April 7, 2008
As noted earlier, my main hope for this blog is as a mechanism for readers to provide feedback on my recent book, Managing Systems Development 101. You can click on the cover and read an excerpt of its content. My target audience is the, usually youngish, engineer who is growing beyond his/her academic technical specialty and beginning to face the myriad issues regarding systems that his/her teachers failed to address. It mainly is an expanded compilation of lessons learned that I found myself resurrecting as I went from job to job over a forty year career building aerospace and commercial system products.
Its Amazon posting has garnered one excellent review, but I would welcome more comments. For example, one publisher wanted me to expand its concise form into several hundred pages more typical of a textbook. I initially decided against that since I usually found myself frustrated going through “management” texts that seemed to delight in saying almost the same thing over and over again. On the other hand, such might expand the books audience by improving its adoption rate as a textbook. What do you think?
I’d also welcome more examples and experiences regarding the topics that I address. I used real-world data wherever I could, but more would be helpful. Feedback regarding typo’s and the like are also desired. For example, the paragraph at the top of page 35 is one font size larger than intended. Have you noted any other cosmetic flaws?
April 6, 2008
Yes, I realize that they supposedly sent out an email in January 2007 that included a whole bunch of new terms and conditions, buried among them being the proviso of cutting back their period of allowed inactivity to 18 months. Checking the internet, I also find other similar retirees who were loyal customers for years who now no longer fly as much and had their miles “canceled” as well. One such customer lost 230,000+ miles, again with no notice. In my case, I didn’t use the miles because I was saving them for a rainy day when I couldn’t afford to fly somewhere that I desired.
My main gripe is that United obviously is taking these actions to make money by taking a deferred expense off their books. Alternatively, I have heard that United sold off this portion of their business to a third party who is clearly doing all they can to make as much money as possible from their purchase. It would have been a trivial matter for United to send an email or, even better, a physical letter to the customer, say a month or so before they unilaterally took this action. Unlike some of their competitors, obviously United intentionally chose not to do so in hopes that they could screw as many miles as possible from unsuspecting or non-vigilant customers.
Given some reasonable notice, I would not have a gripe. They have been sending me over an email per week touting one thing or another, so you know they are capable of automatically generating emails based on an imminent event. But no, they chose to keep their mouth shut, and now religiously stick to their tune of “we told you over a year ago”. Perhaps they did, but they could have provided good customer support by also telling us a couple of weeks before this costly action.
April 2, 2008
I’m mainly trying to figure out what is involved with developing a blog, mostly in case one of my SCORE clients wants to do so. If you’re not familiar with SCORE, it used to be called the Service Corps of Retired Executives, and, as a Resource Partner of the SBA, at no cost helps clients that are trying to start or grow small businesses. You can find out more about me at www.karam.com and about SCORE at www.score439.org.
Eventually, I’d hope to mostly use this blog to collect feedback and comments on my new book, Managing Systems Development 101. Recently published by ASME Press and sold by Amazon, the book is a compilation of lessons learned regarding the development of commercial systems products. It mainly addresses issues that young engineers face everyday, yet were not taught in school.
Finally, I suspect you’ll find me babbling about riding motorcycles. Currently, I own a Yamaha FZ6 and mainly play around in twisties. I highly recommend the online forum at fz6.sportbikes.net. The photo on this blog’s masthead is a group ride from that forum at the peak of the Cherohala Skyway, near Deal’s Gap and the Tail of the Dragon in western North Carolina. I’m the one behind the s in the blog’s title.