Online Diary of AlRitch

A Blog of a Work from Home Breadwinner. Blogging anything under the sun since college days.

I tried but I failed

And so I have tried my luck in taking the Kentico Developer Exam last Friday but unfortunately I failed.

Though I know the chance of getting me not passing the exam is a bit high because some developers weren't able to do so on their first try but I just really want to get it over (in my head and in my mind). I also wanted to see how difficult it is and I want to move on with my training.

Kentico Certified Developer Exam
Kentico Certified Developer Benefits


But before the exam, I scanned some of my notes and reviewed the Developers Preparation guide from versions 9-11. I took the tests and below are my ratings. 

For version 9, I only got 48%
For version 10, I got 63% 
For version 11, I got 87.5%

Version 11 preparation guide is almost similar to version 10 that's why it's quite easy. So basing from from those results, I didn't get an average of a passing rating (70% above). But I still took the exam . I didn't want to prolong it anymore. I also want to make use of the free voucher I got because of the Developer's training my employer has purchased for me. 

The exam consists of 50 questions with single answer and multiple choice types. It is an open-book test. So you can open any resources you want (Kentico documentation, Macro browser, API references, Kentico Advantage or a Kentico site running etc) except for another person. Remember no cheating or sharing! You must take the exam individually. 

Though it would not require you to code but the questions are reallly difficult. Head knowledge and practical understanding of the product feature's and functionality are not really enough. You need to have practical experience and high-level familiarity with the product itself. 

But it's still quite a relief. Because finally, I did it! No more headaches about Kentico and constant dreaming and a bit of anxiety. Hehe. Now, it's time for me to move on and switch to different training. Another headache! Hehe. 

I will finish first my curriculum from FreeCodeCamp site and then continue my C# training (all courses). I want my learnings to be as fast as I can but I can only do so much. There are times that I get tired and sleepy also, got distracted and encountered a lot of road bumps. But as my developer friend told me, I shouldn't give up. (Now, I'm being so dramatic - I hate myself. Hehe. 

But honestly, I really hope that I will thrive in this. This is the only thing that I can think of that will help me and my family's situation turn around. I need to level up. Good luck self! Kaya mo iyan!

Kentico, I will get back to you after a couple of months or maybe a year. We will see. Hehe. Charot!

By the way, if you want to download the preparation guides for Kentico Developer's exam. Check-out the links below (K12 included, the latest version)

Kentico 9 Certified Developer Exam Preparation Guide
Kentico 10 Certified Developer Exam Preparation Guide
Kentico 11 Certified Developer Exam Preparation Guide
Kentico 12 Certified Developer Exam Preparation Guide



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Learning Kentico: Alternative Forms

Just finished with the 2nd developer course (K10) and the last topic was all about Alternative Forms. 

Alternative Forms in Kentico are different versions of existing form lay-outs. 

I first learned about it when I watched the tutorial videos of a former colleague. There were two instances where he applied the Alternative Forms. 

First, in the Form application and the next one was in the Module application. The first one was not a surprised but the second one was like my AHA moments (one of those) also. He went to the Membership classes and edited the CMS_User table and added custom fields and make the other inherited fields hidden. Take note, it is a System Table or Object

Kentico Alternative Forms
Alternative Forms (System Objects)
And today, I learned two other ways where you can create an Alternative Forms. It is in the Page Types and Custom Tables. Cool! And I've seen the code name Filter when I checked an example for the Page types (see below). 

Alternative Forms in Page Types


According to Kentico, if you used that reserved code, the system automatically uses the alternative form that you created. Other code names are Insert, Update and NewCulture. Learn more from here

I have yet to try it but for now I just finished the Form Exercise of Creating Alternative Forms. :) I also learned that there's an Enabled condition field in the Advanced settings where you can use a macro condition and set parameter value. 

Kentico macro condition
Macro conditions (set parameter value)

Will continue with my review on the next training course! That's it for today! Short and sweet! Charot! Hehe. :) Happy Thurrrssssssssssday!







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Learning Kentico: Workflows

When my employer first bought Kentico training courses, I was not one of those who got access to it. I wondered why. But I said to myself, perhaps he thinks I don't need it. Besides, I'm into Customer Support and I'm quite familiar with Kentico CMS already and I don't need the CMS training. All the more with the Developer's Training because after all, I'm not a developer. Hehe. 

But after a year, I think they see something in me or I showed interest thats why they bought training courses for me. And I'm really thankful for it. So here I am - blogging about my learnings. :)

And Learning Workflows is one of them. I've seen it. I had a discussion with it with a previous developer (back then when he was learning about Kentico) and I got excited to know a bit about it. It's like one of those AHA moment. When you finally know what it is and where it is configured. 

Kentico Workflow
Default Workflow

So for example, you want to create a Workflow where an Editor will review the page's content. You can do this by creating a Basic Workflow. 

1. Go to Configuration-> Workflow-> Create New Workflow 
2. Then Go to Steps -> Create New Workflow steps (like Editor Review) 
3. Then Edit the Step you just created -> Assign Role (like the site administrators will do this)
4. Go to Scope -> Select the Path where the workflow will be applied 

Note: Basic Workflow has default steps already which are Edit, Published and Archived so you'll just need to add the new step. You can apply workflows to individual pages, defined scope of pages or for an entire website. 

Kentico Workflow
Basic Workflow

And for today, I learned something more. It's about the Advanced Workflows where there are special type of steps namely: Condition, Multi-choice, First-win, User Choice and Wait. Although I haven't applied them yet or haven't designed my own but I'm already lovin' it (as always, because I love Kentico so much! charot!)

Kentico Advanced Workflow
Advanced Workflow example

Anyway, if you are interested to learn more about Worfklows also, check-out this link
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Learning Kentico: Linking JavaScript files to pages

Just a quick post about something I learned new today.

I didn't know that there's  a Javascript web part that you can use to easily link it to your page and this can just be done in the Portal. So cool!

First, you will need to create your own javascript file by going to Development -> Javascript files and click Create. 


create javascript in kentico


Then go to the Page where you want to add a Javascript and select Javascript web part. Click configure web part and in the Linked Javascript section, select the javascript that you just created.

linking javascript file to pages

You also have the option to select where it should be located in a page like in a start up script, beginning of a page and header section. And of course, you  can always add in-line javascript also.
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Learning Kentico: Device Profiles and Device Lay-outs

I've finished reviewing the 1st Developer course (K10) last week and now I'm into the 2nd one. 

And yesterday, I learned about Device Profile which is part of the optimizing websites for mobile devices topic. (not discussed in K11 dev course)

It is also something that I always see when using the Preview option and it's good to know more about this adaptive design approach in Kentico. 

Kentico Device Profile
Device Profile

To set-up a new profile
,  just go to Development applications -> Device Profile and supply the necessary fields or add a macro rule like current device max screen size should be between 0 and 768 pixels (width).

Device Profile
Add New Device Profile 
Once done, if you go back to the list of Profiles - you will see a smart tip that the system checks the profiles from Top to Bottom. You can just rearrange this.

To use this profile, you will need to make use of the Device lay-outs found in the Page Templates. (so that's what this tab is all about?)

Device Lay-out
Use Device Lay-out

Then select to copy the default device profile and just edit it later (for how the lay-out will be)

Then go to the Pages application and select the page where you want the changes will be when viewing different devices. Like if you do not want the menu to be showing in the device profile you created (mobile device). You can adjust the CSS list menu web part and add a macro rule.

using macros for web parts
Using Macros for Web Parts

If you want  to learn more about this feature, you can check-out Kentico's documentation about Developing websites for mobile devices.

On another note, the lay-out mapping found in the Device Profiles looks interesting also. Hmmnn..

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Learning Kentico: Online Marketing Essentials (the things I love)

Howdy! Happy Monday everyone! Hope you are all doing well and had a wonderful weekend.

New update for today! I have briefly mentioned in my previous post that I have taken the opportunity to check-out the Online Marketing Essentials course also.

I don't often go to this section in Kentico because most of the support requests I received from our clients are site updates, bug fixes and help request on how to do this and that. So I was surprised to know that there are a lot of very nice features Kentico has developed that any Digital Marketers/Marketing Manager/Sales Manager in a company would surely love or find it very helpful.

Below are just some of the features: 

1. Marketing automation - very useful feature which you will truly love. You can set-up different steps for your marketing emails like if you want to send:

 a. an abandon cart email - email triggered when someone starts to check-out but doesn't finish
 b. browse abandonment email - trigerred when someone on your email lists visits a product on your website but doesn't check-out
 c.  we've missed you email - known as winback campaign, when someone doesn't come back to your store after 60 days or so, so you will send an email with a coupon to bring them back

marketing automaticon
marketing automation

2. Contact Mapping in Forms 
- I haven't noticed this since I was checking forms but it's good to know that there's this feature that you can use for your marketing activity. You can also create custom fields here like if you want to add a Bonjoro (an app you can use to send personalized videos to your contacts/leads). 

contact mapping in forms
Contact Mapping in Forms


3. A/B Test Feature (both in Pages and in Email Campaigns)
- a great feature that helps you optimize your website's peformance. Tests which will help you see which variants bring the best returns. :)

In Pages application, you can find this in the Analytics tab then select AB Tests.
See results example .

A/B test in Kentico

While for the email campaigns, just go to Email Marketing, select the email feed/campaign you want to test, edit email (click the pencil icon) and create A/B test.

A/B Test in Email Campaigns
Create A/B test in Email Campaigns

4. Lead Scoring - cool feature to analyze your visitor and identify the customers who are willing to spend money (hottest lead) on your product. :)

You can set-up rules like when they provide email address, considers large purchase and assigned score values. You can recalculate this and view the activity that lead to the scores of your contacts and find the most promising leads. :)

Lead Scoring Kentico Feature
Lead Scoring

I think that's it! Nice features right? Kentico is truly your all-in one CMS, E-commerce and Online Maketing platform. If you want to know more details about this or the rest of the Online Marketing features, why don't you check-out the Kentico's Online Marketing course also. 

Bonus:  Another thing that I learned. When setting up email campaigns using macros and your subscriber didn't provide a first name, this will not look good on your email. So you can set-up a condition to this or a default name like "subscriber".

This can be done by selecting the macro and go to the code tab. Then insert your condition like: IfEmpty(FirstName, "subscriber", firstname). Check-out video below for more :) 


Next, I will review the two developer courses and hopefully resolved the macros exercises. :)
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Learning Kentico: Content Admin Essentials (the small things)

Hello March! How are you? 

More than 15 days have passed since my last blog post eh? Yeah, I'ven been focusing reading and learning a lot about Kentico stuff. I checked out their Kentico Advantage site, their webinars (Kentico 10-12) and some other Youtube helpful videos including the tutorial videos prepared by a former colleague. Getting overwhelm with too much information eh? But I'm trying to manage all those stuff.  

And as part of my review and effort so I can really digest all the information. I went back to learning the basics also. I take the opportunity to check-out the Kentico Content Admin Essentials course. Although I'm already familiar with the Kentico Administration interface since version 7 (now it's Kentico 12). I just really wanted to check what's inside it. (if there's something that I missed or didn't know about

And yes, there were small things but important ones that I missed or should I say overlooked or didn't just bother about it before. 

1. The Compare Option in Editing Multilingual content - I didn't know that there's a handy compare option where it easier for you to update changes and you can even compare it horizontallly or vertically. I surely overlooked this feature. I remember I was working on a website of a client before and I was switching back and forth to different cultures. 

compare culture content


2. Anchors in Text Editor - I always get a request to create anchors and I would always do this in the source option. But didn't know that there's actually an anchor feature where you can use when you set the HTML editor toolbar to Full. Hehehe. 

html editor, anchor

3. The colors in the Language Status Overview - when you go to the listing and click on languages, I didn't know that there's meaning to the background colors of those flags in each culture

green -  page is published 
red - page is not published 
orange - published but outdated

language status


4. The pinning and managing of applications in the Dashboard - yeah this one is very basic, but I didn't really bother about this because I always have the option to search apps in the Dashboard by clicking the Kentico flower or logo (full list of apps)

If you want to configure your dashboard, you can just make use of the pin icon, the gear icon (found at lower right) and drag and drop apps etc. 

Kentico Dashboard

So that's it! But if you are new to Kentico or will be working as an Editor or an Admin I would suggest to really get the Kentico Admin Essentials course. The ones I discussed where my "small things" version only. But inside the course, you will really learned a lot of GREAT STUFF like:

Kentico Administration 
Website Structure 
Editing content 
Storing Files 
Creating New Pages 
Page Design 
Online Forms 
Workflow and Versioning

And their quizzes for each topic? Oh, I really loved them. It's tricky and you will need to be very careful. It would be good if you get the answers the first time. But if not, you can always retry. 


Bonus Small Thing: The Screen Lock 




This one is not discussed in the course but this is very helpful to all editors and admins. You will encounter this screen lock message all the time and quite annoying that you have to always click Cancel. To disable this, just go to Settings -> Security & Membership - Protection and uncheck the Screen lock option. Or you may refer to the screenshot below. :) 

how to disable screenlock in kentico

Next: I will check the Online Marketing Essentials :)


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Learning Kentico: Component Events

It's a good day today! Yey! Because I was also able to make the Component Events exercise working. 

At first, I encountered an error that says SelectDoctorEventArgs missing  a directive or assembly reference (screenshot below) 

missing a directive or assembly reference
missing a directive or assembly reference issue

And I tried to search a solution online for that until I saw this Dec 2015 Components article from Kentico Devnet site which is very helpful. He discussed about a common scenario where component events are being used (like in a communication of two webparts in a page), the explanation of the parameters, how it works and some example. 

So I tried to apply it. I have now the two webparts working separately (the doctor's appointment form and the appointment list) but the next challenge is how the two will communicate. I should be able to display the appointment list based on my selection from the doctor dropdown list. 

From that article, I was able to correct or do the ff: 

a. in registering and raising the component events, the component name is the web part id 
b. was able to use the tip that he has provided when using ArgsType method which was my problem (as you see on the first screenshot above)


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I've finally Get it! (Of Kentico Web Parts & Widgets)

Oh my gosh! I've finally get it! 

Yesterday, I blogged about not being able to resolve the 2nd exercise for the Web Parts for quite a long time. (The reason why it was still on my draft and why I have opted to study on C# Programming course by Mosh instead - because I was stucked on that exercise ). 

And today, I have finally able to make it work (while I was studying about Macros). Yes, I'm right! As I have predicted it. As you have known, the course will give you reference links or other sources when they discuss a particular topic and it really paid off if you check all of them and study also. 

web parts


It brought me back to review about widgets. I was thinking perhaps I should make the AppointmentList web part to become a widget. And so I did but it is still not showing. Why on earth????

And then I realized as I re-read the instruction: it should be Filter Doctor property only. I added an Appointment list property in the web part before and my query again is incorrect. (Argh! Need to pay attention with this)

web parts

So happy now! Will try the component exercise next and then continue studying Macros. :) 

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Learning Kentico: Web Parts & Widgets

Wow!This topic has been on my draft since November 2018 but was never published. So I revisited what I have learned from Web Parts and below are some my notes:

Web Parts
- user controls (.ascx) that needs to inherit from Kentico base classes to ensure that the web part will be properly displayed and that you can manage its properties.

kentico base class,  CMSAbstractWebPart
CMSAbstractWebPart - Kentico base class inherited (for standard listing)

- used on the Design tab of the Pages application
- components that allow you to easily introduce built-in and custom functionality on your website

How to implementing a custom web part?

1. Register web part in web parts application
2. Make sure the web part created inherits to the right/suitable class

Widgets 
- each widget is based on a web part
- needs to be placed inside the widget zones
- called as web parts with hidden properties because this is used by non-technical users (they can only access the important properties but not the advanced properties)

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How to Fix Restore & Overwrite Database Issue

I'm making this blog as sort of my repository also for all my learnings in becoming a Web Developer (someday - change career?) so I'll try my best to document those things.

This one is what I encountered just today when trying to restore a database. The error says that the back-up database file cannot be restored over an existing file. (see screenshot below)

database restore failed
(Unable to restore database - click image to enlarge)

So to fix this, all you need to do is just go to the Options menu and then select the Overwrite to an Existing Database. (screenshot below)

database restored successfully
(Database file restored successfully - click image to enlarge) 





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Hello February, please be good to me!

My blog post title, it's familiar right? We often see that in a lot of Facebook statuses but that's what I am really hoping this February will turn out to be or even better because there were just quite a few of unexpected surprises and some of life's detours last month. 

First, I have already set my schedule to use the 2nd week of my  holiday off for our medical check-ups and work on some papers for my family (it's my chance, no need to file a leave or be absent from work and have salary deductions hehe) since government offices etc are now back but I had to reschedule all of them. 

We received a news from my cousin (the one helping me at home) that the brother of my mother had died (only brother left at 86 years old, he attended the Esencia Clan Reunion last December). And she requested to stay longer at the province to help. She was supposed to be back after the New Year. So I had to cancel everything and stay at home to look after the needs of my family.

death of a loved one
My mother togethere with her two sisters and the wife of my uncle
And of course, my mother really wanted to see him even for the last time. So the little money that I have saved (supposed to buy a new computer) was used for our travel expense (Thank God, I still have that money). I booked a private vehicle because I can't leave my father and brother at home. We need to travel as a family and it's hard if you will travel using a public transpo especially with our situation. 

But before that, I also encountered ATM problems. I withdrew money the night before our scheduled travel.  Unfortunately, the ATM didn't dispense the money. I was really worried. Though I still have a little cash to pay for the van, I was worried about the money that I am going to use for our food etc on the next few days. Good thing, it didn't take that long before the money was returned. It only took 2 days. It was faster because I withdrew the money on the same bank where my account was opened. 

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Hello 2019! But allow me to lookback at 2018 first

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you all are having a great start this 2019!

It's been a long time since I blog about personal stuff.  I wanted to remember or recall what happened to me in 2018, so here I am! Back to blogging but allow me first to have my year-end review while I'm in the mood cause I know I'm not religiously doing this. Hehe. 

January 2018 -  March 2018


visiting loved one in a cemetery

- seems not much had happened on these months. But we went to the cemetery to celebrate my Kuya's birthday. This was his first birthday since he passed away. :( (Excuse my camera-shy brother). 

April 2018


attending a wedding
photo courtesy of Mokki Photos 

- I  attended the lovely wedding of my college classmate Roanne. I think this was the 4th wedding that I have attended. (first was from Gracie, next from Mona and then Catherine)

celebrating anniversary with colleagues
photo not mine but from my colleague Paolo :) 

- Illumedia Outsourcing, the company where I am working for (here in Davao) celebrated its 7th year anniversary and we got to enjoy these delicious foods :) Yey! (caught in the action eh?)


May 2018


my bosses visit to the Philippines
 More photos found here from the post of my boss here in the Philippines, Ms. Eliza. 

- my bosses from New Zealand visited us. Finally able to see my colleague Matt in person after so many years of working together online. Hehe. He is so handsome and very bubbly! And of course, Jono also (equally good looking :) )

June 2018 - not much, just ordinary days. :) 


July 2018 


my father and uncle

- my father celebrated his 61st birthday. Yep, he is already a senior citizen (which now reminded me to work on his birth certificate late registration). Yep, I was surprised he doesn't have one when I tried to claim for his authenticated birth certificate. Beside him is their youngest brother.


my colleagues

- we also had our team building at Eden Nature Park and Resort. It's great  to be able to bond with your colleagues and at the same time enjoy nature! :) 


August 2018 - November 2018 

dinner with my friend

- seems like ordinary days also but started my meet-ups with Gel's sister to give my batchmates donation for her treatment. 

December 2018 - lots of events! 

my classmate's wedding

- I attended the wedding of Yvon, my college classmate and former colleague at JairoSolutions also. It's my first time to attend a wedding in a Baptist church. :)  Fifth wedding! Who's next?

my bestfriend's wedding
with my friends
lovely photos taken by Dennis (Leizl's boyfie)

- attended the wedding of my two closests friends - Fritz and Rose! They were both my colleagues from JairoSolutions and Rose was a college classmate too. It's my first time to be a bridesmaid and I had so much fun. 

I get to learn details about wedding preparations. I'm so naive. I didn't know that only single ladies are qualified to be bridesmaids. Hehe. That's why I was wondering why Roanne and Catherine were not in the list. 

And I have so much appreciation to all the people working behind the weddings. Lots of things to do! Like waking up very early in the morning to have our photoshoots etc and the night before that we had to practice our dance number also etc...I was just at awe at everything. Kudos to all of you guys! And thanks much to my two bff for inviting me and for this wonderful experience. :) 


- also this month, we had our get together with my high school batchmates from The Sisters of Mary School (batchmates that are from Davao). Just so great to see them after soooo many years. Remembering our high school memories and knowing some of my batchmates from boystown also. Hope next time, marami na maka-attend. :) 


reunion with my relatives

reunion with my relatives

- very grateful to be given a holiday break for more than 2 weeks because I get to prepare for our clan reunion (mother's side). Last year's venue was in our humble abode so I needed to do some house repainting (we used charcoals for years before for cooking so the house really needs repainting). 

- Though only few have attended because they live in far places but I am still happy because my mother's brother and sisters were all there. The smiles I see in my father and brother especially my mother are what matters most. They really love to have visitors or people visiting them and events like these! (you know videoke, parlor games, food etc? we all love that! hehe :) )



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How To Simplify Your Relationship With Your Smartphone

Ah, smartphones. They give us a lot, don’t they? We’re carrying out all the knowledge that’s ever been recorded, in a tiny little piece of technology that fits in our pocket. Yet while there are, of course, plenty of advantages to these smart devices, they’re not perfect. There’s a growing number of people who are becoming uncomfortable with the amount of time they spend staring at a screen, and some are even addicted. It’s important to remember that our phones are a tool, however, and it’s how we use that tool that’s important, not the tool itself. Below, we take a look at how you simplify and improve your relationship with your phone. 

people using smartphones, smartphones
Image Source: Pexels.com

Limit How Much You Open It 


Have you ever reached for your phone, unlocked it, and then stared dumbly for a minute, before realizing that you hadn’t even planned at looking at the device, yet for some reason did? The number of times people unlock their device can be shockingly high, and they’re doing it almost as a reflex. Once the device is open, however, it can be easy to lose forty-five minutes or more. So look at limiting how much you open your device. If you’re more conscious about it, you’ll find that you’re spending less time on it. 


Delete The Apps 


Of course, it would be much easier to spend less time on the device if there wasn’t all that much to keep us occupied installed on there. So why not go through your list of apps, and see if it’s really necessary to have all of them installed on your phone? If all of the apps you have are constantly sending you notifications, it’ll be a wonder if you ever get a minute for yourself. Delete them - you can always reinstall if you feel inclined to, but chances are you won’t. 


Change Your Plan 


There’s no getting around the fact that smartphones are expensive. And it’s not just the device itself - the plans we need to stay connected can be expensive too! And that means that we can feel compelled to use them. After all, we’re paying a lot of money for the privilege. But what if you weren’t paying all that much? Net10 plans are much cheaper, and if you opt for a pay as you go tariff, then you’ll only use your device when you consciously want to. No-one’s going to leave a device that they’re paying $70+ to use each month just sitting in a drawer, but they might if it’s not costing them anything. 

Cut Off Hours 


A little bit of discipline goes a long way when it comes to controlling your time. If you set a cut-off point for your smartphone use, you’ll know that once that time has arrived, you have to do other things. If you’re just saying “I’m going to read a book and not look at my phone,” then you’ll fail. Set a hard and fast rule, and you’ll most likely succeed. Give it a try!
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