Tag Archives: software development

Employable after 50? Surely, yes!

I saw this article today on twitter, posted in Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2012/09/17/as-a-software-developer-how-can-i-ensure-i-remain-employable-after-age-50/

Basically someone asked (on Quora) how to say employable after age 50. Given that I’m just a few short years away from that particular mid-life crisis, I could have let that hit too close to home. But nope, I refuse to get sucked down that hole. There are some great tips in the article, but I’ll add one — just keep learning. It’s good advice for all ages. I know unemployable folks who aren’t even a decade out of college because they stopped learning about software when they got their diplomas.

This is such an amazing field — with so many interesting things to learn and opportunities to learn every day, from the Stanford video series to Coursera classes, from podcasts to koans. ┬áLocal user groups mix learning and networking — why risk posting jobs when the best and brightest will meet you at user groups? Local and regional conferences, like CodeMash, 1DevDayDetroit, and Silicon Valley CodeCamp, offer cutting edge lessons on technologies at a competitive price.

Lew Hollander is 81 years old and still doing Ironman races, as is Madonna Buder at 82 (and she didn’t even start running til she was in her late-40’s)! You can surely wield an IDE and compiler beyond the age of 50┬áJust do it.

Practice of Java in Atlanta: An Open Spaces Event

My friend and fellow Open Spaces advocate, Barry Hawkins, is helping to organize an Open Spaces event for Java in Atlanta. Barry has been at several of the Open Spaces events that I’ve attended, including the most recent Java Posse Roundup. Barry and I met at an Open Spaces event facilitated and hosted by Bruce Eckel, and have been repeat offenders ever since. Bruce has set the bar really high, providing amazing learning and community building opportunities. I know that Barry will do an extraordinary job with this event as well. If you’re in the area (or feel like going there), definitely check it out. It’s your event to make what you want it to be.

In April, the Atlanta Java User Group will hold "The Practice of Java in Atlanta", the first Open Space meeting for the Java programming language in the Atlanta area. This is a meeting for passionate Java practitioners to discuss the state and direction of Java development in the Atlanta area.

What: The Practice of Java in Atlanta

When: Thursday, April 19, 2007 – Friday, April 20, 2007

Where: Holiday Inn Select (where AJUG regularly meets)

Who: The first 200 registrants

Why: See below

What is Open Space Technology?

Open Space meetings allow a group of persons passionate about a topic or issue to organize their own agenda in a way that is efficient and effective, yielding exceptional results. The following excerpt from the Open Space World wiki briefly describes Open Space Technology:

"Open Space Technology is one way to enable all kinds of people, in any kind of organization, to create inspired meetings and events. Over the last 20+ years, it has also become clear that opening space, as an intentional leadership practice, can create inspired organizations, where ordinary people work together to create extraordinary results with regularity.

In Open Space meetings, events and organizations, participants create and manage their own agenda of parallel working sessions around a central theme of strategic importance, such as: What is the strategy, group, organization or community that all stakeholders can support and work together to create?

With groups of 5 to 2000+ people — working in one-day workshops, three-day conferences, or the regular weekly staff meeting – the common result is a powerful, effective connecting and strengthening of what's already happening in the organization: planning and action, learning and doing, passion and responsibility, participation and performance." [0]

Why Open Space?

Open Space meetings have been around for 20+ years, and have begun to make their way into technology circles. In the past year, Bruce Eckel's Programming the New Web [1], Dynamic Web Frameworks Jam, and the Java Posse Roundup 2007 [2] have been a few of the Open Space meetings that have people talking. Members of our AJUG community have attended these meetings, and the consensus has been that these are among the most engaging, beneficial gatherings in which they have taken part.

Our Theme – The Practice of Java in Atlanta

The Java presence in Atlanta is a significant one, and AJUG makes that evident. Our monthly meetings and mailing list include Java champions, authors, committers on key Java projects, and seasoned Java veterans with deep experience and insight. Our desire is to hold a meeting about what we are doing and should be doing with Java. What's working? What is not working? These are the conversations we wish to have, passionate discussions about where things are going. We hope you'll join us.

[0] – http://www.openspaceworld.org/cgi/wiki.cgi?AboutOpenSpace

[1] – http://www.artima.com/weblogs/viewpost.jsp?thread=153596

[2] – http://mindview.net/Conferences/JavaPosseRoundup

Please direct questions to Barry Hawkins at barry@alltc.com