Working in Tech

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

SourceForge Interview: PDF Split and Merge

PDF interface
SourceForge’s “Staff Pick” Project of the Month is PDF Split and Merge (PDFsam), which it describes as an “easy-to-use tool with graphical and command line interfaces to split, merge, mix, and rotate your PDF documents.” SourceForge sat down with project manager Andrea Vacondio to discuss PDFsam’s history and future direction. Click here to find open source developer jobs. Tell me about the PDFsam project, please. PDFsam is an open-source desktop utility I started developing in 2005. Its original purpose was… continue…

SourceForge Interview: OpenMediaVault (OMV)

Posted In Linux, Working in Tech
OpenMediaProject
Over at SourceForge, the September “Community Choice” Project of the Month is OpenMediaVault (OMV), a next-generation network attached storage (NAS) solution based on Debian Linux. The platform offers services such as SSH, (S)FTP, SMB/CIFS, DAAP media server, RSync, and BitTorrent client (amongst others). The project manager, Volker Theile took a few moments to talk about the history and purpose of OMV, which he began in 2009. Click here to find open source developer jobs. Tell me about the OpenMediaVault project,… continue…

Passing Functions as Parameters

Passing a Function as Parameter in C#
When I first started programming in the late 1970s, I was heavily into Pascal and the concept of passing an address as a parameter was just unheard of outside of academic circles. Procedural programming treated functions as something that were called, not passed around. Had I known C then—which had been around since the early 1970s—I might have been more aware of function pointers. If you don’t know C that well, a pointer is a variable that holds the memory… continue…

How BAs Can Manage Stakeholder Expectations

Expectations
As business analysts, we often get involved with stakeholder meetings only to find out they have unrealistic expectations or needs. Let’s look at some of the reasons why this happens and what can be done to resolve or mitigate this common challenge. Problem #1: We Don’t Understand Their Priorities Probably the most common issue is a lack of understanding when it comes to the stakeholder’s needs and interests. While business analysts are often well-versed in a company’s needs, often they… continue…

‘Swing Copters’ and the Danger of App Copycats

Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 10.43.55 AM
Game developer Dong Nguyen has launched Swing Copters, a follow-up to his blockbuster Flappy Bird. Within a day of Copters hitting the iOS and Android app stores, rival developers released what seemed like dozens of clones, many of which made only the slightest alterations to Nguyen’s game—an altered color here, or a slightly different design there. Click here to find game development jobs. The same thing happened with Flappy Bird once that game became a raging success, and developers realized… continue…

Uber Opens Its API. But Will People Build With It?

Uber Logo
In the five years since its creation, Uber has grown to an $18.2 billion company that threatens to subvert the traditional taxi industry in many cities around the world. Uber’s popularity stems largely from its ease of use—with a few taps of a mobile app, anyone can order a car-for-hire to his or her location. Like many a tech company, Uber needs to grow by a healthy percentage every quarter in order to satisfy its investors and fend off competition.… continue…

Has Your Company Mastered Apps?

App Masters
Smartphones and tablets are now ubiquitous among companies, along with customized apps that monitor everything from customer service to shipping logistics. Despite that ubiquity, a new report from the Apigee Institute (PDF) insists that enterprise IT is broken, and that the majority of your average C-suite is unable to keep up with the technological changes sweeping pretty much every industry. At the heart of that brokenness, the report adds, is the inability of current data-storage practices and systems to keep… continue…

Why a Business Analyst’s Role Is So Hard to Define

Multiple Responsibilities
It’s common to see many organizations using business analysts in different ways, which is one reason a BA’s skill set has to be so versatile. But why is it BAs don’t always drop neatly into a single, pre-defined role? The nature of business analysis itself has a lot to do with it. Generally, business analysis comprises some parts of these three areas: Click here to find business analysis jobs. Strategic Analysis Because strategy is by its nature high-level, analysis is… continue…

Do IT Contractors Really Need to Carry Insurance?

Protecting Your Money
If you’re working as an independent contractor, do you need to carry professional liability insurance? For full-time workers, employers are typically responsible for indemnification against claims of intellectual property infringement or issues related to failed projects or dissatisfied customers. But for contractors and consultants, it’s a different story: They usually need to protect themselves through something called errors and omissions, or “E&O” insurance, which protects them from losses related to claims of negligence and other issues. It’s a cost of… continue…

SourceForge Interview: CMDBuild

CMDBuild
Over at SourceForge, the August “Staff Pick” project is CMDBuild, a software platform that allows developers to configure a custom database of assets and design-related workflow processes. The SourceForge editors sat down with one of the project managers, Fabio Bottega, to discuss the project’s purpose and direction. Tell me about the CMDBuild project. CMDBuild is an open source, enterprise Web application to model and manage your IT asset database. CMDB stands for configuration and management database but CMDBuild is more… continue…