Archive for category Business

Embracing the Dark Side

For years, I’ve resisted the move to the Microsoft way, it being driven entirely by warped corporate logic rather than technical excellence and innovation.  But it seems now that in the enterprise, Linux and Perl are now completely irrelevant.  One recruiter I met with had never even heard of them.  So I’ve decided to learn C#, ASP.NET and Microsoft Sharepoint, as well as how to develop apps for Android.  I still need a job and if learning .NET and Sharepoint is the only way to stay in IT, then I guess I have to.

I’ve seen tons of hype that the Cloud will generate 15 thousand IT jobs but does anyone actually know how to learn the skills employers want in whatever it is cloud people do?

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Learning in spare time

As things move to the cloud, I find it’s becoming more difficult to learn essential IT skills on your own.  I used to be able to learn some basic system admin skills, software development skills, etc. on a home PC or maybe a home LAN setup with Linux, cheap-to-free tools, evaluation versions, etc.  Nowadays, I’m finding it difficult to learn how to do stuff they’re asking for in job descriptions like “Large multiglobal enterprise support” and “Netscaler” and “IBM Websphere” and VMWare and Windows Server.  Seriously – I can’t afford to buy a Windows Server license just to learn Windows server!  Nor can I buy a large enterprise (complete with private cloud and SAN and other current IT stuff) to learn how to work in one.  How do I get those skills?

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Web-izing command line apps with PHP

My task was to take this perl app and port it to the web.  Here was the app being executed in a terminal:

Running the GECOS phonebook from the command line

Running the GECOS phonebook from the command line

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It’s official – I’m an idiot

At work, we use a source code control system called CA-SCM (Computer Associates Software Change Manager) formerly called Harvest. The backend is all UNIX shell scripts and Oracle Database but the client is really just a plugin for the Eclipse IDE. Anyway, the idiocy comes in when I tried to check in a file yesterday. I got an error. I clicked “Details” and it gave me the Java stack trace. I was like WTF??? So all afternoon yesterday I waited for Harvest tech support. This morning I had an e-mail that said I was supposed to contact one of the techs as soon as I got in.

The tech and I went through the steps involved to recreate the issue. When we got to the error, he asked me if I’d looked at the output log. I said I hadn’t. We looked and it gave a perfectly rational explanation: “This file already exists but was not checked out for update.” *facepaw* It’s an error I’d seen hundreds of times before but for some reason didn’t twig that I should check the scripting output for clues. Thankfully, the tech was not only a nice guy, but a relative of a childhood friend of mine. So after literally calling me stupid (jokingly), he told me to have as nice of a day as I can under the circumstances.

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Getting Ripped Off – The Easy Way

I went to State Fair just to hang out and look at neat stuff. I saw a jewelry booth that had a nice selection of Masonic rings. I was in the market for a new one since my first ring got lost at work. I saw two nice ones – one for $89 and one for $198. Naturally I went for the $89. The clerk offered me half-price on the $198 ring so I took that one instead.
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Why I can’t find a job

Thank you for your interest in employment with the UW-Madison, Division of Information Technology. You had applied for the Identity and Access Management positions recently and were selected to move on in the recruitment process. Unfortunately, due to the State’s budget concerns, the positions have been canceled and will not be filled.

We wish you the best of luck in your job search.

That says it all, really.

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Can you spot the fail?

At work, the only database instance I have write access to is our User Acceptance Testing instance.  It’s where we do our preliminary branding workups.  I’m rapidly proving myself unworthy of write access.

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Football Score Solver Example

For a Java Developer position I applied for I needed to write a sample program.  Here’s the problem it was intended to solve:

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The View From Work

This is what I see when I attend our Thursday afternoon branding meetings.

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Mike and Caity (mildly NSFW and based on a true story)

Have you ever been in a situation where the best answer is still a wrong one?
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