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5 Links for Developers and IT Pros 12-13-13

  
  
  

5 at a mall in Montrealby Ron Miller
Ness Blogger

It's Friday and that means it's time for our weekly feature where we search the Web looking for 5 interesting, funny and poignant links for developers and IT Pros.

If you missed our most recent post, Companies still struggle with apps vs. browser question, please check it out. New data from Adobe suggests that apps users are far more engaged than mobile web users, but the data itself might not be the end of it because you still need to develop your mobile strategy in the context of your particular business goals --and so the question remains unanswered because there is no right answer.

And without further delay, here we go with this week's links:

Why Johnny Can’t Write Multithreaded Programs | Smart Bear Blog

Many programmers lose the thread when writing multi-threaded programs and this writer believes it's because they forget to apply basic programming principles.

Never, ever do this to Hadoop | InfoWorld

What is "this" in this case? It's putting Hadoop on a Storage Area Network. The writer argues that for performance reasons you should never do this, but instead buy servers with local disks or you will regret it. 

How to Recruit a Good Developer When You Don't Code | Mashable

It's always a challenge when you lack a set of skills like programming to know what you're looking for when you hire a programmer, but many startups are faced with this dilemma. You could have a great idea, but lack the programming chops to deliver it, and for that you'll need a programmer or two to help you get going.

Why CIOs stick with cloud computing despite NSA snooping scandal | PCWorld

Conventional wisdom says, CIOs were afraid of cloud for security reasons before the NSA revelations broke. This should only add fuel to the fire, right? Actually at least some CIOs say the advantages of the cloud outweigh the risks and they're going to continue to use cloud services in spite of surveillance.

Obama says he's not allowed iPhone for 'security reasons' | Reuters

BlackBerry may be in trouble, but the president is still using his and he says that his IT department won't let him switch to an iPhone because of security concerns. Looks like he'll stick with the BlackBerry for the time being until his staff figures out how to secure other phones.

Photo by Ron Miller Used under Creative Commons Share Alike/Attribution License.

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Companies still struggle with apps vs. browser question

  
  
  

Business man with smartphoneby Ron Miller
Ness Blogger

Many mobile developers struggle with whether to develop a mobile website or an app. In fact, it's something we wrote about back in 2011 in Browser vs app argument is a non-starter, yet it's still an issue for developers today. Is there a right answer?

New evidence from Adobe suggests there just might be, but there is a caveat.

Loni Stark, who is director of product and digital marketing at Adobe, speaking at the Gilbane Conference in Boston recently cautioned that the route you go really depends on your goals for your content and audience.

First of all let's look at the numbers, which are based on data from the Adobe Dig­i­tal Index, a collection of data that mea­sures engage­ment on apps ver­sus web for more than 600 brands. Adobe found that people tended to use apps for much longer than they did mobile web sites. How much longer? According to the data quite a bit longer.

The app users spent 3-4 times longer on their apps than users did on websites. The numbers were 24.9 minutes per session on tablet apps and 12.7 minutes on smartphone apps versus 5.8 minutes on tablet web sites and 4.5 minutes on smartphone websites. While the numbers were starkly different, as Adobe points that amount of time even on the websites does leave marketers with some opportunities and developers may still want to hedge their bets.

TimeSpentbyPlatform
Graph courtesy of Adobe

When it comes to frequency of use, mobile websites lose again. In this metric, people used their phone apps 9.8 times per month, their tablet apps 5.3 times per month and their mobile websites 4.4 per month.

Again, it's nothing to write home about on the web side, but there are times where people use the web for certain tasks. 

Then of course there is the operating system argument and which one is best to develop on. Again, that probably depends on your audience, but it's worth looking at the time spent by OS data too, and in this regard iOS users are much more engaged than Android or Windows.

iOS blew away the field with 18.9 minutes per session, followed by Android at 8.6 and Windows bringing up the rear with 5.2 minutes, which is consistent with other data over the years stating iOS users tend to be much more engaged.

TimeSpentbyOS
Graph courtesy of Adobe

Which brings us to Adobe's Stark and her advice for determining whether you should go with a website or a an app. If you're looking purely at the data, it would seem you would be foolish to go with anything but an app, and unless you were looking at a specific phone audience, you would develop for iOS first, but Stark says you have to look more deeply at your audience and goals before you make a decision (and of course, the two aren't always mutually exclusive). 

As Stark says, you need to go mobile because that's where customers tend to be, but it doesn't have to be an either/or proposition. "We need to be [on mobile], but choosing an app or website depends on business goals," Stark said. And she pointed out that behavior is different for each one.

In the end, you have to look at all of the factors including the general data in studies such as the Adobe one and more specifically what you know about your own audience and based on that, your business goals, your budget, your team's capabilities and so forth you can decide which approach is best for you. 

Just remember there is no right answer here, only what's right for your organization.

Photo Credit: (c) Can Stock Photo

Big companies see big business from big data in cloud

  
  
  

Dollars in the cloudby Ron Miller
Ness Blogger

Big Data and the Cloud are natural partners. Big Data requires a lot of resources which may vary over time and several announcements of late suggest that companies are beginning to recognize this as Amazon, Salesforce.com and IBM have announced big data crunching tools in the cloud.

The cloud by its nature has elastic sets of resources that can scale to whatever needs a company has. When you're talking about Big Data, that's going to require a lot more resources than most companies have to spare or are willing to invest in. That's where the cloud comes in.

Recently at the Amazon re:invent event, Amazon announced a new big data processing tool in the cloud they are calling Kinesis. As Amazon itself describes it, it's "a fully managed service for real-time processing of streaming data at massive scale." It's no wonder, that Amazon CTO Werner Vogels writing on The Guardian was predicting that Big Data analysis in the cloud would be a trend in 2014 that could allow for real-time data analysis.

Amazon has set a high bar for Kinesis. As Andy Patrazio wrote on CITEworld about the new product, "Kinesis is capable of accepting any amount of data, from any number of sources, scaling up and down as needed. The client library handles load balancing, coordination, and error handling, doing the background work, so the developer only needs to focus on processing the data as it becomes available."

But Amazon isn't alone trying to capture Big Data business in the cloud. Just last week at the Salesforce.com Dreamforce conference, SFDC was making its own Big Data announcements. Salesforce believes the future lies in the Internet of Things, sensor data with everything from toothbrushes to car engines and Coke machines offering data. This data will provide massive amounts of information and the Salesforce vision moving forward is to provide ways to process and understand that information to better serve your customers.

And finally, we have IBM, which has been searching for a way to monetize its Watson technology since it put on a big dog and pony show on Jeopardy a few years ago, defeating three Jeopardy champions. But it has had some difficulty applying that machine learning technology and massive data processing capability in the real world. Its latest attempt is to put Watson into the cloud where anyone can take advantage of this technology. For now as PCWorld reports they are working with third-party partners to build industry specific applications on top of the Watson platform to process data and provide answers to business problems. 

Each of these products and services illustrates that big companies see big potential for Big Data and they want a piece of this action. That all of these companies are in the cloud is not a coincidence. The cloud provides a place to store and process this data and provide customers with whatever resources they require (and are willing to pay for).

Photo Credit: CanStockPhoto
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5 Links for Developers and IT Pros 11-22-13

  
  
  

5 11 22 13by Ron Miller
Ness Blogger

It's Friday and that means it's time for our weekly feature where we search the Web looking for 5 interesting, funny and poignant links for developers and IT Pros.

If you missed our most recent post, Infographic: Your users might not be using sanctioned apps, please check it out. It's no secret BYOD and consumerization have changed the balance of of power in organizations. To combat that, many companies are producing their own internal apps as alternatives to consumer offerings, but research has found that a vast majority of users don't like the company offerings. That means you had better come up with better alternatives and work harder to understand your users' requirements.

And without further delay, here we go with this week's links:

The Eurosceptic guide to cloud | Cloud Pro

As NSA spying revelations reverberate across the EU, it has inevitably lead to a call for new security regulations, but this writer is skeptical that politicians can solve the problem and challenges companies to take responsibility for their own security.

Lean Test Documentation | Sticky Minds

Testing documentation may not be the most sexy subject in the world, but a lot of time and effort goes into the software testing process where the testers are forced to document each and everything they do, a costly and time consuming process. One writer proposes a leaner and meaner way of doing things.

Werner Vogels: Four cloud computing trends | Guardian 

When Amazon CTO Werner Vogels speaks it's worth listening. He's a smart guy in charge of one of the most important cloud infrastructure companies around. As you would expect he predicts the cloud will get bigger, faster, better and have more influence of every aspect of computing.

6 Years of IT Toil Is Worth, Um, a 3% Raise | Enterprise Cloud Site

When you think about an experienced IT pro these days, you probably think they command hefty salaries with huge raises and lots of great perks, but a research report suggest that 3 percent is what you can expect in 2014. It's better than no raise, but it's hardly substantial either.

Smartphones will be smarter than you by 2017 | FierceBigData

A new Gartner report suggests that smart phones are going to be really, really smart by 2017 with more responsive interfaces that anticipate your needs and send messages on your behalf. Not sure how I feel about that. 

Photo by Tomma Henckel Used under Creative Commons Share Alike/Attribution License.

5 Links for Developers and IT Pros 11-15-13

  
  
  

5 at CinemarkBy Ron Miller
Ness Blogger

It's Friday and that means it's time for our weekly feature where we search the Web looking for 5 interesting, funny and poignant links for developers and IT Pros.

If you missed our most recent post, Infographic: Your users might not be using sanctioned apps, please check it out. It's no secret BYOD and consumerization have changed the balance of of power in organizations. To combat that, many companies are producing their own internal apps as alternatives to consumer offerings, but research has found that a vast majority of users don't like the company offerings. That means you had better come up with better alternatives and work harder to understand your users' requirements.

And without further delay, here we go with this week's links: 

Cloud-based security on its way to  being a billion dollar business | CSC Engage 

You could look at the cloud and see a security risk, but others might look at it and see a security opportunity. It all depends on your perspective, right? In fact, Gartner says it's already a billion dollar business and it predicts that number is just going to keep getting bigger. 

CoIT? No, it’s CoUX! | A Screw Loose Blog

We tend think of consumerization in terms of its impact on IT, but this writer says it's more about the user experience and IT pros need to pay attention to how well they are producing a good experience for their users. It takes more than a list of functions. Users expect a good experience too.

Interview with Heroku's Mattt Thompson: The Incredibly True Story of Why an iOS Developer Dropped His CS Classes and Eventually Learned How to Fly | Heroku Blog

The great thing about iOS and other app platforms is that in their own way they put app development in reach of people who might not have been programmers. Certainly Mattt (yes the three Ts is correct) Thompson had a computer science background, but he really took off when he became an iOS developer. This is his story. 

IT pros: Are you getting paid enough? | CITEworld

This is the kind of question that really doesn't make sense. The answer is always going to be No, but it's still worth asking, right?

Watson as a service: IBM preps AI in the cloud | InfoWorld

Ever since Watson beat the greatest Jeopardy champions ever, IBM has been searching for a way to make money with this technology beyond the dog and pony show. The latest effort is an attempt to offer artificial intelligence as a service in the cloud where anyone with a credit card can take advantage of Watson's abilities. 

Photo by Ron Miller Used under Creative Commons Share Alike/Attribution License.

Infographic: Your users might not be using sanctioned apps

  
  
  

By Ron Miller
Ness Blogger

The good news is that lots of companies are trying to build apps as alternatives to commercial ones your employees may be using on their smartphones. The bad news is they often don't like them. In fact, a new study by Mobiquity found that almost two-thirds of your users find your home-grown alternatives lacking.

How bad is it exactly? Well it's very bad. Sixty percent of users abandon your carefully designed apps, while 64 percent just provision their own alternatives, thereby bypassing any security you might have built into yours.

And that could be part of the problem. In your effort to build an IT-friendly app, you might have sacrificed usability at the alter of security. If you want your users to use the apps you design, you have to build apps that are as good as or even better than what they get off the shelf, and forcing users to enter 28 character verification codes is probably not going to make them feel warm and fuzzy about using your sanctioned company apps.

Some companies have answered by trying harder. Some have tried to shut off access altogether (good luck with that, especially in BYOD companies). The study found that almost 70 perecent of users are using their own devices. You can huff and puff all you want, but your users are going to use the tools they want on their own devices unless you provide a reasonable alternative.

This infographic is just one world view of the state of enterprise apps, but it's one that rings true and one that you should be paying attention to. It means you have to find ways to understand your user's needs better or they're going to find ways to deal with their needs themselves.

 mobiquity employee app satisfaction FINAL

Courtesy of Mobiquity Inc.

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5 Links for Developers and IT Pros 11-8-13

  
  
  

The number 5 on the side of a building in New York City.by Ron Miller
Ness Blogger

It's Friday and that means it's time for our weekly feature where we search the Web looking for 5 interesting, funny and poignant links for developers and IT Pros.

If you missed our most recent post, Infographic: Mobile Developer Trends, please check it out. Smartphone developers have a lot of options besides iOS and Android, and this infographic illustrates some of the latest trends in mobile development including the most popular platforms. Number 3 might just surprise you

And without further delay, here we go with this week's links. 

Android KitKat security: Some nice additions, and one mind-boggling blunder | CITEworld

Google upset one Android owner when it removed a key security feature in its latest update, one that actually would have made IT pros feel a bit more warm and fuzzy about using Androids for business. It's this kind of one step forward, two steps back approach that makes IT pros leery about Android in a business setting.

How to Screw Up Your Scrum | Smartbear Blog

There's a lot to like about the Scrum approach to development. It makes your team more agile and provides an iterative approach to development that makes much more sense in today's rapidly changing markets. It lets you react more quickly to changing customer requirements, but it's a not a simple model and you need to watch out for ways you can trip up on your way to implementing it.

Red Hat wants to be OpenStack's big dog | ZDNet

Red Hat has become the Enterprise Linux vendor of choice so it makes sense that it also wants to be the open source cloud vendor of choice too. It's working hard to create a product set of OpenStack cloud products and services and IT pros used to working with Red Hat and looking to make the transition to the cloud should be pleased to hear that.

The news beneath the news at Strata | FierceBigData 

Big Data has been around for some time now, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that one of the major Big Data conferences is starting to show signs of maturity as the industry starts to make more headway into business. This report from Strata in New York City gives you a good sense of where Big Data could be going in the coming year. 

How Close Are We to a Truly Cloud-Based Windows? | The Enterprise Cloud Site

Microsoft is a company torn between the desktop and the cloud and it struggles to find business models to live in both worlds. This article explains the licensing structures that Microsoft has set up and it illustrates that dilemma they face as an organization when it comes to extending the Windows/Office cash cow as long as it can, while trying to build newer models in the cloud where tomorrow's business is most likely to be.

Photo by Ron Miller Used under Creative Commons Share Alike/Attribution License.

5 Links for Developers and IT Pros 11-1-13

  
  
  

Number 5 section marker at Arlington National Cemetary

by Ron Miller
Ness Blogger 

It's Friday and that means it's time for our weekly feature where we search the Web looking for 5 interesting, funny and poignant links for developers and IT Pros.

If you missed our most recent post, Infographic: Mobile Developer Trends, please check it out. Smartphone developers have a lot of options besides iOS and Android, and this infographic illustrates some of the latest trends in mobile development including the most popular platforms. Number 3 might just surprise you

And without further delay, here we go with this week's links:

Focus…it’s all about the UX | A Screw Loose Blog

Brian Katz is fed up with business complexity and he's not going to take it anymore. He says it's time we focused on the user and that means starting with interface. Make it easy. Hide the complexity. 

Tech industry calls for 'oversight and accountability' of NSA surveillance | Computerworld

Speaking of being mad as hell, how about the NSA grabbing data from Google, Yahoo! and other online services. Nobody understands better how hard it is to balance security and privacy than American tech giants, but they support ending bulk surveillance as a starting point --and at the very least starting a discussion on how to reel in the NSA.

Straight talk about cloud migration myths | IT Middleground

We've all heard the cloud FUD before, especially about security, but this piece gives you some straight talk on moving to the cloud and tries to bust some of the myths and fight FUD with information.

German Chancellor's BlackBerry Likely Withstood NSA Tapping | eWeek

For the all the fuss over allegations that the US spied on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, it turns out between her Blackberry and the Secusmart chip inside of it, it is highly unlikely that the US was ever able to access any meaningful information from her phone.

Beating the Budget Blues | Enterprise Efficiency Blog 

Just about everyone works within budget constraints, but CIOs can't worry about what they don't have, they need to concentrate on spending the money allocated to them as wisely as possible to meet the needs of the business, and technology for technology's sake is not necessarily a good investment.

Photo by Tomma Henckel Used under Creative Commons Share Alike/Attribution License.

Infographic: Smartphone Developer Trends

  
  
  

by Ron Miller
Ness Blogger 

It's easy to look at the smartphone landscape and think it's all about iOS and Android and to some extent you would be right. It's hard to argue with the marketshare numbers, but just how are developers reacting to that and how does BlackBerry and Windows 8 fit within this obvious duopoly?

It turns out that the the third most popular platform behind Android and iOS is neither BlackBerry nor Windows 8, it's HTML5, but developers might not be using it to build straight browser-based apps. In fact, 27 percent of developers are using a hybrid approach with HTML5 combined with a native app.

But if you're looking for the big bucks, iOS is your best bet to make the most money, which has been fairly consistent for some time. For more details on how developers are using the various mobile platforms, check out the infographic below:

 

[Infographic] Developer Economics Q3 2013 - State of the Developer Nation

5 Links for Developers and IT Pros 10-25-13

  
  
  

Man wearing Brooks Robinson Shirt holding hands with young woman outside Camden Yards in Baltimoreby Ron Miller
Ness Blogger

It's Friday and that means it's time for our weekly feature where we search the Web looking for 5 interesting, funny and poignant links for developers and IT Pros. 

If you missed our most recent post, Apple iPad announcement could be compelling for enterprise developers, please check it out. It would be easy to look at this week's iPad announcements and shrug your shoulders, but if you're an enterprise developer, you might want to take a closer look at what's under the hood, particularly that M7 motion processor. 

And without further delay, here we go with this week's links:

Computers and Doctor Who: The First 20 Years | Smartbear Blog

Dr. Who fans are an ethusiastic bunch and they surely love their technology, but Dr. Who wasn't always completely focused on the geek side and this piece lets you follow the history of technology through the series. What you learn may surprise you.

Lessons Learned: Rapid Iteration for Mobile App Design | Startup Lessons Learned

In this interview, one mobile expert talks about what it takes to build mobile apps people want and what happens when you don't. It also discusses how to keep customers engaged when you build a good one. 

Facebook Demonstrates That It’s Outstanding In Its Cold Storage Field | TechTarget

Facebook has a fancy schmancy new data center in Prineville, Oregon, the new center of the world for big data centers, and this one has a secret formulas for dealing with older data Facebook doesn't need to access all the time.

Security spending continues to run a step behind the threats | CSO Online

As Bruce Springsteen once sang, "Times are tough, keep getting tougher. Whole world is rough, keeping getting rougher." And he could have been singing about IT security threats because the threat keeps growing, but the budgets aren't keeping up with the bad guys. 

Healthcare.Gov Fiasco Shows the Problems in Federal IT | Word of Pie

A lot has been written about the Healthcare.gov launch, but a person who worked implementing IT projects for the government for years looks at the problem and suggests nobody could have done better within the constraints of government procurement --and says the fact it's running and working some of the time is better than many government IT projects you never heard about.

Photo by Tomma Henckel Used under Creative Commons Share Alike/Attribution License.

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