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Gartner Marketing Technology Map May 2016 — What’s The Big Data? May 15, 2016

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Cloud Computing, Trends.
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Kirsten Newbold-Knipp, Gartner: Here are a few highlights from some of our 2016 marketing cool vendors reports as well as guidance on technology selection. Cool Vendors in Content Marketing: As content marketing grows up from its early tactical success to become a scalable program, marketers need to expand their content pipeline with high quality results. […]

via Gartner Marketing Technology Map May 2016 — What’s The Big Data?

Interesting visual on this topic.

Ruminations on Software Development Life Cycle (aka, SDLC) July 18, 2013

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Trends.
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In my last post, I covered my recent efforts at software programming after a self-imposed hiatus. As a follow up, I wanted to talk about the development cycle. More specifically, the software development lifecycle. The most traditional development method is the Waterfall method. As it’s name implies, the lifecycle flows across phases with the result being a finished product that is tested to satisfy design requirements.

sdlc_lifecycleDeployment methods I have used include Waterfall and Agile among others and hybrids of these. As shown in the image, there is a feedback loop with testing that can introduce new/revised requirements. That starts the cycle over again, from the beginning. From my experience, there are two phases that seem to get short shrift. One or both of these typically get compressed due to project constraints and are sacrificed in order to stay on schedule. Those phases include Design and Test. What I have also found is that if you accelerate either of those, the project will reap a short term benefit. But, ultimately the project will not stay on track. Instead,  the project will re-visit one or both phases, which causes waste, and any gains in time expected are then not delivered.

As a programmer, I admit I have squeezed several phases. My advice – whatever process you employ, don’t cheat it. Having a solid design ensures requirements are addressed and adequate testing provides confidence for success at launch. Whatever method you use, adhere to the diligence in each phase and then keep progressing forward. Each phase should be  sized according to the project goal. Changes to existing code base can be minimal and have little design impact. Great! Testing should then focus on regression impact to ensure everything is working with new changes integrated cleanly.

Does your mileage match mine? Comments invited!

Ramblings on coding once again June 18, 2013

Posted by Edwin Ritter in career.
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I learned a long time ago that being good in one thing can limit your career. I did not limit myself and have worked as a software programmer, system administrator, project manager and supervisor. I quickly learned that moving into each new role requires a change in focus and leads to new insights as to how teams interact. In each role, I have always worked with software development teams in one capacity or another.

Over the last two months, I set a goal for myself to re-new my skills (and learn new ones) in software programming. The web is so good at providing learning resources and somehow, I found my way to the CodeAcademy web site. It tracks your progress and also awards badges and points, like a video game.

1stDay_CodeStreakThe first day, I ‘earned’ 68 points and getting back into coding was easier than I thought. I started with a HTML refresher and quickly re-gained a developer frame of mind. While the tools are different since my first job, the actual coding is similar to the bike riding syndrome. I then began using the site every day and  started a consecutive day coding streak.

Each day, I learned more about HTML and moved on to CSS, Java and gained insight into working with jQuery, PHP, Python and Ruby. I find an affinity to the server side apps of PHP, Ruby and Python.

60Day_CodeStreakMy recent daily learning regimen using Codeacedemy has just ended.  I worked my way through 1000 exercises over a consecutive 60 day period. On weekends and holidays, it took a concerted effort to find the time to code. During this streak, I also installed Eclipse IDE, created an account on JSFiddle and reviewed Oracle Java training also. Also a bonus, my MAC OS provides access to the java complier and Ruby via the command line as they are built in to the OS. The command line brings me back to the old days….<insert favorite old soldier story here>.

I’m not done yet and there is always more to learn. My intent here is to keep improving my skills. Having always worked with technical people, I understand the software development process from different perspectives. I also know that being able to ‘wear different hats’ is a positive and makes me more marketable.

Now that I am riding the coding bike once again, I am comfortable working on these applications as part of a development team. I also bring my experience and perspective as a project manager, supervisor and system administrator to the table. I continue to code and to learn about syntax intricacies and improving on my skills.

If you have programming skills, you may be aware of the site I used. For new programmers, it is a good place to consider – especially, since it is free. I like the Eclipse IDE (also free) and have also used DreamWeaver in the past. Oracle provides a good overview with Java also. Everyone builds their toolkit over time. I am refreshing mine and adding new ones.

Ramblings on robots February 3, 2013

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Cloud Computing, Project Management.
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The topic of robots and automating work via machines has gotten a bit of ink lately. In the last month, I have read several articles on how robots will replace humans. Perhaps you’ve seen them also. The premise, or promise, is that machines will replace many of the tasks currently done by humans. A recent issue of Wired has robots as their cover story titled Better Than Human. The question is not if, but more of when, robots will replace people for many of the jobs that exist today. The major assumption is that it will create new jobs for us carbon-based life forms. The impact with machines used instead of people to perform a task is also connected to big data and cloud computing.

robot work force

Robots will replace humans in many jobs.

The concept is not new, of course. It can be argued that machine automation started with the Industrial Revolution as machines performed what humans did previously. Benefits in use of machines include consistent, repeatable actions, improved forecast of turns (i.e. – throughput), working with known capacity, higher quality, less waste and more accurate delivery. Having the machines in place provide humans to focus on other aspects of running a business.

From an economic and budget perspective, we know that the human element is the highest cost in any process. As Moore’s Law still works, the cost to use machines make more budgetary sense. This type of disruptive change will bring uncertainty, fear and confusion initially. At least, to us humans. To the machines it would be a non event and they might just say “meh”.

Any speculation I have at this point would be just that, speculation on how this will play out. However, I do look forward to what new jobs will be created by robots. Having a bot take over what I do now would be great. When that happens, I will then be able to define a process or sequence of operations for one or more bots, aligning those resources to perform that work I have assigned to them. No feedback, no personal issues, no drama, just predicatbel result. I won’t have to schedule meetings, take and distribute notes or ask them for critique of my performance either. Hmm, this could be a really good thing. My future job description may include more think time to improve/define innovation.

When will this happen again? When it does, will you be ready?

Moore’s Law still works January 24, 2012

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Trends.
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Moore’s Law is a well-known axiom that technology advances occur every 18 months. Initially described in 1965 by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, this effect still holds true.  Initially, it dealt with the density of transistors installed on a printed circuit board. Moore stated that the number rises every 24 months. This was possible due to advances in technology in circuit design, chip manufacture and so on. Another Intel exec later revised the time frame to 18 months (perhaps the more commonly know timeframe).

Here is an infographic which shows changes in both technology and their related cost from the 80’s to present day. This is a demo of Moore’s Law in action.  It shows changes in popular electronic devices. It includes a range of products with the initial price and then normalized to present day prices. Lots of changes in the last 30 years.

A great example is the comparison in cell phones. Initially, a cellular telephone cost $4,000 ($8500+ today) as compared to a current iPhone that costs $500. Big difference with so much more capability at significantly reduced cost.

Like most good things, Moore mentioned in 2005 that this is finite. In an iterview he stated “It can’t continue forever. The nature of exponentials is that you push them out and eventually disaster happens”.

So there is a limit. I don’t know when we will reach the end. For now, I’m glad the law still holds for electronics and other industries as well (e.g. – cars, appliances). I wish it worked for furniture!

Ramblings on 2012 trends December 13, 2011

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Trends.
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Among the many trends expected for 2012, I think video consumption will see the biggest change. I base this in part from my own biased observations, anecdotes with my friends and from the video highlights of Mashable’s  recent media summit in November.  The link includes a video where each of these topics are discussed. Here is a summary of the 2012 prognostications as described by Mashable’s own Pete Cashmore.

  1. The interface evolution from CUI to GUI will continue to evolve with Touch. Apple devices started this awhile ago with gestures and magic mouse. Now, Smartphones, tablets and even some basic phones include touch screens. Expect to see new screens and new devices use touch technology.
  2. More choices for Aggregation services. Managing the data stream coming at you from news, weather, sports – whatever the topic of interest, expect to see more apps. Examples include flipboard, pulse and livestand.
  3. Life after the iPad – advances in ereaders and other tablet competitors will drive the market. Expect to deals on these devices along with feature, function improvements and price point changes.
  4. Social gestures – do you share everything? Do you want to? Privacy issues will push what is our commonly accepted practice to share & manage information.
  5. TV Everywhere (my pick for biggest impact). Video consumption from any device will continue. On demand – what we want, when we want and where we want it. Cable companies will continue to explore ways to grab and maintain market share by enabling devices beyond the TV (iPad, smartphone).
  6. The 2nd Screen experience – interactive TV let viewers engage with the shows they are watching. Think polls, audience feedback in real time, viewers multi-tasking, enriching the video experience via Social Media apps.
  7. Speaking of which – more TV & Movie marketing apps. This could lead to a new distribution channel for trailers and teasers.
  8. Social Music – more apps like Rdo, Mog and Spotify. These apps and others will integrate the social gestures mentioned above.

Best of the rest includes advances with HTML5, flexible displays, iTV (that video impact again) and several option in push-based media. Among them location based news and media using near field communications (NFC).

Looks like 2012 will be an interesting year. Video consumption will not only impact cable companies but also content producers. TV shows will fragment into smaller digestible chunks on any device capable of streaming video. Cable companies will need to be able to provide bandwidth on demand. I also hope that we consumers will push for flat-fee services, not usage based.

Flexible display may be a way off for the main consumer but might be one of the hot products at CES this year. Remember, you heard it hear first.


What trends are you going to watch?