Working in Tech

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

Daily Tip: Get Coffee With Somebody New

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In our professional lives, we tend to associate most often with those in our field—and only those in our field. Developers hang out with developers; designers with designers; marketers with marketers; and so on. Gaining knowledge from others in your profession is a vital way to boost your own skills and advance your career. But interacting only with those in your field can lead to a sort of tunnel vision, which in turn can cause problems when it’s time to… continue…

The Two Faces of Modern IT Environments

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As IT has evolved in recent years, two distinct types of application environments have emerged that require different mindsets to manage. The first class of applications, known as systems of record, consists mainly of traditional IT deployments involving, for example, finance and ERP applications that have, up unto now, traditionally run on-premise. The second class of those applications, known as systems of engagement, are generally among the first applications an organization deploys in the cloud. For more IT management jobs,… continue…

Facebook Soft-Launches ‘Facebook At Work’

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Facebook At Work
Following months of rumors, Facebook has launched a version of its social network for the enterprise, placing it in direct competition with the likes of Salesforce. According to The Wall Street Journal, Facebook’s plans center on an app called Facebook At Work, which will make its debut for iOS and Android on Jan. 14. The rollout will be small at first, with only a few companies able to use the software, but Facebook will presumably widen the release in coming… continue…

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…