QuickSchools in Review

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I have been working with QuickSchools for close to 8 years now. The journey has definitely been interesting, as I reflect back on our accomplishments over the years. Here’s what my journey has looked like so far:

Year 1 (2009-2010)

My first day at QuickSchools, we only have a handful of early adopters to our name, and I’m tasked with onboarding these schools. We launch the product in August, and hit the conference trail hard to try and get more customers, all the while looking at the market on what to develop next.

Year 2 (2010-2011)

With the help of our customers, we improve and release new features, like the Student and Parent Portals. We continue to hit the conference trail hard in search of new customers. Around this time, we hone our target market to smaller schools, and my role as Account Manager slowly evolves to Head of Support, which incorporates an element of Product Development (mainly because I spend a lot of time speaking with customers).

Year 3 (2011-2012)

We continue to see growth year-after-year. We open our new office in Sunnyvale CA. We start work on transitioning QuickSchools from Flash to HTML5. And we begin to focus less on conferences and more on online traffic. We transition our website to Weebly, we start split testing, and spend more on online marketing campaigns. We launch our “Teacher of the Year” marketing campaign. More

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Chess for the New Year

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After a 2 and a half year hiatus, I’m back at the chess club for a tournament – the Kingston Chess Club Championship. The last time I was at the club was back during the 2014/2015 season.

We have quite a few new faces, and a few that no longer come. And there’s still quite the range of players, from beginner/intermediate, all the way to expert. Seeing as people are still on school holiday, turn out for round one was a little low, about 10 players on 5 boards, with one person taking a bye.

I was seeded third, so being in the first half of the draw put me with a lower rated player. It’s been a while since I played, so I relished having the opportunity to dust off the cobwebs, and start off easy. And since this was the first round, I didn’t know who my opponent was before hand, so I was not able to prepare before hand. I had to rely on my basic knowledge of openings.

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My first game was a good warm up. I played White, and started with the English Opening. I stayed true to the modern style, and let Black control the center, and then chipped away positionally with small advantages over time. There were moments where I had a strong initiative, but I wasn’t able to convert it to a tactical advantage. I was only able to fall back to a positional advantage once the attack sequence was complete. I also made sure to manage my time well. It was a slow game, but towards the end, the sum of all the small advantages led to a definite win. More

Thank you 2016

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Despite 2016 being a tough year, there were still quite a few things to be grateful for. After dinner on New Year’s Day, I took the family out to McDonald’s for some dessert. We reflected on the year. Photos on my smart phone were a good source for reflection. So as a reminder, I thought I’d post some highlights for 2016 down below (just the good stuff):

BBQ with Friends

We hosted several barbecues throughout the year. And although most of them have returned to Malaysia, we’ll hopefully host more in 2017.

 

 

Science Fair – April 1

 

Melur won second prize for the “Queen’s University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Award”, while Arman won the Bronze Medal in the “Physical and Mathematical Sciences Division Award – Junior Age Category”. More

Good Bye 2016, Hello 2017

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I guess it’s important to reflect on your life every now and again. You can learn from mistakes made, feel good about accomplishments, and be thankful for the good (and the challenges) that happens in life… And what better time to do this, then at the end/beginning of the year.

The first time I heard the phrase “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger” was from the movie Trading Places, where Eddie Murphy’s character quotes German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche. Those words have been paraphrased many times – “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. And every time I hear it, it rings true to me.

This year in particular has been challenging both personally and professionally. Sure, it was not all bad. But it wasn’t a walk in the park either. I’d like to say I’ve emerged stronger from the experience, but I think I’m still reeling, not quite ready to regroup and start over (although I know I should).

Is this all a test? More