A sip of java -- 02/10/00
Today's workout
  • lots of typing and mouse activity
  • two mile walk with my wife after she got home from work
  • one mile run with my son
I worked from home today.

No morning commute. No traffic, no bridge tolls... just me, my cup of coffee and my computer.

So by 7:35 I was downloading Java2 from the Sun java site (JDK 1.2.2-001 to replace my JDK 1.1.8 that I had installed in December). Jennifer and Sean were heading off to school about that time... I looked out the front window to wave as she was scraping the frost from her windshield and then went back to deal with installshield. (Nice seque, huh?)

I spent all morning and much of the afternoon here at the computer... to the point where I was beginning to get a stiff neck... Mostly doing some online tutorials for java, but also working with a couple java books I'd bought last month, and also doing a little bit of HTML study, trying to pick on on the new release, HTML 4.0 and on the different ways IE and Netscape implement (or fail to implement) various tags and features.

I've got a busy schedule ahead of me. Lots of studying I will be doing on my own or via tutorials or books or whatever, plus at least three more courses I need to take before summer -- actually, by mid-spring -- plus a whole bunch of certification exams to take.

I'm trying to increase my HTML skills/knowledge to a professional level, the level that a webmaster would possess. (Uh, that does not mean that you are going to see this website turn into something flashy... although I might use part of it as a sandbox for playing with stuff... but a journal is a text-oriented entity. In fact, I don't know where I'm going to find the time to post entries as often as I have been doing so far this year.) I also need to get a deeper technical understanding of TCP/IP, etc. Plus I need to bring my java skills to the point of being able to sit down and write it without needing access to reference manuals. I need to be able to write straight java plus applets and servlets and to work with java beans. I also need to become very familiar with VisualAge for Java. Then I can start working with WebSphere on my own and in courses. And taking various certification tests...

So, beyond the work I'll be doing on my own or via online tutorials and CBT's, I'll be taking some classes:

  • HTML - two day class - next week (which is why I'm trying to get more of it into my head before I take the class
  • Java Programming - five day class - probably in early March
  • Attend WebSphere2000 conference - three days - and I've been told that some of the certification exams might be offered there (just to get a taste of them... I wouldn't expect to pass these exams without taking any of the courses)
  • WebSphere - five day intense class/workshop
Of course all of that would just be giving me the foundations for training to gain full expertise with WebSphere, etc. I'm targeting various certifications over the next several months:
  • CIW (Certified Internet Webmaster) Internet Foundations (perhaps next year I might go after some of the follow-on certifications)
  • Sun Java Certification
  • Certified Specialist - WebSphere
  • Certified Solution Developer - WebSphere (This requires Sun Java certification plus passing the Certified Specialist test plus passing a test on object oriented analysis and design
At some point after that -- late this year, early next year -- I might try for the Sun Certified Java Architect or for additional WebSphere ones (Solutions Expert and/or Enterprise Solutions Specialist). How's that for a set of goals? Sure makes me tired just thinking about it.

This is made more difficult by my current work schedule which has me spending a week each month teaching, plus the time required to prepare for classes, maintain the course materials, etc. And looming as unknowns are assorted requests from customers for me to travel to deliver on-site training. These don't usually happen -- at some point they usually decided that it is easier/cheaper to send their people here for training -- but, nevertheless, sometimes I do have to travel. Right now there is a possible need to spend two weeks in England and also another request that might send me to the midwest for a week and a half.

In a certain sense, all of this new stuff is related to what I have been working with these past few years -- intelligent message-brokering middleware -- but in another sense it is quite different from the CICS/COBOL world where I have spent most of my time.

So many online journals belong to college students who tend to grumble from time to time about their courses and workload... wonder if they realize that they are going to be moving out into a world where they will have to be updating their skills and knowledge almost constantly or their careers will fall to the wayside... Afterall, here I am, as old as their parents (in fact, possibly quite a bit older than their parents) and I have this huge amount of learning ahead of me. But I'm not complaining... I'm having a marvelous time and I'm looking forward to learning lots of new stuff...

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