Geeking out in Reading with an update on Chinese digital trends

Huawei smartphone

From Alipay to WeChat, China’s internet is transforming the world, so I was excited to present the latest statistics on Chinese digital trends at Reading Geek Night on a cold Reading night in January. I’d first delivered a talk on Chinese tech in 2013, and much has changed since:

Reading is a top tech town, and no strange to China, either – behemoth Huawei has its head office located at Green Park (unfortunately there was no one from Huawei at the event – maybe it was the cold weather…).

World’s top beaches named by Flight Network

Qixingtan Beach, Taiwan

Happy New Year! 

The start of another year is a good time for must-see and must-do this that and the other lists, including places and experiences from around the world.

If you’re already planning a 2019 getaway somewhere special, online travel agency Flight Network has helpfully identified the top beaches across all continents with the support of 1,000 travel professionals. Judges included journalists, editors, bloggers and agencies. I was kindly asked for my own nominations. Being the well-seasoned traveller that I am, I was happy to oblige.

The index of 411 beaches is topped by perennial postcard favourite Shipwreck Beach in Zakynthos, whose eye-searingly blue image has adorned office screensavers for decades (probably).

Shipwreck Beach is followed by Whitehaven Beach in Queensland, Hidden Beach in El Nido, Praia do Sancho in Pernambuco, and Tulum Beach in Quintana Roo – all suggesting that we all love a beach in the tropics more than anywhere.

Maya Bay in Phi Phi, Thailand, is curiously ranked 9th – while stunning, it’s currently closed to tourists, a victim of its own success.

A great beach needn’t be palm-fringed perfection, however. A suggestion of mine, Qixingtan Beach in Taiwan, was ranked 23rd among Asian beaches. It’s spectacular location, where 3,000 metre mountains drop sharply to meet crystal-clear waters of the Pacific, make it a winner in my eyes. 

In addition to listing beaches by continent, Flight Network has compiled untouched beaches and city beaches – the latter is useful if you’re planning to relocate as a digital nomad or professional this year. 

 You can see the full World’s Best Beaches for 2018 here.

InfoSyte, an IT trainer with an eye on the future

It probably goes without saying that to stay in the job market these days, amidst so much uncertainty, you have to keep learning. It’s evolve, or die (not literally). While there are still many cushy jobs about, the days of milking a piece of paper you received 20 years ago are over for most of us.

So I’m excited to be working with InfoSyte, a leading IT trainer in Malaysia, for two reasons: 1) I get to tell their story through data-driven approaches, which is always fun; and 2) I’m familiarising myself with the latest IT skills and certifications. In other words, I’m learning about learning at a time when ICT matters more than ever. Very meta.

For example, I knew that cybersecurity was important. But I was less sure about the skills or qualifications necessary to succeed in the cybersecurity world. It all seemed very cryptic (excuse the pun) and even off-limits – until now.

InfoSyte partners with the likes of Cisco, Huawei, Microsoft, Oracle and CompTIA to provide the very latest IT training. They also offer soft skills training, which is equally important in today’s world – ultimately, while having technical skills are important, you will be more marketable if you can influence people, especially as automation gathers pace.

Their location is also a strategic advantage: InfoSyte is based in Malaysia, located in the heart of the fast-growing ASEAN region and within sight of China.

While they have two training centres in the KL area, InfoSyte also deliver classes around the world. In recent weeks they were in South Africa, Ghana and Zambia (the latter two are also Belt & Road countries).

If you’re working in IT and interested in taking a course, and quite frankly you should be – because the world is undergoing rapid change at the moment – then take a look at InfoSyte’s new website.

And if you’re not working in IT, then take a look at the website anyway – IT is a safer career choice than most.