Chandler Harris

Chandler Harris is a freelance business and technology writer located in Silicon Valley. He has written for numerous publications including Entrepreneur, InformationWeek, San Jose Magazine, Government Technology, Public CIO, AllBusiness.com, U.S. Banker, Digital Communities Magazine, Converge Magazine, Surfer's Journal, Adventure Sports Magazine, ClearanceJobs.com, and the San Jose Business Journal. Chandler is also engaged in helping companies further their content marketing needs through content strategy, optimization and creation, as well as blogging and social media platforms. When he's not writing, Chandler enjoys his beach haunt of Santa Cruz where he rides roller coasters with his son, surfs and bikes across mountain ranges.

Help Desk Evolves to Reclaim IT Clout

Tech Support
While the help desk, or IT support, is often viewed as a low-priority position with a company’s strategic planning, a shifting focus to private cloud computing within companies has made the help desk more of a central focus for IT. Have you seen the help desk become a more important part of your strategic planning? Share your thoughts below.  IT departments are increasingly becoming private cloud purveyors to companies with new levels of service and service-level agreements, which has increased the need… continue…

How Game Companies Lose the Battle in QA

Halo
QA may be getting the short shrift from game studios, which leads to a more bug-ridden, generally glitchy experience that in turn exasperates an audience that wants to focus on game play first, last, and only. Game Developer magazine’s Editor in Chief Brandon Sheffield points out that the low priority given to QA jobs is the main culprit. In a guest column on Gamasutra, he wrote: If you want people other than scrubs to apply (for QA positions), there needs… continue…

WildTangent Needs Engineers in Seattle

Posted In Looking in Tech
WildTangent
WildTangent has opened a new office in downtown Seattle, where it plans to hire up to 25 people in the coming months for its PC and Android game platforms, and a “super secret” project. The new office is part of an ongoing buildup of tech companies in downtown Seattle, home to offices for Zynga, Facebook, Google and Talbeau Software, among others. Like game distributor WildTangent, they’re finding it necessary to be in the middle of the city in order to… continue…

More on Social Media Monitoring

Posted In Looking in Tech
Facebook privacy
A union representing employees at a New York grocery chain has asked federal labor regulators to determine whether the store’s social media policy violates workers’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act. Have you been asked not to talk about work-related issues on social media? Share your experiences in the comments below.  The chain, Stop & Shop, tried to prohibit workers from discussing their salaries and other company information on social media sites. It also required employees to inform store management… continue…

Google Engineers Jump from Picnik to New PicMonkey

PicMonkey
When Google announced that it was closing numerous services earlier this year, the axing of the photo editing tool Picnik drew the most criticism from users. So two of Picnik’s earliest engineers, Justin Huff and Brian Terry, decided to quit Google and resuscitate Picnik as PicMonkey, a free photo editing tool with similar design aesthetics and functionality. Picnik was acquired by Google in March 2010. Huff told GeekWire that Picnik was “doing great,” so only minor changes will be made… continue…

Game Designer Loses His Job, Creates Amazing Solar System App

Solar System
Video game designer Christopher Albeluhn lost his job, then created what looks to be an extremely cool view of the solar system. The Solar System: Explore Your Backyard allows users to explore space in 3D. It was highlighted on Reddit by Albeluhn’s roommate and the project’s first demo video now has more than 70,000 views. Was this therapy or a smart start down a new career path? Tell us what you think by posting a comment below. Though he started with a focus… continue…

Microsoft Revamps Certifications toward Cloud Computing

Microsoft certification
Microsoft is in the process of transforming its certification program to address the increasing role of cloud computing in IT and development. Is Microsoft coming late to the cloud party? Share your thoughts in the comments below.  The changes focus more on the skills of system planning and design, rather than implementation and operations. Don Field, Microsoft’s senior director of product management, said the changes “will help hiring managers find people who have the skills they expect in their IT… continue…

New ‘ELPaaS’ Ports COBOL Apps to the Cloud

Cloud computing
COBOL applications normally run on mainframes, but startup Heirloom Computing seeks to move them to the cloud with its ELPaaS platform. ELPaaS uses Heirloom’s Elastic COBOL integrated development environment to compile COBOL applications, as well as those written for IBM’s CICS, into Java source code. They can then run without changes on cloud service platforms including VMware’s Cloud Foundry, HP’s Public Cloud, Amazon’s Elastic Beanstalk, Amazon EC2 and Red Hat’s OpenShift. The upshot, says Heirloom CTO Mark Haynie, is that… continue…

Data Center ‘Pods’ Allow Engineers to Sleep Onsite

interxion-pods
The 2012 Summer Olympics is sure to impact data center performance in London because of exceptionally high traffic. What’s an operations staff to do? Sleep with the servers. That’s what the Interxion data center crew plans to do by providing sleeping pods designed by Podtime. The pods can be stacked two levels high. One possible issue: There’s no word about sound proofing to muffle the sound of snoring counterparts.  Image: Data Center Knowledge

Software Management, Cloud Tools Boost IT Spending

Cloud computing
Tech spending is increasing and much of the money is headed toward cloud-based software products, according to Forrester Research. How will increased spending impact the tech job market? Tell us in the comments below.  Tech spending in the U.S. is expected to grow 7.1 percent this year, up from 6.6 percent last year. Forrester expects spending to increase to 7.4 percent next year. The strongest growth area will be for software management tools related to cloud-based products. Software for financial… continue…