Oct. 10th, 2017

bigmog: (Default)
I missed all of September blogging so it's time once again to condense it all down into one post.

Fall semester is underway and it's going well. While the material is always engaging, the way it is taught is inconsistent with each instructor. This semester I'm taking two class each with a very different instructor. One is difficult to reach with the class all taught through readings and youtube videos. The other is more hands on and use live WebEx sessions to engage with the class. What is startling is just how many questions students have related to logistics of the class.

For example, questions about due dates, how to turn in assignments, which file format to use, which program or technology to use, and what the requirements are. I'm certain that both of these courses have been taught a number of times already and this isn't the first time these types of questions have been asked. Both instructors seem a bit frustrated by these questions so why aren't they answered in a FAQ or the syllabus already?

Another example: The coursework is all online including quizzes. Only one professor has used the technology to make his or her job simpler. If a quiz is well written and uses multiple choice, then it is graded automatically as soon as the quiz is finished. Still, some professor write quizzes with some write in answers. The multiple choices answers are graded but then someone (the TA) has to manually grade every quiz.

As much as I dislike Java, the teacher was excellent and used lots of great technology to review code and automatically give feedback on error or other missing requirements. That was a well designed course because of that.

Well, what good does writing all this here do? I give this same to the program directors but little is done about it. They promise to use my input to improve the classes but it's too late for me and I'll never know if they really do either. And this is the #2 ranked online Masters of IT program. I can only image how bad others must be.

I ranted a bit there so I'll save the good stuff for the next post. It won't take a month I promise.
bigmog: (Default)
I try not to blog about work much since I don't want to bring it home with me. When it's good news however, it's worth remembering.

I've been with the company now for 10 years and surprising received two promotions in the previous 2 years rising me to the rank of senior sys admin. My salary didn't raise accordingly and I could probably do better elsewhere. There are other benefits however like tuition reimbursement which I'm using to the full extent. That's another 15K a year that I treat as part of my salary.

Another big perk that I was lucky enough to get was a trip to Orlando Floris to attend Microsoft Ignite. That is Microsoft largest technical conference where they showcase all of their technology and offerings. In truth, it's a giant commercial for Microsoft products but as one that makes a living from these products, it's exciting for me. The trip was super busy with non-stop sessions to attend. After it was over, I stayed in Florida a couple of extra days to relax and visit my sister and nephew there.

In 3 days, I visited 3 Orlando attractions: Universal studios, Epcot, and Kennedy Space Center. Each was fun in a different way. I think I'll write a bit more about those parts of the trip but not at the moment. Stay tuned.

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