Monthly Archives: January 2018

The What and Why of Program Evaluation

You can better manage what you measure. You do want to maximize the management of your wellness program, correct?

The What of Evaluation

Program evaluation is a systematic examination using research methods to collect and analyze data to assess how well what you are doing is working and why. Evaluations answer specific questions about program performance and can also focus on assessing program operations or results. Evaluation results can be used to assess a program’s effectiveness, identify how to improve its performance, or guide future resource allocation.

For evaluation purposes, a program can be defined in various ways such as an activity, project, intervention or initiative. In order to be able to be evaluated though, a program must have an identifiable purpose or set of objectives, as these will be used by an evaluator to assess how well the purpose or objectives were met. Evaluations may also assess whether your efforts had unintended and perhaps undesirable outcomes. An evaluation can assess an entire program or focus on just one activity or intervention. This is important as you may want to evaluate individual activities or interventions to assess how well they are being received or if they are effective.

Program evaluation is closely related to program performance measurement and reporting. Performance measurement is the systematic ongoing monitoring and reporting of program accomplishments, especially progress toward pre-established goals or standards. Performance measures or indicators may address staffing and resources (inputs), the type or level of activities conducted (process), the products or services delivered (outputs), or the results (outcomes) achieved through the use of products and services.

The Why of Program Evaluation

Typically, program evaluation is used to provide accountability for how resources are being used, or to learn how program performance might be improved. Evaluations can also play a key role in strategic planning, program design, program execution and program management by providing feedback to funders and delivery personnel.

It is an important part of every worksite wellness program to periodically report on their activities and results. You can better manage what you measure. Tracking, monitoring and measuring are also important to any type of continuous quality improvement effort.

It is important to also remember that measuring just program outcomes alone may not provide the information you need to properly assess your effectiveness. You want your program’s evaluation strategy to provide as large and detailed picture as possible. You always want to be in a position whereby you can answer the questions senior leaders may ask about the program’s performance.

Program evaluation should not be taken lightly. Evaluating your efforts can go a long way towards making your worksite wellness initiative effective and successful.

Can’t Think of Something to Program?

Reinvent the Wheel

A lot of times, you’ll hear programmers say, “Do not reinvent the wheel”. What they are usually referring to is when an algorithm or application exists for a common problem and there is no need to replicate this. However, when you are first starting to program this can be an insanely helpful task. Programs like “Hello World”, a simple calculator, a timer, and a clock are all relatively easy to complete and plenty of people have made these types of programs, so there are definitely resources online to help you if you get stuck.

Ask Professors

If you are taking a programming course you are most likely being assigned programming problems as part of your course work. However, sometimes this is just is not quite enough. When I was learning how to program in Java, we only had six problems assigned all semester. Granted, these six were big projects, but there were no smaller assignments in between to help consolidate the knowledge we learned in class.

If you are not enrolled in any programming courses and are just learning how to program for fun, you could always try reaching out to a computer science professor and ask them for ideas of what to program, or what they assign in their classes. Also, you could ask any friends who are taking programming courses what they are working on.

Get a Textbook

Most programming or computer science textbooks have a multitude of programming problems and projects within. Along with these assignments also come explanations for the concepts used in each task. Not only will you get an idea of what to program, but you can also learn a thing or two about the programming language that you might not have otherwise. When I took a Visual Basic programming course in college we used a textbook that had about twenty small applications per chapter. At the time I hated how many applications we had to create, but ultimately it helped me become a better program through constant repetition of key concepts and use of the language. The good news is you can probably find some of these textbooks at a library, online, or by borrowing one from a friend.

Write a Program to Do Your Homework

When I took accounting classes, having to write all of our financial statements by hand got to be a grueling process. Eventually, I got tired of it and wrote a program that created income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements based off of a variety of inputs. If you are enrolled in a class that requires repetitive tasks, writing a program to help you complete some of these tasks not only saves you time while doing homework or studying, but it also helps you to understand how the concept works at a fundamental level. When I created my financial statement application I no longer made little mistakes when writing the statements on exams, because I had to understand every little part of each of them in order to successfully replicate the process. Any type of math class, physics, chemistry, and finance are also great subjects to write programs for class.

Ask Family and Friends

You would be surprised how many times my friends and family members have come to me with ideas of programs or applications they have come up with. Fortunately for me, they know I am a programmer and usually come to me with the ideas without me having to ask. If you are stuck on what to program, just ask them! It is similar to having writer’s block and asking for ideas on what to write. Usually people have very generic ideas which will help you as a programmer when you have to take a high level description of an application and build an entire foundation under it.

Browse the Internet

When in doubt, Google it. Just by typing in “What to program” into Google’s search bar I received a variety of links to discussion pages, forums, and blogs about what to program. Sometimes universities will post curriculum or assignments to the public, which are easily found using a Google search.

Search Forums

A lot of times when people get stuck on a program or application they turn to a development forum or StackOverflow for help. A good practice is to take their pleas for help and try to solve their issues. While some of these solutions can be extremely difficult to find, and sometimes they are impossible tasks, it is a good place to start. If you cannot figure out how to solve their issue, you have done no harm. If you are cunning enough to supply a solution, you have not only improved your own programming abilities but also helped out someone else!

Challenge Yourself

With the growing trend of Hack-a-thons, more and more programming challenges have begun to surface. Some are for scholarships, some are for bragging rights, and some are actually for money. These challenges are another great way to find new ideas and to continue to improve your skills. Start off by finding the easier challenges that are meant for beginners and work your way to the more intermediate and eventually advanced challenges.

The A+ Programming Language

The programming world, is very vast, and you have to do a lot of research, in order for you to be able to grasp, any programming language in its entirety.

You will also find out very early, in your journey to becoming a great programmer, that there are many programming languages out here, which are necessary for you to learn; if of course you would like to be a great programmer and create that great application that you’ve always wanted to create.

In today’s article we are going to talk about the A+ programming language and all its important features.

A+ is said to be a descended of the A programming language, so if you know about the A programming language, you will have some type of idea of what A+ programming language, is really all about.

I don’t want us to get confused here, so I should mention that A+ is also a name used for an IT certification, which many individuals who would like to become a computer technician, pursue to further their careers.

The knowledge of the A+ certification, will definitely help you with your job, if you are a computer technician.

When you decide to obtain an A+ certification, you will be able to troubleshoot, maintain, customize, repair, install and help people with their computers.

You are going to be an awesome person, to many people when you are able to utilize your knowledge, to help them solve their computer problems, so that they are able to use their computers, to do their job.

However, in order for you to be able to get there, you do have to have, some type of valuable knowledge on your own about computers; in order for you to bring some real, sound contribution to someone’s life, by fixing their computer.

When you obtain an A+ certification, it will help you to be a valuable person to someone fast, you will also be on your way to be an awesome person to other people for real.

Anyhow we are here to speak about the programming side of A+ and that is what we are going to do.

First of all, A+ as we mentioned before is a descendent of the “A” programming language, it was created by Arthur Whitney in 1988 at Morgan Stanley.

The purpose of A+ was to provide its users, applications that are considered to be useful in the business world, because these same applications are developed in computational-intensive business environment.

In 1992 an A+ development group was formally created to upgrade and maintain this programming language.

The plus in the A+ programming language name, is referring to the electric graphical user interface, which means that you won’t have to just use a command prompt or a terminal, because there is a GUI that you can use to accomplish, the development your business applications, with A+ programming language.

A+ offers advantages, of an interpreter in a fast-paced development arena, it also offers an admirable floating point performance, which helped this programming language become the language of choice when it came down to fixed income applications for the business industry.

A+ is a programming language that is for actual programmers, and for those programmers who are dedicated, to creating software and website applications.

If you are the kind of programmer, that code just for fun, then you should definitely get you a copy of the A+ programming language, so that you can easily start to program.

You can easily obtain a copy of the A+ programming language, if you do a simple online search, you won’t have to pay for it either, because it is freely available under the GNU General Public License.

If you are a beginner and are now just starting to learn A+, don’t hesitate to do your research, to gain more knowledge and information, so that you are able to program, with this great programming language, because A+ is for those who are just beginners as well.

A+ has many useful features, such as dynamic loading of user, compiled subroutines, and a modern graphical user interface with many widgets.

The A+ programming language also has an automatic synchronization of widgets and variables, and finally but not least, it also has an asynchronous execution of functions associated with variable and events.

A+ also offers extensions, which are used for graphical user interface and inter-process communications, as well as a module for storing and loading objects such as functions, variables and dependencies.

A+ also offers an extension for built-in database systems, so that you are able to manage your databases, using the A+ programming language.

You can also implement a spreadsheet in A+, if you would like to accomplish things with a spreadsheet within your application development.

A+ has a good graphical display capability; therefore, you would be able to visualize your data on that spreadsheet using A+ without any major problems.

If you do encounter some problems, visualizing your graphical data on A+, then know and understand, that your knowledge about A+ is limited, and you need to do more research in order to be able to completely master the A+ programming language, and have the ability to properly use the graphical display capability of A+.

The language also includes a special font to properly display special characters, and it uses a healthy subset of hieroglyphs, which you can also find in APL.

A Programming Language (APL) is one of the first programming languages, which was created with the invention of the computer.

APL was created for mathematics, with an emphasis on array processing.

We will talk more about the APL programming language on other article posts, for right now let’s focus on A+.

It would be helpful to mention though, that APL inspired the creation of A+, because A+ is an array programming language as well, which was created more than 20 years ago, with the help of APL and the A programming language.

The need of real-life financial computations are met with A+, which is used to develop applications, which are used in computationally-intensive business environment.

A+ is only found in UNIX operating system, because the interpreter-based execution environment of A+ is implemented in C.

Although, the core A+ interpreter, which does not include a GUI or an IPC, have been ported to Microsoft Windows.

A+ is truly a powerful and unique language, because it draw, most of its features from APL and A programming language.

The same primitives with a very similar syntax are used in A+; but the security found in A+, is much better and a good implementation of A+, is more efficient, than any APL system that is currently online.

One of the advantages, which you would find in A+, is that you can find some extensions, such as a graphical user interface and inter-process communication, as well as a modules for storing and loading objects (functions, variables, and dependencies), and even a built-in database system, within the A+ system.

This means that you can define auxiliary functions, inside a module, which would not be accessible to the outside world, to develop your application with the A+ programming language.

Variables, can also be defined within modules, which would allow the module to track the internal state of the module.

A more secure style of programming is achieved, through these features; which essentially allow users to write, good structured programs.

If you are the type of programmer, who does not have a style of programming just yet, you will find your style with A+, once you start to use this programming language.

Self-discipline is a key feature in writing good code as well, you have to be able to follow directions and pay attention to details.

When you don’t follow directions and pay attention to details, then any bug may enter your code, and it could take you forever to find out where the bug is within your code.

Finding a bug within your code, could take hours or even days, in the worst case scenario, making your life a living hell.

The A+ programming language is an array programming language at a high-level model, which gives programmers access to entire sets of data, so that they are able to easily manipulate their data.

As a programmer, you don’t have to resort to loops to manipulate individual data found on an array.

A+ is an array oriented programming language, which puts data together; unlike object oriented programming language, which uses loops to decompose data, to its constituent parts.

Needless to say, through programming, you will find a great way to learn new things in computing, and learn about the technology that we use every day.

However, you do need to continue to upgrade your skills, so that you are able to become, who you want to be in the programming arena.

Anyways, back to the fact of the matter, A+.

In A+ the individual elements of an array argument, can be applied independently to a primitive scalar, which is one of the primitive functions of A+.

A primitive scalar can be applied to an entire array, so that it provides a syntactically efficient and implicit control structure.

Ordinary arithmetic functions, certain mathematical function, and logical tactics as well as comparison functions, are all part of the scalar primitives in A+.

Let me say that again in case you missed it, mathematical functions, logical functions, comparison functions and ordinary arithmetic functions are some of the scalar primitives found in A+.

Each individual element of an array in A+, can be affected by the scalar primitives, which is the main purpose of scalar primitive.

Also, scalar primitive can not only manipulate each element of an array in A+; but it can also have full control of an entire array.

Developers who are using A+ can use this feature to control an array very efficiently and write a very sophisticated programming code.

I hope you know of each of the functions we just mentioned and what do they do or how they function.

But, if you don’t let’s talk about them a bit here at King Info Life, and you let us know what you think.

Mathematical functions are similar to a machine that has an input and an output.

Mathematical functions are not bound to a set of numbers only, mathematical functions can be used for all sets of numbers, such as complex numbers, decimals, real numbers and even other functions.

Unlike mathematical functions, which can be used for any set of numbers, arithmetic functions are only found to be utilized with whole numbers only.

I hope you are able to make the connection between mathematics and computers, because mathematics, is one of the reasons why we are able to create our technology today.

Logical functions are your conditional statements you will often see in programming; such conditional statements is: if (this) {then… that} else {do… nothing}, it has to make sense, because it is using logic.

If the condition doesn’t make any sense, then your code will not work properly, and you may spend hours trying to fix it.

So make sure that your conditions make sense, before you use them within your code, to save you a headache.

Comparison functions, are used to compare arrays, within the A+ programming language, as well as each member of the array.

The comparison functions test elements of an array, to analyze if they are equal to each other, or not equal to each other; also to analyze if one array element is greater than the other array element and to figure out, if an element is between two elements of an array.

Alright, now let’s talk about another type of primitive function called structural functions; which is used in A+ programming language, mainly to rearrange the indices of its arguments.

In this case it receives an argument or any kind of an array, which can be rearranged, however the user may want the elements of an array to be rearranged.

For example if you would like to shuffle an array, then you would use a structural function to accomplish this task.

Another type of primitive function is the specialized function, which is used by a developer, to be able to sort arrays and invert matrices.

In other words, the array would be changed completely, giving your new array a whole new structure, because it is a different array.

In order to have very good abilities in understanding how to study any subject, you have to have a clear head.

You need to let the spirit of The Most High power guide you through this deceptive world.

Mistakes Coaches Make When Designing Their Signature Coaching Programs

Having a signature program doesn’t mean you’ll build a successful coaching business. But not having one means you don’t have something to sell and when you don’t have something to sell, you don’t have a business.

If you’re ready to have a coaching business that is fulfilling and satisfying, you’d probably want to have a signature program that’s a reflection of who you are, encompassing your value, conviction and superpowers.

You want a program you can call your own, and can be proud of.

You want a program that allows you to put all your experience, knowledge and talent under one roof – without cutting off an arm and a leg to fit into a box, or looking like a jack-of-all-trades.

Taking some 3- or 6-months “off the shelf” generic program designed by someone else and jamming yourself into it no longer works.

It no longer brings satisfaction. It doesn’t resonate. It feels like going through the motion without fully living their message.

If you’ve been struggling to create your signature program – not a flash in the pan offering, but something that sticks and makes you excited about selling (!) every single day – you may be making these mistakes:

1. Using Generic, “Off the Shelf” Program

Many coach-training programs provide students with a 3- or 6-month program they can use right away to get clients.

Or you might have purchased some other pre-written programs that claim to solve all your pain and suffering.

It may work for a little while to help you get your feet wet, but often times regurgitation is not a long-term solution.

When you take an “off the shelf” program, stick it into your business and call it a day, you are stuffing yourself into a box made by others.

These programs are generic. The flip side of “yeah I can probably sell this to anyone” is that they make you sound like everyone else.

They often don’t give you the space to express your value, conviction and opinion. And there is little opportunity for individual expression of your superpowers.

I don’t know about you, but for my peeps and myself, that’s stifling. Suppressing our voice is downright criminal.

It’s like letting someone else speak for you for the rest of your life. Would you allow that?

It’s one thing to use these programs as a stopgap move to get things going, but another to be married to it and treat it as a be-all-end-all solution.

I’m not saying you’ve to reinvent the wheel… but you gotta be in the driver’s seat before the wheel can take you anywhere.

2. Where are YOU in the program?

It’s not hard to write a program. Seriously. Especially if you’re the “hunker down and I can do anything Type A” kind of person.

I work with a lot of these go-getter clients. They take action. They follow directions they’ve learned in trainings and programs. They do the work. They didn’t write one program, they wrote three.

But still, nothing clicked.

Their motivation died when they realized the program they spent so much time and effort to develop didn’t resonate with them.

The reason? They’ve forgotten about the most important thing – themselves! They neglected the WHY that drives the program.

Most people focus on the “what” and the “how” of a program: the information, modality, delivery and execution.

They got hastily pushed down a particular direction during those 5-minutes-of-fame group coaching calls, before they uncover what really, truly motivates them.

They were missing the driving force that goes beyond a target market, a set of tools, or a topic of expertise.

Jumping both feet into the nitty-gritty has caused them to bypass the foundation – the PERSON behind the program.

The PERSON who puts her name and reputation on the program. The PERSON delivering the program. The PERSON who has to live and breathe that program. (YOU!)

The most successful program stems from a set of core value and conviction that transcends modality, delivery format and pieces of information.

There is a golden thread behind the content that ties everything together and give it a unique positioning that makes the “same information” different.

It embodies your WHY so you can stand by it with the utmost conviction.

It takes into account your superpowers so you can deliver it in the most effective way possible. It fuels you, not drains you.

3. It’s an Exercise in Navel-Gazing

On the other hand, your signature system is not all about you.

You can’t be of service if you’re not relevant to the people you serve.

I’ve seen many practitioners who make their signature programs all about them, their skills, modality and whatever tools du jour.

The disconnect happens when a program becomes a list of stuff you do, and you fail to relate it to your niche.

Niche is how you anchor yourself in the community you serve. It’s not a bunch of demographic data. It’s about being relevant.

You’re going to hear crickets when your signature program fails to connect your skills, expertise and tools with the needs of those you’re marketing to.

When you can articular why you’re relevant to the people that matter to you (your market), you’ll feel excited about what you do.

You’ll take on an identity that you matter and you’re creating value.

When you can articulate how your expertise applies to your peeps, you gain the confidence to actually get out there and talk about it.

It’s not just about selling stuff. It’s about you anchoring into a community that matters to you. It’s about creating an identity of you being valuable and confident.

You know, the stuff that makes you excited to get up every morning 😉

Ling is an Intuitive Brainiac. Through her unique blend of Business + Marketing coaching with a Mindset + Psychic Twist, she helps the multi-talented and multi-passionate maverick solo-entrepreneurs distill ALL their big ideas into ONE cohesive Message, nail the WORDS that sell and design a Plan to cut the busywork and do what matters, through her intuitive yet rigorous iterative process born out of her Harvard Design School training and 10 years of experience in the online marketing industry.