Tag Archives: developer

Which Programming Language Do You Prefer?


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Someone on our Lockergnome site recently asked which full programming language is “the best.” That is a good question – but impossible to answer, really.

Each language was developed for a specific purpose. What works for one type of application may not work for another. Therefore, you can’t really chose “the best.” It would be better to ask which was the best for what you are trying to DO at any given time.

Everything from WordPress to moveable type uses something different. It’s impossible, therefore, to try and figure out any one language to name as the be-all and end-all of language types. The most useful programming language, ultimately, is the one that will best serve your needs.

No one language will or can do everything. If you want to be a general programmer, you’re going to have to learn many different types. If you want to be specialized, then sure – focus on one or two that you will need in your career or hobby.

What do you think? I’m sure you have your favorite language… but do you truly believe any one is better or more important than everything else out there?

What Would You Do With TechNet?


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Someone recently asked if it was worth spending money on a TechNet subscription from Microsoft. If you’re a developer, the answer is a definite yes. If you’re a student – you can get a pretty hefty discount. In any case, if you’re anyone who uses a lot of Microsoft software, then it’s definitely something you should look into.

Yes, it’s going to cost you money. But do you want to know as much as you can about their software, tools and development? If so, then yes, you totally want a subscription. It’s absolutely worth it. You have to ask yourself how important the knowledge you can gain is to you. How much is it worth to you?

Look at it this way. When you go to a job interview, you’re going to have to discuss what you know and how you know it. Being able to point to having an extreme amount of education when it comes to all of the various Microsoft platforms.

If you’re out of a job, you will definitely hesitate at spending the money for the subscription. But having that knowledge of Azure or .NET could put you head and shoulders above the competition. Even if you’re an Apple fan… you likely will need to use Microsoft software at some point in your life or career.

Weigh your options. How much is a foot in the door worth to you?

Zumobi Network Brings App Within App Ads

This is a guest post written by Matt Gamboa.

The Zumobi Network is the creator of several free mobile applications across multiple platforms. Because of their creation of rich mobile apps, they’ve been able to partner with brands such as HP, MSNBC, Southwest Airlines, and Mercedes-Benz to acquire premium ad sponsorships.

The idea is simple. Create great consumer mobile apps that draw lots of downloads, and partner with big-named brands to provide guaranteed and exclusive advertisement placement within the app. These ads are often rich in media themselves and Zumobi likes to call the term an “app-within-an-app.” An example of this is Mercedes-Benz having exclusive ad placement in the MOTOR TREND app, created by Zumobi. This proprietary technology is called BrandBlast.

Having 12 apps in the top 10 on iTunes of their respective category, it’s not surprising companies with lot’s of money to spend on advertising flock to the Zumobi Network. The company has proven they can create well-designed mobile applications that draw lots of interest and hits/uses per day. Their app portfolio includes the official apps for MSNBC, the Today Show, MOTOR TREND, Inside Xbox 360, TLC, and REI. Recently, Zumobi was featured in Fast Company magazine to highlight the reasons to choose a premium mobile app network such as them.

If you’re a developer, you should check out Deploy 2010 on Monday, November 08, 2010 from 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM (PT). Deploy 2010 is an all-inclusive conference for technology builders to give you new tools to create the applications of tomorrow. The conference will be held at the Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle.

Prepare Your Eyedrops for a Travel Bidding War

This is a guest post written by Matt Gamboa.

A Seattle Startup located in historic Pioneer Square is looking to change the way you compete for the best price in vacationing. Off & Away is a hotel auctioning site that puts a little twist on things and truly promotes staring at the screen and watching the timer count down to zero.

At this auction site, hotel packages are offered and the bidding begins. Every bid made costs $1 to the bidder, and adds 10 cents and 20 seconds to the current bid price and time. If you’re the lucky one to bid last and have the timer run down to zero, you win! Since most people will bid towards the end of the time limit, the price will usually go up during that time. But, the savings are huge if you work for it! And you must work, since every bid adds 20 seconds and only adds $0.10, it really comes down to who can outlast the other at the computer. Their very first auction was 2 nights in the Tata Suite Pierre in New York… listed for $40,000 and finally sold for $938! Can you say, DEAL? That’s typically what you can expect from the website. Classy hotel stays usually worth a few thousand dollars are able to be sold in for only hundreds.

So what if you lose? What happens to all your one-dollar bills? Don’t worry if you lose an auction and just blew $300 trying to lock in your dream vacation, Off & Away makes sure you get your monies worth. Any money you “lose” from bidding is reusable via the site’s Book Now section. Just like other hotel booking sites, you can book at over 100,000 hotels worldwide using your credit. But pay attention to the rules, the credit is only valid 30 days after the auction.

Off & Away has a good strategy and lots of potential. Madrona Venture Group, who also backed Amazon and Farecast, and have an advisory board that includes top executives from Orbitz.com and Alaska Airlines, backs them.

If you’re a developer, you should check out Deploy 2010 on Monday, November 08, 2010 from 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM (PT). Deploy 2010 is an all-inclusive conference for technology builders to give you new tools to create the applications of tomorrow. The conference will be held at the Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle.

How Much Are You Worth?

This is a guest post written by Matt Gamboa.

If you ask most people the question, “Do you get paid enough?” You’ll most certainly always be answered with a NO. Salary is a top concern and there’s always that certain number that will make you a happy worker. Fortunately, there’s a Seattle Startup to let you know what you should be making after all.

PayScale has a service that determines how well you are being paid compared to others who have a similar job. The service is free in a limited fashion, but your scale is determined based on many factors including work environment, education, your professional experience, company size, etc. This is all information you must provide. Some of it is optional, but the more you provide, the more accurate PayScale will be in determining how well you’re being compensated. In the end, you receive a report and graph that shows where you are in relation to other people who’ve reported. The report is anonymous, so don’t worry about your co-worker giving you dirty looks because he found out you’re making much much more than him.

You can also upgrade to their premium service for $19.95. By doing so, you’ll gain insight to a lot more information that you could leverage to get that raise you know you deserve! With the largest online employee salary database according to PayScale, I’m pretty sure you can confident your scale of pay will be compared accurately.

If you’re a developer, you should check out Deploy 2010 on Monday, November 08, 2010 from 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM (PT). Deploy 2010 is an all-inclusive conference for technology builders to give you new tools to create the applications of tomorrow. The conference will be held at the Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle.

Smilebox Makes Scrapbooking Easy

This is a guest post written by Matt Gamboa.

Are you in to scrapbooking? Do you like to make decorative web cards to celebrate the birth of a baby? Does the thought of making a high school prom collage online to share with your Facebook and Twitter friends excite you? Well, don’t worry about taking out the heavy-duty scissors and craft glue. The online service, Smilebox, was created solely for the purpose of creating fancy photo crafts.

The Redmond-based startup has developed an online platform around the popular homemakers craft of scrapbooking. The website offers hundreds of designs to use to create scrapbooks, collages, greetings cards, or photo albums. The tool itself is not web-based, it’s a native application you must download and install onto your Mac or Windows machine. But the unique service itself is worth trying if this craft is your passion.

Smilebox is still a very small startup, but they are growing a fast pace and recently moved to a new, bigger office this year to accommodate the growth. They are gaining lots of traction even though their product is niche, but the fact that they don’t have too many competitors in their market will help them to expand products and make business quick.

Smilebox will be featured at Deploy 2010 on Monday, November 08, 2010 from 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM (PT). Deploy 2010 is an all-inclusive conference for technology builders to give you new tools to create the applications of tomorrow. The conference will be held at the Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle.

Deploy – A New Seattle Conference for Developers

I’m launching a new conference with the folks over at Seattle 2.0 called Deploy – Today’s Technology for Tomorrow’s Apps. It will be held Monday, November 8th from 9AM – 5PM at the Bell Harbor Conference Center. Deploy is a conference for technology builders and geeks. New languages, frameworks, storage systems, methodologies and devices are creating entirely new opportunities. Deploy 2010 is a “Show and Tell” conference where speakers will discuss hot new topics and show what can be done – and how. Topics will include NoSQL, Mobile and Tablet, Game Mechanics, Open Source, Location and more.

We have a great lineup of speakers including:

  • Doug Cutting, creator of Hadoop, Lucene and Nutch
  • Andre Charland, creator of PhoneGap – the open source cross-platform mobile technology
  • Brian Fling, founder of Pinch/Zoom and creator of the NY Times iPad app
  • Poornima Vijayashanker, first engineering lead at Mint and bizeebee creator
  • Bob Walsh, author of “MicroISV: From Vision to Reality and the Web Startup Success Guide

Deploy 2010 will be a technology conference focused on software development. It’s perfect for developers of all backgrounds, whether you are still in college or are an industry veteran . It’s also valuable to managers and executives who have technologists in their organizations.

As an added bonus, we are reserving eight spots for show and tell. For three minutes, up to 8 lucky winners, will be able to get up on stage and either speak about or demonstrate their technology. During the morning session, we’ll collect entries from attendees who want to present their technology during the Tech Demo segment. At 1:30 PM, after the lunch break, we’ll draw the entries from a hat. The lucky winner has three minutes to get up on stage and present his or her technology.

If you are a developer or hard-core tech enthusiast, I hope you will join us for join us for Deploy.

Underemployed Developers to Receive Software and Tools

Project Phoenix understands that the economy isn’t doing so hot right now. They also understand that developers are an integral part of moving technology AND the economy into the future. Even though you may be underemployed – or even completely unemployed – right now, the folks at Project Phoenix wants to help. Over the next five months, 24 of you will be selected to receive a pretty sweet package of software and tools to help you in pursuing your development goals.

Each week, one eligible developer will be selected due to their non-profit proposals submitted. They’ll then receive a package of software, dev tools, training and books.

You are invited to propose a software project for a non-profit agency, school, or church. The idea is that we will provide a package of the latest software, tools, and training resources to help you improve your skills, get up to date with current technologies, gain practical experience, potentially earn a recommendation for your efforts, and in general, enjoy the feeling of accomplishing something useful for others. We are not giving out a ‘free lunch’, just supporting your efforts to personally gain from your own ‘sweat equity’. The award packages are provided with the support and generosity of the Microsoft MVP’s and vendors listed below.

The winners will receive:

  • Microsoft: Visual Studio Ultimate with MDSN subscription
  • Pluralsight: three (3) month Standard subscription to On-Demand!™ .NET Training Library
  • APress: three books(3) of the winner’s choice
  • O’Reilly Press: three (3) eBooks of the winner’s choice
  • ComponentOne: license for Studio Enterprise components and tools
  • Microsoft Learning: Vouchers for two (2) Free Certification Exams
  • Quest Software: license for Toad® for SQL Server

You can find full details on the contest page, which will outline criteria that must be met, as well as the types of projects available to work on.

Gnomedex 2010 Open Government Hackathon

If you have a passion for coding and will be in Seattle on August 20 – 21st, you will want to attend this event. The Gnomedex10 Open Government Hackathon will be held at the Edgewater Hotel – adjacent to the Bell Harbor Conference Center. The event is slated to begin as our Gnomedex conference winds down, and the cost of attending is absolutely free.

Ruby, Python, PHP, web developers, coders and anyone who has a passion to code, hack or kluge applications that will free (or otherwise enhance) the accessibility and usefulness of government-shared data are encouraged to participate. You can enter as an individual or a team, and don’t have to be attending our conference in order to take part in this amazing opportunity. At the end of the 24 hour period, each app will be evaluated by the Hackathon partners to determine the best apps – which can earn you a prize or two!

The nature of this event will be free-form. Hackathon partners will have organizers on-site to help you get the ball rolling initially. Even though it won’t cost you anything to take part in this day of hacking and fun, you are asked to please register so they know how many people to expect.

I know several of you out there in the Seattle community (and many attending Gnomedex from other far-away places) are hard-core programmers. Let your creativity soar while having a great time winding down your weekend during the Open Government Hackathon.

Open Source vs Closed Source


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Justin called from southern California recently to talk about open source projects. He’s doing some research into this for school, and had a few questions. Justin asked my opinion as to the pros and cons of both open source and closed source applications, along with positives and negatives of each. My opinions are not definitive, of course. As a user, I can appreciate either platform. It’s ultimately about what the software has to offer.

From a code perspective, there are some developers who want complete control over their code. They want to control development, and don’t want any input from others. They know every line of code inside and out, and live and breathe their creation alone.

Open source is more like one person sketching out an idea and then collaborating with others in order to come up with better iterations. If something in the closed source realm changes (or something happens to the original developer), you end up with a product that is dead for all intents and purposes.

Software is living. It’s omnipresent. You’re only as good as your latest version. Software is in a perpetual state of evolution. There are merits on both sides of this particular debate.

I’m a big fan of WordPress, and I’m always on the lookout for coding rockstars. I think there is so much more I could be doing if I had good designers and developers at my disposal.

What are YOUR thoughts? Are you a proponent of an open source ecosystem – or a closed one?

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