Never to old to learn

The last months I reserved some time to study for the so-called PMP exam. PMP stands for Project Manager Professional, which is an official certification delivered by the Project Management Institute (PMI).

And I succeeded. Last Friday, May 4, I passed the exam successfully, and I am feeling very proud.

The Project Management Institute (PMI) offers a professional credential for project managers, known as the Project Management Professional (PMP)®.

The Project Management Professional (PMP)® is the most important industry-recognized certification for project managers. You can find PMPs leading projects in nearly every country and, unlike other certifications that focus on a particular geography or domain, the PMP® is truly global.

The core of the study is based on the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) version 6, validated since end 2017. This book has over 700 pages of text, formulas and images, describing the various processes and knowledge areas of projects.

The exam rules of the PMP are outlined in the PMP Examination Content Outline, of which the main knowledge areas are:

  • Initiating
  • Planning
  • Executing
  • Monitoring and Controlling
  • Closing

The official exam has 200 questions, of which 175 are taken into the score. The time available for the 200 questions is 4 hours. My results overall were ‘above target’, which, as said above, makes me very proud.

So remember: one is never to old to learn.

Take care and have a nice day.

Bas

May 8, 2018

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Designing my business

Hello,

As you may have noticed, I started developing a new business, called ‘CFO meets CIO’. This new business is focused on helping CFO’s and CIO’s to realise their goals by connecting them together and to give them pro-active and dedicated support.

To make this happen, I had to design and develop a various number of elements such as creating my website, creating my first e-book, making stunning e-mails, and getting noticed by my target customers (CFO’s and CIO’s).

This post might be helpful for everyone who wants to start a business or activity.

A summary

  • I use WIX as main provider to design and create my website CFO Meets CIO,
  • I used Apple’s iBooks Author application to create my e-book,
  • I use MailChimp as main solution for creating e-mail campaigns and forms, for subscribing to my mailing list,
  • I created profiles on FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn to share posts and messages and create further tracking and visibility,
  • I still use my ‘old’ WordPress blogging solution to share my blogs (I published over 70 blogs since begin 2013),
  • And I followed specific training to become even more dynamic.

This article shows some main insights how this was done. If you wish to have more information on these tools, please contact me on bas@cfomeetscio.com so I can give further advice.

Wix

Wix is in the basis a powerful technology to create a professional and functional web presence. Wix is an established player since many years and has been developed from a basic website creator to a full-fledged professional CMS (Content Management System).

You can use Wix in 2 flavours: one way is to create a standard template based website with quite good functionalities. The other option, which I used, is to create the website from ‘scratch’ to be able to add all kinds of functionalities for both mobile and web formats.

As with other modern website creation platforms, you can add news, blogs, events and e-mails, which I all incorporated into my new website. Since end of 2017, Wix has also introduced programming code you can add to websites for better control.

What I found good with Wix:

  • Many options available with professional look and feel
  • Easy to use for mobile and browser options
  • Easy to link to my created domain

What could be improved by Wix:

  • Slow: As the website is stored at Wix, I think the website could respond faster.
  • Publish button is too ‘dangerous’ to the save button.
  • Still some errors on mobile after saving the website.

I pay less than 100 USD a year for Wix (next to the costs to manage my new domain). Not a lot of money, but I spent some days to build it …

Apple’s iBooks Author

The Apple iBooks Author solution is in the basis a Mac and iOS based tool. It is targeted to be used to create modern e-book’s, but it also saves to PDF. I found the learning curve  quite steep, as I wanted to know all functions.

To write an e-book, this is a much better tool than Word combined with PowerPoint, and it is free (always good for a Dutch guy). There are professional tools (from Adobe for example) which are probably better, but more expensive.

What I found good with Apple’s iBooks Author:

  • Many options available with professional look and feel
  • Automatic updates of texts and menus
  • Easy to make PDF

What could be improved by Apple:

  • PDF generation does not allow clicking on the menu management
  • Templates are not freely changeable. If you choose for portrait, you can not change back …
  • Limited functionalities overall compared to other tools.

Apple’s iBooks Author is free (included with a Mac). New announcements on the tool were made last week by Apple, so we may expect new features soon.

MailChimp

MailChimp is a large marketing automation platform. You can build lists and events with automatic e-mails. Those of you who downloaded my free e-book have seen how this works: after it is made, I have no work at all, and e-mail addresses are coming in.

I use here also the free version with limited functionalities of course. I mainly used until now their signup form functionalities.

What I found good with MailChimp:

  • Easy setup
  • Straightforward usage
  • And it works well !

What I found not so good on MailChimp:

  • Not all templates could be modified as much as I wished.
  • The buttons can not be placed yet centrally in the forms.

Other tools and training

To promote further my new business activities as part of designing my communication plan for my e-book, I use the following solutions:

  • LinkedIn: next to my personal LinkedIn profile, I created a so-called showcase for CFO meets CIO (see link here).
  • FaceBook: I added a company page for CFO meets CIO (see link here).
  • Twitter: I created a specific profile for CFO Meets CIO (see link here).
  • WordPress : I also update regularly my personal blog ‘Doing nothing? Not my style‘ (see link here).

I also follow regular training on communication, video’s, websites, networking made by the Business Boost Event team: Greet Bunnens and Karina Urbina. A fantastic support by these 2 ladies for all kind of topics when developing and designing your business. They organise regular events with entrepreneurs, especially in Belgium.

Since using the above tools, I got a much better feeling for designing and developing my new (or any) business.  If you need more information on this, or on the CFO meets CIO initiative, just contact me at bas@cfomeetscio.com.

Take care,

Bas

Brussels, April 2, 2018

Fitness tracking, me too ?

miband-2

No, it is not ‘me too’, but ‘Mi 2’. I decided last week to jump into the fitness tracking world by buying myself a fitness tracker. And it is called the Mi 2 Band, from Xiaomi.

First of all: me doing fitness ? Ehh, yes, because  we all get older, and sitting behind my desk writing emails, organise meetings, developing software and typing blogs does apparently not increase my fitness.

But going out for a walk, or biking around Brussels, without any compensation is quite difficult. So I bought myself a fitness tracker. I add my targets, and the first 4 days I managed to reach my goals. Except today, because I released Octyx and wrote this blog.

So what is this fitness tracking business about ? First of all, it is about health tracking. All big companies, Apple included, are jumping on this type of business, because they say, and think, they can predict my future health (and hopefully do not share my data with any pharmaceutical companies).

Already the iPhone today, and other Android phones as well, without you knowing it, measure your sleep and walking data while being in your pocket or next to your bed.

Before buying my fitness tracker, I did some research. Which one would fit best? My first choice of course was to look to the Apple Watch, but, with a price over 350 EUR, in my opinion it is still too expensive for daily usage, even if it brings more than fitness measurements.

I also had a look to the FitBit Charge 2 tracker and similar solutions at Garmin and Misfit. Straightforward heart and fitness trackers, but mostly with prices above 100 Euro.

As I don’t know if such fitness tracking device will really help me moving around more, I found a solution at Xiaomi. As you may know, Xiaomi is sometimes called, the ‘Apple’ from China. Xiaomi is a large company, selling many devices, including smartphones, fitness trackers, and other solutions, sold under the brand name ‘Mi’. Have a look at their website here.

The product I found is called Mi Band 2. They use to sell the original MiBand for less than 15 Euro, and the latest MiBand 2 can be found on some websites in China for less than 20 Euro, but could I trust them? Several Amazon sites also sell them, but impossible to export to Belgium, where I live. So I decided to buy one in Prague at an Alza shop, as I am still regularly in Prague for my work.

The price was about 55 Euro, higher than on most mentioned websites, but at least I got one directly in my hands.  At home, unboxed directly, I started first with charging the device. Easy. In the mean time, I downloaded the accompanying app called MiFit from the Apple AppStore (it exists off course also for Android).

Finding the band and syncing was a peace of cake. At its first usage, the Mi Band 2 installed its latest firmware automatically. Data from my Mi Band 2 are visible on the band itself, in the miFit app, and in Apple Health (if you authorise this). Finding the options took some time, as the app is not totally logic.

The miBand 2 tracks my daily steps, tracks my sleep times, and shows my heart rate (via the sensor, but only manual for the moment). And it shows all this in the apps, but also on its little screen. And it shows the time when I want to see it by lifting my hand.

The Mi Band 2 has also options to  vibrate for alarms, sms messages, or several other notifications. It has an interesting notification called ‘idle alert’, with vibrates the band when I do not move for 1 hour during the day. I am trying to implement also notifications for my program Octyx and contacted Xiaomi already for this. I got a nice email reply from them, in Chinese language :-), so I am optimistic on the future.

Battery life is said to be several weeks: I use it since 5 days now, and it used 3% only, so it will probably be true.

And now, what do I do with this? I track my sleep (the data show light sleep and deep sleep), I track my heart rate (looks ok), and I walked a bit more than in the last weeks. Yes, indeed I did !

It gives indeed a boost to make me walk and do more. I am not ready yet to share this with friends (which is also an option), but my target is to loose some kilo’s and be even more in shape than before. And, as an IT guy, I will check out the Bluetooth connectivity,  the quality of the various apps, and the Xiaomi Mi account which I created on their website.

After a few days, I must say I am quite positive for ‘me too’ for fitness, and on the Mi Band 2. I will keep you updated in the future on this topic.

Take care, and have a nice day.

Bas

 

60 ID

Een engelse en franse versie van deze blog bestaat ook. This blog is also available in English and French. Cet article est également disponible en anglais et français.

Dromen zijn geen bedrog – 60 ideeën.

Het idee achter deze blog komt uit gewone diverse ‘dagelijkse ergernissen’. Deze ‘ergernissen’ hebben te maken met diverse elementen zoals financiën, economie, infrastructuur, gezondheid, milieu, telecommunicatie, onderwijs, justitie, enzovoort. Maar ook ‘ergernissen’ wegens het ontbreken van een duidelijke visie op de toekomst van Nederland, België, Frankrijk of Europa na de ‘Brexit’.

We komen allemaal wel eens op een punt waarbij je denkt: dit zou toch allemaal eenvoudiger en beter moeten kunnen. U kent ook vast wel de situatie waarin U met vrienden en familie over allerlei aspecten discussieert en veel zaken zou veranderen, zoals samenleving, economie, verkeer, enzovoort, indien U de leiding zou hebben.

Ik heb gewoon besloten een aantal van die kleine ‘ergernissen’ in een ’60 ideeën lijst’ samen te vatten, waarbij eigenlijk al snel het woord ‘politiek’ is gevallen. Dit was te verwachten, omdat de ideeën eigenlijk allemaal zaken zijn die de politiek zou moeten kunnen regelen en organiseren. De ’60 ideeën lijst’ kunt U hier lezen. De lijst is vooralsnog helaas alleen in de Nederlandse taal beschikbaar.

Helaas zijn onze lokale, landelijke en vaak ook onze Europese politieke vertegenwoordigers teveel bezig met zichzelf en u politieke carrière, of met het klagen over hun politieke collega’s in hun eigen of andere partijen. Of met het indoctrineren van de ‘burger’ zoals de kiezers graag genoemd worden.

Politiek is niet mijn beroep: in mijn dagelijkse leven houd ik mij bezig met het leiden van teams en projecten, waarbij logica, informatica en financiële aspecten een grote rol spelen. Ik heb het geluk gehad al bijna 40 jaar in de financiële sector te kunnen werken, en daarbij ook, gewoon door hard werken, in meerdere landen heb mogen werken en wonen.

Het aanpassen aan andere culturen en het leren en spreken van diverse talen hoort daar ook bij. Maar vooral heb ik daarbij een waardering voor verschillende culturen en personen leren opbrengen. Iedereen is anders, en iedereen heeft zijn eigen normen en waarden.

Respect hiervoor opbrengen was niet altijd makkelijk, maar bleek een noodzaak voor een goede samenwerking. En respect is iets wat ik de laatste tijd veel mis.

Ik zou ook zeker geen goede politieke vertegenwoordiger kunnen zijn omdat mijn opinies en uitgangspunten al meer dan 50 jaar dezelfde zijn: wees eerlijk, wees aardig, en respecteer anderen zoveel als mogelijk. Het ‘draaien met de wind mee’ om er beter van te worden is niet iets wat bi mij past.

Indien U de tijd neemt om de ’60 ideeën lijst’ te lezen zult U zien dat ik niet ‘rechts’ of ‘links’ ben, en ook niet ‘extreem’. De ’60 ideeën lijst’ geeft gewoon aan hoe ik in het leven sta en hoe ik soms erover droom dat het beter zou kunnen.

Dromen zijn bedrog wordt wel eens gezegd, maar laat mij maar dromen dat, indien onze politieke vertegenwoordigers een aantal van mijn ideeën zouden lezen en deze in hun eigen plannen zouden opnemen, de wereld er misschien iets eerlijker en beter door wordt.

Bas Eshuis

4 september 2016

Flash Mobs

Hello,

Welcome back to my blog. Instead of writing ‘boring’ IT stuff as I did some weeks ago, today I propose to you something completely different.

At the end of the season, everybody starts to think of the upcoming summer break. Too much work, too much rain (or too much sun maybe). And what’s better to celebrate a summer break with some nice music surprises. My personal favourites are the so-called flashmobs.

Flashmobs are defined, according to Wikipedia, as a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual act for a short time. Today I will focus on musical flashmobs.

My favourites are the flashmobs with real music and small orchestras. But you will see also some surprising ones. I selected 10 of them, but off course you can always go to Google and YouTube, and search for flashmob.

Click on the links, take your time and enjoy.

  1. Vietnames : based on Avinci ‘Wake Me up’ : nice music and a flash of Ha-Noi : Listen and see it here on Youtube. This one I like most.
  2. Spain Catalonia: in the beginning of the evening. It starts with 1 musician and it ends with many more. Click here.
  3. Another flashmob in Spain : I like this one in the library : check it here.
  4. From Sydney in Australia an Irish surprise. Enjoy it here.
  5. And from Ireland: a short one, but nice. Click here.
  6. From Austria, in Vienna Central Station : listen here.
  7. And from Argentina also a nice part of Verdi: check here.
  8. In Holland, a bit shorter as usual, but focusing on an event : see it here.
  9. From Moscow in the winter, it helps to warm you up: click here.
  10. And the last in the list is from Belgium. Searching for Maria in Antwerp Central station with music and dance : click here.

And as extra the Bolero song, again from Spain. A nice one to listen too in the evening: click here.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this blog,

Take care, and have good holidays,

Bas

Turning the page

Turning the page
Turning the page

Hello to all,

Very short post, just to share why languages are sometimes so interesting.

We heard yesterday that Sepp Blatter is resigning as FIFA head, after his successful re-election last weekend. So FIFA has to turn a page.

The interesting thing is that the German word for “turning the page” is “blättern”. And this resembles a lot like Blatter. Blatter and blättern. Small difference, but big impact for FIFA and football.

Take care,

Bas

See the Zoo

Hello to all,

Just some touristic information on my visit to the Prague Zoo today. One can spend many days just visiting the city of Prague with its beautiful castle and many interesting buildings and monuments, but today I decided to visit to the Prague Zoo in the Troja district.

Although not with perfect weather, I took a Prague boat from Rašínovo Nábřeží to go for a trip on the Vltava river to the Zoo. A 75 minutes boat trip with 2 times a passage through a sluice, with several interesting scenic views along. Boat plus entry  for the Zoo costed me less then 310 CZK (around 12 Euro).

Prague
Prague

Arriving at the Zoo is on the opposite side of the Vlatva, so you have to walk about 10 minutes to the entry. You pass the wonderful Troja castle before you arrive at the Zoo..

The Zoo itself is huge, and one of the best in Europe. Opened in 1931, it is one of the biggest I’ve ever seen, and also an important difference in height between the various parts. You can take a kind of “cable car” to go up or down, if you do not want to walk up the hills.

Many interesting animals and people, and many open spaces to enjoy the environment and views. You can read all this much better in other reviews on the internet, such as on Wikipedia. The website of the Prague Zoo can be found here.

And if you want to go back to the city: just take the bus 112 at the Zoo, and go to the end (Nádraží Holešovice). Then you take the metro (line C), or a tramway (12 or 24) to return to the city.

Below you find some more photos I took today.

Take care,

Bas

The Zoo
The Zoo
The Zoo
The Zoo
The Zoo
The Zoo
Troja Castle
Troja Castle
2014 Troja Bridge
2014 Troja Bridge
The Zoo and Cable Car
The Zoo and Cable Car