Zeichick’s Take: Sticker shock and decommissioning ceremony

I once wrote a parking sticker application for an East Coast university. If you had a faculty, staff, student or visitor sticker for the campus, it was processed using my green-screen application, which went online in 1983. The university used the mainframe program with minimal changes for about a decade, until a new client/server parking … continue reading

Zeichick’s Take: Your business partner’s book about Big Data

You’ve gotta read “Data Divination: Big Data Strategies,” Pam Baker’s new book about Big Data. Actually, let me change my recommendation. If you are a techie and you are looking for suggestions on how to configure your Hadoop installation or optimize the storage throughput in your NAS array, this isn’t the book for you. Rather, … continue reading

Zeichick’s Take: You’ve got 30 seconds. Make the most of it

Thirty seconds. That’s about how long a mobile user will spend with your game before deciding if he or she will continue using it. Thirty seconds. Maybe a minute. If you haven’t engaged the customer by then, forget it. That’s according to Graeme Warring, COO of 2XL Games LLC, a game startup based in Phoenix. … continue reading

Zeichick’s Take: Three first impressions of Apple Watch, Yelp and something else

First Impressions of the Apple Watch: Surprised that it’s not called the iWatch. The user interface looks surprisingly cool. Distressed that the Apple Watch needs to be charged every day, but if the docking station is sufficiently easy to use, it shouldn’t be a deal breaker. The watches look like real watches, beautiful as well … continue reading

Zeichick’s Take: Learning COBOL might be a great job move

Once upon a time, back when dinosaurs roamed the planet, I learned COBOL. While I never wrote any deployed applications in the language, I did use it to teach an undergraduate course in computer science for business majors, back in the early 1980s. Those poor students, who submitted their programs on punch cards for an … continue reading

Zeichick’s Take: They want to steal your data

Tuesday’s voicemail from my bank was short and simple: “My name is Patricia from the Bank of America fraud prevention department. This important message is for Mr. Alan Zeichick. We are calling to verify some potentially suspicious activity on your account. It is very important that we speak with you.” Nobody had pilfered a credit-card … continue reading

Zeichick’s Take: Handling feedback

Your app’s user interface is terrible. Your business plan is flawed. Your budget is unrealistic. Your code isn’t efficient. Clients are unhappy with your interpersonal skills. Your meetings are too long. You don’t seem to get along with your developers. You are hard to work with. You are being kicked off the task force because … continue reading

Zeichick’s Take: When, not if, your cloud goes down

Cloud-based development tools are great. Wonderful. Convenient. You may access your cloud-based IDE, your cloud-based code repository, your cloud-based storage, your cloud-based test suite from anywhere, perhaps through a browser, perhaps from a thin client. Log in, choose your project, off you go. Except when it doesn’t work. I don’t know if you were affected … continue reading

SD Times Blog: The OpenGL 4.5 release is big, but Microsoft joining in is bigger

The OpenGL 4.5 specification was introduced today by the Khronos Group. This version offers Direct State Access (DSA), a feature that’s long been available in Direct3D, Microsoft’s 3D API, but is now finally available for OpenGL developers. DSA was already an extension in the OpenGL world, but version 4.5 brings it into the core of … continue reading

Zeichick’s Take: Moonlighting and hobby developers

What do you do when you’re not programming? What do the coders on your team do when they aren’t programming? There’s a good chance that you (or they) are moonlighting. There are many reasons why someone would come home after spending 10 hours in front of the office desktop’s IDE, have a quick dinner, then … continue reading

Zeichick’s Take: Coding: Unleashing creativity, or managing complexity

Why did we become programmers? There may be many reasons, but I’ll bet that for most (or all!) developers, it’s because of a love of design and creation, and the joy of seeing something that we’ve built come alive. For many of us, particularly those who became managers or entrepreneurs, opportunities to code are few … continue reading

Zeichick’s Take: Support low- and intermittent-bandwidth mobility

We drove slightly more than 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometers), my wife and I, during a weeklong holiday. We explored different states in the western United States: Arizona (where we live), Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming. The Rocky Mountains are incredible. Most of our vacation was at altitudes above 6,000 feet (1,800 meters). Many of the … continue reading

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