I know there are some who have written that we developers should just sit in our cubes and write code, but three days at ETech has helped stretch what I thought code could and should do.
Listening to presentations by people from different fields has also been eye opening. I covered Monday's Digital Democracy Teach-In . This was a room full of people concentrating on connecting people using technology and not so much on the technology itself.
Also in Java Today , we point to slides from Microsoft's Marc A Smith. His ETech keynote followed on his work on ways to visualize activity on the web. Smith uses tree maps to show activity in a collection of Usenet lists and custom "bubble" diagrams to show the personality of individual users and of specific lists. You can download his slides from last year's emerging technology conference to get a feel for his team's visualizations.
In non-etech news, Stephen Palmer presents some Strategies for Maintaining and Improving Quality . Looking from the outside, software is "considered of low quality if it hangs or crashes too often, is too slow in producing results, or sometimes produces the wrong results, if it does not work well with other pieces of software, or if it has an overcomplicated or tedious user interface." After presenting measures of internal quality, Palmer says "software with low internal quality may exhibit high external quality. However, unless the internal quality is improved, the external quality is bound to eventually suffer as developers try to fix bugs and add new features over time."
In today's Weblogs Sue Spielman continues her coverage of ETech in How many friends do we really need?. She writes " Social networking is poised to be the catalyst for the next wave of applications we'll see pouring out of shops. It's a whole lot different than you probably think but will we get it right this time or is it just a never ending on going evolution?"
Bob Lee continues his Aspect-Oriented Programming thread in dynaop 1.0 beta. He has started a java.net project to demonstrate some of what he has been writing about. James Todd checks in with Walkabout JXTA Style chronicling his travels in January for his January "world tour".
In Projects and Communities We feature Bob Lee's new project dynaop. It is "a proxy-based Aspect-Oriented Programming (AOP) framework, enhances Object-Oriented (OO) design in the following areas:
code reuse, decomposition, [and] reducing dependencies".
The Javapedia article on certification says that it guarantees a "minimum level of competence in a specific area. Being certified does not make anyone a better programmer, but certification helps qualify some of the candidates for a position."
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