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9 Skills Developed by Ken’s Study Journey Website | My Biggest Project

Language/语言:   English   简体中文
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By: Ken Deng   Published on 27 Apr. 2024

Approx. 3200 words, 14 mins

As my biggest personal project📦, Ken's Study Journey website has developed a range of skills, including Content Sharing📤, Programming⌨️ and UI/UX Design🎨.

Established in 2019 as a simple personal blog📰 using WordPress, I developed my content sharing📤 and storytelling🗣️ skills in English.

In later years (from mid-2021) with completely new ideas💡, I gave up WordPress and replaced it with my own design ideas🌈 and program codes, becoming my biggest personal/individual project so far.

In this article, I will introduce and explain the 9 skills developed🛠️ from the Ken’s Study Journey project.

My Website History

Ken's Study Journey Website (2023)

Ken's Study Journey Website (2023)

1. Content Sharing & Storytelling

The first skill developed, also the main purpose📌 of the website (previously a personal blog), is content sharing and storytelling.

By writing articles in a number of categories, including study/exam tips🌟, school/campus life and even travelling routes (knowledgeable trips)🛣️, I shared my personal experiences online to audiences worldwide🌎.

Did you Know?

Due to the large uncertainty of topic ranges (talking about random topics in 2019), the website was named with my English name "Ken Deng".

It was then changed to "Ken's Study Journey" in mid-2020.

Explaining in Details

In my articles, I usually describe and explain images in a lot of detail, turning images into words📄 like storytelling.

Let's say, I described and explained my typical days and weekends in a lot of detail☑️, from morning☀️ to evening🌙, in my HKUST daily life article.

For example, I mentioned the following facts:

  1. There is a top entrance/exit🚪 in our Hall directly connected to a bridge🌉 to the academic building, called: Bridge Link.
  2. The cut-off time🍫 between breakfast and lunch at our university restaurants is 11:00.
  3. At HKUST, there are two bus stations🚏 (HKUST North and South stations) with different directions.
  4. Be careful of the directions🧭 when taking Tseung Kwan O Line, whether to Po Lam or LOHAS Park.
Common Mistake

According to my friend’s feedback💬, many students made this mistake⚠️:
Rushing onto the Tseung Kwan O Line train without checking the directions first (it has 2 branches, to Po Lam and LOHAS Park).

Rushing onto Trains Without Checking Directions

Rushing onto Trains Without Checking Directions

Eventually, they may arrive at LOHAS Park (can’t reach HKUST campus) instead of Hang Hau (with direct bus routes to HKUST).

Branches of MTR Tseung Kwan O Line and Guangzhou Metro Line 3

Branches of MTR Tseung Kwan O Line and Guangzhou Metro Line 3

Similarly, I introduced and explained "Trap Options" and some common mistakes⚠️ in exams in my A Level exam tips article in high school.

Physics MCQ Trap Options 9702/11/M/J/20

Physics MCQ Trap Options

Discovering Knowledge in Real Life

Apart from explaining in a lot of detail, I also share relevant knowledge🎓 I learned, whether in high school🏫 or university.

Invented🌟 in 2019, it has now become one of my “traditions” in Content Sharing, inserting knowledge (in green boxes among articles (you can see below⬇️ in this article).

By explaining them in easy-understanding language (i.e. in my own words), it may help other students understand and memorise more easily✅.

Learn More

2. Code Programming

The second one is code programming representing our ideas in logical ways🔗 for computers (including web servers).

Whether websites🖥️, apps📱, smart home (IoT; Internet of Things) devices, or even mini-apps, they may not exist without programming.

Did you Know?

In the Mainland, there is a new technology with embedded mini-apps (小程序) inside the WeChat/Alipay app. This means users do not❌ need to install additional apps on their phones.

For example, we used Yuekang Code (Guangdong Health Code; 粤康码), Suikang Code (Guangzhou Health Code; 穗康码) and Travel Record Card⬆️ (行程卡; stopped service from 13 Dec. 2022) mini-apps in WeChat during the pandemic:

Mini-Apps for Mainland Health Codes (2021)

Mini-Apps for Mainland Health Codes (2021; image from an old article)

For example, I am responsible for:

  • Front-end (browser/app side) with HTML, JavaScript and CSS
  • Back-end (server side; e.g. HTTP Server, Database, Security and Data Encryption)
Related Knowledge

Now, I discovered relevant university Computer Science (COMP1021) knowledge: Loops and Conditions.

Programming heavily relies on loops (e.g. for, while) and conditional statements (e.g. if, elif (else if), else).

A simple logical example on Ken's Study Journey website (Python; for example only):

if password == correct_password: # Log in to Ken's Study Planner account print("Login Successful") else: print("Your password is incorrect.")

3. Software Development

As well as code programming, another skill developed based on it is software development🛠️, like a Software Engineer🧑‍💻.

As we learned about the Software Development Cycle🔄 in high school, I experienced many stages when designing and developing the Ken's Study Journey web project.

Did you Know?

As well as the Ken's Study Journey individual project, I also use the Software Development Cycle in group software projects👬 (e.g. internship).

Related Knowledge

Now, I discovered relevant A Level Computer Science (9618) knowledge: Software Development Cycle

A Software Development Cycle contains 5 major stages🪜:

  1. Analysis 🔍
  2. Design 🎨
  3. Coding ⌨️
  4. Testing ✅
  5. Maintenance 🛠️

There are several models: Waterfall, Iterative and RAD (Rapid Application Development).

In the Analysis stage, I discovered my need for content sharing📤 (2019; Ken's Study Journey website) and then managing study tasks in one place🗂️ (2021; Ken's Study Planner).

Then I designed🎨 the UI (User Interface) of each project (Design stage), followed by Code Programming (Coding stage; see skill 2 above⬆️).

After coding, I have to pass my rigorous (strict)📐 tests with test datasets and schemes among my development servers (sometimes my computers💻) (Testing stage) before uploading to real (production) web servers.

4. Daily Server Maintenance

When it comes to the Maintenance stage of the Cycle, my projects also developed another skill: Daily Server Maintenance🛠️.

Like tech/Internet companies🏢, I need to check my servers and website content every day, e.g.

  • whether there are new software updates🎉;
  • whether the servers are hacked🧑‍💻 (e.g. unusual SSH/FTP/RDP logins, page content changes);
  • whether there are bug🐞 reports (stored in Server Error Logs); and
  • whether the servers are down💤 (e.g. due to hardware fault; see Skill 5 below⬇️).
Did you Know?

As well as daily maintenance, I also conduct Random Server/Website Inspections🔍 in my free time (but outside my busy periods; e.g. for exams/competitions).

In recent years, I found (and then fixed) many bugs🐞 by random inspections.

5. Incident Handling

Like many engineering industries around the world (including Internet services🌎), some work may cause incidents/accidents⛑️, like the "Server Down" problem💥 for Internet services.

This brings me another skill in my web project: Incident Handling🚧.

Did you Know?

Like some companies/industries, there are some (online; self-study) Safety Training modules for Engineering👷 students at our university.

This ensures the safety✅ of the student engineers and avoid incidents.

The "Server Down" Problem

Have you seen the "Network Error"🔌 page/message when using websites and apps in your daily life? (e.g. video websites🎬, social media📸)

Ken's Study Planner Network Error Page

Ken's Study Planner Network Error Page

It's not useful even if you:

  • disconnect from and then reconnect to the network🛜;
  • switch to your mobile data🗼 (using phone SIM cards📲) from your WiFi network🛜;
  • switch to another WiFi network or go to another place;
  • restart🔄 your devices (e.g. phones, computers) or routers;
  • (and so on)

It happens for users around the world! While the servers for one website/app are down, they can still use other websites/apps✅.

Yeah. This is the "Server Down" problem. When the web servers malfunction, you will not be able to use that website/app.

Did you Know?

Since 2023, by training myself, Ken's Study Journey website and services, including Ken's Study Planner, have had fewer incidents✅ than in past years (2019 to 2022).

User Bug Reports / Feedback

As well as the "Server Down" problem, Internet services (including my group web/app projects) usually receive bug reports📋 and feedback💬 from users.

In addition, some websites and apps can automatically handle and report bugs to developers🧑‍💻.

Related Knowledge

Now, I discovered relevant A Level Computer Science (9618) knowledge: Program Errors

Program Errors have 3 types, including:

  • Syntax Error
    (program codes have grammatical errors and can't be compiled)
    (in our university COMP2011 course, we call it "Compile-time Error")
  • Logic Error
    (programs can run normally, but results displayed are wrong😢; the most difficult one in debugging🐞)
  • Run-time Error
    (errors raise when program is running; e.g. division by zero (like "3 ÷ 0 = ?"), file not found📂)

In Error (Exception) Handling, usually run-time errors are caught and reported to the developers.

Ken's Study Journey 500 Server Error Page (from 2022)

Ken's Study Journey 500 Server Error Page (from 2022)

6. Technical Research, Development & Applications

In 2021 when studying A Level (AS Level) in high school, I did my EPQ research🔬 project (A*, 27/28) again using my website.

I researched a range of modern web technologies, including (from my website FAQ):

  • IPv6 ^
  • HSTS (HTTP Strict Transport Security) ^
  • TLS 1.2 and 1.3🔑 ^
  • HTTP/2 ^
  • DNS CAA (Certificate Authority Authentication) ^
  • Load-balancing⚖️ with Many Servers (Allocated by DNS) ^
  • Inter-server Data Synchronisation
  • Forwarding Servers⏩ (outside China Mainland enhancing user experience)
  • Email SPF and DMARC Security🛡️ Policies
  • Data Encryption🔐
  • Content-Security-Policy🛡️
  • Dark Mode/Theme🌓 (following Apple system settings)
  • Calendar🗓️ Import/Subscription in iCalendar (.ics) Format
  • JSON APIs (Application Programming Interfaces)🔌
  • Feeds for RSS Readers📖

^: Researched within my EPQ project period.

Researching Server Structure

Tech companies🏢 usually have many servers around the world in different types (e.g. Edge and Core servers).

Thus, I did research and successfully implemented✅ a simplified server model for typical tech companies. This includes 4 server types:

  • Edge Server (E)
  • Core Server (C)
  • Spider Server (S)
  • Jump Server (J)

Rather than directly logging in to the same server (under the same public IP address🌎 for visitors), I use Jump (J) Servers (with different IP addresses) for secure admin🛡️ server login.

Core (C) Servers only have internal IP addresses without❌ Internet access. This leverages the security for encrypted🔐 private user data.

Ken's Study Journey Server Structure

Ken's Study Journey Server Structure

Self-developed Technologies

Apart from existing technologies, I even self-developed some new technologies since 2021.

In mid-2021, I self-developed Email Unique Codes☑️ preventing fake emails.

Learn More 

Checking Email Unique Codes

Checking Email Unique Codes (invented in 2021)

In mid-2023, I self-developed an Automated Reminder⚠️ System (with complex algorithms) penalising🔨 massive scans🔍 of website hidden modules (e.g. "/wp-admin", "/wp-login.php").

Learn More 

In early-2024, I self-developed a new image CAPTCHA preventing robots and a file-based database🗄️ (still under development🛠️, applied progressively) for better performances🌟 and convenient backups (replacing MySQL).

Every invention may include complex computer algorithms🧮, including Recursion🔂 (calling the function itself).

Ken's Study CAPTCHA (self-developed)

Ken's Study CAPTCHA (self-developed)

Did you Know?

Since Google services, including reCAPTCHA, may not be directly accessible🚧 in the China Mainland, Ken's Study Journey self-developed a CAPTCHA (using its servers🗄️) instead of using third-party CAPTCHAs (e.g. reCAPTCHA).

7. UI/UX, Poster & Logo Design

Apart from technical skills (Skills 2 to 6 above⬆️), I also developed some non-technical skills, such as design🎨🖍️ (including UI/UX, Poster, Logo).

UI/UX Design

UI/UX design is shorted by User Interface and User Experience (Design).

In addition to programming, I also need to have UI/UX design🎨 skills for websites and apps we use in daily life.

Among website pages and articles, you can see boxes with a range of colours, including:

  • Red: " Caution"
  • Orange: " Common Mistake"
  • Blue: " Did you Know?" and " Real Example"
  • Green: " Related Knowledge"
  • Violet: " Tip"

Let's say, the Ken's Study Journey website interface underwent several changes📝 and improvements🌟 from 2019 to 2023. Learn More >

In August 2023, the website interface was revamped with colour gradients🌈 replacing colour blocks🎨.

Ken's Study Journey Website (2023)

Ken's Study Journey Website (2023)

In February 2024, the interface of Ken's Study Planner 4 was revamped🌈, fixing the title and time at the top.

Planner 4 Interface

Planner 4 Interface

The brand-new drag-and-drop↕️ feature enhances user experience (UX), making it straightforward to use.

Drag and Drop in Planner 4

Drag and Drop in Planner 4

Poster Design

Apart from UI/UX design, I also design some posters🏞️ which are used not only on the website but also for my desktop backgrounds. For example:

Ken's Study Journey Missions of Services:

Ken's Study Journey Missions (mid-2023)

Ken's Study Journey Missions (mid-2023)

Related Knowledge🎓 Images:

A Level Physics (9702) Knowledge Image: Projectile Motion (2023)

A Level Physics (9702) Knowledge Image: Projectile Motion (2023)

AS Level Exam Goals with my Slogan "A* (A Star) Flies to the Sky, Making your Future Bright!":

AS Level Exam Goals (Motivation Background; 2022)

AS Level Exam Goals (Motivation Background; 2022)

Logo Design (Personal Brand)

The next one is logo design with my Personal Brand, Ken's Study Journey, from 2020.

Like many companies and universities, every logo has its special meaning(s).

The Ken's Study Journey logo underwent several changes🌟 until the 2021 version currently in use.

Ken's Study Journey Logo (2021; currently in use)

Ken's Study Journey Logo (2021; currently in use)

Logo Meanings 


Moreover, I generated several easy-memorising slogans.

Inventing🌟 my first study technique, discovering and sharing knowledge🎓 in real life, in 2019, I generated my first slogan:
Keep Studying during the Holidays!

Later Slogans (from website "About" page):

  • 2021: A* (A Star) Flies to the Sky, Making your Future Bright!
  • 2022: Great Study Habits are Productive
  • 2023:
    • Make Daily Goals, Burn like Coals
    • Let’s Strengthen Security on the State-of-the-art Technology
    • Study in Busy Time, Help in Free Time
    • New Academic Year, Study Starts Here
    • Server Down causes Inefficiency, Backup Plans are Necessary
    • Technology isn’t Easy, Development is Busy

Reading Questions

Later in 2023, I invented and proposed a brand-new feature in Ken’s Study Journey articles developing student’s reading📖 skills.

Yes, it’s the reading questions☑️ at the end of each article, implemented in March 2024 (for later articles).

Ken's Study Journey Post-article Reading Questions (Sample)

Ken's Study Journey Post-article Reading Questions (Sample)

More importantly, there will be friendly words pop-up🪧 if some questions are incorrectly❌ answered.

Friendly Words in Reading Questions

Friendly Words in Reading Questions

8. Project & Time Management

In order to make high-quality projects in a short time⏳, we need to develop our project and time management🕘 skills.

In my EPQ project (mid-2021 to mid-2022; according to my EPQ A* Tips article), I used a Gantt Chart📊 for planning, understanding when to finish🏁 each step.

Gantt Chart in my EPQ Project (2021-2022)

Gantt Chart in my EPQ Project (2021-2022)

Apart from the EPQ project, project/time management is also applicable to other website matters, such as SSL (HTTPS) certificate🪪 renewal.

The digital certificates🔐 on websites should be renewed🔄 regularly (e.g. every 3 months, 6 months or 12 months, depending on the providers), or visitors will see a Security Warning🔓⚠️ in their web browsers.

This means, like other website🌎 owners and tech companies🏢, I need to regularly renew my website's certificate.

Ken's Study Journey Website Certificate Expiry

Ken's Study Journey Website Certificate Expiry

Using my Ken's Study Planner tool🗓️, I made plans for each part of my Ken's Study Journey project tasks.

As mentioned in Skill 7 above⬆️, I revamped the Ken's Study Journey interface in August 2023 and the Planner interface in February 2024.

9. (Indirect) Public Speaking

Last but not least, my content developed my public speaking🗣️ skills throughout my high school (A Level) journey🏫 in front of audiences (a lot of people).

This is like what Student Ambassadors (SAs) around different universities usually do, introducing📣 the university itself (e.g. the campus) and answering people's questions💬.


If you have questions, feel free to send me emails✉️. (My Contacts)

In 2023, Ken's Study Journey received emails📩 from a wide range of audiences🌎 (including Questions, Feature Requests and Thank Letters).

It's indirect, which means they were held in public events🗓️ (not organised by Ken's Study Journey) but used Ken's Study Journey content/materials.

Note: Some events below were originally conducted in Putonghua (普通话)🇨🇳 spoken language (Chinese-Simplified (简体中文) for presentations📺).

In my high school journey, I participated in 4 public speaking events in total.

Student Union Election Speech

Invited by my homeroom teacher for my self-disciplined nature, I applied for the Inspector📋 of Disciplines, at the start of my A Level journey🛣️ (Grade 11; after studying IGCSE).

This was probably my first time Public Speaking, speaking in front of hundreds of Grade 11 students in a large Lecture Theatre (without looking at drafts).

In fact, I didn’t study well❌ in the past, but I have realised✅ that studying and following rules📄 are crucial🌟 for every single student and overtaken🔝 my classmates in Grade 9.

I always turn off the lights💡 in the dormitory and ask📣 my roommates to sleep🛌 when the time is up at 22:30⏰ although teachers do not come.

I also warn⚠️ my roommates who talk loudly💬 after sleeping time (and even report⛳️ to my homeroom teacher) to be energised🌟 on the second day.

— My Some Words on Students Union Election Speech

After the release of the election results📊, I was elected as a co-leader🤵 for our Inspectors team.

Giving myself the first try of public speaking, it has become my wonderful experience and memory🏅 in high school.


Regardless of the results (i.e. whether offer or rejection), every single application📄 brings you a wonderful experience.

Did you Know?

During our inspection journey at high school, we checked:

  • whether students are wearing the school ceremonial uniforms🤵 (during the Monday flag-raising⛳️ ceremony);
  • whether student's appearance follows the school rules (e.g. earrings💍 are not allowed) (random inspections🔍 during Evening Self-study);
  • whether classrooms meet the hygiene🧹 standards (during the Thursday full-classroom cleanup at 21:30)

EPQ Project Presentation (Technical)

As an essential assessment part of my EPQ project (see skill 6 above⬆️), I made a final presentation📺 at the end of my project journey.

Did you Know?

Similarly, we also presented our final project🏞️ (as a group) at the end of the LANG1404 (Academic English) course at our university.

Despite a small amount of audience (only teacher judges🧑‍⚖️ and my classmates I invited), it was presented in English🇬🇧.

As stated in my EPQ A* Tips article, this developed my public speaking🧑‍🏫 skills for my future study.

Talking about experimental processes and results (e.g. IPv6, HTTP/2), this presentation is technical🛠️ compared with others.

My Question in the EPQ Final Presentation

My Question in the EPQ Final Presentation

Study Tips Sharing (New Oriental and High School)

In 2023 during my university application journey, I was invited by New Oriental to share my study tips.

Apart from the New Oriental, I was then invited📩 by my high school to share my study tips with Grade 9 and 10 students studying IGCSE.

This means I conducted the study tips sharing lectures twice in 2023.

I was more than excited🌟 to share my study tips, experiences and campus life🕘 with a wide range of audiences, including future students, parents and teachers from a range of cities🏙️.

You can learn more about my lectures and download📥 the PPT (in Chinese-Simplified; 简体中文) in this article:

Learn More 

Did you Know?

There can still be some interactions↔️ between the lecturer and audience in lectures.

Based on my observations, many audiences were surprised😆 (their interactions) after mentioning:

  • I didn't study well in the past but overtook most students in Grade 9.
    (in student union election speech)
  • My COURSEMO internship web project was then adopted📥 and used by my high school.
    (in study tips sharing lecture in high school)
School Study Tips Sharing Lecture

School Study Tips Sharing Lecture

Summary of Public Speaking Events

Event Date Audiences Language
Student Union (Inspector of Disciplines) Election Speech Sep. 2021 All Grade 11 (A Level) Students Putonghua (普通话) 🇨🇳
EPQ Project Presentation May 2022 Teacher Judges, My Classmates (I invited) English 🇬🇧
Study Tips Sharing Lecture (New Oriental) Feb. 2023 Parents from a range of cities Chinese-Simplified (简体中文); Putonghua (普通话) 🇨🇳
Study Tips Sharing Lecture (High School) Apr. 2023 Grade 9 and 10 students (studying IGCSE) Chinese-Simplified (简体中文); Putonghua (普通话) 🇨🇳

Thanks for Reading!

These are the 9 skills developed from the Ken's Study Journey website - my biggest personal project.

Apart from academics, you can develop a wide range of skills🌟 based on your hobbies/interests as well.

In summary:

  1. Content Sharing & Storytelling 📣
  2. Code Programming ⌨️
  3. Software Development 🔄
  4. Daily Server Maintenance 🛠️
  5. Incident Handling ⛑️
  6. Technical Research, Development & Applications 🔬
  7. UI/UX, Poster & Logo Design 🎨
  8. Project & Time Management 🗓️
  9. (Indirect) Public Speaking 🗣️

More articles may be released later📤. You can subscribe to my Email Newsletter📩 and stay tuned.

More useful study techniques🛠️ and habits📝 are available on my website. You can explore them if you want.

Explore my Website My Study Planner


1. Related Knowledge displayed in this article is for ease-of-understanding only. I cannot ensure that they are 100% correct.

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Reading Questions

Ken's Study Journey has added reading questions (up to 5 per article) to help develop student's reading skills since March 2024.

If you wish, you can try to answer the questions below.

1. When was the website name changed to "Ken's Study Journey" from "Ken Deng"?

2. Under which of the following Software Development Cycle stages do I develop my Daily Server Maintenance skill (Skill 4)?

3. From which year do Ken's Study Journey website and services have fewer incidents (e.g. server down) than in the past?

4. Which self-developed technology was invented in 2021?

5. In which year I didn't generate any slogan?

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