Chief Technology Officer & Photographer | Irvine, CA

Codeigniter 2, Capistrano, & Phake

Well – it was time for me to finally make a contribution to the PHP community – so here it is – my extended version of Codeigniter 2 – a little “rails-ified”.

[Read more…]

No…I don’t have a resume…

“Corporate America” bugs the hell out of me.

Today, I get an email titled “Opportunity Knocks” from a local company in town, giving the same old canned message that was spruced up a little to be marginally personalized.  I was told he searched for “php developer phoenix” and he found me (I rank #1 for that search term).  Ok – I read on – and it was basically a soft recruitment letter – pretty standard.

I responded back that I wasn’t looking for full time work, but I’d be open to any contract/freelance work, as I had recently left a company to go back out on my own. He responded shortly after and said, “How about sending me a resume and I’ll set up a few face-to-face meetings with the peeps here?”.

Hmmm…

Well, I don’t have a resume, I haven’t updated my resume in years. Hell, the resume I used to desperately get a job with 944 Magazine was the same resume I had that I made in high school – clearly it worked, but it was old, outdated, and is a constant reminder of “old business”.  If you know me…Craig…this is directed at you haha…you know that I loathe “old business” methodologies – not all, but most.  I still prefer the good old “hand shake and a promise” – something about that just screams “business” to me, but everything else, meh, I can do without.

Apparently I said something to ruffle the feathers, because after my response of “Look at the links in my sig – that’s my resume – I’m pretty confident in the wealth of information you’ll find about me as a person/developer/etc on google”, I was told that I was “being arrogant, cocky and feeling entitled” and that those “are not a qualities we are interested in”.

Whoa…what?

Whoa what? Being arrogant and cocky? I think you completely misunderstood my last email, and now you’re telling me that I’m an “apprentice” because I told you I don’t have a formal “resume” anymore? I’m not an old dude with a pony tail – nor a web developer that wasted years in college and have 9 million microsoft/google/etc certifications – it’s all worthless – real world experience is where it’s at.

Wow – this went downhill pretty quick…and FYI, in the “real world”, a piece of paper listing accomplishments is still just a piece of paper – the proof is in the pudding, and you’ve yet to see any of my work (you’ve seen my blog and probably DateDesigner.com) – neither of which I care to “defend” to you.

The only arrogant person in this conversation is you right now…you probably need to chillax a little. An apology for flying off the handle is appreciated.

It gets better – I just got this response:

Fair enough: I apologize for “flying off the handle”. Let me get back on my broomstick (apparently, I’m a witch?).

We do require a resume. Sorry, I can’t ask other managers and the co-founders of this company to “Look at the links in my sig – that’s my resume”. Seriously, that doesn’t cut it. To dignify and respect their time, they should only have to review a single-source document of your accomplishments (aka a “resume”). Everything they read online *could* be 100% BS (just as a resume could be), but it starts the process down the right road. No one has time to look at countless websites that have some reference to who you might be. Down the road, if we were truly interested, we would dig deeper (verify work history, check references, etc.).

You’re right, never saw any pudding. Also, I wasn’t being arrogant, I was being condescending (which was wrong and I apologize for that, too). Guess I was expecting to somehow be “wowed!” by your claim of being a “jQuery Expert”.

I reached out to you because you appeared to have an acceptable amount of experience in web development. I failed to conclude that you were a master of your craft. Being that you are, you are clearly out of our league as we are really just looking for someone who is pretty darn good at what they do.

Sorry to have bothered you.

And my response:

Again with the “crafty” email response – and a dodge at just apologizing, tucking your tail, and moving on.

I never claimed to be a jQuery expert, I mentioned that my budd had said that. That was meant to be a joke, but clearly that wasn’t conveyed – or understood. I don’t claim to be an expert at anything – I do however know that I’m pretty f***in good at the skills I do possess.

My flip flops, t-shirts, and bedazzled jeans don’t do well in corporate culture – neither do resumes and obviously me – this is why I’m a full time freelancer. I loathe “old school” business methodologies, and can’t stand to be a part of them.

A bit of advice – especially in an ever competitive tech industry, hire people, not resumes. You could have easily brought me in to “meet the peeps” with a bit of information about me – you know, doing your job with recruiting, you gather information and report it back to those that control your strings. But now, you’ll just be on the hunt for another drone – another resume submitter…someone whom which I’ll never be again.

Thank you again for yet another captivating response XXXXX, I’m really looking forward to the next one!

Yes – now I’m just being an ass, but hey, it’s the amusement that I needed today. Back to the grind – see ya on the flip side!

Remove index.php from Codeigniter URL’s

I’m sure this already exists out on the net, but I found a little gem today.  When you are working with Codeigniter, you can remove the index.php from your URL’s by creating an .htaccess file with the following information:

RewriteCond $1 !^(index\.php|sitemap\.xml|robots\.txt|user_guide|blog|public|favicon\.ico|LiveSearchSiteAuth\.xml)
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /index.php/$1 [L]

If you notice, I have some other stuff in there to not exclude from passing to index.php like a sitemap.xml, the user_guide directory, the blog directory, a “public” directory (that I use for css/images/js), etc.

You set that in your .htaccess file first, then go into your config.php file and set this:

$config['index_page'] = "";

Basically, what that does, is that removes the whole site from processing through index.php in the URL bar (it still goes through there as far as I know, but doesn’t show it), specifically when using Codeigniter built-in functions like redirect().

Figured I’d share that little nugget of knowledge…happy coding!

CodeIgniter & jQuery – A match made in web heaven…

Honestly, a year ago, I wasn’t a fan of either CodeIgniter or jQuery – because I really didn’t look at them deep enough.

CodeIgniter – PHP MVC Framework

My first shot at CodeIgniter was with DateDesigner.com (by persistent recommendation from @strebel).  Wow…once you grab the concept of the MVC framework, CodeIgniter makes your life tremendously easier when throwing together a site.  I literally thumbed through documentation and built DateDesigner.com in 30 days (scratch to launch).  I have learned how to set it up better and have learned a lot after putting together a few more sites with it (Twitrratr.com, FindMyDogADate.com, BajaSurVacationRentals.com), so now when I go back through some of the DateDesigner.com code, I curse myself a little as I refactor.

Have you built any sites with CodeIgniter?  Do you have an cool plug-in’s for CodeIgniter that you can suggest?

jQuery – Javascript Framework

Now – I have sucked at javascript for going on…ummm…ever?  It was actually @chuckreynolds that intro’d me to jQuery, but at the time, I still didn’t get it – because I was just too lazy to take a good look at it.  Well, again, my first shot at jQuery was on a simple interface tweak in DateDesigner.com, but it has spurred off on to nearly every site I work on now (including all of the 944 web sites internal/external).  There are a plethora plug-in’s available for jQuery – I’ve recently worked with jCarousel and a few others.

Do you have any jQuery plug-in recommendations?  Anyone know of any where I could essentially paginate images in 2 columns like a book/magazine w/o using flash?

Site Launch – Cabo San Lucas Vacation Rentals

I recently launched a new site for a friend of mine – BajaSurVacationRentals.com.

The original site was created in ColdFusion and has been active for quite some time, however, the good people at BajaSurVacationRentals.com were experiencing not only downtime, but they have been overspending with Google Adwords to essentially “buy traffic” (not conversions), and have been hitting a cap when trying to expand.

My friend Erica, who is the Director of Sales & Marketing there, approached me about how they could expand because she was consistently hitting a wall with their current developer.  I took a look at the site and suggested that the site be written in PHP using the CodeIgniter framework to ensure that even if I get hit by a bus, there are more PHP developers out there than there are ColdFusion developers, and PHP is not so much of a dying technology.

Erica wanted to keep the look & feel of the site, so I basically spruced it up a little, and completely re-wrote the whole site (custom CMS included) in PHP & CodeIgniter.

We’re currently working on an SEO strategy to build traffic mainly organically instead of paying thousands of dollars buying traffic from Google.  After a little over 1 week after launch, the site is ranking quite highly on popular keywords for cabo rentals per my reports from the best keyword ranking tool out there.

I’ve heard there are some good deals to be had on both airfare and villa rentals in cabo these days…maybe you should go check the site out and plan a trip down to cabo?

Oh yeah…they also are on twitter as @caborentals – follow them for special announcements and so forth.