Workshops and Symposium Sessions

I have presented a number of one hour workshop or symposium type sessions in the United States, Canada, and Europe. I have also presented Seminars in those countries and Australia. My sessions have appeared at vendor conferences, user society symposium, corporate meetings, and professional societies.

Available Sessions:

Full descriptions of these sessions are available on request.

Managing Application Development Productivity

Without the ability to measure application development, it is difficult to determine how an organization is doing with respect to plan and other organizations. By measuring the productivity of the organization, historical estimates can be implemented, process improvements can be verified, and the productivity claims of new tools and techiques can be checked.

Application complexity measurement using Function Point Analysis is discussed and quickly demonstrated. Function Points are an international standard metric maintained by the International Function Point Users Group.

This workshop has been presented for DPMA, NAPUG, DEVOUG, and DECUS (Europe and Canada). It has also been presented to corporations in the United States and Australia.

ISAM to Oracle: Conversion Experiences

This session is designed to describe the experiences of converting an existing system from ISAM on a proprietary system to Oracle under UNIX. The intent is to provide examples of what to avoid when making such a transition. Although the speaker's specific topic involves the Oracle RDBMS, the experiences are applicable to other relational databases.

Hardware, operating environments, development environments, management, and staffing considerations will be discussed.

This workshop has been presented for DEVOUG and DECUS (Canada).

Re-engineering the Workforce: Mainframe to UNIX Conversion

When an organization decides to move applications from the mainframe to UNIX (or any other platform for that matter), there are a number of issues that are encountered. The biggest is what to do with the existing staff and where to find the people to handle the new systems and technology.

With the new technologies, the systems become more complex, not less. The business knowledge requirements do not lessen, so you cannot just throw the existing staff away. But it is very difficult to bootstrap into a new technology. You need some new people (or consultants) to ease the process. This session discusses these factors.

This workshop has been presented for DVMFUG.

Organisational Issues

While speaking at DECUS Europe in 1993, I was asked to sit on a panel covering organisational (organizational in US English) issues. How, why, and how-come organizations behave in the ways they do (even when obviously self-destructive) are covered.

This workshop was presented for DECUS (Europe).

Job Search for the Technical Professional

The one thing they do not teach at college for technical professionals (in addition to why you have to take calculus when you'll never use it?) is how to find a job. Although primarily designed for experienced professionals, much of the information is valuable to those just entering the field.

Of course, everyone is happy with their current employer and would not attend this session to learn how to leave them. But with corporate downsizing, mergers, and sales, job security is largely a paradigm of the past. Being prepared to get the next job increases ones comfort level where they are. This session helps with the preparation.

This workshop was presented for GE Career Continuation Center and DECUS (Canada) as a BOF (Birds of the Feather - informal session).

A Quick Introduction to UNIX for the Mainframer

The session introduces the mainframe professional to UNIX. It assumes a solid understanding on using the mainframe and little or no UNIX knowledge. It presents the terminology and usage of the UNIX operating system by comparing and contrasting with mainframe operating systems.

Learning a new technology is difficult enough without having to learn it independently of prior experience and existing knowledge base. By building on the current Mainframe knowledge, this session jumpstarts the attendees.

The speaker is the author of "UNIX for the Mainframer". There is a seminar with a similar name that goes into much more detail.

Creative Problem Solving Techniques

This session is an examination of problem solving methods out side of the "normal" analytical methods expected in the data processing field. The ideas behind this session are from the "Zen and the art of computer programming" session offered at DECUS US (but now ended by the original speaker). This is not a copy of his session - it is my own experiences and thoughts.

When the normal approach fails, then what? Lateral thinking, zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance, and non-linear approaches are applied! Think about it - how many times have you solved a difficult problem when you were engrossed with something else? The trick is to apply that when you have to solve the problem directly.

Interviewing Techniques

You are a senior professional, project leader, or even a manager. You get to interview prospective employees or contractors. What are the effective means to determine the technical abilities, work habits, ability to fit in, and quality of the candidate? What can you and can you not ask?

This two hour session covers these and more.

The Computer Field As A Career Choice

This session can be as short as 15 minutes or as long as one hour. It is designed to present the Computer Field (Data Processing, Information Systems, Information Technology, etc.) as a career choice to students at the junior or senior high school level. It discusses the computer field itself, job titles and responsibilities, types of systems, educational requirements, salaries, the future of the field, and sources of additional information.

Obviously, the shorter the talk the less information that is covered.

Why make your life easy and use the same releases everywhere?

This one hour session is designed to discuss using Oracle 8.0(.4) binaries with a 7.3(.4) database in a split application/database UNIX server environment. It is based on my experiences at Electronic Payment Services (you know them as MAC) and is being presented with their permission (given by Joe Murphy, Manager, Technical Services).

Topics covered include: why it happened, how it can happen in other places, what worked, and what didn't work (i.e., sql*loader and export).

Linux and UNIX

This one hour session is designed to answer questions like: Have you wondered "what is that 'Linux' I keep hearing about?" Have you ever wondered how you're supposed to pronounce it? Have you wondered why Linux has been called a Microsoft or Windows "killer"? Have you wondered about the Dilbert cartoon and why "UNIX" and "eunuchs" are related (and why a company would send the nurse around to convert their programmers to eunuchs)? Well then, this is the session for you. It will provide some background on the Linux and UNIX operating systems and a quick introduction to why you would want to have them. A very brief introduction on how to use them will also be included.

The speaker will not be selling any of his book but is willing to autograph any copies of his books that attendees may bring.

This is just a quick introduction, it is not intended to be a detailed course on Linux or UNIX. It was first presented at the Mensa AG2K in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 6, 2000.

Presentation materials from my talk are the cover page and main body (in Powerpoint) email me if you need it in a different format or have other questions.

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