Monday, March 31, 2014

9 Things Successful People Do Differently

Why have you been so successful in reaching some of your goals, but not others? If you aren’t sure, you are far from alone in your confusion. It turns out that even brilliant, highly accomplished people are pretty lousy when it comes to understanding why they succeed or fail. The intuitive answer — that you are born predisposed to certain talents and lacking in others — is really just one small piece of the puzzle. In fact, decades of research on achievement suggests that successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do.

1. Get specific. 
When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible. “Lose 5 pounds” is a better goal than “lose some weight,” because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there. Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal. Just promising you’ll “eat less” or “sleep more” is too vague — be clear and precise. “I’ll be in bed by 10pm on weeknights” leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do, and whether or not you’ve actually done it.

2. Seize the moment to act on your goals. 
Given how busy most of us are, and how many goals we are juggling at once, it’s not surprising that we routinely miss opportunities to act on a goal because we simply fail to notice them. Did you really have no time to work out today? No chance at any point to return that phone call? Achieving your goal means grabbing hold of these opportunities before they slip through your fingers.

To seize the moment, decide when and where you will take each action you want to take, in advance. Again, be as specific as possible (e.g., “If it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I’ll work out for 30 minutes before work.”) Studies show that this kind of planning will help your brain to detect and seize the opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by roughly 300%.

3. Know exactly how far you have left to go. 
Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress — if not by others, then by you yourself. If you don’t know how well you are doing, you can’t adjust your behavior or your strategies accordingly. Check your progress frequently — weekly, or even daily, depending on the goal.

4. Be a realistic optimist. 
When you are setting a goal, by all means engage in lots of positive thinking about how likely you are to achieve it. Believing in your ability to succeed is enormously helpful for creating and sustaining your motivation. But whatever you do, don’t underestimate how difficult it will be to reach your goal. Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence. Studies show that thinking things will come to you easily and effortlessly leaves you ill-prepared for the journey ahead, and significantly increases the odds of failure.

5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good. 
Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can get the ability. Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, and our physical aptitudes are fixed — that no matter what we do, we won’t improve. As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills.

Fortunately, decades of research suggest that the belief in fixed ability is completely wrong — abilities of all kinds are profoundly malleable. Embracing the fact that you can change will allow you to make better choices, and reach your fullest potential. People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in stride, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination.

6. Have grit. 
Grit is a willingness to commit to long-term goals, and to persist in the face of difficulty. Studies show that gritty people obtain more education in their lifetime, and earn higher college GPAs. Grit predicts which cadets will stick out their first grueling year at West Point. In fact, grit even predicts which round contestants will make it to at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The good news is, if you aren’t particularly gritty now, there is something you can do about it. People who lack grit more often than not believe that they just don’t have the innate abilities successful people have. If that describes your own thinking …. well, there’s no way to put this nicely: you are wrong. As I mentioned earlier, effort, planning, persistence, and good strategies are what it really takes to succeed. Embracing this knowledge will not only help you see yourself and your goals more accurately, but also do wonders for your grit.

7. Build your willpower muscle. 
Your self-control “muscle” is just like the other muscles in your body — when it doesn’t get much exercise, it becomes weaker over time. But when you give it regular workouts by putting it to good use, it will grow stronger and stronger, and better able to help you successfully reach your goals.

To build willpower, take on a challenge that requires you to do something you’d honestly rather not do. Give up high-fat snacks, do 100 sit-ups a day, stand up straight when you catch yourself slouching, try to learn a new skill. When you find yourself wanting to give in, give up, or just not bother — don’t. Start with just one activity, and make a plan for how you will deal with troubles when they occur (“If I have a craving for a snack, I will eat one piece of fresh or three pieces of dried fruit.”) It will be hard in the beginning, but it will get easier, and that’s the whole point. As your strength grows, you can take on more challenges and step-up your self-control workout.

8. Don’t tempt fate. 
No matter how strong your willpower muscle becomes, it’s important to always respect the fact that it is limited, and if you overtax it you will temporarily run out of steam. Don’t try to take on two challenging tasks at once, if you can help it (like quitting smoking and dieting at the same time). And don’t put yourself in harm’s way — many people are overly-confident in their ability to resist temptation, and as a result they put themselves in situations where temptations abound. Successful people know not to make reaching a goal harder than it already is.

9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do. 
Do you want to successfully lose weight, quit smoking, or put a lid on your bad temper? Then plan how you will replace bad habits with good ones, rather than focusing only on the bad habits themselves. Research on thought suppression (e.g., “Don’t think about white bears!”) has shown that trying to avoid a thought makes it even more active in your mind. The same holds true when it comes to behavior — by trying not to engage in a bad habit, our habits get strengthened rather than broken.

If you want to change your ways, ask yourself, What will I do instead? For example, if you are trying to gain control of your temper and stop flying off the handle, you might make a plan like “If I am starting to feel angry, then I will take three deep breaths to calm down.” By using deep breathing as a replacement for giving in to your anger, your bad habit will get worn away over time until it disappears completely.

It is my hope that, after reading about the nine things successful people do differently, you have gained some insight into all the things you have been doing right all along. Even more important, I hope are able to identify the mistakes that have derailed you, and use that knowledge to your advantage from now on. Remember, you don’t need to become a different person to become a more successful one. It’s never what you are, but what you do.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bertumbuh & Berbuah Sesuai Dengan Rencana Allah - Dari : Pelita Hidup

“Akulah pokok anggur yang benar dan Bapa-Kulah pengusahanya. 
Setiap ranting pada-Ku yang tidak berbuah, dipotong-Nya dan setiap ranting yang berbuah, dibersihkan-Nya, supaya ia lebih banyak berbuah.” Yohanes 15:1-2

Pohon anggur digunakan oleh Tuhan Yesus untuk menggambarkan seperti apa kehidupan kita dan hubungannya dengan Dia. Agar dapat tumbuh dengan baik, pohon anggur membutuhkan kondisi iklim dan tanah yang khusus. Pohon anggur juga membutuhkan perawatan yang seksama agar dapat memberikan buah yang memiliki kualitas terbaik.

Itulah sebabnya Tuhan menggambarkan kehidupan kita seperti pohon anggur. Kehidupan kita memerlukan kondisi yang dapat mendukung pertumbuhan rohani kita, agar dapat bertumbuh sesuai dengan rencana Allah.

Hidup kita juga membutuhkan perawatan agar dapat menghasilkan buah-buah rohani yang berkualitas, sehingga buah-buah tersebut dapat dinikmati oleh orang banyak.

Melalui kitab Yohanes pasal 15 ini, ada dua hal yang bisa kita ambil sebagai pedoman, agar kita dapat bertumbuh sesuai dengan rencana Allah.

1. Rela Dibersihkan
“Setiap ranting pada-Ku yang tidak berbuah, dipotong-Nya dan setiap ranting yang berbuah, dibersihkan-Nya, supaya ia lebih banyak berbuah.” Yohanes 15:2

Setiap pohon anggur yang bertumbuh, akan selalu dibersihkan oleh pemiliknya. Daun dan ranting yang kering dipotong, agar tidak mengganggu pertumbuhannya. Ranting yang berbuah dibersihkan daun-daun yang tidak perlu, sehingga buah yang dihasilkan dapat bertumbuh dengan baik.

Begitu pula dengan kehidupan kita, ada hal-hal yang dapat mengganggu pertumbuhan rohani kita. Bahkan akan menghalangi kita untuk dapat menghasilkan buah yang baik.

Melalui kejadian demi kejadian, Tuhan akan membersihkan kehidupan kita. Hal-hal yang tidak berkenan dengan Firman Tuhan harus dihilangkan dari pertumbuhan kehidupan rohani kita. Dengan demikian kita akan menghasilkan buah-buah roh, yang dapat dinikmati oleh orang banyak.

Untuk itu kita harus memiliki hati yang rela untuk dibersihkan oleh Tuhan. Janganlah kita mengeraskan hati kita ketika berada dalam proses pembersihan. Masalah demi masalah yang kita hadapi merupakan cara bagi Tuhan untuk membersihkan kehidupan kita. Mari kita belajar untuk mengetahui, melalui suatu masalah, bagian mana dari kehidupan kita yang sedang Tuhan bersihkan.

Relakan hidup kita untuk dibersihkan oleh Tuhan, agar kita dapat menghasilkan buah roh yang Tuhan kehendaki.

2. Tetap Dekat Dengan Tuhan
“Tinggallah di dalam Aku dan Aku di dalam kamu. Sama seperti ranting tidak dapat berbuah dari dirinya sendiri, kalau ia tidak tinggal pada pokok anggur, demikian juga kamu tidak berbuah, jikalau kamu tidak tinggal di dalam Aku.” Yohanes 15:4

Ranting-ranting yang menempel pada pokok anggur akan terus mendapat nutrisi yang dibutuhkannya. Nutrisi tersebut yang akan menghidupi ranting-ranting yang masih melekat pada pokok anggur. Sampai kepada proses pertumbuhan buah, nutrisi akan terus dibutuhkan agar buah dapat bertumbuh dengan baik.

Ranting-ranting yang sudah terlepas dari pokok anggur tentunya tidak akan mendapat asupan nutrisi lagi. Ranting itu akan menjadi kering dan tidak akan mengeluarkan buah lagi. Ranting yang kering hanya akan dilempar ke dalam api dan dibakar.

Kita perlu tetap melekat kepada Tuhan. Hanya dekat Dia saja kita dapat tetap bertumbuh dan mendapat asupan rohani yang baik. Dan tentunya kita akan menghasilkan buah roh dalam kehidupan kita.

Membaca, merenungkan Firman Tuhan dan berdoa setiap hari akan membuat kita tetap melekat kepada Tuhan. Firman Tuhan akan menerangi kehidupan kita dan memberi kekuatan agar kita dapat terus bertumbuh di dalam kebenaran.

Jika karena kesibukan aktivitas dan pekerjaan kita sehingga kita mulai mengabaikan untuk membaca Firman Tuhan dan mulai menunda-nunda untuk berdoa, maka sudah dapat dipastikan bahwa kita mulai menjauh dari Tuhan. Hati-hati dengan keadaan seperti ini, karena kita tidak akan mendapatkan nutrisi rohani yang kita butuhkan. Keadaan ini akan membuat kita mati secara rohani dan tidak akan menghasilkan buah roh yang Tuhan kehendaki.

“Mendekatlah kepada Allah, dan Ia akan mendekat kepadamu.” Yakobus 4:8

Walaupun keadaan tidak mendukung dan kondisi kita melemah, tetaplah mendekat kepada Tuhan, Dia akan menolong kita dan memberi kita kekuatan. Bahkan Dia akan mengangkat kita dan memberikan kemenangan demi kemenangan dalam berbagai masalah dan pencobaan. Dia akan membuat hidup kita bersinar terang dan memancarkan kebenaran bagi setiap orang di sekitar kita. Kita akan menghasilkan buah-buah roh untuk dapat dinikmati oleh orang banyak. Haleluya!
“TUHAN adalah kekuatanku dan perisaiku; kepada-Nya hatiku percaya. Aku tertolong sebab itu beria-ria hatiku, dan dengan nyanyianku aku bersyukur kepada-Nya.
TUHAN adalah kekuatan umat-Nya dan benteng keselamatan bagi orang yang diurapi-Nya!” Mazmur 28:7-8

“TUHAN itu kekuatanku dan mazmurku; Ia telah menjadi keselamatanku.
Suara sorak-sorai dan kemenangan di kemah orang-orang benar: “Tangan kanan TUHAN melakukan keperkasaan,
tangan kanan TUHAN berkuasa meninggikan, tangan kanan TUHAN melakukan keperkasaan!”
Aku tidak akan mati, tetapi hidup, dan aku akan menceritakan perbuatan-perbuatan TUHAN.” Mazmur 118:14-17


Monday, March 24, 2014

How To Start a Business : a Checklist from Smarta

So you want to work for yourself, but where do you begin? There's so much to remember and do. That's why we've created this checklist. Follow the links to other parts of the site to get the information you need at each stage, and work your way through it step-by-step. Once you've worked through all the options in each section, finalised arrangements or made a key decision, tick that section off and move onto the next one.

#What kind of business should I start?

There are loads of options out there for all of you who want to become self-employed. Click on the links below to explore each.
  1. Start a part-time business.
  2. Your own business idea - a completely new product or service. Read up on idea protection if you're following this path.
  3. Start a franchise.
  4. Buy a business.
  5. Buy a license to sell an existing product.
  6. Do you want to start alone or would it be better to find a business partner?
  7. Or, do you want to be a freelancer and try something like photography?

#How do I research my business idea?
  1. Is your idea viable? You need to do a rough working of your costs versus the money you can make from sales. How much will people pay for your product?
  2. Is there demand for your business? This will take more time. You need to do market research and work out who your target customers will be.
  3. Can you afford to start the business you have in mind or find the money to do it?
  4. Research your competition.
  5. Find at least three unique selling points (USPs). If you can't, think of a new business idea, because you won't be able to lure customers away from your already-established competition. This feature will help you determine USPs.
  6. Do some preliminary research into suppliers and distributors - a bit of Googling, a few casual phonecalls to potential suppliers, and ask other businesses in your sector - so you know how easy it is to get the materials and products you need and how much those items will cost.
  7. Find out what price people will pay for your product and what your business model will be. Do market research and use this advice section.
  8. Try making a few sales if you can via eBay or however you can - just a bit of testing to see how the market responds. Follow up on other ways to test your market.

#Writing a business plan

Writing a business plan might seem like a long and boring task, but it forces you to think about your idea rigorously, highlights potential show-stopping problems and makes you take a hard look at how much money you're going to need. Use Smarta's 500+ free business plan templates for guidance.
  1. Read Smarta's advice on business plans.
  2. Decide where your business will be based - start at home if you can (here's why). If you need commercial premises, look at this advice section and research property prices in your area to include an approximate cost in your budget. Factor in business rates and utility bills.
  3. Write your business plan.
  4. Some details will need to be updated as you complete the next few steps - or you might need to complete the next few steps before finishing your business plan. That's fine - a business plan should be a live document, updated regularly.
  5. Once you've done your business plan, make a project plan what you need to achieve by which (target) dates to get you through the next steps. This is an absolute must!

#How can I finance my business?
  1. Work out what savings, income and solutions like remortgages you can use to finance your business. Warning: do not put all your eggs in this one basket. Five in six businesses fail in their first year - we don't want to be pessimistic, but we also don't want you to end up homeless if this doesn't work out.
  2. Read Smarta's section on business finance to look at all the options available to you.
  3. Talk to an accountant. Here's advice on how to find one.
  4. Talk to your bank manager, business plan in hand, to find out what kind of loan you will be able to access. Make it clear you're still pre-start-up and just doing research at this stage. Watch this video for advice on what the banks are looking for. Watch this video on the EFG to see if you're eligible for that too.
  5. Look into which small business grants you might be eligible for - you can start by searching our grants database.
  6. Redraft your business plan according to the finance you have available.

#Prepare: business training, skills and support
  1. Read Smarta's advice section on business skills and training.
  2. Start reading business books relevant to your sector to get a good feel for how it operates and how you should enter the market.
  3. Do any courses or training you think you need.
  4. Join relevant networks and find a mentor if you can. Look at our advice on networking and mentoring to find out more.

#Getting the right people on board
  1. Find an accountant if you haven't already.
  2. Assess your skills set and start thinking about what other help you will need. Bring in a business partner if needed and talk to people or businesses you will need to outsource to. Warning: don't start employing people until you really, really need to. You need to keep costs as low as possible. If you definitely need employees, check out Smarta's advice section.
  3. Make sure you have the support of family and friends. You'll need it.
  4. Join start-up networking groups, the Smarta community and look into business mentors.

#Naming my business
  1. Read up on branding and advice on choosing business names to start thinking about the perception a business name creates.
  2. Brainstorm a whole heap of possible names and pick out 10 - 20 favourites.
  3. Google your names to see if anyone else has them.
  4. Search Companies House to see if the name is available.
  5. Check no one has the web address (or addresses) you'd want if you started up with that name. If you're sure about the name, buy the domain for it now.

#Registering my business
  1. Work out which structure is right for you with this advice section. 
  2. Contact HMRC to tell them you're becoming self-employed and to get the right business starter pack for you.
  3. If you're going to be a company, you need to register with Companies House. You can register your company with Companies House on Smarta - we simplify the process to save you time and hassle.

#Setting up shop
  1. Set up your home office (this feature tells you what you need and how to get it on the cheap), or...
  2. Find your premises and negotiate your lease.
  3. Open a business bank account (click the link to do this with our partners RBS or NatWest here on Smarta) if you haven't done so already, and apply for a business loan if you need one. And read this feature if you get rejected first time for a loan.
  4. Sort out your IT and equipment, furniture, business mobile and phone lines. Handy hint: rent stuff rather than buying it.
  5. Order business stationery (though make sure you have secured your domain name first - see the section below).

#Set up a website

Read Smarta's advice on business websites.
Buy relevant domains for your new business name.
Either build your website yourself or get a designer to, following these guidelines.
Read Smarta's feature on what you should pay for a website.
Optimise your website for SEO following the advice in this section.
Read up on the data protection act if you're going to be collecting data from your website.
#Getting suppliers and distributors on board

This stage might come earlier in the process, depending on the type of business you're starting.
  1. Read Smarta's advice section on business suppliers and distributors and logistics - or import and export, if that applies.
  2. Read Smarta's guide on choosing a supplier.
  3. Set up relationships with main suppliers and distributors, but also keep a list of back-up ones in case something goes wrong.
  4. Get credit from as many suppliers as possible to cut costs. Read this case study if you struggle with getting credit.
  5. Road-test your supply chains and distribution processes with small batches of product first, to make sure everything is working.
  6. Talk to suppliers and distributors about their capacity to scale up if you plan to grow quickly.

#Get the nitty-gritty right
  1. Get legal advice.
  2. Get business insurance.
  3. Push through any patents or other IP needed.
  4. Find out about what business rates (on premises) and taxes you need to deal with.
  5. Find out what regulations and restrictions you might face, and any licenses you need to obtain before you can start trading. Talk to your local council to find out.
  6. Find out about health and safety regulations.
  7. Read up on VAT to find out if you need to register for it.

#Almost ready to start selling
  1. Read these guides on sales.
  2. Work out your pricing strategies. 
  3. Learn about advertising and marketing, PR and social media and plan your strategies.
  4. Have your books set up and know who will manage them. Crucial note: you need to be able to understand them even if an accountant is doing most of the work. Check out our advice sections on money management and bookkeeping for help. 
  5. Network like crazy to tell people about your business!

#Start selling

Congratulations - you're in business!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Balance Between Agile and Waterfall Software Development

Can We Strike a Balance Between Agile and Waterfall Software Development?

# Quality, Functionality and Time

These three words were drilled into my head as a green Product Manager. I was told you could have two of the three in a product release, but one always had to be “sacrificed.” Because I worked for a product company that announced release dates well in advance, time was usually fixed. So either quality or functionality was put on the cutting block. Luckily, I was working for a quality-conscious company at the time, so it was usually functionality that dropped. As a Product Manager, I was at the end of the “bullwhip” on that, always having to explain why a feature didn’t make it into a release. This approach just didn’t seem right to me. In a 6-12 month development cycle, priorities change over time, so sometimes what we built didn’t meet expectations down the road.

Along came agile development and a “no-wine-before-it's-time” development philosophy. Was this a perfect world where we could have quality, functionality and time? In a sense, yes, but not exactly.

“Time” is usually less of a factor in agile environments, because you keep iterating until the team feels the product is ready to be released. Having the product in a “testable state” at any time helps to reduce the time pressure. In an agile world, you wouldn’t announce a release date of a product months ahead of time. Instead, you’d be more likely to announce weeks ahead of time.

# Hybrid Approach

When starting our company, Mike and I had to figure out what felt right for us. Since we’re a consulting company, we develop software for other organizations, rather than release our own products. This presents several challenges:
  1. Budget is usually fixed at project outset, and funding is often available only during the current fiscal year.
  2. We need to manage both our own team and the stakeholders of the client team on a day-to-day basis.
  3. We aren’t always familiar with our clients’ organizational structure and culture at project outset, so unpredictable delays and challenges usually come up.
We never had a major discussion about the merits of waterfall vs. agile, but fortunately, we were both of the same mindset and adopted a hybrid approach to development.

We implemented parts from each that felt right to us:
  • Some upfront planning, like building design wireframes and user stories
  • Short one- or two-week development iterations
  • Application always in a state that can be tested
  • Constant evaluation of features and project goals

# Challenges

As a Project Manager, I struggle with some aspects of the hybrid approach, such as:
  • Educating clients - Many of our clients have never been through a software development process before. To mitigate this, we have included information about our hybrid process in all our proposals, and we always set expectations early in the project. Weekly client meetings also help.
  • No detailed product requirements document - As a “traditionally” trained product manager of the 90’s, I am used to very detailed project requirements documents, approved by all project stakeholders. This is just not practical in our line of work, as the client’s high-level idea of what they want and what they actually need often changes. As the client actually sees the project unfold, priorities change, functionality is tweaked, budgets change, and so on. We try to strike a compromise by having requirements mirror the complexity of the project, but we always maintain the dialogue to adjust as needed.
  • The need for a rapid testing/feedback cycle - Clients often have difficulty keeping up with agile development’s rapid iteration and testing/feedback cycle. This can put the project at risk, since the longer we go without feedback, the harder it is to recover if we aren’t developing what the client expects. We sometimes mitigate this by slowing development velocity down, so client testing can catch up.
  • The desire for an exact launch date - Many clients who want an exact launch date once a contract is signed. This is probably what I struggle with the most. It is very difficult to give an accurate launch date at the start of a project because:
    • Client projects are very fluid with changes in requirements
    • Its difficult to determine the client’s ability to adhere to testing/feedback schedules. Because we develop in rapid interactions, clients are not always able to “keep up” with testing and feedback. This can cause delays in the project.
    • Sometimes a client’s internal processes, such as security audits or internal review boards, delay progress and its difficult to determine the impact of this early on in the project.
There is no perfect world. The waterfall approach has issues, the agile approach has issues, and our hybrid approach has issues. Every organization has to determine what approach works best for their culture, their clients and their employees. For us, the hybrid approach works well, and takes some pressure off the “quality, functionality and time” dilemma. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

10 Ways to Meet and Exceed Your Boss's Expectations - From : Kforce

Whether you are a recent hire or a tenured employee, it’s important to continue to strive for success in the workplace. Distinguishing yourself as a valuable employee can not only assist in providing job security, but also help you take the next step in your career.

In honor of National Boss Day, Kforce Vice President of Finance, Sara Nichols, provides ten ways you can meet and exceed your boss’s expectations and stand out as an exceptional employee.

1. Manage expectations

While it is important to focus on ways to meet and exceed your boss’s expectations, first and foremost, your boss will likely want you to effectively manage his or her expectations.

Nichols suggests taking the time to understand what your boss expects when it comes to project deadlines and deliverables. By communicating frequently with your boss about his or her expectations around the nature and timing of deliverables, the likelihood of exceeding those expectations can dramatically increase.

2. Communicate

Whether it’s verbal or written, communicating ideas, deadlines and other messages to your boss efficiently is a must. Effective communication skills can differentiate you as a professional and help your boss gain confidence in your ability to take on new roles and responsibilities.

When communicating with your boss, both online and in-person, Nichols says it is important to craft well-thought out, concise messages. When crafting your communication, think about the perception you are trying to create and choose your tone and words accordingly.

3. Ask questions

In addition to effective communication, it is also important to know when to ask questions. Nichols suggests asking your boss, and even other team members, about additional details regarding project requirements or possible strategies to implement on a new assignment. Just remember to listen to the feedback provided.

“If your boss notices that you are asking thoughtful questions, they are likely to see you as a crucial contributor to the team who can add value,” says Nichols.

4. Display a positive attitude

It’s expected that some days at work can be challenging or stressful when meeting deadlines or working on a budget. However, Nichols says a positive attitude is a ‘must-have’ when it comes to building a successful team and it is important to stay optimistic and encouraging in even the most difficult circumstances.

“From the moment I meet someone, I take notice of their attitude,” says Nichols. “A positive attitude is a key quality that can demonstrate strength of character and can win the respect of your co-workers by making you ‘easy to do business with’.”

5. Be a team player

Just as it is important to display a positive attitude, most employers appreciate those professionals who are good listeners that work well with others and contribute to the team effort.

“All employees should be working towards the same goal, whether that means generating revenue or promoting a positive image of the company,” says Nichols. “Those employees who align their own goals to the team’s goals are likely to be noticed by management.”

6. Become self-motivated

With little direction, self-motivated employees are the go-getters that take the lead on assignments or research details before important meetings. Nichols says these self-starters can help their bosses save time and allow them to focus on other areas.

“Employees that routinely rise to new challenges and demonstrate a high degree of self-motivation, tend to get recognized when the opportunity for advancement is presented,” says Nichols.

7. Keep your skills up-to-date

As technology evolves, so must professionals. Whether it is the latest version of software or regulatory changes, Nichols says most bosses will expect their employees to keep their professional skills up-to-date.

“Staying abreast of the latest developments in your industry can show continuous improvement and help you become a more efficient and effective employee,” says Nichols.

8. Be flexible

In addition to changes in technology, changes to your team, goals and project requirements are inevitable. While it may be a challenge for some, Nichols says remaining flexible and adapting to these changes can be a crucial skill. Most importantly, she reminds employees to continue to display a positive attitude when changes occur in the workplace.

9. Pay attention to detail

When it comes to overseeing multiple projects, Nichols admits all bosses may not have the time to manage all the specifics. Employees that can pay attention to details and raise concerns may not only have the opportunity to earn the trust of their boss, but be recognized for their efforts in spotting out errors and correcting any inaccuracies.

10. Differentiate yourself

Last but not least, identify what differentiates you professionally from the rest and make it a characteristic that your boss can depend on. Making small efforts such as routinely showing up to work early each day or consistently finding new, more efficient ways to accomplish everyday tasks can help you position yourself as a valuable resource to your boss and team.

Nichols says, “While many professionals may have the qualifications to do the job, differentiating yourself and what unique elements you can bring to the table will set you apart.”


Implement the ten strategies above, and you too can stand out as a star employee.

“You want to demonstrate to your boss that you can continue to add value to the team and its goals,” says Nichols. “Ask yourself each day ‘how can I make my boss’s job easier?’ and you can begin to meet and exceed their expectations.”

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Representasi SQL JOIN Secara Visual - Dari Pojok Programmer

Selamat malam. Artikel ini bercerita tentang representasi SQL Join secara visual yang dikutip dari salah satu website dan blog programmer : "Pojok Programmer". Visualisasi  yang ada dalam artikel ini cukup sederhana sehingga dapat dibaca dan dimengerti dengan mudah khususnya oleh junior IT yang ingin mempelajari secara visual ilmu SQL. Semoga bermanfaat.

Representasi SQL JOIN Secara Visual

Mempelajari SQL bagi beberapa orang adalah sebuah tantangan tersendiri, terlebih lagi paradigma yang dibawa SQL, yaitu paradigma set atau himpunan sangat jauh berbeda dengan paradigma programming yang umunya imperatif atau prosedural. Ketika kita belajar himpunan dahulu pasti pernah dikenalkan dengan Diagram Venn. Dengan menggambarkan SQL JOIN menggunakan Diagram Venn mudah mudahan bisa mempermudah kita memahaminya. 

Diagram Venn : A Venn diagram or set diagram is a diagram that shows all possible logical relations between a finite collection of sets. #Wikipedia

Saya (Nurhidayat - Penulis Pojok Programmer) akan membahas tujuh cara yang berbeda menggabungkan dua tabel relasional yang berbeda menggunakan SQL JOIN. Ketujuh Bergabung saya akan membahas adalah sebagai berikut:

Kita akan coba bahas satu persatu diikuti dengan contoh agar lebih mudah dipahami. Contoh query akan menggunakan dua buah table, yaitu TABLE_A dan TABLE_B dengan struktur dan data sebagai berikut:


Ini adalah query yang paling sederhana, paling umum, dan paling mudah dipahami. Query ini akan mengembalikan semua record dalam tabel kiri (tabel A) yang memiliki record yang cocok di tabel kanan (tabel B). Query Inner Join ditulis dengan format sebagai berikut:

Jika kita menggunakan contoh data di atas, query ini akan menghasilkan data sebagai berikut:


Query ini akan mengembalikan semua record dalam tabel kiri (tabel A) meskipun record di tabel A tersebut tidak memiliki record yang bersesuaian di tabel kanan (tabel B). Dan semua record yang bersesuaian dari tabel kanan akan muncul. Query Left Join ini ditulis dengan format sebagai berikut:

Jika kita menggunakan contoh data di atas, query ini akan menghasilkan data sebagai berikut:


Query ini akan mengembalikan semua record dalam tabel kanan (tabel B) meskipun record di tabel B tersebut tidak memiliki record yang bersesuaian di tabel kiri (tabel A). Semua record yang bersesuaian dari tabel kanan akan muncul. Query Right Join ini ditulis dengan format sebagai berikut:

Jika kita menggunakan contoh data di atas, query ini akan menghasilkan data sebagai berikut:


Query ini akan mengembalikan semua record yang ada di kedua table tersebut, dan semua record yang bersesuaian akan digabungkan menjadi satu record. Query Right Join ini ditulis dengan format sebagai berikut:

Jika kita menggunakan contoh data di atas, query ini akan menghasilkan data sebagai berikut:


Query ini akan mengembalikan semua record dalam tabel kiri (tabel A) yang tidak memiliki record yang bersesuaian di tabel kanan (tabel B). Biasanya pertanyaan yang dapat diselesaikan menggunakan Left Excluding Join adalah "Tampilkan semua data di tabel A yang tidak ada datanya di tabel B!". Query Left Excluding Join ini ditulis dengan format sebagai berikut:

Jika kita menggunakan contoh data di atas, query ini akan menghasilkan data sebagai berikut:


Query ini akan mengembalikan semua record dalam tabel kanan (tabel B) yang tidak memiliki record yang bersesuaian di tabel kiri (tabel A). Biasanya pertanyaan yang dapat diselesaikan menggunakan Left Excluding Join adalah "Tampilkan semua data di tabel B yang tidak ada datanya di tabel A!". Query Right Excluding Join ini ditulis dengan format sebagai berikut:

Jika kita menggunakan contoh data di atas, query ini akan menghasilkan data sebagai berikut:


Query ini akan mengembalikan semua record yang tidak memiliki pasangan di tabel kiri (tabel A) maupun tabel kanan (tabel B). Kasus ini jarang sekali ditemukan namun bukan berarti tidak ada. Query Full Excluding Join ini ditulis dengan format sebagai berikut:

Jika kita menggunakan contoh data di atas, query ini akan menghasilkan data sebagai berikut:


Mudah-mudahan penjelasan ini dapat membantu memahami apa itu SQL Join. dan untuk para coder sejati silakan download cheatsheet di bawah ini untuk dijadikan wallpaper komputer Anda :)


Saya akan membahas tujuh cara yang berbeda menggabungkan dua tabel relasional yang berbeda menggunakan SQL JOIN. Ketujuh Bergabung saya akan membahas adalah sebagai berikut:
Kita akan coba bahas satu persatu diikuti dengan contoh agar lebih mudah dipahami. Contoh query akan menggunakan dua buah table, yaitu TABLE_A dan TABLE_B dengan struktur dan data sebagai berikut,
- See more at:
Mempelajari SQL bagi beberapa orang adalah sebuah tantangan tersendiri, terlebih lagi paradigma yang dibawa SQL, yaitu paradigma set atau himpunan sangat jauh berbeda dengan paradigma programming yang umunya imperatif atau prosedural. Ketika kita belajar himpunan dahulu pasti pernah dikenalkan dengan Diagram Venn. Dengan menggambarkan SQL JOIN menggunakan Diagram Venn mudah mudahan bisa mempermudah kita memahaminya. - See more at:
Mempelajari SQL bagi beberapa orang adalah sebuah tantangan tersendiri, terlebih lagi paradigma yang dibawa SQL, yaitu paradigma set atau himpunan sangat jauh berbeda dengan paradigma programming yang umunya imperatif atau prosedural. Ketika kita belajar himpunan dahulu pasti pernah dikenalkan dengan Diagram Venn. Dengan menggambarkan SQL JOIN menggunakan Diagram Venn mudah mudahan bisa mempermudah kita memahaminya. - See more at:

Monday, March 17, 2014

What is Data Mart? Definition & Concept

A data mart is the access layer of the data warehouse environment that is used to get data out to the users. The data mart is a subset of the data warehouse that is usually oriented to a specific business line or team. Data marts are small slices of the data warehouse. Whereas data warehouses have an enterprise-wide depth, the information in data marts pertains to a single department. In some deployments, each department or business unit is considered the owner of its data mart including all the hardware, software and data. This enables each department to use, manipulate and develop their data any way they see fit; without altering information inside other data marts or the data warehouse.

A datamart is a mini data warehouse, or a subset of data derived from a primary data warehouse. Datamarts are typically stored in the same database server as the warehouse. A data mart is a relational table containing results of a report.

Data Warehouse :
  • Holds multiple subject areas
  • Holds very detailed information
  • Works to integrate all data sources
  • Does not necessarily use a dimensional model but feeds dimensional models

Data Mart :
  • Often holds only one subject area- for example, Finance, or Sales
  • May hold more summarized data (although many hold full detail)
  • Concentrates on integrating information from a given subject area or set of source systems
  • Is built focused on a dimensional model using a star schema

A database, or collection of databases, designed to help managers make strategic decisions about their business. Whereas a data warehouse combines databases across an entire enterprise, data marts are usually smaller and focus on a particular subject or department. Some data marts, called dependent data marts, are subsets of larger data warehouses.
What Is a Data Mart?
A data mart is a simple form of a data warehouse that is focused on a single subject (or functional area), such as Sales, Finance, or Marketing. Data marts are often built and controlled by a single department within an organization. Given their single-subject focus, data marts usually draw data from only a few sources. The sources could be internal operational systems, a central data warehouse, or external data.

How Is It Different from a Data Warehouse?
A data warehouse, unlike a data mart, deals with multiple subject areas and is typically implemented and controlled by a central organizational unit such as the corporate Information Technology (IT) group. Often, it is called a central or enterprise data warehouse. Typically, a data warehouse assembles data from multiple source systems.

Nothing in these basic definitions limits the size of a data mart or the complexity of the decision-support data that it contains. Nevertheless, data marts are typically smaller and less complex than data warehouses; hence, they are typically easier to build and maintain. Table A-1 summarizes the basic differences between a data warehouse and a data mart.

What Are the Steps in Implementing a Data Mart?

1. Designing
The design step is first in the data mart process. This step covers all of the tasks from initiating the request for a data mart through gathering information about the requirements, and developing the logical and physical design of the data mart. The design step involves the following tasks:
  • Gathering the business and technical requirements
  • Identifying data sources
  • Selecting the appropriate subset of data
  • Designing the logical and physical structure of the data mart

2. Constructing
This step includes creating the physical database and the logical structures associated with the data mart to provide fast and efficient access to the data. This step involves the following tasks:
  • Creating the physical database and storage structures, such as tablespaces, associated with the data mart
  • Creating the schema objects, such as tables and indexes defined in the design step
  • Determining how best to set up the tables and the access structures

3. Populating
The populating step covers all of the tasks related to getting the data from the source, cleaning it up, modifying it to the right format and level of detail, and moving it into the data mart. More formally stated, the populating step involves the following tasks:
  • Mapping data sources to target data structures
  • Extracting data
  • Cleansing and transforming the data
  • Loading data into the data mart
  • Creating and storing metadata

4. Accessing
The accessing step involves putting the data to use: querying the data, analyzing it, creating reports, charts, and graphs, and publishing these. Typically, the end user uses a graphical front-end tool to submit queries to the database and display the results of the queries. The accessing step requires that you perform the following tasks:
  • Set up an intermediate layer for the front-end tool to use. This layer, the metalayer, translates database structures and object names into business terms, so that the end user can interact with the data mart using terms that relate to the business function.
  • Maintain and manage these business interfaces.
  • Set up and manage database structures, like summarized tables, that help queries submitted through the front-end tool execute quickly and efficiently.

5. Managing
This step involves managing the data mart over its lifetime. In this step, you perform management tasks such as the following:
  • Providing secure access to the data
  • Managing the growth of the data
  • Optimizing the system for better performance
  • Ensuring the availability of data even with system failures

For original and detail documentation please see here...