Mobile Cloud Computing with Android – Free MOOC At Coursera Starts January 7th, 2015

University of Maryland and Vanderbilt University are offering a series of free MOOCs (massive online open courses) using the Coursera platform. Part 1 of the seven-part series (or “specialization” in Coursera jargon) is called “Programming Mobile Applications for Android Handheld Systems” and the next session begins on January 7th, 2015. Join me there and check it out! The “specialization” as a whole is called Mobile Cloud Computing with Android. You can upgrade to “Signature Track” if you want to pay for certification. (Coursera has a “freemium” business model.) There are also some Android and Java MOOCs at Udacity and edX but I haven’t investigated those yet.

android

Aspirational Goal

WordPress that I use here is a great content management system (CMS) for web logs (blogs) that are chronological but I’ve been shopping for a new CMS that is more MOOC (massive open online course) oriented. Moodle is a popular one but it’s hard to make it look nice. The ones that Coursera and Excel Easy are very elegant but I’m not sure if they are available to other content developers. Accounting Coach is also wonderful but, although they use standard WordPress and the MemberMouse plugin subscription, they have also invested in a lot of custom, proprietary code too. What is your favorite CMS?

Getting Things Done

by Colin Warwick

There aren’t many books that I’ve read multiple times, but Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free Productivity by David Allen is one I keep coming back to whenever I’m stuck in a slump. Here’s a brief summary of the “unsticking” exercise from page 13 that I use whenever I’m in the doldrums:

  1. Take a pen and paper
  2. Write down the project or situation that is most on your mind at the moment. (Just thinking about it isn’t enough. Writing it down makes it concrete.)
  3. Write down in a single sentence your intended successful outcome for the project or situation
  4. Write down the very next physical action required to move towards the successful outcome
  5. Do it
  6. Consider how much better you feel now
  7. Carry on applying the Getting Things Done method.

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You Knew Waterfall Was a Mistake, But Did You Know It Really Was a Mistake?

I was reading Steve Johnson’s book From Fragile To Agile today and leant that when Winston Royce documented the so-called “waterfall” model of product development (in his paper Managing the Development of Large Software Systems), he was using it as an example of a model that doesn’t work, not recommending it as one that does! Yikes!

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Give Your Speech, Change The World: How To Move Your Audience To Action

Kinda off-topic for Android and Java, but I’ve been thinking a lot recently about communication. Not telecommunication. But human to human communication. After all, isn’t that what telecommunication is supposed to boost? I’ve been reading Give Your Speech, Change The World: How To Move Your Audience To Action by Nick Morgan and it’s truly inspiring. Highly recommended.

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ProductCamp Boston June 9th

Find us on Google+

ProductCamp Boston is coming to Cambridge, Massachusetts on June 9th, 2012. It’s at the Microsoft New England Research and Development (NERD) Center. Like a BarCamp, ProductCamps are unconferences: They are volunteer run and free.

Please vote for my proposed a talk there Why and how to create and edit articles for Wikipedia. It’s not directly related to Android or Java, but it fits into the theme of lean startups, scrum, and getting traction.

Register now and spread the word!

Hope to see you there!

“Law of 2 Feet Applies to Open Space Events, BarCamps, Product Camps and Unconferences.”

“Briefly stated, this law says that every individual has two feet, and must be prepared to use them. Responsibility for a successful outcome in any Open Space Event resides with exactly one person — each participant. Individuals can make a difference and must make a difference. If that is not true in a given situation, they, and they alone, must take responsibility to use their two feet, and move to a new place where they can make a difference. This departure need not be made in anger or hostility, but only after honoring the people involved and the space they occupy. By word or gesture, indicate that you have nothing further to contribute, wish them well, and go and do something useful.”

Harrison Owen, founder of Open Space Technology (OST)

 

Agile, Scrum, and The Lean Startup

by Colin Warwick

I’m learning about agile and scrum this week. My friends Karen Rubin and Josh Payne at HubSpot recommend The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, a book by Eric Ries. It’s not specifically about agile or scrum but it does present a good case for setting out a description of a minimum viable product and building that first to test the vision and hypothesis.

Scrum’s a good tool to do that so I’m experimenting with the free hosted version of ScrumDo. ScrumDo.com is a freemium model. The open source part of the project lives at a sister site where you can download and self-host the software.

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