Going to Start Developing Templates

Lately I’ve been bouncing ideas with some friends on ways to earn extra passive income. So far the most reasonable ways are making templates and ads on this blog. There are many articles( like not by the hour and 20+ Passive Income Resources) that also cover this topic and they show more ways of doing it; however they don’t work for me personally.

Anyhow, in about a month (after I get a new computer), I will test the waters of selling templates. I’ll make a simple template and I’ll put it on Theme Forest, which seems to be the most simple way to showcase and sell themes right now; and although I’m not raving about the payout structure I still think its fair enough.

The question now is, what kind of template to make? I’m personally not too happy with Joomla development so I think that one is out and I’ve never worked with Drupal so that one is out too. That leaves me with a plain html template and WordPress, I think both take about the same time to develop, so by looking at the current popularity of WordPress I think it would be smart to start out making a template for WordPress.

In conclusion, my target will be to make a simple WordPress template(ie. no support for widgets unless I change my mind) and trying to sell it between $10 and $15 dollars on Theme Forest. Hopefully after two months on the market I would have gathered enough information to either make me want to make another template or make me look elsewhere for passive income sources. I’ll try to write report by Jan 09 with the results of this experiment.

Alienware’s Website Refresh

This past monday ( June 10) Alienware released a refreshed site.  As one of the developers behind this refresh I feel happy that the deployment went well, there where some hiccups here and there during the first few hours but it was all good at the end of the day.  I joined Alienware back in February and I was assigned the task of starting the refresh, that is the reason I feel proud of the site since a lot of my ideas (both good and not so good) ended up in the final release.

When others ask me how happy I am with the end result I always reply that I’m about 70% happy.  I know I could have improved many things but constrains and time are always the enemy.  However I think that the current state of the site is a pretty darn good foundation for whatever we decide to build on the future.  I also feel happy that Mr Dell(big boss) himself said he liked the look and feel of the new site.  Also I glanced thru some message boards and the general consensus is that people like it.

So what does the future hold?  Well I’ve taken it upon myself to improve the speed of the site and rethink my not so good ideas.  And hopefully I’ll get some time to relax now that I’ve crossed the first big hurdle at Alienware and while I wait for the next big thing.

First Joomla Project

I’m happy to announce that I completed my first joomla project-Exotic Car Collections– A project collaboration between Jonas(who came up with the idea) and Myself(who put the back-end together). A little background about this project:

About Two months ago I read in one of the forums that I frequent a post by someone looking for help setting up a site. At the time, I did not have a full-time job per se, so I was interested in jumping into projects just to get my name out there and to try different technologies that I might not see in a regular basis.

So Jonas, who wanted to build the site, told me his idea of having a site to post pictures and articles about exotic car collections. I thought the idea had potential so I decided to help him start the site. I proposed Joomla for the back-end as I did not have the time to build a whole site from scratch. However I had never done a full blown website using Joomla before; I had only experimented with it on a few occasions but nothing serious. Anyhow after some difficulties at the beginning I got to set up all the components and basic foundation to have the site working the way we wanted; all while Jonas learned the ins and outs of Joomla since he was going to take care of the content and day-to-day site management. Long story short we released Exotic Car Collections last week to the public.

So far no major problem has arise, but as with every project something will eventually come up. I do hope that we can improve the quality and usability of the site as time allows; but I see it difficult as I just started my Graduate Degree last week and my job’s work load is steadily increasing. Regardless I’ll try to find time to keep polishing the project.

Alienware’s Alien Network

As some of you may know I currently work @ Alienware. Today we are releasing the first episode for our Alien Network. I’m not entirely sure what will be covered on the episode since I have not seen it, however I’m really interested on what people have to say about that project.

If you have any comments, suggestions or a question that you would like to see answered in an upcoming episode on the Alien Network just submit a comment or hit me up thru the contact form.

Thats all for now, I’ll post later on today after we go live.

Alien Network goes live April 29, 2008 @ 3pm EST

update: Well its 11pm and I finally watched the episode. I think it that it was kind of monotone as some people commented over at Engadget. But I must admit that the idea has potential, hopefully the episodes will get better over time.

Interesting View On Looking For Good Programmers

I recently started looking for a Job as a developer, either web or stand-alone, and while searching thru some job listings I saw a common trend. They(employers) do not necessarily understand what to look for in a person to fill in a position.

I found this post on digg and thought that I share almost all of this persons views of who is a good programmer.

I particularly agree on his view of self-learning. I know many programmers who complain about new technologies and dont want to learn it unless they are sent to a course or the company invests in (pays) them to learn a new technology.

A good programmer doesn’t need a training course to learn a new technology. In fact, the great programmer will be the one talking your ear off about a new technology that you haven’t even heard of, explaining to you why you must use it in your business, even if none of your staff knows how to use it. Even if it’s a technology he doesn’t know how to use yet.