Thursday, October 11, 2018

Is it Time Management or Task Management?



Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Can we really manage time, or can we really only manage our tasks?

I've spoken to so many people on this subject, I realized I should put my notes in a blog post so that others can benefit.

Here are some of the techniques and tools I use for time management.

Techniques:
  • Prioritizing work:  7 Habits of Highly Effective people: Habit 3 is putting first things first
    • There is a matrix showing important on one axis and urgent on the other. Work falls into one of the four boxes. 
    • Prioritize the work that is important over work that is urgent.
    • It's fairly easy to prioritize work that is important and urgent, but trying to get to work that is important and not urgent is more difficult. So, use a calendar and put it on your calendar.
    • There is work that is important 
    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_People
  • Getting things done
    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getting_Things_Done
  • Pomodoro technique
    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomodoro_Technique

Tools:
  • You can use paper or a daily planner book or any tool you are comfortable with. Here are some other tools that I have used. I like the first one the most.
  • Kanban tool and a bit about personal Kanban (how to use the tool effectively)
    •  https://trello.com
    • http://personalkanban.com/pk/personal-kanban-101/
  • https://www.toodledo.com/
  • Google Calendar

What are the methods, techniques, and tools that you use? Please like and comment.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Agile and Scrum Master Certifications


Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
Agile and Scrum Master Certifications
(For those of you not familiar with agile, you might want to read this first or look up Agile in Wikipedia)
From my research, I've found that there are 3 popular Agile certifications:
  1. PMI ACP : Agile Certified Practitioner offered by Project Management Institute
  2. Certified Scrum Master - offered by the Scrum Aliance
  3. Professional Scrum Master - Offered by Scrum.org
There are others too, but from what I see, these are the ones that are most popular.
I have used various Agile frameworks/methods for many years, but haven't been certified. I did receive an Agile Practitioner badge as a result of spending many hours in 3 comprehensive IBM Agile courses. I really learned a lot from them. I wanted to go further in Agile training.
I was trying to decide which path to take, so I read the information at the following sites:
After reading them all, I decided to go for the PSM first. I do put a lot of value on the ACP, but I saw lots of job postings asking for agile and scrum and thought that going for the PSM might be the best one to start with. 

I found the following links that I have been using to study for the test:
  • Suggested Reading for Professional Scrum Master™ - This page suggests where to get the Scrum Guide, books, videos, courses and more for training. The Scrum guide is important to know and the Scrum Open Assessment can be taken many times.
  • Scrum Training Series - These free video courses are great. There is a test of several questions at the end of each lesson which have references to reference material to let you know why the answer is the correct answer. This aids me in learning.  There are also links to documents and videos that I found helpful.
I'll come back here to update this as I progress in studying. 
If you have any thoughts on the certifications, the path, or any questions, please comment. I would like your input.


Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Free Job Search Advice Links (tips, hints and more)

 photo credit Frank Vex @frankvex on unsplash

There are many free resources for how to conduct the job search.

I'm listing a bunch of them here in no particular order. I've found these helpful.

You can also get your resume scanned to find out how to get it to agree with job postings using these tools
  • jobscan.co - 5 free scans a month. 
  • Skillsyncer - one free scan, then $9.99/month
  • Jobgator - Compares resume to Job Description and gives recommendations (free to use)
  • leap.ai - will give you suggesions on your resume - no cost
Recruiter Websites:
Networking Meetings:
  • The Landing Expert (landingexpert.com)
  • Meetup.com - find people who want to do similar things, or have the same hobby and network with them!
  • Eventbrite.com - Some companies post hiring events here. Just search on the word "hiring"

Top Job Search Websites:

Salary research

  • Indeed.com/salary
  • Salary.com
  • Payscale.com
  • Bls.com
  • Glassdoor.com
  • Cbsalary.com
  • Jobnob.com
  • Onetonline.org
  • Acinet.org
  • Working Canada.gc.ca
  • Service Canada.gc.ca


Recruiters:

  • Searchfirm.com
  • I-recruit.com


Do you have any suggestions?  Please post them as comments here!



Monday, July 30, 2018

Fun Party Game: Hunnert

A friend told us about this game recently and sent me these directions. We played it yesterday at the family reunion. We had children and adults playing it together. The youngest child kept asking to play again and again even though others won! Children can play as long as they know how to write their numbers up to 100.  The game is supposedly called "Hunnert" as a quick way of saying "hundred."


Place on the table one pencil and one die.

Give each player a blank piece of typing paper to place in front of them

The first player rolls the die toward the next player in a clockwise fashion

If the number rolled is a one, three, four or five - nothing happens and the next player rolls the die toward the person on their left

If the number rolled is a two, all players pass the paper in front of them to the person on their left

If the number rolled is a six, the player who rolled the die grabs the pencil from whoever currently has it and begins writing numbers from 1 - 100 on the piece of paper in front of them. They continue writing as rapidly as possible (and do not take any more turns rolling the die) until either someone else rolls and six and takes control of the pencil (and begins writing numbers on their own paper) or until they write numbers all the way to 100.

Whoever writes the number 100 on their paper is the winner.

Note: if someone has the pencil and a two is rolled, they will get the paper from the person on their right, so they will start writing numbers starting at whatever number comes next after whatever number was last written on that paper. 

Try it and comment here if you found it fun. Also, post here a comment with any fun games you like to play.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Save Yourself from a "Trip" to the Hospital


Save Yourself from taking a "Trip" to the Hospital!

I used to go to a barber in the next town. He retired, so I haven't seen him for a few years. He was a veteran. He told me many stories. One was about his wife. She fell down the stairs at his house once a few years back. She has suffered since then with injuries.
   Once we had a safety expert at work. He said that when something "almost" happens or when someone has a minor trip-up or accident, we need to heed that as a warning.
   I keep thinking about the barber's wife. I've made sure our railing is always tight.  Whenever I see how dark our stairs are at night, I think about articles I've read about people needing to be careful for safety in their homes and how we need to be careful about lighting. I've been thinking about using some electronics to make a light that senses movement and turns on.
Then I saw this at home Depot for about $13 for two (only one shown in photo).
We put them on our stairs. They work pretty good. There are other similar ones. I put one in the garage too. That one is mounted on the ceiling and lights up most of the garage.
So, here's a suggestion to save you from tripping on the stairs (or your garage or anyplace else) and taking a trip to the hospital. Think about getting something like this.
All the best to you!
I'd like to hear your thoughts on this suggestion. Please comment.


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Things I've worked on in the past

Here's a list of things I've worked on in the past.
I'll add to this as I remember them and have time to add to it.

In college, my senior project was a spoken word recognizer. It was supposed to recognize spoken words for each of ten numbers: zero through 9. It didn't work. It was programmed on an Altair 8800
(another post about the Altair 8800 computer). The professor who taught the class was the only one who could pull the paper tape through the paper tape reader (it was pulled manually) without getting an error.

Used punchcards for a fortran class

I then found out that if I asked a teaching assistant for a class, I could be able to work on a teletype
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teletype_Model_33
When he had the class with me (a one-on-one) it malfunctioned and paper started shooting out the back!  Years later, when I was working in the "real world" I bought one from the local Morris County College when they were getting rid of them. I used it with compuserve (an early online community before the internet and facebook). The whole house shook when I used it!  It had an acoustic coupler that was used over the phone line.

At home, I worked on hobby computers
While in college, I bought an 8080 kit. I never had a chance to build it, because I quickly sold it to buy a Kim-1 computer and started a company to sell software for it
http://oldcomputers.net/kim1.html
I traded it in for a RCA VIP
http://oldcomputers.net/rca-cosmac-vip.html
And then later for an Atari 400 and then traded that for an Atari 800 (which I still have)

Later I bought an IBM PC compatible computer which costed in excess of $1500 - I have never bought a computer as expensive of that since then!

At work, I was developing microprocessor based solutions for a military subcontractor called Conrac (later Smith industries) for the F/A-18 fighter/attack jet and the AV8B Harrier Jump-Jet on a very large intel development system (one of the following, but I'm not certain which one:  MDS-80, or MDS-800) for the intel 8080 microprocessor. At the time I had either the RCA-VIP, or the Atari 400 or 800 and would tell folks at work that while I was taking months to develop programming code for these microprocessors at work, I had more powerful computers at home!

At one point, while out at a local computer store looking at some add-on parts, I saw an advertisement to work for a company. I interviewed and got the job to work on video games for the Atari VCS: http://oldcomputers.net/atari-vcs.html
(see my video games page for more info about the games I worked on)

While there, I worked on toys too, like games for the Etch-a-Sketch Animator 2000. Colleagues of mine worked on the Fisher-Price PXL2000 video camera for children and the video camera inside the Lionel Train - I think called "Railscope")

I worked on a multiyear research project for a Vettest Veterinarian Blood Chemistry Analyzer (which is still being used in 2017 and is a 3.2 Billion dollar product family) for which I was awarded 3 patents (see my patent page for more info about patents I have).


I left there to work for a company where we made even more video games (see my "video games" page for more about that)

I'll try to add more to this later.






Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Notes for Watson and AI Presentation to PMI NJ Chapter

These are some additional notes for the presentation I'm giving to Project Managers gathered at the PMI NJ Chapter meeting on November 14, 2017. See pminj.org for more information.

The Story: Medical Seive


Watson Starting points

Watson starting point: ibm.com/watson
All the Watson services: https://www.ibm.com/watson/products-services/

Explore more here: https://www.ibm.com/watson/aworldwithwatson/ 

https://console.bluemix.net/catalog/?category=watson

13 year old uses Watson
https://www.ibm.com/blogs/watson/2017/07/13-year-old-prodigy-taking-ibm-artificial-intelligence-by-storm/

Is Watson Artificial Intelligence? What is Cognitive Computing?

https://www.ibm.com/cognitive/businesscoach/about-watson/is-cognitive-computing-artificial-intelligence

"A beginner's guide to artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cognitive computing"
https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/library/cc-beginner-guide-machine-learning-ai-cognitive/index.html

IBM Research : Cognitive Computing and AI
http://research.ibm.com/cognitive-computing/

Watson Cognitive Computing: Areas of Application

Watson areas of application: Health, Education, Driving, Banking/Financial, Law, Hospitality, Retail, Customer Care, and more.

Music: https://www.ibm.com/watson/music/


Watson Serves up Cognitive Highlights of US Open Tennis
https://www.ibm.com/blogs/client-voices/watson-serves-cognitive-highlights-us-open/

Listen to Kone Elevators “talk” with Watson : http://machineconversations.kone.com/

Customer Experience: https://www.ibm.com/blogs/watson/2017/02/staples-making-customer-service-easy-watson-conversation/ and https://www.ibm.com/watson/infographic/staples/

Employee Insights: Cognitive Knowledge https://www.ibm.com/watson/stories/woodside.html

Demos, Try It, Play with it!




Analyze your Twitter feed http://findyourwatsontalent.mybluemix.net/ 

Compare two twitter feeds: http://friendme.mybluemix.net/

Play a beat with "RemixIT"
https://www.ibm.com/it-infrastructure/us-en/remix-it-player/

TJBot

https://ibmtjbot.github.io/

http://research.ibm.com/tjbot/

http://henrywill4.blogspot.com/2017/06/tjbot-talks-4.html

More information on Watson


Watson Health:

Study by New York Genome Center and IBM Demonstrates Potential for AI and Whole Genome Sequencing to Scale Access to Precision Medicine
https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/52770.wss

Watson Drug discovery
https://www.ibm.com/watson/health/life-sciences/drug-discovery/
Parkinson's
https://www.ibm.com/thought-leadership/passion-projects/parkinsons-watson-drug-discovery/

Cancer: Breast, Lung, Colon, Rectal and Prostrate soon.  MSK Memorial Sloan Kettering
cut time for clinical trial matching
https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/52502.wss

Curb Substance Abuse Relapse
https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/52371.wss

IBM Research and UC San Diego Collaborate to Advance the Use of Artificial Intelligence for Healthy Living
For aging populations
https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/53185.wss

Watson for Oncology https://www.ibm.com/watson/health/oncology-and-genomics/oncology/ 

Drug discovery https://www.ibm.com/watson/health/life-sciences/drug-discovery/

Health imaging https://www.ibm.com/watson/health/imaging/ 

Watson Data

 Watson Data Platform:
https://www.ibm.com/analytics/us/en/watson-data-platform/

Watson Fashion and Art

https://www.ibm.com/blogs/think/2016/04/watson-and-marchesa/ 
Cognitive Marchesa dress lights up the night
https://www.ibm.com/blogs/internet-of-things/cognitive-marchesa-dress/This dress was lit up with colors by Tweets about the dress using Tone Analyzer.

Watson Music
https://www.ibm.com/watson/music/
 Watson Beat looks at song composition
"Training Watson To Be Your Musical Muse"  https://www.ibm.com/blogs/think/2016/06/training-watson-to-be-your-musical-muse/

IBM and Andrés Cepeda introduce First ‘Cognitive Music’ Project in Latin America
https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/52330.wss
Tone Analyzer to Match sentiment of fans


New Exhibit, “Art with Watson: Hidden Portraits” Spotlights How Cognitive Computing Inspires Creativity
https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/52140.wss

Other Watson Applications

Olli: Artificial Intelligence for the real world, in record time
Self-Driving / Autonomous vehicle
https://www.ibm.com/blogs/internet-of-things/olli-ai/

Crédit Mutuel and IBM Watson Put Technology at the Service of People
https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/52108.wss




AI ETF Fund that uses Watson:
https://seekingalpha.com/article/4124004-new-ai-based-etf-uses-ibms-watson-technology

IBM and Ubisoft® Partner to Bring Voice Command with Watson to Virtual Reality in Star Trek™: Bridge Crew
https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/52347.wss

Watson IoT

In South Africa (where 70% of the remaining world's Rhino population is found, using IoT sensors on other animals (such as Zebras) to thwart the threats of poaching of Rhinos for their prized horns.
https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/53162.wss


Watson Education:

IBM Watson and Sesame Workshop Introduce Intelligent Play and Learning Platform on IBM Cloud
https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/52532.wss

Free IBM Watson Teacher Advisor http://teacheradvisor.org

Watson Videos: 

https://www.ibm.com/watson-analytics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Xcmh1LQB9I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPXCF5e1_HI

https://www.youtube.com/user/IBMWatsonSolutions

AI:

Google AI:
https://www.theverge.com/tldr/2017/7/10/15946542/deepmind-parkour-agent-reinforcement-learning

What's Your opinion on Artificial Intelligence? Space 10 & IKEA ask in an interesting presentation & survey http://doyouspeakhuman.com

Other options besides Watson:

OpenAI: openai.com

Tensor Flow: http://tensorflow.org
Microsoft Azure: 

Deepmind: https://deepmind.com/

What's the difference between Cognitive Computing and AI?
https://www.rtinsights.com/whats-the-difference-between-cognitive-computing-and-ai/