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Jacquie Barker

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Recent posts by Jacquie Barker

I've just "freshened up" my website, and have posted a new version of the Intro.pdf file ... if anyone is interested in taking a peek, please visit http://techtidalwave.com and, after entering my website, please click the link "Read the Introduction" link at the top of the page.

If you are still having problems, please email me offline at jacquie@objectstart.com ... thanks much!
10 years ago
A sincere thank you to Java Ranch for featuring my book, "Taming the Technology Tidal Wave," this week ... and another sincere thank you to everyone who took the time to dialog with me!

For those of you interested in purchasing a copy of my book, I would like to offer a special discount for Java Ranch participants: if you visit my website -- http://techtidalwave.com -- to purchase my book, I will provide you with the discounted price of $10 per copy plus free shipping! Just mention Java Ranch when ordering.
Best wishes in your IT career ... may you experience JOY in each and every day!

Warm regards,

Jacquie
10 years ago
Angela, I have good news: it's never too late to get back into the swing of things!

I have a dear friend who left an IT career path for eight years to raise her two children ... when she was ready to go back to work, she was quite worried about how she'd ever get caught back up again.

I sent her a copy of my "Tidal Wave" book, which gave her the confidence to dive back into the job market -- she realized that she had lots of fundamental IT skills to "sell" to potential employers (as I am sure you do, too) -- and she's now happily involved in mainstream IT technology once more.

Please email me at jacquie@objectstart.com so that we may chat further!

Cheers,

Jacquie
10 years ago
Ditto! Glad to have been of help.

Cheers,

Jacquie
10 years ago

Arun Kumar wrote:Hi Jacquie Barker

I had switched to BSA role from tech lead role almost a year back and was wondering since on whether to go back, and looks like this was the book or the guide line I was looking for

I am in Australia, Sydney Is it possible to buy the book locally , if so please let me know the distributor/book store name



Arun, please email me at jacquie@objectstart.com regarding purchasing my book internationally ... thanks!
10 years ago
Perhaps the question is: "What sort of compensation package should someone with four years of Java experience hope to earn?" ... ?
10 years ago

Sheila Deskins wrote:You become 'old' we you get stuck working on trailing edge technology.



As I discuss in "Tidal Wave," even if you fear that you've fallen so far behind on the technology curve that you'll never catch up, you can! I am a perfect example: I went from being a hands-off manager whose IT skills were very stale to being a proficient Java developer. However, it's not unlike going from being a couch potato back to being an athlete: you have to sincerely want to do it. ;o)

Regards,

Jacquie
10 years ago
Agreed!

As an example, I teach a four-hour "Demystifying Objects, Java, and J2EE" seminar that covers the underlying principles behind these technologies ... it's amazing how often people who attend tell me that they've already been engaged in building J2EE apps, and yet never understood the big picture until attending my short-and-sweet seminar.
10 years ago
It all depends on your "bandwidth," Burk. Some people drive themselves crazy trying to become experts on technologies that disappear from the radar screen just about the time they master them ... I guess I'd use the analogy of investing money: there's only so much to invest, and different people like to take different risks with their investments -- some people "play the market," a few get lucky and many go broke; others invest in more stable, predictable investment vehicles to ensure a reliable return on investment.

Between my "day job," my volunteerism (I am a member of the Homeless Animal Rescue Team (HART)'s Cat Rescue Team -- http://www.hart90.org), my pursuits as an author, and nurturing my relationships with family and friends, I don't have a whole lot of extra time to devote to learning new technologies, and so I have to choose carefully ... for me personally, I've found that investing enough time to demystify something that looks like it might be on the verge of becoming mainstream, but waiting until -- IF -- I need to really learn the nuts and bolts before spending too much time on it, works best for me.

Cheers,

J.
10 years ago
I promise to address the PDF issue just as soon as humanly possible ... this week has been CRAZY busy for me at work!
10 years ago


As I discuss in "Tip 8: Be Willing to Start at the Bottom," maintenance programming, while viewed as unglamorous drudgery by many, can be a great way to learn a new language or technology, as follows:

  • It gives you a legitimate reason to learn on the job -- after all, if you are debugging something that you aren't terribly familiar with, your management should be pleased to see you "crack a book" to learn about how it is supposed to work.


  • If you are fortunate enough to actually be debugging code that was well written (alas, not always the case), you will learn how to do it yourself on a go-forward basis -- this is how I learned to do GUI programming, way back in the days of X-Windows Motif on Unix! I'd never done GUI programming before, and was asked to embellish someone else's code, which gave me a leg up on understanding the GUI paradigm ... and, as I discuss elsewhere, understanding the paradigm has served me well time and again (e.g., when learning how to do Java Swing development several years later).


  • Then, there's the "brownie point" factor: if you are a team player who is willing to occasionally take on a less than glamorous assignment, hopefully your management will appreciate you for doing so, and will be willing to reward you with a project assignment that you are eager about the next time around.


  • As to Jeanne's comment:

    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:

    Campbell Ritchie wrote:You should put your foot down and insist on being shown documentation.


    And if there is no documentation to show you?

    What you can do is make things better for the next guy. There may not be documentation now, but there's no reason there can't be in the future. Write down what you learn and start some documents. Get others to do the same.



    I couldn't agree more! If no documentation exists for the code you are working on (unfortunately all too likely!), at a minimum, capture your insights in writing as you figure out the code you are supporting -- again, this may very well be perceived by management as "above and beyond the call of duty!"


    10 years ago

    Burk Hufnagel wrote:
    One thing I strongly recommend to people is that to build your network before you need it. To me, asking someone you've just met to take a look at your resume because you're looking for a job is fine at a job fair, but doesn't make a great first impression anywhere else. What's your opinion?



    I agree! A networking relationship is just like any other relationship -- you need to invest of yourself in it over time, giving value as well as receiving, so that when you really need assistance, the other person is happy to lend a hand. (If the only time you contact a friend is when you need to borrow money, how real is that friendship?)

    Cheers,

    J.
    10 years ago

    Brett Lewinski wrote:Hi Jacquie -

    I have a question regarding new technologies. I recently attended a symposium and I was introduced to a slew of newer and innovating technologies and languages; they really got me excited. Now my current employer doesn't use any of these technologies and it is really difficult to bring a new technology into the environment. My question is how do I continue to keep my enthusiasm level high concerning the new technologies and learn them the best I can? I don't want to put off learning them but on the other hand I don't have much of an opportunity to learn them and I don't want to keep too narrow of a skill set.

    I actually thought of another question; if I aspire to become a software architect do you think it is better to have a specific skill set that you are a rockstar in or is it better to know a variety of different skills?

    Thanks!



    If they are open source technologies (i.e., free! ;o), I urge you to download and install them on your home computer and "play." With emerging technologies, even being able to say you've dabbled in them puts you ahead of the vast majority of the pack. That being said, if you adopt too early, don't be dismayed if the technologies fizzle out ... many do.

    Another option is to look into whether there are affordable "jumpstart" courses available in your area -- more and more organizations are offering inexpensive weekend training sessions to give folks an opportunity to get their hands dirty with technologies that their employers may not yet be investing in. In the D.C. area, check out http://jumpstartlab.com (please mention my name!), and also look into the "No Fluff, Just Stuff" conference series.

    I agree that a breadth of skills is best when looking to perform in the role of an architect.

    Best wishes in your career pursuits, wherever they may lead you!
    10 years ago

    Kavita Tipnis wrote:
    A very helpful analogy, we did that, Netbeans Visual Web JSF framework was new and it did not quite pickup, so we decided to overhall all the applications to simple JSP apps.



    GREAT move!!! I believe strongly in the KISS (keep it simple, stupid!) principle -- when EJBs first came out, everyone was trying to build apps to use them, but my colleagues and I stuck with simple servlets and JSPs (didn't need the horsepower of EJBs) ... six months to a year later, many of the EJB adopters were tearing their hair out at having created a monster!
    10 years ago

    Monu Tripathi wrote:

    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Monu,
    How do you define application development? Because the way I define it, mobile development is a type of application development. Mobile devices do have applications on them.


    My definition is the same: mobile development IS application development.
    I want to do more than just that; for instance, I want to be able to port a mobile OS to different hardware devices or program micro-controllers. Basically, I want to more closer to system hardware and also be capable of writing applications.

    BTW, thanks for asking this question, it brought my thread in the visible area so as to solicit a reply from Jacquie!

    Jacquie Barker wrote:Move to a Different Square on the SAME Checkerboard


    hmmm..plausible



    Sorry I was so hard to attract ... thanks for appreciating my reply!
    10 years ago