Have you ever noticed that there are several headlines used repeatedly by bloggers and other digital writers, all of which are designed for nothing else than to try to grab traffic? Not that there is anything wrong with trying to grab traffic, but more often than not these posts are nothing but fluff, and simply play off public opinion regarding some polarizing topic.
The three which annoy me most are:
Note that it is not always 10 things – some of us can only count to 3.
Those are my favourites – what are yours?
I think “myth” is too polite a term here. Complete and utter bullshit would seem to be more appropriate, both for the situation in Canada, and in the United States.
On the one hand, there is constant whining on the part or the tech industry that they cannot find enough qualified people. Their solution: allow in more immigrants who, while qualified, will often work for less money in order to get here and get established. This is, in effect, absolutely no different than off-shoring the jobs in order to get them done more cheaply. Whether they hire people off-shore, or bring people from off-shore here, it amounts to the same thing.
On the other hand, we have stories like this one on age discrimination, this one Companies won’t even look at resumes of the long-term unemployed. Then there are the many, many articles regarding the challenges of new grads finding work in their fields, including many in STEM fields.
So lets look at these points:
Does anyone else see the bullshit in this situation? The reality is that
I have worked for many companies that did hire new grads, did invest in growing that talent, and did hire experienced people (even though they were more expensive) to mentor that junior staff. And you know what, those companies were successful.
Do not get me wrong, I am not “anti-immigration”. I think that immigration adds a great deal to our country.
Just don’t try to feed me some bullshit line that it is the only way to get the technical talent you need.
Last Friday, I tweeted something which was badly worded, and managed to piss off much of our UX team (not to mention a few UX people far and wide):
Now I ask you, how could that post possibly offend anyone (note sarcasm)?
So, I would like to clarify what I was thinking when I posted that (and again ran into the problem that most of my thoughts do not fit into 140 characters).
First, I had been reading a number of posts and other articles by so-called UX experts, thought leaders, and others (all off whom shall go nameless, as I do not need anymore flames – well, actually I enjoy flames, but am full at the moment). Like many fanatics, they have (in my humble opinion) some fairly radical beliefs that are not well grounded in the real world. These are the “UX people” to whom I was referring in my post. Yes, my choice of words was bad.
Secondly, I have a great deal of respect for the UX process. I even have a lot of respect for most of the UX people I know (even the ones with whom I disagree). Frequently it is the UX department with whom I have an issue. I have the same issue with Marketing (the department) versus Marketing (the process), and with Architecture (the department) versus Architecture (the process).
The comparison with architecture is particularly relevant, as I have had many arguments over the years in software organizations as to whether “architect” is a role or a job title – should there be an “architecture group” separate from the development team. My belief is a resounding NO! I tend to believe that “architect” is a role which and individual with the appropriate skills and training assumes on a specific project. On another project, that same person may be a senior developer. My concern with architects in a group by them selves is that I have frequently seen these groups (a) become extremely elitist; and (b) become too far removed from the reality of implementation, leading to architectures which are elegant, beautiful, and difficult to impossible to build on-time and on-budget. Often, the 99% philosophically correct, current-best-practice architecture is not necessary, when the 80% solution can actually be implemented on-time and on-budget.
I find that UX groups is some organizations, and UX thought-leaders in the world at large, are falling victim to much the same challenges I described for architecture. Too much separation between UX and implementation creates certain challenges. And, there is often little willingness to deviate from the “philosophically correct vision” in favour of practical reality.
And as a final thought, I definitely do not have all the answers in these areas – I just have some very definite questions about how we (in the global sense) do things.
I was looking at the Apple stock chart on CNN.com, and saw two apparently contradictory headlines listed:
I knew that it was likely just a case of using different comparison time frames, but it still looked amusing!
As I looked at the two articles, my suspicions were validated. The article on the left was describing a Q4-Q1 drop of 33%, not all that surprising given the iPhone 5 launch and holiday season. The second article was describing year-over-year Q1 growth of 25%, which seems pretty good.
Isn’t it nice how you carefully select which stats to use in your headline, in order to drive the perception you want?
As Twain said: Lies, damned lies, and statistics!
Yay! My Leap Motion developer unit arrived at lunch today. Below is a video of my first experiment with getting it working. Unfortunately, I will not have any time to look at it this week, but stay tuned!
A first look at the Samsung ATIV SmartPC Pro, also by the world’s worst videographer (me)!