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In a recent interview I was conducting with others I asked one of the questions I love to ask. What were the last two books related to SW development you read and in a sentence or two your opinion of it? After some hesitation and mumbling the candidate brought up Frederick P. Brooks, Mythical Man Month. OK, not a bad answer. Taking him on his word he had just read that. I didn’t test him, he gave a decent enought reason. His other answer was “a lot of BEA documentation”. Not very good….
However, this made me think of another piece from Brooks although I had read it a long time ago, No Silver Bullet: Essence and Accidents of Software Engineering. If you haven’t read this I would encourage you to do so. Joel Spolsky in his Joel On Software blog commented on it here.

By the way, looking for a job. If you have had enough B.S. from people calling from the normal job sites take a look here. It is the Job Site from his Website Joel On Software.

A couple of days ago I wrote a review of the book “Agile Java Development with Spring, Hibernate and Eclipse”, My review was brief only stating I recommend the book. Not a lot of info there I realize.
Well Matt Morton has blogged with a much more thorough review of this book, I can only agree with everything he says. By the way, I could not get the Safari 45 day online access to work either, told me invalid ISBN (I bought it on Amazon).

I am excited, accepted an offer on a new job yesterday.  I am going to be working as a Technical Architect for a company doing government work.  Think I will withhold details.  I have been interviewing for a week and it was exciting but tiring.  Glad to have found the exact type of position I am looking for.

The technology is great, Java/J2EE, Struts, Hibernate, JBoss and Spring and a lot of interesting projects to use it on.   The interview was interesting and the guys I met seemed to be into their work and good to work with.  So all is good!!!

Expect some posts on the technology as I have not been blogging for along time as was preoccupied with winding up where I am at and finding something new.

powered by performancing firefox

The week is flying by as usual and I have not put anything in here out of the 1000’s of items I have considered.   I downloaded another editor, this one I heards about on the Java Posses podcast.   It is called the BlueJ – interactive Java Environment.  In my last Programming II class which we use Java for a lot of the students struggled.  There were many reasons but the main problems are: 1) Complete lack of very basic OO and Java knowledge (which they should have from Programming I; 2) Difficulties with Swing programming (event handling, layout managers) etc.  While I totally understand number 2 as I went through that myself, I struggle with number 1 as they should have it and it completely throws off the course if I spend too much time doing this.  So, I have been looking, considering and pondering a solution.   Along came BlueJ.  In my, so far, short evaluation it allows each development of small classes, ability to build relationships between classes (inheritance, containers, etc.) and best of all to visually see this relationship.  Stay tuned!

Because a consultant who works for me and was to start at a client has had a family emergency, I have been forced to dive into Java programming.  Halleulujah!   As you can imagine I am not unhappy with this and welcome the chance to spend some time away from sales, contracts and budgets.  The project is in its infancy but requirements have been gathered and a basic design made (all by me earlier).  Therefore, for a change, I am finally puting to use an IDE I downloaded in a way other than just checking out the newest features.  Netbeans 5.0 is wonderful to work with.  Let me tell you why.  One word, Matisse.  The Swing GUI builder is a piece of art.  Anyone who has struggled as much as I have in Swing GUI building (manually and in JBuilder) will love this.  Maybe I was spoiled as my first GUI building experiences were in Gupta SQL Windows, then Powerbuilder and the MS Visual C++ with MFC.  All of them worked like I thought they should work.  Well, in Gupta the GUI building did anyway.   Then I worked on my first Java development and was faced with the flexible, powerful and confusing GridBagLayout and GridBagConstraint.  Now I subscribe to the view development will never be a matter of only pointing and clicking.  Manual programming will never go away but I do subscribe to the view this should not be the case for the user interface of the application.  Well, now Matisse has come along and although an additional jar file is needed as they use a Swing extension for the layout manager I actually can lay out the GUI and my UI controls don’t move on their own, look the way they do in design as when I run the application and are easy to align and build due to the c oncept of snapping.  Thank you!

Now Matisse is being ported to Eclipse.  See this article for more information.

Cool product, for editing and storing Office documents over the Internet is ThinkFree Office.  Check it out.  Even if you don’t want to use it just try it out to see how cool applets are becoming again.

Finally, it probably has been discussed and linked and argued more in the past week than any other article in our world, but if you haven’t read it James Gosling is not worred about C#, Ruby or PHP

Today I am going to spend some time discussing some views on learning object oriented (OO) programming and specifically Java. Buit first, am diving deeper into the world of Java. I have started a personal blog that will be more personal, random and probably just as boring. Personal Blog.

Blogging SW
I am trying out some new blogging software. It is called Performancing for Firefox 1.1.1 and can be found at http://performancing.com . If you use Firefox and have a blog, it is an excellent plug-in. One of those tools I love because you almost think it isn’t doing anything because it is so simple. But it is doing alot or better said doing what it should be doing in an excellent manner. Nothing more and nothing less.

A New Notebook
I have a new Sony Vaio notebook since last week. It is a TX series and weighs 2.7 lbs. The battery life is advertised at 7.5 hours and in my next trip to Europe will test it out! I am still trying to get use to having something this small to type on. My last 2 notebooks were a larger Dell and a 17″ screen Sony Vaio (almost 9 lbs and 1.5 hours of battery) so as you can guess this will be a big change. To the positive I believe. One very cool piece of functionality is embedded Cingular WAN technology. I signed up yesterday so I guess Starbucks will be losing a few dollars when I travel as I can connect anywhere I have Cingular connection and don’t need a Hotspot. The total sign up took about 2 minutes since I was already a Cingular customer for my cell phone service. It was working 2 hours after I called, in as I checked from home. Definitely no complaints there. Traveling to New York next week so will be the first “road test”. Be interesting to see how it works on Amtrak on the way from D.C. to NYC.

Now my new notebook combined with my Dell Axim (I won a Dell Axim for registering for a recruitment fair I never attended) I am mobile and organized. I actually have all my phone numbers, address and othe contact info in 3 places! No more worrying if I would lose my cell phone and all the numbers are gone which happened untold times before. Funny it was usually 3 AM in a bar where it was missplaced, but that is another subject.

Borland Says Bye Bye
Was cleaning up some old magazines today at home and one of the heading lines from the SD Times from last week caught my eye. I read it last week but in the stress of the week didn’t really sink in. “Borland Bails on IDE Business”. Now I haven’t used any Borland tools for almost 5 years since I worked for a company using JBuilder. But between using Turbo Pascal in my university assignments and Turbo Pascal for the first big real world project Borland was always at the forefront of tools and compiler technology. I mean the inventor of Delphi, Anders Hejlsberg, was the father of C# which is one cool language. There are rumors it will be bought by someone currently associated with Borland so I am sure the tools will be around. I wish Borland all the best in their focus on application lifecycle management (ALM).

I am currently reading a few books simultaneously. I do this, skipping among the different ones depending on mood and interest.

I am a podcast nut and listen to several different ones. They range from news, technology, sport to pure entertainment. One that I really enjoy is TWIT or This Week In Tech. Leo Laporte is entertaining to listen to, but I always loved to read and now really enjoy listening to John C. Dvorak. He outdid himself recently claiming Macs would be running Windows but still he is a joy to listen to.

So what is all this Ajax buzz about. I know… I do understand what Ajax is and can see the advantages of this model for web apps. But, is this that different than technology already used? Obvious answer is no as it does all exist. I think probably what is missing is the packaging of these diverse technologies and some good tools to help implement it. I am still working on Ruby so Ajax will have to wait.