Category: business

Less is more

In 2017 I was looking for an alternative to Evernote because in free version syncing is only available across two devices.

Generally, I do pay for software, but because I only use it for sharing plain text an not very often I decided to check alternatives.

Simplenote was free, could be used on the unlimited device and I am still using it.

After some time I have found that Simplenote is a superior product that Evernote for my use-case.

Simplenote superiority, for me, is due to a limitation that only plain text is allowed.

Only recently I have found out that Markdown is also available in Simplenote.

This limitation enables me to be more productive because the focus is on content and not on presentation.

Then an interesting idea came to mind, it is possible to make a successful product just by making cutdown version (without some additional features ) of already existing ones.

Problems with IT certification

Published on: 01.07.2019

Is IT certification useful?

IT certification should prove that the holder has skills and knowledge to do particular work.

Often skills and knowledge that you need to get particular certification are different (hopefully their union will not be empty set) from skills and knowledge that are needed in practice.

And this is a problem.

From the perspective of the employer, IT certification looks like a great thing, the solution to the problem of who to hire.

Just take the person with the highest certification.

IT certification is very similar to grades in school.

A person with the highest grades should be the most competent, but often it is not, because of a lack of real-life experience.

And because you can not do two things at the same time, you end up with one or the other.

Often certification is a hedge for management.

If employe/project fails, they are not responsible, they hired certified persons, otherwise, they could be liable.

Another issue with certification, that I have observed is that total beginners assume if they pass certification they will be experts and find work.

Certainly, a beginner who has CCNA knows more that person who never configured a network, but CCNA alone, without any other IT knowledge is almost useless.

I do not think that certification is totally useless, just that it is overrated due to misunderstanding.

Billable and non-billable hours

Published on: 15.03.2019

This is written by the consultant/freelancer point of view.

Amateurs are focused on billable hours.

What is your hourly rate?
50$ per hours.
That is not bad, 8h time 50$ is 400$ per day.
20 working days per month is 8000$ every month.
96000$ per year, not bad.

There are a lot of problems in real life with this logic.

First, there are no expenses (tax, equipment, rent, etc) mentioned, like they do not exist.

But I do not want to focus on expenses in this analysis.

Also, can you bill for 8h every day for a year?

If on an average day you sell only 2h than calculations are much different (and not in a good way).

What about all the work that you need to do to sell 1h of your time?

If you need to spend one addition 1h in order to sell 1h of your time then your hourly rate is cut in half.

If you work for somebody else and you are not a remote worker, then your commute time is an example of non-billable hours.

Different businesses have different portions of billable and non+billable hours, just be sure to calculate that in your equations.

In coding business, and by coding business I mean if you primarily write code, lots of non-billable hours are spent on keeping with technology (even if you are highly specialized).

If you are self-employed non-billable hours are also needed for finding clients/work, infrastructure maintenance, etc.

If you take all that in the account than 50$ per hour and minus expenses, does not look so go anymore.

And you come to the understanding of why it should be more.