Dec 26 2006
In case you were wondering where your programming skills place you among other programmers, the chart below will show you. I don’t know who created this chart, but they forgot to include C++/CLI and machine language programming.
Dec 25 2006
I want to wish all of my readers a Merry Christmas. This is a time of the year to reflect on our blessings and be thankful for them. Remember to love your family and also show mercy to everyone, even to those who don’t deserve it.
Christmas isn’t about giving gifts and eating turkey. Its the result of God sending a Saviour to die for our sins. We didn’t deserve that grace, but received it because of God’s mercy.
Dec 16 2006
The National Union of Public and General Employees recently reported that in Canada, 20% of the population owns 75% of the country’s national wealth. This is a bad thing according to the union, but should the statistics be a surprise?
This seems to be in line with the Pareto Principle (more commonly known as the 80/20 rule, less commonly known as the law of the vital few and the principle of factor sparsity). This principle states that for many occurrences, 80% of the consequences are the result of 20% of its causes.
While it would be foolish to apply this principle to everything, it is generally and surprisingly accurate. In Canada, the top 20% increased their wealth by 19% between 1999 and 2005, which lead to this application of the 80/20 rule in their case.
So what does this mean? Wealth should be more distributed among the population so that everyone should have an equal share of it? Sounds like socialism. How did 20% of Canadians manage to grab 75% of Canada’s wealth?
It may have something to do with what they focus on, as opposed to the many other conclusions one would arrive at. The wealthy 20% very likely achieved their status by setting goals and worked towards their attainment. Most people go through life with only the ambition of putting food in their stomach and a roof over their heads, which is precisely what they get and no more.
The fact is that most of the wealth throughout this world is owned by a minority of people. If you want a share of this wealth, you need to set goals and make a plan to achieve them. You won’t have that much competition because the majority of people don’t do this. They prefer to go where circumstances lead them.
Dec 13 2006
I found a couple of videos on the Macintosh. The first is a young Bill Gates praising the Mac, followed by a very funny commercial. I don’t know who made this ad, but its one of the best ads made for Macs.
I have to note that I’m not a Mac user and I’m a great supporter of Microsoft products.
Dec 11 2006
All of us at one time or another were forced to take IQ tests and aptitude tests. The purpose of these tests were to identify where we belong in society. Just imagine. Our destiny can be determined just by taking a few tests designed by people who claim to understand human nature and psychology. One of these tests is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). After taking this test, your recommended career type will be revealed.
This test was developed during World War II by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers. The basis for the questions were Carl Jung’s work, Psychological Types.
After taking this test, you will know which of the 16 career types you have an aptitude for. You can take a variation of this test for programmers here. There are only 69 questions and it takes about 10 minutes to complete it.
After taking the test, I found out that I was a type INTJ. The following is a description of this career type:
Scientists, engineers, professors, teachers, medical doctors, dentists, corporate strategists, organization founders, business administrators, managers, military, lawyers, judges, computer programmers, system analysts, computer specialists, psychologists, photographers, research department managers, researchers, university instructors, chess players. They have a particular skill at grasping difficult, complex concepts and building strategies.
This sounds good. According to the MBTI, I’m well suited to be a computer programmer. I even enjoy playing chess, doing research, and photography.
So there you have it. An accurate assessment of my aptitude. But what happens if you want to be a computer programmer, or some other career, and the MBTI reveals that you are not suited for that field? Should you then give up and pursue what it recommend? I would have to say no.
A test like this may show an aptitude, but it should not prevent us from pursueing a career. There is no such thing as natural talent, no one is born with a skill or talent. Everything you know was learned by you at some point in your life. You can do anything you want to do or learn and master anything you want. Being weak in a certain area or having a lack of knowledge should not stop you from pursuing your dreams.
If you want to succeed at anything in life, first determine what you want, make a plan, and act on the plan. You should also write down your goals and memorize them, reciting them daily. Its important to keep your goals in mind so you will constantly pursue them.
If you know what you want, you can achieve great things. But the trick is knowing what you want, which many people don’t take the time to seriously think about.
Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. — Bill Gates