As much as I yearn to share my continuing personal development, I am in the process of revamping my digital portfolio. I also want to develop a new dedicated website as part of my new learning in the realm of software development. I have much techy jargon (and discovery) to share, which I don’t want to drown in my personal blog.

FUTURE

As part of my expanding knowledge in software development and cloud technologies, I am looking to re-house this blog to a new web host and be less dependent on the functionalities of a CMS (Content Management System). At the end of the day, my blog merely displays text and one big image per blog post. A CMS platform like WordPress is an overkill for me, especially with the ridiculous plugins that automate in updates. It is also a security risk on my part, as I no longer look through the changelogs, since everything is processed automatically behind the scenes.

I have been self-hosting this website for over 8 years across 3 shared web hosting providers, and it is time to grow up and dip my toes on a VPS (Virtual Private Server) – especially when I have time (well, at least for the next two weeks). I have recently been testing a placeholder VPN setup and though I need to manually enter command lines inside a Linux OS like it’s 1984, at least I have the control to modify anything. It will also sharpen my knowledge with regards to Information Security (i.e. cybersecurity), which is still my area of interest. Hence why I am looking to shift websites left, right and centre and develop new web projects.

PAST

Meanwhile, I have wiped over 10 years of history from my FB account. I merely exist as a prop account. Did you know that the aforementioned platform harvests every-single-element of your data into categories? I literally spent over 5 hours manually selecting content from ‘Like and Reactions’, ‘Comments’, to ‘Groups’ and deleting every item recorded. There is no ‘Select All’ option. No wonder they have amassed a fortune from marketers based on our interactions, which also explains why adverts and articles are targeted to perfection.

I know I have the control and ability to permanently delete my account for good, which I am 95% inclined to proceed, but the 5% within me is the potential link to “be in touch” with contacts and acquaintances that I have met in my lifetime – locally and overseas. There are some I hope to meet again. I realise I don’t need my account to access the web technologies that they actively promote and develop for the Internet and programming community on GitHub.

So yeah, I am contactable in-person, by mobile, e-mail and Twitter exclusively.

PRESENT

The primary reflection that I wish to share is based on something that was challenged during a formal chat. I found it rather ironic to have been asked about the future of technologies within academia. I revealed a cheeky grin and bit my tongue. I withheld detailing the underlying truth, which they cannot survive without it.

Days before my formal chat I was left feeling sad when I struggled in the notion in how these technical skills can give God the glory. On the surface, you have no idea how the Internet is developed and maintained. We just take it for granted that we click on buttons and things happen.

Even I have to pick up my jaw everyday when I discover how there’s a dozen different technologies make a common website, each has its own syntax and/or language – thus each technology needs time to learn and understand. After all, one has to earn his bread and butter, as money doesn’t grow on trees.

I have spent the past 90 days to rekindle my technical skills in web programming starting with the core web technologies – mostly HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Essentially, I have merely scratched the surface in Front-End Web Development. As much as I have a firm grasp of the core foundations, I need further time to prove my newfound skills and evidence my skills in the form of a sustainable and technical-driven portfolio website. This is worth hours of time.

I know this because I spent two weeks on a JavaScript project creating a ‘Date Calculator’ only to realise that it is IMPOSSIBLE to manually calculate the perfect amount of years, months, weeks and remaining days between two dates. I wrote functions and trigger code to capture the data, only to realise the Leap Year and 28 (29) / 30 / 31 days for set months do not give consistent results. I manually coded the backend, though I had to resort to a JavaScript library to parse the consistent days and absolute weeks (and remaining days) into years, months – with the weeks and days that remain.

I am finding that merely surviving in a technological culture and society is also affecting my walk with the LORD. All of my job applications have been IT-centric roles. Even if they are not IT-focused, I will still need to use technology to input keys to open the checkout till, or record medication and send e-mails if I were in the care sector working with people.

With Apple’s newly-announced iBricks highlighting me-centred features to capture the perfect self-portrait in a me-centred society, I am still waiting on Apple announcing a cheap Mac computer of some kind, like an all-soldered non-upgradeable Mac mini starting from £999 with your kidney as your deposit.

I am curious to see what Microsoft and Google will release, as they both prepare keynote presentations next month, as they hope to rake the coffers in time for the Fall / Winter season for 2018.

Meanwhile, with the obvious distraction of what the world wants me to buy simply to connect with people who are gullible to buy the latest and greatest, my time with God consists of pixelated notifications from the Bible app from YouVersion (aka Life.Church) and the Tecarta Bible. In a traditional format, I use my Our Daily Bread devotionals and leather Bible on my study desk. There is no blue flashing light or notifications to distract me, but it’s more wordy than a two-line notification of today’s word. Any less and God’s Word will be reduced to a literal word.

But here lies the problem. With regards to growing in the LORD, I know the truth from the reality. I bring joy to the LORD if I resort to my traditional Bible and use quality time to sit in His presence and talk to my Heavenly Father in prayer. But that quality is literally liquidated, because like everyone else we struggle to love God in return, but we are super quick to cry out in times of trouble. I know this is only part of growing and exercising our faith in the LORD. There is still one’s application, faith, heart, lifestyle and worship – but I would like to think God’s Word is key.

How can we stay relevant as believers if the generation is more left-winged and sensitive to rejection and are more consumed and excited for disposable materials and online services? Why have we allowed the evil one to lose our attention and focus, much like Jesus’ disciples on the night before His crucifixion?

Why does history repeat itself?

~Richard