studywork.jpgIf you are a student studying overseas, there are many reasons why I always suggest to students like you to work while going through college or university.

  1. It supplements your pocket-money. If you are like many students today, you are learning to be independent. The best way for this is to get off your butt and do some work. The rewards are plenty, you get to meet new people and improve your social skills, learn to take real responsibilities and get paid while learning these new skills.
  2. It’s a scholarship. When you work, you get to learn so many things which builds your character and prepare you for the future. Think about it, you are paid to learn when you go to work.
  3. The real purpose of going to college or university is to prepare you for the real world. There are safely over 20,000 institutions of higher learning around the world producing graduates with either a degree or a diploma. These thousands of graduates are your competition and one of the best ways to compete is to get as much work experience as you can while you are still at school.
  4. It’s much easier to get a referral. Tagging on the previous point, when you start working earlier, it is easier for you to be noticed and be referred to your next job. LinkedIn published an interesting article on this.

There are many reasons you should get off your butt and grab life with your own hands and start taking control. The next question is how? How can an international student work in [insert your host country]. Well, here are a few quick pointers to help you.

If all the conditions only further confuse you as to the legality of working-while-studying, please contact your school or your education counsellors for further assistance.

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I’m not amused when people tell me that “programming is an art and I need the creative juice to flow” and then complain about deadlines. It’s not quite an art, it’s a craft.

Unfortunately, deadlines come with all professional jobs. Programming has to endure the disciplines of sound engineering principles, not the ambiguity of art. Programmers are paid to solve problems, not feel the problem.

There are problems which are complex and takes dedicated analysis and design time. There are challenges which require a few iterations of designs and proofs of concepts to get find the right approach. These challenges must be approached with an engineering mindset. By understanding the problem, proposing potential solutions and estimating the time it will take to build the solution. Not many projects out there offer you the luxury of building the next software equivalent of the Sagrada Familia cathedral.

You can have a pet project on the side that you are funding it by yourself. In that scenario, you can take as much time as you like to massage the code to your individual perfection.

“It’s ready when it’s ready” is a battle cry for amateurs.

Morbid title but an interesting thought exercise.

This one starts with 3D printing. It has provoked the human imagination and charge innovation in ways that was once not possible. We can build intricate parts with our imagination and will them into the physical world. From 3D printed sky-scrapers to 3D printed kidneys and bones. We are starting to see money being poured into these verticals to supercharge them and industrialise them.

There are many game changers out there but for this line of thought, I want to think about medical science of 3D bio-printing and how we think about mortality. When you look at causes of death, the majority of the causes are technical such as organ failure, toxicity or loss of blood. 3D bio-printing may advance to the level where organ failure may have a real technical solution. Imagine the companies which are already working on this area [1]. New ones are coming up quickly and they are bringing new possibilities to change how we live our lives. Read the rest of this entry »

Another day, another modern nightmare. HTC was caught to be storing fingerprint biometric data in a world readable image file. The implications would include that you have to change your fingerprint. Well, I assume you still have 9 more fingers to choose from.

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What if there is a way to redefine personal insurance by redrawing the privacy line, allowing the insurance agencies to monitor the behaviour or life style of the subscriber? Such an idea attracts immediate reaction to privacy concerns but just for the moment, let us treat privacy as the big white elephant in the room. Letting the elephant rest in the corner and assume that these concerns are under control so we could proceed with this thought exercise without injury.

This thought exercise suggests a change in how health and life insurance companies engage with their subscribers by using the Internet of Things (IoT) to measure behaviour and to manage risks. This thought was inspired by Usage based insurance [1], used in the automotive industry and based on the growth of IoT ready sensors and devices, usage based insurance may see it spread beyond auto insurance into almost any measurable object to be insured.

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My eyes feel fatigued. I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately  (hoping to learn more about current and future trends in technology) – like a bee hopping from one flower to another, never quite satisfied with the nectar of knowledge each flower seems to offer. Alas, this is my process; or at least that’s how I console myself about my ADHD.

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Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said an emergency Parliamentary sitting should be convened to amend various laws governing Internet and media usage such as the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984.” – The Star Online 2nd, August 2015

The government hopes the fear of the law creates a cone of silence from the people, so they can bring the voice of the one louder. This takes away the democratic mirror the government badly needs to see how well they (the public servants) are serving the people. Growing the ever increasing “Spiral of Silence” and burning the bridges of democracy. They will write their own report cards, they will sing their own praises and isolating themselves and digging their own graves.