Allowed to learn?

Everyone in IT got an email today saying that ISS aren’t allowed to have personal websites on www.soton.ac.uk/~username. I used to use mine for silly little things like practising php, hosting funny (but fully legal) files and putting large files that are too big to email for other people to download. Apparently this is too unprofessional for our new www.southampton.ac.uk brand, so it’s been taken away.

It made me think about (staff) learning at the university. If I look at my bookshelf in my office I can see

  1. Programming Flash Communication Server [Paperback] by Reinhardt, Robert; Yang –  £23 – Bought by me
  2. VBScript Pocket Reference [Paperback] by Childs, Matt – £10 – Bought by me
  3. PHP and MySQL for dummies – £20 – bought by me
  4. SQL (don’t know the details) – £15 – bought by me
  5. ASP.NET all in one reference for dummies – £35 – bought by me

And most of my programming is done on Macromedia Studio 8, which I bought for £100 ish

The director of IT said that they don’t ‘spoon feed’ people to progress, but they don’t exactly give people opportunity either. Anyone looking to learn how to do HTML or PHP better go buy themselves a hosting package in the remaining 20 days of March. Or just don’t learn anything…