At The Centre Pompidou Paris, France

Creativity is You

If you let the fear of the unknown stop you from even starting, you won’t start

Creativity is YOU. It is not an activity but what you bring to it when you give yourself permission to make mistakes and not be afraid of it.

Creativity is on everything. When you don’t feel like being creative or think there is no room for creativity with the task at hand think again. Creativity is not something you learn or something you can turn on and off. Creativity is something that happens when you start doing something. To trigger creativity you might want to try things without thinking too much about the end result. Also, having some sort of limitations and/or restrictions usually triggers some creativity. Continue reading

IMG_1360

Remote employees: Best tools for collaboration and communication

Working remotely has become a common way of working for a lot of professionals, and while it is a lot easier to do this than years ago, working remotely still has some challenges. The one thing we can all agree with is that not having to worry about a busy and/or long commute is awesome (see photo above). The ability to stay connected to your peers and be able to collaborate seamlessly is necessary for remote teams to be successful. All companies use email and most use some sort of instant messaging tool, but this isn’t enough.

In recent years, many software companies have created multiple tools to make remote collaboration and communication easier and less intrusive, below are some of the tools I consider the most useful and enjoyable for the remote employee and remote teams. Continue reading

There is an entire medieval town hidden behind a giant rock

There are many countries and cities around the world that I have been lucky to have traveled to. However there are many more I haven’t and this little Greek town is one of them. Hope you enjoy the info and beautiful photos of this interesting island.

There is a town hidden behind a giant rock, the name of it is Monemvasia a municipality in Laconia, Greece. Monemvasia was separated from the mainland by an earthquake in 375 AD. The majority of the island’s area is a plateau about 100 metres above sea level, and the town of the same name is built on the slope to the south-east of the rock, overlooking Palaia Monemvasia bay. Many of the streets are narrow and fit only for pedestrian and donkey traffic. A small hamlet of about 10 houses lies to the northwest. Continue reading

Small-groups as the antidote to bad meetings

small-groups antidote for bad meetingsBad meetings, meetings from hell, or whatever you want to call them, we’ve all experienced those and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of you experience bad meetings in a daily basis. While there are endless tips, blog posts and even books about how to have good meetings and ways to avoid meetings from hell, none of the advice seems to fix the underlying issue. Most people who attend meetings don’t need to be there. If you look at most articles about making your meetings more successful and productive, they tell you to have an agenda, to have a clear objective, to use time wisely, to store distractions in a “parking lot”, to have shorter meetings, etc… However, the reason we have to do all of those things is because in most meetings, you have people who are not supposed to be there, people who don’t bring any value to the meeting, and people who either don’t have interest in the topic being discussed or the knowledge to help and contribute to the meeting. Continue reading

Trip to the border

theundocumentedengineer_423x675There I was in a bus on my way to Matamoros from Guadalajara, Mexico. It was a winter night, on December 27, 1995. I remember a movie playing inside the bus, don’t remember which one as I was too busy with my thoughts, watching the hilly scenery outside the window. The trip lasted about 12 hours and by the time we arrived to the city of Matamoros, it was about 7:00 AM in the morning.

One backpack and about $800 pesos is what I had on me. It is probably the lightest I have traveled since. The $800 pesos was one full month’s worth of my salary working as a courier for a travel agency in Guadalajara, Mexico. At the time, I was contributing to my family’s income and didn’t have much left for savings; the $800 pesos were a risky investment in a dream for a better pay in the United States so I could contribute more to my family. Continue reading

Kickstarter: Our project failed

greenThis is the message I received this morning from Kickstarter about my campaign failing because it didn’t get funded:

We’re sorry to report that your project, The Undocumented Engineer, didn’t meet its funding goal.

We know how much hard work goes into running a project. You’ve made tremendous progress by launching and working to build a community around your idea.

As you’re figuring out your next steps, don’t forget to keep your backers in the loop. They’re your biggest fans and are probably interested in following along with your progress. You can post an update or send them a message to let them know about your plans for your project.

Continue reading

Trip to Oahu and Maui, Hawaii

Aloha!

Oahu is one of the most popular islands in Hawaii, also, the one with the largest population. This island is a very attractive destination to people looking to see a piece of paradise, with the option to have all the amenities of a big city such as shopping and a great variety of restaurants and hotels. However, there are other islands like Maui which offer in my opinion, a better option for those in search of a more adventurous experience, and the feel of true island living.

Waikiki beachBoth places are great for vacationers and travelers looking for water adventures such as surfing, snorkeling, sailing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, etc. If you are looking to just lay down on the beach and enjoy a great view in and around the beach then perhaps Oahu is a better option. If you are looking to do some exploring, hiking, and have an adventurous road trip, then Maui offers all of that. Continue reading

The Undocumented Engineer

Kickstarter: Day 10

It’s been 10 days since I launched my first kickstarter campaign for my first book. These series of blog posts are a story of my journey with my first kickstarter campaign.

These are the things I’ve tried up until today to get more people to back my campaign:

  • Emailed my entire email list. Twice.
  • Have tweeted multiple times from different accounts about the campaign.
  • Tried unsuccessfully to get influential people to re-tweet or tweet about my campaign.
  • Emailed friends and acquaintances directly to ask them for their support.
  • Have posted the video, book cover and excerpts from my new book multiple times on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and even Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • Have written three posts about my failure to get people to back my kickstarter campaign. This is the third one.

Continue reading

Kickstarter: Day 3

I started my first campaign on Wednesday, July 1st, 2015. So far I have 3 backers, one of them is my wife, the second is a friend and previous co-worker and the third one someone I don’t know. This post is about the changes and updates I’ve made to my still unsuccessful kickstarter campaign a few days after I started it. If you want to read about the launch click here.

A few days after the launch of my first kickstarter campaign and after realizing this campaign wasn’t going to have hundreds of backers in the first few days as I first imagined, I decided to keep spamming people sharing the kickstarter campaign. Social media and direct emails didn’t do as well as I first expected. So naive of me. The next thing on my list to get the word out about this campaign was to write and share an excerpt of the book The Undocumented Engineer, which is what my kickstarter campaign is about.  Continue reading

Kickstarter: Day 1

After thinking about writing a book for a while I finally pulled the trigger and launched a kickstarter campaign. I wrote a description, created the ugly book cover shown below using Gimp, and uploaded a video created using a notebook and a black permanent marker. I spent a lot of hours researching what a kickstarter campaign should look like. Read multiple blogs describing how to successfully launch a campaign, how to get featured on kickstarter, and even examined some of the successful kickstarter campaigns to learn how they did it. Continue reading