This site really is Web 2.0

or so the guys at Web2-Validatorthink – 23 out of 49 might not be that great , but it’s better than 50% , given that it’s not really a Web 2.0 blog in the first place!

I wonder if they can come up with a percentage probability that a given Web 2.0 site will be around in 18 months time …

It's been very quiet over here (aka what has Paul been up to) – Enterprise Web 2.0

It’s all been very quiet over here , too quiet. And not just because of the hosting issues (the people at Netbunch, you know that I’m talking about you)

It’s been very quiet , because I’ve been very busy. On top of all this , we’re coming to the end of the year for the (part time) Masters at UCD in Dublin, so we’ve also got exams coming up. Thankfully it’s the last year, the downside being I have a dissertation to write.

Being a blogger , I’m not happy putting together a weighty tome that will sit gathering dust on a shelf. Instead , I want something that will solve some business problems , and that I can use as interesting content. So after much thought , the proposed title of my dissertation will be …… cue drum roll ….. ta-da!

Enterprise Web 2.0

Now, if you’ve talked to me , you know I spend a lot of my working day as an Enterprise Java Consultant , working for various banks. The idea is to take some of the Web 2.0 ideas (and you don’t need me to repeat them) and apply them to the sort of problems large companies have. Or , if you want the catchy subtitle , ” it’s all about sucking the knowledge out of people’s brains and putting it onto (ugly) websites”.

So an obvious topic to cover is the use of Ajax , which while big on the web at the moment , is going to be huge once companies realise what it can bring to their internal applications. The rest of the topics cover knowledge management (what is web 2.0 if it’s not about sharing knowledge), but also some tools and techniques that will all Enterprise Java (with all it’s robustness and scalability) compete with the nimbleness and tricks of Ruby.

Business Problem 1: How to present this information to people in a easy to deploy, but powerful way.
Solution: Update to Sun Java article – this one on how to do Web 2.0 / Ajax ‘right’ in Enterprise Java (i.e. not worrying about legacy code)

Business Problem 2: Where you have documentation, but don’t know how to find it.
Solution: Write up of the Red-Piranha Adaptive Search engine that ‘learns’ what the team wants , and finds more of it.

Business Problem 3: Where you have information in Excel sheets, but can’t do much with it.
Solution: Update to previous O’Reilly Articles on JBoss Rules – this one on JBoss’ ability to ‘run’ Excel Spreadsheets.

Business Problem 4: Where you have information that people ‘know’ , but that a machine finds it hard to ‘learn’
Solution: Simple Neural Networks using Joone, applied to a ‘real life’ business problem.

Business Problem 5: Where several people have to work together on a set of information , following a strict set of steps.
Solution: JBoss workflow, with a simple online example

Java Market Trends

Below is an extract of a report Distributed by Computer People. It’s a breakdown of all the Java Job Adverts for the last 6 months in the London Contract / Permanent Market. While it should be treated with caution as (a) it’s sales and marketing material and (b) the London / UK market will differ substiantially from Dublin. For example , I would not expect to see as many Sybase roles in Dublin as London, due to the use of Sybase in the London Financial markets.

Example from the figures: Of all java jobs advertised in the UK , 36,86% were also looking for J2EE (Enterprise Java) Skills.

  • 22504 (36.86 %) J2EE
  • 17476 (28.62 %) Oracle
  • 16045 (26.28 %) UNIX
  • 15510 (25.40 %) XML
  • 15321 (25.10 %) SQL
  • 15269 (25.01 %) C++
  • 12815 (20.99 %)  Finance
  • 12370 (20.26 %) Banking
  • 11152 (18.27 %) Graduate/Degree/BSc
  • 10069 (16.49 %) OO
  • 9465 (15.50 %) .NET
  • 8413 (13.78 %) CSharp
  • 8188 (13.41 %) JSP
  • 7529 (12.33 %) Sybase
  • 7340 (12.02 %) HTML
  • 6940 (11.37 %) Investment Banking
  • 6740 (11.04 %) UML
  • 6606 (10.82 %) Front Office
  • 6479 (10.61 %) Windows
  • 6343 (10.39 %) SQL Server
  • 5991 (9.81 %) Linux
  • 5533 (9.06 %) Perl
  • 5047 (8.27 %) WebLogic
  • 4940 (8.09 %) JavaScript
  • 4685 (7.67 %) Struts
  • 4547 (7.45 %) EJB2
  • 4456 (7.30 %) Servlets
  • 4435 (7.26 %) Microsoft
  • 4136 (6.77 %) VB
  • 3892 (6.37 %) Fixed Income

Caspar Weinberger and how to do presentations.

The Irish Times carried a report on the Death of Caspar Weinberger in it’s weekend edition. Mr Weinbeger was a contoversial but highly intelligent figure in Ronald Reagan’s Presidency (he was the US Secretary of Defense). A lot of things have already been said about him, but one almost trivial incident stood out from his obituary.

During the 1980’s , Mr Weinberger wanted to increase the Defence budget. Given that Mr Regan had a very ‘pictorial’ view on life, Caspar’s entire presentation consisted of three cartoon figures.

  • A Solider figure , made to look as wimpish as possible (short of wearing lavendar), to represent the Democrats Defence Policies.
  • A Nerdy Solider figure , wearing glasses and with a briefcase, to repsent the ‘balanced’ approach his opponents in cabinent wanted.
  • A Rambo like figure, armed to the teeth , representing the Billions he thought the US should be spending on Defence.

Mr Weingbeger got his Billions. You may or may not agree with his objectives, but as presentation skills go, he can still teach us a lesson. Forget the details – you can talk about those later. Cartoon like images are what stick in people’s minds.