Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Leading for Changes

World is so interesting. We can bet that the world is way better than let's say 50 years ago or even 20 years ago, right? Less dictators, more democracies, more freedom of speech (of course nobody says if there are more people to listen :)), huge number of technological innovations, more Free Software... OK, almost nobody cares about this last one. Though, everybody seems to agree that the world is moving (too?) fast, right? Right?

Jeez, am I the only one to think things are in fact moving slowly? After all, there are yet some dictators, freedom of speech issues, poverty (oh yeah, sorry, we don't really want to solve this one, right?). When I read "History of political ideas", it has been put so clearly how humans are slow to change their minds. One political idea might emerge at some time, being [strongly] rejected by people aware of this new idea, disappearing for a while - up to several decades - and then this idea may reappear, discussed and incorporated into this new society, 100 years or more after first appearance. Time might vary depending on the type of ideas emitted. I would love to see a graph which would be basically a distribution of the ideas along history for which time between emergence and implementation is X years. We could even differentiate idea with the categories defined for innovation, to know incremental, semi-radical and radical ideas. It would give us a better picture of how fast (occidental) politics is going! Better, we could define some S.M.A.R.T. metrics for our politics to check whether they are doing a good job! But I'm digressing ...

Of course, dissemination mechanisms of new ideas intervenes in the time spent between first appearance to implementation. With the arrival of global communications, human has been a lot more able to be aware of new ideas faster than before. I'm excited to see the impacts of this new communication era in let's say 20 or 30 years from now. I'm however somewhat not expecting radical changes about underlying human behavior. Plus, we all know that problem has shifted from being able to access knowledge to find out what knowledge is relevant.

At a really smaller scale, I've been confronted to some walls remembering me from time to time how some love their comfort zone and don't want any change in their life! Worst, some don't want to know new ideas exists! I don't know all the psychology theory behind this behavior but I though know it is there, inside us. I'm not entirely satisfied with the fear/anxiety thing. I suspect that intrinsic motivation plays a role in all this but that's another piece of the puzzle I would probably talk about in another post.

The book Fearless Change changed radically my vision of how things works. In fact, I first saw a Master Thesis presentation which subject is mainly based on this book. (Don't miss it if you understand portuguese.) Indeed, it showed me a categorization of who and how many of us are reluctant to change/new ideas :
  1. Innovator (2.5%)
  2. Early Adopters (13.5%)
  3. Early Majority (34%)
  4. Late Majority (34%)
  5. Laggard (16%)
In a very short and rough summary, it means that only 16% are happy when new ideas are presenting to them. The other 84% are reluctant at different degrees. How incredible is that? Everything became clearer after having read that. Yet more interesting is that the book provides a description of some key patterns for the powerless to be used during their quest to change the world.

I'm a passionate guy, I love what I'm working on. At 8 years old I started with Basica on a MSX a monster of 64K with no OS as we know it today, not even close to DOS. It was too much pain to load a game with this f**king tape recorder. But hey! At that time, it was fast. Uh? No, in fact, even back then it was awfully slow! Thinking a bit now, it might be because it was so slow to load the only (so basic) game that I started to write my first program.

Fortunately enough, I've not stopped after having learned my first language and even being kind of a dinosaur today, I try to continue to update myself about BCPs and new technologies. The fact of being passionate clearly gave me some energy others don't have.

Energy! Probably a key point in what people have when easily accepting change in their everyday life. Change is about energy. You know if you read some book about leading change, they will probably have a section about maintaining the momentum. And momentum is about energy, right? In fact, change is energy since the beginning. If we think about it, it is like entrepreneurship. You have something in mind and you must convince people that this idea is worth to be taken into consideration. IOW, you're running like a fool to show the world how your idea is great! Well that book will try to learn you how to run more efficiently! 

I've tried to change some stuffs in some companies, that's one of my characteristics. Be warned, it takes time. You know, the "Rome has not been built in a day" thing? It's even more true for the powerless. Strange, isn't it?

In a previous life, I tried to show how we could use some additional language, Python to name it, in a company paranoiac about scalability. The kind of company in which it is impossible to release a product without having thoroughly thought about scalability otherwise it does not even reach one second of life in production. You just hear BzzZZzzzzzz ... if you're lucky! Yes, that one kind of company.

Have you ever read Steve Yegge about an attempt to check whether they could try another language where he works? Here's an excerpt :

... You get lynched for trying to use a language that the other engineers don't know. Trust me. I've tried it. I don't know how many of you guys here have actually been out in the industry, but I was talking about this with my intern. I was, and I think you [(point to audience member)] said this in the beginning: this is 80% politics and 20% technology, right? You know.

And [my intern] is, like, "well I understand the argument" and I'm like "No, no, no! You've never been in a company where there's an engineer with a Computer Science degree and ten years of experience, an architect, who's in your face screaming at you, with spittle flying on you, because you suggested using, you know... D. Or Haskell. Or Lisp, or Erlang, or take your pick." ...

I  loved reading this because I've been in a very similar situation. Some people were really yelling at you in there! How can you dare think you could improve over than one decade of experience in this company?! That was more or less the message. In the case of Steve, he recognizes his company was right in maintaining a small set of languages for many reasons you can read in his post. In my case, we were basically using only one language in my team and I was trying to show that it was, first, possible and, second, worth using at least 2! If you want to know more about the reasons behind, you can read the slides of my presentation at Python Brasil [5].

When I started with this quest, I was unfortunately not aware of the fearless change and the patterns described, even if some are somewhat obvious. Let's see what happened during this long journey showing what patterns have been used. Everything started with a Python prototype [Just Do It] I wrote because of a C process which overnight had to service 10 times more users and it did not scale! This prototype worked so well, that it is now in production.

I spread the word around me [Evangelist, Personal Touch, Brown Bag(lunch time)]. Some liked the idea and had been impressed [Respected Techie] that some Python process might perform better than its C brother. But you know, for me, it had been like a bomb effect. Indeed, I had written 6 times less LoC, iow improved productivity, and this Python process had gone way better than previous C version. Well, something with a potential you know? But in fact, only a few people had been really impressed. Now, you know about the 84% reluctant to change, right? It gives you an idea. Even showing something worked has not been sufficient because it was one shot and not integrated with our internal systems (legacy and proprietary systems). 

OK, then I stopped and thought a bit [Time for Reflection] about what are the use cases where Python could be useful for the company and made a planning [Step by Step]. Based on that, I started again to work and made other show cases [Just Do It].

With time I convinced some others to spread the word too [Evangelist, Bridge-Builder]. And after more than one year, I thought it was time to inform a larger audience about the accomplished work. I made a first version of the presentation for my team. Not really good ... probably too techie. Only presenting the facts won't convince all. You need to persuade and persuasion is about feelings (kudos to fearless change author for this). I learned the hard way but hey! that's the best way to remember, right?

I made a flyer with a funny logo summarizing everything accomplished [In Your Space]. I put this flyer to communication walls and at my desk. I distributed to the people wanting to promote this idea. It's an efficient way of sharing the idea to the people who haven't heard yet about it and to maintain the idea present on a daily basis.

Before doing the presentation for the whole company, I've been talking with some of my detractors [Champion Skeptic], they are the most valuable source of information when you try to convince. Indeed, they will rise the facts/ideas you should defeat to convince people. Take every point and think about it and try to find the hole(s) in their reasoning. During one of these conversations, I even convinced a conservative manager that it was worth evaluating more thoroughly this idea [Local Sponsor]. I have to admit it has been a good jump forward in my quest.

At this point of the game, fame should come - otherwise there is probably something wrong -  and people should start speaking with you about this idea [Smell of Success]. It's a crucial time to further convince some or simply answer their doubts. You must be available for these people. They are making the first step to speak with you about your new idea, it's therefore crucial not to reject them else you might end with an adversary and potentially a fierce one.

Afterwards, an official Python User Group [Study Group, Ask for Help, Involve Everyone] has been created inside the company with its own maling-list. It helps to centralized everything related to this change and giving opportunity to everyone to be involved in the whole continuation of the process.

I left the company a bit after this idea having won popularity inside the whole company. Appearing at this time was the [Right Time] because there were some VPs asking whether we could improve our way to deliver faster product to the market (time-to-market).

Well, dear reader. How much time do you think I've spent in this process? The whole process 'til the moment I left this company almost took one year and a half. And it is not yet finished. Most of the metrics derived from my initial plan have been reached but not all though. How much energy do you think I spent? Too much too count ... but it was so good! I felt so well in this Evangelist position and trying to show the world one idea was worth being taken into account!

I have to admit that after having left the company, I was wondering whether this idea would continue in the company. I spoke several times with some convinced people and they told me that they were continuing the quest and the idea was pushed further. That's probably the greatest news of all this : knowing this idea/change has its own life now. I would like to give my congrats to Ruda Moura and Ricardão because they've been both Evangelists, believing in this idea almost since the start and they continue to work hard to [sustain the momentum].

Of course, afterwards, moreover after having learned about these patterns, I would do some things slightly differently. For example, I would probably involve more people or speak with detractors sooner. But all in all, it has been a real satisfying experience. And for sure, I won't change and will take on every challenges which I'm believing in. This time, having read the right book, I would probably run more efficiently

Now I hope, you'll try to run - efficiently - as well and maybe lead some bigger changes. You know the sentence "Another World is Possible" ? You should!


Thursday, March 11, 2010


Since my arrival in Brazil, my eyes are pretty amazed by the social differences which can coexist in this country. The 10th country in terms of GDP and yet an amazing number of slums. It has always been hard for me to consider that inequality in wealth distributions might let some people in the indignity or let them die. Then, imagine here in Brazil, how hard it has been ... the worst in all this story is that even if I am yet terrified, it has not the same impact anymore! Human is a so awful f*cking adapting animal.

I've though contributed to some social actions with a volunteering group (created inside my previous employer) to help some of these precarious people. I've been amazed the first year I helped to restore (painting and this kind of stuffs) a kindergarten with all the children playing around us. A so exceptional experience. The year after, the committee decided to build from scratch an entire kindergarten for 60 kids! And last year, I committed to participate of the committee and we achieve to extend an existing kindergarten for another 80 kids! Go check here what has been built in 3 months. It is amazing! (Claudia and Bonamigo ... you two rock! ;))

I would like to share with you a song a colleague made me discover 3 years ago and which is so representative... "O Resto do Mundo" do Gabriel, o pensador.

I made a French translation of this song (will do one in English soon) :

je voudrais vivre dans un bidonville
je voudrais vivre dans un bidonville
je voudrais vivre dans un bidonville
je voudrais vivre dans un bidonville
mon rêve est de vivre dans un bidonville
je m'appelle le sent-bon comme quelqu'un m'a appelé
mais vous pouvez m'appelez comme vous voulez docteur
je n'ai même pas de nom
je n'ai même d'identité
je ne suis même pas sûr que je suis vraiment quelqu'un
je n'ai même rien
mais j'aimerais avoir
profites-en docteur et donne-moi une pièce pour pouvoir manger
j'aimerais avoir une poignée d'orgueil
mais c'est impossible pour qui mange les décombres
parmi les rats et les cafards
et avec le papier hygiénique usé
dans les poubelles
je vis comme un animal ou pire que cela

Je suis le reste
le reste du monde
je suis un mendiant, indigent, indigest, un vagabond
Je suis ... je ne suis personne

J'ai faim
je dois m'alimenter
je ne peux même pas avoir un nom mais mon estomac est pourtant là
pour ça, je dois être insolent
ou je fais la quête ou je reste ici dans un sale état
je dois me rabaisser à ce point parce que la nécessité
est plus grande que la morale
je suis sale, je suis moche, je suis anti-social
je ne peux même pas apparaître sur une carte postale
parce que pour le riche et le touriste, je suis pollution
je sais que je suis brésilien
mais je ne suis pas citoyen
je n'ai pas de dignité ou un toit pour vivre
et les rues sont mes toilettes
et sans papier pour me nettoyer
je n'en ai pas
je suis déjà né sans elle
et mon rêve est de vivre dans un bidonville
je voudrais vivre dans un bidonville
je voudrais vivre dans un bidonville
je voudrais vivre dans un bidonville
mon rêve est de vivre dans un bidonville
ma vie est un cauchemard et je n'arrive pas à me réveiller
et je n'ai pas de perspectives pour sortir d'ici
mon pêché est de supporter de vivre plus bas que la terre
je suis un reste solitaire oublié de la foule

Je suis le reste
le reste du monde
je suis un mendiant, un indigent, un indigeste, un vagabond
je suis le reste du monde
je ne suis même personne
je ne suis même rien
je ne suis même pas "gens"
je suis le reste du monde
je suis un mendiant, un indigent, un indigeste, un vagabond
je suis le reste
je ne suis même personne

est le résumé de mon être
je suis le fils de la misère et ma punition est de vivre
je vois des gens naître avec déjà tout dans la vie et je n'ai même pas une chance
Dieu! Dis-moi pourquoi?
Je sais que la majeure partie du Brésil est pauvre
mais je n'arrive même pas à être pauvre, je suis pourri!
Un fracassé
mais ce n'est pas moi qui ai fracassé
parce que je n'ai même pas pu essayé
alors, quelle faute aurai-je
quand je me révolterai, casserai, brûlerai, tuerai
je n'ai rien à perdre
mon jour va arriver
Va-t-til vraiment arriver?
mais pour le moment


je ne suis même pas dans un registre
je ne suis même pas baptisé
je ne suis même pas civilisé
je ne suis même pas le fils du Seigneur
je ne suis même pas computerisé
je ne suis même pas consulté
je ne suis même pas vacciné
Contribuable je ne suis même pas
je ne suis même pas comémoré
je ne suis même pas considéré
je ne suis même pas employé
je ne suis même pas consommateur
je ne suis même pas aimé
je ne suis même pas respecté
je ne suis même pas pardonné
et aussi je suis un pécheur
je ne suis représenté par personne
je ne suis aprésenté à personne
je ne suis l'invité de personne
et personne ne peux me visiter
en plus de ma triste survie, j'essaye de comprendre
la raison de mon existence
porquoi suis-je né?
pourquoi suis-je ici?
un pénètre en enfer sans nulle part où fuir
je vis dans la solitude mais je n'ai aucune privacité
je ne connais pas la sensation d'avoir un vrai toit
je sais que je n'ai personne pour diviser la cabane avec moi
mais je voudrais vivre dans un bidonville
je voudrais vivre dans un bidonville
je voudrais vivre dans un bidonville
je voudrais vivre dans un bidonville
mon rêve est de vivre dans un bidonville

Worth going to University?

Along my 3 years in Brazil, I've been confronted to a strange question. Since these last days someone told me he stopped University for a while, I've then been thinking a bit more about this question which seems frequent here in Brazil (at least in computer science field) : Is it worth going to University?

For a european guy like me, this question seems obvious. Indeed, if you are not graduated, you probably won't find any job. Not impossible but almost. It means that you won't even enter in the market place.

Nonetheless, here in Brazil, it is not obvious at all since a lot of people are working while at University. It's not that simple of course and we'll dive in it deeper in the rest of this post but I do think that it is the very first reason why this question might be raised so frequently here in Brazil.

I've read some posts from brazilian guys like Akita, Paulino Michelazzo and Guilherme Chapiewski. The two first speak specifically about Universities while Guilherme opened a bit the conversation including certifications. While I think these posts are each one of interest and worth reading, I would like to contribute a bit and give my opinion as well - with a bit of personal and european spice in it ;).

First, let's see what are we talking about. When we are speaking of diplomas and certifications, we must take into account three main components/agents :
  1. Institutions giving you the diplomas/certifications,
  2. The one receiving them,
  3. Institutions to which it benefits. Indeed, you are going to University for a specific mean, right? (We could extend to "what purpose?" but then it would be too general for this blog post).
I think that separating and analyzing each of these agents will help us to scratch the surface of this interesting question and maybe - to be seen as some kind of hope - helping a bit the individual in doubt in his decision making process.

About the Institutions giving the Diplomas / Certifications

What does that mean having graduate from University?

It means that you've been implied in some defined learning process (generally defined country by country - In Europe, they are trying to harmonize the overall) and you've been evaluated by some other processes (changing from one professor to another).
If you graduated, it means the evaluation has been positive overall. These evaluation processes also give you some idea of how you were good on average (With Honors, High Honors, etc...).

In summary, University diploma is some guarantee - kind of - that one is capable of some sort of reasoning with some abstraction level, has statistically reached some level of knowledge and is able to acquire new knowledge at a rate above the average (global average). This concept of"above the average" is somewhat central for the rest of the post.

IOW, don't make it the wrong way, it is not because you made 4/5 years of University that you're a King.

What about certifications? or Is it really the same logic behind as for Universities diplomas?

From a belgian point of view, I would say : "Of course not, certifications are commercial while Universities not." Universities goals are not commercial, right? :)
Well, in Brazil, as it might also be the case in some other countries, Universities might consider the commercial side of their business as one of their main goal.

Basically, for certifications, you obtain a more limited set of guarantees - nor abstraction level nor acquisition rate of knowledge guarantees - for a much more specific context. While one might think it is a replacement to Universities, to some extent, I think these are more to be seen as a complement. Indeed, since a lot of companies complain that Universities does not prepare for the labour market, some smart companies foresaw certifications as a potential answer to some market needs.

Being that said, certifications are to be seen as a product with - at least - a four-fold benefits for companies selling them :
  • income growth,
  • client satisfaction,
  • client loyalty,
  • market loyalty.
I think the three first are obvious. But I would like to explain me a bit further about the 4th item. Market loyalty (probably not the scientific name) is something really powerful for companies selling this kind of certifications. Indeed, if you spread the word for a big chunk of the market, people won't go so easily to another kind of product. (That's the people's comfort zone issue and its implications in terms of human kind ability to accept changes but I'm just digressing.)

All in all, certifications are not only sold to spread some knowledge, they are also used strategically to create some loyalty in regards to another product these companies are selling.

My point is that there is a potential issue : Knowledge acquired during a certification might not be the main concern of the company selling it. To read, quality of these might be seriously crappy :)

No way of having some certainty about Quality?

In order to roughly evaluating diplomas of a University, you could use some top 100 or something. This will give you an idea of what you can expect to be statistically better in comparison to another University. After all, if I'm receiving the resume of someone from Stanford, I can guess at first that he has probably a high level of competences and probably a higher level than the average. In this case, we're not comparing to the global average but yes to the average between graduated people.

On the other hand, and this is soooo important. It is not because one graduates in the bottom 100 or without diploma that he is not an able person! We could argue that it is only a statistical thing. But then think to the following situation. I graduated from a belgian University. There a some French Universities better than the one in which I graduated. First, at that time, I did not even thought about going in one of these. But even if I did, I could not afford going there (taking as hypothesis that my potential would have been sufficient to go there which is not obvious ;)). It is not only a statistical thing. Going to a specific University is also a social thing depending on the familial revenues, geographical context, etc...

And the "Brazil case" is going one step further. In Brazil, people are hired by companies before starting/while at University. Of course, the salary and company expectations are lower but that's not the point. It allows people to get experience directly from the ground. What could be better to prepare to the labour market? For the ones complaining the University is not preparing well, it seems to be the perfect world, right?

Of course, it is not because there is a potential issue that all certifications are crappy. One example of a valuable certification is - I think - the CCIE from Cisco, which, BTW, is highly recommended internally at Cisco if you want to grow further in your career. But it does not mean that it is not seen as a strategy to bound a client to the company since it is an excellent example of vendor-driven certification. (BTW, how would you do differently in this router's world?) LPI might probably be seen as a good certification and independent one.

About Institutions to which it benefits

In this category, we have to separate at least two kind of companies for which certificates mean something very different. The issue remain though basically the same.

I'm not someone running after certifications but I have one. Yes, I have to admit it, I have the RHCE. Why? Because, once upon a time, I was working for a consulting company. What these kind of companies are doing? Basically, they are selling knowledge to some clients. How clients will agree upon hiring this company or not for a specific task? They will ask to screen the resumes of the employees of this consulting company. Of course, employees won't pass any interview, then having some titles (iow university grades, certifications) is something "valuable" for the consulting company.

It means that hiring people with a certificate (or helping him to get one) is something which is central to their business.

Would that mean that every consulting companies would like to hire people with a lot of certificates. Probably not. One example I think is ThoughtWorks, they hire smart people - above the average - and they want every others parties to know it. Companies hiring ThoughtWorks will do it because they know TW is hiring world-class people and won't probably bother about asking resumes of their employees.

In the other bag, I would throw every others companies. The ones who are not selling their knowledge but who are building some tangible products. As you're not selling someone knowledge but a product made by these people, certifications are not anymore central to the business.

What could drive a company to consider diplomas / certifications as important?

Hiring process is about decision-making and what a decision! A company is hiring someone committing himself to use his own resources to produce something helpful for the defined purpose of the company and in return, the company will pay him for this labour, which is basically a cost for the company. What you expect, from a company point of view, is to maximize your costs, right?

Then you would like to hire someone in the range of salaries you can afford for some expected productivity. For this purpose, we have to know what an employee could bring to us as benefits and from this, we can determine the salary. But wait a minute, are we doing the right question?
Won't it be better to bet on a potential higher return for someone with higher competences (and with a higher salary)? And here we are! Optimization process, these are everywhere!

The issue probably arises when HR starts to normalize their processes or wants to simplify their tasks because of time, costs, scope which in turn will affect the quality. Do you remember these four parameters? The real issue for HR is that the quality of their work in the hiring process has an impact on the overall quality of the company afterward. It is therefore a critical path for the well being and the future of the company.
One of the duties of the HR is to create some policies about who will fit for a specific job taking into account the values, the vision and the purpose of the company. In order to do so, they might create some filtering rules that will be there to simplify their work. One of them would be something like "We want to see this keyword on the resume" or "We want to hire someone who graduated with 3 years of experience". This is a mandatory step! Whatever it be explicit or not. Most of the time, you will have the first contact with the person through his resume. Then your resume should speak for you.

Filtering means that you have to lead with some issues (think to spam for example), you can have false positive which means that it has triggered some filter but in fact it should not have been triggered. Or the false negative case, which means that the filter has not been triggered and it should have been!

IOW, having this set of rules/filtering, you can find yourself in a situation in which you rejected someone who could have totally fit to the job which is the worst case because you did not really evaluate him. The other case is "better" - would like to say less bad - one could trigger the filter positively and he won't fit the job. That's why, most of the companies will not stop at the resume screening and speak to the person and also do some technical evaluation.

Is filtering an issue?

If the company is aware of these limits (side effects) and achieves to hire the "good" people, these policies are not a problem ... for the company.
If the company is complaining they're not finding the competent people, then they're facing an issue of market adequacy and one of the root cause might be due to the fact they're not considering some talents because of their filtering rules.

The important for a company is to correctly define their filtering policies and be aware of their side effects.

Once upon a time, Google had the fame of only hiring Ph.D. Knowing what Google is today, do you really think they made a mistake creating this filtering rule? They, in fact, achieve to hire the people fitting their needs. Perfect, don't you think so?

Of course hiring is not only about creating filtering rules but also evaluating the competences of the people. Then you're facing some others problems on how you will lead with the technical interviews. I think it is out of scope of this post. I would like to give you some pointers on how it can be difficult to do this evaluation either because of the Dunning Kruger Effect (read the paper!), Steve Yegge made a splendid post about it and it is worth taking a look at how Bruce Eckel is leading with technical interviews.

About the one receiving diplomas / certifications

Here we are! The whole point of this post. I think I already answered some of the questions.

I would nevertheless points another detail. I don't think going to University is only about getting a diploma. It is also about getting more mature, getting access to a whole knowledge you would take longer to access otherwise. Will they all be useful for your job? Not all the stuffs I've seen at University have been useful. But they contributed to what I am today. Did I enjoy everything? Certainly not. Plus I've been forced to study some stuffs I would not have taken a look at otherwise and some have been somewhat useful later. It is a personal adventure. Does that mean I was excited going to the courses? Not at all, in fact, I was not even going there. I liked very much studying by myself. What was really exciting is having access to the knowledge of the professors showing us some paths to follow to know more about some subjects. IOW, they show you grossly what one matter is all about and they point you to some good further readings.

Today, you can access this knowledge with the open platforms like the MIT one. These are great but won't give you the keys to access most of the companies requirements/filters. And you won't have any feedbacks from valuable professors nor you would participate to some practical experiments.

Then why are people running about diplomas or certifications? Some are growing their resume because some companies like certifications whatever it be good reasons or not. Whatever your decision will be to go to University or not. You have to ponder well your decision. It might not be necessary for your current job. However it might be if you want to change your job, or to grow inside your current company.

I've been working for a while in a company hiring some technical people without any University diploma. But some time ago, they changed their filtering rules and now, it is mandatory to have one. Is it good? Like I already showed with Google all depends if they're able to find the right people. What I find absurd is that in my team there was a very able guy whose way inside this company has been stopped (fired) because he was yet at the University. This is the kind of stupidity a company can do when they're not aware of the side effects of the policies they create.
I can guarantee that even in Brazil, the tendency will be to have each time more companies requiring some University level to trigger positively some HR filters. That something one should not underestimate when asking himself whether it is worth getting a University diploma.

One can struggle to try to change things (you know the revolutionary thing and blablabla) but the best way to try to change things is to get inside these companies (you see the paradox?) and even once you're inside this is the kind of matters so hard to change. (I'll definitely write a post about change issues)

I got my University diploma and?

Getting the diploma is without any doubt only the start of you way. In the computer world, everything is moving so fast and there is so much to learn that if you stop from continuously developing yourself, you will be outdated in a snap!
One thing is sure, work experience > University /Certifications > personal reading/learning for most of the companies. But one way you can use to show you are competent whatever you've been at University or not is to contribute to some open source projects. We, Software Engineers, are so lucky. We can take our computer, alone at home and show the world, by example, how competent we are.

Now up to you to decide what could be better in your case!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It ain't a Hello World!


For obvious reasons I won't even mention here, every geek or hacker feel mandatory, when presenting a subject, to start with a "Hello World" thing. I'm refusing to enter this vibe since my main goal in this blog would be to prove the world hackers are not people speaking only about technical stuffs (or beers).

But I can guarantee that this post won't be more useful than a great and brilliant "Hello World".

If you reached this line, I have only one single thing to add : thank you!