I put this website together for a few different reasons and understanding these reasons will help you get the most out it.
Principle 1: Be Helpful
What this means is that things here should make it easier for someone to do something. Most of the how-to or tip articles fall into this category. The series on preparing to take the PMP is another example. Unfortunately, these sorts of articles are among the most boring. Which brings us to the next principle.
Principle 2: Be Interesting
I try, but those code articles just keep popping up and breaking the mood. Occasionally I'll post links to people who have more interesting things to say. Even my other website Stuff: Useful things and how to use them is more interesting to me. If something seems out of place here and you wonder why, it was likely an attempt to be interesting. One thing that is interesting to me are the ways things work and what underlies them. Uncovering the bigger picture requires something covered in the next principle:
Principle 3: Be Critical
Yes no one likes a critic. They just sit and tell you how bad things are without doing anything about it... or at least that is popular opinion. I don't subscribe to that opinion. Examination of basic principles and motivations can tell us and even teach us a great deal. Critical thinking is a skill which seems to have gone out of style, but is as valid today as ever. The next and last principle is also timeless:
Principle 4: Be Amusing
I'm easily amused and sometimes by the subtlest of things. If you think something you read here is funny, it probably is. If you think something I write is stupid, you just don't get it. So go off and read dilbert. The urge to be amusing sometimes injects technical articles with un-interesting, un-critical, un-helpful asides. Just remember, I did it that way on purpose.
I've been working in project management for a fairly large number of years. I started in architecture and construction and gained a solid foundation in both design management and construction management. I also have Master's degrees and licenses in both these areas.
From there, work took a twist and I ended up in a high-tech environment working on projects which were about 10 Billion times smaller than what I'd been working on before. Still the problem of bringing designers and those who are implementing the designs together as a productive team remained the same. Coordination across disciplines and interfaces is similar even if the names and skills have changed.As part of a very large organization, I had the opportunity to observe very widely across a number of different business units and types of development (ranging from R&D to New Product Development) and a wide spectrum of the World's cultures. I also was in a position try and draw some fundamental requirements for managing projects from the diverse array of implementations so if my writings seem reductionist or simplistic, it is from the desire to strip away the inessential and drive for simplicity and effectiveness.
My interest in project management tools comes from my general interest in tools. I can't claim to be the foremost expert in Microsoft Project, but I do my best to try and figure out what I have available to do my job and to share that with others. The code samples here are intended to do just that. They are sketches of what is possible rather than complete solutions. This site is written in snatches of spare time and I often make the trade-off of writing something short and simple rather than documenting something extensively.
Finally, disclosure. I occasionally get email asking me to try some software or a book for review and if I feel up to it I'll do it. No one pays me to write anything here, but if something is useful and good I have no reservations about making a recommendation. If you ask me to write something or send me stuff which I do not find compelling then I may just ignore it, or ridicule you :-) The list of people who have given me software for evaluation which I end up using regularly includes: Microsoft (maker of the scheduling tools: Powerpoint, Excel and Project) and Techsmith which produces the best screen capture program I know of: Snagit. Most of the screenshots you see here have been generated with Snagit. Google adsense advertising is what I use to offset the costs of domain registration and hosting.
Hope you enjoy the site! Please feel free to comment or contact me. I can't promise to reply, but I do try.
Jack Dahlgren; email email@example.com