Innovation, academia VS industry

Last week I was presenting the paper me and my collogues wrote. You can find it here: Enabling Testing, Design and Refactoring Practices in Remote Locations.  The paper was accepted for ICST 2011 conference workshop, RefTest. It is a short paper about problems and some solutions for practice transfer in distributed team.  However this is not what I would like to write about.

The workshops gave me something to think about. The whole conference was targeted at bridging industry and academia together. Unfortunately at the track I attended there was only two papers and presentation from the industry (one was mine).

I was hoping to hear some new innovative ideas that I would be able to take into my everyday work. After a whole day of workshop sessions I was left with no extra ideas. Plenty of smart academic people were presenting research that I found rather useless in everyday life.

I was also little disappointed after the presentations, as none were actually summarizing the research in a way useful for the industry.

I thought of all those blog articles, posts, tutorials, video presentations, etc. from industry people with the ideas and the way of using it. Of all the technical innovations, processes, practices that got discovered in last few years.

Does it mean that academia lost their leading role in software development industry? There is very little in press about new discoveries in the field of software development.




The secreat art of learning or … help me, I'm bored


I just picked up new Development exercise. I decided to learn some programming for Android devices. I’m missing a truly great app for my Android handset that I could get for iPhone or desktop app, TweetDeck. This is my driver and my goal.

I spent some time to get to know the platform and the architecture. Reading some very good documentation that Google Android team put together. I downloaded SDK and some tools. Got it setup (turned out to be a trivial task).

So, what do I do now. I know Java, but that’s only 10% of what I need to know to develop for Android. SDK is the next bit. Plus there are some tips and tricks on how to develop for mobile devices.

I opened one of the tutorials on Android page and after a 10 minutes of reading and following on my computer I got bored. I realized that I enjoy to learn most by pairing on a problem with someone who knows more or at least know some. I don’t really have anyone to pair with me on my new task. I figured there has to be a better way of learning then.

Question is … what it is?

Guys, any help? How should I tackle it, so it is not boring as hell?

Cheerios, Greg