David Spark

David Spark is a veteran tech journalist and founder of Spark Media Solutions, a brand journalism firm. For more, read Spark's blog at Spark Minute and follow on Twitter @dspark and Google +.

How to Solve Retail Problems Through Virtualization

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“Retailers are not known for disruption,” says Rick Terlep of VMware. “They’re not in the business of disrupting the infrastructure. They’re in the business of selling things.” Terlep, along with his colleague Chris Scrudato, shared their thoughts in a session titled “Solving the Problems of the Modern Retailer Through Virtualization” at the VMworld 2012 conference in San Francisco recently. But even if retailers are not disruptive themselves, as Terlep noted, when change happens, retailers have to adapt or they could lose… continue…

10 Traits of Inspiring Managers

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Are you a good manager or a bad manager? Good managers inspire and motivate. Their employees are satisfied, committed, and productive. Employees who work under bad managers are usually dissatisfied and often hate their jobs enough to walk out, which then creates turmoil for the team. At the 2012 Silicon Valley Code Camp executive coach Mary Mills encouraged bosses  to “focus on solutions, not problems.” During her presentation, “For New Managers: How to Be a ‘Good’ Boss,” Mills covered SCARF, the… continue…

Developers Take Dynamite To Skills and Win

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Peter Kellner, founder and coordinator of Silicon Valley Code Camp, says that if you’re a developer, you need to be ready for the next big thing. Kellner has been running this event for seven years and the one constant he’s seen is constant change. Developers are always trying to figure out what the next big thing is, said Kellner and this year the conversation surged around HTML vs. native. Facebook’s recent switch to native for its phone app, was the… continue…

The Meaning of Code Is…

Posted In Living in Tech
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For years philosophers and gurus have tried to answer the ultimate question, “What’s the meaning of life?” At the 2012 Silicon Valley Code Camp, I asked incredibly geeky developers, “What’s the meaning of code?” Burn some incense and watch their answers. Image: Computer Program [Bigstock]

How to Manage Testy Programmers

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There’s tons of  training to become a developer but developers who become managers  often have little or no training. That’s a big problem.  Software people are notoriously difficult to corral. Ron Lichty is an expert on the subject and co-authored the book, “Managing the Unmanageable: Rules, Tools, and Insights for Managing Software People and Teams.” I spoke with him at the 2012 Silicon Valley Code Camp conference. His number one rule for managing software teams is to connect with them… continue…

Web Developers are Naturals for Windows 8

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“If you’re a Web developer, you’re already a Windows 8 developer,” says Jeremy Foster, a leading Developer Evangelist on Windows 8 for Microsoft. All your classic Web development skills, such as HTML, CSS, and Javascript that you use to make an application can be used in the Windows 8 environment. There’s a native component to it as well. You’ll still need to interact with elements of the device, that’s where native programming comes in but it’s all within your Web… continue…

Scott Guthrie on ASP.net, Azure and Open Source

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Scott Guthrie has made a big bounce at Microsoft. He was the key developer of ASP.net and now he’s the Corporate VP for Windows Azure. At the 2012 Silicon Valley Code Camp conference, I spoke with Guthrie about ASP.net and its tools, as well as the potential of Windows Azure and open source. Here are some highlights from our discussion. While the tools for ASP.net are fantastic, it’s less so for Azure. Guthrie said Microsoft is trying to make Visual… continue…

Surviving a Technical Interview

Posted In Looking in Tech
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Have you frozen during a technical interview, or been stumped by a question? Your answer should be “yes,” and you’re not alone. In fact, you’re everyone who’s ever lived through a technical interview. “No one has ever gotten every question correct,” said David McCarter, who presented “Surviving the Technical Interview” at the 2012 Silicon Valley Code Camp. Here’s some stand-out advice: Know what you don’t know and admit it. Per McCarter, being upfront about where your knowledge exists and doesn’t… continue…

How to Leverage Your Engineers As Recruiters

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Whether you’re a recruiter or not, you may have to eventually hire someone. To learn how engineers can help with the recruiting process, I attended a panel discussion entitled “Recruiting Hacks for Engineers” at the 2012 Silicon Valley Code Camp. The panel was moderated by Pete Soderling (@petesoder), g33ktalk and included Dan Arkind (@danarkind), Aki Taha (@akitaha), Persona and Jeff Winner, Cardspring.  Image: Engineers by Bigstock 

How Small Is Your Cloud? Try a Box

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Release yourself from the grip of the giant, public cloud and follow Dave Nielsen, the Cloud Evangelist of CloudCamp,  as he aims to create the smallest, private, most usable and affordable cloud around. The process of building a tiny “cloud in a box” is being met through the Silicon Valley Cloud Center, the lab Nielsen helped launch last year. Their aim is to capture the same user friendly characteristics of a public cloud: on demand, self service, scalable, and measurable.… continue…