R Michael Small

My experience ranges from PCs (and Apples/Macs) to mainframes, but I do not own an Xbox, or Gameboy, and I am "Wii-free". I've held tech programming, networking, administrative, support and leadership positions, and am a substitute teacher. I have two business degrees, and several years experience in law enforcement as a Patrolman/Training Officer concurrent to my IT experience. My brand is technology as a tool, not a life. Avocational interests include Scotland (all of it), inventing and modifying SCUBA gear, writing, and photography.

What’s in a Title?

What is in a title? That depends. Perhaps much; your title is industry standard and perfectly describes your area of responsibility. Perhaps little; an industry standard that is insufficient to describe your area of responsibility. Perhaps nothing; an industry standard, or not, that is simply a title to confer status, income or both. I recently had an online discussion with a person interested in transitioning from “system administrator” to “programmer.” My first response was to request a definition of “system… continue…

Developers: Are You RAD, Agile or Chaotic?

Posted In Working in Tech
Perhaps you are a Waterfall, a Spiral, or an Incremental. Like other vocations, technology is heavy with acronyms, titles, methodologies and models. Sadly, except for being required to always have a flowchart with me while working in the lab years ago as a CS student, I don’t recall discussing, much less utilizing, various software development methodologies and their strengths or weaknesses. Several days ago I was chatting with an IT guy and inquired about his title of Application Developer. I… continue…

More On The Changing Face Of IT

Posted In Working in Tech
Old Terminal
Not long ago, my blogger colleague Don Willmott picked up an item by Jason Hiner in TechRepublic. Hiner’s argument that most IT departments “are a shadow of their former selves,” and will get even more shadowy as new technologies reshape their roles,  generated a few comments, and I’d like to add my 1 0 cents. Mr. Hiner says: IT used to be about managing and deploying hardware and software…. (T)he area where the largest number of IT jobs is going to… continue…

If You Don’t Like My Work, Just Fire Me

Posted In Looking in Tech
Training Wheels
Some time ago, when Compaq portable computers weighed 28 pounds and offered a nine-inch monochrome display, I was interviewed for my first software position. My memory of the details has faded but I remember the primary task was a conversion project. I also remember the legacy code was running on a DEC PDP system, and the new code was intended for an IBM mainframe. The legacy OS was RSTS/E, and I believe the programs were written in a version of… continue…