Wednesday, May 30, 2012

How I learnt programming - Codeacademy

My professional ambitions are related to the information technology management. This is the path I partly follow now - and this is the direction I want to grow in further.

Having worked close to 4 years in an IT-company, I see almost every day that people without technical background education consider the developers' room as "a-place-where-magic-happens". In many occasions, I represent one of those.

Indeed, although I intuitively understand why some things take longer than expected in programming, although I often ask questions from my IT-skilled colleagues, at times I feel simply dumb. What all these lines of code REALLY mean?

Few weeks ago I read of an exceptional U.S.-based start-up which enables people like me to actually learn programming in a fully interactive mode - Codeacademy. You start to learn immediately, as you go - all by solving exercises which start with trivial things and get more and more complicated. There is a good explanation for each component and hints if you don't get it at once - all framed into an easy and clean interface. I have used it and have passed two sets of exercises already. And I can say I love this tool! One needs patience and determination to handle it - but, well, so it goes for all kind of learning.

For me, this project is now on the same line as Khan Academy which I discovered somewhat earlier (and thanks to which I have learnt a great deal about the biology for example). Viva la life-long learning!

Below is the example of the code I wrote for one easy numerical algorithm (with the help of replication and instructions, of course):

Just a couple of days ago I would have struggled understanding it all. What does this code result in? This array of digits/words:


One can learn JavaScrip, jQuery as well as the web fundamentals (HTML and CSS) through Codeacademy. As for now, completely free. I just need time to master it all (and I hope I will have enough of it) - in order to be able to see the real math behind the apparent "magic" when working with the software developers :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Review: Fra idé til vekst

Fra idé til vekst
Fra idé til vekst by Håvard K. Bjor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book provides a well-structured overview of all phases a start-up company goes through. The book has plentiful of practical tips and simple models that any entrepreneur can use in his/her practise. It is especially well-suited for Norwegian practitioners and students.

View all my reviews

Saturday, May 05, 2012

How to ruin your message with professional clichés

I have recently received an invitation to a webinar organised by one international company to my work mailbox (they had probably gotten it from some database). It would otherwise not catch my attention too much - but after scrolling through it a little bit, I realised that it was a prime example of how to ruin the whole message with fancy sounding clichés.

Hi Deniss,

My name is [...], Senior Director of Feedback Management at [..]. I wanted to let you know about some information that could impact on your role at [...]. A recent [...] study, “Customer Feedback Management: Leveraging the Voice of the Customer to Amplify Business Results,” revealed that companies successfully leveraging Voice of the Customer (VOC) programs accomplish quantifiable year-over-year performance gains including increased annual revenue and higher customer satisfaction ratings.
[...] I will be hosting a webinar, based on the study’s findings [...]
I hope you’ll be able to join us for what is sure to be an informative webinar that will yield valuable take-aways for your organization!

I wonder if I am the only one who starts to smile when reading messages which exhibit phrases like "information that could impact on your role", "companies successfully leveraging Voice of the Customer (VOC) programs accomplish quantifiable year-over-year performance gains" and "yield valuable take-aways for your organization"?

Keep it short and simple - I hope I follow this effective rule in my business correspondence.