Working in Tech

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

Tetris’s Long History Offers Tips for New Game Developers

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 11.51.58 AM
When the iconic video game Tetris turned 30 last week, Time published an interview with its developer, Alexey Pajitnov, in which he described the challenges of publishing software in the last years of the Soviet Union. Exporting the game out of Russia required a “formal arrangement” with the Computer Center of the Soviet Academy of Sciences that gave the organization the rights to the software for a full decade. “It was easier and wiser for me to allow this arrangement… continue…

How to Apply BA Skills to Business Process Management

Business Process Management
If you’re a business analyst with experience in variations of process improvements, you might want to consider a changeover to business process management. Working in BPM provides you with a deeper understanding of business domains and can be viewed as a solid background for development into a department or operations leader, or an executive or consultant. Let’s look at the roles of BA and BPM, compare and contrast them, and highlight how a BA can enter the field of process… continue…

A First Look at Apple’s Swift Programming Language

Posted In Working in Tech
Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 8.57.52 AM
As expected, Apple executives spent the first day of the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) unveiling iOS 8 and Mac OS X “Yosemite,” the newest versions of operating systems for iOS mobile devices and Macs. But the announcement that earned arguably the biggest response from the audience (and the tech media at large) came near the end, and it involved something that 99 percent of consumers probably won’t care about: a new programming language, Swift. For many years, Apple-centric developers… continue…

3 Conundrums for the Internet of Things

Connected Home
As the Internet of Things expands its reach, the range of technologies being used to build and support it is expanding, as well. Languages including Java, Ruby and C are being employed, as are platforms like Microsoft’s Windows Embedded, Android, BlackBerry QNX and the relatively new Tizen. Cloud technologies are being put to use for connect devices, data and users. “You’ll see a whole bunch of technologies, not just programming languages,” Jnan Dash, senior advisor at MongoDB, told InfoWorld. “Data… continue…

Is 2014 the Year of the Phablet?

Phablet
If research firm IDC is correct, 2014 could become the year of the “phablet.” IDC defines phablets as smartphones with screens exceeding 5.5 inches, a category that encompasses a growing number of devices. Samsung in particular has led the phablet charge, seeing it as a competitive differentiator from Apple, which has (so far) resolved to keep the iPhone’s screen at no more than four inches diagonal. Click here to find app developer jobs. IDC believes phablets’ share of the smartphone… continue…

Google’s Workforce Reflects Tech’s Diversity Challenge

Google Workforce Diversity 2014
Bowing to increasing pressure on technology leaders to disclose details of their workforce diversity, Google says that just 30 percent of its employees are women, 3 percent are Hispanic and 2 percent are black. In technical roles, 60 percent of its employees are white and 17 percent are women. The numbers are based on the 44,000 people working at Google at the beginning of the year, and don’t include those working for Motorola Mobility, which is being sold to Lenovo.… continue…

The Year 2038 Problem: Y2K on Steroids?

Broken Clock
This is how the world ends: not with a whimper, or a bang, or in fire and ice, but because of a signed 32-bit integer. Here’s the issue: Many bits of software rely on a 32-bit integer to store time. According to Business Insider, engineers developing computer systems in the 1970s decided to start that integer “clock” at midnight on January 1, 1970. The integer can encompass 2,147,483,647 seconds before it hits a limit and resets or “wraps around” to… continue…

Comparing Django, TurboGears2 and Web2py

Python Frameworks
One thing Python isn’t short of is packages and Web frameworks. A visit to PyPi, the official package index, shows that frameworks alone have a whopping 12,514 packages available, with Django, Plone and Zope 2 leading the pack. Web development frameworks in Python are about as common as content management systems in PHP. The point of a Web framework is to save you the effort of writing infrastructure code when developing a non-trivial website. Unless you have a well-funded and… continue…

Passwords Are the Worst

Posted In Working in Tech
Passwords
Technology advances by leaps and bounds with each passing year, until what seemed like a miracle in the recent past is boringly commonplace today. Despite that evolution, however, one piece of technology seems not only resistant to change, but downright un-killable: the humble password. We use passwords to access smartphones and tablets and PCs and ATMs and email and online shopping and social networks. We depend on them to keep us safe from all manner of hackers, casual thieves, snoopy… continue…

Women Have a Long Way to Go in Open Source

Open Source Thumbnail
Despite being a leading force for innovation in the software world, the open source movement lags even behind the rest of technology when it comes to diversity. The percentage of open source contributors who are women is estimated to be as low as 1.5 percent. The 2013 FLOSS survey by GSyc/LibreSoft paints a more promising picture, putting the number at 11 percent. Either way, the gender imbalance is grossly disproportionate. For women, a lack of open source experience can have… continue…