How I Passed the PSM I Certification

2016/02/23

I passed the Professional Scrum Master I (PSM I) exam last February 14, 2016, a consolation for not having a date on Valentine’s Day. Ha!

psmi_badge

So, here’s what helped:

  • Reading Scrum.org’s The Scrum Guide (FREE) over and over again, at least twice.
  • Reading Management Plaza’s The Scrum Master Training Manual (FREE). This is nearly double the size of The Scrum Guide, and provides additional explanation / context.
  • Taking Scrum.org’s Open Assessments (practice exams) over and over again until I got 100% each time. The Open Assessment is only 30 items each, randomized. It also helped that I took not only the Scrum exam, but also the Product Owner and Developer exams, enhancing my understanding of Scrum.
  • Reading through the Scrum.org forum, where I found some of the questions in the exam being discussed. Note that it is against forum rules to post the exact question and answer. So, some of them have been rephrased.

Some notes while taking the exam:

  • Make sure to have a really good internet connection. It was terrible judgement on my part to take the exam at home where I didn’t have stable internet. It would hang for a while, nearly causing me to have heart attacks! Take note the 80-item exam had to be finished in 60 minutes.
  • Read the questions, even if they look familiar. Some of the questions from the Open Assessments were repeated in the actual exam, but some of them were also rephrased or inverted, such that the answers were also inverted.

Other notes:

  • While I have not purchased them, some people have also recommended:
    • “Scrum – A Pocket Guide” by Gunther Verheyen
    • “A Pocket Guide to Passing Professional Scrum Master (PSM 1): Concise Scrum Master manual to pass the most meritorious Scrum Certificate” by¬†Mohammed Musthafa Soukath Ali
  • If you are still not confident of passing the exam (minimum of 85%, or 68 out of 80 items), you can consider taking additional practice exams, such as the one from Management Plaza. The PSM I certification is USD150 and not reimbursable by Accenture. So, it might be better to invest in an additional USD41 for the practice exams.

If you’re planning to take the PSM I, I wish you luck!


Not so Ace with the Cherry Mobile Ace

2015/04/03

Now that my Samsung Galaxy S4 is officially dead, I feel like a sitting duck, a dude with an unlimited data plan, but with nothing to use it on. So, I got myself a temporary phone – a Cherry Mobile Ace, the first smartphone in the Philippines to use the Firefox OS platform.

cherry mobile ace

There’s a lot NOT TO LIKE, and let me count the ways:
1. Battery life doesn’t last very long. I had to charge just as often with the S4; about two times a day. But could it be because I had brightness on full mode?
2. Top non-WiFi speed is only 2G/EDGE. It feels 56K dial-up all over again. So yeah, you can throw the Ace away. Kidding, don’t do that. So if you have a SIM card with an unlimited data plan, put it on a mobile hotspot, and connect the Ace via Wi-Fi instead.
3. Wi-Fi signal is weak. (NOTE: Wi-Fi router is two walled rooms away) In comparison, my Intel Core i3 laptop picks up signal better, then my now-defunct S4 (or the Nexus 7 2013 tablet), then the clone PC with a Wi-Fi USB dongle, then finally… the Ace. However, the Ace keeps up when it’s in the same room with the router. ūüôā
4. Keyboard is a hit or miss. It boasts of a capacitive screen, but it doesn’t detect keypresses correctly. A little retraining can fix that though. Hit a little bit on the sides, and you’re good to go! I was also hoping the QWERTY keyboard could be changed to 3×4 format, but NOPE.
5. It’s all HTML5. What did you expect? It’s Firefox OS after all! But what does that mean for app-addicted users like (you and) me? Well, there isn’t much in apps. For one, there is no Instagram. But don’t sweat it. The Ace has a non-zoomable 2MP camera. You wouldn’t want to take your #foodporn shots with that anyway.
6. No internal storage. So you can’t take photos with it out of the box. Oh, it supports up to 16GB microSD!
7. Power On lag. It takes about 2 seconds before the screen comes on. If you’ve been on powerful smartphones, it’s something you notice right away.
8. Low volume. Even with my hearing aid on, this phone just doesn’t cut it.
9. Home button vibration, and you can’t disable it.

However, it does have some GOOD POINTS, albeit fewer:
1. It’s CHEAP, like only PHP999 (USD22) cheap! So, you can drop it as often as you like, and it wouldn’t break your heart!
2. Surprisingly snappy for its price range. Sure, it hangs a bit when you scroll through Facebook, but even a poorly-configured Android phone does that.
3. More screen estate for SMS, at least versus my LG A275, which serves as a very good torchlight BTW.
4. Dual SIM, although I’ve never had to be on dual SIM. Ever.
5. MicroUSB port for power and data. Don’t you just hate Apple?

But just because the Ace doesn’t deliver, it doesn’t mean Firefox OS is crap. There are plenty higher-end Firefox OS devices with better specs. Also, you have to admire Mozilla for the work that they do with the Firefox browser and the open web in general. Send these guys a donation!


Save to Pocket with Dolphin Browser in 3 Steps

2013/06/13

While browsing with your ANDROID (yes, I’m picky like that) smartphone, did you ever come across an article that you wanted to read, but didn’t have the time to go through? Well, you could either bookmark the link, or send it to Pocket with Dolphin Browser.

What is Pocket? It is a FREE online service where you can put articles, videos, or pretty much anything, and have it downloaded on your phone, tablet, or computer for offline reading. And Dolphin? Your AWESOME browser that’s highly-customizable!

There are two ways to share to Pocket. First is the LONG, standard way in 4 steps (assuming you have the latest Dolphin):

(1) Click the phone’s left-menu to show the bottom menu bar.

01 left menu

(2-3) Click on More, then Share page.

02-a more

(4) Click on Add to Pocket. If you haven’t logged-in before yet, there’s another step.

03 add to pocket

Now, here’s the SHORTER way in 3 steps:

(1-2) Click the phone’s left-menu, then Add-ons.

01-b left menu

(3) Click on Save to Pocket. If you haven’t logged-in before yet, there’s another step.

02-b save to pocket

For the shorter way to work, you need to install the Pocket for Dolphin add-on found on their blog. This used to be available in Google Play, but was removed after the new Share page feature was introduced. However, you can use either way with the latest Dolphin. But since the add-on is an APK, it is for ANDROID only.


Directory Opus Discount Code for Black Friday

2012/11/25

Directory Opus discount code

Directory Opus, the BEST File Manager and Explorer Replacement for Windows, is offering a one-day discount code: BLACKFRIDAY12.

I bought a Directory Opus Pro Single license. From AUD69, it is now AUD34.50 (PHP 1,541.78). Directory Opus rarely offers discounts. So, grab this while you still can!

Here’s a screenshot of Directory Opus 9.5; current version is 10.x.

Directory Opus


What Happened at the Cebu StackOverflow Meetup

2012/06/20

The first-ever Cebu StackOverflow Meetup was a SUCCESS, thanks to the co-Organizers [Daryl Yu, Anna Umacob, Melody Sy and her DevCon cohorts], the Speakers [all six of them!], and the Sponsors [StackOverflow, DevCon Philippines, Anonymous] who made it happen!

cebu stackoverflow meetup

We had 66 RSVPs at the Meetup site, although only 40 showed up, some of them not on the RSVP list. NOT BAD, considering I expected only 40-50 attendees. More stats: 27% of them were WOMEN!

cebu stackoverflow meetup attendees

The venue was spacious enough. In fact, I think it could hold up 10 Р20 more attendees. It was also large enough that a sound system was not necessary, although we brought one anyway. But enough about that. WHAT HAPPENED?, you ask?

Frankly, I’m not going to give a summary of what each speaker said. I’m feeling lazy for notes, and I want you to go through everything instead. We got them on VIDEO¬†for those who couldn’t come, or left the venue early:

(1) Google AppEngine Has Gone StackOverflow, by Albert Padin.

(2) Why Copy-Paste is Bad for Your Code, by Carlos Tapang.

(3) Version Control and Continuous Integration, by Greg Monta√Īo.

(4)  Git is AWESOME. Why are You Using it Like SVN?, by Daryl Yu.

(5) Code Review Using Gerrit, by Mark Buenconsejo.

(6) Design and You, byJeremie Lim.

More pictures from the event can be found at geffchang’s FB Album¬†and DevCon’s FB Album.

stackoverflow freebies

In case you might be asking WHY we pushed to make this happen, despite being one month delayed from the worldwide StackOverflow Meetups, the answer is SIMPLE. We ♥ StackOverflow. We want you to know what it is all about.

It is an OPEN community where you can ASK, and get a SENSIBLE ANSWER that just keeps getting better, because people make the effort to contribute! That is why we got these Speakers together to share their knowledge, and get everybody to interact somehow.

We’re certainly open to hosting another Cebu StackOverflow Meetup next year, but We’re also inviting YOU to initiate the next Meetup. FOR DEVs, BY DEVs.


Decode Van Heusen QR Code, and Get a FREE Wallet

2012/06/17

It’s Father’s Day, and what a better way for Van Heusen (Ayala Center Cebu) to share the love by giving out FREE wallets. These 3-fold leather wallets could possibly be synthetic… But HEY, it’s FREE, and it’s Van Heusen! Now, that’s CLASSY.

van heusen wallet

All you have to do is to decode this QR code on the cashier’s table:

Not cool enough to have QR Code Scanner on your phone? If you’re on Android, download Barcode Scanner by ZXing Team, and scan the code above. You’ll get an awesome FREEBIE. Almost.

Van Heusen FREE Wallet QR Code

Of course, you need to be at the Van Heusen shop to claim your wallet. Last I checked, there were still 3 people (including me) who claimed the FREEBIE. This PROMO is good for TODAY only. So go, and claim yours NOW!

Van Heusen, Ayala Center Cebu

AND if you’re on a spending spree, you might also want to check out their polo shirts. Some of them have QR Codes too, like this one:

Van Heusen Polo Shirt

What will this get you? Why, a FREE Van Heusen undershirt. Cool.

Van Heusen FREE Undershirt QR Code

Van Heusen is probably one of the first few establishments to use QR Codes as part of their Marketing strategies. Now, let’s see which other shops will follow suit. On a side note, Van Heusen gets minus points from me for NOT USING Foursquare. *grin*


Cebu StackOverflow Meetup on May 26 (Sat)

2012/05/20

Last 28 April 2012 (Sat), StackExchange members around the world celebrated the 2nd Annual StackOverflow Meetup Day. So where were the Hackers, Programmers, Designers, other Tech folks of Cebu, Philippines? Busy with preparations [meetups, trainings, etc] for Startup Weekend Cebu of course — with WaitKnowMore going home first place last May 13 (Sun)! Read the SunStar link for more details.

For this delayed Cebu StackOverflow Meetup, we will be doing a series tech talks with 6 speakers. If you have been to Startup Weekend Cebu last May 11 (Fri) – May 13 (Sun), most of their faces will be familiar to you! They have been there either as an organizer, a mentor, a participant, or goodness.. a winner! So, who will be speaking? These GEEKS:

  1. Albert Padin (SpellDial.com)
    Google AppEngine and its SO Support Community
  2. Carlos Tapang (Centerus, Inc)
    Why Copy-Paste is Very Harmful to Your Code
  3. Greg Monta√Īo (Accenture)
    Version Control and Continuous Integration
  4. Daryl Yu (Lexmark)
    Git is AWESOME. So, Why are You Using it Like SVN?
  5. Mark Buenconsejo (CareSharing)
    Code Review Using Gerrit
  6. Jeremie Lim (Morphlabs)
    Experiences, Interfaces and the Other Fluff That Matters

These guys have 20-30 minutes each to bore AMAZE! you with their talks. AND, here’s where we’ll be DIFFERENT: During the Q&A portion of their talks (part of the 30 mins), EVERYONE is FREE to ASK and ANSWER. If you didn’t get one of the keywords in the last sentence, I repeat: ANSWER. In true StackOverflow sense, we ENCOURAGE open collaboration and sharing of ideas. So, don’t be shy, and share your knowledge! We’ll be giving out StackOverflow stickers (while supplies last) to those who participate!

Interested? Register NOW. It’s FREE!
WHAT: Cebu StackOverflow Meetup 2012
WHO: Hackers, Programmers, Designers, Tech folks!
WHERE: 17/F i3 Bldg., Cebu I.T. Park, Apas
WHEN: May 26 (Sat), 2012. 2PM – 5PM.
COST: FREE!
REGISTRATION: 50 PAX only! Click me to register.
HASHTAG: #SOMeetup

OTHER INFO.
Organizers: Geff Chang, Daryl Yu, Anna Umacob
Co-Organizer: DevCon Philippines (Thank You!)
Food & Drinks: BYO
Extension Wires (laptop): BYO / Share
Tables: Possibly None; Laptops on your lap?
WiFi: None / BYO
What You Need to Bring: Yourself, Laptop?

Of course, we will be giving out a StackExchange FREEBIE (while supplies last) for those who REGISTER at our Meetup page! Thanks to StackOverflow! No RSVP, No FREEBIE.

DISCLAIMER: The Organizers are not connected to StackOverflow in any way. We are doing this for the love of Technology.