My programming life

I was 12 years old when I decided to quit my musical studies and start BASIC language programming. However, it was only a six month course and I didn’t carry on with the following levels because my parents didn’t want to support it. It wasn’t until 3 years later that I got hold of my first computer, a second hand 8086 with a 20MB hard-drive; I enjoyed GW-BASIC at the time. In 2 years I was able to upgrade my system to a second hand 80386 and I swapped to QBASIC, a redux version of Quick Basic. This stage of my programming life was fun, but my programming skills were kinda basic and I never was a whiz-kid though :/

At high school I was introduced to databases and I played around with DBASE III. As per MS Office, I started with Word and Excel during these years, although what I liked most was the macros language, although it was quite orkut having to program ‘by the cell’. Hopefully, in 1998, while at University, I upgraded to VBA and I programmed my first operational piece of code: an invoicing and inventory system, using the Excel dictator-type system. The VBA skills I gained were very benefitial for my professional life.

Once at my first full-time permanent job, I used VBA to automate some tasks, mainly geared towards data cleansing, reporting and analysis. Later on, I decided to learn Visual Basic in order to be capable to create my own interfaces and processes the corporate ERP was not able to handle; of course, I had to learn how to work with the database as well: it was MS SQL.

Around 2005 I set up my first personal website, so I had to learn HTML. Later on I was reading PHP and Javascript, although I don’t write, I’m just being able of reading the code and interpreting what it does; then, I copy & paste accordingly. The same applies to my knowledge of R-cran, which I started to use for statistical projects from year 2010.

Nowadays, I have been able to create my first Android app, a very simple calculator. It’s not I’m overly proud of it, since at the end of the day I’m not a programmer any more, but a simple puzzler. 🙂

Why should I enter a saturated market?

I don’t know if you are aware after some years abroad (UK and Brazil) I came back to Spain to stablish myself as an independent Economist. For almost five years now I have been through many fruitful and joyful experiences, not to mention I have had some angry and bitter ones too. However, as an entrepreneurial experience has been very satisfying. During these years, under K|P|K brand (web is in Spanish) I have been developing business plans, lecturing at two public Universities and training at other venues, creating specialised contents (mainly from an economics & business point of view), and [happily] researching. In the meantime, I always stretched my time to create some pet projects that sadly never jumped from the prototype stage, such as DopplERP, spheRate, some projects that never found an sponsor to support them, and maybe others I totally forgot about it and I’ll re-encounter in the following five years.

Now, Spain is in a very difficult position so I’m looking for new opportunities, a change in my strategy. On the one hand I’m betting for UK (I know, they are messed up, too… but not that bad IMHO), on the other I’m trusting in two areas I consider I can succeed: operational research and recruitment. As per operational research, let me explain that area in another post, while I’ll be focusing now on the recruitment subject.

Why should I enter a market that seems saturated?, you could be thinking. Well, I’m not crazy, but I think it’s not actually that crowded. Even further, there’s a whole brand new World in the landscape that is mixing technology (and operational research) with talent management, and I hope we’ll be able to add up to the state of the art. spheRate is being launched; we’re humble, but that is not against us thinking we’ll get our niche in the ‘saturated’ UK recruitment market.

Any advise?

Trying a new plugin

Although a lot of experts advise you not to overload your posts with keywords and just try to create great contents, I have had the temptation of using a new plugin that supposedly helps you to improve the SEO of your blog (see the banner below).

For instance, now this plugin is recommending me to mention computer science because it knows I write things related to operational research. It is also telling me I should give information on case studies (if this was about a Fortune 500 company, much better). This is silly, since the list of keyword amounts to a total of forty-eight, including ‘management science’, ‘decision making’, ‘scientific method’, and ‘industrial engineering’. Funny to say it is taking me to consider talking about ‘post graduate’ education even dearing to suggest a list of educational centers to be mentioned. Is this plugin, or social plugin something you should be using? I don’t know if this should be deemed as good practice, I feel like I’m cheating on my OR-readers, or tricking the algorithm that will lead people to this post or blog from Google’s organic search. I don’t think it’s right, but I needed to test it and se how it worked.

Hey! Wait a moment… now it’s telling me my document needs Focus Terms (‘There are no terms which have been emphasized in your document yet‘). WFT! Are you expecting me to repeat five times ‘Operational Resarch’? I’ll do it, but in real life, with friends and colleages… not in here, as a SEO trick 🙁