Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Drinking from the Firehose... again...

If you don't know, drinking from the firehose means that you are inundated with information and need to parse through and absorb it quickly.  Most typically it occurs in a difficult course or changing jobs.  Changing to starting your own company is no exception.

First order of business is almost always a business plan, but since I never "got" business plans  I picked up my first For Dummies book, Business Plans Kit for Dummies.  It's straightforward and reads like a work book, I'm finding it super useful so far.

Going through it is still exhausting and reminds me of a difficult college course, but it's worth it to pick up a new and highly needed skill.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Adventures in Certification & New Ads

There is a great forum topic about the Oracle Certified Associate, Java test over at DreamInCode that gives a good overview of what to expect.

Also expect subtle ads from VigLink (see icon) from here on in when I blatantly plug products like encouraging people to not pirate their Adobe software.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Developers and Testers: Breaking Down the Wall

Over at TheServerSide they pointed out an insightful article at on how to get testers and developers to get along and understand each other better.

The salient points were that how easy the testing tool can adapt to change is a big deal, and that having devs go through some QA training to be able to "think like" QA can be beneficial.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wordpress & XAMPP

So, if you're not familiar XAMPP is an all-in-one solution running on multiple platforms (X), Apache, MySql, Perl and PHP (and Tomcat).  I've used this well for PHP development before back around 2006.

However when I went to use this to host a local Wordpress instance for development purposes I kept getting an invalid database connection message.  After hours of struggle and frustration, wikihow had a great article with a step by step tutorial on this.  It turned out my DB encoding was wrong (thanks regular tutorial and error messages for being so obtuse!).

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Freelancing & News

Ah, the Brave New (to me) World of freelancing.  I already have an old friend who started a business and needs some work done, but for additional work I evaluated some of the freelancing sites: freelancerodesk & elance.  It looks like the general pay-scale of the work offered indicates that freelancer is more for the inexpensive end of the market, odesk is the mid-range and elance has some well paid work there.  I bet a bunch of people contract on elance and then subcontract on odesk or freelancer.

As for the impending ads that were mentioned in an earlier post, they will be delayed indefinitely; read on in peace!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Adventures in Certification: The Journey Begins

At a certain point in your career you may realize that you've specialized on accident, so you may as well "cert up" and go with it.

That was my exact situation, so after a bit of study found out that the Java starting certification is currently (Jan 2013) the Java SE 7 Certification.  Achieving this bestows the title of Oracle Certified Associate (OCA) Java SE 7 (aka OCAJ).  The old Java 6 equivalent appears to still be called a Sun certification, so that caused me some confusion that I hope to spare the reader.  Achieving the cert involves passing the 1Z0-803 exam, and this goes for under $500 USD so it's relatively reasonable given how much the further certs go for.

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How to prepare was a bit vexing as well; an initial Googling of the exam number revealed a few scammy websites at first, the following sites all have poor reviews or prominent ripoffreport rankings: (self test engine review), reviews), (pass4sure reviews) & (realtests reviews).  You DO want to pick up a book on it.  I'm going through the OCA Java SE 7 Programmer I Study Guide by McGraw Hill just to brush up on the basics again.

Lastly, on a different note I'm making the plunge into freelancing, so I finally had to break and put in AdSense ads.  I hope that people find this informative and thanks for reading!