Friday, 25 April 2008

Kill me now because all we need are "Flash Coders"

Continuing with my theme of Crazy People Tell Me How Life Is, here is my recent encounter with a friend I met on the Inteblag a long time ago. We've never actually met but posted to the same newsgroups in the mid-90s. We recently met again when he sent me a reminder and facebook invite.

Last night or this morning, I got up at some ungodly hour to see off a visitor who had spent a week with us in Sydney. My trusty Crackberry was handy and I checked my email, sms and fb messages as usual. The one thing waiting for me was a message asking if I knew of any "Flash Coders" - meaning web monkeys who write action script. I'm willing to admit that they are usually far more artisitically enabled than I am but... and it's a large one, they usually aren't able to pass for coders in any way, shape or form.

I have worked for one start up where the flash guy was a shocking electrical engineer who found solace in being able to make flash movies. Maybe there is more to it but it was common place for devs to show him how to embed his stuff in HTML.

So my friend tells me that Flash devs are worth US$20 000 a week from a business man like him. The Interblag has become so simple that real programmers are no longer required. No one needs hard stuff written anymore. The games and promo tactics used to sell stuff only need Flash Coders (FC).

I sure hope that isn't true. Who writes the stuff whose shoulders FCs stand on? Is it business guys? Is it other FCs? I sure hope there is some need for us sloggers. Those of us who can at the most draw a bath if not draw a picture.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

facebook now has im

facebook now has real time chat, just in case you can't get enough of your friends. It doesn't work with normal IM clients though so there will be no adding it to Adium yet.













You can also easily see who is online atm. I might spend most of my time hiding :o)

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

You don't own me, I'm not that kind of girl anymore

After an interesting conversation last night with a colleague I respect and like usually, I was thoroughly disturbed to hear that there are people who believe that a company _owns_ it's employees.

I'm not a company man or a company woman even. If they are handing around the drinks, I'll pass on the kool-aid. My work is good. What I do is fun, challenging and stretches my ideas about technology, people and myself each and every day.

It's still my "day job"

Although those are words we are not supposed to say, I will shout them to the heavens.

I love my job. Sometimes I am shocked that people pay me to do this. Would I retire tomorrow? Yes! Then after traveling the world and sleeping in a lot, I'd go back to work. People often do what they do to get paid. They do what they do to buy houses, feed families and fill their time. Not me, I like what I do.

Right now I work for a company I like. In the past I've worked for ones I didn't. Either way, I have fun and enjoy it. Learning and learning each day. Extending myself.

But do I belong to the company I work for? No! Never!

If that means I'm doomed to walk the Earth for eternity writing code and building beautiful ideas, then that's ok.

No matter how much my job makes me happy, my family and my life outside work are just as important and more. Obsessing about anything is not good. Moderation is good. Do everything well but know when to stop. Do your job well but remember to go and hang out with your friends. Put down the mouse and call someone to go out. Liking your life outside work does not mean you suck at work. It means you are good at living.

Women without a country

Megan, a geek girl from work posted this story.

The idea of this situation had never even occurred to me before. Love has nothing to do with laws. Change the laws to work under the rules of love!

Hugs to you Megan. Keep fighting!

Sunday, 13 April 2008

The Accuracy of Numbers

These are old but still good facts about numbers..

Pi

Pi, by and large, is very useful, but there is this ridiculous obsession with finding the nth digit of Pi, where n is stupid. A value of pi that's accurate to the 31st digit is good enough to measure the circumference of the entire universe within one proton, so anything beyond that is bordering on the -- please forgive the coinage -- mathsturbatory.

I don't belong here

My blog sits on a few different aggregators with different focuses. I think about my audience when I get up on my soap box for the regular weekly rant. When you put yourself out there and share what you think, you are bound to get people disagreeing with your views. That's ok. Discussion is good. Challenging your views is good for personal growth.

What is a bit of a shame is that since getting my blog added to my work aggregator, I have experienced large amounts of abuse, personal insults and nasty behaviour. My reaction has been to not publish negative comments and trying to mostly ignore the tirade of criticism coming my way. Most people comment anonymously and without adding any value.

Yes, this blog is not about refactoring, Ruby on Rails or the latest thing Martin Fowler said but I thought I talked about things that people might be interested in. It's what interests me. Obviously not.

Next week I will look at removing my blog from PlanetTW.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Just because I'm female, don't expect me to nurture you

On my current engagement, I work with very good people. There is something to learn each and every day from these guys. They aren't all "guys" but I use that term in a general way. The majority are men which is what you'd expect in IT, obviously :)

Interestingly enough, as the stress levels have risen due to the end of the project approaching people are starting to feel the pressure. Everyone is holding up pretty well. I have no bets on anyone going postal (or codal) and that's rare at this point in the journey.

My patience is waning with certain behaviours that are going on and has been for a while. This usually exhibits in me focusing on what needs to be done and moving forward. On Tuesday, I was put in a situation that would see me supporting and teaching a developer. After considering our timeframe, I very clearly stated that I didn't have the time at the moment but would consider including them somehow. There was shock and disgust with my unwillingness to immediately nurture a team member.

There are people in similar roles to me who do not have the nurturing role pushed on to them. If they are asked the same question and they just say no, they don't outrage the requester.

Why is nurturing behaviour expected from me? I'm always open to help people and enthusiastic to mentor, support and pair. Right now deadlines and reality don't permit. Maybe it's the way I say it. I care about my team mates. I care about my work. I just don't want to be everyone's mum simply because I'm the woman on the team.

Forget Google Apps, use eyeOS

Alex pointed me to an awesome web app that is an entire OS online. eyeOS uses OpenOffice + a small PHP application with mysql that allows you to run an entire computer inside your web browser. Try out the demo on their website to see what I mean. It's cool.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008