Hail To The King Baby

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while, but decided that I would wait until I got my first impressions over and done with. As many of you know, I have served as bar bit……… errrr…… social representative for the Computer Science Society 8 of the last 12 months. It did have its good points (and plenty of its bad). However, I am glad to let everyone know that those days are behind me. I am now no longer in charge of running social events, leaving most of my Friday and Saturday nights officially free now. Nope, no more Social Rep Sean, instead, you know the current President of the Computer Science Society.

At this time, I would like you all to hold on to your congratulations at the moment. Early into the term, I have had the following said about society: “At one point society was well respected by the student population, but now it has a bad reputation of not caring”. Harsh words to be sure, but nothing I haven’t actually thought myself.

It is my goal to clean up this reputation to a degree and encourage a greater degree of communication and productiveness between groups and individuals. A serious undertaking to be sure, but someone has to do it, right? I hope that I will prove to be an effective leader and inspire the next generation of productive society members. I do, as always, have a plethora of ideas. How many of them actually get accomplished………… let’s just say I have my hands full.

Society has always been about actually DOING things. In the past, we have managed to do them quite well. With a lot of work (not to mention a degree of luck), we’ll get back onto that track once more (and be worthy of the A level Society of the year award again next year).

Best Blonde Joke Ever?

I normally don’t do this, but I came across this joke and found it very amusing. You can find this blonde joke here.

Drink To Shitty Situations Day

A few years ago, I had an idea (dangerous, I know). The idea was simple: Every year shitty situations happen to everyone. People deal with these and life moves on of course, but surely we can do a little better than that. What about reflection, sharing, knowing you aren’t alone? The idea was to combine all these things into one event which I have called ‘Drink To Shitty Situations Day’. The goal is to get a group of people together, reflect on the past year, bitch about shitty situations, drink copious amounts of alcohol, and have a good time. I would like to think that the other day was the third successful such event.

Traditionally held at the end of the year, this time it was held at the beginning. I’m actually liking that choice of time better, as it allows people to actually reflect on their past year, and does not involve so much scheduling problems, like exams. Sure, as always there were some complications (and I’m sorry to everyone who was wondering where the hell I was), but all in all I had a good time with some good friends.

I could go into details, but Ann basically lists most of the highlights here.

To poor choices, shitty situations, and those people that help us see it all through.

Nintendo DS: First Thoughts

A few weeks back I bought myself a Nintendo DS for my birthday. Now, normally it is usually hard for me to play anything more than ‘twitch’ games on my main PC, due to my regular busy schedule. However, I noticed that I generally have down time between tasks that is spent just sitting around or aimlessly surfing the web. I figured I could use this time to play games with one of the current gen portable consoles. But why the DS and not the PSP? Several reasons really: I have fond memories of my old Nintendo products. Nintendo seems to innovate in gameplay more than the competitors (and dual screens seem cool). Oh, and Final Fantasy and Shining Force (in various incarnations) are/will be available for it. Coincidentally, the Mario Kart/DS bundle came out shortly before my birthday, and my friend has been going on about how awesome that game is, so I got that too.

Review – Applied Software Project Management

O’Reilly has recently begun a new line of books called “/Theory/In/Practice” (and no, I don’t know why it isn’t listed on their web page). These books cover such topics as “Essential Business Process Modeling” and “Applied Software Project Management”. It was my pleasure to secure a copy of “Applied Software Project Management” right before I left for the holidays. Since I am doing some project management now, I figured doing some reading certainly couldn’t hurt, right?
“Applied Software Project Management” is a generalist book. It is modular; no chapter really relying on any other. It covers the whole range of software project and management topics from planning, to managing people, to software testing and everything in between. While a lot of the ideas covered are really only effective for larger teams than the ones I am usually involved with, there are a lot of useful ideas for smaller teams as well. Perhaps the most valuable – Part 2: Using Project Management Effectively. It focuses more on understanding and incorporating changes into an already existing system.

This book reminds me somewhat of Code Complete (a good technical book in my opinion). The fact that it is general enough to be useful to a wide variety of people, yet specific enough to get its points across makes it extremely valuable. Also enjoyable is the fact that it very rarely focuses on specific tools (the only major case of this being the use of Subversion), and when it mentions one specific tool, it always refers to several specific instances (such as mentioning Perforce, Arch, CVS, etc. after mentioning Subversion).

“Applied Software Project Management” is one of the better books I have read from O’Reilly. At no point was I bogged down in technical concepts I couldn’t understand. It was actually quite difficult to put down until I finished whatever section I was reading at any given time. I recommend this book to anyone involved in software project management.

Final Rating: 4.5/5

“Applied Software Project Management�? is available from O’Reilly Media, Inc. for CAN $55.95. Sample chapters can be obtained @ The O’Reilly Catalog

10 Days Of The Sticks

Back from 10 days in the sticks of Ontario for Christmas with my family. While it did have its ups and downs, it was pretty interesting and much better overall than my last visit home. My flight to Ontario was the best flight I have ever had through Toronto. I like how Air Canada has fixed things so I don’t have to run from terminal 1 to terminal 3 and go through security again.