Real cool technology

Two very cool things I found today.

Google Map’s new Street View as a major source of distraction, the privacy issues with this are going to be huge, in the meantime it is very cool.

The second was from Duncan Riley’s post on Techcrunch about Microsoft’s Surface Computer (I’m kind of behind on the tech news).

My initial reaction to the surface computers was WOW, when can I get one!

Watching the different videos floating around I started to see how the deployment of these surfaces being a major change in how we work with technology. They can be integrated into tables, kitchen benches, walls, desks, hotels etc. The mutitouch technology is very slick not to mention the object recognition. Object recognition part allows you to paint with a paint brush, transfer music, pictures and videos between devices.

http://admin.brightcove.com/destination/player/player.swf

Dying technology skills

I love lists that state concretely what is going to happen, cause they are usually wrong. However this list of dead or dying technology skills from ComputerWorld looks like it might be on the money.

  1. Cobol
  2. Non-Relational Databases
  3. Non-IP Networks
  4. cc:Mail
  5. ColdFusion
  6. C Programmers
  7. PowerBuilder
  8. Certified NetWare Engineers
  9. PC Network administrators
  10. OS/2

To test out the theory I have plotted the percentage of jobs in Australia requiring these skills using Recruit.Net’s Job Index Trends tool. For some of the generic items I have pulled some skills as example. For comparison here is the same graph but I have added in SAP as a skill.

When compared to some of today’s “hot” items this list of 10 skills are either dead or dying, as the Mythbusters would say “Confirmed”.

In the future we will…

I find futurists fascinating. From their wild ideas to which I think “no way” or their ideas which seems so obvious that I go “of course that will happen” they stretch my understanding of what the future holds.

One such is Ian Neild who is visiting Australia at the moment to attend Borderless World Conference, asking what will the world be like in 60 years when today’s kids are all grown up.

“In the next 60 years, nanotechnology and biotechnology will have impacts on our lives that might seem like magic to us, but will be quite normal to our children’s children”

Mr Neild released a 60 year timeline a couple of years ago with some really wild ideas including some things a lot closer to home.

What I find interesting is what will the workplace be like in 60 year, how will we have to recruit, what skills will be required, is the education system able to cope, and what will the management practices be?

Seems to me we will have much bigger issues than just Gen Y in the workforce, but it will be fun.

Top 25 Recruiting Blogs

Just got an email from Jason Davis (ex-Recruiting.com now RecruitingBlogs.com), that I made the top 25 recruiting blogs according to Alexa rankings, #16 actually. Very flattered and surprised given the waiting Alexa seems to have to US based sites.

There are some very good blogs out there and if you having anything to do with recruiting you should be subscribed to them all.

I’m not going to show you all the list, you have to visit Jason’s new site to find out :-), but here are the top 5:-

Update:- for some reason the top 5 are not display, so you will have to visit Jason’s site.

Replacement eStarling Photo Frame

When I returned from Hong Kong there was a package waiting for me in the mal room. The folks over at ThinkGeek and eStarling have been very nice and provided us who purchased a 1st generation eStarling Wireless Photo Frame with a replacement. Why? Well the first frame had a few issues, was a bit ugly and had an external WiFi USB key.

The 2nd generation frame is so far proving to be the exact opposite. Within about 15 minutes of getting it home I had my photos from Flickr appearing via an RSS feed, including the 10 minutes I messed around once again forgeting I had MAC address filtering on our WiFi network, d’oh!

A few grips

  • The frame is widescreen format and I am getting black lines down the sides cause all our existing photos are 4:3 not 9:6
  • There is no MAC address printed on the box or frame so it makes having MAX address filtering a bit more complex, there is a support topic for this.
  • Connection to our WiFi network is sometimes a little flaky, or it could be the config in the frame.
  • The frame still requires a WiFi network to display photos
  • Configuration is still a little tempormental

Having said that I really like the new frame and the positive features outway the negatives.
Below are some photo’s I took of the unpacking process.
Opening
TheBox
Whats in the Box
Unpacked

FrameOnline

These next photos were taken as widescreen as I rebooted to see what things looked like on the frame.

Reboot

LeoWideScreenOnFrame

Photowalking in Hong Kong

Yesterday I went out and about walking and traveling around Hong Kong for just over 5 hours, end result 135 photos and 5 or 6 videos. While the photos are going to take a while to sort through I have pulled together a quick video with some stills of my trip up the Peak on the tram, mainly for BJ. If you have never been up there I recommend you have a watch or even better hop on a plane to Hong Kong and do it yourself. 🙂

Publishing the video this morning got me thinking about new media/social media and the profound effect it is having on our world. Here I am in a hotel room in Hong Kong, publishing content for all to see, no waiting till I get home or photos to be developed let alone editing a video.

Gen Y in the Workforce

I was surprised to see Shannon Seery Gude mentioned in the local IT press, CIO Magazine’s May issue, not surprised that she has been quoted in a magazine, but more that our IT press found her, kudos to the CIO Mag guys!

The May issue covered a very topical area on Gen Y in the workforce, the article was written by a Gen Y, interviewing other Gen Y’s and Baby Boomer CIOs, all in all a good read.

Company loyalty was a big discussion point, the bottom line don’t expect loyalty from your Gen Y’s unless the company provides them with loyalty first. Should we be surprised by this, many a Gen Y has seen their parents lose their jobs made redundant after years of loyalty to their employer. Further management rhetoric over the years has been that we need to manage our own career’s “don’t expect the company or management to it for you”, to me this is not a message that breeds loyalty. However this does not mean you can’t build loyalty with Gen Y’s and have them hang around for a few years, or more. You just need to make the job satisfying. Sound like employee engagement?

Job satisfaction is the biggest motivator of Gen Y’s. They always need new challenges and want to see their efforts come to fruition. Putting a Gen Y in a dead end job, or working on a make busy project, so they “learn”, is a sure way to loose them.

Another important factor for Gen Y is work life balance, they don’t live to work, many are happy to do the work to get the job done, just not necessarily between 9 and 5. Gen Y’s have heard of work life balance for many years, so why should we be surprised they demand it? Work life balance not only means giving employees the ability to work when they want, eg 9am or 12am, where they choose, eg the office or the lounge room, but also allow them to disconnect from work, without penalty. Remember work is no longer somewhere you go, it is something you do. The “disconnect without penalty” is the difficult part as a management culture needs to be developed, it doesn’t just happen in organisations. Enticing Gen Y with lots of money to get the job done will not work in the same way it has for many of the current crop of middle managers.

Social interactions are also important, putting work in the way of a Gen Y’s social interactions is another sure way for them to leave. This is where Shannon’s quote came in “social networking features and collaboration tools such as blogs and wikis to allow employees to connect and collaborate with one another” (Must find Shannon’s post that the article referred to, why didn’t the article include it?). An interesting side note, a post on Cisco’s Mobile Visions blog last week highlighted mobile technology as one of the key attributes for social networking, if you want to attract Gen Y’s maybe you could look at some mobility benefits, free text messaging, sponsored data broadband wireless cards? Let’s not forget the cool video they also pointed to 2 weeks ago on attracting the Millennial Generation, you know the one after Gen Y.

Once again in summary Gen Y’s are:-

  • Young
  • Restless
  • In a hurry
  • Will not automatically provide their employers with loyalty
  • Not necessarily motivated by money
  • Demand job satisfactions
  • At the end of the day want work life balance and be able to pay the bills

Reflection

Nigel James reflects on 20 years since he left school with an invitation to his 20 year reunion back in Australia. Yes I agree Nigel a 13 hour flight is shorter than 26, but when you are in the middle of a 9 hour flight anything over 2 hours makes you feel like a sardine! :-)James’s last paragraph made me think, very soon it will be 20 years since I left high school as well, what have I done?

All this sort of stuff can tend to make you a bit reflective and could tip one into a mid-life crisis if you let it! It certainly drags some of the memories back and makes you think about the next 20 years. This is a good thing. I certainly have lot to be thankful for and while there are good memories back there and it would be great to catch up with all the guys 20 years on, I am focusing on the next 20. There is far too much going on at the moment to be pining for the good-old-days. The future is bright…

Stop and reflect on the last 20 years give yourself a quick performance review.

Area

Rating 1 to 5

where 1 is poor & 5 is great

Finances
Housing
Education
Career
Friendships
Health

How did you go? I have put this reflection on the list to do during my upcoming weekly review.

Photowalking Hong Kong

I packed our digital camera for the trip up to Hong Kong, normally I don’t take a camera on business trips, not sure why just not something I have got into the habit of.

This time with the camera I am planning to do a photowalk in Hong Kong on either Saturday 19th May or Sunday 20th May. Over the next couple of days I will do some research and reflection on where and post later in the week on my plans. Initial thoughts jump on the Star ferry over to Kwooloon or through Wanchai and up Victoria Peak, in addition there will be an evening walk through Mong Kok or Temple St markets.

All welcome if you happen to be in Hong Kong.