Working in Tech

Best practices, new technology and products, and tips to help you stay on the cutting edge.

Preparing for Real-Time Performance Reviews

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Is the annual performance review on its way out? While it’s hard to say conclusively, one thing is sure: More companies are taking a fresh look at how they provide feedback and align their corporate goals with the work professionals do day-to-day. This is especially true within newer tech companies, where managers can often take a more flexible approach and younger workers expect to receive feedback a lot more often than once a year. In large part, the change is… continue…

Daily Tip: Use Your Sundays as a Springboard

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When Tim Cook took over as Apple’s CEO in 2011, one fact popped out in the multiple profiles of his leadership style: for years, he made a point of hosting Sunday night telephone meetings with his top lieutenants, so everybody could better prepare for the week ahead. While some people may find the idea of regular Sunday meetings with management an onerous one (whatever happened to personal time, they’d probably say), using the last hours of the weekend to organize… continue…

Scripting Languages You May Not Know

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Scripting languages are used in everything from games and Web pages to operating-system shells and general applications, as well as standalone scripts. They allow the harried developer to do his or her job without engaging in the full compile-test-edit lifecycle; with a script, it’s just edit-and-run. Many of these scripting languages are common and open to modification. In a gaming environment such as Skyrim, the developers relied on a scripting language called Papyrus; Microsoft Office depends on Visual Basic for… continue…

How These Delivery Startups Attract Their Pack

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When you move from New York City to suburbia, the biggest challenge is figuring out where to eat, since prepared food is seemingly no longer available 24/7. Fortunately, the past few years have seen a proliferation of delivery-service apps for, well, pretty much anything. Today’s idea of convenience involves booking a personal driver via Uber, having your laundry washed via Washio, and eating a home-cooked meal delivered to you via Munchery. But without the hard labor of delivery workers, these… continue…

Amazon’s Fire Phone Is a Cautionary Tale for Devs

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Amazon Fire Phone
Earlier this week, Fast Company’s Austin Carr published an exhaustive look at the implosion of Amazon’s Fire Phone, the online retailer’s attempt at entering the high-end smartphone market. According to Carr, blame for the debacle lies firmly at the feet of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who micromanaged the device’s development. From the very beginning, he wanted the Fire Phone to “wow” customers with “something big and distinctive.” There was just one problem: Amazon, unlike Apple or other smartphone makers, isn’t… continue…

SourceForge Q&A: Reviving Point-and-Click Games

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SourceForge’s January “Community Choice” Project is ScummVM, a cross-platform interpreter for many point-and-click adventure games. The ScummVM team shared their thoughts about the project’s history, purpose, and direction. Tell me about the ScummVM project, please. ScummVM is a program that allows you to run many classic graphical point-and-click adventure games, provided you already have their data files. The clever part about this is that ScummVM just replaces executables shipped with the games, allowing you to play them on systems for which they… continue…

The Ideal Job Outline for Business Analysts

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In broadest strokes, a business analyst (or BA) acts as a liaison between businesspeople and a company’s Information Technology staff. It is generally the analyst’s responsibility to interpret and define the information requirements of the business, and devise a suitable system to solve those needs, be it packaged solutions or in-house development (or a hybrid of both). Years ago, the BA’s role was spread across multiple jobs and titles, from System Analyst and Architect to even Programmer. For that reason,… continue…

The Business Analyst Food Chain

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Food Chain
When you think “food chain,” you generally think Nature. But within the business analyst community, “food chain” also applies to requirements. Take a look at the diagram above: that’s your food chain. If you figure out the impact of the requirements for each of the segments or “links,” you get a pretty good idea of how the system works overall. Click here to find business analysis jobs. In the first part, Feasibility and Business Planning, the exploration of business scenarios… continue…

Little-Known Programming Languages That Pay

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There is no shortage of programming languages, from the well-known ones (Java and C++) to the domain-specific (which focus on a particular industry or type of problem) to the outright esoteric (intended just for research or even humor). For more programming jobs, click here. If you’re interested in studying some of the lesser-known programming languages, you’ll probably want to learn some that could potentially land you a freelancing gig or even a full-time job. (If you want to take a… continue…

Daily Tip: Cut Unnecessary Meetings

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Do you hold meetings with your colleagues every day? If you’re in a crunch period, racing against a deadline to put the finishing touches on a website or piece of software, regular meetings make all the sense in the world. For all those periods where stakeholders don’t need constant updates, though, meetings are often a waste of everybody’s valuable time. Why get everybody together if the situation hasn’t changed in a way that can’t be summarized via email? Of course,… continue…