2014 Berkshire Executive Technology Briefing

1Berkshire Building

NeuEon is proud to sponsor the 2014 Berkshire Executive Technology Briefing.  The technology landscape for small and medium business is changing rapidly.  Join your fellow business leaders in this intimate briefing session to address the need for alignment of your business and technology goals that will not only impact your business today and into the future, but the economics of what and how you spend on technology.  The wide array of topics will include build vs. buy, cloud computing, infrastructure as a service (IaaS), software as a service (SaaS).  In addition, we will address the evolution of business solutions such as customer relationship management (CRM), voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) and others.  Experts from the technology advisory firm NeuEon will outline:

  • The Present: Proven technologies that are ready to go right now
  • The Future: Technologies to plan for in 2014
  • Emerging: New technologies to plan for in the coming years

NeuEon will be on hand afterwards answering your specific questions and providing advice for your situation.

When: Thursday, May 1st, 2014 - 8:00-9:30am
Location:
1Berkshire Office
66 Allen St.
Pittsfield, MA 01201

Space is limited, RSVP by emailing events@neueon.com

If you’re not awesome, Amazon can teach you how to be!

Amazon web services is coming to Boston for a one day free education session.   This is based on their AWS essentials class and is a must for anyone trying to deploy their apps on AWS for the first time.

http://aws.amazon.com/events/awsome-day/boston-01

Amazon will teach you how to be more awesome!

Amazon will teach you how to be more awesome!

Obama’s Trauma Team: Inside the Nightmare Launch of HealthCare.Gov – TIME

This article in Time magazine does a good job of dissecting the events that led to the failure and restart of the Affordable Care Act website. There are several themes in here that all businesses should take heed of including being willing to understand the details of a large project, having a clear set of responsible parties and individuals, having the right mix of skills and experience, and of course making sure communication is always open, honest and accurate.

Some good development techniques are discussed and some not so good ones. This was in the end a “heroic” programming effort and heroism in commercial software development is frowned upon as the last gasp of a broken process. So learn from their mistakes where you can and hopefully you won’t have to read about your project being saved in Time magazine.

There is much to be gleaned from this article so I hope you get a chance to read it.

Obama’s Trauma TeamHow an unlikely group of high-tech wizards revived Obama’s troubled HealthCare.gov website

via Obama’s Trauma Team: Inside the Nightmare Launch of HealthCare.Gov – TIME.

 

Git turns 2(.0)

Yesterday brought news of the availability of Git 2.0.0. Despite the major version update, the changes are incremental. Git push now uses the “simple” behavior as its default, which removes a gotcha and better adheres to the principle of least astonishment. However, the changes to git add may catch a few people off guard.

If you’re already using git, there’s probably no compelling reason to run out and upgrade. If you’re not using git, this is an excellent opportunity to plan a migration. Git is now a de facto standard for open- and closed-source development; I’ll venture to say that it’s the most widely-adopted version-control system in the history of software. It’s supported by a wide variety of IDEs on all major operating systems. Even Microsoft has seen the light, and the git support in Visual Studio 2013 is quite decent. So no matter what your platform, there’s really no reason not to adopt git.

If your team is accustomed to a centralized version-control system, git will feel strange at first. But with a little coaching and some time to get comfortable, they’ll quickly see the value in git’s distributed model. We’ve helped more than one team make the leap from subversion, CVS and TFS, so if you’d like some help with getting your team converted, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

 

NeuEon Named Berkshire Chamber Member of the Month

Throughout our history we have always tried to be a good corporate citizen, even when we were a one or two person corporation. For us this means not only joining local chambers of commerce, but also participating in committees and developing educational programs for their members. These core values are the reason we joined the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce. It is a very active chamber. One that provides us the opportunity to become truly ingrained in the Berkshire business community and learn firsthand how we can help business owners and executives become smarter about technology. We look forward to continuing to build our partnership with the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce for years to come.

Click here to read the complete article.

Apple Confirms Burstly Buy

According to re/code  Apple Confirms Burstly Buy. “Apple has acquired Burstly, owner of the popular iOS beta testing platform TestFlight, the company confirmed Friday.”

The most interesting part of this deal is that it looks like Apple will end support for Android testing. This means companies  that use the testing platform for multiple platform beta testing and distribution will need to look for other solutions.

For developers with cross-platform initiatives distribution to a beta community is important because the App stores don’t make this easy. Fortunately there are  alternatives out there such as AppBlade, HockeyApp, Apphance, and others but Testflight is pretty popular as it provides a good management portal for supported platforms and makes it easy for end users to install and test your application.

We  have clients using Testflight and will be researching alternatives for cross-platfom application beta testing. Testflight is a good choice for iPhone beta testing but now we will need alternatives for other platforms  too.

What is your favorite cross-platform beta testing and distribution tool? If we evaluate it we will update you on our findings.

Quantifying Technical Debt

Technical debt has gained currency (ahem) over the last few years as a metaphor for the accumulation of things that should be changed, replaced or removed in an application. Any organization with more than two lines of code in its repositories has some level of technical debt that needs to be managed. But, unlike the financial debt that provides the basis for the metaphor, technical debt is far harder to quantify. Even defining what constitutes technical debt in a particular organization can be elusive, let alone assigning an effort or dollar value for addressing it. Some static analysis tools assign “time-to-fix” to issues they find, but that provides a partial picture at best.

Rather than spend time trying to quantify the problem, I’d much prefer organizations give their teams time and space to address the issues they know exist in the code. Agile teams could accomplish this by keeping a separate technical debt backlog and devoting 20% of their resources to addressing it. Populating that backlog should be easy to do. Every team learns new and better ways to do things as they go, and the people who spend their time coding know what makes a particular codebase difficult to work with. Empowering your coders to address those issues will result in better products and happier users…and less-grumpy coders.

The Internet is chock full of great resources on technical debt, but I recommend start with the video from Ward Cunningham, explaining how and why he coined the metaphor in the first place.

Visualizing the iOS App Store 2014 – iPhone & iPad Apps Summary – Sensor Tower

Visualizing the iOS App Store 2014 – iPhone & iPad Apps Summary – Sensor Tower.

If you have or are planning to have a mobile application in the Apple App Store then this web page is a great resource for you to understand  how your app or competitors are being found and reviewed. It could be a powerful marketing tool. Regardless of your business, this type of analytics can help you understand your customer and your market space so you should have a strategy to collect and visualize key metrics for your organization. In this mobile app example, many mobile apps depend on searches to drive their sales so especially for smaller app developers these are important measurements.

Make sure you use tools that enable you to update your key metrics frequently without too much effort or you will stop using the tools over time. Your key metrics should be easy to find  and understand and relate directly to what drives your business.

Enjoy!

Visualizing the iOS App Store 2014 – iPhone & iPad Apps Summary – Sensor Tower.

Holiday Card for Techies

 

We all get a lot of “digital” holiday cards, this year our favorite was from our friends at Sencha.

Sencha creates development frameworks and tools that help you design, develop, deploy applications for desktop and mobile devices.

Happy Holidays!

A new approach to the VC pitch process

On December 11 the first “Unpitch” event takes place in Cambridge. This is a new approach to connecting groups of investors with entrepreneurs. Rather than the traditional “demo day” or onstage elevator pitch, this is a casual sit down conversation with  investors.

And Entrepreneurs the best part is, not only is it free to participate, the investors are buying you lunch too! This first event is already booked but if you are a start-up looking for opportunities to connect with investors you might want to reach out to the folks putting this on to see if you can get in on their next event.

The event is put on in connection with New England Venture Capital Association.You can learn more at Unpitch Boston.