January 17, 2015

Things every programmer should know
Learning process of developers never ends. It is in our DNA to continuously feel the need to learn and self develop. As much as we learn, we have even more to learn. The technology world is moving so fast that to keep the pace and be up to date with cutting edge knowledge, we need to embrace learning as part of our daily activities. Whenever we say we learned to use a framework, we see that 7 other frameworks have become famous and we need to take a look on them. One of the most frequent questions of my students is the question “what should I learn to be a good programmer?”.

Introduction to the blockchain
The blockchain data structure is an ordered back-linked list of blocks of transactions. The blockchain can be stored as a flat file, or in a simple database. The bitcoin core client stores the blockchain metadata using Google’s LevelDB database. Blocks are linked “back,” each referring to the previous block in the chain. The blockchain is often visualized as a vertical stack, with blocks layered on top of each other and the first block serving as the foundation of the stack. The visualization of blocks stacked on top of each other results in the use of terms like “height” to refer to the distance from the first block, and “top” or “tip” to refer to the most recently added block.

Big Data Is No Longer Confined to the Big Business Playbook
Many smaller businesses are reluctant to invest in leading-edge technologies. Limited capital or the lack of the right staffperson might prompt even the most forward-thinking companies to avoid innovations or postpone such a move until they reach a certain revenue or profit goal.  It's an erroneous notion among small business owners and decision-makers that big data is too complex or something only big companies can afford to try out. Even the name -- the “big” in big data -- can seem off-putting. But it’s not as tough to dive into big data as small companies might think and the payoff can be significant.

Moving Towards a Theory of Enterprise Architecture
Enterprise architects are called upon to help in both ways. We have to answer questions like: “what does “innovation X” do for us, and what does it do to us?” We also have to contribute to ongoing concerns like “how do I grow my business in “Market Segment Y” in an innovative and compelling way?” and “How do I cut the cost of our IT expenditures?” and “How do I improve the quality of my customer data?” These questions fall under the category of “organizational cost”. Cost and quality come together to include a balance of monetary cost, effectiveness, customer satisfaction, efficiency, speed, security, reliability, and many other system quality attributes.

Man Saves Wife’s Sight by 3D Printing Her Tumor
Balzer wanted a tangible model of Scott’s cranium so that he could get perspective on the location and size of the tumor and think about what kind of treatment to pursue. The standard removal process for a tumor like Scott’s, known as a meningioma, is a craniotomy, in which the skull is sawed open. Her tumor was located under her brain, so to remove it, doctors would have to physically lift her brain out of the way. This is as risky as it sounds. Nerves can be dislodged, and patients can lose their sense of smell, taste, or even sight. Thinking about her thyroid surgery, she and Balzer wondered if a similarly noninvasive procedure might be possible.

Prep for continuous delivery with iterative development
If you don't have a staging environment for review before production release, you aren't ready for continuous delivery. If the business you work for hasn't made a commitment to continuous delivery, you cannot reap the full benefit of ongoing, rapid software releases. "Continuous delivery is the sum of a series of practices," said Carl Caum, prototype engineer at Puppet Labs. "The end goal is to deploy every [software] change at the push of a button. But there are numerous problems you have to solve before you can do that."

IT development, operations teams really do deliver when working together
DevOps is a key initiative because developers and operations teams typically have different mindsets -- developers tend to work in a more informal style, and all any and all hours. Operations folks are more focused on structure and schedules. To get software releases out the door faster, these two groups need to work in sync. ... Looking at the benefits another way, IT and business leaders with DevOps programs underway report they have seen upward bumps in the business metrics they have tied to their initiatives.

An introduction to Gulp
Gulp focuses on a few key points: First and foremost, speed. That speed comes in two flavors. We do not only have superior build system (does usually not matter so much), but also superior development speed (that matters much more). Why is the build speed superior? We will see that Gulp uses streaming, which will keep the working version in-memory, until we decide to create a version on the hard disk with the current contents. Easy CS101 tells us that latency and transfer rates of a computer's main memory is better than the usual HDDs. The second flavor is more controversial, yet much more important. By allowing any code to run, Gulp manages to get rid of plugins altogether.

Department of Defense Launches New Cloud Computing Security Requirements
“The SRG is designed to ensure that DOD can attain the full economic and technical advantages of using the commercial cloud without putting the departments data and missions at risk,” said DISA Risk Management Executive Mark Orndorff in a statement. Orndorff also issued a memo earlier this week (PDF) which indicates the version released by DISA may be followed by updates pending further research into some industry comments. The SRG applies to missions with “secret” or lower classification, and takes the place of the previous Cloud Security Model used by the DoD.

4 Reasons Why Executives Are Concerned About Digital Risk
Beyond the hype and hysteria in the press about cybersecurity threats, board members and senior executives are genuinely interested in the IT risks they currently face. This growing interest in IT risk is currently being driven by four consistent themes that we experience in our daily client interactions at Gartner.

Quote for the day:

"A single question can be more influential than a thousand statements." -- Bo Bennett