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Showing posts from September, 2005

How to make engineering more attractive?

There was a heated discussion on slashdot "Why Students Are Leaving Engineering", relating to an article "Confessions of an Engineering Washout." The discussion is mainly from (engineering) students' point of views.

One of the issue they touched is that their professors and TAs are incompetent teachers. They may be good at research, but they cannot teach (or even communicate). This may be true in American setting, where research is more important than teaching, but the reverse is true in Indonesia (and perhaps other Asian countries). Here, professors, lectureres, and TAs are more focused on teaching. That does not mean that they are better at teaching than their counterparts in America, though.

Here's a lecturer's point of view. (I cannot call myself a professor because here it is a formal thing, which I don't really care. If I were to teach in North America, which I did in Canada, I would be called a professor :-))

I enjoy teaching. That's why I a…

Google vs Microsoft: Why I still use Microsoft?

There have been news, discussions, and analysis on "Google vs. Microsoft" war. I don't want to iterate them. Here's my take on this.

I am a Linux user (since back in the 0.12 days) and a Google user (I prefer Google's services [blogger, search engine, gmail, googlegroups] over others). Don't ask me why. It just clicks. I love Google. My main email reader is mutt, which runs on my Linux Debian box. And yet, I still use Microsoft product, specifically Power Point. I prefer to use OpenOffice Write to write documents. Why do I use Power Point and how this relates to the "Google vs. Microsoft" debate?

One feature that I love and cannot be part of Power Point is its ability to get clip arts from Microsoft through the Internet. When I need a picture, I can just use the "Insert > Picture > Clipart" menu and use Microsoft's Clipart on Office online. It will open a browser and take me to Office online web site. I can then search cliparts or …

How big is your IT security department?

Recently, I've been asked by some people about the "right size" for an IT department. Here is a list of those questions:

Is there a rule of thumb (or best practice) regarding the number of persons in the IT departement?
Is there a ratio? (eg. 1 IT support for every 100 users)
Is it industry-dependent? (eg. banking, telecommunication, manufactuing, retail, government)
Is there a common (organization) structure? eg. help desk, technical support, planning, development, QA, security.

My current interest is finding the right structure for an IT security unit (departement, team).

Should security be part of the IT departement? or Audit? or directly under CEO (which means there should be a Chief Security Officer)? or ad hoc?
What is the best structure of a security unit? help desk, support, incident handling, etc.?
How many people and what are the requirements?
Is security certification important?

I need pointers, references, reading materials, and examples.

Masa Depan Perguruan Tinggi?

IBM membuat sebuah dokumen yang diberi judul "Global Innovation Outlook (GIO) 2004." Buku ini berisi hasil diskusi senior technical and business experts dari IBM dengan 100 perusahaan dan institusi dari 24 negara / daerah. Ada banyak hal yang menarik dari buku tersebut. Kali ini saya akan mencuplik hal yang terkait dengan perguruan tinggi.

Ada satu bagian dari buku tersebut yang berjudul "For The Knowledge Worker, Work Becomes Academic." Saya kutipkan sebagian saja:

If Innovation will continue to occur more rapidly in the 21st century, it follows that knowledge, expertise and skills will change just as rapidly. The majority of this knowledge will likely be generated with innovative companies.

Waduh! IBM mengatakan bahwa ada dua implikasi dari pernyataan di atas. Yang pertama, para pekerja tidak dapat lagi mengandalkan kepada keahlian (termasuk gelar di perguruan tinggi) yang mereka kuasai di awal hidup mereka untuk tetap menjadi terdepan. Yang kedua, kecil kemungkinan…