Monday, July 18, 2005

What will IT look like in 2010?

From eWeek, July 11 2005 edition, page 42, in an article looking at what IT will be like in 2010:

"Are these people a reinvention of the systems analysts of the 60s and 70s? Or is there something more sophisticated there?

Rosen: I think one of the key things you'll need is people who know how to learn - not so much people who know language X, Y, and Z, but people capable of learning a lot of different kinds of things."

So this member of the eWeek Roundtable thins IT will by 2010 find it more important to have people onboard who know how to learn than to have people who already possess a certain pool of knowledge.

It makes a lot of sense - and always has. Knowledge is relatively easy to gain with some effort (it's called training, people). The ability to learn (and even the desire....) can take years to develop.

Where does this type of person exist?

Liberal Arts programs.

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Friday, July 08, 2005

Quit wasting time searching the web

Ever been looking for something specific on the web, and just had a frustrating time finding that one fact? Here is a process you can follow to quit wasting time searching the web - developed out of a compuiter training class I taught for several years at mount de Sales Academy and Mercer University:

Step 1. Know EXACTLY what you are looking for.

You can't vaguely look for "something about cars" and expect to get anywhere - unless you are in "just browsing" mode, the on-line version of mall windowshopping. You need to be looking for something - MPG rating of a Toyota Camry, or used car lot in Atlanta, for example.

Step 2. Phrase your search in the form of a question - either on paper or in your head.

I suggest on paper the first dozen times you do this. For eaxmple, "what is a current value of a 1967 Volkswagen squareback?".

Step 3. Underline the important words in that question.

current value 1967 volkswagen squareback

This gives you the keywords you'll use in the search engine entry box.

Step 4: Decide on the search engine and search type you need to use.
Most people, of course, like Google and Yahoo. I prefer Metacrawler, because it searches several engines for you, and returns the top results.

There are 3+1 search types: AND (require the presence of all the keywords on the webpage for it to be counted as a hit), OR (any of 'em will do), and PHRASE (has to have the words in that exact order to be counted). The "plus 1" refers to NOT (don't count a page as a hit if it contains this word).

Example: ford wagon "Oregon Trail" NOT car NOT engine NOT michigan

Step 5: Do the search!