The 5 Minute Tech Break : Dec 14


This week in London it's a mixture of wild Christmas festivities and miserable Brexit politics.

You can hardly walk the streets without being accosted by a pretend Santa or political conversationalist.

For some light relief from parties and politics, enjoy our 5 minutes of distraction ...

Jason & Andrew

Book we have enjoyed 

Social Media is Bullshit : B. J. Mendelson

Know when you have an instinct about something, then discover a writer who can articulates it into exactly the required words?

We're not talking here about high brow insight into the human condition but instead, an entertaining and no prisoners taken analysis of why social media (and in particular the 'social media gurus' who feed from it) is mostly full of shit.

Written in advance of the current exposure into the darker side of Facebook, it's our recommendation for a jolly Christmas read, one that could shape your own thoughts and responses to the marketing department's latest wheez.

Worst Language I Ever Used

We're involved in a new project, which will be kicking off in the new year. The validation process has given us an opportunity to evaluate the latest developments in technology, particularly across the continuous integration / continuous deployment arena.

Have to tell you, we're having some issues with some indeterminism in an underlying system, causing more than a few expletives!

Reminds me of the worst language I ever used. PAL for Paradox database. 

Don't believe any of the praise heaped on it! 

I was once an intern way back in a previous century and was asked to write a car mileage database using Paradox. I dutifully learnt the language and built the system. [JN]

Ran it and it worked. Made a minor change, ran it again and it decided not to work. Eventually I rang support, to be told "It was a write once only language and could not be edited after first run".

Cue, intern led expletives before throwing it into the bin!

Gates & Buffet on Controlling 'Time'

We always find it fun to watch these two together.

This short clip is a particularly enjoyable look at Buffets diary management and his approach to the use of time and creating space to think.

It's an important issue for everyone to consider in their working lives and in particular, as you aim and reach senior levels of management.  The discipline needed to manage your schedule and carve out necessary "me" time can be critical for your well-being and impact on the work and environment around you. [AW]

FAANG: Are we witnessing the end of an Era?

Within the equities market, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google are collectively known as FAANG.

9 months ago I got one of those calls from a pal [the ones you should always ignore] where he said "all you need is a FAANG portfolio".

Alas, those same shares (Facebook -34%, Apple -27%, Amazon -19%, Netflix -35% and Google -17%) have been taking a collectively kicking these last couple of months.

Facebook in particular are suffering from ongoing revelations about data sharing, though it's their dirty tricks in hiding facts and being known at the highest level that's really hurting them.

Certainly some entertaining mud slinging taking place as they tried to deflected the issues onto other companies and these revelations have made us focus on if/how we want to continue using the platform.  The challenge for us is that they have a powerful reach to our target customer, so it's tough to ween yourself off, even if you want to.

The smartphone market is also changing as Apple struggle to maintain iPhone sales, as phones last longer and Chinese markets are trying to commoditise the space.

These companies have become part of our everyday lives but with monopoly positions come significant responsibilities and so we watch to see if they can keep ahead of both the product and PR game.

I'm seeing that pal for a Xmas drink. He will be buying. [JN]

Quote from another century ...

"Propose to an Englishman any principle, or any instrument, however admirable, and you will observe that the whole effort of the English mind is directed to find a difficulty, a defect, or an impossibility in it. If you speak to him of a machine for peeling a potato, he will pronounce it impossible: if you peel a potato with it before his eyes, he will declare it useless, because it will not slice a pineapple. Impart the same principle or show the same machine to an American or to one of our Colonists, and you will observe that the whole effort of his mind is to find some new application of the principle, some new use for the instrument"

Charles Babbage (26 December1791 – 18 October1871) an English mathematiciananalytical philosopher and the first computer scientist who originated the idea of a programmable computerAda Lovelace worked for him.

Nativity Front Row and Playing Santa ...

I carved out time this week to attend daughters Nativity play and what a joy.  A bunch of cherubic 5 year olds, giving it their all ... wonderful.  I got so enthusiastic on the front row that I was collared by the headmaster and convinced to become next weeks visiting Santa Claus ... sure beats another afternoon grappling with Google Analytics!! [AW]

Additional Course Material : What Would You Like?

Thanks to everyone who has been in touch about some of the existing courses and also with thoughts about what would be useful in the future.

We wanted to open this out .... if you'd like to see particular topics covered, then please get in touch.

CTO Academy is due to expand significantly during 2019 and part of that expansion will be to introduce a range of external speakers  and experts.  We want to add content that is relevant to our community and customers so please do get in touch.

That's it for this week.

If you've got an insatiable appetite for more '5 minute tech breaks', you can review all the old ones here

Love to hear from you about anything and everything so feel free to contact us or tweet @ctoacademy

Have a great friday and a super weekend.

We have significant plans for building the value of this platform and making CTO Academy an indispensable tool for future learning and career development.  Watch this space during 2019.

For anyone who purchases a course during 2018, we will provide you with a lifetime membership to all future CTO Academy courses - no extra cost.

Offer ends as the bell strikes midnight on New Years eve.