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Things I Still Don't Quite Understand

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Things I Still Don't Quite Understand

Even after 25+ years in the IT industry, there is still so much to learn! Check out this post about different topics in Java that you may be struggling with.

· Java Zone ·
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A decent percentage of my articles maintain a retrospective aspect to them, setting the tone for the point of my article. The focus of this article is to talk about things that I still don't quite understand, after being in the Information Technology (IT) industry for 25+ years.

Programming Stuff

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I will be the first to admit that I don't know everything when it comes to really anything. That certainly includes items around programming. I have talked about Stack Overflow-driven development (SODD) and the value of keeping Reg-Ex at the forefront of my memory. Both articles had the common focus on understanding gaps in knowledge and how to bridge that gap either through nifty Google searches or memorization.

However, there are things that I still don't quite understand, even when I try to research a little deeper:

  • With HTML 5, there is an input for a numeric value. This is great, but I wish there was a way to treat the values as text and not have those goofy up/down buttons. Meaning, it would be cool for type="number" mode="text" option. I don't understand how something so widely used (as HTML5) cannot have better options.
  • With Java, there are things which are zero-based and things that are one-based. Some examples that come to mind is the Date class reference to month (zero-based) and the day of the month (one-based). Even when I used the Calendar class recently, I saw the same issue with month=4, referring to May and not April. I really don't understand why all items in a class or method cannot be the same — from a zero/one-base perspective.
  • My friend and colleague David once stated that "JavaScript is the English of spoken languages." His reference was to all the idiosyncrasies of the English language and the similar aspects with JavaScript. A great example can be found in a lightning talk by Gary Bernhardt from 2012. I don't quite understand how something with so many challenges can be so widely adopted.

Management Stuff

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In prior generations, career paths that led to a management position were the result of proving oneself and providing productive/reliable results. Promotion from within was certainly a strategy employed by a majority of corporations and entities during this same time period.

Today, some are able to enter the ranks of management as a result of completion from a prestigious institution. Others are able to leap-frog from completing Masters-level (or higher) degrees or certifications. Of course, there will always be the "Good Ole Boys Club" (or some other closely knit network) which can lead to placement into some managerial role.

With this change in landscape, there have been some things I still don't quite understand:

  • At multiple engagements, I have been a member of teams implementing the Agile framework. In every case, I found myself having to complete periodic status reports — which should be automated based upon the tools/procedures that were in place.  After all, I created my own report to figure out what tasks had been delivered since the last update. I don't quite understand why management continues to ask for duplication of effort - wasting valuable time along the way.
  • When an application had a major outage, I remember telling management "if we don't fix this situation as the vendor instructed, the application will crash again." I was not given any direction. As you might expect, the application crashed again. The same management asked me (again) "why does the application keep crashing?"
    When I told my son (who was in elementary school at the time) about this cycle, he was confused. In fact, I still am confused on how the management could ignore addressing the problem, but then ask again why the server keeps crashing.
  • I also don't understand when leadership will refer to a particular aspect of their business, but all with different definitions. In one example, I was working on a project where the term was called a "Big Box."
    To be clear, I thought I would ask what a Big Box means. I received one answer, but when I was meeting with another manager, he used the Big Box term differently. I asked him and received a slightly different answer. Then it became a mission. What is crazy is that I asked five people what a Big Box means and actually ended up with six different answers. I don't understand how leadership cannot be on the same page with their terminology. For the record, Wikipedia defines a Big Box here.

Random Stuff

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Of course, my boundary of things I don't understand isn't limited to my role in IT. A few other things I don't quite understand:

  • This whole Twitch.tv thing — where I log in to watch people game is very interesting. I quite enjoy it, especially when I want to watch an expert play a new game or to try to beat some challenge. It is very cool for those of us with far less time to focus on gaming. What I don't understand about Twitch is the whole thing where people are just giving the gamers money. Is this basically a tip for their awesome skills?
  • The impact on social media confuses me too. Without getting political or anything as such, I find it odd when I see so many double standards in play - based upon a particular viewpoint.
    As an example, the Roseanne Barr fiasco resulted in her series being canceled from network TV, because of something she placed on social media. Yet, on the very same network, a morning talk show called The View often presents similarly harsh statements (albeit a different slant) without any consequence. I just don't understand how one thing can be correct, but another being drastically wrong when at the core they are sending a similar message.
  • Finally, I never really understood why my computer had a Turbo button. When I powered up my 386 system (or whatever it was), I saw it had a button called Turbo. Next to it, was a small LCD which presented a number. Mine was 33 , I think. Like probably everyone, at some point that Turbo button had to be pressed, resulting in the number going from 33 down to like 4 . If you were running a program, the result was crazy as the performance of the system slowed to a crawl.

    While I heard that you could disable the Turbo to play older video games, I really never saw that need. Still, I wondered why so many computer manufacturers felt the need to include the Turbo button in their design.


One would expect the number of items that are not fully understood to diminish over time. If you were to ask me when I graduated high school how many things I would not understand by age 50, I would probably expect it to be far less than the reality. Of course, I would also think that I would be piloting a flying car while making hit records as a result of my very successful music career.

Some things just don't wind up the way we expected them to be at the age of 18. In my case, I could not be happier that is the case.

Have a really great day!

java ,management ,confusion matrix

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