java@cork 2008 – 1 day Java Conference

IT@Cork have got good speakers from Eclipse, Springsource and Sun, and a Bargain at 130 Euro .. More details are available here.

IT at Cork Logo

Java@cork 2008

Tuesday, September 9, Radisson SAS Hotel, Little Island, Cork
Featuring speakers from SpringSource, Sun Microsystems, Eclipse Foundation and much more…


  • OSGI and the Enterprise Ben Hale, SpringSource
  • Lucene – Open Source Search Engine – Case Study, Phil Corcoran, RR Donnelley
  • Eclipse Verticals – From Open Source Consumption to Creation , Ralph Mueller, Director, Eclipse Foundation
  • Leveraging Eclipse For Desktop Applications – Case Study, James Sugrue, Pilz Ireland
  • Demo of Spring plugin tools for Eclipse, Jonas Partner, SpringSource
  • Spring Integration, Jonas Partner, SpringSource
  • SOA In Practice, Oisin Hurley, Iona Technologies
  • The Future of Java for Rich Internet Applications, Simon Ritter, Sun Microsystems

Fee: €80pp for members. €130pp for non members. Students fee is €40.
Registration: email or visit

Why corporates should blog – reason one (of many)

I recently got into a conversation about corporate blogging. The sort of conversation that starts with ‘what is a blog?’ and ends with ‘it’ll never work here’. And, as always, the killer argument for corporate blogging popped into my head 5 minutes too late.

A tractor in a field yesterday

Many years ago, I used to work for Case, the company that builds big red tractors. It was great work, especially as people understood what you did – none of this ‘I work in computers’ malarchy. Only problem was that we were working in Navan Ireland, with most of our colleagues based in Racine, just north of Chicago.

Not too much of a problem for the first 15 or so people – people who worked out of Chicago for the first 4 or 5 months. We were able to build up personal relationships with a colleagues. We could ask later ‘how are the kids?’ or ‘are you still playing football?’. Small things, but make the real work discussions a lot easier.

The problem came with employees 15-100 – the ones that didn’t spend any amount of time in the US. Technically great people, but didn’t ‘click’ in the same way with Chicago. As a result, small misunderstandings became big misunderstandings, and projects got delayed.

And that’s where corporate blogging comes in. It allows people in far flung offices to connect. Doesn’t matter what you blog about – personal life, or some small project that’s happening in your local office. Chances are somebody else in the company will pick up on it and vital connections will be made.

And if you’re in the market for a big red tractor, click on the photo above. 125 BHP, Diesel Engine, a bargain at 16,500 Euro.

3 Steps to GTD: Time management for really, really busy people

Stressed? No time to talk to people? Losing sleep over tomorrow’s work? You don’t have a lot of time to read this, so I’ll keep this short.

  1. Have a task / todo list. On Outlook , Excel , wiki or paper. Daily, pick off most important tasks and allocate time for them on your calendar.
  2. Schedule your time in some sort of calendar. Use Outlook, Google Calendar , Mozilla Lightening or even a paper diary. Keep about 1/3rd free for the unexpected. Timeslots no shorter than 30 minutes; bunch smaller todo’s together to make up. Set your mail program to show first your calendar and not your email – that way your daily agenda is set by your plans, not somebody else.
  3. Clear mail inbox twice a day (and only twice a day). Do same for phone calls (using voicemail) if that’s disrupting you too much. Only touch mails once: delete, respond, or make room on calendar / tasklist (action).

Adjust steps 1,2, and 3 as required. Get as fancy or as simple as you want.  Don’t aim for perfect, so you’ll be flexible enough when you need to change. Works for me. What works for you?

And yes, it’s probably already covered in ‘Getting things done‘.