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Dealing with Performance Anxiety and Depression as a Web Developer

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Performance anxiety sucks

It has been a year since I had been let go from previous employment and whilst the circumstances were understandable. It really did hit me. Performance anxiety was something which was unexpected and I really thought I was going somewhere with the company. I expected to be there for at least 3 years. When they told me the circumstances, I tried to fight my corner in order to carry on working for them. But because they were struggling themselves, there was nothing that they nor I could do.

My mind was all over the place. Truly, I wanted to go Uni and achieve better results in order for something like this to not happen again. Even though it wasn’t my fault, it really felt like it was. I had to keep telling myself that it wasn’t my fault. And that I can find work somewhere else without needing to go to Uni. Luckily, a company not too far away (literally downstairs) had an open door for someone of my level. Once again, I was excited, and turned down the opportunity to better myself at University. This was so I could carry on improving my skills whilst under the watchful eye of the company.

Why do I not feel better?

I already had almost 2 years of professional experience and the only reason I considered University was because I had already been let down by a few companies. I didn’t want this to happen again and thought the best option was Uni. My head was literally going round and round in circles as to what I should do.

Then I accepted the position, and whilst working there for 3 months, I went through something I thought I never would… Performance anxiety.

At the time, I didn’t realise it, and this was because it wasn’t like an instant thing, it was more of a build up. I think on my first week of being with this new company, I was outside and felt the sudden urge to be sick. I ran to the toilet and out it came. As I cycled in that day, I just put it down to exhaustion and dehydration. Not realising that in the back of my mind, I was filling up with worry.

Constantly feeling useless

Then for the rest of my time with this company, I would be sick on the weekends because I was worried that I would walk in and circumstances could change. Whilst working, I would receive emails and in the back of my head, I couldn’t help but think it was an email telling me that I’m useless and I’m fired. This was down to the fact that at an earlier stage (more than a year ago), I had a few email exchanges with warnings, then another email regarding a talk.

In this current position, I was the only developer on the team and I believed that my current situation wasn’t best suited for someone my level. After 3 months of working there, I decided to jump ship and find another new development place, during my time here I was still going through my anxiety and it was slowly getting worse. If I took a day off, it would kick in and I would be sick and have a restless night’s sleep.

Then, it really hit me. So bad, that I started to have random moments where I would just cry. If my partner tried to make me jump or jokingly shout at me. I would burst out into tears and she would worry because of it. It was at this moment, where I decided to take time off and see the doctors. He suggests I speak to someone and try to overcome this anxiety.

It’s time to do something

I would then have a phone call with the anxiety helpline and discuss my issues. I found out I had mild anxiety and slight depression. So each week for a month, I would speak to this person and tell her what I’m feeling anxious about, what I’m doing to overcome it and how well I think I’m progressing. It was hugely helpful, but at the same, this place I started working for just didn’t feel right for me. The tension and people’s moods in the office were too unbearable and they wouldn’t take into consideration anything I had to say.

I then thought it was best I find yet another job, somewhere where I felt I could be happy. Since I have been to many interviews now, I felt I could pick up on the atmosphere and find somewhere that not only has nice people but also has a good client base and targets. I had two interviews and chose what I thought was the best out of them. Choosing a place that was right for me helped my anxiety even more, although I still do have days where I struggle, it’s nowhere near worrying levels.

How should I carry on?

So, how do we cope with performance anxiety and anxiety in general? Talk about it, it doesn’t matter who to. You need to get your worries out in the open and just let it all out. If you’re really worried. I strongly suggest you speak to an anxiety helpline who can and will diagnose your issues and help you through your struggles. Being in a nice calming environment also helps. If you’re well and truly sick of your job, then you need to find somewhere new. Take time off work and have some interviews. When you receive a phone call confirming your new position, you should then be able to leave your current job.

Through talking about my struggle, I hope to have encouraged anyone reading this to do the same. Let me know your stories and even suggestions on helping get through such tough times.

Also, remember; Development, Programming, Accounting… Pretty much any office job can and will be stressful. Don’t let it get you down and if it gets too much, just talk about it.

My personal update on this topic

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Quick Update

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Lots have been going on recently, so I do apologise for not writing a post as of late. I was made redundant by my previous employee due to lack of funds and not being able to push enough work my way. Luckily, the guys there are pretty cool and was happy to be my reference for any future employment. I was really lucky to find a new workplace. As soon as I left, I started my new position with Pulse8 Broadband.

Now I am working on a single website, and trying to push it up to be an amazing website to visit. I am looking migrate the website over to Laravel in the near future. This will make development easier and faster to push out updates.

I’m looking forward to the future and any Laravel tutorials I post from now on will be with version 5 as I’ve already pushed myself over and have loved it since it’s official release.

Hope to speak to my followers again soon and as always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

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General

Website Update

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As you can see, it has been a while since my last post. However, I have been busy trying to push updates over to my website. This is to help strengthen the relationships between you and I.

You can now share any articles you like by scrolling to the bottom of each, and clicking on the “Share This” button. Each social website which you can share with will pop up. However, I do need to improve on this. It will automate text titles, images (when I start adding them) and using selected paragraphs.

I would like to encourage all of my readers to share any posts which you find useful so that it can help other as well. I have also added a Recommended Reading page which you can use to find new and interesting books which have caught my eye. In the future, as I being to read each of those books (which I will), I will post reviews on what I believe has and hasn’t helped me and hopefully help you decide on what books will be helpful for you.

If there is anything you would like me to investigate further and create posts on certain situations with a resolution, then please write a comment below detailing what you need help with and I will do my best to investigate and create solutions to these problems.

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General Laravel

Thoughts on my social networking site and what has changed

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Carrying on with my social networking website

I’ve had a lot to think about when it comes to the where I want to take my website. Firstly, do I really want to take on such a big task of trying to beat Facebook on my own, when they have a huge team? The answer to that is no, no I don’t. I have always had some great ideas with what I wanted to do. However, the fact is, I couldn’t carry this out on my own.

What could I do instead? I figured I should go for something which possibly hasn’t been done before. It could be similar to something which has already been done, that way I can keep my ideas on the straight and narrow. There have been so many instances where I would come up with these ideas and they would just explode, I would get so excited about these new prospects. However, because most of my thoughts have rarely been carried out before, I would get frustrated because I couldn’t find the help I needed.

Expanding the social idea

What if I created a website which could help like-minded people? With projects too big for them to carry out themselves? It then came to me, like a brick smacking into my face. I would create a website where users could explain a project they want to create, and then find people close by with similar ideas. They could then meet up somewhere and express these ideas, then they could create the project into something real.

My website will be about users coming in to make a project. You then find people who are interested and meet up with them to make this project a reality. As it’s initially a project, my website won’t be asking you about wages or some sort of payment, it will be up to you to make that part a reality.

I would like to apologise for the lack of posts lately. Things have been a bit hectic for me and my family. Please bear with me. I can assure you, I will still be posting. I will be making my website a reality for people to enjoy.

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General

Virgin Media Calling and Asking for Password

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Receiving a phone call from Virgin Media

Last week sometime, I received a phone call from Virgin Media. The caller said he would like to talk to me regarding my account, which at first seemed fairly legit. I asked him what the problem was and to his response, I was shocked.

The reply was “Firstly Michael, I need to know your password”. After telling him that I’m not giving him my password as he rang me. He should know that he is talking to the correct person.

Personally, I felt like this could have easily been some fraudulent call. After him not giving up on this, despite me asking several times what it was actually regarding and him repeating… “I can’t tell you until you give me your password”. I said to him that you can send me a letter with what this is regarding and I hung up.

The problem continues

This wouldn’t have been a problem if I was the one who rung them up. But the fact he did this when calling ME, I was not going to tell him. I personally feel that this isn’t the best way to handle the call, and he should have asked me other questions like my address or say the 2nd and 5th characters of my password. If I were to have friends/family around, I wouldn’t tell him my password as it could be used on other websites like Facebook and Twitter, so it should be dealt in another way.

The terms even speak about not asking for your password (shown below). Surely this means they are going against their own terms on this.

If anyone has had the same, or similar experiences on this then please share your thoughts and what you did to deal with the situation.

They did in fact send me a letter, and it was to do with being behind on payments. Why they couldn’t even hint at this still baffles me, but I rang them up and had it all sorted.

Protecting your information

Any information sent to us is protected using robust security methods. The methods we use are industry-standard ensuring data is safeguarded whilst being sent over unprotected communications paths such as the internet. When it reaches us, we store it securely and only provide access to it by those authorised. Although we safeguard your personal information once received, Virgin Media cannot guarantee the safety of any personal information you transmit to us using online methods.

We will never ask you for your Virgin Media identification, authentication passwords or PIN numbers directly associated with your Virgin Media account in any unsolicited phone calls or unsolicited emails. In accordance with our Terms and Conditions, you are responsible for keeping your password and PIN secure and we very strongly recommend you do not disclose them to anyone (unless you wish to authorise them to access your account and potentially incur charges on your account).

https://store.virginmedia.com/the-legal-stuff/privacy-policy.html

Categories
General Laravel

Social Networking Website Based in Laravel

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Laravel social networking website.

I’ve been wanting to make a social networking website for a long time, one which will rival the big guys. I also thought about maybe doing it following the footsteps of Mark Zuckerberg by recording my steps live on my Blog and get feedback to what others think. That way, I can create something which everyone wants and unleash something which almost everyone will love.

I will also release any tutorial worthy stuff as I go through my development to help anyone else who are thinking of making their own social networking sites using Laravel.

I’m starting out with the basics, such as: registration, messaging, pages etc.

What are your likes and dislikes about Facebook, Google+ and Twitter? Let me know in the comments so I can get some awesome feedback.

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General

Brand New Website, Brand New Start

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Here I go again, on my quest for a new website…

Of becoming a Web Master. It’s been a while since I properly posted on my Blog. And so I wondered the best way to go about this. As I went back to my old site and old Blog. I looked at it and I couldn’t help but think that the way of making templates on Blogger was a bit too tedious and slap-dashed and was in need of a new website.

Now I’m using Laravel at work and starting to feel like it is such a great tool to use. I felt like I should start my new site using a platform which embraces Laravel and so here I am, using WardrobeCMS.

From what I have seen so far, it bolts on some pretty nifty packages and creates something that is simple and elegant. Rather than HTML, it uses a markdown language which looks amazing and it’s so simple to use.

In the future, I hope to create my own theme for it and maybe even make some packages to enhance what is already becoming a lovely piece of kit. I also plan on doing a lot of tutorials focusing mainly on Laravel itself. And possibly some packages which I find useful through my journey.

#WatchThisSpace