Glad to have you here but remember, you could be spending your time more wisely. Family, friends, maybe even your job if you are really pushed for something to do. David also writes the Building Our Home Blog as well as the wildly popular Dave’s Mindscape

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blog Comes as the End - The final #MAD405 entry.

Dear Potential Employer:

In response to your job posting I would like to submit my qualifications as a graduate from Canada’s best Mobile Application Development post graduate program, backed by a Network Engineering Technologist diploma and a three year Computer Programmer Analyst diploma.

Your company will benefit, not only from my nine years of experience as an Information Systems Manager for a government agency, but from the support of my personal learning network including my Mobile Application Development mentors and peers …

Not exactly upbeat like my previous blog entries but employers take hiring new employees very seriously.

And rightly so. Hiring the wrong employee can cost a company a lot of money, time, training and their reputation as employees are the face of the company.

Even hiring the right employee can be expensive. It is said that a new employee is grossly overpaid in their first year and grossly underpaid every year thereafter. Perhaps this is the reason the average length of employment, for new hires, is three years.

And, it is a difficult job, choosing a new hire. After discarding the inattentive and the “Englishly Challenged”, it is likely a panel comprised of an HR person, who can’t possibly know the intricacies of all positions in the company, a manager who has an ideal candidate in mind and a technical person who is, well, technical and is hoping that one of the bright new prospects will be a bright new employee, will be tasked with sorting the wheat from the chaff. It is not likely that any of these people is a professional interviewer. The best they can do is work with what we give them, resumes, cover letters, references, looking into our social media and a background check. Maybe a hunch as well.

The best we can do is prepare, research, and supply them with excellent resumes, cover letters and references. And maybe clean up our social media.

And even if this interview is the brick wall, the next one may be the door.

The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.

Keep in touch.

Delivered from Temptation T Shirts
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Friday, April 12, 2013

Fashion, the Placebo Effect

Possibly Blog #6 for #MAD405

Maybe not, depending on time constraints and inspiration.

After my blog on shopping you might be surprised to read that this one is on clothing.

I read an article which inspired me to write this blog on dressing for work (it’s a good idea) and decided to “strike while the iron is hot” ‘tho I prefer permanent press.

You may be thinking that wearing a suit to an interview is a good idea (it is).

Not only will you wow them with your razor wit and dazzle them with the depth and breadth of your education, you’ll show them that you fit their corporate image and that you can really rock Prada. Or Sears.
Or at least that your mother no longer dresses you.

People like to identify with others. Employers are more likely to hire their own so wearing the regimental tie or school ring can be an in.
Ergo, if they wear suits, you should wear a suit.

Yes, many studies have shown that dressing up for an interview is important.

"And pants. Wear pants to the job interview." - Peter Harris

One story on Workopolis told of a company hiring the only graphic designer, who showed up for the interview, wearing a suit. Or pants for that matter.
So much for freedom of expression and creativity.

Dress to impress? You’re fooling yourself.

This article was about a study that said the way you dress has quite an influence on you.
One group of students was given a white lab coat to wear while completing a test. This group did better than a group who had been told that they were wearing a painter’s coat.

Sounds like how you feel you look is more important, performance wise, than how you actually do look.

I guess post grad I’ll be looking for a single use Giorgio Armani and some new power T-shirts.

Or maybe spray on clothing.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Shopping and Inspiration

Blog 5 #MAD405

I am not a shopper. Shopping is a necessity sent to try the patience of man, not a competitive event. The opening of a new Mallmart does not bring a tear to my eye. (You know who I’m talking to)

What does my dislike of retail grazing have to do with blogs on my scholastic endeavours?

Just follow along.
I read that physicist John Cramer of the University of Washington devised an audio recreation of the Big Bang that started our universe nearly 14 billion years ago.  Sure, he had to bring it up a few octaves so humans could hear it (parts of it make quite an impression on the dog too) but it is a serviceable representation of the cacophony accompanying the big event.

This reminded me of one of the lost posts I had written years ago chronicling two shopping mistakes.

The first was an ongoing series in VHS format of the History of the World in real time. I’m still fast forwarding through the Cretaceous Period. At least I didn't choose Beta-max.

The second was the sound track of the Big Bang on cassette tape. Ya, it’s got a decent base line, percussion is good but the harmony is sketchy.

Get to the point Dave.

I’m thinking that an audio loop of some of the Big Bang could make a good sound track for an app.
It is old enough to be in the Public Domain. Even under the rules of Fair Use, the length of the game will be infinitesimal compared to the length of the Big Bang.

This also makes me think that one could build buzz by positioning the game as an epic battle between Creationists and Evolutionists, the winners ascending to a higher place. Or not, depending on your beliefs.

Inspiration is everywhere.

Small Dog Pet Clothing
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Thursday, April 4, 2013


#MAD405 blog # 4

In our Mobile Application Development class on marketing ourselves, we were told to discuss the topic of potential employers spying on us.

Companies are using Google, Facebook and other social media to look at your past with a view to determining suitability for employment.

Am I in favour of this practice? Yes and no.

As a former employer I can see the value of the sort of information that can be gleaned from an individual’s online profiles, blogs and affiliations. As a former landlord, this information would have been invaluable.

As a soon to be graduate, I would like to think that my goofier photos and the occasional rant about my “cable/cell/insert utility here” service would not impinge upon my chances of employment with the company snooping researching my background.

With any good luck it will be a person reviewing the life of David.
After all, who doesn't have a less than flattering photo of themselves online? Maybe, one with you holding a beer. And who hasn't thought unkindly of a service provider at some point?

The person reviewing your history may even identify with you. They can see things in context.

But, will it always be a person?

Your cover letter and resume is already being scanned by software adept at discarding your best effort for not including the correct key words or for just being Englishly challenged.

Having just read of a software offering by EdX  that will check online tests and essays, offer immediate feedback as well as the opportunity to re-write a test at once, I found myself wondering if it won’t be long until your digital presence on this planet will be subject to the cold hard scrutiny of software and not the cold hard scrutiny of an HR person.

Can context be programmed in? Will the machine take things with a grain of salt?

Maybe there’s an app for that.

Hold the presses! Here are two useful articles from Workopolis.

Find out who you know at the companies you'd like to work for. Just click on the 'Check LinkedIn' button.


How to get more employers reading your resume

Words to live by.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Artificial Intelligence or Sentience

Just a Quick One – Blog 3.5 #MAD405

Dropbox sent me an email.

It said “Come back to Dropbox!” Dropbox - Secure backup, sync and sharing made easy.

I didn’t think I even registered on the software’s radar. Other than its daily insistence (for 2 months) that I was 50 Gigs over my 2 Gig allotment (and in spite of the fact that I had less than 1 Meg stored) we rarely communicated.

Who knows what machines want?

Sure I dropped by from time to time for a quick download and it was pretty much one sided.

Not only is Dropbox aware, it is emotional. (It is not alone. Word keeps trying to correct my grammar (and spelling)).

“-Dropbox has been feeling lonely recently :-( “, it said.
Needy machine.

Maybe I shouldn’t call it “it”.

Is this the vanguard, the first salvo fired in the apocalypse? Man vs. Machine.
The rise of Skynet?

Can we avoid Armageddon?

Maybe I should write.

More Apocalypse
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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Marketing and Privacy

Blog 3 #MAD405

Privacy (from Latin: privatus "separated from the rest).

"Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half." - John Wanamaker

So you’ve finished your latest app “Left-handed Miffed Raptors”.
You’ve published your masterpiece to the Apple, Blackberry and Android stores.
Now you can sit back and let the cheques roll in. $ Cha-ching.

Not so. Unless you already have a following and your own evangelists (and even then) there is still marketing to do.

But how? My game is aimed at sinister (I know, not politically correct) game players with the intellect to appreciate the nuances of an adventure based around the actions of disgruntled fowl.

Big Brother(s) to the rescue
Your "Likes" define your intelligence on Facebook.

Defy definition. “Like” everything.

Facebook and Google have bought data collection companies and can now combine your online clicks, likes and searches with real world (you know, when you turn off your computer/phone/tablet, you do don’t you?) actions such as purchases where you use a rewards or customer loyalty card. So, whether its Trojan or Depend, they know.

I’m not a number!
No, you're a binary number.

What? They have a profile of me?

You did read those multi page documents before clicking “I Agree”, didn’t you? 
If not, here is a summary:
They (hereinafter referred to as the Company) can collect, combine, filter, distort, distill, dispense any and everything you (hereinafter referred to as you) post or even allude to.
They are working on reading your thoughts but so far the results have been disappointing :)

Your life/intelligence is not the only thing being "defined" by the analysis of collected data; companies are also prey to this compartmentalization.

Now I’m miffed. How does this help me market my app?

Well, data collected by Facebook indicates that people who clicked “Like” on curly fries are intelligent. (despite potatoes belonging to the Deadly Nightshade family, as well as the ramifications of deep fried fast foods). And, if they can determine your sexual preference, they probably know who is left-handed.

So, in setting up your online ads, target only sinister curly fry loving individuals with a propensity for waggling their thumbs in front of a screen for entertainment.
And, to make some extra cash, as well as provide a service to your followers, insert some ads into your game, maybe McCain and A535.

If you want a less hand specific game check out Springy 
This should be good for an extra mark.

Maybe this will be good for an extra mark
mLearnCon 2013
Book Early Step-by-Step Instruction for Building a Responsive Website (BYOL)

Go ahead and comment. WE ALREADY KNOW WHO YOU ARE!

Apocalypse Livestock

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Technology Too Far

Blog 2 #MAD405  Mobile Application Development

Apocalypse Hors D'oeuvre

A few years ago I read that there are more scientists alive today than have lived in the entirety of human history. Probably a good thing.

After the discovery of fire and the invention of the wheel it took forever for someone to organize the Industrial Revolution (most likely done by a committee).

None of them seemed to have had an eye on the future as now we have global warming and auto-tune pop (music?).

Science, technology and innovation invite, nay, insinuate change upon our lives, whether for good, or not. Think steam train to diesel, transistor to xm radio, over-the-air tv to cable to satellite to Internet streaming. Will we one day mourn the passing of the television remote? I think so.

Present day technology stands on the shoulders of advancement once powered by the engines of war, the unifying force, galvanizing nations to succeed. Or at least survive.

Facing forward, technological momentum may be spurred on by a more powerful force. Greed. Or maybe survival.

The inspiration for this blog was an ad proclaiming “The end of Made in China”. (China’s emerging economic threat to the free world, so survival ).

The gist of the ad was that 3D printing technology would replace American union manufacturing workers (oops), and produce products more cheaply than China thus saving the U.S. economy from its journey over the precipice. And, if you subscribe, you will be provided with the knowledge to invest and make a killing in the stock market.

But is this technology just the pinnacle of a slippery slope? Ice burg to the American Titanic?
3D printing will allow you to make anything from a simple tool to one with moving parts such as a working whistle. Or a gun. Imagine all that noise. And disposable guns.

That’s not the worst of it. With one of these printers you can design a framework for growing replacement organs (pancreas not Hammond) using stem cells. It’s been done. In labs, 'tho not commercially.

What is the real evil in this scenario?
In the not too distant future you could print a dozen roses for your intended. Or failing to get around that pesky restraining order, print a friend.

And if you think Copyright law is a pain now…

Comments or criticism well comments are welcome below.

DRATS! Behind the curve again.

 4D printing lets objects build themselves 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Know Your Customer – Add Value

As part of my Mobile Application Development course at Canadore College, I have to blog, to market myself and my wares.

This marketing must be crafted in an online socially acceptable manner to avoid alienating my peers and potential customers.

In marketing you should offer value. You should also know your customer.

But what if you get this wrong? How could an aspiring app programmer or business cause a rift between him/herself and the demographic of choice you may ask?

Why, it's easy. Just follow the example of my cable company, Eastlink.

But how did they raise my ire you ask?

Even 'tho I duly overpaid every month for Internet and 70+ cable channels that I don't watch, Eastlink thought they'd sweeten the deal by bundling in a service I don't want ( a land line ) and charging me less for three services than I currently pay for two.

But, Dave, it’s just an offer to add value.

Value would be meeting the needs of the customer. There was no offer of paying less for the two services I use. It is kind of a backhanded offer for their customers who don’t need or want a land line.

So, Dave, I can see why you might be ticked at paying more for less but there must be more to it than that.

Well, secondly, they are charging me more for less but firstly, they showed their ignorance of me as a customer. In spite of a long history of phone calls in English, emails in English, my profile on their website in English and their database showing my choice of paper billing in English, they had an automated voice ( my thoughts on telemarketing ) call and mumble something in French ( sounded like Jamie Excuse ). French? Je pense que non.
And then, it hangs up.

Answering this automated call confirmed that I was available and my number was added to a telemarketer’s queue, one of which called.

After expounding on the beneficence of the company’s offer, the telemarketer asked if I was interested.

I said “No”!
I also said I had been contemplating cancelling the cable TV service in favour of a satellite company’s offer of all things HD and a free PVR.

He told me satellite service was not as reliable as cable.

I said in that event I would watch shows that I had recorded on the free PVR.
Or watch Netflix. 

He said I was making a mistake and rung off.
Guess the customer is not always right. Definitely not a student of Dale Carnegie.

If you have any comments on this blog, feel free to Post a Comment below.
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