Working in Tech

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

Processing: A Visual Language, Not Just for Artists

Posted In Working in Tech
Processing Screenshot
Processing is a programming language that was developed at MIT so artists and other creatives could learn to program in a visual context. It’s built on top of Java and has a basic IDE for editing and running “sketches.” The sketches — otherwise known as code — are gathered in a “sketchbook.” This metaphorically helps the artists to organize their coding workflow into something they recognize. The latest version is 2.0.3, also known as “Processing2.” No matter who it’s designed… continue…

Is Julia the Future for Big Data Analytics?

Julia Language Logo
In many Big Data analysis blogs, at Big Data meetups and in the halls of the most recent O’Reilly Strata Conference, one of the most-discussed topics is which language is better for data analysis: Python or R. Some of the talk has even reached “religious” overtones not unlike previous discussions on Windows vs. Linux or Microsoft’s Internet Explorer vs. Mozilla Firefox. So what’s the issue here? Why are Big Data analysts so concerned with what language to use? In my… continue…

Amazon Offers Developers Better Cross-Platform Tools

Amazon Analytics
Amazon wants integration with its services to be easy for developers and consumers alike, so it’s enticing developers to create better cross-platform experiences by opening GameCircle, Whispersync, Analytics and in-app purchasing to new platforms. So now developers can take advantage of Amazon services on mobile (Android, iOS) and desktop apps (Mac, Windows). iOS is limited to GameCircle, Whispersync and Analytics. The hoped-for result: Developers have a stable back-end platform while Amazon consumers get a frictionless buying process. Extending Amazon’s application… continue…

2 Free C Compilers Worth a Look

Posted In C++/C#, Working in Tech
Debugging in Pelles
It’s surprising how important the C programming language remains, as it’s now over 40 years since it was first created. It’s a simple but useful language that gives you a very low level view of memory and how variables are stored. It doesn’t have any high-level libraries for hash maps or lists; ANSI C only gives you arrays and pointers. If you want advanced data structures you have to either write them yourself using pointers or get third party or… continue…

How Shaders Can Render Awesome 3-D Graphics

Mountains Shader
Creating 3-D graphics involves more than just creating objects — you also have to tell the GPU how to best render them. To do that, you use shaders. Shaders are computer programs that are run on graphics processor units (GPUs) when 3-D images are rendered, that rapidly calculate colors, lighting and special effects. Here’s how it works: The Graphics Pipeline Graphics processing units run a pipeline of processing stages with instructions — compiled shader software — and geometry data. The… continue…

Tournament of Sevens: Week 1 Results

Marathon
Though the Tournament of Sevens coding challenge took much longer to get off the ground than expected, I’ve taken steps to sort out the bot bugginess and the contest is now roaring ahead. The first week included 16 viable competitors, out of 19 entries. One obstacle in getting this going was from Eclipse projects. The problem with them is that their source files end up in different places and the IDE is a bit fiddly building and deploying the class… continue…

Building a Simple Slider Servo Control

Posted In Linux, Working in Tech
Arduino Connected to Flashlight
In the remote control, physical computing and Internet of Things ecosystem, it’s frequently convenient to command something to move using an on-screen slider. In my case I’d like to control a pair of servos from my Linux notebook for an Internet-enabled prototype I’m working on. Sometime in the future I’ll port the sliders over to a little app on my Galaxy S3. This article covers how to hack together a rudimentary notebook user interface connected to an Arduino microcontroller using… continue…

Five Best Practices for Programmers

Posted In Working in Tech
Dice News Hangouts
Is it hard for you to focus while you’re trying to write code? Do you and your team struggle with deciphering what went wrong when you’re debugging? Have you ever been embarrassed by a program that hangs during a demo? Dice News C++/C# and Java Talent Community Guide David Bolton takes you through five best practices for programmers that will not only make your life easier – but could also help you do your job better.  

Imagine if OpenStack Could Get Its Act Together

OpenStack Logo
Linux won. If you think that statement is inaccurate you need only look at the nearest Android device or AMI options on Amazon to find out you’re mostly wrong. It took years — more than a decade and then some — but Linux has not only arrived, it’s nearly taken over the world. Fast forward 10 years and we’re looking at another highly recognizable open source effort, OpenStack. OpenStack is most often referenced in conjunction with cloud because it’s seen as one… continue…

SharePoint Is Not Dead, It Will Continue to Dominate

Not Dead Yet
Gartner analyst Jeffrey Mann spoke at the 2013 Gartner Symposium on SharePoint and declared its inevitable demise. But, his assessment shows a distinct lack of understanding of what SharePoint is, what enterprise collaboration is and the fact that many companies will not go to the cloud for their content management needs. Mann’s presentation was confusing and misleading. By instructing CIOs to look to a post-SharePoint future, Mann displayed a distinct lack of foresight when it comes to collaborative solutions, SharePoint… continue…