Top Java Developers Offer Advice to Students

In a past life I used to teach Java as a first programming language to Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Information and Communication Technology students so I was interested when news of [this article](http://java.sun.com/developer/technicalArticles/Interviews/studentdevs/index.html) (published in [java.sun.com](http://java.sun.com/developer) [/developer](http://java.sun.com/developer)) was received via Geertjan Wielanda of the [Netbeans Educational Resources](http://edu.netbeans.org/) site.

Two pieces of advice that I’d pass on are:
1. Knowledge of a subject doesn’t end when the exam finishes: a soup tastes better if the pot is left simmering for a long time after the meat is added!
2. Be open to the opportunities that letting the boundaries between modules fade away can bring. You’ll be suprised when that piece of obscure set theory suddenly becomes relevant.

A lesson I’ve learned is that you’ll never know everything, there will always be new things to learn and others to learn from. I’m still learning, and I hope to continue to do so. And I have probably learned more from my students, than they have ever learned from me.

RAE Results “Let loose the dogs of war”

At midnight the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) released the results of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). All the newspapers will be busy analysing the results (although only the Guardian and the Times Higher seem to have gone to press with any great detail today) and will be publishing new League Tables and University Vice chancellors will be busy putting the best spin on the results.

The key issue will be how the research ratings will affect funding and most University’s have been desperately playing the transfer market over the last five years (to the detriment of teaching perhaps) in order to get the best possible score. However, the result is likely to be a net reduction in funding for most institutions, a slight increase for the lucky few, and a redistribution of funds for the rest. There’s no Champions league in Academia so I suspect that a lot of cash, time and energy has been expended to maintain the staus quo. Mathematicians call this sort of thing a zero-sum-game: it’s a pity that we’ve all been forced to play it.

For interest, here are the Guardian results for Swansea and our nearest rivals Cardiff, Bangor and Aberystwyth. Here’s my subject, this is education research and and here’s my Alma Mata.

Merry Christmas to My Reader!


Jumping on the bandwagon, I though I would share this picture taken last year of the Eich Mühle, on the Regen in Regesnstauf in a very Christmassy Bavaria. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a safe and prosperous New Year!