

  • Due lack of alternatives. LinkedIn is an only option for a social network for professional (although Google+  can be offer better user experience, it is not designed for the professional social network ).
  • It is a good source to gain intelligence about company and people, who will interview you.
  • It is a good extension of your CV.
  • It is a useful replacement for your personal website and blog.

However.

In general.I have very bad and annoying experience.

  • It has many phishing issues. For example: If you install the Android application, it will steal your contact and spam you with add these people to LinkedIn and etc.
  • It is famous for most evil UX design in the industry because LinkedIn’s UX focuses on marketing first not the user. It uses many phishing and spamming tricks to buy a premium account. As result don’t be surprised to receive/send many empty invitation or messages from many people. This is due poor design by LinkedIn. You can found many blog entries complaining about this.
  • It looks nice, but usability can be painful.
  • No ability to block recruiters.

Remember:

  • Do NOT add recruiters, headhunters and other spammers. They will pollute your account with lots of useless job offer that in 99% is irrelevant to you. They will call and send an email you and call you anyway. Add only those who were very helpful in the past. They will pollute your stream with job offer all the time which can be annoying because then LinkedIn will start to add ads related to recruitment on your stream too.

it happens to me few times that I got this message … 

Hi Dominik,I hope all is well.I have a permanent London based role for a leading finance company. They are looking for a Java Developer to work on a range of greenfield projects. If you interested , let me know and I’ll send through further details. Regards

.. on my e-mail as text and as LinkedIn message.

Conclusion:

  • It is not mandatory to have an account on LinkedIn.
  • LinkedIn is a great alternative if you don’t want waste your time on personal website and blog.
  • If your job requires constant contact with other people, then LinkedIn is very useful.
  • Avoid adding recruiters, headhunters and other spammers. They will pollute your account with lots of useless job offer that in 99% is irrelevant to you. They will call and send an email to you anyway.
  • LinkedIn is very valuable for company research (gathering information about the company that you want work for and for job hunting).
  • Using LinkedIn can be a pain in the ass as you cannot block recruiters and annoying poor user experience design.