Programming Language Migration Path

While I was preparing some personal background information for a potential client, I was reviewing all the programming languages ​​that I have had experience with. I list languages ​​that I'm most experienced with on my resume. However, it occurred to me that if I was to list all the languages ​​that I've worked with, then the client would become overwhelmed with the resume and just write me off as either a total bit head or looney toons. But as I reflected on all these different environments I realized how much fun I've had being involved with the software development industry, and that a lot of that fun has to do with the learning process. I think this is what makes a good programmer. Not just the ability to write code, or come up with a very creative application, but the ability to learn. Lets admit it! If a programmer does not have good learning skills, then the programmer is going to have a very short career.

As an exercise, I'm going to list out my Programming Language Migration Path. I would be interested to hear from other programmers what their PLMP is as well. Here goes:

* Commodore Vic-20 Basic

* Commodore Vic-20 6502 Assembler

* Commodore 64 6510 Assembler (Lots of all nighters with this one!)

* IBM BASIC

* IBM Assembler (My hate relationship with segment addressing.)

* dBASE II (Wow! Structured programming.)

* GWBasic

* Turbo Pascal (Thank you Mr. Kahn! Best $ 49 I ever spent!)

* Turbo C

* dBASE III + (Cool, my dBASE II report generator now only takes 2 hours to run instead of 7.)

* Clipper / Foxbase

* dBASE IV

* dBASE SQL

* Microsoft C (First under DOS, then under Windows 3.1)

* SuperBase (First under Amiga DOS, then for MS Windows)

* SQL Windows (Whatever happened to this? Gupta?)

* Visual Basic 2.0

* Delphi

* Visual Basic 3.0

* Access Basic / Word Basic (Microsoft)

* Newton Script (My first "elegant" language)

* Visual Basic 4.0 & 5.0

* HTML

* FormLogic (for Apple Newton)

* Codewarrior C for Palm OS

* Visual Basic 6.0

* NS BASIC for Palm OS & Windows CE

* FileMaker 5

* Satellite Forms

* Visual C ++

* REAL Basic for Mac 9.x & OSX

* Java

* Codewarrior C ++ for Palm OS

* Appforge for Palm OS & Pocket PC

* C #

* FileMaker Pro 7.0

Whew! Not only is this a good exercise to reflect on all the languages ​​that I've worked with, but it is a good example of how the languages ​​and the technology has progressed during the past 25 years. I'm sure that I'll be adding much more to this PLMP in the near future as well. And as with most programmers I know, there is so much more that I would like to learn but just don't have the time.

Another good exercise is to bring this up as a topic of discussion with a group of programmers after a nice long day at any technical trade show. For example, quite some time ago, after a long day at the OS / 2 Developers Conference in Seattle (Yea, dating myself here.), I brought up the topic of 6502 Assembly Language programming. This was during dinner at around 7pm. The resulting conversation migrated to the hotel lobby where it continued until around 2am in the morning. (Ah, the good ol 'days.);)

(If you're a developer, I'd be interested in seeing your own personal Programming Language Migration Path. Shoot me an email to timdottrimbleatgmaildotcom.)

Timothy Trimble, The ART of Software Development

Wayne Gretzky’s Success Secrets

A comment attributed to Wayne Gretzky is “I miss every shot I don’t take.” That statement alone is a powerful challenge to keep going and to have a will to win. But what else can we learn from Wayne about the keys to success? I feel there is much we can garnish from such wisdom. Let’s break this statement down into bite sized pieces.

  1. FOCUS. Without focus Wayne couldn’t see the shot to hit it and it is the same with you and I. We will miss every target we don’t focus on and every goal we don’t elaborate on. Focus is a key ingredient to success in sales, management, and life.

  2. ACTION. Without action Wayne would never have hit the puck. He had to take action after he focused otherwise the game would have passed him by. You can attend all the seminars you like, read all the books you can, listen to all the audio programs on success but without action they are all useless, like hot air. You must take the shot. You must take action.

  3. FOLLOW-UP. After you take the shot or take action you don’t sit idly by and see where the puck goes. No, you follow it to make sure it reaches its destination. So it is in life and business, you must follow through. You must know where your action is taking you to so you can ensure it will be successful.

  4. RESPONSIBILITY. Wayne was responsible for the shots he took. No one else took the blame or praise as a result. It is the I that makes the shot and makes the goal possible. You as a person, a sales leader, a manager, must take responsibility for your actions and live with them. Tomorrow is a new day and you will have lots of chances to take more shots.

So learn from Wayne and don’t be afraid to take chances because without that commitment nothing ever happens. Be focused, take action, follow-up, and be responsible. These keys to success sound simple yet for so many of us they are difficult because of procrastination, laziness, apathy, lack of self-esteem, and a belief system that says we can’t do it. We have to get rid of that mentality so we can succeed in life. Now is a good time to start with the new you. In my book, The Keys to an Abundant Life, I mention several areas of our lives that we can work on daily to see growth and become more successful.

Take a good look in the mirror today and assert yourself that you are a winner and you are going to see change take place in your life, your home and your business.

10 Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs

Running a one-person business is a creative, flexible and challenging way to become your own boss and chart your own future. It is about creating a life, as it is about making a living. It takes courage, determination and foresight to decide to become an entrepreneur. From the relatively safe cocoon of the corporate world, where paychecks arrive regularly, you will be venturing into the unchartered territories of business.

Is there a way to determine whether you can be a successful entrepreneur, or you are better off to work for somebody else? Alas, there is no formula for success. However, most successful entrepreneurs share these ten characteristics. Check if you possess any one of them:

1. Think success. To attain the kind of success that you want, you need to dream big. Every success story starts with big dreams. You need to have big dreams for yourself – which you want to be somebody rich, famous or fulfilled. You need to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. But it doesn’t stop in dreaming alone. You should actively visualize success in your mind that you can almost feel it, touch it or it is within your reach. Play this image back at every opportunity. What does it feel to triple your current income? How will your life change? What will your business look like if you achieved the million-dollar mark?

Successful entrepreneurs possess an attitude of openness and faith that you can have what you want if you can simply envision it as the first step on the path of action to acquiring it. Management gurus have taught us the power of visualization – seeing yourself in your mind as having accomplished your dreams. If you want to be a successful writer, envision yourself signing books for a throng of people who have lined up to have your autograph. If you want to be rich, picture yourself in luxurious surroundings holding a fat bank account. And the process of envisioning success for you should be a constant activity! You need to think that you are successful (or will be one) every single waking hour.

A personal development coach shared me her secret to help her continuously visualize her goals for the moment: when climbing stairs, recite your goal with every step you take. So if you want more money, say “I will have money” in every step of the stairs. This technique will reinforce your goal and keep it fresh in your consciousness.

2. Be passionate with what you do. You start a business to change any or all part of your life. To attain this change, you need to develop or uncover an intense, personal passion to change the way things are and to live life to the fullest. Success comes easily if you love what you do. Why? Because we are more relentless in our pursuit of goals about things that we love. If you hate your job right now, do you think you will ever be successful at it? Not in a million years! You may plod along, even become competent at the tasks, but you will never be a great success at it. You will achieve peak performance and do what you have to do to succeed only if you are doing something that interests you or something that you care about.

Entrepreneurs who succeed do not mind the fact that they are putting in 15 or 18 hours a day to their business because they absolutely love what they do. Success in business is all about patience and hard work, which can only be attained if you are passionate and crazy with your tasks and activities.

3. Focus on your strengths. Let’s face it; you cannot be everything to everybody. Each of us has our own strengths and weaknesses. To be effective, you need to identify your strengths and concentrate on it. You will become more successful if you are able to channel your efforts to areas that you do best. In business, for example, if you know you have good marketing instincts, then harness this strength and make full use of it. Seek help or assistance in areas that you may be poor at, such as accounting or bookkeeping. To transform your weakness to strength, consider taking hands-on learning or formal training.

4. Never consider the possibility of failure. Ayn Rand, in her novel The Fountainhead, wrote, “It is not in the nature of man – nor of any living entity, to start out by giving up.” As an entrepreneur, you need to fully believe in your goals, and that you can do it. Think that what you are doing will contribute to the betterment of your environment and your personal self. You should have a strong faith in your idea, your capabilities and yourself. You must believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that you have the ability to recognize and fulfill them. The more you can develop faith in your ability to achieve your goals, the more rapidly you can attain it. However, your confidence should be balanced with calculated risks that you need to take to achieve greater rewards. Successful entrepreneurs are those who analyze and minimize risk in the pursuit of profit. As they always say, “no guts, no glory.”

5. Plan accordingly. You have a vision, and you have enough faith in yourself to believe that you can achieve your vision. But do you know how to get to your vision? To achieve your vision, you need to have concrete goals that will provide the stepping-stone towards your ultimate vision. Put your goals in writing; not doing so just makes them as intangible fantasies. You need to plan each day in such a way that your every action contributes to the attainment of your vision. Do you foresee yourself as the next Martha Stewart of hand-made home furnishings? Perhaps today, you need to see an artist to help you conceptualize the new line of hand-made linens that you hope to launch. Intense goal orientation is the characteristic of every successful entrepreneur. They have a vision, and they know how to get there. Your ability to set goals and make plans for your accomplishment is the skill required to succeed. Plan, plan and plan – because without which failure is guaranteed.

6. Work hard! Every successful entrepreneur works hard, hard and hard. No one achieves success just by sitting and staring at the wall every single day. Brian Tracy puts it out this way, “You work eight hours per day for survival; everything over eight hours per day is for success.” Ask any successful businessperson and they will tell you immediately that they had to work more than 60 hours per week at the start of their businesses. Be prepared to say goodbye to after-office drinks every day, or a regular weekend get-away trip. If you are in a start-up phase, you will have to breathe, eat and drink your business until it can stand on its own. Working hard will be easy if you have a vision, clear goals, and are passionate with what you do.

7. Constantly Look for Ways to Network. In business, you are judged by the company you keep – from your management team, board of directors, and strategic partners. Businesses always need assistance, more so small businesses. Maybe the lady you met in a trade association meeting can help you secure funding, or the gentleman at a conference can provide you with management advise. It is important to form alliances with people who can help you, and whom you can help in return. To succeed in business, you need to possess good networking skills and always be alert to opportunities to expand your contacts.

8. Willingness to Learn. You do not need to be a MBA degree holder or PhD graduate to succeed in your own business. In fact, there are a lot of entrepreneurs who did not even finish secondary education. Studies show that most self-made millionaires have average intelligence. Nonetheless, these people reached their full potentials achieved their financial and personal goals in business because they are willing to learn. To succeed, you must be willing to ask questions, remain curious, interested and open to new knowledge. This willingness to learn becomes more crucial given the rapid changes in technologies and ways of doing business.

9. Persevere and have faith. No one said that the road to success is easy. Despite your good intentions and hard work, sometimes you will fail. Some successful entrepreneurs suffered setbacks and resounding defeats, even bankruptcy, yet managed to quickly stand up to make it big in their fields. Your courage to persist in the face of adversity and ability to bounce back after a temporary disappointment will assure your success. You must learn to pick yourself up and start all over again. Your persistence is the measure of the belief in yourself. Remember, if you persevere, nothing can stop you.

10. Discipline yourself. Thomas Huxley once said, “Do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you like it or not.” Self-discipline is the key to success. The strength of will to force yourself to pay the price of success – doing what others don’t like to do, going the extra mile, fighting and winning the lonely battle with yourself.

Nine Ways to Go From Trashman to Cashman

Don’t you just love those stories that end with “and they lived happily ever after?” We all grew up with those stories. Often called fairy tales. Those stories provided us as children and young adults with a head full of dreams and possibilities. It was too bad that real life seemed to get in the way.

It was less than a year ago that we met Myron Golden. We had flown to Dallas, TX to attend his six figure business school. It is very difficult to try to capture Myron in words. He is a ball of energy, ideas, encouragement, and challenge. If you can’t do something it is only because you don’t know something yet is one of his favorite sayings. (I know I just paraphrased that but you get the idea.)

Have you ever had your basic business understanding challenged? We have all been raised and in that upbringing we have developed a business attitude. Most of us do not have a clue about it, but it is true. It wasn’t until I started to examine my past that I understood where my attitudes toward money and success came from. I don’t think any parent intentionally sets out to develop a ‘wrong’ attitude. It just seems to come out of everyday living.

When you meet Myron you do find out very quickly that you cannot use excuses. He had polio as a child. He has to wear a leg brace all the time. Oh well, you can read his story in his published books or attend one of his many seminars. What you are interested in is how to go from trash to cash. Let me outline the nine ways that he brought about the transformation.

1. Network Marketing. So, does this first point turn you off? If you are not vice-president or on up in a corporation maybe you had better rethink your position. I am fully aware that there are a multitude of rip-off organizations out there but if you do you research you’ll find that there is a larger multitude of tremendous opportunities. Most of us fail in network marketing because we are not willing to learn and make the necessary changes in our lives to succeed. When we fail we can blame them. They had a poor business plan, the product isn’t all that great, bad training, no training, etc.

2. Internet Marketing. You might as well wake up to the fact that the world is changing and so is the business model. If you are afraid of the internet it’s because you don’t understand it. It is here and here to stay.

3. Training Seminars. If you read five books on any given subject you are more knowledgeable than ninety percent of the people. Study a topic and start presenting seminars on that topic.

4. eBay business. I still shake my head at this. It is unbelievable that people can make so much money on an auction site. But they do. That was definitely one thing I learned.

5. Record label. I don’t know how many of us will do this but it worked for Myron. He could write poetry so he teamed up with a musician. There’s a clue. Team-work.

6. Merchant Accounts. This is a way for people who have an internet business to accept payment via credit cards. An independent company who will handle the money for your sales. You can actually team up with them and when you refer someone you also get some income.

7. Investment Business. When you start making money you better have some way of investing it or you will lose it.

8. Coaching. This is the ‘in thing’ these days. Anybody who is anybody seems to have a personal coach or mentor. When you get good at your business you can coach others and get paid for the coaching.

9. Teleseminars. Why go to all the trouble and expense of renting a room at some convention center or hotel when you can have the seminar on the telephone. This is another area of change. There are actually companies out there that have free conference call telephone lines. You can charge people to come or sell your products to those who came or both.

Those are the nine things that Myron Golden has done to go from trashman to cashman.

James Heller

Entrepreneurship Motivation

Wherever you go and whatever you do, nobody can deny that motivation always has a direct impact on a person’s overall productivity. Similarly like any other human being, entrepreneurs can succumb to the evil of procrastination and laziness even if they are so passionate in what they are doing. That is why it is highly important that entrepreneurship motivation is present within a business to keep the entrepreneurs motivated. This article provides information on how networking can be a great source of motivation as an entrepreneur.

One major reason why entrepreneurs should network amongst each other is because there is a need for business comparisons in terms of performance. You can never know how you are faring if you do not check on your competition every once in a while. That is why it is highly recommended that you start looking at how your competitors perform and compare their results with yours. You can start by making research studies such as public exposure, how well your target market knows your brand, what they have to say about your business and which brand they prefer when it comes to their needs.

Networking as an entrepreneur is a great way to keep up with each other through brainstorming and idea-sharing. These days, it is hard to find an entrepreneur that has the same mindset such as you and no entrepreneur would want to receive motivating words from someone who does not know what they do. If you start networking today, you are able to keep your entrepreneurial mind polished and at the same time, share ideas and thoughts with your fellow entrepreneurs. Networking is a good choice if you want to achieve your goals in the long run because of the entrepreneurship motivation it provides.

You can start networking with fellow entrepreneurs in many ways. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are great means to connect with entrepreneurs that share the same mindset as you do. Aside from being able to use these tools to connect with newly met entrepreneurs, there is also much functionality to keep your relationships going strong. Keep in mind though that you are trying to build relationships with these people. Hold off the sales pitches you have in mind for your products and services for now.

Emails and phone calls are a more personal level of approaching these people. That is because these mediums of communication are often used to discuss agendas with business people or setting appointments with them. Nonetheless, these are great choices in gaining a more personal relationship with entrepreneurs of the same mindset as you.

You can also start joining local events, conferences and seminars in order to meet entrepreneurs face-to-face. When it comes to networking with other entrepreneurs, meeting them in person is the best way that you can get. You can also start talking about future appointments if they like you in person. Start your entrepreneurship motivation goal now by networking with entrepreneurs that shame the same interests as you.

Training Business – How to Charge For Training Programs

If you’re making a living in the training profession, one of your challenges is to figure out how to charge for your services. While it might seem a little overwhelming, there are just a handful of strategies that you can choose from. Here are the most typical ways:

BY THE HOUR

You determine an hourly rate and then charge the client for the time invested not only delivering, but preparing, your training program. The longer it takes you to prepare for a seminar, the more you charge. If the client throws in extra work or wants changes mid-stream that add to your preparation time, then you would, of course, make more money. But there seems to me to be a different perceived value for someone who charges “by the hour” than for someone who has a set rate. There is a perception that you could be dragging things out to benefit your pocketbook.

BY THE PERSON

The second way of charging is to charge per person. This is the most common way of charging when you conduct “open” or “public” seminars, where people sign up individually to attend your program at your facility or in a hotel or conference room. In these cases, the trainers are counting on-and compensated by-quantity. So, you obviously make more money the more people who sign up. Of course, the marketing costs of this type of charge system are usually quite high, so you might not net as much proportionately as for a per-session charge for a corporate seminar. Charging per person for a corporate workshop is not very practical, as your final fee isn’t known until the day of the program when you see how many actually show up. On the other hand, if you charged by the session, you get the same amount whether 50 show up or five.

BY THE SESSION

This form of charging, by the workshop, is the most common for most trainers who do business with companies. You create a set fee for a session. This is an effective form of charging because the both you and the client know and agree up front what the fee will be — and it’s not impacted by the number of attendees. If only half the number show up who were anticipated, your fee isn’t impacted. Usually you would consider “quantity discounts” for multiple programs. There’s an understanding that there are some “fixed costs” in a workshop, usually in the preparation, so a program that’s half the normal length will not necessarily be half the fee. And a program twice as long will not necessarily cost twice as much. And multiple programs also are usually charged at discounted per session fees.

MATERIALS AND EXPENSES

In addition to the training fee, it’s expected that you would also charge for expenses you incur as a result of delivering this training, usually travel related such as airfare and hotel if it’s out of town or parking fees if it’s a local job. If there are things you routinely purchase for your workshops, such as flip chart markers or candy or name tents, there is an understanding that those items are already included in the cost of your fee. You would not pass on those costs that are part and parcel of your training.

However, learning materials are considered a bona fide extra charge. If you prepare materials for the participants, such as handouts or course workbooks, or if you include your published book or audio CD for each attendee, you may choose to add a per-person materials fee. You can decide if you want to pass these costs on as expenses to be reimbursed (in which case, you include the invoice from the printer who made up your notebooks) or if you want to mark them up to make a little profit.

Whatever way you choose for charging for your services, materials and expenses, remember to always have it agreed to in writing beforehand. Whether it’s a formal, legal contract or simply a letter of agreement that both parties sign off on, it can save you a lot of heartache later if you have your terms in writing.

Entrepreneurship and Michael Dell’s Content, Commerce, & Community

If you want to be an entrepreneur, who better to study than Michael Dell? He is an inspiration to entrepreneurs everywhere. Starting in his college dorm room building computers, his understanding of business has made him an icon of success in the arena of technology businesses.

In two keynote addresses given almost a decade ago, Michael Dell defined three principles or concepts for successful internet businesses. Much of what he suggested is now standard practice and in some cases has been taken further than he probably imagined.

Theses principles are sometimes referred to as the 3 C’s. They are content, commerce and community. Careful study of these three principles can help entrepreneurs, those with home based businesses, and network marketers.

The first of the 3 C’s is content.

How did Michael Dell define content? Listen to the words he uses to define it for the Detroit Economic Club on November 1, 1999, “The first stage of content means providing compelling information. This is how we started our online operations in 1993, when we put our technical databases online for customers to access. It was a relatively simple start, but it showed us the tremendous interest from our customers.”

At the keynote address at the Southwest Government Technology Conference in 2000, he made similar suggestions to the ones he made earlier in that Detroit meeting.

He suggested this: “By content, we mean bringing information online. Anytime you have a form, a manual, or a document, put it online. This is the foundation of any Internet strategy. Once we brought information online, it became clear to us where the opportunities were in the transaction world: simple things like order status and commerce, and we have added more complex things over time. The key, again, is that it is experiential and you learn by doing.”

If you want to be an entrepreneur, what is the content you already have, what content do you need to develop?

Look at your present or future business from the content perspective? Define your content. Learn from those who have created that kind of content. Do what they did to create it.

You need products or services to provide to customers. Make a list of the content they will need to explain, troubleshoot, access, or know about your goods and services. A viable business start-up needs content tied to real-world products or services.

The second of the 3 C’s is commerce.

Read how Mr. Dell defined it in Detroit, “The next stage is commerce, which should be thought of as all transactions, not just buying things over the web. In fact, our first activity in this area had nothing to do with purchasing. It was simply order status.”

A few months later at the conference in the Southwest he reiterated, “The second stage is commerce. You should think of this as any kind of transactions. Our first experiment with transactions really had nothing to do with “commerce.” It was an online order status tool. We knew we were on to something when, in the first week, five thousand customers used this tool — and we didn’t even advertise that it was out there. This formed the foundation of our online sales effort.”

He continued, “Our ultimate goal is to deepen relationships with customers by providing added convenience, efficiency, and cost savings, and a wider array of services. The Internet creates an opportunity to move these key transactions online and drive transaction cost to almost zero.”

Does your commerce process resonate with Michael Dell’s suggestion? Think about the last quote. “The ultimate goal is to deepen relationships.” Commerce aspects may reduce costs and increase efficiency, but with a purpose. The ultimate goal is C # 3 which is community.

How important is community, the third C?

According to Mr. Dell, “The final stage is developing an online community. We are building two-way relationships over the web with both our customers and our suppliers.” – Detroit Economic Club.

He went on to express the goal of “establishing communities of suppliers and end users that share common interests”.

At the later conference in the Southwest he ended by observing, “In summary, the Internet is changing the face of the entire economic and social structure of not only this country but the entire world, and governments have a great opportunity to embrace it. We are seeing a transition from a brick-and-mortar government to an online government. The advantages will include things like velocity, efficiency, and a better customer experience.”

The internet has matured since Michael Dell first talked about the 3 C’s, but as a model they still make sense. If anything, community has become even more important. They are not a grocery list to pick one to keep and one to leave.

Today community is so important that it has ushered in a rebirth of web marketing, often called Web 2.0. It depends on social marketing, blogs, myspace and other elements to build that community. Content and commerce both serve the final C of community. It is in community where loyalities, relationships, and trust are built.

Where there is community there are repeat customers. Community-building is a vital skill to have if you want to be an entrepreneur.