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5 Links for Developers and IT Pros 7-26-13

  
  
  

by Ron Miller
Ness Blogger 

5 with flag on top at checkout at Home Depot July 4th weekend 2013.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, Implementing ideas at the speed of thought, please check it out. Today, access to mobile development platforms and cloud services means if you can think it you can develop it without the cost associated with building your own infrastructure.

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

Five cloud mistakes guaranteed to make your deployment fail | Cloud Pro

You've heard all the advice you need to do a successful cloud deployment, but here are five ways to guarantee not that you'll succeed, but that you'll fail. You probably want to avoid these.

A CIO's hierarchy of needs | Word of Pie

Every CIO has a series of needs and tasks he or she must do to be effective. This post looks at these in the form a pyramid a la Maslow's hierarchy of needs. 

The irrelevance of Microsoft | Benedict Evans

You've probably heard that Microsoft had a losing quarter, which is hardly reason to hit the panic button even if it was their first losing one ever, but Evans looks beyond the quarter to the long term. And these graphs may convince you that Microsoft is in far deeper trouble than one bad earnings report would suggest. 

Clashing Coding Styles: Learning to Work with a Growing Team of Programmers | Smartbear Blog

If you have a large project team, chances are you are going to have a range of coding styles, and much like making a writing project with many voices sound cohesive, you need to do the same with your coding project. This article offers some practical advice on how to make that happen.

Majority of businesses remain in the dark over data breaches | DaniWeb

A new study by Verizon found that a vast majority of companies have had breaches and it takes several months for them to realize and most of the time they find out from third parties or customers, not through their own security apparatus. That's a pretty sad testament.

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

Note: I'm heading on vacation for a couple of weeks, so the 5 Links for Developers and IT Pros series is taking a break with me. See you in a few weeks.

Implementing ideas at the speed of thought

  
  
  

by Ron Miller
Ness Blogger 

Young woman manipulating ideas in the air.Think of some great ideas from the recent past, whether it's Uber, Airbnb, Spotify or Instagram --they all were disruptive ideas that were within reach because of mobile, social and the cloud.

We are in an age where if you can think it, you can build it. Call it development at the speed of thought. Even a decade ago, many great ideas very likely stayed inside the heads of their their thinkers because it was one thing to have the idea, it was another altogether to have the resources to implement it.

Consider that today you can become an Android developer for just $25, which gives you access to all of the development tools and Google Play for distribution. You can become an iOS developer for just $99 a year, which gives you access to the software development kit, debugging and testing tools and the App Store for distribution. Both require a trivial monetary investment, beyond investing the time to learn how these tools work. 

These tools provide a way to test ideas very quickly for very little financial risk. If an idea fails to materialize, you can move on and try the next thing, and if it works, cloud infrastructure gives you the ability to scale quickly without a high-cost data center investment.

Twenty years ago when I was working as a technical writer, I remember sitting in a conference room with a project manager who knew Visual Basic cold. He sketched out a software interface in a few minutes and I recall sitting there dumbfounded at how quickly he was able to create a dummy interface.

Today's tools make that trick look rather primitive and they give entrepreneurs a greater edge than at any time in history. You can think it and begin to build a  business in minutes. Simply pull out your smartphone, tablet or laptop; grab some online infrastructure, and you're ready to start.

All you need for all intents and purposes is a device and a credit card. Of course, you also need to know someone with development skills or you need to learn them fast, but none of these issues are out of reach.

And if you do need other expertise, that's a simple matter as well because today's online tools make it easier than ever before to build small teams with a variety of required expertise quickly.

In earlier times, you had to sell your idea to someone with a lot of money before you could even think of testing it out and trying it. The cost of ramping up was very likely so expensive and finding investors so time-consuming and difficult, most people's projects very likely never got off the ground. The obstacles to succeeding were just too daunting and too dependent on factors outside of your control.

Today, that's all changed and you can think of an idea and put it in action within minutes and that's fairly remarkable if you think about it.

Photo Credit: (c) Can Stock Photo

5 Links for Developers and IT Pros 7-19-13

  
  
  

By Ron Miller
Ness Blogger

I5 7 19 13t'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: IT finally ready to embrace the cloud, please check it out. For years, we've been hearing about cloud computing and we've seen a push back from many traditional IT pros for all the reasons you would expect. This infographic shows that while those concerns haven't gone away, it seems IT is finally ready to explore the cloud in spite of them --because they are finally beginning to look at the benefits too.

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

15 Ways to Screw up an IT Project  | Computerworld

I'm sure you're sitting there thinking, just 15? This article was put together by asking IT executives ways in which a project could run askew. As you can imagine, they got dozens of answers, but decided to settle on 15 to simplify matters. 

Your Software Flunked Testing. Now What? | Mendix Blog

Of course, the reason you test your software is to find problems, but lo and behold, sometimes you actually do --and what then? Before you panic, you need to sit down and decide what needs to be fixed and what impact it's going to have on the project.

How IT Managers Can Do More With Less | Laserfiche Blog

Even though the economy is improving, it doesn't necessarily your budget's getting any bigger. Why that is would take more than a paragraph to explain, but with that knowledge, this article offers some ways you could use those limited dollars more efficiently.

If Hemingway wrote JavaScript | $$$ fat

What would happen if some of the great literary figures wrote code? Depending on who they are, the results would be very different. This is a fun and clever post on how some famous writers might have gone about it. 

Protecting your business from phishing attacks | PC Pro

No matter how good your security is, it's only as strong as the weakest part of the system, and that weakest link is probably your own employees. All it takes is one employee to respond to a phishing email and it could be the start of compromising your well-crafted security. This article discusses how to prevent that from happening.

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

5 Links for Developers and IT Pros 6-14-13

  
  
  

5 6 14 13

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, Android versus iOS argument persists, but developers should follow the money, please check it out. Mobile app developers can't afford the luxury of having the passion of the average Android or iOS fanboy. They follow the money. For now, Apple's App store is far ahead of Google Play in terms of developer revenue, but the trend is in Android's favor, and developers should be paying attention.

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

The $200,000 software developer: We can build him, we have the technology | ITworld

If you're looking to make top money as a developer, you need top notch skills and a keen understanding of the platforms that are most in demand. This article looks at the attributes and industries that can earn you top dollar.

Security at the edge of the cloud | Cloud Pro

A lucid explanation of the security challenges facing IT in the BYOD and cloud age. The game is changing and the security model needs to change with it. 

Employees circumvent IT security when it slows them down | ITworld

It should come as no secret that if you put up too many obstacles for your employees to do their job in the name of security, they will find a way to circumvent your security. That means the more you try to control it, the less actual control you have.

Is your smartphone making you stupid? | guardian.co.uk

It's only natural that as we become more reliant on our smartphones, we offload some of the tasks we used to use our brains for such as memorizing phone numbers or figuring out how to get some place, but whether that's making us stupid or giving us more room to think about other things is still open to debate.

Snowden NSA Case Points Up Security Flaws in Thumb Drives | TechTarget

It's the kind of story IT pros lie awake in bed thinking about at night. Someone walks into your building with a thumb drive and walks out with a cache of company secrets. That's exactly what NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden did and it makes securing your network very challenging indeed.

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

5 Links for Developers and IT Pros 6-7-13

  
  
  

by Ron Miller
Ness Blogger 

5 6 7 13It'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: More reasons for developers to pay attention to emerging markets, please check it out. New data from Sandvine reinforces the idea that mobile developers need to pay attention to the huge potential of emerging markets.  

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

Why Developers Are Such Cheap Bastards | ReadWrite

This writer has a problem with companies offering free tools to build apps and developers accepting them. Seems logical to me that if you want a developer's business, you need to provide frictionless access. What do you think?

Why your users hate Agile development (and what you can do about it) | ITworld

Why is it that developers like Agile and users don't? This article looks at the reasons why users are uncomfortable with Agile and yes, how you can resolve this conflict.

Tips for Bringing Novice Developers Up To Speed | Mendix Blog

Baseball executives have two ways of building their team. They can pay for top talent in free agency or they can develop it themselves in the Minors and teach them the team way. Developers are really the same. If you want to develop new talent, you have to nurture it and teach them your ways of doing things --and this article looks at ways to help youngsters hone their craft.

Windows 8 continues to fail | ZDNet

This article compares the growth of Windows 8 desktop and the dreaded Vista and finds that in spite of the nearly ubiquitous hatred for Vista, Windows 8 is doing far worse in terms of sales to this point.

How smart developers generate lousy code | ITworld

Even good development teams generate lousy code for any number of reasons including bad communications between team members. If you want to avoid shipping lousy code you need to pay attention to the social as well as the technical aspects of development.

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

5 Links for Developers and IT Pros 3-15-13

  
  
  

by Ron Miller
Ness Blogger 

5 3 15 13It'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, When machines talk...,please check it. Machine to Machine communication was all the rage during my recent visits to Mobile World Congress and CeBIT, and when machines talk, they might actually transform your business. The challenge is figuring out what's important -- and that could be the next big data challenge. 

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

Help Wanted: Developers Who Are Also Janitors | The Coders Lexicon

You might think this title is a bit of stretch, but you can argue that good programmers clean up messes. You find a coding disaster and you deal with like a good janitor would. 

Five ways to save Windows 8 | ZDNet 

Last week we looked at five reasons why Windows 8 has failed. This follow-up piece looks at five ways Microsoft could save Window 8 if it were inclined to listen. For starters, the author suggests dumping the metro interface. Do you agree? Could these moves save Win 8?

If Linux were a dog | ITworld

In this fun piece, the writer breaks down different Linux distros and compares them to different dog breeds. If Ubuntu is a Boston Terrier, what's Red Hat? Read it and find out. 

This man did all his work from a smartphone for one year -- here's what he learned | CITEworld

Hard to believe, but this man pledged to do all his work on his smartphone. Now he chose a Samsung Galaxy Note, which has a lot of screen real estate for a phone, but not relying on a desktop or tablet ever? That's harsh. He did it and says he will never go back now. But there were obstacles.

How to Adjust to the Changing Face of Software Testing - CIO.com

The most common method of software testing is writing scripts and insisting that testers follow it every time. That will find issues related to the script, but what happens outside the cozy confines of the script. A new methodology is developing that encourages testers to freelance and it could be changing how we think of testing in a fundamental way.

 

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

Suddenly Everything is a Development Platform

  
  
  

canstockphoto9080409

by Ron Miller
Ness Blogger 

It wasn't that long ago that all you had to worry about was a few smartphone platforms. Sure, new ones come along every once in awhile like webOS and meeGo or even Mozilla, Windows Phone and Ubuntu and you are forced to decide if it is worth learning -- but suddenly everything is a development platform.

This week was the big Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas and there were gadgets, and gizmos and appliance galore, but while watching the coverage of the show it occurred to me that many devices are computer-like and require sophisticated programming -- and I wondered what the implications were for developers and manufacturers alike.

One happy outcome from the developer perspective is that you're likely to have more competition for your skills. When you have "smart" televisions, refrigerators and stoves, suddenly programmers are going to be in even greater demand than they are now.

ieee Spectrum reports that LG wants to use near-field communication (NFC) most commonly used for payments on smartphones as a way for users to communicate with their appliances -- picture your smartphone as your appliance's remote control.

Meanwhile, GigaOM reported that Lenovo announced an Android TV sporting a 5 mp webcam, Qualcomm Snapdragon processor along with 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage and 2 GB SD card. The TV runs Google Ice Cream Sandwich and sounds more like a computer than a TV, which is of course where developers come in -- it is essentially a computer

Heck, everything is a programmable computer now. We've certainly already seen this with the Nest thermostat, which you can program from your smartphone or tablet and which itself is smart, learning your habits and adjusting accordingly.  

At CES this week, we learned that Ford is inviting developers to build voice-activated apps on top of the Ford Sync platform using the AppLink API for in-car apps in Ford automobiles. Hau Thai-Tang, vice president of Engineering, Ford Global Product Development said in a statement that the company recognizes this is a dramatic shift in the way they have developed for the Sync system in the past. "Opening the car to developers gives consumers a direct voice and hand in the creation of apps that can help our products remain relevant, up to date and valuable to our customers."

The car company wants drivers's hands on the wheel, so these apps need to be voice-activated and shouldn't require the user to stare at the screen too long. So far, there are three main categories: news and entertainment, music and navigation

And Ford's not alone, Wired reports that GM has also developed an API for developers. Of course, there are no in-car app standards yet, so as each car company jumps on board, you can be sure they will each have their own operating environment until somebody develops the in-dash car app standard that everyone can agree to.

For now, it's a free-for-all and as developers that's a double-edged sword. You're going to be in huge demand, but you're going to have to learn to use a lot of different tools to develop across different device platforms. And you might find that it's better to develop an expertise around a couple of things -- and get some help when you need to develop on more obscure ones.

Photo Credit:  (c) Can Stock Photo

5 Links for Developers and IT Pros 11-9-12

  
  
  

I5 11 9 12t'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, Users Give Poorly Performing Mobile Apps Short Shrift (infographic), please check it out now. A recent survey of US mobile devices users found that they have little patience for underperforming apps. In the best case, they will blab about bad experiences online and in the worst case, they just delete them. 

Please consider subscribing if you like what you see here, and if you have something to say, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think.

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

What Hooters Can Teach You About E-Discovery | Yottabytes

Who would have thought we would ever put together Hooters and eDiscovery in the same sentence, but it turns out Hooters is at the center of a very key legal decision about use of predictive coding in electronic discovery work. Go figure.

We Need Data Democracy | Architects Zone

This opinion piece about Big Data is spot on. While we need more data scientists of course, what we really need is better tools to allow regular business users to process and understand huge amounts of data without having to have a Ph.D. 

Remote desktop apps: The great tablet equalizer | ZDNet

It's easy to dismiss the iPad and other tablets as simply devices for consuming content, and while they are very good at that, this writer argues that you can create content too, and if you have remote desktop software, you actually turn your tablet into a full blown computer.

Step Away From the Screen | Develop in the Cloud 

This designer offers developers a bit of advice and suggests stepping away from the screen and thinking about your design/development issue the old fashioned way. Maybe take pen to paper and storyboard your idea first before you ever write a line of code.

Cleaning Out The Turkey Coop: Life After Getting Rid of Incompetent Employee | HP I/O

When you let that incompetent employee go, it's easy to think your problems left when the door slammed against their butt on the way out, but an incompetent employee can leave behind issues that can linger long after you revoke their security credentials. 

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

5 Links for Developers and IT Pros 9-28-12

  
  
  
5 9 28 12It'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 other post this week, Survey Suggests Facebook Could be Right About HTML5, please check it out now. The press is teeming with indignation over the state of the iPhone 5, but while the press might be hopping mad, it doesn't seem to have had any impact on iPhone 5 sales.

Please consider subscribing if you like what you see here, and if you have something to say, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think.

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

Ten Strategic CIO priorities for 2013 | ZDNet

It's only September, but that doesn't mean it's too soon to start looking ahead to next year's IT priorities. Seems to me many of these are probably the same ones you should have been thinking about last year and this year including simplifying IT and getting more social. I'm wondering where the mobile component is. What do you think should be on this list?

“Agile” Often Isn’t | Input Output

It's one thing to get behind agile programming, and it makes a lot of sense too, but just because you think your company has gone Agile doesn't mean it has. When researchers studied shops that considered themselves agile they found a lot of gaps. Where is the perception/reality gap in your company?

What Developers Want | Anil Dash

It's hard to know what developers want when a lot of people react emotionally to changes in the environment, whether it's Twitter's change of service or the iPhone screen size change. This writer suggests that it is difficult to navigate, and of course the process isn't fair, but developers have to learn to adjust. Do you agree with him?

BlueStacks and AMD bring Android apps to Windows | ZDNet

Now this is a cool idea. Take mobile Android apps and make them work under Windows. It may be brilliant or a complete mismatch, but it should be fun to at least watch and see how well it works. 

IBM Targets Amazon in the Cloud - WSJ.com

It's clear that public cloud platforms are the wave of the future. Amazon recognigzed this very early on and has done quite well with it. Now, IBM seeing that success wants a piece of the action and is launching its very own Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering. IBM isn't the first major player to take this step of course, but it sees a a market and it's going to give it a shot. The question is will people take IBM seriously as a vendor in this space?

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

5 Links for Developers and IT Pros 7-27-12

  
  
  

5 at Frankfurt AirportIt'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 other post this week, No Surprise Mobile Programmers Making Big Bucks, please check it out. The Boston Globe recently ran a slide show of what it considered surprising 6 figure jobs. Mobile programmer was at the top of the list, but given the special skills required and the demand for talent, it hardly seems surprising.

Please consider subscribing if you like what you see here, and if you have something to say, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think.

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

Vint Cerf, Vampire Slayer | Input Output

Vint Cerf helped develop the protocols that created the Internet as we know it, so when he speaks you should listen. In this piece Cerf warns that the forces that brought you SOPA and PIPA, continue to try and undermine Internet freedom, and we must remain vigilant. He also talked about Al Gore's role in the development of the commercial Internet, international Internet growth and more.

Microsoft fixes 'big boobs' coding gaffe | BBC

Apparently some juvenile programmers decided to use this phrase every time they ran Microsoft's tool designed to work with Linux. The code name came to light when Linux developers discovered it, and Microsoft removed it. Needless to say it left them embarassed and further prolonged the programmer 'boy's club' stereotype.

HTML5: To Fork or Not to Fork | HP Input Output

Two groups, WC3 and WHATWG, have created a fork that has the potential to create two versions of the yet-to-be-defined HTML5 standard. It's hard to say if this is a simple division of labor where the two groups will eventually come together, or if it actually represents a philosophical split about how to develop the final standard. For now, we can only watch.

Closed for Business | Matt Gemmell

Matt Gemell brings up the problem of piracy in the Android software world, a problem that he claims is driving many Android developers out of business or forcing them to change their delivery model. He blames easy piracy, at least partly due to the open nature of the platform (even though he says he's an open source advocate), on reducing the motivation of developers to create for-profit programs for Android. Have a look. It's a compelling read.

5 Ways to Think Wisely in Development | Java Code Geeks

This post offers some sound advice to programmers on things to consider when making development decisions. When you read them, you may find that most of them apply to any decisions, not just programming design and development issues.

Bonus Link: 12 Outdated Songs Rewritten for Today’s Tech | Laptop Magazine

And finally, a bit of technology news fun as one writer takes 12 classic pop songs and rewrites the lyrics to remove outdated references (such as instead of Take a Letter Maria, address it to my wife; it's compose a text Siri). Have a look. It's a fun exercise.

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

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