Private Knowledge Management: SHARE, REUSE, COLLABORATE and LEARN

I restructure my knowledge management approach today. above you see a short mindmap outlining my idea. It is based on three principles SHARE, REUSE, COLLABORATE and LEARN.

  1. SHARE: This means when I work on a problem I share it with others and solve it together. Sharing your problems and solutions increases your reputation and at the same time reduces problem solving time. This can be done in a company social network ( at IBM this would be IBM Connections) or professional networks like quora or linkedin groups. The faster way for you to implement this is to:
    1. Make a list of all relevent professional social networks and groups and start interacting on them.
    2. Create a working directory in the cloud for all the documents you work currently on. A online cloud storage makes it easier to share files with your colleages and colaborates from your network. And decreases the hurdles for them to help you.
  2. REUSE: The key to reuse is that you have an archieve with all finished projects. And like with EMails research has show that there is no benefit of folder organization. There I advice you to find a online storage system like google docs with good search capability and ocr. This enables you to search directly in the documents instead of going through many folders.


COLLABORATE and LEARN are also important, but are more connected to the right tools and business process to utilize your previous build up REUSE and SHARE capabilities. I will attend to this topics in a post in the future. 

How to change the Standard Browers in Lotus Notes

Today I reinstalled Lotus Notes, everything works perfect except one thing: When I click on a Link Lotus Notes opens the Link internal and not in my Google Chrome. This is how I solved it.  

Go to the top left of Lotus Notes and open File > Preferences. (Shown below)

ImageBanana - MailInboxIBMLotusNotes_002.png

Next a windows opens: type in the field at the top (Number 1 in Screenshot) “Web” and klick on Web Browser, then select Option show in the Screenshot as Number 2. Confirm this with the “Apply” Button (Number 3 in Screenshot).   

ImageBanana - Selection_003.png

You are done. Enjoy that links now will open in your choosen browers.

Implemented a ROT13 Encryption Web App

The Source Code for the Python Web App using Templates (jinja2):
[sourcecode language="python"]
import os #http://effbot.org/librarybook/os.htm operating system fumctions
import re #http://effbot.org/librarybook/re.htm regular expression module
from string import letters

import webapp2
import jinja2

from google.appengine.ext import db

template_dir = os.path.join(os.path.dirname(__file__), 'templates')
jinja_env = jinja2.Environment(loader = jinja2.FileSystemLoader(template_dir), autoescape = True)

def render_str(template, **params):
t = jinja_env.get_template(template)
return t.render(params)

class MainHandler(webapp2.RequestHandler):
def render(self, template, **kw):
self.response.out.write(render_str(template, **kw))

def write(self, *a, **kw):
self.response.out.write(*a, **kw)

class Rot13(MainHandler):
def get(self):
self.render('rot13-form.html')

def post(self):
rot13 = ''
text = self.request.get('text')
if text:
rot13 = text.encode('rot13')

self.render('rot13-form.html', text=rot13)

app = webapp2.WSGIApplication([
('/', Rot13)],
debug=True)
[/sourcecode]
Source code for the Template positioned in a folder 'templates':
[sourcecode language="html"]</pre>
<!DOCTYPE html>

<html>
<head>
<title>Unit 2 Rot 13</title>
</head>

<body>
<h2>Enter some text to ROT13:</h2>
<form method="post">
<textarea name="text"
style="height: 100px; width: 400px;">{{text}}</textarea>
<br>
<input type="submit">
</form>
</body>

</html>[/sourcecode]

Should you go for a Ph.D.? Most of us shouldn’t!

Botton line: If you want to go into – Academics or into R&D (e.g. in the Lab of a big company), then go for a Ph.D. otherwise go for the business experience.

And this is why:

The best answer I’ve seen to this question is by Prof. Matthew Might on his blog. Like many great answers, it uses pictures (taken from The illustrated guide to a Ph.D.):

Imagine a circle that contains all of human knowledge:

 

By the time you finish elementary school, you know a little:

By the time you finish high school, you know a bit more:

With a bachelor’s degree, you gain a specialty:

A master’s degree deepens that specialty:

Reading research papers takes you to the edge of human knowledge:

Once you’re at the boundary, you focus:

You push at the boundary for a few years:

Until one day, the boundary gives way:

And, that dent you’ve made is called a Ph.D.:


Extending this boundary of human knowledge gives you a number of other skills apart from the knowledge gained (as explained in Vijay Chidambaram’s answer to PhD Careers: If a PhD doesn’t go into research or industry in his or her chosen field or specialty, what is he or she actually more qualified than college graduates to do?):

Ability to work independently. The degree is not conferred until the candidate has proved to experts that he or she has produced original work and advanced the state of the field in some way. Though some work may be done in collaboration, the ideas as such must originate with the degree holder. 

Critical thought. Extending the state of the art cannot be done without knowing what is wrong with the current state. A PhD candidate learns to critically examine the thoughts of others and pick out the pros and cons.

Perseverance. Getting the degree is a long and arduous journey that tests the determination of the candidate.

Ability to work with poorly defined goals. One of the bigger hurdles of the PhD is that there is no clear cut goal. You know you have to do original research, but no one can exactly say these are the things you need to do every day to do it. Research as such involves going back and forth, exploring blind alleys and so forth.

Effective communication. The candidate must be able to communicate about his or her research effectively, at least on paper. The better candidates will be able to communicate through oral presentations as well.

Though a Master’s degree equips one with specialized knowledge, most of the above skills are not learnt during a Masters degree. Do note that you don’t need any degree to acquire the above skills on your own.

A masters degree equips you to do high level, complex design and potentially lead software engineering teams.

A PhD degree equips you to do original research and potentially lead R&D teams.