Concluding my 10 years: Skill competition and development

Makzan’s Dispatch 2019 week 52.

Skill competition and development was one of the main thing I did in the last 10 years. I was competitor at 2003 and came back to WorldSkills at 2009 and I have a very enjoyable years with the Web Technologies family. 

I met many fellows and learnt a lot from how other regions are training web developers and designers. Every year or next, we have plenty of time to work and chat together. We share a lot about not only our profession but also our families and life at each home towns. We are like a family that gather every while.

In terms of skill development and teaching, I built an online teaching system for my training needs. I called it MakClass

There are two aims for my online teaching system. 

  1. Help me to organize teaching notes and handle assignments and worksheet submissions. 

  2. Create mini test projects and marking schemes. 

Raising the skill training and development, rather than the skill competition, is the purpose. The competition is the mean to increase awareness at regions so that the standard of skilled professionals raises as result. Building test projects and the marking scheme is difficult because test projects has to be balanced between realistic and testing environment constraints. They also need to have good coverage of the scope to really reflects how well the competitors do. The marking scheme must be designed to allow efficient and effective assessment. At last, the industry reviews provide feedback on how we shall modify the whole scope to fit the latest industry needs on the web technologies skill.

By building the MakClass mini test project system, I can keep creating tiny marking scheme so that I can keep looking for a better assessment approach and marking scheme design method within the balance mentioned above. The first stage of the MakClass works, in the coming years, I will upgrade the test project system into an automated assessment tool for the submissions.

Links worth sharing


TED talk worth sharing. “What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness”

An old TED talk, but my favorite one.

> I’d like to close with a quote from Mark Twain. More than a century ago, he was looking back on his life, and he wrote this: “There isn’t time, so brief is life, for bickerings, apologies, heartburnings, callings to account. There is only time for loving, and but an instant, so to speak, for that.” 

Book recommendation: AI Superpowers from Dr. Kai-Fu Lee.

The book that I finished this month. Insightful and fair prediction on how AI and human can work together with love and caring.

Highlights of the HTTP Archive Web Almanac

In week 48, I shared the HTTP Archive Web Almanac 2019. Here are some hightlights from Chris Coyier:

> 4 of 5 forms don't ship with labels for their input elements. WHATTTTTT.

> Flexbox usage is at 50% and grid only 2%.

> React is on 5% of sites while jQuery is on 85% of sites

> 20% of sites don't compress their JavaScript.

CSS-Tricks lists many color tools

One of the tool is to calculate color theme by using CSS `calc`:

The future of the web, isn’t the web

> Your information has to be where your users want to access it. Not where you want to display it. I remember sitting in a housing benefits office, watching someone playing on their PlayStation Portable - or so I thought. On closer inspection, she was browsing the GOV.UK web pages to see what the process was for claiming benefits. Web browsers are everywhere!

> But the future is not a browser. It is a User-Agent. It could be your search engine, smart watch, voice assistant, or something yet to be invented.

CoreUI Icons

1500+ free icons with SVN, PNG and Webfonts.

Only 15% of the Basecamp operations budget is spent on Ruby

The modern web is becoming an unusable, user-hostile wasteland

Those websites that block content to non-logged in users.

In a nutshell, if I can describe my browsing experience in 2019.
- Websites asking to login, register or enter an email.
- Websites asking for your phone number after you gave up your email.
- Websites asking to allow HTML5 notifications.
- Websites downloading 50Mb of data and making hundreds of requests to serve 6Kb worth of text.
- Websites that are not functioning because they have too much JavaScript.
- Websites that are not functioning because some of the JavaScript was caught by uBlock Origin.
- Websites asking to turn off the Ad Blocker.
- Websites asking to accept the cookies in 41,484 different ways.
- Websites asking to download their mobile app which is non-native and requires around 200Mb of storage.
- Popups to buy a deal or download some random crap.
- reCaptcha with random street images; that are sometimes impossible to solve.
- CloudFlare DDoS protection thinking I’m a bot.
- Youtube running a 2:30 minutes ad for a 3:30 minutes music video.
- Video or Website not showing up because I’m not in said country.
- Linkedin that keeps sending dozens of emails despite unsubscribing multiple times; and somehow evades the Spam filter.
By Abid Omar.

Working hours debate
There is a debate on twitter about 40-hour work week vs. 80-hour work week.

The debate goes on. How can we work smarter in 2020?

Quote worth sharing

“The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready; it goes on because it’s 11:30.”― Lorne Michaels

Thanks for reading my newsletter. See you in 2020.

Until next week,