Computer Science Degree — Is It Worth It?

Here is a request for a proposal taken from a popular freelance-web-programmer site (spelling errors included):

I am looking for someone who has good experience writing thesis projects. I have a deadline of December 10th to submit my thesis. I am a Computer Science student and almost at the end of my completion of the degree. I have to present a good strong thesis project related to IT which has some programming or implementation involved in it. Below is the brief description which my professor has given me to write my thesis. I am looking for someone who should be good at writing strong tehnical thesis. Money woudl not be an issue for the right person.

I come across these occasionally and wonder what will this person do when they enter the “real world”.  This one is particularly telling with its directness.  Will an employer be able to detect their lack of ability?  Will they be fast-tracked to management because of their pedigree?  Will their spell-checker prevent future exposure to their incompetence?  Or will they eventually resign in shame like the CIO of Equifax?

I believe, for the most part,  there are good schools producing good students.  But seeing things like this worry me.  The general lack of enthusiasm of Millennials and the misplaced emphasis on job placement among colleges (and universities) has degraded our educational system.  And, assuming this is a foreign college, I have much doubt about our ability to fulfill the vacant computer programming positions by increasing the H1B visa quotas.

 

Why Your Data Loads Take Too Long

During twenty years of doing application development for clients, I have optimized process automation data loads primarily by changing INSERT statements into a BULK LOAD process.  In SQL Server, an external command line utility (bcp.exe) allows bidirectional data streams to flow.  In MySQL, the inward flow is managed by the LOAD DATA INFILE command.

The key to using these BULK LOAD processes is formatting the data properly in files before loading the data.  The best language for parsing large streams of data is Perl.  If you convert your INSERT  statement-generating PHP, Java, C#, VB, etc. to a Perl scrubbing and formatting operation and use the database’s BULK LOAD utility, I am sure you will see a significant increase in the performance of your data loads.  I have used operating system shell scripting languages to tie it all together for automation.

Another factor is the configuration settings of the relational database logging operation.  Most simplified databases do not log transactions because they do not enforce ACID principals.  In fact, most databases, relational or not, are based on straight-forward ISAM principals.  Transactional databases, those that require recovery of transactional (e.g. INSERT) failures, perform extra operations to allow for that recovery.   But what most freelance web programmers don’t know is that this extra activity at every INSERT of a row slows the load process down significantly.  In a data warehouse, this transactional logging can be turned off.  Data recovery is controlled by managing the files used during the bulk load operation.

A BULK LOAD operation in transactional databases will treat the entire load as a single transaction, so breaking up a large set of rows into separate files may make the end-user support more manageable.  The cause of failed file loads can be investigated and dealt with on a more granular level if the files are split into manageable pieces.  What defines “manageable” is determined on a case by case basis by the latency and use requirements of the data.

 

 

Platform (PaaS) , not Infrastruture (IaaS), as a Service

Jonathon Feldman wrote in February “Why IaaS Won’t Happen in Most Enterprises“.   He makes the argument that departmental business needs will drive spending on Platform as a Service provisioning.   The argument is a solid one that Konduit has been using to satisfy end-user needs for over ten years.

Like software application development tool vendors, most PaaS providers rely upon a following of freelance web programmers to train and certify in their technology, all at significant time and dollar investment.  If they attract enough followers, then major tool vendors eye them for acquisition, which is followed by migration or deprecation, leaving customers to start over again.

When PaaS licensing is combined with application development services so that customers are not left with unsupported mash ups, we call that Support.  The development, deployment, and support of applications written using Konduit’s Transaction Editor Platform as a Service stays within the control of Konduit engineers.  A customer’s subject matter experts remain in control of the work flow and practices that define the software’s functionality, without having to understand the mechanics underlying the computer logic, security, reliability, or presentation methodologies.  They just get to use it and share it as needed.  In essence, Support as a Service, provides infrastructure, platform, and services to the end-user without requiring their understanding of the technology.  Unfortunately the acronym SaaS has already been taken.  Please comment with your ideas for a new acronym for Support as a Service.

 

Choosing The Right Inventory Control Software For Small Business

Complete control over your inventory is one of the most crucial aspects of enjoying long-term success. When you have one or more warehouses to manage, making sure that they are properly stocked, orders are properly taken and delivered, and all changes properly reported can make or break your business.

Small business inventory control has its pitfalls. As a small business yourself, you could experience these pitfalls while choosing an inventory control software for small business that has the following issues – it is too costly to maintain, it doesn’t come with the flexibility of being modified easily as your business needs change, it doesn’t adapt to your needs – doesn’t control/print/manage sales orders, shipping advice notices, invoices, and warehouse releases among other things.

On the other hand, if you have the right inventory control/management system in place, you will not only be able to avoid the troubles associated with repetitive inventory tasks, but also replenish your stock in the best possible manner, at the right time.

You don’t need to be an expert to choose the right inventory solution for your small business inventory needs. You need a software that can perfectly meet your needs – streamline warehouse management without needing additional resources or expenses.