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Mar 232010

Author Joe Lennon pictured with Prof. Ciaran Murphy, Bank of Ireland Professor of BIS, Patricia Lynch, BIS Director of Placement, and Sean Murphy, Core International, at the launch of his book "Beginning CouchDB" at UCC last night.
Pic Diane Cusack

A Cork technology specialist’s recently launched book is set to help software developers and businesses around the world harness the potential of the internet, and has added an exciting new dimension to an already promising career.

Joe Lennon, a Cork software developer who graduated with flying colours from UCC’s flagship Business Information Systems degree programme in 2007, was approached by New York based publisher Apress to write the book after they read a technical article he’d posted to an online portal run by IBM. The article examined a database system called CouchDB that makes it easier for developers to create web based applications.

Beginning Couch DB -- an introduction to data storage for Cloud Computing"I started writing ‘Beginning CouchDB’ in June 2009 the first draft was finished in September 2009, and the book was published in December" said Joe going on to explain how CouchDB is a new database management system that is steadily growing in popularity and is being used by many large organisations including Apple, IBM, BBC, MySpace, eBay, Meebo and Mozilla.

"As a new technology documentation on the subject is still quite scarce," said Joe. "As a result, it can be daunting for a newcomer to get to grips with CouchDB. ‘Beginning CouchDB’ aims to plug that gap by guiding the reader step by step through installing, configuring and working with CouchDB."

Having an internationally published book under your belt at the age of just 24 is quite an achievement, but Joe is no stranger to doing well. He achieved First Class Honours in each of the four years on the Business Information Systems (BIS) course at UCC, and was awarded a UCC University Scholarship in his third year for his performance in the summer examinations. During the third year Joe also spent 6 months with Fidelity Investments in Boston as part of the BIS Placement Programme, gaining his first real experience of working in IT.

"I learnt about all aspects of software projects working for Fidelity Investments and gained invaluable communication skills from the experience. I also learnt a lot about exactly what it was I wanted to do for a career. I enjoyed being an analyst, but I always felt the urge to go ahead and actually develop the software I was documenting," Joe said.

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Aug 192009

Buy "The Cost of Bad Behavior" from AmazonAccording to the co authors of a new book from the US, bad behaviour and rudeness in the workplace could be costing companies billions in lost productivity.

Professor Christine Porath of the USC Marshall School of Business and her co-author Christine Pearson, a professor of management at Thunderbird School of Global Management, discovered just how much poor manners at work can impact a company’s bottom line while researching "The Cost of Bad Behavior: How Incivility is Damaging Your Business and What to Do About It”.

Behaviour like texting in meetings, spreading malicious rumours, taking credit for other people’s work, ignoring emails and even refusing to say a simple "please" and "thank you" are much more than just annoyances, say the authors, who claim that stress caused by bad behaviour could be costing businesses a staggering $300 billion by affecting the performance of those on the receiving end.

The Authors’ research suggests that eight out of 10 employees who are victims of insults or bullying in the workplace lose work time worrying about it, while a similar proportion feel that their commitment to work declines as a direct result. Civility costs nothing, but implementing a culture of civility in the workplace could have real payback in terms of productivity and bottom line profits. "It starts with the top," Porath insists. "There should be a thread of civility through everything a company does." When these threads start to break down, she warns, companies are in danger of losing their best employees, to the long-term detriment of the business. Even with currently high levels of unemployment she points out that there’s still "huge concern with Human Resource executives that there’s a shortage of talent. Businesses are fighting for talent."

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Jun 252009

Take a look at the non-fiction shelves of your local bookshop and you’ll find them groaning under the weight of countless self-help manuals. There are books that claim to help you find your inner anything. All you have to do is part with your hard-earned cash, make the author a smidgen richer, and invest a bit of your valuable time to be smarter, wiser, richer, happier, more attractive, better at your job… or whatever else you want.
Self help books are sweeping the world. Millions are printed every year, claiming to do everything from helping you into that “size zero” to catapulting your career into the stratosphere. The hub of this phenomenon is, of course, the United States, where, according to research company Marketdata the self help industry is set to be worth a staggering US$11 billion by 2008.

The idea of self-help books is nothing new. They’ve been around since the mid to late 1800s, when famous titles included William Maher’s “On the Road to Riches” (1874) and Edwin T Freedley’s “The Secret of Success in Life” (1876). But today they’ve gone stratospheric, and it seems we’re not just buying them, we’re also buying into them.

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