Your open source could get you hired... Plus Cryptic Rubies
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I know that many of you get information from your managers that makes you want to duck and cover. I don't want to upset you, but I get information from mine that show they're paying attention. For example, Tom_Helmer just pointed me to "Forrester: Hire software developers who take part in open source projects". It talks about how employers looking for technical skills are beginning to appreciate the value of open-source projects on a resumé. Now that I think about it, I wonder if he's trying to tell me something?
Seriously, open-source is an outstanding way to learn and build skills. It's true if you're wanting to learn every side of technology. As a developer, you get to spend some serious time helping to solve problems, which is good for your karma. You also get to work cooperatively with a diverse group of people using a lot of virtual technologies. Do you think that skill set might make you appealing in this global economy?
I'll say it again: If you are out of work and looking, or you want to change your skill set you need to not only be looking at open source but you need to get involved. It will keep you productive and fill in your technical gaps.
Have you ever moved from one technology to another and found that conventions in one were applied differently in the other? That can be embarrasing at least or disasterous at worst. Wouldn't it be nice if someone had walked you through those little issues? I can't do it for everyone and everything, but Arpen San is offering this for C++ developers who are beginning to work with Ruby. Read his article "Meet six misunderstood Ruby features" which is now live on developerWorks.
More encryption with graphic processors
Also featuring this week is part 2 on how to get your graphic processors to lend their number-crunching skills to encryption. "Protect your data at the speed of light with gKrypt, Part 2" is also live. I find something very appealing about this sort of hacking. I think it's beautiful when people find ways to use technology that were not originally intended. I think that sort of innovation drives the future much more powerfully than anything done by governments or companies. Ideas are typically individual inspirations which are then leveraged by the others.
Speaking of innovation
Here's a video bonus for you. This series by British documentarian, James Burke, gives a very intersting view of how Western society has innovated its way forward into the future. Some of it may seem dated (like the cold-war technologies), but it's good stuff.
If you like it, you can see the whole playlist.