Lessons learned from week with teenagers

In the rocks

I've spent a week with students in France. There were 6 teachers taking care of them and I worked from the same location (using my faithful BlackBerry as a 3G Modem). There were 45 students or so, aged 17-19. There were a number of rules that helped to keep the whole thing in order. These rules can be applied quite verbatim to any large group that you have to harness for a workshop. Namely:
  1. Keep them busy

    Le Rieu Sec

  2. No alcohol allowed, no smoking allowed
  3. Fallback plans is a must have
  4. Do not allow for distractions
  5. Let them loose at times so that they will ask for permission and avoid big problems
  6. Provide various activities around a central subject matter
  7. Keep a close match with the timing
  8. Push them to achieve
  9. Recognize that not everyone is fit for a given activity, provide options and split groups
  10. Put fun in the process
  11. Tire them physically (walks, hiking, ...)
All in all, this was a great experience. These kids were a smart bunch and I enjoyed it very much.

Taco Bell Programming: cool

From Taco Bell Programming The point is that using vendor-provided crap is mostly not very useful. They add money to their bank account and complexity inside your organization. That's also why I do like Tcl a lot 🙂

#apple nor pioneer nor laggard @Al__Khwarizmi

Replying to Is Apple a Pioneer or a Laggard? I do think that Apple is a company that follows its own drummer. They do not care about what the others are doing. They do look at what the next big thing is and embark on it. I just posted a video of Steve Jobs addressing graduates at Stanford. At the end he says "Stay hungry, stay foolish." So Apple is hungry for more, and foolish enough to attempt new things. A pioneer has a high risk of failure. People speak about the "Jobsian Reality Distortion Field." This is precisely what happens when you are foolish enough to decide that things are going to be your way since you believe that your way is the best way according to your values. Sticking to your guns viciously if needed. Steve Jobs is not a kind guy. He is a die hard perfectionist. He pushes his teams to the maximum. He makes people go the extra mile. He makes real what others may have prototyped. Look at the following new elements surfacing during the previous days with the announcements:
  1. Java is now a deprecated technology on the Mac. If you were at a Java developer meeting, you may have seen quite a bunch of Macs running Eclipse, Netbeans, IdeaJ... These are doomed. This also is a big kick in the groin of Android and Google.
  2. Apple Mac App Store. Very useful. Maybe a lock down since deprecated techs will not be allowed. You want to make an app for the Mac, you have to belong to the walled garden.
  3. The new Air is now an SSD machine. For some tech pr0n, check http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/10/22/macbook_air_teardown/ Disk free now the way to go. Like diskettes and CDs; HDD gone.
  4. The DVD is dead: rent movies and shows on-line. Obviously Belgium lies behind in capabilities.
The Apple Stores are working, generate revenue and are the biggest in the market. They put the carriers to bit movers and commodities. Apple owns the glitz factor. Android and WinPhone7 do suck there. BlackBerry AppWorld is also sucking here. iPad, iPod, iPhone, Macs work well together. Looking at the internals of iOS and MacOSX, we get what was there @ Next (APIs classes are beginning with NS (NextStep). Objective-C has a big future. So, nor pioneer nor laggard. But winner, for sure. Just looking at the capitalization (and even if the dollar is going to drown in the coming months) Apple is bigger than Belgium. And by the way, who cares about being a pioneer or a laggard. These concepts do mean that you compare yourself to others. Apple works its way. The market decides. The market is always right and wipes out all rethoric. Excellence in execution is what makes the difference as ideas are basically free. Who cares about ideas? You can have all ideas for free. What is key is to execute brilliantly. That's what Apple does. That's why they win. No crap will win anything. Vista is proof of that.

#goa trance track for uplifting your mood

Don't know why or how, but this makes me heal faster from my bruises.

Great story from Steve Jobs

Since I got myself in the hospital due to a bike crash two weeks ago, this resonates quite well with me: