Archive for September, 2006

Points of interest: ACM CareerNews: Tuesday, September 26, 2006

September 26th, 2006

“Top Five Fastest Growing IT Jobs” Datamation, September 15

The five fastest-growing IT jobs include: network systems and data communications analyst, computer applications software engineer, computer systems software engineer, network and computer systems administrator, and database administrator. 

“Become Your Own IT Career Coach” InfoWorld, September 18

In order to advance your career within the technology industry, sometimes it is helpful to think of your career as a personal brand. …  In short, if you really want to be your own personal brand and have a more successful career, you need to think the way a product manager thinks. 

“Business Intelligence Skills” Computerworld, September 18

In order to become a business intelligence professional, it is important to have a mix of computer science savvy, business knowledge, analytical skills, and the ability to think creatively. 

“Four Simple Steps to Worldwide Fame”, September 6

the article highlights the importance of activities such as networking, writing for trade publications, and speaking at conferences as catalysts for greater name recognition. 

“The Virtues of Volunteering” Network World, September 11

Volunteering for a nonprofit organization focused on technology can offer a number of advantages to IT workers. … As the article demonstrates, taking on the additional work paid off in terms of building new business relationships, winning new-found respect from peers, and learning more about corporate security. These advantages far outweighed the disadvantages of longer work weeks. 

Original Source:

Author: Adam Kahtava Categories: Career News Tags:

Resolving Parser Errors: Unknown server tag ‘atlas:ScriptManager’ in ATLAS (AJAX)

September 17th, 2006

I encountered a number of Parse Error Messages while implementing the Accordion control from ATLAS.

The error messages read:
Parser Error Message: Unknown server tag ‘atlas:ScriptManager’. 

Source Error:  <atlas:ScriptManager id=”ScriptManager” runat=”server” />

This message occured for a number of different reasons, this brief checklist should resolve your parse errors.

1) Ensure that the following assemblies are in your bin directory:

2) Ensure that the following has been added to your web.config file

add namespace=Microsoft.Web.UI
         assembly=Microsoft.Web.Atlas tagPrefix=atlas/>
add namespace=Microsoft.Web.UI.Controls
         assembly=Microsoft.Web.Atlas tagPrefix=atlas/>
add namespace=AtlasControlToolkit
         assembly=AtlasControlToolkit tagPrefix=atlasToolkit/>

Related links:
Data Binding in an AccordionPane in a Repeater
Atlas Control Toolkit: Unknown Server Tag

Author: Adam Kahtava Categories: .NET, AJAX, ASP.NET, ASP.NET AJAX Tags:

Points of interest: ACM CareerNews: Tuesday, September 12, 2006

September 12th, 2006

“How Five IT Chiefs Made the Leap to New Companies” Computerworld, August 21

Making the transition from one industry to another can pose a number of difficult issues,  … realize that using technology to drive business results is a process that differs little from industry to industry. 

“A Science or Engineering Degree Is Good for You” National Science Foundation, August 14

According to a new National Science Foundation survey, an undergraduate degree in science or engineering can pay big dividends throughout a career, even if that career is eventually in a non-technical field. 

“Best Hiring Practices” Business Week, August 10

As more companies are finding out, the transparency and professionalism of the hiring process can make a big difference when it comes to recruiting the best and the brightest employees. The hiring process is no longer tilted in favor of the employer, meaning that recruiters should consider job-seeker satisfaction from the initial interaction until the end of the process, whether it leads to employment or not. During the interview, recruiters should … attempt to create a warm atmosphere that is professional at all times. Fostering good communication can make job candidates feel more at ease. The bottom line is that a poor impression of a company might result in a candidate sharing a negative perception with friends and co-workers, all of whom are potential employees.

“When Working At Home Does Not Work Anymore” Wall Street Journal Online, August 28

The number of full-time employees who work from home at least one day a month rose 30% to 9.9 million between 2004 and 2005. However, for many of these workers, telecommuting on a regular basis is starting to lose its appeal. … some employees feel it is to their disadvantage to work from home, since they might miss out on advancement opportunities or special projects by being away from the office. Others worry about a lack of space, quiet or needed office-support services at home.

“A Guide to Building Trust for the New Guy” Computerworld, August 7

Whether you are starting a new job, taking on a new assignment or transferring to a different project, building trust with your new team members is vital. … Learning about your new team members is the most important step for incoming managers. It is also important to confirm your role within the organization, …
It is important for you to let others know what you expect of them. … Building trust requires trusting others. Show the team that you are willing to take its advice and you will gain their respect. Finally, follow through on what you said you were going to do and be honest about communicating progress on milestone goals.

Original Source:

Author: Adam Kahtava Categories: Career News Tags:

Computers in Japan: Advanced Technological Literacy does not imply Computer Literacy

September 7th, 2006

Despite being known for their advance electronics, robots, bullet trains (Shikansen), their nation wide Vehicle Information and Communication System (VICS), and being known as one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, Japan and the Japanese people do not use computers as much as their Western (North American) counterparts.
This computer phenomenon was riveting as I lived, worked, and traveled through Asia. Here’s the situation as I perceived it.

Personal computers (PCs) and operating systems (OSs) were developed in the Western world in the English language. In the early 90s the standards for Unicode version 1.0 were set to facilitate the development of multilingual systems. Microsoft’s Windows 3.1J (3.1 in the Japanese language) was released in 1993. Windows 95 and NT supported the basics of the Japanese language, and Windows NT (1993) was the first Microsoft OS to use Unicode internally. By the time a Japanese version of Windows was available the West had already been using Windows 1 – 3.1x and a couple other OSs – Japan was already well behind the Western PC wave.

Image taken from Flickr

The names of people, places and even sushi could not be expressed using the early versions of Unicode. The Japanese language is written with three types of glyphs (Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana) and uses a Latin based language (Romaji), and western style numerals. Kanji (an ancient Chinese based language) is said to have about 50,000 characters _ for basic literacy you’ll need to know over 2,000 different Kanji characters. Katakana and Hiragana are each composed of about 46 basic characters. Romanji is similar to the English alphabet with 26 characters. With the addition of the western style numerals, symbols, punctuation, uppercase, lowercase, etc… there is an overwhelming number of characters. The Unicode standards were not able to support this sophisticated collection of characters, making PCs inadequate for government, business, and even personal use – subsequently slowing the use of PCs in Japan.

Unicode has come a long way since it was first introducted. Today most Japanese computer users have an English based keyboard and use Romanji – a phonetic equivalence to some Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana glyphs – to select various glyphs, issues commands, write documents, and control their computer. As a phonetic equivalent Romanji has a number of it’s own translation issues. For example: Salary man is pronounced more like Sarary man, Orange is pronounced like Orangy, Adam is sometimes pronounced Adamu. This is just another contributor to the slow adoption of the PC.

A country in isolation; not only is Japan geographically isolated from the rest of Asia, but in 1641 Japan isolated themselves from the outside world for 213 years (until 1853). Anyone entering or leaving the country faced the death penalty – this time period is known as Sakoku. The effects of isolation have played a significant role in Japanese society and business. Japan still prides itself in being self sufficient and often (understandably) displays anti-globalization / Not Invented Here (NIH) tendencies – these dispositions can also be attributed to the slow adoption of PCs in Japan.

Image taken from Flickr

A sophisticated and complex social structure; Japan has roughly the same land mass as the state of California (US), with four times the population of California, but only 1/4 of Japan is inhabitable – the remainder of land is mountainous or volcanic. To compensate for the minimal space and large population the Japanese have developed a very sophisticated social structure over the past couple thousand years. This social structure is based on community and respect – giving up most respect to deceased ancestors and the elderly. Most people try to maintain harmony within their community. From my observations people shy from criticizing and most decisions must be discussed with all affected parties. Similarly many companies are still somewhat based on the feudal system where positions are heriditary – Presidents, CEOs, etc… are born into their respective positions rather than being selected for their experience or skills. It’s also fair to mention that most Jobs are for life – having multiple jobs is a sign of weakness – and as an employee you are expected to put the requirements of the company over any of your personal needs. A white-collar worker (Salaryman) often works absurd hours (unproductively) due to the cultural tradition of not leaving work before colleauges, and I’ve been told that some companies even have burial grounds for their employees. In these existing structures, almost all Japanese people have a job or a distinct place within society. The introduction of the PCs and the leaps in efficiency and productivity that follow would lead to many layoffs and disruptions within these otherwise harmonious structures.

Links of further interest:

Author: Adam Kahtava Categories: Musings, Software Tags: