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Oak monitors a number of industry sources for interesting information on technologies, trends and tips that might be of interest to computer consultants. These are emailed several times a year to our consultants and others who request it. Following are representative stories from past E-Bulletins which you can read in entirety via the hyperlinks:


  • IT Services Update
    Get updated on IT recuritment with clients, the hottest technical skills and a case study of a company "reverse outsourcing" jobs from Bangalore, India to California.
  • "You've Got to Find What You Love"
    In his commencement address to Stanford University graduates, Steve Jobs delivers a surprising, heart warming and wise message. An inspiring story awaits you...
  • IT Hiring Inches Upward
    Companies cautiously seek to increase IT staff with network, security and business skills. Applications development and help desk also cited as growth areas in 2005. Read the story.
  • Hold the Phone, VOIP Isn't Safe
    Experts warn it is only a matter of time before voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is faced with spam messages, denial-of-service attacks, phishing, and other security threats. Read the story.
  • Linux, Inc.
    Linus Torvalds once led a ragtag band of software geeks. Not anymore. Here's an inside look at how the unusual Linux business model increasingly threatens Microsoft. Read the story.
  • Languages, Levels, Libraries and Longevity
    New programming languages are born every day. Why do some succeed and some fail? Think speed. Read the story.
  • The New Geek
    A new breed of IT professional is emerging, one with a technical background who can channel his skills into multiple disciplines. These so-called "New Geeks" are expected to help usher in the "post-technology" era. Read the story
  • XML: Too Much of a Good Thing?
    Since the main XML specification was created, hundreds of derivative schemas and dialects have emerged. Many groups struggle with competing XML standards that analyst Ron Schmelzer warns could confuse and burden business. Read the story
  • The Art of Object-Relational Mapping
    Object-relational mapping has grown in importance as the chasm between relational databases and programming techniques used by those who have to access the databases has widened. Read the story
  • The Ten Secrets of Embedded Debugging
    Debugging your system may be the most important step in the development process. Here are ten hard-won lessons from the embedded trenches. Read the story
  • What the Future Holds
    Information Week asked six computer science luminaries how the
    industry will change over the next decade. What's in store?
    Think speed. Read the story
  • Blueprint for Code Automation
    Model-driven architecture (MDA) is slowly gaining acceptance. Proponents say the approach provides a common language for business and IT sides, more disciplined code, and cost-savings from code reuse. Some note, however, that MDA has serious drawbacks. Read the story
  • 5 Technologies That Will Change the World
    Five technologies - RFID tags, 3D printing, biosimulation, self-aware computers, and distributed power generation - have the potential to dramatically change the world. Read the story
  • Promise & Peril of the 21st Century
    Ray Kurzweil, author of "The Rise of Intelligent Machines," says technological advancement has always yielded benefits and perils, and calls for the formulation of strategies to maximize the advantages of emerging technologies such as nanotechnology and robotics, while keeping the dangers in check. Read the story
  • Tech Certifications & Skills in Demand in 2004
    With 2004 underway, what skills and certifications are in demand…and provide the highest value increase?  (2 articles)
    Sure-fire Skills for IT Success in 2004
    Tech-Job Certifications That Still Matter
  • The Future of IT Jobs and Innovation
    Evidence suggests certain IT positions are likely to be offshored, but high-level jobs will remain in-country.  IT workers skilled in both business and technical matters will be highly valued and will help maintain the United States' innovation superiority. Read the story
  • Submerging Technologies: 5 That Are Sinking Fast
    A survey of corporate IT managers and analysts has uncovered five key technologies that firms should consider sunsetting – including Windows 9X, VBb6 and client/server technology. Read the story
  • Is Life the Key to New Tech?
    Researchers are looking to DNA for the basis of next-generation computing, but some are skeptical.  Other research is looking to replicate biological computing in silicon-based devices, so that computers operate in the same way biological systems do. Read the story
  • Why Tech is Still the Future
    It seems almost irresponsible to say so, in this sober post-bubble age. But the information revolution really is leading us into decades of prosperity. An essay by one of the country's foremost economic thinkers. Read the story
  • In-House Innovation
    Custom code is alive and well and playing a strategic role at many companies.  Despite technology commoditization and IT budget cuts, proprietary software has not been driven into obsolescence, and is key to many companies' competitive advantage. Read the story
  • Upgrade and Archive: The Ongoing Threat of Data Extinction
    Unlike printed documents and microfilm records, electronic records cannot be preserved without the maintenance of all the distributed data and metadata. Paper and microfilm are self-contained, but digital files cannot be continuously accessed without their associated operating systems and applications. Read the story
  • Code Reuse Gets Easier
    Software reuse was touted heavily in the 1980s, but widescale adoption remained elusive until object-oriented languages and applications emerged; reusing code has been simplified even further with the advent of XML-based Web services, Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration directories, and the J2EE and .Net component models. Read the story
  • Interview with Brian Kernighan on Computing's Future
    Former Bell Labs programmer and Princeton University computerscience professor Brian Kernighan muses that computing's biggest headache is the difficulty of using and programming computers.  He argues that the last half-century of progress has not reduced the problem's magnitude, and he expects it will still be a major disadvantage 50 more years down the line. Read the story
  • Yes, Consultants Can Help
    ROI consulting firm Alinean recommends that companies consider these benefits from using experienced consultants. Read the story
  • Technology: Where the Action Is
    Fortune surveyed top strategists at a few giant companies, a host of CEOs, and top analysts. One fact became clear: The underlying tech boom that began the bubble actually has never stopped. It just stopped paying off. The key is to think beyond products--get in customers' doors to help remake their work, their way of doing business, and their industries. Read the story
  • Predictions for Software Development & Web Services
    Computerworld's call for predictions regarding the future of software development and Web services yielded a bumper crop of interesting insights. Read the story
  • Computerworld explores the offshore movement:
    What's the impact and what can U.S. IT workers do?
    • Exporting IT Jobs
      If you are a programmer, application developer, work on the IT help desk or in data center operations, your job is in jeopardy, and here's why. But corporate receptiveness to outsourcing can also help advance the cause for independent contractors. Read the story
    • There's More to Consider than Cheaper Labor
      There's much more to offshore outsourcing than lower labor rates. Industry experts and CIOs with offshore experience caution would-be customers to carefully examine all of the risks, including the hidden costs. Read the story

      (Additional articles are hyperlinked on the above pages.)
  • Falling Off of the Cutting Edge
    The industry responds to the provocative Harvard Business Review article "IT Doesn't Matter", saying that the author misses critical points and that IT remains central to what companies do today...but the dynamics have changed. Read the story
  • The Linux Uprising
    How a ragtag band of software geeks is threatening Sun and Microsoft--and turning the computer world upside down. Read the story
  • How Can Consultants Provide Cost Savings Information for New Clients?
    One of the best things to tell a prospective client is that you helped cut costs in a previous engagement. But how do you determine how much areas such as training and documentation saved a business? Here are some tips. Read the story (note: free registration required)
  • Tech: Are You Hip to HIPAA?
  • Tips: What Do Web Services, Internet Security, Service Contracts and High Impact/Low Cost Marketing Have in Common?
  • Tips: Staying in the Game when Clients' IT Spending is Down

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