Monday, September 27, 2004

Conference Coverage 

My blogging time is currently very limited (not to say close to zero). However, in the coming days I will comment on Dr. Donald Simpson’s presentation at last week’s LearnNB gathering. Don Simpson’ message was not particularly new, but powerful.

I am also glad to announce that I will be blogging from the Serious Gaming Summit in Washington DC (October 17-19) and from the 2004 Conference on Information Technology – League for Innovation in the Community College in Tampa, FL (November 7-10)

About RDeL, part 2 

Harold’s presentation last week was definitely too short. One critical thing to add: Harold said that their initial intent was to create an Atlantic Canada e-learning community but they ended up with an Atlantic Canada open-source community.

We can put the conditions in place but it’s up to each community to define itself, unconsciously most of the time.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

About RDeL 

A very interesting post by Harold. I was there in 2003 when RDeL was launched. That day Harold was given the mandate of organizing how this industrial CoP would interact. His conclusions now that the project is completed:

- A sense of community cannot be forced;
- Communities are self-defined;
- Communities are conversations; and
- Communities evolve over time.

- Face-to-face contact can be the impetus for online conversations, while
- Online contact can be the impetus for face-to-face meetings.

- Communities of individuals appear to have stronger bonds than communities of companies;
- Blogging helps to define dispersed communities; and
- Password-protected web sites do not encourage conversation.

I think it raises fundamental questions:
1) Can CoP be built?
2) Are CoP more an emergent phenomenon?
3) Should we be focusing more on creating CoP or on creating the conditions where CoP develop?

My instinct tells me that CoP just "happen" when the right conditions are there.

I will be watching Harold's presentation tomorrow at the LearnNB forum and will report about it (and about other interesting presentations).

Friday, September 17, 2004

What a beautiful life 

Sorry for the long inactivity period but I have a good excuse.

My wife Natacha gave birth last Sunday to our 3rd child. Our baby girl Ophélie is nothing but fabulous, beautiful and lovely. In a dad's eye she is what makes this life extraordinary. She is already an avid learner, so am I as I have to learn how to be the daddy of a girl...

Thursday, September 09, 2004

About Offshoring 

I’m currently in the process of organizing an IT job market colloquium that is going to be held in Atlantic Canada in 2005. We are at the step of defining our main themes so I’m trying to list what I think are the main trends that are influencing the Atlantic Canada IT workplace. I have identified offshoring as being one of the main trends to consider.

During the last 20 years North Americans have been told that the best work opportunities were going to be in the IT sector. And that has been true in most cases, even if we have experienced the IT burst. IT workers usually still have a job and are well paid. We used to think that as long as we could handle the pressure, we would always be able to make a good living in this sector. That has changed in the past years. High profile IT jobs are increasingly outsourced to India and China where workers are as competent as we are for only a fraction of the price. Outsourcing is not exactly a new thing but previously the jobs outsourced were of “lower level”, typically in manufacturing. But now others are seeking a category of jobs that we thought of as untouchable. What about our job security? Gone? Well…Yes. And that’s a good thing.

Were North Americans overpaid? No, the level of offer has just changed. Are they overpaid now? Yes, that explains why jobs are flying overseas. North America has lost that differentiation element that allowed higher salaries. It is up to each individual to define how he/she can remain globally competitive. Maybe it’s time to stop mass-producing homogenous IT graduates and let people differentiate themselves so that they can fit well into their immediate work environments. Some call it being innovative, or being free and responsible.

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