Fundamental Time Management Tips

Self employment, or freelancing, is a dream job for many of us. Wouldn’t we all love to be our own boss, not having to answer to anyone or work on our own time, without any restrictions? Well well, like they say, ‘Be careful what you wish for’.

Sometimes, what you think of as a rosy pink dream can easily turn into a nightmare. Though there is no doubt that freelancing has its own perks (well… a lot of perks), many a time, it can be a job that gets you frazzled. The most common complaint coming out of a freelancer’s mouth is the struggle of time management. Managing time can be a problem, as a freelancer is a ‘One Man Army’.
Don’t Procrastinate Reading These Tips To Stop Procrastinating
Avoid Multitasking

There are multiple tasks that a freelance writer has to do apart from the actual project. Trying to do multiple things at once will only mess with your head and spoil the quality of your work. Instead, calm yourself down and focus on one task at a time, and then only proceed to another.
Keep Away from Distractions

You cannot increase the number of hours in a day, but you can definitely make the best out of what you have by managing your time well. In our techno-crazy times, it is way too easy to get distracted. Make sure to keep away from all the things that distract you, while focusing on work alone. That means, NO unnecessary use of cell phones, social media, television, surfing, etc.
Prioritize

Before you start working, compartmentalize your work based on its priority. Start off with simple and easy tasks at the beginning, which require less energy, giving your brain a little time to get into the flow, and then go on to the more important or the more stressful work.
Choose Your Assignments Wisely

Even though, at an early stage of your career, you might not be in the position to be picky about your work, make sure you do not take too many assignments under your belt. An impractical goal will only screw with your head, and get you into a panic-stricken mode, hampering your productivity as well as your creativity at the end of the day. A single well-done assignment is always better than several half-done ones.
Use Technology to Your Aid

There is no denying the endless ways in which technology has come to our aid. So why not use it to optimize your time? Based on your needs, there are numerous apps and tools that can help you out. Focus boosters, productivity tools, instant data transfer devices, time trackers, etc., are a few of the many tools one can find online.
Deadlines and Schedules

Create deadlines for yourself and STICK to them. If you need help, make a timetable scheduling your work according to the time. Add timeouts in between for snack breaks or a nap time to boost your energy. You can use time management techniques like the ‘Pomodoro Technique’ to keep you on track.
DE-Clutter Your Workspace

If your workspace is filled with countless files and crumpled paper, post-its stuck on every wall, and several to-do lists, leave everything else and start with DE-Cluttering you surroundings. A messy workspace would make you feel confused and lethargic, affecting your work negatively.

Tips Buying a 3D TV

A 3D television set is an “in” thing today. So, if anyone wishes to change their television set, they might be tempted to go in for the 3D ones. However, when the price factor comes into picture, these sets are the costliest amongst the lot. Also, as the technology is still naïve in the television industry, not many choices are available with the buyers. So, there is a need to carefully choose the best TV amongst the limited options. Let us check the basic guidelines to buy a 3D television.

How to Buy a 3D TV

Are these television sets worth the price? Will the picture quality of these television sets improve your television viewing experience? Let’s find out.

Should You Opt for It?

For most of our regular television viewing needs, a 2D TV holds good. So, if 3D viewing is not the basic need, you can look for better 2D televisions. However, if you wish to have better video quality, then you can go in for a 3D-capable TV set. However, evaluate the price aspect carefully before hastily buying one. Once you have decided to buy a 3D TV set, the next option will be to choose between passive and active 3D.

Passive or Active Glasses

To watch 3D televisions, you will need 3D glasses. Now, there are two types of glasses: active and passive. The passive glasses are the ones that are less expensive and polarized. On the other hand, active 3D glasses are battery-powered and expensive. These glasses also contain a transmitter that syncs them to the television set. Most of the plasma televisions use active shutter glasses, while the LCD ones use passive glasses. Wear the glasses, and check them at different viewing angles. Also, choose the one that is most comfortable for you.

Display

The screen size matters when you buy a television. For a 3D television, the bigger the screen, better is the viewing experience. So, generally it is recommended that you buy a TV that has a screen size of 55 inches or more. If you wish to get into the technicalities of the television, you should buy a TV that has a refresh rate of at least 240Hz. This will reduce the motion blur in fast-moving scenes.

I/O Ports

You knew that you needed to look for those I/O ports while buying a laptop; however, you need to look out for them even while buying a 3D television. These ports determine the peripherals that you can add to your TV. Find out whether a Blu-ray player, DVD player, game console, or home theater can be plugged to the television set. Evaluate these peripherals and only then buy the television set.

Aftereffects

A recent research by the Eye Care Trust says that about 10 percent of people who watch 3D television cannot actually see 3D images! Also, a few others experience discomfort, like nausea, headache, eye itching, etc., while viewing a 3D TV. This is because of the high speed and excessive flickering of 3D images. Thus, before buying a 3D TV set, it is advised that you watch the television set by wearing those glasses and check your comfort level. You might experience aftereffects of watching the TV. So, wait for a few minutes or hours before you make a final decision.

LCD or Plasma?

Finally, you have decided to buy a 3D TV! The next thing you will have to decide is whether to go in for an LCD or a Plasma TV set. There is generally no noticeable advantage of buying one over the other. One of the points that will differentiate these two is the crosstalk. Plasma units have less noticeable crosstalk as compared to LCD units. But, it is a universally known fact that plasma sets consume more power and are bulkier in comparison to the others in the same category.

Content

Let me be very clear here―there is not much 3D content out there. So, it is highly possible that you will run out of patience when it comes to the number of channels that you can view in 3D. Keep this aspect in mind, and only then buy the unit. There’s a marketing catch word called “simulated 3D.” This means that the 2D content is made to appear like 3D. But anything that is originally not transmitted in 3D will make for horrible viewing. Be careful not to fall into the trap of this feature.

Budget

This is the most important aspect that you should consider. 3D TVs can burn a hole in your wallet. Thus, only if you are financially sure of bearing the cost of a 3D unit, go for it. Else, you can wait for cheaper sets to be launched.

It will be wise enough to buy a 3D TV if you have something to watch on it! And with the scarcity of 3D content, it is advisable to wait until adequate content is developed. If energy efficiency and price factors are to be considered, then you should buy an LCD TV over plasma sets. Think twice before making such a huge investment. Don’t fall into the trap of marketing gimmicks; evaluate your needs before buying a 3D television.

Tips for Software Project Management

I’ve long had a side-interest in project management. Once I even read through the entire Project Management Body of Knowledge. The more I learn about project management, the more I realize that a tester should quickly become a project manager’s best friend. The project manager potentially has the greatest impact on software quality of all the participants in a software product. If a good tester provides information about the product, a good project manager takes that information and applies it. He makes it active and useful. This is the point where technical observation meets business sense and the product begins to really take shape. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that the title of “quality assurance” is actually earned by the project manager, and that those of us who test really aren’t in a position to “assure” anything.

I learned the value of good project management in a previous job, where my test group focused on throwing the various software products our company made together into a mixed environment, to evaluate how nicely everything played together. It was a kind of corporate-wide integration test, throwing together products that were developed by different business units and in different development silos. What I quickly learned was that my influence as a tester was extremely limited outside the sphere of my primary product’s development team. If I was assigned to serve as a part of Product A’s development team and I found a problem with Product B that was causing us grief, it was sometimes difficult to get the developer of Product B to give the bug the attention it merited. After all, his code was doing exactly what it was designed to, within the context of his product, and thus, of his worldview. Product B’s customers were happy (as long as they weren’t also running Product A) and there was no way a Product B developer engineering manager could justify devoting their engineering time and expertise to fixing a problem for Product A.

Now, most developers were good “corporate citizens” and were willing to do what was needed for the larger good of the company and its customers, but my point is that there were many occasions when choosing to fix a bug required an evaluation on a business level, as opposed to a technical evaluation (“Does the current functionality make sense?” “Does it satisfy our customer’s requirements?”). It was at this point that a project manager became indispensable. When Product A’s project manager met with Product B’s project manager and explained the impact of the problem, more often than not, the bug was fixed. In most instances, a two-way learning process took place and both teams benefited from the sharing of information. More importantly, going forward, future bugs were avoided because the project manager of both products had a good understanding of how to avoid the problems they had seen in the past. (Not to say that new bugs weren’t introduced!)
Of course, I feel like the relationship between project management and testing is symbiotic.

Of the many sources of information that project management can draw from, testing is (hopefully) one of the deepest and most meaningful. A tester’s (or a test team’s) illumination on how a product measures up to expectations is a critical piece of the information managers need in order to inform a good business decision on when the product is ready to ship to customers.

So, hats off to all you project managers out there. We get so much more done with you than without you.

Tips for Interactive Classroom Design

Learning had earlier been limited to books and reading materials. But with the evolving technology the concept of learning and imparting education has also changed to a great extent. These days the online medium is taking over the offline medium of teaching. Classroom teaching is becoming ultra modern and simpler to help develop long lasting memory skills amongst the students.

The fresh approach of learning

Various new kinds of multimedia along with engaging content are being implemented to make the learning process more of an interactive session for both the teachers and learners. Therefore, to ensure the contemporary age classrooms are interactive enough, certain ways of designing such as the av solutionscould be put into practice.

Five tips for interactive classroom design and solutions are as follows:

  1.   A user-friendly interface

By access I mean, an interactive session where the faculty could quickly get their hi-tech systems connected so that there is no wastage of time and effort. With the help of just a click, the lecturer could get all geared up for the presentation. A user friendly interface can always focus on productivity and swiftness in interacting with the students instead of a slow interface that can consume most of our time.

  1.   A well-synchronized response System

For conducting an interactive learning session a well-synchronized response system is the vital requirement. The use of up-to-date hardware or software system that uses infrared and radio frequency should be fixed in the classroom. Tables comprising of microphones help in rapid questioning and answering sessions taking place between the student and the lecturer.

  1.     A quality sound system

Just like the students can raise their doubts easily with the help of microphones, the lecturer should be able to revert back immediately if the sound capturing system contains quality microphones, DSP processors and speakers. The value lapel that the lecturer wears is what defines his clear value of speech.

  1.    Well placed ceiling speakers

To make sure the audio travels in every corner of the room, the wide-angled ceiling speaker should be able to give out sound uniformly in the room. As such the perfect placement and positioning of the ceiling speakers must be taken care of.

  1.    Audio-visual medium

The interactivity will keep soaking in the students, when the audio-video solutions are going to impart its excellence with the help of a projector and a screen board. The ideal aspect ratio would be the 16:10 ratio that is going to rationalize the process of learning.

The appealing factor of an interactive classroom is the one that incorporates tools and necessary solutions to let the creativity and interactivity flowing between both the student and teacher. It is the duty of the teacher to ensure the interaction goes on perfectly and similarly the student is supposed to take charge of the responsibility to make sure they fulfill the responsibility flawlessly. If the coordination is well maintained between both the teacher and the student then fitting in digital classroom solutions in current era, is going to be a hit.