Alexander Skogberg

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Nine things I wish I knew at 20

On May 22, I’m turning 30. It should be just another birthday, but it feels different.

Even if you’re far from old at 30, you can’t really view yourself as being that young anymore. 30 is also an age where many people has made or are about to make major life decisions such as getting married or having kids.

One way or the other, things change and it can make you reflect about much more complex topics than if you should get a PS4 or an Xbox One.

With that said, here are nine things I wish I knew when I was 20 years old. Some of them I actually knew, some of them I didn’t and one or two of them I might have read in a post similar to this one.

1. Spend time with your parents

A tough realization when growing up is that your parents won’t be around for as long as you would like. It’s a depressing thought, but it makes you appreciate the time you have with them more.

In 2005, I moved a long way from home for college studies. During my first winter holiday back home, it dawned on me that I would never see my parents on a daily basis as I had done for the past nineteen years.

Since then, I’ve made sure to spend a lot of time with them during school holidays, vacations and other weekends. They are still here, still healthy and I love having them around more and more.

2. Hang out with your friends

When I moved away from home, I thought I would lose touch with my childhood friends. I knew we would hang out again from time to time, but I thought we would quickly grow apart and lose our special bond.

Luckily, I was wrong. During the following years, we spent more and more time together than I would have ever imagined. We didn’t grow apart, we continued growing up together.

Today with kids, jobs and some of us living in different countries, things have changed. We don’t hang out as much as I would like to, but we laid a solid foundation that’s still there. It’s nice.

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New website for Danger Avenue live

The circle is complete! I finally made a new website for the rock band Danger Avenue. It only took five years…

Danger Avenue Website

In the fall of 2010, I had recently graduated college and was looking for work. I came to the conclusion that it wouldn’t hurt my chances if I’d get better at web design.

Luckily, my friends in Danger Avenue were in need of a new website that they could manage on their own. I dove in head first and after a few weeks my first proper website went live, cool.

Background

With this year’s upcoming release of the band’s sophomore album, Danger Avenue needed to step up their online marketing.

Read all of New website for Danger Avenue live.

Advice for broadening your skills

Last fall I spent five weeks traveling around the United States.

During my trip, which you can read about at skogcoast.alexanderskogberg.com (Swedish), I met a few old classmates. We discussed a lot of things during my visit, one of them being work.

During one of these conversations, a classmate said:

“Whoa, you actually learned new things since graduation! I’ve probably gotten worse…”

My classmate was slightly joking, but he made a point.

Since graduating in 2010, I’ve gotten lots of experience in things I didn’t touch at all in school. Things I couldn’t imagine I’d be working with now.

I was certain that I’d end up working solely on design and development of mobile apps. Instead I’ve gotten knee deep in front end web development, worked with people with visual impairment and held courses and lectures on subjects I knew NOTHING about in 2010.

How did I end up broadening my skill set? Here’s three tips.

1. Prepare to adapt

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My favorite web design mistakes – volume one

Designing for the web isn’t easy.

I started learning web design from scratch about six years ago. That’s when I designed my first website. Since then, I’ve done quite a few more.

Whenever I look back at one of my old sites, there’s always things I would like to improve. That’s good, it means I’m getting better.

When I look at other websites, it baffles me that the same old (and new) design mistakes keep showing up again and again. Some designers never seem to learn…

Here are my favorite web design mistakes and how to fix them.

Read all of My favorite web design mistakes – volume one.

Advice when being interviewed for a job in IT

Applying for a new job is a nerve-wrecking and exciting experience for most people, especially if it’s your first job. Here’s my advice from an interviewer’s standpoint.

At my previous employer, I held my fair share of follow up interviews during my close to five years at the company. At this stage, the interviewee had already had one successful interview with his or hers, perhaps, soon to be boss.

The follow up interview focused more on getting to know the interviewee and usually asking some tech or design questions. If they passed this interview, they went on to negotiate a contract.

I think I held around eleven or twelve of these follow up interviews. Here are my advice to you job seekers out there.

1. Be on time
Yes, this is a no-brainer. For an interview you must be on time. Otherwise, you’ll give a terrible first impression.

If you happen to get stuck in traffic and think you might be late, let the interviewer know. No decent company would hold this against you.

Read all of Advice when being interviewed for a job in IT.

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