snydeq writes: InfoWorld's Paul Solt outlines how Apple has made good on Swift’s emphasis on performance, approachability, and ease in its latest update, offering up seven worthwhile enhancements to Swift 2, along with code samples. 'Many of the enhancements to Swift, through both the Swift 2.0 update and subsequent Swift 2.1 update, have made the language more explicit and intentional, and in turns, Swift 2 code will be safer and easier to maintain for years to come (especially now that Swift is open source). New language constructs (keywords) in Swift 2 improve the readability of control flow — the order in which lines of code are executed. Thanks to these new keywords, collaborating on Swift code will be much more productive and efficient.'
snydeq writes: The secret to devops success begins with an open, flexible, and (yes) lazy approach to systems and code, writes Adam Bertram in his roundup of hidden talents and traits of devops masters. 'As opposed to some workplace cultures, there are certain traits and talents all devops team members must have in common. You could be the best software developer or system administrator in the world, but if you don't possess "devops talents" you'll soon find that you stick out like a sore thumb and any devops shop worth its salt will likely give you the boot.'
snydeq writes: Collabora Productivity has released a distribution of LibreOffice Online as part of a joint venture with ownCloud, makers of an open source file hosting and sharing system a la Dropbox, InfoWorld reports. The Web edition of the open source productivity suite still has a minimal feature set, but documents are editable in the desktop version LibreOffice. 'A preview build of the product more closely resembles Google Docs than LibreOffice. Despite the editor being a little sluggish and the feature set minimal, the product did allow for basic creation and editing of word processing documents, presentations, and spreadsheets. "This initial version allows basic editing," the Collabora press release stated. "Collaborative and rich editing are on the roadmap."'
snydeq writes: Thanks to technical advances and increased adoption, securing your data and communications is a lot easier than you might think, writes Fahmida Y. Rashid in an overview of encryption tools for everyday use. 'To date, the primary challenge preventing encryption from being a routine factor in most people’s computing lives is the fact that it is still relatively difficult to employ. Encryption has traditionally required users to jump through a lot of hoops to get it to work, but that is slowly changing. Here we list various encryption technologies you can easily use to protect your data from prying eyes and to communicate online securely and privately. The more people use them, the harder it gets to take away our right to privacy and security.'
snydeq writes: Misconceptions and flawed implementations may have many organizations missing the true upsides of devops, writes Adam Bertram in his article on devops practices gone wrong. 'Saying that your company embraces devops and regularly practices devops techniques is popular nowadays, and it can serve as great PR for bringing in great talent to your team. But in truth, many companies — and technical recruiters — that are proclaiming their devotion to devops from the hilltops aren’t really devops organizations.'
snydeq writes: IT pros lend firsthand advice on the challenges of going solo in Bob Violino's report on the hidden costs of going freelance in IT. 'The life of an independent IT contractor sounds attractive enough: the freedom to choose clients, the freedom to set your schedule, and the freedom to set your pay rate while banging out code on the beach. But all of this freedom comes at a cost. Sure, heady times for some skill sets may make IT freelancing a seller’s market, but striking out on your own comes with hurdles. The more you’re aware of the challenges and what you need to do to address them, the better your chance of success as an IT freelancer.'
snydeq writes: From unstructured data mining to visual microphones, academic labs are bringing future breakthrough possibilities to light, writes InfoWorld's Peter Wayner in his overview of nine university projects that could have lasting impact on IT. 'Open source programmers can usually build better code faster, often because their have bosses who pay them to build something that will pay off next quarter, not next century. Yet good computer science departments still manage to punch above — sometimes well above — their weight. While a good part of the research is devoted to arcane topics like the philosophical limits of computation, some of it can be tremendously useful for the world at large. What follows are nine projects currently under development at university labs that [could] have a broad impact on the world of computing.'
snydeq writes: Forget Nigerian princes — today’s spearphishing is sophisticated business, fooling even the most seasoned security pros, writes InfoWorld's Roger A. Grimes, in a look at what sets today’s most sophisticated spearphishing attempts apart. 'Most of the time, phishing attempts are a minor menace we solve with a Delete key. Enter spearphishing: a targeted approach to phishing that is proving nefariously effective, even against the most seasoned security pros. Why? Because they are crafted by thoughtful professionals who seem to know your business, your current projects, your interests. They don’t tip their hand by trying to sell you anything or claiming to have money to give away. In fact, today’s spearphishing attempts have far more sinister goals than simple financial theft.'
snydeq writes: The rise of contract and contingent work is shaking up the traditional IT career path, with the days of decades-long careers in corporate environments dwindling for many IT pros. 'And it’s not only nonstop cost cutting that has businesses favoring IT contractors they can bring on — or scale back — as necessary without paying benefits. Emerging platforms, in particular around the cloud, have many organizations shifting their staffing models toward project-based, contingent work in hopes of landing the key skills necessary for their businesses to stay competitive in a constantly evolving technical landscape.... How should you adjust to this shifting employment landscape? Should you broaden your skills or specialize? Should you develop a plan to strike out on your own or double-down on the skills that will remain invaluable for retaining long-term, full-time employment?'
snydeq writes: Breaking the rules can bring a little thrill — and sometimes produce better, more efficient code. From the article: 'The rules are more often guidelines or stylistic suggestions, not hard-and-fast rules that must be obeyed or code death will follow. Sure, your code might be ridiculed, possibly even publicly, but the fact that you’re bucking conventions adds a little bit of the thrill to subverting, even inadvertently, what amounts more often than not to the social mores of pleasant code. To make matters more complex, sometimes it's better to break the rules. (Shhhh!) The code comes out cleaner. It may even be faster and simpler.'
snydeq writes: We've all received them: Trawling emails from tech recruiters looking to lure us away from our current employer, often with a cringe-worthy line or two that makes it seem as if we are being courted by an unwanted pickup artist. From the article: 'The men and women tasked with recruiting tech talent go to great lengths to attract the attention of their targets — (often unsuspecting) tech pros viewed as valuable "gets." While some recruiters prove to be invaluable in improving your career, finding exactly the right words to pique your interest in a new gig, far more seem to stammer, stumble, and elicit exasperated sighs.' What are the best doozies you've received?
snydeq writes: The marijuana business is making the leap from paper ledgers to the cloud and big data analytics, offering a provocative example for us all, InfoWorld reports. ' Imagine an agribusiness that never had access to a modern commodities market and had never used any real information technology. Suddenly, it had the opportunity to leap into high tech and potentially enjoy whole new economies of scale — a pure greenfield proposition. What would happen? With new international and state legalization, as well as a current moratorium on federal enforcement, marijuana is that agribusiness. Untouched by the traditions of an internal IT practice, it's creating a road map for the future, charted almost entirely in the cloud.'
snydeq writes: InfoWorld's Paul Heltzel reports on the impact that IT's increasing reliance on the cloud for IT infrastructure will have on your career in the years ahead. 'In today's quickly evolving tech world, it's easy to get lost chasing the turbulent present moment. The pace of change can be dizzying, and keeping up on everything that's emerging in IT today can drive even the most devoted tech worker to distraction. But IT pros who don't take the time to lift their heads and assess the likely IT landscape five years out may be asking for career trouble. Because one fact is clear: Organizations of all stripes are increasingly moving IT infrastructure to the cloud. In fact, most IT pros who've pulled all-nighters, swapping in hard drives or upgrading systems while co-workers slept, probably won't recognize their offices' IT architecture — or the lack thereof — in five years.'
snydeq writes: Bitcoin’s widely trusted ledger offers intriguing possibilities for business use beyond cryptocurrency, writes InfoWorld's Peter Wayner. 'From the beginning, bitcoin has assumed a shadowy, almost outlaw mystique,' Wayner writes. 'Even the mathematics of the technology are inscrutable enough to believe the worst. The irony is that the mathematical foundations of bitcoin create a solid record of legitimate ownership that may be more ironclad against fraud than many of the systems employed by businesses today. Plus, the open, collaborative way in which bitcoin processes transactions ensures the kind of network of trust that is essential to any business agreement.'
snydeq writes: Public keys, trusted hardware, block chains — InfoWorld's Peter Wayner discusses tech tools developers should be investigating to help secure the Internet for all. 'The Internet is a pit of epistemological chaos. As Peter Steiner posited — and millions of chuckles peer-reviewed — in his famous New Yorker cartoon, there's no way to know if you're swapping packets with a dog or the bank that claims to safeguard your money,' Wayner writes. 'We may not be able to wave a wand and make the Internet perfect, but we can certainly add features to improve trust on the Internet. To that end, we offer the following nine ideas for bolstering a stronger sense of assurance that our data, privacy, and communications are secure.'