18 Ways to Receive Maximum Value From Consulting and Mentoring Sessions

There are so many different situations where you may have a chance to receive valuable information from top consultants and mentors all over the world. This may be your usual consultant that you hired on retainer, a speaker that you met at a conference or a mentor you applied to over the internet. In all cases, what I've gathered over time is that lots of people are not prepared to receive the right piece of advice all the time, not ready to execute on it, or generally not maximizing the value they get from certain sessions.  This is why after… Continue Reading

Preparation of Training Materials (Checklist)

As a Business Advisor, I used to spend a good chunk of my time teaching various courses (and speaking at conferences in Europe and the US). I no longer have the time to speak regularly, which is why I've shifted to my blog, LinkedIn, Quora, and other virtual venues serving a broader group of people who can benefit from my content. My Training Preparation Checklist Since I used to give regular classes on some topics, I had to polish my materials on a regular basis by doing research, testing, and exploration (to keep them up to date). Whenever a new… Continue Reading

Hourly Rates, Amount Of Work And Availability

Note: This essay is not always applicable while some projects definitely demand a straight work schedule, reporting and collaboration between the team members. However it reflects the majority of projects and clients out there in the wild. As an employer I prefer to charge on a project basis. It's easier to plan my budgets and the costs of the final results. As a contractor I prefer hourly payments. It helps dropping the pressure from incorrect specifications and further negotiations after the project and the budget have already been set. However I am well acquainted with the pros and cons of… Continue Reading

Java2Days 2010 – Overview

This week has been inspired by the power ot Java (this is how a movie like Javatar would probably start). Offtopic Anyway, I'm glad that I attended Java2Days event this year. It's been my second Java2Days event including the one in Oct 2009. After few years being highly coupled with Java, I decided to do some freelance which lasts for about 2 years now. Meanwhile in addition to Java I've studied plenty of new technologies - PHP and Python in depth, different frameworks down there, few abstract programming structures for specific projects, set-top boxes etc. This makes me feel even… Continue Reading

Forgotten Password In Django

Turns out that there are plenty of useful features in the Django admin that I never thought about. The other day I found the last task of a project of mine was adding the "Forgotten password" feature. It's basically a standard task included in every users-related project, but the whole process requires few interactions: clicking 'forgotten password' link writing user email where the password should be send to verifying email against users database sending confirmation link confirming link choosing password resetting password The whole 7-steps list (with UI and backend communications) could be boring and time wasting (usually). That's where… Continue Reading

Django Translations: Multilingual, i18n, App Names

Django is a popular web framework written in Python that provides dynamic generated content and allows rapid development for different systems in the Internet. It provides a great interface to other products (via web services), gives ability to design a scalable application and most important, lies on a powerful language as Python (in other words, what you could do in Python, you could somehow reuse it in Django either by a component or by defining a custom logic down there). In my experience two of the most important things in a web application (no matter the framework, system and language)… Continue Reading

The WebXpo Event in Sofia

Yesterday I attended the WebXpo event in Sofia, managed by Web & Events. There were plenty of different topics to be discussed on website development, design, usability and so on. It was a great pleasure listening to the discussion of the website price. Three experts from leading web development/design companies in Bulgaria did a workshop on how prices are calculated, how do they manage different clients and complex tasks etc. All of them mentioned that the higher prices when you recall to company are based on the professionalism that they imply in their products. The whole cycle requires brief specifications, development and design,… Continue Reading

Django Framework – First Impressions

I've been researching the Django framework for the last 2-3 weeks in my spare time. It's development is going on and on and I see many interesting innovative concepts realised behind. I tried it 3 years ago for a course project when we had to integrate the PIL (Python Image Library) into a web project with the existing technology. It was still first version and not much functional though. Poorly documented as well, but as I see now it is almost complete. Python is a powerful language and a web framework based on it i s a great idea. There are few CMS systems based… Continue Reading

How To Create Unique Passwords For Every Site And Remember Them Easily?

In general It's an algorithm that could be applied almost everywhere and requires no special skills. First of all, lets define the cons and pros for you so to be able to chose whether you would get the advantage or not. Cons depends on the particular site at some point (changes dependant) requires few seconds for thinking (depends on complexity of your own algorithm) Pros absolutely and undoubtedly unique algorithm. The base is clear, the implementation is on your own. could be extended or tuned if needed - flexibility is everything no need of keystore or Internet connectivity hardly guessable if… Continue Reading

Digital Signatures And PDF Signing

I am working on a project that requires PDF signing through a website. The current infrastructure includes Apache + PHP website available. What we need to achieve is integrate the digital signature module of a user visiting the website and sign the required files. One of the most appropriate solutions after the negotiations was signed applet that signs PDFs. The steps for the project creation are the following: Create an applet Create a certificate to sign the applet via keystore tool (if root CA's are not available) Sign the applet (allowing read/write access to users' hard drives) Create a REST implementation that could read/write to… Continue Reading