Plato – more networking , people not computers

It’s a co-incidence of timing , but a reminder that there are many more meetups than just Barcamp (Dublin Event is on this Saturday).

Plato North West (Louth – Newry and Mourne) launched last night – thanks to Coca-Cola concentrates in Drogheda for hosting.
Plato Ireland Logo

Plato is a self help group for small business owners. (‘Hello , my name is Paul and I’m self-employed’). All the people involved are looking to grow their business. What Plato offers includes:

  • A support group of other people in similar situations that will meet regularly over the next months.
  • Networking opportunties , both within the group, cross border , and with other Plato groups (e.g Dublin, Cork and South East).
  • Clusters of companies in related sectors that would benefit from linking.
  • A struture to plan business expansion and a peer review to ensure you execute the plan.

Most of the details of the meetings are confidential , but I’m (happily) surprised at the cross section of companies involved. External companies can be invited in by consensus of the group.

Related posts: How to network , people not computers.

Warning: Irish Rail website gives false information

Irish Rail Logo

If you’re planning to travel by Irish Rail, don’t trust the timetable information given out by it’s website. On a recent trip from Drogheda to Portadown, the actual outgoing and return times were between 5 and 10 minutes earlier, due to timetable changes made up to 6 months before. It’s all very well getting consultants to redesign your website , like CIE did recently , but if your organisation can’t keep it up to date , what’s the point?

There’s no excuse for giving out inaccurate information. Translink , the company that operates the northern half of the Dublin-Belfast Enterprise service, manages to display the correct train times. Incidentally , Translink is also publicly owned , so the ‘shrug shoulders it’s just public service’ excuse isn’t valid either.

Get your act together , and display accurate times, or don’t give out any information at all. I made the train , but how many people have been caught out by this? Bluire has found more reasons to be angry with Irish Rail.

Update: Red Cardinal has shown that at least the ex-CIE group of companies are consistent, with Bus Eireann showing an appalling web design for their site.

Update 2: Ken reports about a recent webchat with Irish Rail. Interesting reading.

Update 3: And I thought I had problems. This is much worse.

Java Meetup in the Virtual Dublin Pub

Java Meetup in the Virtual Dublin Pub

By Paul Browne

Did you want to go to the recent Java Meetup (also here) but couldn’t make it? Were you washing your hair or doing your nails? Perhaps you were stuck at the other end of the country, (or some other country!)

So , for all you people who find it difficult to make it every month, we’re pleased to announce the Java Meetup in the Virtual Irish Pub at 7.30pm on Tuesday 25th July. We’ll be talking about ‘What technologies should I be learning in the next 12 months?‘. See the drama unfold – Will the server take the strain? Will there be more than one person there?

Stephen has already blogged about it , so that makes two. Thanks also to John for the original idea, Jakub for all the hard work in the getting the (real) Dublin Java Meetup to this stage, and Donal for the ‘try out everything before the day’ advice!
Seeing as we’re spreading our wings, we may even invite the .Net, PHP and Ruby guys (after all , enough of them turn up at the Java events !)
the quiet man

Update: The Virtual Pub is now live (here).

University of Ulster Graduates

Scary, but it’s been 12 years since I graduated from the University of Ulster, Coleraine (the bit of Northern Ireland right at the very top, close to Scotland). The story of those years is for another day , as is how a European Business Studies (with French!) graduate is now deeply involved in technology.

University of Ulster Logo

If you did study at the University of Ulster (in Magee, Coleraine, Jordanstown or Belfast), then the UU have a networking site to help you keep in touch with people from the time that you complained about having a lecture at 9.15am

Irish Government looking for Podcasters

The Irish Government are looking for Podcasters. More information is on the E-Tenders site (registration may be required). I wonder if any of the poster boys of the Irish Podcasting movement will take up on this?I’ll take back what I said in my earlier (slightly cynical post): Web 2.0 meets the government.E-Tenders Logo

Summary of invitation for bids:

Crossborder Visitor Podcasting Pilot for East Border Region

Abstract:

The BCDEN project has set up a series of thematic working groups in each of the three Crossborder sub regions and has conducted a consultation and needs analysis exercise with each of those groups. The objective of this process was to ascertain, based on the region’s current ICT needs, what pilots would help the participant local authority areas to adapt to, innovate and compete within the Information Society.

Resulting from the aforementioned consultation exercise, the Tourism working group in the East Border Region (EBR) have selected Visitor Podcasting as one of the pilots they want to see implemented.

The aim of this pilot is to explore the use of new media opportunities, namely Podcasting, to reach a wider and more mobile target audience to sell EBR as an exciting and vibrant destination.

The objectives of the pilot will be to:

  • To deliver quality content to tourists through many different channels to increase the reach of communications
  • To promote the use of ICT in tourism within the wider Crossborder economy by using podcasting to attract more visitors to the EBR.
  • To increase the usage of ICT services by tourists
  • To enable cross advertising of other tourist attractions within EBR
  • To promote and facilitate Crossborder tourism

Requirements
ERNACT is now inviting tenders from suitably qualified application providers to successfully deliver this pilot by:

1. Supplying audio, picture and where required video, to enable EBR to run a Crossborder Visitor Podcasting pilot to help them achieve the aim and objectives described in section 3.1
2. Guaranteeing integration with mobile devices.
3. Ensuring involvement in the pilot of at least 1 tourist attraction in each of the eight EBR council areas.
4. Ensuring the crossborder theme is echoed throughout the pilot.
5. Liaising with the necessary project stakeholders in order to ensure smooth delivery of the project.
6. Imparting the necessary training to the relevant staff.
7. Facilitating ongoing support to tourism staff over the lifetime of the pilot
8. Project managing the entire roll out of the pilot

Links to Irish Podcasters:

Update (1) Tom Raftery is now looking for a partner to handle the paperwork. Best bet for Tom is to go for a medium sized IT company that’s already winning Government Business in other areas (as that is something the Government buyers look for). What you bring to the table is the podcasting expertise. I can give you the contact details of one if you’re interested – drop me a line here.

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

Richard Stallman Speaking in Belfast

The FOSS Means Business conference will take place in Belfast on Thursday the 16th March 2006. This all-island event will focus on the adoption and use of Free Software/Open Source Software (FOSS), with particular emphasis on the economic and competitive benefits for both the public and private sector.

They’ve also got Bruce Perens.

More details here.

Spires Belfast