Experience – Thinking into Results – Week 2

Following up on my week 1 post, this is my experience about knowing-doing gap when I am in the middle of week 2 materials of Thinking Into Results course.

Tl; dr;

Week 2 is all about learning what I can do and what I actually do. Being aware of them helps me to close the gap between what I know and what I do.

  • Most people know a lot but not doing anywhere near their knowledge level.
  • People do things they do not want to do, hence getting results they do not want to get.
  • Only by changing paradigms, you can change your behaviour, which will change your results.

What is the knowing-doing gap?

Bob Proctor introduces the idea of knowing-doing gap, which is the difference between how much a person know, i.e. his/her knowledge, and how much that person is doing. We learn a lot about different things in life, but how often do we actually do it?

For example, I know a lot about the theory of sales and marketing, but am I a good salesman? Far from it. This is my knowing-doing gap that I need to close. There are 60 trillions in US dollar per year that corporations spend on training their staff, helping people to know more. However the missing link here is that we need to help people to DO more.

Why people do what they do?

Imagine someone who needs to get in shape, they have just started dieting and exercise. Then they see their favourite cake. They know that it is not right to eat that cake, it will not help them achieving their goal of getting into a good shape. However most of the time we observe that they will eat the cake anyway.

So why do people know that doing something will harm them, but they do it anyway?

The answer lies in our subconscious mind. It is the way we are programmed to do. Imagine you have been eating excessively in the last 10 years, now suddenly you want to stop doing all that? How would your mind react to it? The subconscious mind resists change. It does not like doing new things. If the current way is safe, why doing something different?

Well, the answer here is that we need to implement a new programming into our subconscious mind, getting it to perceive another way as “safe”. Because only by changing ourselves, we can get different results.

What do I need to work on?

Firstly, I need to work on my concentration ability. I find myself easy to be distracted by mobile phones. So what do I imagine my life will be if I am able to concentrate?

  • I concentrate on the task at hand, and will keep going until it is done.
  • I only access my phone 2 times during work hour, 11am and 4pm.
  • I still have access to the phone to answer phone calls and text messages.
  • I turn off most notifications except phone calls and text messages.
  • I get more done during the day and be more productive.

Secondly, I want to work on my organizational skill. I am aware that I do not have the cleanest apartment in the world. So let’s do something about that.

  • I clean the dishes after cooking and eating.
  • I vacuum the apartment at least once a week.
  • I keep the desk organized with labeled items.
  • I throw away boxes that I no longer need.

Summary

This lesson help me figure out the knowing-doing gap: what are my undesirable results and how to address them. I can see the clarity in my actions now and will follow the new way that leads me to the result I want.

“Do everyday things in a new way to get the brain thinking in new ways.” – Jesse Itzler

By Tuan Nguyen

Experience – Thinking into Results – Week 1

As stated in my previous blog post, I start week 1 of Thinking Into Results program on Monday (31/08/2020). And it is harder than I thought. First lesson is setting a worthy goal, which turns out to be much challenging than expected.

Tl; dr;

  • Setting a clear vision of a goal involves how I feel about the outcome.
  • Being able to clearly “see” the goal proves to be challenging.

Setting a C type goal

3 different types of goals

According to Bob Proctor, there are 3 types of goals.

  • A type goal: something that you can do. For example, you bought a new car 5 years ago. Now you have a desire to purchase another new car. For this goal you already know how to do it. Therefore there is no personal growth attached to the outcome.
  • B type goal: something that you think you can do. For example, your salary is currently $50,000 pa. You set a goal to make $60,000 pa. But this is so small that you already map out steps to be able to achieve it. Negotiating salary, working harder, making yourself noticed by the manager, etc. The point is, you already think that you can do, therefore you have no motivation to do it after a while, and often end up not achieving it.
  • C type goal: something that you want. This does not involve you knowing how to achieve. The point is to clearly see the the target and direct your actions and emotions toward that goal. The path will be laid out along the way.

Vision a goal

The goal has to be in the fantasy realm. I need to use my imagination to “see” this goal. It is easy to say “I want to make 1 million a year in income.” It is much harder to imagine how my life will be when I reach there. The workshop exercises require me to describe how I envision what I want, down to minute details.

The objective is to push my vision down to the subconscious level, which I will learn how to do in future lessons. I will need to repeat the process of finding and defining goals for the next 2 weeks.

Dr. Jordan Peterson has a great view on why do we need to set goals in our lives. And I think it aligns with what I am studying at the moment.

Summary

Starting to know what I want, and envision them in details makes me feel like I have more control. Control over my life and my circumstances, I feel more powerful and can take on responsibilities for getting what I want, no matter the circumstances.

I will continue on this path and see how it turns out.

“First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.” – Napoleon Hill

By Tuan Nguyen

Discussion – Pareto distribution

Recently I came across a lecture from Professor Jordan Peterson. In this lecture, he talks about Pareto distribution and comparing it with the Normal distribution. There are massive distinctions between these two and I think it is interesting to note down some of them.

Tl; dr;

  • Pareto distribution deals with creative domains, or human creativity. Where the majority of work is produced by a small number of people.
  • In a domain, the square root amount of people produces half of the product.
  • Given a randomized trading environment, the trading activity always end with one player holds all the money.

Pareto distribution

In contrast to the normal distribution, where most activities occurs in the norm, Pareto distribution argues that the most activities occurs around a very small set of units.

Galton board
Normal distribution visualized
pareto distribution
Credit: mode.com
Visualize the 80-20 rule with Pareto distribution

One thing that we may have heard before, 80% of the work is produced in 20% of the time. This is the most common example of the Pareto distribution. One thing to note is that this distribution works best in creativity domain, where things are not certain.

There is a formula, called Price’s law, is used to determine the amount of creative work. This formula is derived from Pareto distribution theory. The formula states that given X people working on a creativity project, square root of X people produce half of the progress, while others produce the remaining half.

For example, if 10 people are assigned to do a project, then 3 people will deliver half of the project, and 7 people deliver the other half. This does not make sense when I first read about the theory, but experimental results clarify the point. An amazing thing about this law is that if 10,000 people work on a project, we only need 100 people to deliver half of the project. It becomes ridiculous at a large scale.

Applying Pareto distribution to the Game of Money

With the same understanding of the distribution, and project it to how wealth are concentrated only in a few individuals. We can clearly see the Pareto Distribution at work.

Professor Peterson talks about an example, like Monopoly, we start with 4 players, and at the end, 1 player ends up with all the money and wins. And even if we start again and again, only 1 person is the winner. With Pareto distribution theory, in a randomized environment, and we apply randomized trading rules, the game always end with 1 player having all the money.

I did not believe it.

So, I decided to write a small web app to test the theory, what’s programming is for right?

To my surprise, it always end with one player holding all the money. Which player is not important, the important thing is that we know the end result will take a shape like that.

You can access the game here https://lightbringer1991.github.io/trading-game/

Summary

Knowing about Pareto distribution, I finally have an answer to the question: “Why can’t we distribute wealth evenly to everyone, would the society be better off that way?”. The simple answer to that, is, even if we do the distribution, over time all the wealth will concentrate to a small number of people anyway.

“The more you know, the more you realize you don’t know.” – Aristotle

By Tuan Nguyen

Experience – Thinking into Results – Prologue

Last week I decided the participate in a personal development course called Thinking into Results from Proctor Gallagher institute. Below is a recording of my activities after I signed up, but before starting the course.

Tl; dr;

  • Waking up earlier is not an easy thing, but it frees up a lot more time to work with.
  • Start thinking about my long term goals proves to be the hardest thing I have ever done.

Why start my day early?

early bird gets the worm

Throughout various books about success building and personal developments, there is one thing that resonates with me. “If you want to be like other successful people, you need to mimic what they are doing.”. It was repeated to me by the mentor and apparently one habit that the successful people I read about is they start their day much earlier than other people.

The mentor proposed waking up at 5am in the morning, however I have only managed to waking up at 6am for the last few days. Slowly but surely transitioning to a lesser goal of starting my day at 5am.

Thinking about long term goals

short term, long term street sign

Have I ever thought about what I wanted to become in the future? Maybe, but I did not have a vivid picture of the future me. And I still don’t. People take quite a bit of time to develop the image and that is why the first few weeks of the course I will learn how to do that.

I attempted to start building my ideal image and it turned out to be much harder than I expected. Surely imagining myself being a successful person is easy, but how to imagine what that persona (he) think, what he eats, how he treats people, what exactly his day is going to be like. That is a real challenge.

Summary

Starting to know the importance of growth is quite revealing for me. Personal development is a vague topic that is not discussed in households. Only by knowing that you need to improve yourself to make your life better, you start looking for answers. And I hope Thinking into Results will deliver that answer.

“You can have more than you’ve got because you can become more than you are.” – Jim Rohn

By Tuan Nguyen

2020

Discussion – My goals for 2020

Setting goals is a good way to start the new year. Here are the outline of what I plan for my life in 2020.

Tl; dr;

  • Straighten my finance.
  • Purchase at least 1 more property.
  • Grow emergency fund to 3 months living expense.
  • Write at least 52 blog posts.
  • “Challenge” gather a good deal to present to investors.

First thing’s first….

financial review

Reviewing my current personal financial situation, I think it is in a mess currently, with loans are everywhere and there are no system around them. So for 2020, I want to restructure my finance to have a better interest rate on my loans, better visuals on how the investments are going.

At this moment, my loans are as follow.

LoanInterestNotes
Home loan (now investment)3.85%fixed 2 years, ending 04/12/2020
Investment loan4.16%a bit high at the moment, can be lowered to a considerable amount

I’m aiming to have them lowered, considering there may be further rate cut from the RBA going into mid 2020. I would consider fixing the interest if the RBA lowered the cash rate to 0.25.

The good thing from low interest rate is that my cashflow from the properties will be much better and I can save them up to invest in more properties.

Property purchase

property investment

As some of you may know, I want to be a professional investor, concentrated to properties. So in 2020, I will be active to find a suitable property for me to purchase, and looking to renovate it to make some instant equity, as well as structuring it to at least neutral geared after tax.

I have been reading up a lot about the topic. And it is challenging to not fall into “paralysis by analysis” syndrome. Basically it means that researching too much leads you to the state where you see risks everywhere and do not start taking action.

By leveraging the young age that I have, mistakes can be fixed. I will prepare myself to purchase at least another property, fixing it up, putting it up for rent, and reconsider my financial position to see if I can redo it all over again. If I find problems in any steps, there will always be people who are keen to help.

Emergency fund

emergency fund

This is what I learned from various books like The Barefoot Investor, The Total Money Makeover, etc. I have grown my emergency fund to be sufficient for about 1.5 months now. And the goal for 2020 will be growing it to at least 3 months of my monthly expense.

This way I have a good cushion to fall back on, should any unexpected events show up. I will just park it in a high saving account (I use ING, with their high saving account at 1.95% pa).

Blog posts

Fullstack developer illustration

Of course I will continue writing blogs. It is entertaining and providing me a way to memorize what I learned, as well as sharing my knowledge and perspective to the world.

The goal for 2020 will be writing at least 52 blog posts, or 1 each week. This should be achievable, considering I only spend around 3 hours to create an article.

Upcoming blog posts will focus more on property investments, rather than just technology aspects that I have been posting. I feel like I have absorbed so much knowledge regarding property investment that I should go out and implement, then report my findings to you all.

“Challenge” present a good deal to investors

This is what I would like to try out in 2020. Where I can find an outstanding investment opportunity and gather all information needed. By presenting it to the investors, I hope to raise private funds to buy another property. This is a bonus challenge for myself, and I really hope that I can achieve it.

Summary

Well that is a lot of goals that I set for myself in 2020, and we have already finished the first week of 2020. I better be fast before the year ends.

By Tuan Nguyen

career achievement

Retrospective – What I achieved in 10 years?

10 years seems to be a long time, however to me, it sometimes happens so fast. Let’s look back and see what I have achieved in the last 10 years, and what I plan for the next decade.

Tl; dr;

What did I do?

  • Arrived in Australia.
  • Finished Bachelor degree.
  • Bought a house, and some investment properties.
  • Visited various places in Australia and the world.
  • Moved to Melbourne and obtained a good income position.
  • Got introduced to financial education.
  • Became an Australian citizen.
  • Founded a company.
  • Found a girlfriend 😀

What am I planning for the next 10 years?

  • Get personal finance organized.
  • Buy more properties :)))
  • Get married.
  • Achieve financial confidence.
  • Give back to the community.
  • Help suitable people to reach financial confidence as well.
  • Travel to various places.

What did I do and achieve in the last 10 years?

I arrived in Melbourne on the 14th of February, 2010. So it is almost 10 years living in Australia. I did a Bachelor degree of Information Technology and had the opportunity to work for IBM as an intern for a total of 5 years (2011 – 2015).

Graduation photo

Funny enough, I did not work there as a programmer, but rather a network engineer (SAN storage engineer). However I did have some opportunities to create automated scripts for the team to use (mainly in daily healthchecking, and storage provisioning).

In 2013, with some helps from my beloved parents, we purchased a property in Ballarat, and I lived there until I moved to Melbourne in 2016. Back then, the property price was $175,000; which we negotiated down to $160,000 and got the property with a small home loan, thanks to the stable income from IBM internship. The broker said it was the smallest one that he filed since he started his career.

In Ballarat, I have the opportunity to make friends with many people and they brought me to various areas that gave me the experience of how Aussies do in their weekends. I’ve been to numerous camping sites, walking tracks, skiing and even went to a scout camp retreat. Ballarat is a small town and there are not many activities, but somehow being with the nature helps me not feeling boring.

Some activities I engaged includes

Skiing

Skiiing

horse riding

Horse riding

spear fishing

Spear fishing

I also travelled to other countries as a tourist, e.g. Italy, Russia. The trips gave me a lot of new perspective, as well as opened my eyes to different cultures that I will express more in future blog posts.

What did I do in Melbourne?

After nearly 7 years in Ballarat (2010 – 2016), I decided to move to Melbourne after securing a better occupation after my granted PR. Funny that it only took me 2 weeks to get accepted as a PHP developer, and another 2 weeks to resign from IBM. So after 4 weeks I jumped from working in Ballarat to commuting and working in Melbourne.

After 9 months of commuting, and every Saturday driving for an hour to Melbourne for inspections, I decided to purchase another property that I called home for the next 4 years.

melbourne home

Since moving to Melbourne, everything exploded. Events happened so fast that looking back now, I probably have grown more after 3 years in Melbourne than the previous time in Ballarat. I got introduced to financial education via the first book I read Rich dad poor dadAfter finishing the book, I got curious and since then have read multiple books on the topic, e.g. Barefoot investor, The Richest man in Babylon, The 4-hour work week, etc. Now I am developing my own financial plan following some of the advice that I learned from the readings.

In 2016, just before I moved to Melbourne, I officially became an Australian citizen after 6 years living and studying. It was a big milestone and opened the doors to multiple opportunities that otherwise blocked for non-citizen.

dual passport

Last but not least, I got a girlfriend :D. She is smart and beautiful and I feel lucky to have her.

MJ and I

What’s my future look like?

First priority will be getting my financial position organized, since I have not had a good structure just yet. Only recently I have consulted several financial planners and see if their expertise align with my goals. 2020 will be a great year and I hope I can secure a good position in the first half of the year.

I have decided that investment properties will be the investment vehicle for me. Therefore buying more suitable properties is crucial to achieve a solid future. From the advice I got, I will need at least 5 Millions worth of net worth to be able to have a splurge life without having to work anymore.

Once I achieve financial confidence, I hope to give something back to the community. Either in the form of charitable funds, or going to exotic places and help people who have less luck than myself.

I also want to help other people who share the same vision for the future to achieve what I have. Once I have the experience, it is definite that I will pass on the knowledge to people. It is better to have more friends that share and achieve the same goals in life.

Marriage pressure is increasing year after year. However I hope that I will get married within the next 10 years. It is a long time so reasonably safe to assume.

Summary

“Most people overestimate what they can do in a day, and underestimate what they can do in a month. We overestimate what we can do in a year, and underestimate what we can accomplish in a decade.” – Matthew Kelly, The Long View

With the above forecast about my future, I am certain that I can achieve a lot more than what have been outlined. I believe that I create my own luck and will take all responsibility for my decisions.

My final question for you is, what did you do in the last 10 years?

By Tuan Nguyen

free tafe image

Unit review – Make decisions in a legal context

Another course that I completed in Cert IV: Accounting and Bookkeeping is Make decisions in a legal context.

Tl; dr;

The unit concerns about legality of a business. It teaches me about business structures, different kind of laws that apply to business such as employment law, property law, consumer law, etc.

It helps me for structuring my side business, as well as heading to the right direction in terms of keeping the business safe.

The Australian Legal system

legal system

Source: thecommonwealth.org

Split into 2 types, Legislation and Common Law, there are 2 sets of laws that define the Legal system.

  • Legislation: bills passed from the Parliament, and are enforced throughout Australia.
  • Common Law: made by Court when there is no relevant law for the case being heard.

Categories of Law:

  • Criminal Law: protects the society from wrong actions.
  • Civil Law: govern private dealings between individuals, e.g. Contract Law, Tort Law and Property Law.

I learned about Negligence a bit deeper than other areas of the law. Basically it is a neglect of the duty of care when it results in recorded damage of another individual.

Also there is mentions about Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), which I’m sure I’ll be touching base with them at some point. They are where we go when there are problems with tenants.

Australian Business structures

business structure

Source: pathwaylending.org

There are quite a few business structures that one can consider when deciding to go on a business venture

  • Sole trader:
    • probably the most common type of business out there. It allows an individual to conduct small business transactions and/or collect/pay GST.
    • Can have employees, and operate as a proper business.
    • The bad thing is that all personal assets are exposed to the public. If something bad happens to the business, e.g. bankruptcy, the owner may need to fork out his/her own assets to remedy the damage.
  • Partnership: similar to Sole trader, however the structure involves multiple people in the business.
  • Company:
    • Can be either public or private company. This is the most common structure for companies out there.
    • Can officially raise funds from investors.
    • Proper structure around taxes, and the tax rate is fixed at 30%.
  • Joint ventures
    • Similar to partnership, however, this business structure has a limited time.
    • 2 or more individuals/businesses join together to complete a project, and when the terms are satisfied, the joint venture is over.
  • Franchises
    • A franchisee is an individual that creates a business that operates under an existing system that a franchisor setup.
    • May be easier than creating an individual business, since the system and branding is already done by franchisor.
    • Limitation on how to operate, develop new products
  • Trusts
    • Good tool to protect family/individual assets.
    • Good tool to reduce income taxes paying to the government.
    • Multiple types of trusts that need to be thoroughly researched before creating one.
  • Associations
    • Operating not-for-profit, whose members have decided to give their organisation a formal legal structure.
    • Must have “Incorporated” or “Inc.” after its name.
    • Is a legal entity so an Association is exposed to all laws.
  • Co-operatives

Employment Contract

employment law

Source: allbusiness.com

There are 2 types of contracts

  • Contract of service:
    • signed between employer and an employee, contains all benefits, terms, wage amount, service description.
    • employer may be vicariously liable for employee’s actions.
    • employer must provide benefits to employees, such as super contribution, annual leave, sick leave, etc.
  • Contract for service:
    • signed between employer and a private contractor, which contains all terms and conditions regarding a particular piece of work.
    • employer is not liable to contractor’s work.
    • employer does not need to provide benefits for contractor, unless specified in the contract.

Property law

property law

Source: wolterskluwercentral.com.au

This is not limited to real estate assets. “Property” is the right of ownership.

Real property

  • Land, not just the soil, but anything growing on the land; and fixtures on the land, e.g. house, building, etc.
  • Title to land is a person’s right of ownership of the land (it is the title that we transfer when we buy/sell properties)
  • Adverse possession: this is very interesting, if someone occupies a piece of land for over 15 years without any dispute, they may be able to claim possession of the land.

Personal property

  • Choses(things) in possession: something that is tangible, e.g. clothes, equipment, car, etc.
  • Choses(things) in action: something that is intangible, e.g. company shares, intellectual property, etc.

Summary

This area was totally new to me. So it was interesting to learn about. There are lots of things to consider when creating a company, as well as knowing about things like adverse possession really opens my eye on property law.

By Tuan Nguyen

Open sign

Technology review – Open Source Licenses

Open-source licenses are licenses that allow software to be freely used, modified, and shared under defined terms and conditions.

These licenses allow users or organizations to adjust the program’s functionality to perform for their specific needs.

Though this term originated in the context of software development to designate a specific approach in creating computer programs, its meaning however evolved into something moralistic, ethical and sustainable.

Today, when we say “open source” we are following the open source way.

Open source projects, products, or initiatives embrace and celebrate principles of:

  • Open exchange;
  • Collaborative participation;
  • Rapid prototyping;
  • Transparency;
  • Meritocracy; and
  • Community-oriented development.

Tl; dr;

Open-source licenses are legal and binding contracts between the author and the user of a software component. It declares that the software can be used in commercial applications under specified conditions.

Open Source Licenses

The Open Source Compatibility Chart

Source: Duke Computer Science

Open source licenses are vital for setting out terms and conditions on which software may be used, modified, or distributed and by whom. They are also used to facilitate access to software as well as restrict it.

A license agreement is implemented so that potential users know which limitations owners may want to enforce, at the same time, owners will have strong background with their legal claims and having great control as to how their work will be used.

Originally, the open source movement started in 1983 when Richard Stallman, a programmer at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the time, said he would create a free alternative to the Unix operating system, then owned by AT&T; Stallman dubbed his alternative GNU, a recursive acronym for “GNU’s Not Unix.”

With Stallman’s vision, the idea of “free” software:

  • Ensures that users were free to use software as they saw fit;
  • Free to study its source code;
  • Free to modify it for their own purposes; and
  • Free to share it with others.

Then on, other programmers followed Stallman’s example. One of the most important was Linus Torvalds, the Finnish programmer who created the Linux operating system in 1991.

Open-source license Major Types

Open-source licenses come in two (2) major types:

Copyleft License.

A free software license that requires copyright authors to permit some of their work to be reproduced.

With copyright law, authors have complete control over their materials.

But with the power of copyleft license, users are permitted to copy and distribute copyrighted materials.

However, authors still have the verdict in who uses the materials based on their intended use.

This license does not require any source code distribution. That’s why users have rights similar to those normally only granted to the copyright authors, including activities such as distribution and copying.

Popular examples include GNU General Public License (GNU GPL), Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL), Mozilla Public License (MPL), Affero General Public License(AGPL) and Eclipse Public License (EPL).

*Note: Not all copyleft licenses are compatible.

To comply with this type of license, simply place your code in the public domain, uncopyrighted.

As a result, GPL-licensed code is not typically suitable for inclusion in proprietary software, although there are some like LGPL (Lesser GPL) licensed code which may be applicable.

Permissive License.

A free software license for a copyrighted code that can be freely (the freedom we think it is) used, modified and redistributed. Permissive-licensed code can be included in proprietary, derivative software.

Popular examples include MIT License, BSD Licenses, Apple Public Source License, Apache License and Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL).

*Note: Though permissive license is not as restrictive as copyleft license, it still requires compliance with a number of obligations (i.e. inclusion of the original license or copyright) before it can be redistributed.

Open-source license Minor Types

While, open source license has two (2) minor types:

Public Domain.

Code that can be used by the public without restriction or copyright. This type of license is intended to be truly free of costs and commonly has very few (if any) obligations with which you need to comply.

Popular examples include Creative Commons (CC-0).

*Note: Though public domain code should be the simplest license to deal with, PLEASE be aware that not all jurisdictions have a common definition of what public domain means. You should ALWAYS check local regulations.

Source Available.

An emerging type of license applied to code that cannot be deployed “as a service,” source available license is being defined in response to cloud providers.

Popular examples include Redis’ Source Available License (RSAL), MongoDB’s Server Side Public License (SSPL), the Cockroach Community License (CCL), or licenses that have had the Commons Clause added.

Summary

There are numerous open source licensing agreements a program or file may follow. So, better refer to the appropriate documentation to see what the original developer allows and prohibits.

By Tuan Nguyen

free tafe image

Unit Review – Budgeting

Budgeting is one of the units that I took when going through the course of Certificate IV: Accounting and Bookkeeping in RMIT University. I decided to note down what I learned and how I feel about each units.

I took this course for free. If you are interested, you can read about how I registered here.

Tl; dr;

Quite a basic unit that teaches you how to use formula and how to follow style guide using Excel. It also discusses about how to budget for different types of business.

After going through the course, I have a bit more knowledge in budgeting for my personal finance.

Introduction

The unit name is Budgeting, and RMIT programmed it to be a cluster of 2 smaller units. Which means that by completing the unit, students complete 2 units in the program. (note that the unit code may change since the time of writing).

The course description, copying as-is, is as follow:

“In this course, you will learn the skills and knowledge required to prepare and document operational budgets for a variety of organisations. You will also acquire the skills and knowledge required to develop spreadsheets through the use of both cloud-based and non-cloud based spreadsheet applications.”

I think it is quite accurate of what I get after finishing the course.

The teacher

Mr Paul Lim was the lecturer in RMIT. He seems to be helpful with answering questions from other students that to me were silly. However, some of his explanation may not be clear to the students, hence led to confusion when doing assignments. As a result, he was not ranked highly when it came to course evaluation.

He seems to have knowledge in accounting and bookkeeping business. He has been an accountant for quite a while and also a property investor. I talked to him a bit during our break and managed to get some good tradies number off of him. However they only service South-eastern part of Melbourne.

The students

Most students seemed to be taking the same government program as I did. They are quite relaxed with the unit and most of them already have jobs somewhere.

However there were also some students who were young, less than 20. I don’t know why they are taking Cert IV program. But surely they have their own situations.

The experience

Excel logo

Source: computerhope.com

My first impression when taking the first class: “Excel, really?!”. Like, is there anyone who does not know Excel???

I’ve never been so wrong. To my surprise, most students don’t know how to use Excel formula, let alone utilizing Excel calculation power.

The unit only taught us how to use SUM() formula, as well as how to do basic calculations on a cell based on other cells.

budgeting

Source: moneyunder30.com

Budgeting, now that’s something I don’t have a good system for. The unit went into explaining how to budget in different industries. How to forecast budget based on certain estimated weights and values. How to do a rollover (or continuous) budgets. Also I learned about fixed cost and variable cost. It is basic to an accountant, but it was something new to me.

njord style guide

Source: hubspot.com

Style guide was another aspect that I went through. I came to understand that a company will always need to have a style guide to be used in marketing, advertisement, logos, websites, etc. This is the main component in Brand recognition.

Style guide can contain a combination of colours, font type, font size, logos, layouts, etc. that, together, create a unique brand for a company. If you are managing a company, it is advisable that you think about having a style guide. If you need some help, my company, Digital Envision Pty. Ltd. will always be there for you.

Summary

Budgeting is just one of many units that I went through. Even though it was a simple unit, it did teach me something that I don’t know. So far, RMIT’s course has not disappointed me.

“Improve yourself everyday and you will be surprised of the person you become a year from now.” – Tuan Nguyen

By Tuan Nguyen

Technology review – Web 3.0

The product of the same visionaries who have helped drive cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, Web 3.0 is considered to be an evolution of user interaction with web technologies.

From Web 1.0’s “read-only web” (simply walls and walls of text information) to Web 2.0’s “read-write web” (allowing user interaction with dynamic websites),” Web 3.0, sometimes called the “semantic web,” will be a complete reinvention of the web.

Web 3.0 is most likely compared to an artificial intelligence assistant, by being able to get context from the user, and then in turn provide the very same user with most valuable information about a certain information. In other words, it simply understands its user and personalizes everything.

What greatly defines this 3rd generation web is that it has the concept of a distributed ledger (just like Bitcoin), providing more privacy and security and against the control of big organizations.

As what Gian Gonzaga, Ph.D., senior director of research and development at the dating site eHarmony, says, “The Web can give something back that was not previously known. Web 3.0 learns and understands who you are and gives you something back.”

Tl; dr;

Web 3.0 combines the best aspects of Web 1.0 and Web 2.0, allowing online applications and websites to receive information that’s on the Web and give new information/data to the users.

The term Web 3.0 was coined by the reporter John Markoff of The New York Times in 2006, referring to a new evolution of the web, its third generation, with specific innovations and practices.

Decentralized blockchain platforms including Ethereum, EOS, and NEO will make Web 3.0 more useful and dynamic than its predecessor, the Web 2.0.

Web 3.0: Artificially Intelligent Web

web 3.0 explained

Source: 101 Blockchains

An extension of Web 2.0, Web 3.0 creates a more personalized web experience with intelligent search and behavioural advertisements where content is generated by machines instead of by humans.

For instance, based on your opinion about a movie you’ve just watched or a restaurant you visited recently, you get a list of those whose interests coincide with yours as close as possible. Web 3.0 specifically target individuals based on their web history and user data using machines and algorithms.

web 3.0 structure

Source: 1stWebDesigner.com

Properties

Web 3.0 has 4 main properties:

Semantic Web.

The incoming generation of the Web involves the Semantic Web. It improves web technologies to generate, share and connect content through search and analysis, helping to evolve artificial intelligence that can utilize that information.

The term “Semantic Web” was first coined by Tim Berners-Lee, describing a web of data that can be processed by machines:

“I have a dream for the Web [in which computers] become capable of analyzing all the data on the Web – the content, links, and transactions between people and computers. A “Semantic Web”, which makes this possible, has yet to emerge, but when it does, the day-to-day mechanisms of trade, bureaucracy, and our daily lives will be handled by machines talking to machines. The “intelligent agents” people have touted for ages will finally materialize.”

Artificial Intelligence.

Web 3.0 allows computers to understand information like humans to provide faster and more relevant results. Thus, they are becoming more intelligent to satisfy the needs of users, allowing websites to filter and present users the best data possible.

According to the University of Maastricht, “Machine learning algorithms are widely employed and are encountered daily. Examples are automatic recommendations when buying a product or voice recognition software that adapts to your voice.”

Websites such as Rotten Tomatoes lets its users vote on a list of movies. With that, movies with higher ratings are generally considered as good movies, allowing visitors to see upfront good data rather than going through bad data.

3D Graphics.

The next wave evolution of the Web will extensively use three dimensional design in websites and services such as e-commerce, real estate, online games, museum guides, etc. allowing for a more realistic cyber world.

Ubiquity.

Web 3.0 will be ubiquitous (the idea of being everywhere at the same time i.e. omnipresent), meaning content is accessible by multiple applications, every device is connected to the web, and the services can be used everywhere. This web generation will may as well be called as the web of everything and everywhere as most of the things around us are connected online.

The Pros and Cons of Web 3.0

Even though the incoming generation of the web will give better convenience with our day to day, let us also put into consideration the downsides as well.

Pros

  • More specific information data
  • More valuable search results
  • With the Internet being more personalized, accomplishing tasks will be much easier
  • Easier knowledge sharing
  • Scamming incidence due to fake identity will be much lesser because Web 3.0 is more secure (blockchain technology).

Cons

  • Privacy policy should be addressed than ever
  • Reputation management will be much needed than ever
  • Your user search results and user data will be used by companies for marketing
  • Personal/private information will be easier to find
  • With exciting features and better convenience, people will now spend more time on the Internet than ever
  • Less anonymity
  • People that aren’t active on the Web 3.0 “don’t exist”

Summary

In Web 3.0, data will come from the user and the web will then essentially adjust to meet the needs of the user. The new generation of the Web will be more connected, more open, and more intelligent, having to be equipped with distributed databases, semantic web technologies, natural language processing, machine learning and reasoning, and autonomous agents.

By Tuan Nguyen