Dabbling

I’ve been ‘playing’ with various technologies today, all work related.

It’s an embarrassing fact that my programming skills is sadly lacking.  For 10 years early in my career I turned my hand to a wide number of commercial languages including COBOL, Delta,  DEC BASIC and even a Printer Control Language (PCL) for UBI printers.  Though I was promoted to the dizzy heights of Senior Analyst/Programmer, all of the languages were procedural.

We now teach all our undergraduate students Object Programming, using Java and the BlueJ programming environment.  I’m not involved in teaching programming, but it’s a skill gap I should rectify.  I’ve downloaded the software and the relevant development environment.  I’ve got a couple of Java books from my last half-hearted attempt, and have been looking at the first few chapters.  This will be a long term project, but I do now have the relevant environment.

Next on the list was Google SketchUp.  Only a couple of years ago an application of this power would have cost hundreds of pounds, now it’s free, and (relatively) easy to use.  It’s a modeling tool which is being taught in the School of Property, Construction and Planning at UCE.  My friend Nick Morton pointed me in this direction, thanks.  I’m wondering if it’s user friendly enough for students to use for seminar activities which have a graphical basis.

The rest of the day will be spent working on preparing the final PRINCE2 lecture for this year – the end is in sight.

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