Candidates taking the Construction Industry by Storm!

Meet Jade and Portia Ngaha, the father, daughter duo taking the construction industry by storm. 

Recently we got in touch with current students Jade and Portia to see what they had been up to lately. “Heaps!” – was the answer. They have been busy developing an app that encourages transparency and fairness in the construction industry. 

“I have been in construction a long time and noticed that fairness and transparency wasn’t always there. We had an idea for an app that could solve a lot of those problems so in 2014 we paid a developer over $100k to develop our idea and unfortunately it amounted to nothing usable. So, when covid hit, I thought, why not learn to develop myself. That’s when I started with Mission Ready HQ.” Jade said. 

Learning to Develop their App 

Jade started from scratch on our Full Stack Developer Accelerator and quickly moved to Advanced Software Developer Accelerator. Halfway through on the recommendation of Mission Director, Diana Sharma, he jumped ship and joined the Tech Founders Accelerator Program. Not long after, he encouraged his daughter Portia to join him. She completed her Full Stack Developer Accelerator and is currently helping her dad develop the app.   

“This process helped me not only learn how to develop and build what we wanted, but it helped us validate our idea and connect with so many people and experts. For example, Diana connected us up with Manaaki. Manaaki is a digital development company that aims to help Māori businesses to grow and thrive. They have been a great help.”  

Meet Jade!

Help to Develop their App 

Jade and Portia are working hard to try and have a fully functional app by the end of the year. They are putting in some serious Mahi and commitment to do so. They are in garage startup phase but loving it. You can see that they are super passionate about what they do. “Mission Ready was awesome because we had so much help. We had heaps of help from Youtube videos, classmates, and tutors. What was awesome is that you could tell that everyone really cared about us and what we were doing.” said Portia. 

“Yeah, the amount of information they squeezed into the time was amazing. I remember going to a 4th and 5th-year lecture at uni and listening to the languages that they were learning there. I remember thinking, that’s 5 or 6 years old. What we have learned is so relevant to where coding is at in the market now.” Said Jade. 

You can do it Too 

We asked the pair what they would say to that person who is scrolling through and reading this thinking, I’m not sure if I could do this, yeah that’s you! Portia was super supportive. “I’m really shy and don’t like to come out of my comfort zone much. I was nervous but I thought, just do it. Just give it a go. I remember our tutor saying, it’s not about the finished product, it’s about giving it a go and learning something along the way.” 

Meet Portia!

“Yeah, the amount of help is awesome. As a fella who has come from construction, I think coming from any background is going to help you.” – Jade. A lot of our business partners that help students to take on projects to stretch their dev, UX, or Salesforce skills, love having people from different backgrounds. Different backgrounds help to diversify the thought process. It brings in ideas and ways of solving problems that are beyond the norm of their day-to-day business.  

Jade and Portia, we here at Mission Ready HQ are already so proud of how far you have got. We look forward to checking in at the end of the year and seeing where your app is at!  

Feeling inspired? We are! If you are keen on a career in tech, have an idea, and would like to learn how to code we would be happy to have a friendly korero with you, just click the link here. 

Let’s Korero!

How Tech Can Help with the Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery

This guest post was written by Casey Christopher.

The pandemic has changed the world forever. Aside from challenging the entire world by unleashing an unrelenting virus, COVID-19 has also simultaneously served as a catalyst for the 5th Industrial Revolution. Not only has it changed the way we function as societies, but it also sped up the adoption of new technology across all industries, leading the IoT into a more mature state.

It’s also becoming clearer that tech will help the world recover from the economic effects of the virus, too.

How the pandemic has affected the global and local economy

There’s no overstating just how much COVID-19 has devastated economies across the world. The virus has pushed New Zealand into its worst recession in years, with the country’s GDP shrinking by 12.2 percent between April and June 2020 as the lockdown and border closures were implemented. Reports show that it was New Zealand’s first recession since the global financial crisis and its worst since 1987, back when the current system of measurement began.

The same thing happened in many other countries, driving the world to experience the deepest global recession in decades, despite the efforts of governments to counter the downturn. The World Bank notes that there was a 5.2 percent contraction in global GDP, and the pandemic is expected to leave lasting scars through lower investment, depletion of human capital through lost jobs and schooling, and fragmentation of global trade and supply linkages.

Emerging tech that is helping economies recover

Now that the world is trying to recover from the devastating impacts the economy has previously thrown us, the silver lining is that there are emerging technologies that will help speed up recovery.

Online retail driving spending

Since the pandemic necessitated the need for lockdowns and stringent social distancing measures, online sales skyrocketed. People resorted to buying goods and services over the internet, making it a win-win for retailers that have solid online platforms. It’s evident in nations like China where online retail grew exponentially.

Despite experiencing a 1.1 percent dip in overall retail sales, the share of physical consumer goods sold online in China climbed from about 19 percent last year to 25 percent. This is mainly due to live stream-driven online shopping. This new method of interactive streaming is being used on sites like Alibaba’s Taobao Live, Kuaishou, and ByteDance’s Douyin. Pre-pandemic, live streaming only accounted for about 7 percent of China’s online sales, but it doubled since retail has primarily moved online. Additionally, China’s broad logistics network and back-end technology have enabled them to offer better customer service to consumers, driving growth even further.

Connected vehicles improving the supply chain

The impact of connected vehicles on the supply chain is far-reaching. These types of vehicles include cars equipped with tech like computer navigation, GPS technology, camera technology, and sensor technology. They have made current transportation methods more effective, resulting in the supply chain becoming more streamlined.

In Australia in particular, connected vehicles are becoming more prevalent. These cars have an internet connection, allowing them to “talk” to other vehicles. A Verizon Connect feature on connected vehicles details how the technology can help drivers become more efficient in avoiding traffic congestion, improve safety by getting data alerts from other drivers regarding dangers on the road, ensure they are comply with road regulations, and so much more. With this type of smart vehicle used in a supply chain, economic recovery will be accelerated thanks to the significant boost in efficiency. Businesses will also be able to better serve their customers and manage a more reliable return on assets and vehicles, and drivers will get to maintain safer driving habits.

Investment in ICT

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is something that shouldn’t be seen as a frivolity, but a necessity, especially in these trying times. Considering how technology is embraced in all aspects of life, investing in ICT can have massive economic significance. It can pave the way for better ways for people to communicate, network, gain access to important information, learn, and find help.

In an effort to quickly bounce back from COVID-19, Singapore has pledged to continue investing in innovation and technology to create new business and employment opportunities. Experts believe that this move will help revive the growth of the ICT market, accelerating digitalisation and promoting the wider adoption of technology across industries in the country. The country’s Ministry for Communications and Information is ramping up investments in high-quality infrastructure like the 5G network, which then provides the necessary foundation for the development of innovative applications and services, as well as their implementation by enterprises.

There’s no doubt about it—tech is at the heart of economic recovery. Even New Zealand, with its large collaborative tech ecosystem, is paving the way for a more productive and sustainable economy. For instance, fintech services in the country are leading the way to post-recovery as people start looking for newer and more convenient ways to work, earn, buy, account, and invest. The Digital Council is also urging the government to undergo a transition to a digital economy in order to aid industries badly hit by the pandemic.

Mitchell Pham, chair of the Digital Council, said it best: “New Zealand’s resounding entrepreneurial nature is one of our major assets, and with the right leadership by government, digital and data-driven innovation can revitalise the sectors hardest hit, such as tourism, hospitality and the primary industries, as well as create new industries and ways of working.”

Master an In-Demand Tech Skill in Just 3-6 Months of Learning.

What if I told you that you could learn an in-demand tech skill that usually takes people years to master (in a school spending thousands of dollars!) in just 3-6 months? What if I said that you can not only pick this skill, but also hope to get hired for it in the time? Would you believe me? Well, you better do.

The post Covid-19 world has left most people in a bit of lurch highlighting just how unpredictable the economy can be. It has also accelerated our movement to a more virtual way of working – a world where demand for tech skills will not just continue to soar, but will be a necessity. 

Whether you’re just starting out or are interested in changing the direction of your career,  whether you are trying to beef up your resume or  looking to pick up a new skill, going the tech route is a smart idea with a plethora of career options to choose from.

If you are interested in exploring this path, we have prepared a quick list of the skills that you can hope to master in the next 6 months, no elaborate preparations or qualifications necessary. We recommend you choose one (or a couple) of these skills to start with, and build your skill stack from there, picking more to learn as and when you feel comfortable. 

Before making your first move though, we recommend taking a quick self-assessment to ascertain where your interest might lay. Technology is a broad arena, with something in it for everyone, and if you aren’t sure which area would work best for you, take this free self assessment to find out. 

Learn HTML and CSS

Then, once you are done, we recommend that you spend the first couple of months learning HTML(Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) – two programming languages that will enable you to build a website from scratch. HTML and CSS are not only easy to learn, but they will also provide you a gentle introduction to coding.

What’s more, these two skills alone also put you in position to start doing your first, paid, side hustle work in tech. 

Learn Front End Javascript

Once you have mastered HTML/CSS and are ready to do more, we recommend learning Javascript, a coding language that makes websites interactive. Javascript is a good language to pick for two reasons – one, it requires no additional installation, and two, learning it will help you build on your HTML and CSS website. 

JavaScript coding is sometimes called front-end development, because JavaScripts are run on a user’s computer. What’s more, knowing the three languages are extremely versatile, which means that no matter the journey you take in your tech career, they will come in handy! 

Learn Back End Development

The last piece of becoming a good coder, and by extension, having a solid skill set in web development is back end development. If you can create a website, and can write both front-end and back end scripts, you’ll be a complete coder. 

PHP is the most popular coding language for back-end development. In more recent times, Ruby on Rails has emerged as a bit of a competitor to PHP. Then, there is also SQL (Structured Query Language), the most widely implemented database language, used for ‘operating’ on the conventional database. Along with Node.js, an open source Javascript framework, it unifies web-application development around a single programming language, making it a useful language to learn.

Working at your own pace, these skills will likely take you 6 months to master, from where you can start applying to opportunities by creating a portfolio of your work. If you want to pick them up quicker, and would also love support in getting meaningful opportunities in it, we recommend you check out Mission Ready’s Full Stack Developer Accelerator where hands-on experience and industry training will ensure you become a certified developer with perhaps a job offer at the end in three months. 

From here on, the world, as the adage goes, is your oyster. Equipped with the basics of development – you can go in exciting new directions, from data analysis to design, as you continue to add skills to your repertoire.

Can Technology Help Us Move To A Four Day Work Week?

During a Facebook Live, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke about shifting to a four-day workweek as a way to encourage local tourism, help with work-life balance and increase productivity.

“I hear lots of people suggesting we should have a four-day workweek. Ultimately that really sits between employers and employees, but as I’ve said, there’s just so much we’ve learned about COVID-19 and that flexibility of people working from home, the productivity that can be driven out of that, she said.

The idea of a four day work week has been floating for quite a while. It particularly caught everyone’s attention last year when Microsoft tested out a four week work week in its Japan office, and discovered that employees were not only happier – but also 40 percent more productive. 

Earlier, in 2018, a New Zealand company that trialled the concept  also discovered that employees experienced better work–life balance and improved focus in the office in a four day work week.

The study offered hard evidence for what many already knew: Productivity isn’t just a matter of time, it is also employee mentality, as well as work culture that plays an influential role.

As the world looks to readjust to a new style of working, the disruption caused by Covid-19 has made the discussion around the four day work week even more relevant. It also begs the question – Can the idea finally catch on? And if so, how?

Technology To The Rescue

To make a four-day work week happen, it’s clear that we need a cultural shift from the top. We already know now that long hours doesn’t equate to higher productivity, so it makes sense for companies to re-think metrics around employee performance,  moving away from a system that monitors employees, to one that places more emphasis on their output.  

Technological gains, in fact, could  hold a major key in recalibrating culture. AI, automation and robotics are already paving the way not just for better working conditions, but also better income and manageable workloads. Advances in communication technologies have resulted in more people than ever working remotely from their homes. 

Keen on being more efficient, many governments and companies are jumping on the bandwagon, testing the waters for what shorter work weeks could look like. 

A Swedish company, for example, still has a five-day workweek but limits each day to six working hours. The company sees it as a way to improve work-life balance, since employees can now more easily run errands after work and spend time with their families each day.

In South Korea, and France, governments have lowered the maximum working week, in a bid to promote a greater work-life balance.

By using machine learning to eliminate the drudge work that takes up much of employees time, companies can accomplish more tasks in less time. Businesses concerned about the financial impact of fewer hours are also increasingly learning that working less may in fact have a positive impact on productivity, as long as other extraneous factors stand well adjusted. 

It all then boils down to whether companies want to adopt productivity gains brought about by new technology amongst all workers, instead of  sticking to the traditional mould. 

The coronavirus crisis is already forcing us to participate in a massive experiment in remote working, giving us a better understanding of how technology can boost productivity, while balancing important needs. 

Whether we embrace it to move away from a society of overwork remains to be seen. The outlook for that , however, looks better than ever now. 

Nearly Everything You Need To Know About Being A Web Developer

web-developer

The internet is huge. It has over 1.5 billion websites, with more getting added everyday. What’s more, it is only going to get bigger, as business comes online, which means there is always  going to be a  demand for people to help build it. 

If you are interested in building a career riding this wave, a job in web development may be the right fit for you. This is valid across the world, but especially true for New Zealand where lack of skilled professionals in technology makes this a highly lucrative career choice to pursue.

What is more, getting started in web development is easy; all you require is a good internet connection and some learning up your sleeve, and you are good to go.  

But, what is web development and how do you get started? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. From what exactly constitutes web development to what you need to do in order to become one, and even the scope of job opportunities that lie ahead, we have created an exhaustive resource to help answer all questions you may have about pivoting to this career choice.

Let’s dive right into it!

Q: What is a web developer?

Simply put, web developers are individuals who take a static visual design or an idea and turn it into a functional website that people can visit and engage with.  

In terms of process, there are three different ones at play:

  • Front end web development: This involves using languages like languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to perfect how a website looks.
  • Back end web development: Back end web development involves managing the parts of the website that users don’t see. This involves managing the server, different applications and databases, to ensure each component interacts smoothly with another.
  • Full Stack Development: Combine the skills of front end development and back end development, and you end up with full stack development, a process that involves building and managing a website in its entirety.

Q: What doe a web developer do?

While working on a website, it’s a developer’s job to turn the clients vision into reality. A typical role and responsibilities roster of a website developer may look something like this:

  • Meeting clients to understand the needs of a website
  • Creating responsive web applications
  • Write code for the website, using programming languages such as HTML or XML
  • Developing server-side of the software
  • Work with other team members to determine what information the site will contain
  • Work with designers to determine the website’s layout

Q: How do I get there? What are the first steps to becoming a web developer?

From the three processes mentioned above, it is upto you to decide which path excites you the most. We would , however, recommend acing the front end fundamentals first. 

The absolute first step to that end would be to start learning  two coding languages —HTML and CSS.  While HTML or Hypertext Markup Language is the standard markup language for making webpages, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets,) is a style sheet language a style sheet language used for describing the presentation of a document written in a markup language like HTML.

Just learning these two skills will set you up for basic paid work in web development. After getting experience in these, we recommend learning a third programming language – Javascript. Javascript is a scripting language which helps create dynamic website content. Learning it will take some more time, but it will also definitely open up more avenues for you.

Once you have learnt these languages, you can then look at widening the scope of your learning. For example, if you are interested in back development, you may want to learn Python, or PHP. A good working knowledge of design and graphics can also help a web developer take their work to the next well.

Q: How much time will it take to learn these skills?

Begin with investing your time in the basic skills  we mentioned and technically speaking, the process of becoming a developer can be accomplished in a few months. 

Q: Do I need to have a degree in computer science to be a web developer? 

Having a degree can be useful, but since web development is largely dependent on skills,  there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t get hired without one, if you take the time to learn the skills necessary.

What’s more, New Zealand currently has a talent shortage vis a vis jobs in technology, design and science, and to close this gap, more than a hundred companies have signed an open letter written, where they have committed to hiring skilled talent who may not have a degree, but possess the requisite skills. 

So, if you are really interested in pursuing this line of work, we would recommend ditching the degree route (unless you have 2-4 years at your disposal) and getting started on learning. The internet has many online tutorials that you could get started with, or you could consider joining tech accelerators like the one we run at Mission Ready HQ  where you’ll not just learn the requisite skills, but be certified and job ready in 3 months.  

Q: How much can I hope to earn once I have acquired these skills?

Like all tech jobs, job opportunities in web development are slated to grow 13 percent over the next ten years, much faster than the average for all occupations, on account of rising popularity of mobile phone usage and e-commerce. 

According to payscale.com, an early career web developer  with less than 1 year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of NZ$46,345. This usually rises to NZ$53,832 per year for those with more than a year of experience.

It’s also worth remembering that salaries usually vary with respect to experience, location, skills etc. So, in order to estimate what you can hope to make, we would also recommend using a tool like Glassdoor’s Know Your Worth took, where you can calculate this based on your own situation.