Brush Your Shoulders Off

If there was dust on the internet, there would be a few centimeters of schmutz here, obscuring the view. Given the current layout and widgets, that might be a blessing in disguise.

So to kick things off, let’s rock the dust off:

Now then, onto the bidness.

There are two competing questions in my head right now:

  • How much hypocrisy is tolerable?
  • What the hell am I doing with my job and my education?

First and foremost, the question of incongruous attitudes and behaviors is one that frequently comes to the fore of my thoughts. I firmly believe that everyone is going to have a little bit of dissonance (or hypocrisy) within. This is simply is part of the human condition: Anyone who says otherwise may not be that introspective. At some point, however, the dissonance is too much and something has to give. For instance, anytime a person with views to the Right of Center begins to speak, I stop listening and begin to formulate arguments. This is despite the fact that I believe I am open minded and willing to listen to people with a variety of view points. One cannot listen and formulate an argument at the same time, therefore, something is going to have to give.

To that end, I typically justify my responses by saying that current political discussions are rehashing the same theories and bogus evidence that have been pulled out over the past thirty years. Furthermore, I find the “White People/Christian Thinkers are so persecuted in America” to be the single most stupid distortion of history I have ever encounter. So if the opinions I hear are based in either a) Same old Supply Side Arguments or b) white people have it so hard the dissonance disappears fairly quickly.

And yet, I will revisit it frequently because I’m not entirely sure that’s the right thing to do.

For the second point, I’m still looking into ways to combine my degree with my job. The fact is that the public sector needs to improve its IT, whether it is knowledge management, computer systems or data policies. This means I have to write proposals for the office and find the journals to read on the topic. While I hope it leads to clarity, I am fairly convinced I’ll leave asking more questions about my direction than when I started.

In the past, blog-as-soundboard has helped out with some of these thoughts. I also know I feel better when I blog regularly. So I guess its a return to form.

On a final note, I leave everyone with the elephant in my brain: The impending release of Mass Effect 3.

Peace out.

Education and Experience

This is where the magic happens

A phrase that I have run into recently is “Experience is so much more important than a piece of paper from a university.” I would tend to agree with that, with one huge caveat: Higher Education is yet another form of experience.

There is no substitute for experiential learning. This is very basis of apprenticeship programs. This is also the reason why many colleges and universities require their students to take internships: To learn hands on.

The idea that experience alone is required to make it in the 21 century is archaic. Today’s jobs require theoretical underpinnings as well as experience. People that work with traumatized kids (like me) need more than just a developed sense of empathy to work with clients. We need to learn about brain development, the development of attitudes and behaviors and we need to know how to write. We need to write up detailed, lucid reports quickly in order to document how our kids’ progress on their treatment.

I’m sure there are other fields that flat out require education and experience. My professors at CDM make it clear the IT field prefers education and experience. Lawyers fall into the same category. This begs the question, why the hate on education? Seriously, why the hate on education? I want to hear a few ideas before I post mine.

The Problem With IT

I’m taking a break from my text/Business Speak Primer to blog about my concerns regarding IT and Project Management. I had to put the book down and get these thoughts out; otherwise, I’d go crazy.

I have heard, and read, very few good things about IT management. Every developer (and testers) I’ve talked to–about seven people whose opinions I trust–have said point blank that project managers have no idea what they are doing. This is the cleaned-up version. I think I figured out why. The text books are geared more towards business jargon than pratical understanding.

The text I’m currently reading for my pre-requisite courses reads more like an advert for Microsoft Project and Visio than a primer on the basic concepts of systems analysis. It’s redonkulous. If I want to see how a software package works, I’ll look at the demos.

While the text-ad is terrible, the company speak is worse. I fully recognize that working with Information Systems combines business memes and techy-speak. Ending every damn chapter with “every corporation…” does not help me get the necessary concepts.

Thank God that we’re applying the ideas behind “life cycle development” directly into practice with our weekly projects. Relying on this text would create an even bigger glut of project noobs.