Date posted: 05/07/2020

In mid-2018, I realised that my work rate on this project had been too slow and that in order to improve on this I needed better work scheduling and study methods than what I had been using. I also noticed that when checking job advertisements for I.T. related positions that companies were now more frequently asking for applicants that were competent in more than one European language.

In October 2018 I began a correspondence course in beginners French which I have since completed. I have in the process learned better work scheduling and study methods. Information about these methods can be found here. I have also set up another website dedicated to learning the French language details about it can be found here.

Date posted: 30/06/2017

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I am long term unemployed and cooperating with Drogheda Local Employment Services in developing a Personal Progression Plan that will lead me back into employment. This web site is part of that plan.

My Objective

Top programmers such as Bjarne Stroustrup, (famous for creating the C++ programming language), advises that programmers should know a minimum of five programming languages, these should include C++, Java and Python. It is not enough to be able to do a few simple programs in these languages: expertise is a must. Knowing these languages will give great understanding to many others. I have set this web site up to learn these languages and for other various reasons.

My Progress Log Book

As part of my personal progress plan I am keeping a daily log of the work that I do. Some of the reasons for doing this are:

  1. Having a Log Book is like taking a map on a road trip. Having a map helps reach the desired destination sooner.
  2. Working without a plan; not knowing what your supposed be doing and why, is like taking a road trip without a map.
  3. The main goal is to always to improve on what was done yesterday and the days before it; that's called progression.
  4. Being able to read what was done before from the log book makes it much easier to set targets for the next day and the days to follow it.
  5. This creates consistency and reduces (even prevents) plateaus, meaning that continuous periods of progress are much more likely.
  6. Writing something down on paper makes it more real, and makes the memories stronger.
  7. It can be difficult to remember even half of what work was done during a single day. Over a period of months this problem becomes greatly exaggerated and problems become even more altered beyond normal proportions.
  8. Keeping a log book prevents recurring problems.
  9. When a problem occurs, being able to reverse engineer what went wrong is helpful to ensure that it does not happen again, and work journals are perfect for this.
  10. Having a log book to refer to is very useful when asking for training information or courses from case workers or getting advice or constructive criticism from potential employers and others.

As an example, I have scanned the first page from my new work log book. It can be found here.

The Short to Medium Term Goals

  1. Learning by doing. If you want to be good at writing code you must write a lot of code.
  2. Among other things, I’m interested in web development and running an active online site is more educational than just running something on a local server. There are problems to be encountered running an actual online web site that would not be of concern or even occur on a private local server.
  3. Building a web site that contains a fully functional online forum is a very advantageous job skill. I think that there may be many small businesses that would like to generate an online community around their product. Many online health and fitness stores do this. These web sites are using the very same technologies that I am currently using.
  4. Drogheda Local Employment Services can check in on my progress at literally any time. As my skills improve the web site will improve and the types of projects I will be working on will get more and more complicated. They will as a result be in a better position to give me advice on courses or introductions to those who can give me some constructive criticism.
  5. At the moment a lot of what I’m doing is basic introductory stuff but as I go on I intend to create larger projects such as a search engine written in Java, an online forum that has access to a database, etc. The web site will contain a continuously updated log of the projects I am undertaking.
  6. The web site is to act as a portfolio of my work for perspective employers. Employers will be able to see my actual practical abilities and be better advised on giving me constructive criticism, etc.
  7. To create contacts with other amateur programmers and hobbyists interested in other technical subjects.
  8. To gain knowledge of newer technologies such as Cloud computing etc.
  9. As my technical experience improves I intend to set up more web sites and provide better explanations and tutorials as to how the programs work.

The Long Term Goal

Once I have the level of programming proficiency I desire I intend to specialize more in one specific area. As of yet I am not sure which but over time I plan (as costs allow) to try the following:

  1. Web Development using Java Enterprise Edition (JEE). I have already started this and as time goes by I will upload screen shots and code samples showing my progress. See here. for the Oracle Java EE home page.
  2. The Internet of things. The Internet of things (IoT) is the inter-networking of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as "connected devices" and "smart devices"), buildings, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enable these objects to collect and exchange data. It's Wikipedia page can be found here.
  3. Cloud computing. Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services such as servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and more over the Internet. The "Cloud" is another name for a distributed network and provides the ability to run programs and applications from any location on a collection of computing resources simultaneously. It's Wikipedia page can be found here.
  4. Open Source Projects. Open-source software (OSS) is computer software with its source code made available with a license in which the copyright holder provides the rights to study, change, and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose. Open-source software may be developed in a collaborative public manner. Open-source software is a prominent example of open collaboration.

    Open-source software development, or collaborative development from multiple independent sources, generates an increasingly more diverse scope of design perspective than any one company is capable of developing and sustaining long term.

    A 2008 report by the Standish Group states that adoption of open-source software models has resulted in savings of about $60 billion (£48 billion) per year to consumers. It's Wikipedia page can be found here. Open source source projects exist for various applications such as Accounting, Anti-virus, Databases, Knowledge Management, Domain Name Servers, Telephony, E-mail Servers, File Servers, and Medical Software.
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Drogheda LES

Drogheda Local Employment Service details.