New Google Search Results?

Today I went to Google and found myself with a new Search Results UI

Google's new search results

The changes:

  1. Google’s logo has been updated
  2. Search button has been updated
  3. Location; it now tells you where you are searching from and it allows you to modify your location and apply it to searches.
  4. Results count and query execution time has been moved to the top right just above location.
  5. The search options on the left have been, slightly, updated (UI wise)

Looking for a Job? Beware!

Earlier this year I spend a couple of months looking for a job as a web developer in the South Florida area. This was my first time looking for a job and there where a couple of things that I noticed while searching. First, there are not that many “good” opportunities out here in South Florida and second, IF there is an opportunity, the desired requirements looks a lot like an ingredient list for a pie. Long story short I applied for some of these job openings as I wanted to find a job fast and I also felt that I had almost all of the desired requirements.

However back then I didn’t realize the error of looking into jobs with long requirements. Originally I thought that the lists where more of an employer’s wish list, wishful thinking that a candidate with all the trades would show up on their front door. What I didn’t realize back then is that I could potentially be the only one at that position. In other words I would be the only person doing what I do at that particular company. Back then I didn’t think that was such a horrible scenario, but now I know that is a mistake.

The main problem with being the only one with your level of skills in the company, is that there is no one else to bounce ideas with, no one to give you a hand when you have a mental block or anyone that understands/appreciates the complexity/difficulty of the job at hand. Usually employer’s with wish lists want a person that can do it all, they want someone who can do for one salary what two or more should do.

So next time that you are on a job interview ask with how many co-workers you will be interacting with directly. Trust me on this one, you do not want to be the lone ranger at the park.

Future Of Web Apps Miami 2008 – My Thoughts

This is the first time I’ve attended a conference of any kind, so I was not sure of what to expect. Although from reading some reviews and watching some clips from previous FOWA(Future Of Web Apps) events it looked that it was the kind of conference I would enjoy. Anyhow lets cut to the chase and list my first impressions…

The Best

  • Kathy Sierra’s presentation “Creating Passionate Users” and the slides that went with it. I specially enjoyed the slide that showed a confused user in front of a monitor with a cloud saying WTF?? that was priceless.
  • I enjoyed Blaine Cook’s presentation and the pandemonium while he was speaking(Twitter went down and some where going nuts over that and his cellphone didn’t stop ringing while he was up in stage).
  • Leah Culver’s presentation was good she came across as humble and very energetic speaker. She acknowledge some mistakes she made while developing Pownce. Acknowledging mistakes and trying to tell people to avoid it is not something a lot of people do.
  • The Launch a Web App in 40 min. panel.
  • Cal Henderson’s presentation was my favorite of the day, he talked about robots, kittens and stuff…
  • Gary Vaynerchuk kicked some ass too with his presentation. Actually I think of it more of a motivational speech than a presentation. I didn’t know who he was or why was he relevant to the conference. But after seeing him on stage I think he really represents what he talks about. He is very charismatic and the only negative thing I could point out is that he is a Jets fan(Go Dolphins!).

The Rest

  • Tantek Çelik and Brian Oberkirch where good hosts, although at times they seemed to lack some emotion while speaking.
  • Matt Mullenweg’s presentation was good and insightful to me, however he spoke somewhat fast and was a little too technical for some of the people who went with me to the conference. Nonetheless his presentation was enjoyable.
  • Kevin Marks’ and Emily Boyd’s presentations where interesting, but a little too long.

The Bad

  • I thought Matt Marshall’s presentation was very dull and how many times did he mention google? a gazillion times during his presentation.
  • Microsoft’s presentation was kind of pointless and it was more of a demo than a presentation. From the two demos presented the first one didn’t quite work and well it was basically MS version of Google maps. The second demo worked better but the accompanying explanation was not very clear.
  • Bagels for lunch? Bagels are OK for breakfast and morning break, but for lunch? fortunately there was a Burger King three blocks north of the venue.
  • I didn’t really get to meet new people, but thats just me.

Overall the event was very interesting, it was well organized and the experience as a whole was a first to me. I really wish I could have made some new friends at the event. I also wish I could have met some of the speakers and established some kind of connection/contact with them, but I guess them being some kind of celebrities it makes it hard to contact them. Thats all for now.

update: finally got myself to upload the 3 pictures I took at the event.  I should really really get a NEW Digital SLR, anyhow here is the link to my FOWA 2008 Flickr set.

Apple’s MacBook Air

After much anticipation the Macworld 2008 keynote is over and Apple released some new products(time capsule and macbook air) and updates(apple tv, movie rentals and ipod touch ). I have to say that most of what was shown at this year’s keynote was expected.

The most important product released today was the MacBook Air, Apple’s ultra thin computer weighting in at 3.0 lbs and measuring, at its thickest point, just 0.76?. This product has been rumored for a few months already and was generating some excitement among Apple fanboys including myself. However after the initial excitement I realized that the product is disappointing.

On the outside my main concerns with the MacBook Air are the number of USB ports and the micro-dvi port. Only 1 USB port wont satisfy my needs at the moment, I know that wi-fi is the main idea behind the Air but not all the gadgets, the ones I use with a laptop, are wi-fi enabled. Secondly a micro-dvi port? why didnt they try to keep the mini-dvi port? that means that I will have to carry yet another adapter with me.

As far as hardware goes the Air’s standard specs seem good enough. However if we take a closer look at the specs we can see that the HDD speed is just 4200RPM, quite slow if you ask me. The same is true for the processor 1.6Ghz shouldn’t even be there it should have come with 1.8Ghz standard. The 5hr battery life for an ultra thin computer seems low; I remember two years ago while looking for a laptop that IBM had ultra thin laptops with a 7-9hr battery life. Heat is another issue I’m concern with, my MacBook runs HOT most of the time, how is the MacBook Air going to handle heat? The only things I really dig in the MacBook Air are the screen size and full keyboard.

I guess I will be waiting for the reviews from the early adopters. The product is not bad and I dont think the price is excessive as some people complain. Nonetheless I believe the Air is a product whose technical specs were not well thought out.

Watch Apple’s MacBook Air Official guided tour, picture gallery, specs and the Ad