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Showing posts from September, 2010

People are dumb (like me)... A person is smart (like me).

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In the 1997 summer blockbuster "Men in Black" the two main characters, played by Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, discussed the capabilities of groups of people and individuals. Will Smith's character suggested that it would be safe to tell the entire earth about Aliens, saying "people are smart..." they can handle it. Tommy Lee's character responds "a person is smart, people are dumb..." which implies that while a person is capable, but as a whole people are not. In general I tend to disagree with the idea that the majority of people are dumb, stupid or some other negative quality. I strongly believe that the vast majority of people are very capable and given the right circumstance they are able to surprise, delight and in general exceed most expectations. However, keeping in mind that the "squeaky wheel gets the oil" or in other words the most vocal people get the attention, it seems for some reason that the most vocal people also tend

K.I.S.S.

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One principle in development that can NEVER be stated enough is "Keep It Stupid Simple" (or Keep It Simple Stupid or Keep It Super Simple). In any case, this development principle can be used in many aspects of life, but obviously it can be used when working with every day computer tasks. One task that most people perform is keeping notes about various "things". Sometimes when people start to get lots of notes they think they should try and get some fancy program or a spreadsheet or even specialized software for keeping track of all these notes. However, I've found that the simplest solution is still the best, Notepad. Notepad has been around since the days of Windows 3.x and I'm sure that even in the DOS days people would keep notes using EDIT (a dos command to edit a file). Even as I being moving more and more of my electronic tasks onto my smartphone I've found that the simple "notepad" like app that came with my phone has become extremel

The "Really Big" problem

I had the opportunity to attend a meeting wherein the presenter discussed all of the amazing ways that SharePoint 2010 was going to solve all the problems of the company I work for. I work at a company that is made up of 1,000s of employees across most of the globe, and as I listed to how facet search and managed metadata where going to resolve communication and collaboration problems I begin asking myself what is the underlying problem that plagues the company I work at and how is SharePoint going to resolve this problem. Thinking of how most problems boil down to communication issues I realized that while the company I work at (a middle of the road financial institution) is not the "biggest" company by any means it does the the "big" problem, that is, the company is made up of a lot of people. When ever you have an organization, be it government, company or even a family, as the organization grows the issues it faces in keeping everyone in the group "on t