House Renovation – New Beams

I spontaneously decided to fly to the south of France for a couple of weeks before our big travels. It wasn’t necessarily to work on our house and continue with the renovations, but more a mix of helping in my parents’ garden cause it still needs a lot of work, to go to the beach…

Guy ist tot

Guy war unser Nachbar seit 12 Jahren. Er wohnte gemeinsam mit seiner Frau drei Häuser neben unserem Haus. Seine Haus hat einen grossen Balkon mit vielen Blumen und unten eine grosse Cave (Garage). Oft waren die Holztüren der grossen Cave offen und Guy bastelte an seiner langen Werkbank an irgendwelchen Dingen. Er fuhr einen uralten Peugeot …

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Get Certified at JoomlaDay Kenya.

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For the first time we will be hosting a Joomla Certification Exam during our JoomlaDay event which will take place on the 14th of Sept 2018. When I took my exams in Rome Italy, the last thing I was worried a bout was time, having 90 minutes at my disposal was more than enough. Shock on me, in the middle of my exam, I was pressed for time, and I was rushing to finish, That was followed but a not very good outcome.

My Experience.

Yes, the exam is not easy. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking, “I have been working with Joomla! for over 10 years, so passing a Joomla! exam will be a breeze”. Only the top 10-15% taking the exam actually pass it the first time. Out of eleven exam takers, maybe two will pass. The odds are tough, however, if you really want to pass, you can take what you learned, develop a strategy for studying, and take the exam again at the next Joomla Event.

Topics Covered in the Exam.

According to the official Joomla! site, here are the objectives to know for the exam:

  • Joomla! Architecture
  • Preparing and installing Joomla!
  • Website Structure
  • Managing and Editing Articles
  • Managing Users and Access (ACL)
  • Managing Menus
  • Security and Maintenance
  • Upgrading the System
  • Managing Extensions
  • Multilingual Sites

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There are no exam books available yet for exam prep. They are in the works, but not yet developed. Materials are mainly links to articles. I suggest if an article is unclear, check out OSTraining’s videos on the subject. They are the most updated information available. Note also, questions come directly from experience working in the product. Many answers will be clear if you have hands-on experience.

Why Spend money and time?

First, getting certified in any product is generally a good idea. After all, it tests your knowledge in a product, and forces you to remain current – you owe it to your clients and students who benefit from your knowledge to stay current.

Second, certifications are great for your resume, they can be the difference between you and your competitor getting the job.

Third, certifications prove that the product you work in has a solid reputation. Offering a certification in a product reveals it is worthy of certification. Deciding to take the exam shows your support for the product as well.

One last thing.

Study the articles related to the exam articles, read the Joomla documentation, watch OSTraining videos, and practice tasks in a sandbox environment. Take the exam, and if you don’t pass, TAKE IT AGAIN.

Support the volunteers who made it possible for you to prove your skills. Remember, they don’t get paid for their labor of love. Give constructive criticism to the exam prep team so they can make the exam better in the future. And, good luck!

We welcome you to take this exam during our JoomlaDay event, we hope to see you there.

 

Blockchain vs. Bullshit

A friend just asked me where to find more information about Bitcoin and blockchain technology. Here are the links I sent to this person. First of all, bitcoin.org is a decent resource and a good place to start. But there’s some more much inspiring information out there. In that spirit, the first place I point … Continue reading Blockchain vs. Bullshit

Building a Payment Plugin for OSMPro

As I am known to do, I take on small plugin projects from time to time. Having small programming code work to keep my mind churning has always helped to distract me from other things that could drag me under.

This time around, I had just finished one Joomla payment plugin for Virtuemart, for the Nigerian payment gateway, Paga, so writing another should have been easier. I was wrong. I was still yet to test the Paga plugin live, as the client was unresponsive, but I felt I could also rush this one in three weeks and be done.

I repeat, I was wrong.

This plugin is for the Nigerian payment gateway, Paystack, a cool new payment solution that everyone in the Tech community is proud to be associated with. Its also heartwarming that the founders are old friends of mine, but don’t let me digress.

Joomla’s plugin system, called extensions, has a very different naming convention compared to WordPress. In Joomla, there are Components (think big complex plugins), modules (think plugins that can be displayed in different positions at the front end), templates (think themes), and plugins (usually do invisible work at the back end). Components can have modules and plugins working with them. There are also extensions exclusively for the front end, and for the back end.

I was to build a Paystack payment plugin for the OS Membership Pro component. Keep in mind that there is no documentation (I had to rely on the skeletal documentation for one of their other plugins which my client claimed he was told was similar). After three months of battling the code, I had something ready for testing, but could not get access to the file server of the client, so I could work on the files directly. No responses from him so I gave up.

Fast forward three more months, and someone at Paystack buzzed me for help. He noticed I was a Joomla! fan, and had developed payment plugins for other components in the past. He needed help with developing one for the OS Membership Pro component, and was wondering if I was game. When he realized I already had something going, he encouraged me to finish, and offer me help 😀

So here are the notes and lessons I learnt the hard way while battling with it. I know I am bound to build another payment plugin for this component, so I figure, having something I can refer to, tomorrow, to make my work easier, online, would be awesome.

  1. Recurring or not: if the plugin you are developing does not support recurring payments, then don’t test it with plans that have recurring subscription activated. I wasted valuable time testing because I did not do this – sounds easy but when you are not that familiar with the component, it’s not.
  2. Naming: the name of the plugin in the xml document must be the same as the name of the php file. That’s the only way it will show up in the front end as an option to be selected for payment.
  3. Blueprint: The PayPal plugin caters to both recurring and single payment modes, so use it as your blueprint for your plugin.
  4. Redirect or Credit Card: If you want to redirect to the payment gateway, use this skeleton they recently put up on their GitHub page . If you want to build a plugin that uses credit card, use this one. I worked on the Redirect option.
  5. Classes and functions: The main class extends MPFPayment. There are four functions -> __construct, processPayment, verifyPayment, and validate. Because of the different nature of the payment form, I also created my own renderRedirectForm function.

I will keep adding to this list.

Hilfe, ein Geschenk

Ein alljährlicher Dialog: A: Wir haben ja bald beide Geburtstag. Wollen wir da was Schönes machen? B: Ja, wir könnten lecker essen gehen, ins ….? A: Ja, gerne. Aber wir schenken uns nichts, oder? B: Hmm, mal sehen. A: Ich hab ja alles, du mußt mir nichts schenken. B: Ich weiß, dass ich dir nichts ...

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Work: The Future

A friend of mine sent this to me and I thought I should share to a wider audience:

*The Future of Work and The Work of The Future… A Presentation by Olufunke Amobi, Country Head, Human Capital, Stanbic IBTC. Compiled by ‘Kunle Ajayi, Co-founder Enterprise Innovation Laboratory.*

The future of work is already upon us and it is clearly defined by Technology. This implies that the work or Jobs of the future belongs to those who can maximize and explore modern Technologies to their advantage. By the year 2025, which is just about 8 years from now, a lot of jobs would have been taken over by Technology, because the rapid transformation experienced in the world in the last fifty years is six times more than that experienced in the thousands of years of world existence. This means that there are bound to be job losses. But the good news is that, there would be so much more jobs… Only for those who are prepared for it.

We are already in the fourth industrial revolution. Which means that we’ve had three previous revolutions and they are :
1) The mechanized or Agricultural revolution
2) The Electrical or mass production revolution
3) The internet or Jet age revolution
4) The digital revolution

The digital revolution is characterized and dominated by Robotics, Artificial intelligence AI, Machine learning, Virtual reality VR, Augmented reality AR etc. These technologies are already prepared to take away jobs and replace them. For instance Robotics would take care of Admin/paper works, clearing, investment/financial analysis etc. Artificial intelligence AI would take care of voice recognition, cyber security, Biometrics etc. Machine learning would efficiently handle Data Science, predictive analysis etc. Infact, Larry Page, one of the founders of Google said that AI is the future of Google Search engine. Meaning that Google Search engine would simply be taken over by AI.

Some of these technologies are already on us. We have seen the Drive through mall in Saudi Arabia, The Uber Air Taxi, Pepper robot by Stanbic IBTC Bank, Alexa on Amazon that has over 3,500 skills & growing, Driverlss Taxi, Robotic Waiters, IBTC Sami on Facebook that can help you open your account without battling an eye lid and a whole lots more. They are already in use.

Globalization would be really diverse and interesting because we would witness a great rise in Freelancing, outsourcing, E-commerce, Teleconferencing( Skype, VR etc). We would also experience an increase in Demography and a change in it as well. The population of the world by 2050 is expected to hit whooping 9 Billion people. Research has it that those born in the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s & 70s, known as Baby boomers does not have the kind of immunity and life expectancy like those born in the late 80s, 90s & the millennium children. While life stops and slopes downward for the Baby boomer generations, who by 60 have to retire, for the millennial children, life just begins for them at 60. Because their life expectancy is placed at 100. It would be so because, the world is working towards low carbon emissions as well as a Green economy. These millennial children also have the capacity to redefine things in their own way, not to be constricted within the four walls of either classroom or that of an office.

It is very important to say that young people needs skills and experience for the Future and not for/of the Past. Jobs are becoming 70% Automation. Entry level jobs are disappearing. One fact that is worrisome is that 60% of Students are still being trained in Courses that will be radically changed by Automation latest by 2025. By the year 2025, research has it that people will prefer to work from home and not from the office to avoid hassles, wear and tear. It means there would be flexible work schedule for plenty employees as well as several freelancers who have gotten the skills and needed Experience.

*32% of current jobs globally would fall away and be in extinction by year 2020* just 2 years from now. This would be as a result of innovations, disruptions and productivity. Innovate or die👌🏻

As young people, we must become *Ambidextrous*. You must be able to do more than one thing. Be hungry for much. Don’t just stay put with that Old fashioned sentence… “I’m a medical Doctor ” or “I’m a Lawyer”… My response to you is… *So what*💁🏻💁🏻💁🏻. What else can you do? You must have double digit skills. You must evaluate yourself. Don’t have less than 10 skills minimum because Enterprise skills are the work of the Future.

Where are jobs going to be? This should guide the courses you would take in the higher institution. If you are a graduate, go back to school either online or On-site and hone your skills.

They would be in the following sectors and in this order:
1) Media, Entertainment and Information

2) Consumer focused

3) Healthcare

4) Energy

5) Professional Services

6) Information Communication Technology ICT

7)Mobility

8) Basic and Infrastructure

9) Financial Services and Investors.

It would be an aberration and self injustice this age to go and study Psychology, philosophy, History, Banking and Finance, Business administration etc. Why? Because these courses are already Saturated in the Market. Hence employers are looking for something new! When we have courses like Actuarial Science, Deep learning, Neural Network etc.

By the year 2025, Creativity skills would be 260% demanded, Presentation skills would be just 110% demanded while Digital Literacy skills would be 680% demanded. Therefore, you need to learn new things. Learn second languages like French, Spanish, German, Mandarin etc. Do take note, that 70% of the jobs of the Future would be Enterprise Skills!

Finally, look for skills that would make people keep knocking on your door, not the one everybody is doing.

Stand out!!! Do not react to this presentation, rather Respond to it by Taking Actions.

*Don’t Learn for the Past, rather Learn for the Future!*

Thank you.