Thursday, March 31, 2005

Wilkommen, Bienvenu, Welcome, Huanying ... to Notes Tone Unturned

YET ANOTHER BLOG? ... I was initially very reluctant to get into the already overcrowded blogsphere, but recently decided that as a veteran practitioner I probably COULD make a positive contribution Some of the time I'll be critical -- but constructively so -- and hope to leave "no stone unturned" in a search for some noxious IT weeds that need uprooting. And I expect also to plant some good seeds along the way.

The IT industry is vast and getting more complex all the time. Here's just one example. Once upon a time as an IBM specialist I prided myself in knowing a large amount about one system -- the IBM System/38. This system's exceptional architecture was devised in the early 1970s. It was the precursor to the IBM AS/400 of the late 1980s (an amalgam of all that was best from the S/38 and S/36, with a many more goodies thrown in). It morphed into the IBM iSeries eServer in the early 2000s and becomes even more sophisticated with each new hardware and software release. This one product range from IBM's development lab in Rochester, Minnesota (a place I know better than some parts of my home city), now represents a corpus of knowledge that's far too vast for any one person to master. (I well remember being at meetings where even veteran Rochester experts had their very strong differences of opinion in their specialist, such as AS/400 system performance.)

I readily concede to knowing only a tiny bit about a few things. I dwell in my own little world (as described by Joel Spolsky in blog entry Lord Palmerston on Programming with its concept of "programming worlds, each of which requires a tremendous amount of knowledge for real proficiency").

There a lots of self-proclaimed experts, with their own web sites or blogs. Be leery about anybody who brags about knowing "all about" something, be it the iSeries, or Windows, or Web design and usability, or a particular programming area like Java and J2EE (or C# and .NET), or any of dozens and dozens of other IT fields. Not everything you read on the Internet is valuable and accurate!

I'll strive to limit myself to blogging about things that maybe I know "more than a little about" but forgive me when (joining the wild herds of unashamed and unhesitant bloggers) sometimes I give vent to my opinions on other matters too!