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
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
Sober people who want to buy... (more)
Last week, I’ve returned from my private visit to Kiev, Ukraine. During
this visit I made a presentation in the local offices of Microsoft on various
RIA technologies. My kudos to Oleksandr Oriekhov from Microsoft for making
this happened. The presentation was well taken, and I also gave a couple of
interviews afterward. One of them has been published at the major Ukrainian
portal for software developers. Most of the questions were revolving around
differences in work environments and the lifestyles of software developers in
Ukraine and the USA.
The original interview in Russian language has been published over here .
This text may be an interesting read for the English-speaking audience (the
questions may be more interested than the answers). So I decided to translate
Here’s an English version of this interview taken by Max Ishchenko in Kiev.
Yakov Fain left Ki... (more)
If you didn’t hear that Google has announced that in 2010 consumers will
have a chance to enjoy new Chrome-based OS, stop reading and do you homework
Done? Now we can move on, and let’s do it by the rules – positive things
first, then some bile followed by a happy end.
I really like Google. They produce easy to use applications that work great.
I use their search engine about a hundred times a day. Their applications
Nine months ago they released a Web browser called Chrome, and I liked it.
Back than I suggested that in a year Chrome will bite off a decent chunk of
the Web browser's market. (see
I was wrong. They’ve bitten a really small piece of the browser’s pie.
For lots of companies 3% of any market would be like money from home, but for
Google it’s a failure. Now they sa... (more)
Too often I hear people talk about adding AJAX-enabled fancy UI elements to
their website or web application to make it more “Web 2.0″ style. While
many Web 2.0 applications do include these elements of AJAX, gradients,
and glossy style, those features are not what characterizes them as Web 2.0
Web 2.0 is about the culture of participation. Web 2.0 is about the
Internet as a platform. A typical Web 2.0 site becomes more interesting
and valuable as it’s community of users grow. Web 2.0 puts the user and
the content they contribute as the primary actors in most of it’s use
cases. A Web 2.0 site makes it’s data available to be mashed into new
Let’s consider an example. Imagine that you own a website that presents
information about baseball to users. You may hear advice that you should make
your site more Web 2.0. That person migh... (more)
Three years ago, I was calculating the cost of attending JavaOne conference:
http://java.sys-con.com/node/187608. Thanks to crisis had, the conferences
got cheaper, but still are not affordable for many software developers. I’d
like to offer you a legal way to get more than 80% off the registration price
at Adobe MAX that will take place next week in Los Angeles. But you have to
move fast! It’s easy:
1. Today: enroll into a cheapest class in your local community college to get
a student ID.
2. Tomorrow: register for Adobe Max for $199 at the following Web page:
3. Sunday: arrive to LA.
4. Find me at the conference (I’m nice looking and friendly guy wearing
black T-Shirt with white letters FARATA) and say, “Thank you, Yakov for
saving me about $1200!” You can easily find me at 12:30PM on Monday at the
Community Pavilion where I... (more)
Your manager Frank started the meeting by saying that the budget for the new
project had been approved, but half of the project will be outsourced to a
great team from overseas. Can you imagine, their rates for Java programmers
can go as low as $15 an hour!
No, we're not losing anyone from our team, and you should take it as an
opportunity to work as team leaders, helping our new partners to hit the
ground running. No, this wasn't my decision; it came from above.
Three Months Later
Mary. I've asked them to add two fields to a JTable on the Invoice screen.
The data are being retrieved from our database so they'd need to modify an
SQL query as well. I've sent them this e-mail yesterday, but it was night
time over there, so they've responded today asking me to send them the
modified SQL and write the name of the Java class and method where this new
code should reside. ... (more)
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)
Yakov Fain's Java Blog
(SYS-CON Media) - Typically, at the end of job interview the interviewer asks
you, "Do you have any questions for me?". This is a very tricky situation -
you may kill the deal by asking the wrong questions. I prefer asking
something very neutral, like "How many people work on the project", or "What
would be my role if you'd hire me". The job interview is not the right place
for showing your attitude.
Bruce Eckel has published a blog where he lists a number of questions you may
ask your perspective employer during a job interview. Even though Bruce tries
to be careful in asking questions, you can still feel that he's a senior
guy who will eventually ask for some special arrangements like working from
home or having flexible hours. My only advice to you is this - be careful
during the interview. Get the offer first, and only after that ask yo... (more)
Yakov Fain's Blog
This is a short story about my friend (let’s call him Joe). The last 15
years prior to his retirement Joe spent working as a mainframe programmer for
a large financial firm in New York City. He stopped working at 67,
collected well deserved retirement package and was looking forward to a new
life going places around the world and meeting new people. His lovely wife
Mary is a food critic and is also into travel. We often travel with Joe and
Mary, and like these trips a lot. We never feel any age difference because
Joe and Mary are a lot more energetic and interesting people than many 40
years old that I know.
To make a long story short, after a year of enjoying his retirement, Joe got
a call from a former boss asking for help. Outsourcing of their system to
young people did not work out, because the system was rather complex, and
knowing ... (more)
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)