Start With A Story

Way back in the early 90s, I decided to revisit a notion I’d toyed with for years, which was to become a science fiction writer. As part of that effort, I subscribed to Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, which was (and is) the best short story market available. Back then, Isaac Asimov himself was semi-retired (he… Read More

NetBeans 6.1 is a lot better than I thought

This week I’m in New Haven, CT, teaching a class that combines UML and Java Web Services (an odd combination to be sure).  The client wanted to use NetBeans as their primary IDE, and I always try to accommodate that if I can. My last exposure to NetBeans was back in version 5.5, I think,… Read More

Our last, best hope … for message digests?

So I’m teaching my course in Securing Java Web Applications (my third one in the last six weeks) and we got to a section that discussed the MD5 algorithm for generating message digests. One of the students asked, “whatever happened to MD’s 1 through 4?” I simply couldn’t resist saying, “MD’s 1, 2, and 3… Read More

My winding career path

I got a question today about why I left the aerospace engineering to become a software developer and trainer, especially when the aerospace field is so popular at the moment.   I’ll assume for the sake of argument that the questioner is right about the popularity of aerospace engineering.  I don’t know any more, for obvious… Read More

Focusing on what’s important

At the No Fluff, Just Stuff conference I attended last week, I managed to talk to a couple of the presenters and quietly ask about the rates they charge. That’s always a dicey subject, of course, but it’s very hard to get good information about that.  Software trainers don’t have a union, or anything like… Read More

Some things I’m happy about

I realized I’ve been doing some complaining lately, probably because I’ve been fighting a cold recently and that makes everything harder. (Aside: In almost seven years of full-time training, I’ve never missed a day due to illness. This week I came awfully close to breaking that streak, but pulled it out somehow. Now if my… Read More