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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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Jun 092009
Time for a Career Change

Image by Delkarm via Flickr

Less than a generation ago people tended to spend their entire careers not just in the same profession but in the same organisation. Fast forward a few decades and that position has changed radically.

These days it’s not unusual for people to switch companies two or even three times before their thirtieth birthday. We’ve taken control of our own careers like never before, and it’s opened up a whole new world of opportunity.

Adrian Carty, manager of Brightwater Recruitment‘s Cork offices, has noticed a significant shift in the pattern of career progression over the last five years. He describes the recruitment market in Cork now as “candidate driven”.

“In the dynamic economic climate of the 21st Century, the nature of career management has utterly transformed,” he said. “The onus for career development now lies with the individual and not with the company they work for.”

With some 70% of the Irish workforce reporting that they’re unhappy at work, one of the options we’re looking at more and more is the complete change of career direction. Whether the catalyst for change is redundancy; a major family event or simply a re-evaluation of priorities, values and goals; changing careers has become not just a viable option, but also an extremely desirable one for many of us.

While it’s certainly not something to enter into lightly, if you find yourself unhappy in your chosen career, and would like to explore other options, there’s absolutely nothing stopping you.

Some things to consider before leaping headlong into your new career…

  • Know what you really want from the start: before taking the plunge, analyse what you really want out of your career. Unless you know what it is you’re really looking for, how will you recognise it when you find it?
  • Look before you leap: investigate a number of  prospective fields before making your decision to switch. Remember what seems like a good fit on the surface may be less suitable when you do a bit of digging.
  • Don’t be tempted by trends: be wary of selecting your new direction based on what are currently considered “hot” careers. It’s much more important that the career you choose is something that interests you and motivates you to excel.
  • Make your own decisions: whatever you do don’t let other people choose for you. Talk things through with family, friends, colleagues, peers and advisers – but always remember that this is your career, not theirs, and make the final decision for yourself.
  • Give yourself time: a successful career change can’t be implemented overnight. It takes time. Allow six months to a year or more to make the transition successfully.

Find a career you’re passionate about, and you’ll find yourself achieving more, and enjoying yourself in the process. Studies reinforce the fact that truly successful people do the things they really love. Why not get out there and join them?

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