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Changes in DeveloperWorks leading demise of GreenHouse?


As posted by Gabriella Davis and Chris Miller, it appears that Greenhouse is going away.  The content, or at least some of it, is moving to DeveloperWorks.  But it appears that the changes reach further than that.  DeveloperWorks is also undergoing major changes as announced by Sandy Carter.

DeveloperWorks Premium.

You get $1700 worth of stuff for the low price of $399 per year. That includes access to Bluemix, softlayer, and even a free voucher for a certification test (usually $200).  If you’re going to be taking a certification test soon, you might consider spending the extra $200 and getting a premium DeveloperWorks account too.

(CORRECTION: The website has since been updated to describe the certification test as “Complimentary certification test for IBM Certified Application Developer Certification”, not simply a test voucher for any test.)

I see the long term goal of combining Greenhouse and DeveloperWorks. But I’m wondering what will be lost in the process vs. what will be gained.  Change is great when it is an improvement, but learning to navigate a new site can frustrate and lose users.

As they say, a rolling stone gathers no moss; also a frequently moving website gathers no followers.  GreenHouse has been growing by about 1500 new users per month.  How many of the 150,000 Greenhouse members will be lost in the transition?

OK IBM, be sure to tell me when I need to update my article on instructions for downloading the Connections Plugins and when I will need to update my Greenhouse Sametime Community configuration settings.

Adapt or fail: Some Great Donated (free) Online Education for Professional Development


Education has never been more accessible to the world as it is now, thanks to the Internet.  In just the past 6 months I have encountered numerous FREE resources, even instructor-led classes from sources like Stanford University.  Part of this is definitely a response of society to help people adapt and retool their job skills in an effort to get them back to productive work.  I think part of it is also a result of changing attitudes.  Parents are becoming more actively involved in their children’s education to help them thrive in the world.  Whatever the case, I am one with an insatiable appetite for learning new things and I am lovin’ it.  I also enjoy sharing knowledge.  With that in mind, I want to share some of the resources I have found.

1.  Coursera:  Major universities collaborating to offer instructor-led credit classes online for free
At https://www.coursera.org  you can find courses on topics ranging from Cryptography to Quantum Mechanics.  This is a collaborative effort with 16 different Universities including such pedagogic giants as Stanford, Duke, Princeton, University of Toronto, Georgia Tech, and The University of Edinburgh.  These classes are not for the faint of heart.  This is not community college material.  You will definitely be challenged.  Great stuff to compliment your knowledge within your core area of expertise.

2.  Venture Lab:  More college-level content for free
Visit http://venture-lab.org/ for more college classes from Stanford University.  You can also find previous lessons for these classes on youtube, just search for venture lab.

3.  Khan Academy: Unique and excellent education programs for all levels whether you want to learn 1+1=2 or details on venture capitalism
At http://www.khanacademy.org/ you can find one of the best online learning resources for your children, paid or free.  It uses novel interactive learning techniques to really learn the material well.  This was created as a non-profit by one man disappointed in the education his child was getting.  For millions of registered members, it is a great learning aid. Many public school teachers are adopting it as complimentary materials to their curriculum.  Beware to use the correct spelling to get to this website.  There is a copycat website with a spelling close to this one.

4.  IBM developerWorks
Check out http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/training/knowledgepath/index.html?cmp=dw&cpb=dw&ct=dwnew&cr=dwnen&ccy=zz&csr=081712
to see IBM’s free education covering various topics for IT professionals including XML, Java, Linux, open source, cloud computing, and business analytics,  It’s not just about IBM software.

5.  w3schools.com for web development language tutorials
See http://www.w3schools.com/ for great tutorials to learn web development tools including HTML5, HTML, XML, CSS, PHP, Javascript, SQL and much more.  Surprising (and thankful) this source is free.  It has been around for a long time.  As a footnote, they have been tracking and publishing browser usage that hits their website.  Check it out.  http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp  The results might surprise you!

6. State of Washington WorkSource
If you are on unemployment and live in the state of Washington, visit  http://www.wa.gov/esd/e-learning/default.htm
The state of Washington has a contract with Microsoft to provide free online tutorials for all of Microsoft’s software to anyone in the state of Washington that is collecting unemployment.  A narrow audience, perhaps, but a great value if you qualify and are looking for work using Microsoft software.  This program gives access to productivity tools in Office as well as a few hundred hours of training materials for IT professionals and it includes their entire e-learning library covering several versions of software.  Of course the one caveat noted on the website is “Microsoft e-learning does not work well on Macintosh computers.  If you wish to enroll in Microsoft e-learning, see if you can get access to a PC.”  That excludes iPads and most other tablets as well.

This is just a sample of what is available.  There are many other free learning resources out there of varying degrees of value.  If you know of others that you like, please post them in the comments for all to benefit.

Remember: knowledge and information at rest have no value.  Their value only comes when put in motion through sharing or use.  If you hoard knowledge or information, it will not make you more powerful or protect your job.  In fact, just the opposite.  People will seek out a way to get by without you.  But if you share knowledge, they will value your input and recognize your contributions.  So spread the word!

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