Sunday, October 31, 2004

Ongoing education: something a little different

I believe that education is a life long process. I usually spend at least 10 hours a week studying most aspects of computer science: sometimes reviewing previously read or new text books, reading ACM, AAAI, etc. journals, etc. Frankly, I usually enjoy this more than watching TV in the evenings.

I am trying something different: through the ACM Portal, I am working my way through project management courses. Part of this is purely practical: I plan on concentrating on combining open source knowledge management tools with my own commercial products for automaticly mining sematic information from texts, documents, web sites, etc. Rounding out my world view to include the business side as well as technical issues can only help :-)

I have another motivation: a friend of mine likes to point out that the job of management is to get the most work out of people for the least amount of money. While I think that this is a little too simplistic, there is some truth in this; for example, occasionally I run into people like this in my consulting business. The 'bottom liners' who resist spending resources on documentation, formal testing, etc. and need to be convinced that system robustness is as important as 'feature creep'.

Anyway, I am sometimes very formal when it comes to requirements and design (depending on what customers want to pay for), but I look forward to better understand formal management processes.

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