Tag Archives: web development

Networking and the Idea of Being Friendly in Tech

6b4b6b39664429b0b1b74027e410d943To my fellow Tech’s – I’m sure we’ve all been in the situation where we’ve passed by a co-worker at the coffee machine and gave off a smile or friendly gesture, only to be left with a blank stare and no response. “Having a bad day i see…” is usually what’s going through my head at that point but I usually pay it no nevermind and keep it pushing throughout my busy day. The fact that busy people have bad days but deal with them in different ways came even more apparent when I joined a large team as a Lead UX Developer and was coined as “too happy”. There is no way that I don’t get frustrated and want to toss my laptop out the window but I’m not the one to display that anger to the rest of my coworkers. It’s not my nature. There are times I’ve been pushed to the point I had to step out of the “too happy” and into the “fairly pissed” zone. But how do you keep your composure while networking with not so nice people?

I begin to approach my situations differently. Being a female developer, I battled for years to not appear too aggressive in fear of being coined combative or angry. Nothing worse than being an angry Black woman on top of all of that and in tech if you get titled that in the minds of others, it’s a wrap. Did I stop smiling at people at work? No… being a Lead in tech, your looked up to and somewhat expected to have a sort of stance. For that fact, I smiled even more. I wanted my team to know they could rely on me, even though I was going through hell at home and no one knew it. But smiling at everyone doesn’t mean you’re happy! This statement is true and I had to understand that it wasn’t my job to piss others off because I’m pissed off. I realized it was easier to fake a smile than have my bad attitude reflect off on everyone around me, especially my team.

Socially, my understanding of how workplace culture works helped me contribute to its improvement in many of the organizations I’ve worked at. I begin to initiate and participate in networking events that brought togetherness. On a social standpoint, I even begin to attend events out of office which created interest from those internally. They got to see who I was on a social standpoint and I didn’t hide it and still don’t. I’m one to believe that if you can smile your stress off, you can create a more constructive environment which ultimately changes (or doesn’t). Thus my need to network and be around others who are completely different than me became my focus early into my 20’s.

It’s true, tech can be stressful at times, but it is an industry we can learn a lot socially from. Full of unique individuals with a ton of different stories. I remember I met a woman at the cafeteria in one of my old positions who said, “people who smile all the time are annoying”. I laughed and cried at the same time. In some cases, you just can’t brighten the day of someone who is already miserable, it’s impossible. Those type of people I smile at anyways. Not to be annoying, only to share that I am aware that you are pitiful and I refuse to partake in your pity party in any case. Carry on!

I attended an after work social at a bar and grill and everyone was smiling. Perhaps these are the people who are just like me, who found the missing link to happiness at work and are capable of managing stress with a smile [and a drink].

If you find yourself not able to be happy when you walk into your workplace, jump out of your norm and join a new professional organization or afterwork social that will remove you out of the norm. You can’t please everyone but being friendly and networking is a mediocrity ice breaker in my book. Socially, the more you surround yourself with people who are different, the more delighted you are to find peace and substance in new situations thus making being happy everything to smile about!

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“If Your Site is Not Responsive, Neither are You”

Responsive_Web_Design_for_Desktop_Notebook_Tablet_and_Mobile_PhoneTake this post for whatever you may see it fit for but when I say ‘If your site is not responsive, neither are you!’, I really mean it.

As I am writing this post today is December 19, 2015. 6 days away from Christmas and you should already know, me being the shop-a-holic and tech nerdy… I’ve been online shopping like never before. Not only have I beefed up my purchasing over the last 19 days, I’ve navigated to hundreds of sites for information, guidance or commentary relevant to my overall xmas plans, travel and shopping. My blunt and obvious comment is based off of my repetitous experiences with non-responsive sites over the web at this time in the year.

Wouldn’t a merchant who sells products online expect that mobile users may navigate to their site quicker than someone on a desktop? Mostly all of my shooping this year was done online and I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to not be able to use a website that doesnt fit my screen. Between scrolling left to right and tapping on buttons I did’t mean to, I found myself paying more at places like Amazon or Target Online just for a better user experience.

To me, if you are online these days and not mobile responsive or atleast offer a mobile version of your website you are  missing the bigger picture on the web. Being a developer myself, im always looking for ways to drive the web into the future. Ignoring mobile users just to get online is saddening to me. Why would you not care that mobile browsing has become just as popular as desktop use. ‘Get into the future people!’

Any of my readers reading this, make sure if you encounter a website online that is not responsive, contact support at the organization and request they format their site to show up correct on mobile. Explain this would make you want to come to the site more active.

Though this is a nice gesture of kindly throwing it out there, the truth is the site owner most likely doesn’t care if they aren’t in the process. Make it know its needed and don’t use their site altogether.

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