Why certification?

I did something that a great many people I know wouldn’t expect. I took the Project Management Professional certification exam (and I passed).

 

I have to be honest that in the past I may not have been the most supportive person of certifications. My feeling (and the feeling at the time of my peers and superiors) was that certifications were for people who didn’t know anything. If you knew what you were doing you didn’t need a piece of paper telling you that you did. The paper, at best, brought the bottom up but didn’t really help those who did well. And that was true for a while.

 

But times have changed. Now that piece of paper is more. When done right it is a contract between you and the certification body (in my case the Project Management Institute) to keep up to date and uphold a number of professional conduct rules. That does more than just bringing the bottom up. It puts the focus on doing it better next time, every time. Set up the systems right. If you can’t use your learned experience directly in a project because of constraints, keep track of the risks that much more. Most important think about what you can do to make the customer happy before they even know that they might be unhappy.

 

That’s more proactive than the project managers I encountered in the past. Maybe it was just the learning curve on their part. After all you can’t always get people to pay attention to new best practices. Unless you force continuing education on them. Which the PMI does.

 

Now that I think on it, most of the people who seemed to hinder instead of protect were PMs in name, not certification. I guess it makes a difference.

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Reminder of Innocence Lost (and some not yet lost)

We had a dusting of snow this morning that resulted in the buses coming late. I got to spend some extra time with the kids and they jumped on the computer as this was bonus time for them. My daughter was busy on Poptropica and my son was editing a graphic at the bitmap level.

He was changing dots. One at a time. Happily making a sarcophagus for one of his beloved Pokemon. “Because it looks cool”.

When it was time to get ready for the bus we geared up and waited and I asked him why he was creating a bitmap.

“Because it’s fun”

“But what are you going to do with it” I pressed because I didn’t understand the purpose of making the graphic if he wasn’t going to do anything with it.

“I don’t know.” Blowing on the glass storm door and drawing two short lines with a smile underneath. A smiley face. Nice.

“But what’s the point, why do it?” This from the kitchen where his mother is working with the dog.

“I guess if I got a Pokemon White ROM I could edit it and replace (it)” His face changed slightly.

I keep smiling, but am having doubts.

“Well that’s all we wanted to know,” I say, “we just want to know why you’re doing stuf. If it’s just the joy of creation, that’s fine, but if it’s for some other reason we wanted to know too.”

We look out the storm door, where my daughter had gone out already and was playing with the snow at the circle. I watch the back of his head as he blows again on the door.

This time he makes his two short lines with a frown. Is it because we tried to make something that was fun, purposeful instead? Was it because he was just doing the yin/yang, drama/comedy thing? I see the bus go by and I don’t ask. I am reminded that sometimes we do things because they are fun and there is no purpose. I am afraid by the sudden realization that I might have taken that away from my young son because I was focused on the question of what purpose instead of the joy it was giving him.

We walk down the path and there are parts covered in snow. He notices that the snow if that perfect, crunchy kind that molds to the bottom of the shoe and leaves a clean imprint. He tries to read what I leave in my tracks but the letters are too different, too bright in reverse. We lift up my foot and he read’s the “Land’s End” underneath and moves up the walkway.

A piece of snow goes by. Thrown? I grab a chunk and throw it at my daughter. She grabs a chunk of snow and throws it at the boy. Within a few seconds we each have snow on us and are laughing again. The bus is coming into the cul de sac and I brush the kids off.

It was a good time and I think about how I don’t want to loses this feeling. And now I know I won’t.

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Burning Chrome

Burning Chrome on TechCrunch

“Little by little, iteration by iteration, the Chrome browser is quietly morphing into a full-fledged multitasking operating system in its own right. Oh, sure, technically it’s actually running on another OS, but you increasingly never need to launch anything else. View and edit documents in Google Docs, watch and listen to HTML5 video and audio, communicate via Gmail and its Google Voice plugin, use Google Docs as a file system – and the line between “Chrome OS” and “Chrome on any other OS” suddenly grows very fine.”

A lot like Po Bronson’s “The First 20 Million is the Hardest”


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Davelevy.com 2.0

So I’m thinking that it’s time to redo my website (www.davelevy.com), but I can’t decide. Do I go WordPress, Drupal or Joost?

Tumblr and Posterous are other contenders, but I don’t know if I care enough to use just email posting when I have access to so many other tools via iPad or Droid phone.

We’ll see how this goes and for the meantime checkout davidnlevy.word press.com for current missives

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