A Practical Guide to SharePoint 2013

A Practical Guide to SharePoint 2013
A Practical Guide to SharePoint 2013 - Book by Saifullah Shafiq

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Impact of Information Overload on Businesses

Anything that is more than necessary becomes problematic for us in the long run. Likewise, information glut is becoming a menace in this age of internet and technology. Every day we are exposed to a colossal amount of information through social media, the internet and other traditional and modern ways. Though, this information is a valuable commodity but over exposure is not always worthwhile. Let’s discuss how all this is impinging businesses. 

Organizations around the world are facing the challenge of information overload. They focus on enhancing their employee experience by over burdening them with information or data which they have to process. This in turn not just affects their health, mental and physical well-being but also their performance at work because they feel pressurized. If companies keep on nudging their employees, then attracting or retaining the most proficient employees will be an issue in the long run. Business's success and reputation will also be at stake.

What is Information Overload?

In business terms, information overload is a term that refers to the massive influx or flow of irrelevant information among the staff members or employees. This negatively affects their productivity and acts as a barrier in the path of innovation, since they have to process and deal with this overwhelming data on a daily basis. This unnecessary and poor quality information which is shared with the employees is mostly discarded by them and most of them hardly read it. There are several reasons that collectively lead to this issue. Mostly, the employees are not given enough time to process and go through the information they receive. Sometimes, it happens as a result of lack of alignment among the members which ultimately affects employees, your team and the business on the whole.

There are many drawbacks of information abundance. Around 65% of the managers expressed that their personal and professional life and relationships were perturbed by the workload. They faced issues such as sleeplessness due to stress and anxiety. 42% of the managers belonging to the IT niche said that they were bombarded with data and information through multiple communication channels, some could not understand its significance while others were unable to determine which information was accurate. On average, employees spend 2.5 hours daily to filter out the necessary information that they are looking for. It wastes a lot of time (one third of their time) as they have to visit other departments to gather the information. Sometimes, they have to browse their mailbox in order to complete their task. Ultimately, they are unable to make decisions in a timely manner, feel stressed and burned out. Also, they end up making more mistakes out of befuddlement. 

A company will never be able to make outstanding teams with ineffective internal communication. Each member's work is interconnected so they all must remain in the loop. Overload of information along with miscommunications means overlapping of tasks and employees might miss their important deadlines. With lower employee performance because of misalignment results in poor customer service. Your IT department would not be able to come up with new products, features and services on time. Work atmosphere is largely affected as screwed up employees often start to search for a new job or share about their bad experience outside the company.

Thus, companies should treat their employees as their asset and focus on ways to attract and retain them. Efficient communication channels must be used and there should be a central place so that your remote and onsite employees can remain updated about the company’s latest news. 



Wednesday, March 22, 2023

The need for employee monitoring software

The pandemic brought an upheaval in the way the business carried out their operations. The idea of remote and work from home jobs seemed favorable in those hard times, being the only possible solution for the smooth running of the global businesses. Initially, it was difficult for many employees to work from home as they were already fed up from the monotony of home constricted lives and the post pandemic malaise. It brought problems for the upper management who could not check and monitor their team members and their performance physically. Some business owners were eager to embrace the remote work system and allowed their employees to permanently work from home which also lowered their cost. While others were much skeptical and concerned about how to track their progress and the way tasks are being done. Due to this new work mode they faced issues related to communication, work life balance and getting used to the new technologies, but it also offered them flexibility in their working hours. This remote or hybrid system has urged companies to deploy employee monitor tools and software that will help both the employers and the employees.

What is Employee Monitoring?

Employee monitoring is all about keeping a track of your employees, their performance, and the progress made as they perform their work related tasks. Organizations use a number of different digital tools and monitoring methods to check and record their attendance, analyze their behavior, ensure their workspace is safe and secure, keep proof of number of hours they have worked as well as to measure their productivity. So employment monitoring is more like you are under surveillance. Many people are against this system of monitoring and say that it’s more like the invasion of privacy.

Now let's see how companies get updates about their employees and keep their team in the loop.

1. Employees usage of apps and internet

During their job hours, most of the employees surf the internet for personal reasons such as shopping or entertainment. If they are browsing different websites to make an online purchase and do not respond to their colleagues in a timely manner, it is most likely that they are not working. You can get this information through their URLs and also see which employee logged on apps such as Instagram or Facebook and for how long. Sometimes, employees lack the tools and training to complete their job and fail to meet deadlines so that doesn’t mean they are involved in some other activity. This monitoring is essential for employees who are performing or dealing with sensitive data of the company. The company can be at risk if he/she visits certain sites. 

2. File and time tracking 

Through the time tracking feature employees can mark their time in and time out. They can stop the timer when they have to take a break and start it again when they have to resume their work. In this way they can keep a record of how many hours they worked on a project or task. This data helps managers to make better predictions and manage budgets accordingly. They can also check which file is edited and how.

3. Location

Using the GPS features, managers can easily check their employees’ current location through their personal devices such as mobile phones or the vehicle the company gave them. They can even track the route they take or locate where their team was during the day through the historical data.

4. Webcams or CCTV

For remote work webcams are very useful to get live updates from your employees. Similarly, closed circuit television cameras (CCTV) can help to monitor workers on different sites such as oil fields, construction sites or offices. This encourages employees to work efficiently without delaying the task.

5. Phone or emails

Businesses can record their employees’ interaction with customers, suppliers, or other parties. For example, you can listen to your customer support representative's conversation and if he is dealing in the right way then you ask other team members to follow the same manner. If you get negative feedback you can also check that through their conversation to see what went wrong. Most of the employers check the emails of their employees so that they can identify issues and tackle them before they create major problems.

There are many other employee monitoring software that companies use to track their employees not only for the sake of work but also to ensure their well-being and to observe their behavior (some companies are using smart badge-like gadgets). Such tools and techniques increase their efficiency and improve their proactiveness. Employers also become aware of what changes and steps they should take to encourage and bolster their workforce. Such steps are mandatory for a healthy internal environment because it affects the organization on the whole.


Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Importance of Digital Trust

In this digital age, trust is of paramount importance for the success of a business. Before any kind of interaction or engagement, you have to establish ground for trust to meet the expectations of your target audience and to achieve your purpose. In recent times, both the digital and physical world have merged and the true meaning of trust has also changed. Today, when conducting business, you focus on digital trust more so that all the transactions and business dealings take place in a secure and ethical way between all the parties. 

What is Digital Trust?

Digital trust is a concept which depends on a number of factors such connectivity, transparency, data use and adoption of new technology. In order to ensure and develop the element of trustworthiness, technology must be used carefully and it should be safe, secure and reliable. Today, there is an increase in distrust because of new and emerging technologies. People have become more cautious and suspicious due to the invasion of privacy. Thus, business relationships are not just about the exchange of products and services anymore, customers’ perception of you and your brand as well as security of personal information is way more important.

The Pillars of Digital Trust

Digital trust is built upon four major pillars which are as follows:

1. Accessibility and Transparency:

With the rise in digitization, customers expect greater transparency from the company selling different products and services. They can easily search for products as they have access to massive amounts of information through the internet. Customers also share their personal data with the intention that the company offers transparency in terms of operations and also for the sake of accessibility when needed.

2. Privacy and Control: 

Customers share their data with the company because they are confident that it will not be misused. They want to gain access to the latest products and make their experience more individualized. This exchange between both the parties is mutual but has some limits. For customers convenience, a set of privacy terms and conditions are proposed which they can accept or deny. Customers can control when and how their data can be used. This leads to respect and creates a trusting relationship between them.

3. Reliability and Security

Customers feel satisfied when they are able to make a purchase, search or browse without any hassle. Though, the convenience that comes from the digital platforms is much appreciated, simultaneously they believe that companies should take full responsibility for breaking their terms or for the breach of trust. Customers are more inclined towards companies that protect their data and whom they can trust while submitting their confidential information. Today’s customers are well aware of the cybercrimes and risks so companies have to remain updated with their cybersecurity to attract and retain them.

4. Ethics and Responsibility

Companies must cling to their core values and see how they can reuse the given or available technology and resources is the best possible way. This makes them worthy in the eyes of the customers when they fulfill their expectations and deliver what they claim. 

Digital trust results in business growth and customer retention so companies must ensure a fool proof cyber security system when customers entrust their data.


Monday, March 20, 2023

Top 5 Applications of Machine Learning

Machine Learning is a very interesting technology and a subcategory of Artificial Intelligence which is everywhere around us today. With the help of machine learning, computer programs learn, adapt and improve themselves on the basis of past data and experiences. It also allows systems to identify patterns, perform tasks and make predictions, accordingly. This technology requires very less human interference as machines autonomously access data. As more data is fed into machines, the algorithms teach the systems, which ultimately presents and delivers better results. For example, if you request Alexa to play your favorite song, she will go through the list of your most played songs and then pick one to play. You have to give her commands if you want to make changes such as adjust volume or skip a song. ML applications do not require explicit programming. As they are fed with new data, they learn, change, and develop on their own. Through an iterative process computers are able to find insightful information independently.

Applications of Machine Learning

All the industries immensely benefit from machine learning technology, especially those that have massive amounts of data to handle. Many of them have realized its significance and value and are taking maximum advantage to stay ahead of their competitors. Let's closely see the various sectors that are making the most out of this technology.

1. Retail Sector

ML is being implemented by many shopping and retail companies who prioritize their customers. From capturing and analyzing data to running marketing campaigns, gaining customer insights, and price optimization, it is present everywhere. Based on the purchase history of customers, retail websites suggest products using machine learning technology. They also use conversational Chatbots to engage with them. To satisfy their customers and provide them a personalized shopping experience, sellers adopt various ML techniques. Netflix and YouTube are the perfect examples of companies that heavily depend on ML. They recommend movies, shows and videos to their viewers or users based on their past searches and viewing history.

2. Healthcare sector

A number of devices and wearables have sensors inside them for example fitness trackers, sleep trackers or smart health watches. Such devices are used to check, assess and monitor the overall health and fitness of patients or users in real time. ML algorithms are very useful for medical practitioners and experts to make accurate predictions about the lifespan of a patient dealing with a deadly disease. Making or discovering a new drug is very costly and a long process, but through ML it is easy to analyze large volumes of data.

3. Travel sector

All the ride sharing apps such as Uber, Careem and InDrive incorporate machine learning, especially for the dynamic pricing. Companies also use it to analyze the reviews of users and also for the brand, compliance or campaign monitoring. The demand and supply as well as the traffic patterns are taken into account. Also, real time predictive modeling is used for the fare and ride booking. 

4. Finance sector

Banks and financial institutions make use of machine learning technology in order to analyze large volumes of data. Cyber security teams can also get information and warnings regarding fraudulent activities so that they can deal with them in a timely manner. ML also provides valuable insights to the investors related to investment opportunities.

5. Social Media

Machine learning has played a crucial role in showing user specific ads through the personalization of news feed. A plethora of users can connect and engage with each other through different social media platforms and networks. Through ML and image recognition, Facebook recognizes your friend’s face so that you can automatically tag them on posts.

Machine learning has influenced all industries around the globe and will continue to do so, since computer algorithms are becoming more efficient with the passage of time. Overall, an upward trajectory is expected for machine learning in the coming years.


Friday, March 17, 2023

The overall impact of Artificial Intelligence

"Will technology overrule humans?" is a thought provoking question that has touched many experts around the world. The line of distinction between humans and technology is gradually blurring as machines are performing human-like functions. A growing number of people belonging to the tech field have either lost their jobs or are at the risk of becoming jobless. A recent study has revealed that 30% of the activities, particularly tasks that are monotonous and repetitive will be autonomously performed by machines in 2023. This era is more about Artificial Intelligence which has ingrained in every walk of our lives in one way or another. Whether you use Siri for weather updates, Alexa to play your favorite music or to turn on your smart lights, every gadget and device is powered by AI technology. However, humans have to cope with the changes and embrace the challenges that their own actions and inventions have brought up for them. 

The good side

There are a wide range of activities in which AI technology has surpassed human capabilities and intelligence. For example, it helps in language translation, answering questions, speech recognition, tracking and fighting cyberattacks, complex decision making, discovering patterns and analytics and assists in a lot of other tasks. Smart systems (homes, appliances and vehicles) have been saving time and money and have also enabled people to have access to more customized features. By gathering massive amounts of health related data, many diseases will be cured. Even the informal and formal system of education will transform and thrive as a result of EdTech.

The bad side

On the other hand, many experts and individuals have expressed deep worries that the future will deprive humans from intervening and using their intellectualism for the accomplishment of tasks. The loss of human control over various processes is due to the rise of automated systems and digitized lives. Decision making is now code driven and people lack the skills and inputs that are needed for the tools to work. With time automation is becoming complex and beyond human perception. Values and ethics are not taken into consideration (data abuse and surveillance) when such systems make people's decisions. It’s quite difficult to regulate these networks that operate globally. Everywhere, governments want to attain power while companies attempt to make huge profits without caring for individuals’ privacy and security.

Social upheaval and economic disparity will continue to increase as people are being laid off by companies who are shifting toward AI. This will cause a major disruption in our lives. Some say that over dependency on AI and other similar technologies will erode the cognitive and survival abilities of humans and the way they interact with others. They would not be able to take actions independently, without relying on machine driven networks. Another concerning subject is the introduction of autonomous weapons which might give rise to carnage and many lives will be lost in future. Cybercrimes will also rise as AI is giving an opportunity to the cybercriminals to improve the effectiveness of their malicious attacks.

Way forward

The only possible solution to mitigate these risks and threats is to follow worldwide digital cooperation by entering into a rational agreement. Value based systems must be introduced to ensure that technology is socially acceptable and parallel to ethics. More work is needed in order to expand human capacities and the idea of prioritizing humans along with Artificial Intelligence must be promoted at a larger scale.


Thursday, March 16, 2023

What's incredible about the latest GPT-4?

The murmur is all about GPT-4!

Chat GPT is already taking the world by storm. The technology has not yet fully sated the desire of AI experts who are still working on to improve and add more amazing features into it. The new and phenomenal version of Generative Pre-trained Transformer was officially announced on 13th March. This latest Chatbot of OpenAI, GPT-4 is highly advanced in terms of performance and features. Its unique features were unfolded through livestreaming on YouTube and it quickly received large scale public validation. One thing to note is that GPT-4 is grounded upon the prior series i.e. GPT 3.5 and can generate text that is almost indistinguishable from human speech. It has 100 trillion machine learning parameters (more than GPT 3.5). However, unlike GPT 3.5 it is not available for free. Those who were impatiently waiting for this series to release have to avail this service (Chat GPT Plus) by paying a subscription fee that is $20 per month. 

This language model will also be useful for software developers and engineers as an Application Programming Interface (API). It will allow them to build and create applications or websites along with other services. Developers can easily understand the complex coding with the help of GPT-4. It will even help them to write generic codes or functions which will in turn increase their efficiency. Many of the well-known businesses such as Khan Academy and Duolingo are already using it and making the most out of this new technology.

What's new?

GPT-4 has been released after undergoing extensive testing. The fourth updated version of OpenAI software is more powerful as compared to its predecessors. Studies have shown that it is 40% more reliable and accurate in generating responses as it is trained according to human feedback. This new language model is based upon deep learning technology and has the ability to understand human speech. It makes use of artificial neural networks in order to write and generate human-like responses. As per OpenAI, this version is outstanding in areas such as creativity, context and visual input. In simple words, GPT-4 is way ahead in terms of creativity than previous models. It fully understands, learns and copies the user’s way of writing. In this way it collaborates and provides them ideas for their creative tasks and projects for example creative writing, technical writing, lyrics, screen plays etc. From a visual aspect, GPT-4 uses images for the purpose of interaction and to generate responses. For example, you can share a picture with different cooking ingredients and it will tell you what dishes or recipes you can make out of those. Longer context means that it can interact with the content and process a maximum of 25000 words from the text.

GPT-4 is attracting many individuals from different employment backgrounds such as software developers and bankers. Critics say that it will lead to a widespread disruption in the way different businesses operate and work. Others argued that social biases are still there. Many work oriented individuals are now apprehensive and have expressed their concerns that the future of the global job market will be at stake. The technology might disturb the entire education system and negatively impact the learning and thinking abilities of students. So GPT-4 is not the perfect model and AI experts are still working on it to address the prevailing issues.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Benefits and risks associated with the emerging technologies

Not all the high powered scientific inventions (machines/devices) and technologies are efficient, cost effective and safe to use. There are plenty of risks associated with modern world's emerging technologies which need continuous regulation. We as users are unaware of many benefits and dangers linked with these innovations. Though they enhanced the productivity of many tasks, there are a multitude of cases in which human casualties and monetary losses were reported. Let’s have a closer look at the negative consequences of these technologies.

Studies have shown that the biggest risks are posed by Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. Though, AI is known for its excellent decision making capabilities and its complex algorithms which backs the autonomous work in factories. AI helps in managing and overseeing the tasks associated with machinery and production. However, it is replacing the factories and businesses workforce who have to look for new jobs now, since AI is improving its autonomous functions and performing tasks that workers used to do. No doubt, AI is reducing the cost for businesses but some argue that quality and ethical decision making is not ensured by Al. For example, it’s a huge dilemma for AI to choose whether to save the life of a pedestrian or the passenger while he/she sits in a self-driving vehicle.

Similarly, biotechnology helps to mitigate the hunger crisis around the globe and improves the overall health of humans and animals through the production of health related products. But again, this process involves the exploitation and abuse of an organism through genetic manipulation. Another technology, Quantum computing, has played a crucial role in quickly processing massive amounts of data. It has helped in computer intensive scientific or medical research. But it has also allowed external hackers to have easy access to your computer systems or business records through the breaking of encryption systems and codes, giving rise to security threats.

Some devices have sensors lodged inside them or consist of software and other technologies that help to connect (send and receive) data with other gadgets or objects through the internet. These have been very useful in everyday life such as providing home security and helping to track livestock etc. If no IoT security is provided for devices for example laptops, smartphones or appliances then it is prone to cyber-attacks and these objects can be affected by malware. 

Geoengineering has also been saving our planet from the harmful rays of the sun by limiting sunlight reach. It is also helping us to deal with climatic changes and global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Fiddling with the natural processes by altering climate means that wildlife and forest will have to cope with the negative consequences. It can reverse the function of the ozone layer (sulfate particles can slowly result in ozone depletion), reduce the global rainfall and rain might be more acidic in nature. Also, geoengineering is a very costly technique and scientists need trillions of dollars to cover the earth with a sunshade.

There are a multitude of other technologies that humans have created for their benefit but each comes with their drawbacks. So tinkering with nature or using man made technologies will never be easy in the years to come. 


Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Changes in Marketing Trends

The marketing world is evolving to align with the changing needs of the modern consumers. This has urged the marketing professionals to devise competitive strategies in order to survive in the industry. Let’s discuss the advancements that took place recently and the new developments that are on their way, shaping the future of marketing.

1. Social responsibility will be one of the top priorities of businesses

Companies know that the modern consumers value ethics, trust, transparency, and social responsibility. Thus, they are planning to invest more in social responsibility in the coming years. The generation Z and millennials are concerned about the prevailing social issues such as gender inequality, climate change, resource depletion and racial discrimination. They want companies to take steps to mitigate them. When companies advocate or become vocal about these growing issues such people often end up becoming your loyal customers and it positively affects their purchase decision. Companies target their audience through social media strategies i.e. offerings and promotions that focus more on the noble cause to attract them. For example, every time you buy Nestle Fruita Vitals juice it comes with a paper straw. This is part of their campaign to eliminate plastic from the earth as mentioned on the pack.

2. Experiential Marketing seems to rule

Companies have been using experiential marketing campaigns in order to engage their audience or for consumer business interaction and provide them with an immersive experience. This is either in the form of a physical place or created through Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality. For example when you visit a mall they have placed massager chairs on which you can sit and get a massage. iRest is one such company that offers such services to promote their product and also for their brand engagement. Such immersive experiences are liked by customers and prove to be effective. However, with the spread of covid-19 the market faced a setback and companies were forced to shut down their operations. Providing customers with AR/VR experience is way too costly and that also means that their target audience or customer should also have the latest gadgets or smartphones to access the content. But experiential marketing is showing a comeback as people are getting more access to such immersive platforms.

3. More dependency on influencer marketing

Influencer marketing has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years and 17% of marketers were eager to plan and invest in 2023. It helps to create brand awareness and companies can gain more customers through their millions of followers. Micro influencers or those who have less followers as compared to celebrities helps in converting leads. People have a high level of trust in them and their opinions or recommendations are very much valued.

4. Investing in video marketing

Though longer videos are more informative and give detail about the company's product and services to the customers and target audience, marketers have learned that viewers lose interest after a short period of time so short content and to the point videos are more effective in delivering the intended messages. Instagram or Facebook reels and Tiktok videos have been popular these days. Marketers are increasingly investing in video marketing especially the short videos which take less bandwidth.

5. Focus on Search Engine Optimization

Companies want to make sure that their website and content appears at the top when people search for the relevant information, especially on Google. They are relying more on SEO techniques and tools to increase their short term and long term traffic. The need for SEO strategies is growing and it is ranked the third most effective marketing tactic. Marketers are turning towards SEO specialists who can provide them with search insight reports and help them to improve the website ranking as well as increase the number of visitors. 

All these initiatives are becoming more ingrained in the marketing sphere. Companies must remain open to change by clinging to the new marketing trends so that they do not fall behind in competition or face failures.


Monday, March 13, 2023

Role of Artificial Intelligence in Software Development

Artificial Intelligence has brought groundbreaking transformation in software development, cranking up the productivity of developers and engineers by automation of multiple tasks. From face detection and recognition to ride hailing apps such as Careem, InDrive and Uber, AI unfailingly surprises us wherever we go. At every step, AI has been supporting the software professionals by way of honing the software processes and incorporating machine learning. With an increase in mechanization, AI seems to be promising while also unburdening many humanly tasks. Let’s have a look at how AI has eased the software development lifecycle:

1.     Decision making is now faster and better 

AI has swayed the strategic decision making process by limiting human interference through automation. Previously, the management wasted time on discussing which will be the most feasible product, services or feature in which they should invest, AI had made this simple. If the company's AI is adjusted to analyze the pros and cons of a software, it can quickly give performance reviews on updated and new software while also mitigating the risks. Decision making now depends on analytics which will be beneficial in reducing cost and minimizing human errors. Machine learning makes use of the data by gathering and assessing it and on that basis the computer interprets and makes informed decisions. The data can assist in making quick witted and smarter decisions.

2.     Diverging the role of developers

AI is now shifting and morphing the software developers’ role. By assigning specific duties to AI machines, they can polish their other skills and focus on other sets of tasks while simultaneously corresponding with Al. This not only saves their time but also gives them an opportunity to explore new avenues and deal with complex issues. Programmers can work side by side with AI, since it cannot outperform manpower. Coding can be done by AI but software development is challenging and requires human intelligence to decipher, control and give directions. 

3.     Estimates can be precise too

There are tasks in which machines cannot transcend the human brain and vice versa. Same goes for making estimations and predictions. Software developers cannot always make efficacious or close estimations on costs and project timelines. Through Al, you can have a precise estimation of resources, budget needed, how much time and effort will be required to complete a specific task. Based on that, programmers and developers can accept a project. By giving accurate information to your clients and informing them on project progress, there are chances that clients might hire you for future tasks.

4.     Faster Development and less errors 

Machine learning can reduce the time span of many processes by performing automated tasks. For example, there is no need for quality assurance experts to waste time on strenuous software testing. Instead, AI can do this without wastage or any errors. Computers, backed by AI, can perform complex repetitive processes quickly and efficiently. If errors are detected in the software, it can diagnose and correct it on the spot without manual intervention.

5.     Performance management strategy 

With machine learning algorithms, companies can get instant feedback from users. AI enabled software gives developers a clear picture of what areas need further refinement, enhancing customer experience.

Artificial Intelligence is becoming a necessity in this fast paced software industry, where programmers have to align themselves to the latest trends, so investing in AI is crucial.


Friday, March 10, 2023

All you need to know about PHP Programming

PHP which is also known as Hypertext Preprocessor is a well-recognized and extensively used server side scripting language pertaining to web development that helps companies to develop applications and create mutable websites. Though PHP is simple but provides unique features to the professional programmers. Some of the major companies like Facebook, WordPress, Slack, and Wikipedia have been using it. One thing that should be kept in mind while using PHP is that it is completely based on the community and not maintained by any company. In order to use PHP on your computer you simply have to install the XAMPP for Windows.

PHP has gained popularity in software industry because of a number of reasons which are as follows:

1. It is an easy and convenient language to learn. Even beginners can write simple scripts and develop a web page within a short time span.

2. The syntax used is very comprehensive and programmers do not have to toil much while coding. If they are acquainted with Perl and C, using PHP is not a problem because of similarity in the syntax.

3. PHP has fast prototyping, is free of cost (the increasing number of PHP developers has increased the competition in the market, thus lowering the cost), helps to increase website traffic and its community developers provide great technical assistance since they have expertise in Linux, Apache and MySQL technologies.

4. PHP provides security against external threats and malicious activities in developing web applications and websites.

5. Over the years, a number of bugs have been located and were fixed to provide a programming language that is reliable for existing and future PHP developers.

The services provided by the PHP programmers include:

1. Website testing and making sure it runs smoothly

2. Keep a check on programming trends 

3. Making improvements in the codebases 

4. Focusing and reporting on technical specifications such as protocols and budgets.

5. Web application programming

With changes in market trends, the demand for PHP developers is rising as small and large businesses (whether they belong to ecommerce, marketing or advertising etc.) want to create static websites.



Thursday, March 9, 2023

EdTech Trends

As a kid, we used to wake up drowsily at the sound of an alarm clock for school, worrying about the homework that was left undone the night before. Later came a time when we began to carry our own smartphones and covered all the syllabus one night before the exams through online YouTube lectures. We all grew up too fast and along with us, the technology made progress too. The market for EdTech is growing rapidly and will experience a surge of more than 200 billion till the year 2027. This drastic increase in EdTech was mainly because of the Covid-19 pandemic but now this new system of education has become a norm. Let’s have a sneak peek into EdTech and see how it is impacting our education system. 

What is EdTech?

Recently, a number of schools, universities and educational institutes have started to incorporate and introduce computer hardware and software in order to help and facilitate learning. This shift from the conventional methods (i.e. black/white boards) to highly advanced technology (i.e. tablets and laptops) is known as e learning or EdTech. Some major examples are Google Classroom, Zoom or other mobile apps which are used to interact and learn remotely. In classrooms, EdTech is used in the form of projection screens and tablets (to take digital notes rather than pen and paper notes). Even lectures are recorded and uploaded for the ease of students. Remotely, various learning management systems (LMS) or course management systems (CMS) such as Edmodo, Nearpod, Moodle and Blackboard allow students to access course material, documents and other information. They can even submit their work online through these systems by simply uploading them.

Now let’s move on to the tech trends that are dominating in education sector and see how technology is reshaping the process of learning:

1. Adaptive Learning

Previously, the idea behind the traditional learning system was that all students should be exposed to the same information and should follow the same steps and pace for learning. This was a flop to much extent, since each student has different aptitude and comprehending abilities, so the education system must cling to individual student’s needs. With Artificial Intelligence and the introduction of data science such issues have been eliminated. Adaptive learning provides customized material and resources to the learner. This not only helps to improve their overall performance but also makes them aware of their skills and talents which they can better utilize in future.

2. Gamification

Gaming has become a part of the modernized approach in schools and educational institutes. Kids and even adults today are very much into gaming and entertainment. This promotes a healthy competition among students, since they get involved in highly interactive and engaging activities. Such activities enhance their performance and provide them with supportive and creative content or information which can be useful in real life situations. This also allows them to think beyond their usual limits, unlike the traditional rote learning system. Also, games provide them with quick feedback so that they can work on and improve their skills.

3. AR, VR and MR

The incorporation of Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality in various sectors such as marketing, healthcare, education and entertainment has positively influenced them. These budding technologies have the potential to improve students’ learning capabilities by providing them access to virtual information. They can later practice and implement what they have learned in a simulated environment. Students can apply their knowledge in the real world as well. Through this, the rift that existed in the process of learning (because of traditional textbooks) will be eliminated.

4. Remote learning and redesigning physical spaces

Students can virtually connect with their instructors, access online courses (YouTube, Coursera and Khan Academy) and attend virtual conferences without their physical presence in lecture rooms/classrooms. Even in classrooms and universities, smart devices such as smart desks, multimedia tools, and smart boards will open doors to new and boundless opportunities.

As more and more smart devices are pouring in, EdTech will continue to dominate. With these EdTech initiatives students will grow in intellectual terms.





Tuesday, March 7, 2023

International Women's Day

The ultimate call for change

Every day is a women’s day, whether they are mothers, sisters, daughters or wives. There is no doubt that they play their roles as caregivers dutifully and with true heartedness. However, officially every year around the globe, International Women's Day is celebrated on March 8 with full zeal and reverence. It’s a day that highlights the role of women and their countless achievements and contributions to our society.

Women have shone in every aspect of lives, whether we talk about cultural, social, economic or political. Previously, they were denied their basic rights such as education and freedom of speech. For years they have been confined to household chores, silently suppressing their pain behind closed doors while being a victim of violence and abuse. But with time many things have changed. The gender discrimination that existed long ago has been considerably nipped, liberating them from the shackles of servitude and submissiveness. IWD is a call for change, to tell the world that women are no longer vulnerable. 

Breaking the barriers!

As the world is becoming more mindful of women emancipation, women too are becoming independent by breaking societal norms. More and more women can be seen working at high level positions in sectors such as Tech, Government, Marketing, Retail, Finance, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Education, Engineering and Aviation etc. A major breakthrough can be seen in a country like Pakistan with a benighted majority. Women can now be seen riding on their own bikes without depending on their male counterparts. This is considered a dauntless act, since they live in a male dominant society and are constantly subjected to criticism.  Many of them are struggling, supporting their families by either working in offices or from their homes in order to make their ends meet. A number of women are working in the sportswear factories in Sialkot, but the salary they receive is much lower than the male workforce. There are several examples of women who have left a mark through their incredible achievements. One of the most successful woman Jacqueline de Rojas, the president of techUK has been serving as the Chair of the board of digital Leaders. Similarly, Jacinda Arden, the 40th prime minister of New Zealand and a very courageous woman was the youngest female to be appointed as the head of government. 

Embarking on the tech journey

Though, tech industry has been levelled up by some of the many prominent figures and male entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. But it is impressive the way many career oriented women are penetrating into this sector. A psychological study revealed that women are 2% smarter and intellectually superior to men. Many well established firms and global giants such as Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and Google are hiring more women as employees. Reports have also shown that 20% of the tech startups have been backed and established by women. Also, out of 15 Fortunate companies 6 have hired females Chief Information Officer. Another businesswoman and billionaire in the IT industry is Zhou Qunfei, the owner of LENS.

However, all this does not mean that they are no longer in a tight spot. Many of them have left their jobs in the tech and other industries because of poor working conditions, unsafe environment, and long working hours. Some argued that they were underpaid, while 27% of them stated that they faced issues with the work life balance and could not give enough time and attention to their families. However, by offering flexible working hours, proper mentor programs and opportunities for personal growth and development, companies can retain and bring back their female workforce. 

In a nutshell, International Women Day is the lightning globe that has awakened many conservative mindset individuals and fanatics. Worldwide peaceful demonstrations have given them an opportunity to raise their voices that were previously subdued. They now see a ray of hope to fulfill their dreams without much restrictions or suffering from injustice.


Uses and Benefits of Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a technology that enables users to create a secure, encrypted connection over the internet between their device and a server. The server can be located in a different geographical region than the user and is typically managed by a third-party provider. VPNs are used to protect sensitive data and online activities from prying eyes, censorship, and cyber threats. In this blog, we will discuss the uses and benefits of VPNs in detail.

Uses of VPN

Secure Remote Access

A VPN allows remote workers to connect securely to their company's network and access internal resources as if they were physically present in the office. This means that employees can work from anywhere while keeping their communications and data secure.

Privacy Protection

A VPN encrypts all the data that is transmitted between a user's device and the VPN server, making it difficult for anyone to intercept or eavesdrop on the communication. This is especially important when using public Wi-Fi networks, where data is often transmitted without encryption, leaving users vulnerable to hackers and cybercriminals.

Bypassing Censorship

VPNs can be used to bypass government censorship and access blocked content. For example, citizens in countries such as China, Iran, and North Korea use VPNs to access the internet freely without fear of government surveillance or censorship.


VPNs can also be used to bypass geo-restrictions and access content that is not available in certain regions. For example, streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime offer different content libraries in different regions, and a VPN can be used to access the full range of content available on these platforms.


VPNs are often used by people who engage in peer-to-peer file sharing, also known as torrenting. This can be risky as it involves downloading files from other users' computers, and there is always a risk of downloading malware or copyrighted material. A VPN can help protect users' privacy and anonymity while torrenting.

Benefits of VPN


A VPN provides an extra layer of security by encrypting all the data that is transmitted between a user's device and the VPN server. This makes it difficult for hackers, cybercriminals, and government agencies to intercept or eavesdrop on the communication.

Privacy and protection against Cyber Threats

A VPN helps protect users' privacy by masking their IP address and location. This means that their online activities cannot be traced back to their device, and they can browse the internet without fear of being tracked or monitored. VPNs provide protection against cyber threats such as hacking, phishing, and malware attacks. This is because a VPN encrypts all the data that is transmitted between a user's device and the VPN server, making it difficult for cybercriminals to intercept or steal sensitive information.


A VPN provides users with anonymity by allowing them to use the internet without revealing their real IP address or location. This is especially important for people who live in countries with strict censorship laws or who engage in activities that may be considered illegal or controversial.

Access to Blocked Content

A VPN allows users to bypass geo-restrictions and access content that is not available in their region. This means that users can watch their favorite TV shows and movies from anywhere in the world, without being limited by their physical location.

Faster Connection

VPNs can sometimes improve internet connection speeds, especially for people who live in areas with slow internet connections. This is because a VPN can route traffic through a server that is located closer to the user, reducing latency and improving download and upload speeds.

Cost Savings

VPNs can help users save money by allowing them to access services and content that might be more expensive in their region. For example, users can use a VPN to access cheaper flight tickets or hotel bookings that are only available in other countries.


VPNs are flexible and can be used on a variety of devices, including desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. This means that users can protect their online activities on multiple devices, making it easier for them to stay secure and protected at all times.

Improved Productivity

VPNs can improve productivity by allowing employees to work from anywhere while keeping their communications and data secure. This means that employees can collaborate with colleagues, access internal resources, and work on sensitive projects without fear of cyber threats.

Customer Satisfaction

VPNs can improve customer satisfaction by allowing businesses to provide secure and reliable services to their customers. This means that customers can trust that their data and online activities are protected, leading to increased loyalty and repeat business purchases.

In conclusion, VPNs are essential tools for anyone who wants to protect their online activities from prying eyes, censorship, and cyber threats. Additionally, VPNs can improve productivity, flexibility, and customer satisfaction, while also helping businesses comply with regulations and protect sensitive data. With so many benefits, it is clear that VPNs are here to stay and will continue to be an important part of our digital lives for years to come.