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Yesterday, we celebrated the birthday of my employee Alex in a fancy Russian restaurant. If you haven't tried it, go there - once. The party started late, and I've never seen such a variety of food on the table at the same time (they call this setup "bratskaya mogila," which means "mass grave"). After five shots of straight vodka, we enjoyed a Broadway-type show, and then more drinks and food. Anyway, this morning the last thing I wanted to do was drive to my gas station. Last time I selected a Java Web application framework (http://java.sys-con.com/read/136518.htm) and for a second, I regretted that I hadn't implement a Web application. If I had, I could have opened a Web browser and checked on the business without leaving home. At the moment, I was pretty sure there were only two types of users that could appreciate Web applications: Sober people who want to buy... (more)

Game Theory and Non Zero Solutions

Game theory is applied mathematics enabling an evaluation of strategic decisions.  Win loose or Win Win: its a choice based on our beliefs and the  perceived nature of our relationships.  As the networks of interdependence within and beyond communities and nations get more complex, the more enlightened people are forced in their own interests to find non-zero-sum solutions. That is, win-win solutions instead of win-lose solutions. In leadership the measure of success is not so much whether you won at anothers expense, but whether you got what you wanted because you enabled other people to achieve their dreams and to do what they want. Learn more about how the Non Zero solution is key to traversing enormous revolutionary change. If your relationships are not based on Non Zero sums they cannot be productive long term in this day and age. Watch Clinton's brief talk a... (more)

Klee Associates, Inc. Launches New Blog on ERPtips.com

Klee Associates, a SAP training and education provider, has announced the launch of a new blog dedicated to SAP training and education. The new blog, titled SAP Training: Taming the Beast, will serve as an ideal setting for SAP users to obtain free information and education on SAP's ERP software packages. The blog will offer frequent discussions on all aspects of SAP training and education, SAP best practices, SAP certification, SAP configuration, SAP how to instructions, SAP integration, and SAP implementations. Jocelyn Hayes, Klee Associates' resident SAP expert, will provide educational discussion and information on SAP software and provide visitors with excerpts from ERPtips' SAP training manuals. Accompanying her as a fellow blog author is Andy Klee, founder of Klee Associates, who will offer interviews with SAP training experts, his views on ERP training, and... (more)

i-Technology Opinion: Outsourcing...to Students

JDJ Editorial Board member Yakov Fain writes: One of my resolutions this year is to start teaching part-time Java-related classes in some college. That's why I started browsing the computer science course lists that are being offered this year. While graduate-level programs offer many interesting courses, the situation is different in the undergrad world. Some schools keep teaching how to multiply matrices in Ada or work with algebraic expressions in Prolog. Half of the courses are preparing professionals who will be operating on another planet. Information systems programs look a little more down to earth. Meanwhile, many college graduates are having a hard time finding their first jobs because many entry-level programmers jobs are being outsourced overseas, and it'll stay this way as long as it makes financial sense for businesses. Unfortunately, student loans ha... (more)

Small Business Solutions

Several years ago I was thinking about buying a small gas station in my local town. I went to my friend Gregory Z., a successful businessman in this field, and asked him, "How do I start a gasoline business?" He gave me simple but wise advice: "You know nothing about gas, but know a lot about computers. Keep doing what you're doing. Just be a little better than others". I'm trying to follow his advice but I keep thinking how would I apply my software skills had I bought such a business. So here I am again asking for your help, advice, and experience: let's automate my virtual gas station. The Setup I've borrowed the money from a bank and now I have: A four-car gas station A small convenience store (coffee, cigarettes, milk, newspapers) A repair shop that changes oil, brake pads, and tires Six employees: one American, two from India, one from Russia, and two from Paki... (more)

Look Mom, No Application Servers, Look...MOM!

In the unlikely event that you're not familiar with my gas station, you can find my previous essays at http://java.sys-con.com/general/gasstation.htm Recently, I've conducted a small survey among my truck drivers. I asked them just one question: "What do you think of application servers?" The most popular answer was, "I don't need no stinkin' application server." And truck drivers usually know what they're talking about! You may think that now I'll start selling one of the popular application frameworks. Wrong! The idea of these frameworks was nice: get back from complex containers to programming POJOs. But while trying to provide alternatives to container services, each of these frameworks ran into the short-blanket syndrome: something is always sticking out. XML is sticking out big time! To simplify Java programming, developers are paying the high price of adding ... (more)

Can i-Technology Be Feminized? – "There's Way More to Life Than Bits & Bytes"

"I have served as a technical lead on several successful projects and devote at least an hour a day to keeping current with trends," writes a female Java architect, Patty, who has been developing Java systems for more than nine years, in response to in a discussion thread triggered by JDJ's Yakov Fain by a blog posting he wrote last week in which he noted, while watching the live SYS-CON.TV coverage from San Jose of the "Real-World AJAX" seminar, that none of the speakers was female.   "The thing is," Patty adds, "I do all of this during work. In the evenings and on my own time. I do not log on, talk about computers, Java, or anything else technical." "At the risk of over-generalizing," Patty continues, "I think women have better and more interesting things to do. We value social relationships and have more well-rounded lives than our male counterparts. That's why you... (more)

PowerBuilder, Java, Flex, Agile Programming

From Farata Systems blog Ten years ago I've been doing PowerBuilder and my mentality was different: first, I was the best friend of business users, and second I did not really worry about what's under the hood. I could do stuff quickly, or using the modern jargon, I was an agile programmer without even knowing this (on the same note, lots of people were creating Ajax applications five years ago without knowing this, but it's off topic). I'd ask the business user Joe, "How do you usually do your business, what would you like to have on this screen, what step do you do after this step?" Most likely Joe did not really know, but I'd still give him a wide American smile: "No problem, I'll come back tomorrow and will show you something". Mary, yes you, "What's the most important word in my last sentence?" No, Mary, not "I'll come back", but TOMORROW. Not next week, not ... (more)

How Long is Your Job Post?

Fifteen years ago, when a New York company needed a programmer, it would publish an ad in the classified section of Sunday edition of New York Times. The paper would charge by column/inch. The ads were short and up to the point. Only big guys like IBM, Microsoft or Oracle could afford to purchase an eights or a quarter of a page. The smaller placement agencies were placing heavily abbreviated ads to squeeze in 15 words position description and the contact info. These days, the life is different - we live in the paperless Internet world, and job boards place ads that are hundreds words. Below you'll see an ad placed by one IT agency - they are looking for a mid-level Java developer that I picked from Dice search board. It's more that 550 words. Who needs to read all this bullshit? Doesn't "Mid-level Java developer" says it all? OK, you need to be more specific, add an... (more)

Looking Back at 2008 or How We Were Surviving

“Have you heard about the crisis?” “What crisis?” From a recent conversation with my colleague. Well, of course we’ve heard about the crisis. I’m one of three partners who run a software boutique, and in early September, I did realized that something was very wrong with the economy.  Back then, we’ve deposited a check from one of our customers, a very large enterprise. A week later, we’ve got the message from the bank - the check bounced.  That company went belly up. This was an iron clad proof that this is not just a temporary recession.  A friend of mine runs another business – he makes crowns and bridges. He makes fake teeth. He often complains about bounced checks from doctor offices, but our case was different – this was not a doctor’s office. There is a popular definition: “Recession is when your friend got laid off. Depression is when it happened to you”.  To ... (more)

The Future of the Web: I Disagree

Tim Bray, a Distinguished Engineer and Director of Web Technologies at Sun Microsystems has been interviewed by InfoQ about the future of the Web. With all my respect to Sun’s engineers, I have to disagree with some of the statements Mr. Bray made. He said, "Anything that discards the Back button is a step backward". I strongly disagree that people who are used to the page-based Web apps can’t/won't learn how to live without it. But even if it is the case, you can create RIA that support Back button - just decide what application view (no page) to show when the user hits the Back button. Here’s one more of Mr. Bray’s statements, "The whole universe runs on polling and it scales beautifully". I don’t think so. To support server-side push an application has to keep an open socket connection that doesn’t take almost any resources most of the time. For a server, it's easier... (more)