Friday, 21 March 2014

Broken links in the Selling chain of LinkedIn

Back in the day there was punched paper tape, 80 character cards and multi platter disc packs with the radius of a 14"  home delivered Pizza. 

This was an epoch long before you had your own, I emphasise,  your own computer screen.

 I was beginning my 40 years exodus in the wilderness of computing struggles.

 I was learning to write all manner ( should that be manna ?) of  languages with names that sounded like brands of disinfectant or a dietary supplement such as  ALGOL, COBOL and FORTRAN.

One exercise our class was set ,was to write a programme that would undertake statistical calculations such as the average , mean and median of a set of data. 

In those days your work was sent each week to the elites in ‘Central Processing’ .

The next week’s lesson began with what felt like reams of green and white lined paper with the  printed string of errors you had made which you then had to correct.
It was a frustrating business and not good for my impatience.

The problem of the ;

 As in my written English, so in programming languages , the problem was the requirement for accuracy.

My most common mistakes were either the omission or incorrect inclusion of the semi colon that had some particular purpose which I quite forget now.

By the end of the term I had managed to write the programme correctly. It had  taken a period of some twelve weeks. 

A new pet

The next term one of our lectures was postponed . The entire Department  of the College  ( Chemistry in my case) had  to go up to the large main lecture theatre to see a  new purchase .

Unveiled was a Commodore Pet. This amazing machine had a screen. ( It had less memory than today’s  pocket calculator)

 So an exercise such as the one above could be achieved in  just a couple of days of work at  my moderate level of skill. 

This would soothe  my frustration and impatience - I naively thought.

Forty years on today’s  modern computing is far more complicated .  I have reached the computer chapter equivalent to Leviticus with all its complicated Terms & Conditions,  rites ( or should that be rights?)  and purity laws.

 Yet two things still remain in my sojourn of mistaken related computing competence  which I laughingly describe as human experience.

  1. 1.       My impatience ( – the tears of Meribah moaning are ever within me)
  2. 2.       My inaccuracy -  GIGO

Garbage In Garbage Out GIGO      still reigns supreme today , even in the hallowed courts of Linked In.

Prophetic Goading

Prepare your day and stay in touch

Today I received a message from LinkedIn  on 21st March 2014. Prepare your day and stay in touch. Good advice to anyone in Selling.

LinkedIn prompts me:-

1.       Melina reaches 4 years anniversary with XXX ltd.  --------Only Melina left  XXX ltd over 2 years ago.

2.       I am yet again prompted by LinkedIn to congratulate Edward on his new graduate trainee job  ----------------which I previously did some months ago via LinkedIn.

Another person has kindly endorsed me in a skill area which I am pretty certain they did not know I have experience in. I have contacted them since and they say they did not endorse me in any case.

I am losing confidence in LinkedIn.I guess GIGO works for Algorithms also.


My kindly  and wise computer lecturer ,Norman,  was to me a kind of computing Moses.

He gave me one piece of advice  to calm both my frustration and impatience that still seems to hold true as I strive to promised land of milk and honey of truly  'computer friendly'

“  Hugh, you need to understand, a computer is merely a swift idiot”

I am intrigued how often I still have to re-learn that lesson !

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