Visual Studio 2013 Released – Worth Upgrading?

Posted In C++/C#, Working in Tech
VS 2013
Visual Studio, Microsoft’s flagship development tool and considered the best IDE around, has had an overhaul, a new coat of polish and some new features added. But is it worth upgrading, when everyone upgraded to Visual Studio 2012 so recently? First appearing in 1997, Visual Studio has a long heritage. A year after its initial debut, Microsoft released version 6.0. After that, there wasn’t another upgrade for four years. In fact, I was still using Visual Studio 6.0 at work… continue…

Should Silicon Valley Secede, Or Just Leave?

Secession is a popular topic in Texas, parts of Colorado and a rural area of northern California and Oregon that calls itself the “State of Jefferson.” But now the idea of breaking away has come up in an unlikely place: Silicon Valley. Yes, we’re talking about seceding from the U.S. Some call it “the ultimate exit strategy.” Such a move – support for which seems somewhere between “serious but not really” and pure fantasy – could separate technologists from their… continue…

KitKat Could End Android Fragmentation

Android KitKat
Android 4.4 KitKat is a compelling update that includes support for the Internet of Things, security and better battery management. Low Memory Device Support KiKat works with devices with as little as 512MB of RAM. This opens the market for budget devices to use it without sacrificing performance. It doesn’t eliminate disappointing low-end models like the Motorola Citrus from entering the market, but it can provide compelling incentive for handset makers to choose the latest version of Android. Memory management… continue…

Improve Your Job Search With a Personal Project

More and more, hiring managers tell us that they want to hire candidates who work on personal projects outside of their jobs. Don’t believe me? Just check out a few of our recent Landing@ stories. They say the first place they look up a potential candidate is on Github. Personal projects and open source contributions are both great ways to demonstrate passion for the industry. They show initiative and can be a great way to sharpen your coding skills before… continue…

How to Help Your Product Owner Help You

agile thumbnail
We’re engineers. We build stuff. As for what we build, well, that’s a good question. Enter the product owner. This is the person who knows what we should build. They come in a few disguises: product manager, product owner, CEO, channel manager and VP customer relations are some aliases. No matter what their background, this is the person who translates between the customer, the market and the engineering team. That all sounds great. Having one person who can make product… continue…

Introduction to Rx – Reactive Extensions

Posted In C++/C#, Working in Tech
Thirty years ago life was much simpler for desktop developers. Processors only had one core, GUIs, mice and event driven programming didn’t exist outside universities and UIs were simple affairs using cursor positioning on a text screen. Most software was developed procedurally at that time — object oriented programming hadn’t made the jump to mainstream. Now it’s all become much more complex. Windows, mice, text and graphics are all manipulated by event driven object oriented software. Technologies like LINQ help… continue…

Three Java IDEs Compared

Posted In Java, Working in Tech
Three IDEs Logos
As a Java developer you are most likely to be familiar with Eclipse, but it’s not the only game in town. Other options to consider include NetBeans and Intellij IDEA. Which one’s the best? Here’s an overview of each to help you decide. Eclipse It started in 2001, when IBM released Eclipse into open source. Back then, It was a simple IDE to let programmers manage Java source code and edit it. It’s since become a major platform that’s used… continue…

A Walk Through the Java Ecosystem

Posted In Java, Working in Tech
To a new developer, the world of Java can be a very confusing place. While Java itself is a relatively straightforward programming language to learn, there are a number of associated technologies that you really should know. In this article I’ll look at the most important ones. First is Eclipse. Possibly the most successful open source IDE ever, Eclipse is a highly useful development tool that integrates with the Java Compiler to highlight compilation errors in the background. Yes you… continue…

Backend as a Service is Burgeoning

Anyone doubting the viability of Backend as a Service (BaaS) only needs to look at Facebook’s acquisition of this year and the growth of BaaS over the past eight years. Facebook’s acquisition of, for example, allows the social media giant to provide their own backend services for games and applications. Close integration of Parse with the Facebook platform should lead to reduced server latency and greater responsiveness. has been described as both BaaS and XaaS (Everything as a Service).… continue…

Google Play for Education Opens New Dev Market

Developing apps for children is decidedly tough, but not impossible. Increasingly, schools are bringing technology into every classroom. BYOD programs allow children to bring devices into school for the purpose of participating in classroom lessons. District-wide tablet purchasing programs bring touchscreen devices to every child. While Apple was always considered the top choice for these programs, Google has joined the race by creating a suite of tools and hardware to meet the needs of school districts large and small. With… continue…