Log of what of Karen Jiang has learned at Techie Youth

Wed. Aug. 10, 2022

Being a guest blogger

Today I learned about guest blogging. Guest blogging is the act of inviting someone from outside your company to write blogs that will be published on your website. The blogger is usually someone who works in the same industry as the company or is an expert on the company’s efforts. Guest blogging benefits the host because it could help produce more fresh and engaging content so that customers associate your brand with expertise from a variety of talents. Moreover, it could allow your company to be perceived as a leader in the industry rather than your competitors. At the same time, guest blogging can benefit the writer because they can develop ongoing relationships with bigger organizations or other popular bloggers, which can lead to future opportunities. Being a blogger would also help increase your audience while you would likely be paid for your work.

Tue. Aug. 9, 2022

How to self-publish a book

Today I learned about how you could self-publish a book. Self-publishing is when you independently publish your book on a platform like Amazon without the need of a traditional publishing company. In contrast, traditional publishing requires querying, landing an agent, and getting approved by a publishing house. To self-publish a book, you would start by coming up with a book idea and creating an outline. You would develop a writing habit and build your own writing environment, where you can write peacefully without significant distractions. After that, you would decide which self-publishing platform to use and get your book edited and formatted as well as your cover designed. Once that is done, you should upload your manuscript and accompanying assets, and the last step is to hit “Publish” when you are ready.

Mon. Aug. 8, 2022

Getting an AI job without experience

Today I learned about how you could get an AI job without prior experience. Personal projects are a great booster in the recruitment process. Though they can seem overwhelming, the projects do not necessarily have to be something big or innovative; they just have to show your understanding of the material and that you conducted independent research with good coding standards. Hackathons are another option because they force you to build a project while meeting more experienced people. Coding challenges are similar to hackathons and are great for bringing your knowledge to application. Last but not least, open source projects will introduce you to production-level code and produce valuable skills such as debugging and versioning control.

Fri. Aug. 5, 2022

Making money as a musician

Today I learned about reliable ways to make money as a musician. One of the most popular tools is using streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music. Playing live is also a profitable method that allows the audience to experience music in person. Many artists create electronic press kits (EPK), which are digital collections of documents, videos, images, and music by the artists. Another common tool is selling band merchandise online, which includes creating your designs, setting up your store, and contacting print-on-demand companies. Furthermore, you can collaborate with brands and other musicians and teach music lessons, whether through online platforms or private in-person sessions. A social media appearance is also an important step in successful music marketing.

Thu. Aug. 4, 2022

Skills to look for in app developers

Today I learned about skills to become successful mobile app developers. Knowing multiple programming languages is an important criterion when it comes to recruiting app developments. This can include Java, Kotlin for Android, and objective-C and Swift for iOS apps. Moreover, developing skills in both Android and iOS apps indicates an ability to diversify across different platforms. An app developer should also understand marketing techniques such as using social media in order to bring commercial value to a company. Information security is another essential skill since personal information must be protected in apps so that users are safe and willing to utilize the product. Other crucial skills are creativity, analysis, and communication, which can mean thinking outside the box, offering comprehensive solutions, and reaching out to people when needed.

Wed. Aug. 3, 2022

Tips to using Pinterest

Today I learned about Pinterest niche boards. Pinterest is an image-sharing and social media platform that allows users to save compilations of images, GIFs, and videos. A Pinterest board is a collection of pins that you have saved and usually comes with a specific theme. Some of the most popular types of boards on the platform include home decor, women’s fashion, inspirational quotes, travel, and technology. From my own experience, I have used Pinterest for outfit inspiration and famous quotes. In order to be successful on Pinterest, it is suggested that you have a minimum of 10-15 boards and that your images be of high-quality and vertical-oriented rather than horizontally. Similar to other social media services, using hashtags and posting engaging content on Pinterest would help increase your number of followers.

Tue. Aug. 2, 2022

Tips to using TikTok

Today I learned about theme pages on TikTok. With over 800 million users worldwide, TikTok is most commonly utilized for cooking, fashion/beauty, comedy, dancing, and fitness theme pages. If seeking to gain more followers on your page, some tips are to choose a creative profile picture that likely grabs the audience’s attention and to pick a niche that focuses on your specialty. It is also recommended to post high-quality videos and provide engaging content that shows your personality. Popular TikTokers also often participate in trends and challenges, use trending music, and add trending hashtags to their posts. Lastly, interactions with other users as well as consistency would also be beneficial.

Mon. Aug. 1, 2022

Careers in the music industry

Today I learned about the different types of careers that are available in the music industry. As one of the highest-paying music jobs, video and sound engineers work to map the sound and voice effects for video games. They are also responsible for recording and scoring composers while some work in television and film production. Another career is recording engineers, who record, edit and mix sound for artists or music companies by directing the artistic and technical aspects of a recording session. A music therapist uses sound to help enhance the mental state of patients since many find music to be therapeutic and calming in stressful situations. Other interesting jobs in the music industry include music teachers, DJs, music directors, music agents, music franchise owners, and songwriters.

Fri. Jul. 29, 2022

Being a quality assurance engineer

Today I learned about the roles and expectations of a quality assurance engineer. A quality assurance engineer often conducts unit tests, which entails writing a function to ensure that a function produces the right results. Additionally, end-to-end testing includes writing commands that will iterate through a code. Essentially, a QA engineer works on checking the codes or websites created by web developers before they can be launched. Skills related to quality assurance can also be a booster to your resume and applications if you decide to apply to be a web developer or software engineer. Software companies will usually accept recent college graduates and place them on the QA team while slowly changing to a developer role.

Thu. Jul. 28, 2022

Web design versus web development

Today I learned about the differences between web development and web design. Web design includes the creation of the aesthetics and the usability of a website, whereas web development is the production of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for a website in order for users to interact with it directly. Even though they work on different functions, the two fields always go together since websites require both web designers and developers. Web developers work mostly with client-side code or languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, but back-end developers move on to focus on server-side languages such as PHP and Ruby. Web designers are expected to create brands, animations, logos, wireframing, and many other visual aspects while working in tandem with web developers. Hence, I think I would prefer to do web designing since I have not been a big fan of computer science and coding, although I have not yet explored all coding languages.

Wed. Jul. 27, 2022

Basics of Web Development

Today I learned about some basic concepts of web development. The first web browser known as the worldwide web (WWW) came out in 1990 and is a network of hypertext documents that are related to each other, which is also called webpages or websites. Websites are made in a language called HTML. The client receives user input and sends that to the server using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (JS). HTML takes care of the structure/content while CSS is responsible for fonts, colors, layouts, alignments, etc. JS takes care of interactivity and adds logic to a webpage. On the other hand, the server is known as “the cloud” and has databases while performing data validation. A server stores data such as user accounts, login/logout information, photos, and files and also creates, edits, or deletes records.

Tue. Jul. 26, 2022

Be specific with a niche website

Today I learned about creating and using a niche website. A niche site is one that focuses on a smaller and more specific part of a larger market. This is important because it provides visitors and customers with helpful and detailed information that aims to answer their questions or solve a common problem. A niche is a specific group of people with a similar interest, and a keyword/key phrase is what people would type into the search engine. Moreover, being specific as opposed to broad is beneficial for eliminating competition on the Internet since there can be countless sites available for a particular topic. More importantly, this specificity could lead to a higher earning potential since customers who search with specific terms usually have a better understanding of what they want or need.

Mon. Jul. 25, 2022

Making profits from digital goods

Today I learned about the various ways you can create content online to earn an income. Some of the options are quite common to everyday life while others may be not as familiar to me. E-books are a great choice for those who enjoy reading and writing, so you can learn to write, publish, and sell them on social media and websites like Amazon. Tips for being successful at this include planning an interesting plot or purpose for the book, choosing an effective title, making numerous edits by yourself and with an editor, and making sure that it comes with a nice book cover. Other examples are webinars, podcasts, and online courses, which can be done for educational or entertainment purposes. In fact, I was unaware that creating filters for platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram could be a money-earning opportunity, although I see them all the time. Lastly, the options that I am unfamiliar with are video games, mobile apps, and stock photos.

Fri. Jul. 22, 2022

To start with brainstorming and research

Today I learned about ways you can brainstorm for ideas and details related to your company. You can start by asking yourself questions such as: what do people use a lot? What current trends do you see in products and customers? What do people frequently talk about? What is an invention that you think people would benefit from? How much money and resources would be required? With these initial questions, it is important to consider any risks or weaknesses that may be a problem for your idea and company. Do research to ensure that the idea is unrepetitive, effective, and meaningful and that the product can be mass produced. Competition is usually a common factor, so it would be helpful yet a challenge to discover something new in your brand that other companies have yet incorporated. Some areas of inspiration can be clothing, accessories, home décor, artworks, furniture, vintage items, and customizable pieces.

Thu. Jul. 21, 2022

Being efficient: the purpose of a MVP

Today I learned about the purpose and several examples of a minimum viable product (MVP). By definition, a MVP is a product with features enough for attracting customers and confirming an idea in the early stage of a product development cycle. It serves to collect data from customers without having to devote a large amount of time and resources that would have otherwise been used to construct the whole product. The initial step in building a MVP is to ensure that the product adheres to the company’s goals and current situation such as if the company aims to reach a certain revenue number and if there are adequate supplies. Following that, it is important to determine the functionality of your MVP based on things like user research, competitive analysis, and relative costs. A well-known example is Airbnb, whose founders remodeled their own apartment to create a minimalist website with photos and details about the property.

Wed. Jul. 20, 2022

The basics of funding a startup

Today I learned about startup funding including expenses such as registration and legal fees and investments. When incorporating a new company, it is important to decide how to divide up the company’s shares among the founders as well as investors. A seed investment occurs at the very early stage of a startup and is not necessarily used to incorporate the company. When the time comes to find an investment for expanding the influence of your company, it is suggested to contact angel investors and venture capitalists (VCs) who are interested in funding young companies. This can be found online or through networking with friends, colleagues, etc. In-depth questions may be asked in this process to evaluate the company’s worth in comparison to other startups that may be working on a similar goal. It is also essential that you consider the financial value of your customers to assess whether there is a gain or loss in profits. Thus, the early stage of a startup requires great financial risks and attempts to attract supportive investors.

Tue. Jul. 19, 2022

Steps to buiding a successful brand

Today I learned about the different steps to creating your brand image. This includes setting up a domain name for your website that does not infringe on someone’s trademark as well as your company’s email address depending on which hosting company or third-party email provider you choose to use. The next step would be to create a logo that attracts customers’ attention and leaves a memorable impression. This could be done personally or by a designer if you don’t feel confident in your creativity or artistic skills. If seeking to hire a designer, it is important to make sure that they are professional or working at a legitimate design firm so that you avoid scams and copyright infringement. Moreover, a meaningful mission statement is essential to showing the purpose and worth of your company to not just customers but also future employees. Business cards, as you probably often see in your local community stores, serve to facilitate networking and increase the company’s popularity while they could be made without specific guidelines. Last but not least, creating a website is certainly crucial in today’s digital world. Wix can be a helpful tool when it comes to customizing the site to your liking, and it is great that no coding experience is required for the task.

Mon. Jul. 18, 2022

Why are partnerships important?

Today I learned about choosing partnerships for your startup. Partnerships can be solutions when we face particular problems, such as completing specialized tasks that most employees do not have enough expertise on. Economies of scale refer to the cost advantage associated with an increased level of output but lower input costs. Partners may also help reduce financial risks when they can perform key activities that the startup is uncertain about. In other words, entrepreneurs often form partnerships to gain knowledge, licenses, customers, branding, etc. Ongoing research is also important to following current trends and seeking out new partnerships that may be more cost-effective and worthy to the company. Finding an attorney or law firm is another goal in order to perform legal services and ensure that the company is abiding by the law and understanding all policies, contracts, patents, etc. Essentially, partnerships may be the key to building some of the most influential businesses around the world where both sides of the deal benefit and likely attract more customers.

Fri. Jul. 15, 2022

Finding a mentor

Today I learned about the benefits of meeting with a mentor and having a role model who you can look up to. By offering advice and support through their experiences, mentors often provide long-term motivation and inspiration. I wish to build a close connection with a mentor in college and be able to discuss about finding a career direction and internships or jobs. It is important to be open-minded and willing to listen to the mentor’s stories as well as constructive advice or feedback. Having a mentor means time and effort on my part while I should also be respectful of their time. Nonetheless, your mentor will not be able to provide your direct answers to all your questions since they will most likely offer their experiences and advice that you will have to take in and decide for yourself. Being inspired and determined is key to achieving your goals.

Thu. Jul. 14, 2022

How to better manage your time

Today I learned about time management in order to maximize productivity. Time management is the ability to use one’s time effectively and is considered a crucial skill to achieve efficiency and better quality of life. While people often say time equals money, we generally do not realize that time is being wasted when we thought we made many efforts to save money. This means that the time spent to save money could instead be used to earn more money as some may argue. Therefore, a key tip to better manage your time is to plan your day, which helps you stay focused on your tasks and improve productivity. There are also a great number of free tools online that can help create plans, schedules, and to-do lists. I personally enjoy using Google Calendar and the Reminders app.

Wed. Jul. 13, 2022

Financial management is key

Today I learned about making responsible financial decisions. Financial management is about accounting for expenses and understanding how to allocate your money appropriately to things such as necessities and luxuries. One important tip is budgeting, which allows you to create a spending plan for your money. If I were to start budgeting in the near future, I would make sure that I have enough money for both necessities and things that I would like to purchase. Some necessities would include books and supplies for school, groceries, personal care items, etc. Once I figure out my budget and have valid reasons to spend the remaining money on things such as clothing, shoes, and electronics, I will then also keep note of the purchases in order to avoid repeating the behavior excessively. Understanding the difference between necessities and luxury items is crucial in helping to prioritize our limited money.

Tue. Jul. 12, 2022

Consider working remotely

Today I learned about the tips for and benefits of working a remote job. Despite working remotely, it is great to find chances to meet with your co-workers in-person for things like a coffee break or lunch. This helps build meaningful connections with your team members while preventing us from feeling isolated in a virtual environment. Studies have also found that working from home can increase employees’ productivity, though I personally find it difficult to concentrate and avoid distractions at home from time to time. To better cultivate productivity and become more effective, some tips include taking short breaks to grab a snack, meditate, or answer a call, keeping a to-do list, and staying away from your phone, bed, couch, etc. Moreover, remote work can be beneficial in that it does not require commute time and transportation costs.

Mon. Jul. 11, 2022

Tips for job interviews

Today I learned about the basics of and tips for mastering various types of job interviews such as phone interviews and Zoom video interviews. Phone interviews are usually used as the initial step in the hiring process, in which the recruiter asks about your background, skills, and experience to decide whether you could be a good fit for the open position. A tip for that is to be an active listener while being prepared with your resume and notes on the side in case you need them to answer questions specific to the company or the role. When going through Zoom interviews which I have done before, it is important to make eye contact with the interviewer by looking at the camera rather than your screen. This is something that I need to work on because I tend to wander around when I am thinking about my responses and that might make the conversation less engaging. Another tip is to always smile and make sure you are listening actively in order to have questions or feedback ready when the interviewer finishes talking.

Fri. Jul. 8, 2022

Steps to finding a job

Today I learned about strategies for making my LinkedIn profile stand out and ways to overcome a job interview. One of the most useful tips I obtained is to use an appropriate yet meaningful headline for your LinkedIn profile. Having vague, long descriptions in your headline can make it difficult for recruiters or others to correctly identify you. Another important tip that I need to work on is to have a profile summary by describing what kind of work I can do to help. I should also consider making my experience section shorter by shortening the explanations for each work experience. Having experienced college interviews, I agree with the video that I should come prepared with questions for the interviewer to show that I have done my research and that I am engaged or care about the position.

Thu. Jul. 7, 2022

The types of stocks I learned about

Through today’s videos and lessons, I learned about the different types of stocks and the different ways for buying and selling stocks. Stocks represent a certain amount of ownership of a company or business and are a type of investment. The two main types of stocks are common and preferred stocks. When owning common stock, it means ownership of a share in the company’s profits and the right to vote. This may also come with dividends that the owners earn, which are payments made to stock owners regularly though they are not guaranteed. Preferred stocks often pay investors a fixed dividend, and the prices are less volatile than common stock prices. This suggests that shares are less likely to lose value as they are also less likely to gain value. Hence, preferred stock is recommended for investors who emphasize income rather than long-term growth. Moreover, a market order is one where security is to be bought or sold immediately and that does not guarantee the price of the execution. In contrast, a buy limit order can only be executed at the limit price or lower while a sell limit order can only be performed at the limit price or higher.

Wed. Jul. 6, 2022

Writing publications

The materials I reviewed today were about writing magazines and journal articles. Before writing, you should identify your audience to adapt and vary the way you present your research or information depending on the people you are targeting. It is also important to consider where to publish your work to reach your intended audience depending on your topic or geographic location for example. Another tip is to cross-examine whether previous studies or political platforms have reported similar findings and to put yours in the context to properly frame your argument. In that case, make sure to cite their work when referencing or quoting directly in order to avoid plagiarism or self-plagiarism. Moreover, be original and take risks because there is no harm in trying. If I were to start writing for publications, I would focus on my strengths when it comes to pitching my ideas and refrain from taking rejections personally. I would seek help from someone who can push me but not pull me back. The videos and articles in this unit taught me to own my decisions and who I am but without apology.

Tue. Jul. 5, 2022

Learning the basics of entrepreneurship

After watching the videos in the Entrepreneurship & Business Leadership unit, I was able to understand what it takes to become an entrepreneur and start a business and the crucial qualities that an entrepreneur should hold. I learned about presenting yourself as a leader, and an important point is to look people in the eye when you are speaking and to speak with a commanding or assertive voice. It is also essential to be able to take risks (financial risks) and have the courage to pursue something of your interest. Anything that you consider safe, do it! Convey your emotions, and don’t let others’ feelings hinder yours. Entrepreneurship also comes in various forms, whether that be a side job or a primary source of income like being the CEO of your own company. When considering if it is the right fit for you, it is necessary to examine whether that specific lifestyle or routine is something you enjoy. A distinct feature of being an entrepreneur is the freedom that you can feel and establish for yourself.