General

Corporate Naming Advice

My advice – make sure your company name will show up on the front page of Google when someone types it in, preferable without wrapping the name in quotes.

We’ve got a company-wide task of scrubbing our lead database and qualifying the leads. As I’m working through it, I keep running into awful company names that I can’t find a web site for. Information Resources 2000 is the name of one, Information Resources, Inc is another. Great names – neither catchy nor explanatory, just a cobbling together of generic words. One happens to have acheived a nice enough PageRank to actually show up at the top of a Google search. Still, for anyone starting out, you MUST be easy to find – PageRank only follows success, and success depends in part on the search engine these days.

Java

Replacing My Replacement

Apparently the fellow who was brought in to fill the job I left at my previous employer has been, umm, released from duty. I met the guy once – seemed nice enough and all, but in sharing some code back and forth in my consulting work with them, some of it just wasn’t up to muster. It ranged from the trivial (what’s the purpose of “else { }”?), to the truly frightening (if (request.getParameter(“foo”) == “null”) – yes null is in quotes and == is being used for a String compare).

It’s a tough market out there to hire mid-range Java developers. From what I’ve seen. the demand is huge for sharp developers, and the supply just isn’t keeping up. Good news for us. Maybe now we can start moving away from hiring based on acronyms in a resume and regain focus on general experience and adaptability. I’ll take a sharp developer who can learn Struts, Hibernate, (insert technology here) over a mediocre developer who already knows the tech. Sharp with experience in the technologies is nice to find, but rare, and usually expensive.

So I suppose they’re probably looking for someone sharp to replace him. Drop me a note and a resume if you think you might be interested and I’ll send it along. Email is firstInitialLastName at gttx dot org.

Technology

"Databases in the Wild" – New Presentation Posted

I had the privilege of guest lecturing at the University of West Georgia last night. Special thanks to Dan Rocco, the professor and friend who was kind enough to loan me his class. The class was his database class, and the goal was to help give the students a perspective on how databases are actually used in the real world. The academic approach is effective for teaching them how to use the technology, but I think it’s also important to see ways that companies deploy databases, how they reach certain decisions, who handles database responsibilities, and the wide array of jobs that use databases.

I added some job-hunting tips for them, as well as a couple of “case studies” from my experience. The students were very polite and receptive, and they have a pretty cool thing going on in their CS program. They aren’t a Research I school, so the focus is actually on *teaching*. Dr. Dan actually took the students (and me) out for Mellow Mushroom pizza afterwards, on the CS department’s bill! The cameradery was nice – interesting how things change when the focus is on the students. Slides are posted here.