Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Traffic towards Creating IT Roadmaps

There has been surprising amount of traffic on my creating information technology roadmaps post from a few months back. This could be due to the time of year... maybe people are preparing for the new year and want to get a sense of where they are going. If you are interested in creating information technology roadmaps, this is how I see it done. Keep in mind roadmapping is an ongoing work, and so far I have written four posts on the subject;
  1. Getting Started - how to start the process of creating an IT roadmap
  2. Gathering Data - thoughts on gathering data for the roadmap
  3. Technology Trends - how I currently see technology trends
  4. Pedagogical Trends - how I currently see pedagogical trends

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Merry Christmas to all my clients, business associates and blog followers, who I also consider my friends within this amazing global village we live and work. As many of you know I am currently on a nine week leave traveling Thailand and learning the Thai language with my Family. This is a very special time that will intermittently continue as my youngest son was born in Thailand. I want to send thanks to all of you;
  • To my clients for providing amazing opportunities to use my skills and knowledge and to grow as a professional.
  • To my business associates for the support and wisdom you provide when I struggle and have success.
  • To my blog followers, for you motivate me to keep posting and to explore my profession more deeply.

Christmas 2011 at Baan Rai Tin Thai Ngarm, Mae Rim, Thailand.

Thank-you all! I look forward to returning to Vancouver in the new year and to continue working and communicating with you all. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May this year bring you much success and good fortune.

Monday, December 19, 2011

DELL Inspiron 6000 is an Ubuntu workhorse

Four years back I purchased a new DELL Studio to replace my old DELL Inspiron 6000. At that time I formatted the drive in the Inspiron and installed Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft). And now five years later the Inspiron 6000 is more of a workhorse than the new DELL Studio. It is running Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) and has been used as a development workstation running apache, mysql and php to develop RESTful applications. It has hosted lucene and solr for architectural learning. It has done a whole plethora of technology tasks. It has traveled with me for years and now it is on the road in Thailand used as a rogue for blog posting and uploading images. Its a workhorse and has yet to let me down. Given I have another few weeks on the road I hope I haven't jinxed this with this post... only time will tell.

So why the DELL Inspiron 6000 over taking the DELL Mini 9 or the DELL studio.
  1. The inspiron is running Ubuntu and I figured it would be easier to fix when on the road than a Microsoft OS.
  2. Even though the DELL Mini is my personal road warrior machine, the wife and kids don't like the small screen or keyboard. And we wanted to be able to watch DVDs...
  3. The DELL Studio is running Vista... enough said.
  4. If the laptop was lost, broken or otherwise, no great loss it is over eight years old.
I really don't want to hurt this old laptops feelings. It is by far my favorite machine ever! It has written more great code than any other machine I have ever worked on. It has generated more content than any other machine. It has generated the most revenue. It has always worked for me. No longer having this laptop would be a great loss! It would be like losing an old friend.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Volunteer work from home

A while back when I was cutting my teeth in the ICT4D world, I attended a symposium that was one of the more significant and person forming events of my adult professional life. Yes big words, but I reflect upon the days I spent at Royal Holloway with fondness knowing it influenced the direction of my life. Many thanks to the ICT4D people who put so much energy into creating the event! Tim Unwin is an exceptional person and academic who would still be my preferred mentor if I ever undertake a PhD.

During this time I read a "paper" written by Tim Unwin in July 2004 titled "Doing development research 'at home'". For me, the point of his paper is there is an amazing amount of volunteer and development work you can do from home. I also find that since this paper was written in 2004 a lot more tools have become available on the Internet to assist in doing volunteer work. From a philosophical perspective I also deeply agree with doing volunteer work from home;
  1. It's reduces travel and is therefore good for the environment.
  2. Staying close to home also focus your work on your local communities needs.
  3. It is more based on attraction rather than promotion in that the people who want your assistance will 'virtually' come to you.
This is what I see important to my practice of doing international work from home;
  • Working on things I am really passionate about
  • Publish all my work and materials for free using the appropriate licensing scheme. With faith that someone somewhere will find the work useful.
  • Offer my expertise in Communities of Practice and if people make comment or want further information about my works, engage and share expertise.
  • Engage, engage, engage... it is an amazing and growing community of learners online. All learners, regardless of stage of learning, require assistance. Its iterative and amazing what you will learn from others, even in topics you believe yourself an expert.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Map of The Problematique

Back in March my daughter was interviewed on CJSF 90.1 FM. She did a magnificent job and has an amazing radio voice.

Recently she has been deepening her music studies with Harmony House Music Training and Performance Centre and to finish the fall session she spent time in the studio recording with some professional musicians. This is the result... Ana Rose was laying down the drum track.

Map of The Problematique by Ana Rose Walkey

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

100 posts

IMG_2084 I started 2011 with the goal of 100 blog posts. I have accomplished this goal with close to 90 posts within this critical technology blog and a further 40 posts within my Thailand travel blog. I started this 100 post journey due to my renewed belief that blogging is one of the key online technologies that assist in life long learning. In brief, it is about exploring an idea (in writing) while researching, reflecting and getting input from others on the ideas. All adult learners should be blogging all the time. It deepens learning!

What lessons did 100 posts provide?
I ended up exploring a group of subjects really deeply, and for me they spanned a number of related subjects.
  • Homebases and outposts - a look at the relationship between social media and your organizations website.
  • Networked and Open PhD #nophd - working towards a PhD from outside the institutions.
  • Cloud computing - a technical look with accompanying implementations toward establishing a cloud presence for your organizations.
  • Open Educational Resources (OER) - frequent musings, discussion prompted posts and research regarding the increasing amount of OER.
  • Pedagogical approaches - Mostly focused on adult learning and inquiry based approaches.
  • Inspired Learner Series - inspired adult learners are everywhere... and how they learn and support their learning inspires me.
  • Resist Copyright - we need to push the boundaries of fair-dealing / fair-use within the learning context! We need more case law for this, if we don't use fairness we may lose it.
  • Director of IT - the role of CTO and Director of IT is becoming increasingly important. Finding good references toward the responsibilities of these roles is equally important.
  • Mastery of Music - I started to deepen my learning of folk music through learning an instrument. This will be a long and importnant journey to my life. I hope the documenting of this journey serves as an example.
  • Book Reviews - I read books, some I will write reviews. Writing a review deepens my understanding of its content. And provides others an insight into these books.
  • MVC and 3-tier architecture - this series of posts is me getting technical and sharing my experience about good software architecture.
The subjects of posts can emerge from nowhere
I found it interesting how the subject matter of a post or a series of posts would come out of nowhere. Just an idea, a conversation or reading someone else's post, comment or tweet. And in some situations they could become an in-depth investigation of a subject.

All posts should be started, some will atrophe
Any idea for a post can be a good idea, or maybe not. I felt it was important to capture all ideas, do a little work on them and through time they would either become a full post or atrophe and get deleted as a "candidate" post.

Quirky fun can keep it lively
Keeping a blog lively for yourself and others keeps readers returning and keeps you engaged in writing. I found the occasional quirky post rejuvenated my desire to write.

Posts may be small and unrelated
Like the quirky posts I also found it necessary to post for the sake of posting. Sometimes a simple idea or fleeting thought became a short post. And the short post became a longer post... which then became a series of posts. My post on Personal Learning Ecologies has become just this... no idea is a bad idea, until it has atrophed and fallen away.

Feedback comes from many sources
One thing I have found is that to have people comment on blogs is not as frequent as it was in the past. Feedback and contribution can come from GooglePlus, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email and yes, even a face-to-face conversation. Stay aware of the many social media where commenting and feedback can occur. I often made reference to new posts on all of these different social media. It really is the feedback you are after, for it is the guidance and prompting that assists in your deepening of knowledge.

And yes, I will try and write 100 blog posts in 2012...