October 17, 2015

Four interesting implications of Walmart's open-source cloud announcement

OneOps, which has been an important project within @WalmartLabs, the retailer's Silicon Valley incubator, automates the process of switching from one cloud to another. OneOps helps developers and enterprises "avoid the pitfalls of being locked-in to a cloud provider, and thrive in WalmartLabs' DevOps culture - whatever code developers write, they own, from its development to its launch to customers," said King and Kimmet. They add that @WalmartLabs' 3,000 engineers use the solution, and, on average, "commit over 30,000 changes per month to deliver new or improved features to our customers." There are four interesting things about this announcement

Portfolio managers don’t need to be told that all projects and programmes should align to strategy. A strategy without the projects to deliver it is just a plan. Probably a pleasant, creative vision of what the future state looks like, but in the absence of action it will stay as a set of slides and nothing more. The bit between the CEO presenting the strategy at the annual conference and the frontline staff actually seeing the benefits of this is often missing. Delivering business transformation requires creativity from all teams. IT is not devolved from this. If you take my old manager’s view that all change is business change, then IT becomes a service function, working in tandem with their colleagues in other departments and delivering projects that underpin business strategy.

Argentina is betting on programming to boost its tech sector

Technology and specifically computer programming has had some successes in Argentina. In June the University of Buenos Aires was recognised for computer programming skills in the International ACM Programming content. UBA finished 18th in the global rankings, with Harvard coming 19th, making it the highest ranking university in South America for computer skills. The country produces on average 98,000 graduates and 11,000 postgraduates, creating a skilled workforce across various fields, so the ministry’s new plans hope to plant the seeds for IT and computing skills at a young age. The building blocks are certainly there for Argentina to grow its IT sector by focusing on its impressive programming reputation.

Facebook Open Sources Data Query Language GraphQL

The GraphQL server is a relatively small bit of code; it's responsible for a few things. It provides utilities for defining your type system and how it interfaces with your server code. It accepts GraphQL queries and will validate that they can be safely and unambiguously run within your type system. Then of course it executes the query by calling into your code as you defined within your type system while handling things like asynchronicity, parallelism, and error catching for you. The roadmap ahead is two-fold. First, better tools for client developers for doing things like code generation and query management. Relay is our primary and most significant tool for the client.

Deep dive review: The iPhone 6S Plus delivers the goods

Existing features of the 6S Plus (and its smaller sibling, the 6S) have been improved and there are even a few groundbreaking features thrown in for good measure. Unlike the 2014 iPhone launch, when numerous issues -- including an unstable iOS 8, a botched software update that killed cellular coverage for some iPhone 6 models, and, ugh, "Bendgate" -- put a damper on things, this year's rollout went smoothly. Apple reported that it sold over 13 million iPhones in the first weekend of retail sales; the iOS 9 update has been generally responsive and stable; and, only a few weeks after release, Apple asserted that over 50% of iPhone users had the latest version installed on their devices and that over 13 million phones were sold in the weekend following the launch.

How Data Integration Can Kill a Partnership Before It Happens

Data integration has come a long way in 15 years. While it used to be a multiyear and hugely costly undertaking feasible for only large enterprises, midmarket companies now have access to the same level of integration capabilities thanks in large part to cloud technology.  However, there is still a long way to go, especially in post 2008 recession times. With expectations higher than ever before to produce value and market pressures demanding that businesses move at a faster pace than ever before, small and midsize organizations especially don’t have enough IT resources, cash or time to devote to their integration efforts. Seamless integration is critical for organizations in their ongoing quest to do more with less, however certain hiccups can end a partnership before it even has a chance to begin.

Introduction to Android Wear

More than programming the smart watches, there are various aspects and concepts that one has to learn or understand in terms of designing apps for smart watches with a small real estate. These days, till today most of us are still using desktops, laptops and smart phones to perform our day to day tasks. But with the advancement of smart watches, there’s a drastic shirt in the way how things can be performed. Wearables in itself is an interesting ones with a lot more challenges in designing apps; fortunately, when it comes to the App design, Google has put forward very good documentation on how to design, so we don’t have to break our head in understanding how to design for smart watches.

What's next in aaS? Workspace-as-a-Service

An IDC research report titled, "Worldwide Workspace-as-a-Service 2014-2018 Forecast", revealed that "the hosted WaaS market will grow from $282 million in 2013 to $1.7 billion by 2018, representing a five-year CAGR of 42.5 percent." ...  Microsoft realized this trend and responded with Office.com. Intuit has done the same with its web-based Quickbooks offering. And Salesforce.com was the first to set up a SaaS CRM solution for its customers. Vendors have long realized that operating systems were less important than the applications themselves. And the BYOD generation couldn't agree more. The seamless interchange of information seems to be the only requirement for applications, regardless of device, vendor, or manufacturer.

Yunomi promotes Japanese ‘tea commerce’

“If you're not a connoisseur or tea expert,” he adds “we are building a Tea Dojo, in which you don't just buy to tea to drink, but follow a progression of tasting sets to learn more about Japanese tea.”  It is this idea of linking the whole culture of eating and drinking into wider aspects of being Japanese that makes the whole thing so interesting – although perhaps, at first, confusing. At present, for example, there are two websites. “The new website, Yunomi.life, will be our primary storefront,” says Chun. “Our old website will remain active and eventually become web magazine.” The original website contains a lot of information on various aspects of Japanese culture – including literature and a wide variety of other things – and Chun confirms this will continue as the company progresses.

BYOD is as entrenched (and complicated) as ever

Such wide variations likely occur because some companies reimburse workers for buying their own smartphone or tablet to use at work, and even pay part or all of a monthly wireless service charge. Other companies expect a BYOD worker to pay for it all, while offering back-end support for company apps used on the devices. At the heart of the BYOD trend is the distinction between "personally liable" devices -- those brought in from home by workers -- and "corporate liable" hardware, where a company owns a smartphone or tablet provided for a worker's use, with the company usually paying all costs. Corporate liable practices have evolved in recent years to include a choose-your-own-device (CYOD) model where a business allows workers to select from a list of specified devices for business use, primarily to give IT shops more control over hardware and data.

Quote for the day:

"Try to become not a man of success, but try rather to become a man of value." -- Albert Einstein,

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