Don Jones

Tech | Career | Musings

One of the projects I’m involved with at Pluralsight is our Skill IQ program. Each Skill IQ test is a short, adaptive test driven by a pretty impressive set of under-the-hood algorithms. Adaptive testing is cool in that it lets the test engine ask you a pretty small number of questions (usually a couple dozen), from which it can infer a lot about your level of expertise.

A necessary part of that engine, however, is a “training” period, wherein we need a lot of folks to take the tests so that the engine can start drawing correlations, toss out “bad” questions, and so on. Thus, this blog post!

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Anna writes:

My jobs has changed to just programming with PowerShell, basically automating mundane SQL server tasks. It has been a challenge automating and executing my job concurrently. I tried different ways to organize my day and it just frustrating. I work during the day and code at night. After 3 years of this I am burned to a crisp. Would love to hear your ideas/suggestions on how to manage a day in a contracting environment. I am looking for innovative way to organize my work time and start living again.

Have a question of your own? Please ask.

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I’ve had a lot going on with book-writing recently, so figured I’d offer you a quick roundup.

As a note for the Leanpub titles: Log into your Leanpub account and make sure you’re allowing notifications for books you’ve bought. In an effort to comply with GDPR, Leanpub changed how they do notifications, and out of an abundance of caution, shut off notifications for anyone who hasn’t opted into the new more-clear policy (the opt-in before was implicit in some ways, and so your’e required to explicitly opt-in).

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Brandon writes:

I read the “Which path should I take” post and it got me to wondering – what do you recommend for those of us who have already reached a level our younger selves would have considered success, but now want to plan for the next 20 years? With the changes to administration (Azure/Office 365 replacing local for example) what knowledge investments do you think are worth making to ensure the 30 & 40 year old crowd doesn’t become unemployable by the time they’re in their 50s?

I hope you’ll submit a question, too!

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As someone who writes a lot, I have a personal fascination with words, where they come from, and what they evolve into. One word in particular that came up during a recent conversation with friends was retard. Very obviously a socially unacceptable word, but it’s one I first encountered in aviation, where manuals advise on when to advance or retard the throttle during engine testing. Until the conversation, I don’t think I’d ever mentally connected the aviation use of the word with the insulting use as applied to human beings, and so I got curious about where it came from. How could one word have such disparate applications?

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