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Posts Tagged ‘Rants’

Response to Critics

I know I am not supposed to let the reviews of my book get to me, but I have read a couple that really bother me, and I feel I have to get some of my feelings off of my chest lest I sound off with a response directly at a reader.

First, if you are the type of person who finds it necessary to write a review that gives an awful rating, be man (or woman) enough to indicate your name and not conceal your identity behind an Anonymous Reader moniker. It must be incredibly difficult to bad mouth someone’s hard work (two years in my case) and not put your name or face out there for criticism of your own.

Second, if you are going to write a scathing review of my book, there are two things you might consider doing so as not to lose all credibility with the rest of the viewing audience: correct your grammar and get your facts straight. Let’s face it, you are writing at most 80 to 150 words, so how hard is it to make sure that you use the word “inexcusable” and not “unexcusable” – and for the record, I had a power surge at my house which brought my servers (and the downloadable examples) down without my knowledge. I am sorry to everyone (except maybe Mr. Anonymous Reader) for the several day outage that occurred because of this happening. Next, here are some facts about my examples: there are 163 numbered examples (and god only knows how many others), eight numbered examples are CSS, 24 are XHTML or XHTML fragments, 80 are JavaScript, 46 are PHP, and five are miscellaneous.

To make these numbers a little bit clearer, 49% of the examples are JavaScript and 28% are PHP, while only 4.9% of these examples are CSS. How 4.9% of my examples constitutes the “actual focus [being] on use of CSS to produce desired page appearance with multiple browser types” is beyond me. Did the reader of this particular review even read the whole book? Did this particular reader actually read the code, and the comments included with the code that explain and discuss what is going on? Also on a side note, everyone should read the whole sentence that I just quoted from out loud just to hear how broken and “Neanderthal” it sounds – I almost expect there to be a grunt at the end.

Third (and finally for this “petite” rant of mine), do not inconvenience yourself with writing a review when you have no sense of humor whatsoever. Now that I ponder those reviews, perhaps I should not bother evaluating the reviews from the Amazon sites in other countries. After all, Germans really do not have a sense of humor (and I will be proving my point if any Germans get upset by this remark). I was attempting to be witty and intellectual with some of my chapter and section titles – maybe I am simply too droll for the common man. Either this or my cleverness must not have translated all that well when read by people in different cultures.

So much for not attacking reviews directly! Seriously, though, is it too much to ask for better reviewers (and I would not mind better reviews either, for that matter)?

Categories: Books, General Rants Tags: , ,

Talented Web Developer Looking For Work

August 4, 2006 Leave a comment

Well, TechPhob has finally done it. I saw this coming for a long time, but this is almost funny. Well, it would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. Ever since last fall, things have started to go downhill. Then suddenly two months ago the slope became so incredibly steep that I thought to myself, “This cannot be happening.” Things kept building, and last night I would say that we leveled off and now the cliff is right in front of us.

My boss is being “moved” from his position as manager of IT for our division, because our division manager has had some complaints.

Complaint #1: (I have to be careful what I write here) We lost a bid we really wanted and it is all your fault. My boss’s reply: How is this my fault, you didn’t include me on any of the meetings when we wrote our estimate; a week after you had it you told me you needed our estimate; I gave it to you and we lost out to another office. That was not my fault.

Ok, fine. Complaint #2: Our communication is not working. My boss’s reply: You think?

Div Man: I think you need to work on it.

My boss: I need to work on it? I’ve asked you for over a month, emailed you, and you have never gotten back to me on our marketing brochure.

Div Man: You sent your email on July 17.

My boss: Really? I was on vacation then. I’ve sent you multiple messages.

Div Man: Oh, I guess I need to work on my communication.

Ok, fine. Complaint #3: (This is a doozy) People come to you looking for help with something, and well they ask for a Pinto and you always want to give them a Cadillac. You are here to give people what they want, not what they need. My boss’s reply: Did you hear what you just said?

My boss is pissed (rightly so), and apparently they are dissolving our IT department. I am being moved to a position that He had, under The Asshole himself. Asshole: I think we should do it my way; I’ve worked with Access before so I know a thing or two about relational databases.

My thought to that: So my years working with Oracle, Teradata, M$ SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and even *shudder* Access count for nothing and you know better than I do?

I need out of TechPhob now. Anyone have a job for a talented web developer looking for work?

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CS Versus CIS

August 2, 2006 Leave a comment

I seem to be on a bit of a rant right now, so why stop with the last post. This thought was kind of planted in my mind a long time ago and recently began to grow when I was talking with my wife’s cousin’s husband, who just so happens to have a CIS degree. My bias may just be because of the people I know who all got CIS degrees and graduated from the same university.

Back to this rant. This guy I was talking to was telling me a little about the work he is doing with .NET development in VB.NET. I shuddered because of the VB.NET more than the .NET probably. Then he said that VB was his favorite language. Thus begins this rant.

VB? Seriously? Was that the only language you ever learned? I know from a friend who graduated at the same wonderful school that his development projects were in VB as well. I am kind of stunned. VB is not a language to teach computer skills (certainly not Computer Science, but I didn’t think for Computer Information Systems either). VB was not taught at SLU when I got my CS degree. Hell, they were just upgrading their program and using C and C++ instead of Pascal as their intro classes. Furthermore, I never once used a Windows-run machine for any of my work the entire time I was there. Everything was UNIX or Mac for high level languages and Math work. I don’t even want to get into the architectures I learned for design and assembly language classes.

I knew Basic and QuickBasic because those were the first languages I learned when I was little (and yes, I think 8 counts as little). So I understood the syntax of VB if it ever came up when my friend would ask for programming help. But that is the extent that I would even touch VB. I regarded VB as most people would regard a dead rodent; dead in the St. Louis summertime heat for several days, as they had to hold it by the tail to dispose of it. There were no benefits to me liking the language.

And why is it being used in CIS programs? I always thought that CIS was a mix between CS and MIS, but that can’t be the case either. My wife got her degree in MIS before going on for her JD, and I remember helping her and her friends write C programs for their classes. That’s right C, not VB. We used to joke that those that couldn’t handle the Mathematics required for CS (let’s face it, you come out of your degree with enough math for a Minor in it) would drop out and join the easier MIS program.

My point to all of this is that CIS people do not have the same technical skill set as CS people. They lack the logic and science skills, and they lack some of my respect when their favorite language is VB. (Sorry Kelly). So why do they get the same jobs we do? Why do they get paid the same as we do? They have an inferior degree and we have to treat them as our equals?

Something is just not right with the technical world.

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