random memes }

A rule of thumb

[ Fair warning - there is nothing "nice" in what follows. ]

Long ago my father offered a rule of thumb from his work on engineering projects in the defense industry -- If someone insists on using "Dr." in their name, they probably are not very good.

You meet all sorts of people on engineering-type projects. Some are very capable, and many are less so. The capable folks might have advanced degrees from school, but will seldom mention this up front. Rather they will let their ability speak for them. The folks who are less sure of their ability will insist on the title.

This rule came to mind after reading a completely mis-guided article (not worth your time to read, BTW), and then looking at the comments. The first comment is by someone (in fact the only commentor) who put a "Dr." in front of his name, and who thinks the article is "brilliant".

The article is just about completely wrong, rather than "brilliant". Geez, talk about an existance proof...

Just for reference, my third kid is in elementary school, my ex-wife was an elementary school teacher, and I have spent a fair amount of time with teachers over the years. Yes, there is pretty clearly a problem as relates to using technology in schools. But the article is so far off-target it is simply not worth your time.

BTW, you do not want to leave up the article page, as (at least when I was looking) the page will throw up an error every minute or so. Not exactly an inspiring example of web programming from a "WebSphere" publication.

Another echo - the author wanted teachers to know what the term "application server" meant. Perhaps not a big surprise from an article in a publication focused on promoting one particular application server (WebSphere). On the other hand I expect by the time the current kids in elementary school graduate, application servers will be about as quaint as punched cards :).

Just realised the "Dr." links to "JDL Technologies", and their mission is apparently "to harness technology and deliver its full potential to K-12 education". Right. I am thinking his guy would fit in just fine at one of Jim Taggart's cocktail parties.