Many Pies

Many Pies

Friday, September 30, 2011

Can you put it back together? IT Intern skills

Various colleagues have asked what we're looking for in an IT intern. As well as particulars listed in the advert what we would like most is the ability to learn. That's easy to say, but hard to assess on an application form. One of my colleagues in the IT department said that they were probably the sort of person who took things apart when they were kids. We hope that by now they've learnt to put them together as well!

When discussing this one of the things that we agreed was that the sealed-box nature of many modern gadgets - including PCs which come with all you probably need - and you can plug in if they don't. People don't need to  build or tweak PCs go get good ones, so the knowledge about how they work and how to fix them isn't so easy to find.

On the other hand, if you're so inclined I think the time is never better to build electronic gadgets. In the past there was Capsela


now there's Arduino and other open-source hardware systems.
First Arduino Project

There's also plenty of information out there on how to hack your Wii remote or Kinect. So if you've done that, get in touch...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

You can quote me on that

I was just getting ready to leave work last night when I glanced at a brochure on my desk, a brochure I'd already read the inside of.

The brochure is for the Charity IT Conference 2011. I went to the same event last year and that quote was taken from my feedback form, so I'm not entirely surprised that they used my words. And they spelt my name right.

I guess I'd better go this year as it comes so highly recommended.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Prayer and Training - behind the scenes

IT training
Tue, 20 Sep 2011
Wycliffe Centre: Paul Morriss is leading another IT training seminar for some of the 100+ computer users today. “Improving the computer skills of staff is important to help them support Bible translation more effectively and efficiently.”

This is an item from our prayer diary - Call to Prayer. The way this item came about was this - the writer of Call to Prayer, Graham asked departmental directors for specific things that were happening in September. I'd arranged an hours training in our computer lab, so I mentioned that.
Computer lab
As it was I also did some one-to-one training with someone in the morning on Outlook and Excel. I've recently felt like a beginner myself as I've tried out Windows 8. A good user interface provides prompts to help you discover what you can do. For the person I was training in the morning one of the things they took away was that if you right click on something then it gives you options as to what you can do with it.

Was the prayer above answered? The people taking the training (on Excel) did will in the exercises I set them, but the answer will only become clear in the coming days and weeks as they are hopefully more proficient in Excel.

Classroom training has its place, but I'd like to plug the online service we've subscribed to - Time2Study. It doesn't give you motivation for self-directed study, but if you can motivate yourself I think you can learn a lot.