Windows XP dies at 12 1/2 after long illness | ZDNet

Finally!  After suffering with Windows XP since they essentially dumbed down the (in my opinion) fantastic Windows 2000 interface, and added in the worst of Windows ME, we see the official end to the product today.

For a few days, we’ve been seeing the following messages on the remaining XP workstations at my office…

 

xp_end_of_life

 

As I wrote back in February, XP was to see the official end of support by Microsoft on April 8, 2014.  That means, for those of you still running XP, no more security updates or patches. While not the end of the world, if a vulnerability is discovered in XP after today, Microsoft will not spend resources to fix it.

ZD Net has a fantastic article on the subject going over many of the details.

Windows XP dies at 12 1/2 after long illness | ZDNet.

For those who haven’t’ tried Windows 8.1 yet, please do. I find it the best Microsoft OS since Windows 2000. I even like the new start menu.

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Most US Schools Don’t Teach Computer Science

Amazing article I saw in Governing this week discusses how Most Schools Don’t Teach Computer Science.  The article discusses the lack of computer science and programming offerings in American public schools. This despite the fact that there is a huge demand for workers with computer science skills and that these skills pay an average of $80,000 per year.

I started programming in 1979 on a TRS-80 in my sixth-grade class. Granted, it was an elective class in which some students were able to participate.  However, it was coding and it was in school.  I still remember writing a program in BASIC to randomly draw a name from the list of students. I learned about arrays, variables, even random access at the time.

Skip forward 35 years and my son is writing GUI-based programs in SCRATCH, a programming language developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

ScreenShot031

Click to see the game in action.

He is fortunate enough to have a computer science elective, in which he’s been learning business computing as well as database design and programming.   Yet studies are showing that most schools do not have the ability to teach computer science in the classroom. This, in spite of the fact that Computer Sciences teach a myriad of high quality skills needed to secure our future as leaders in the world.

Fortunately, for those who have access to a computer and some initiative, there are new avenues for learning programming. Sites like Code Academy and Code.org are becoming ever more popular and provide a free easy-to-learn process for learning programming.

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Agile – Not Just For Software Anymore

Having been in software development professionally since 1993, I’ve seen many theories of which software development methodology is best. A software development methodology is one which drives how the software is written. Terms such as iterative,RAD, extreme, waterfall, and agile have been used to describe the methods.

I’ve always adhered more towards the agile method. Followers of this method prefer to develop an end product quickly.  Even prototypes are delivered to the end users and multiple incremental revisions of a product are released as soon as they are ready.

agile_process

Developed in the late 1990’s and formally introduced in 2001, agile software methodology has worked well for many organizations.  It competes with the traditional methods such as waterfall, where the product isn’t released until all possible functionality has been tested and included.

Now I’m seeing it is breaking out of the software arena and into the mainstream business functions. A recent article I read showed how the agile method is being used in companies to manage ever-changing prioroties, increase productivity, reduce risk, and increase quality.

Multiple Agile consulting companies have arrived to help guide businesses from static processes to a more agile culture. One company even produces an annual report showing the current adoption of agile in the business area.

This should be exciting. I plan to revisit this in a year or two.

 

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