snydeq writes "Programming boot camps are on the rise, but can a crash course in coding truly pay off for students and employers alike? InfoWorld's Dan Tynan discusses the relative (and perceived) value of code academies with founders, alumni, recruiters, and hiring managers. Early impressions and experiences are mixed, but the hacker school trend seems certain to stick. 'Many businesses that are looking at a shortfall of more than a million programmers by the year 2020 are more than willing to give inexperienced grads a chance, even if some are destined to fail. The zero-to-hero success stories may be relatively rare, but they happen often enough to ensure that the boom in quick-and-dirty coding schools is only likely to accelerate.'"
snydeq writes "Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has some advice for Apple CEO Tim Cook: consider offering a phone based on the rival Google Android platform. Speaking at the Apps World conference in San Francisco, Wozniak made the suggestion of an Apple Android device when responding to a question about the fate of the faltering BlackBerry platform, saying that BlackBerry should have built an Android phone, and that Apple could do so, too. 'BlackBerry's very sad for me,' Wozniak lamented. 'I think it's probably too late now' for an Android-based BlackBerry phone. Apple, Woz said, has had some lucky victories in the marketplace in the past decade, and BlackBerry's demise may provide a cautionary tale: 'There's nothing to keep Apple out of the Android market as a secondary phone market.'"
snydeq writes "Companies are doggedly pursuing the next big thing in technology, but nothing seems to be pointing to the right way these days, claims the legendary Steve Wozniak. The reason? 'You tend to deal with the past,' replicating what you know in a new form. Consider the notion of computing eyeware like Google Glass: 'People have been marrying eyewear with TV inputs for 20 years,' Wozniak says. True innovation, Wozniak claims, becomes more human, more personal. People use technology more the less it feels like technology. 'The software gets more accepted when it works in human ways — meaning in noncomputer ways.' Here, Wozniak says, is the key to technology's role in the education system."
snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Woody Leonhard offers up 12 wishes Windows' billion-plus customers would like to see fulfilled after the puff of white smoke comes from Redmond to announce the 'new Defender of the Windows faith': 'No, I'm not going to tell you how to run a bazillion-dollar company with 130,000 employees and a bewildering array of products. You have enough folks with green eyeshades running around already — no doubt with a nasty propensity to tell you, "Yes, sir!" I just want to talk about customers, especially Windows customers. If you can keep us in the fold, we can help you out of this fine mess Microsoft seems to have gotten itself into.'"
snydeq writes "30 years ago today Apple debuted the Macintosh, an iconic computer that among other things cost Steve Jobs his job. InfoWorld offers a retrospective of all the original reviews of the early Macintosh models, including the Macintosh ('will be compared to other machines not only in terms of its features but also in the light of the lavish claims and promises made by Apple co-founder Steven Jobs'), the Mac SE ('contains some radical changes, including room for a second internal drive and even a fan'), the Mac IIx ('a chorus of yawns'), and the Mac Portable ('you may develop a bad case of the wannas for this lovable [16-lb.] luggable'). Plus insights on the Macintosh II's prospects from Bill Gates: 'If you look at a product like Mac Word III on that full-page display, it's pretty awesome.
... But the corporate buyer is never going to be a strong point for Apple.'"
snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Dan Tynan offers an inside look at the hiring practices of top startups and dev shops when competing against the likes of Google, Facebook, and Twitter in the escalating war for developer talent. 'One of the worst things in the world you can do is build your first 10 employees with B-level people,' says Steve Newcomb, founder and CEO of Famo.us. 'You will end up with 100 C-level people. That's why we hire very slowly.' Meanwhile, Box SVP of Engineering Sam Schillace has a single word he uses when recruiting candidates who are considering a competing offer from Google: 'That word is "Microsoft." I think Google has had a pretty good run, but it's gotten so massive that it's difficult to be nimble any more.'"
snydeq writes "InfoWorld has announced its 2014 Technology of the Year Award winners, recognizing the best tools and technologies for developers, IT pros, and businesses. 'There are several tangible objects on our list, but they're mostly hardware that lives in backrooms away from grubby hands. Anyone who buys them immediately hides them away from everyone, so the machines won't get hurt. The rest of the winners are pieces of software, many of which aren't even sold as software, per se. They're packaged as services, which are even more ephemeral and untouchable than the cloud servers they run on.' Included is an image gallery of the 35 winners."
snydeq writes "With the four-year anniversary of Oracle's Sun Microsystems acquisition looming, InfoWorld reached out to Java founder James Gosling to rate how Oracle has done in shepherding Sun technology. Gosling gives Oracle eyebrow-raising grades, lauding Oracle's handling of Java, despite his past acrimony toward Oracle over Java (remember those T-shirts?), and giving Oracle a flat-out failing grade on what has become of Solaris OS."
snydeq writes "Between complex licensing and the cloud, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP have lots of ways to hike up prices. InfoWorld's Robert L. Scheier offers tips on how organizations can fight back against sneaky price increases. 'More vendors are building hidden price increases into complex new variations to on-site licensing models, as well as to their newer cloud and subscription offerings. Rather than having "clear-cut, outright, aggressive price increases," vendors are becoming "more subtle and devious," says Jeff Muscarella, executive vice president of the IT and Telecom Division at sourcing consultancy NPI.'"
snydeq writes "From the Web to the motherboard to the training ground, InfoWorld offers a look at what's rising in popularity among developers, and what's cooling off. 'Programmers love to sneer at the world of fashion where trends blow through like breezes. That's not to say programming is a profession devoid of trends. The difference is that programming trends are driven by greater efficiency, increased customization, and ease-of-use. The new technologies that deliver one or more of these eclipse the previous generation. It's a meritocracy, not a whimsy-ocracy. What follows is a list of what's hot — and what's not — among today's programmers. Not everyone will agree with what's A-listed, what's D-listed, and what's been left out. But that's what makes programming an endlessly fascinating profession: rapid change, passionate debate, sudden comebacks.'"
snydeq writes "A knee-jerk no to Android in business is unnecessary, and an overly fearful security approach is actually risky, writes InfoWorld's Bob Violino, in assessing the actual security risks of Android in business. 'Depending on whom you talk to, you might hear horror stories about Android security that "prove" the need for multiple solutions to address. Or you might be advised that buying a single tool will obliterate all your Android fears. The truth is somewhere in between, and before making a serious commitment to Android as a mobile platform, it's important to determine where Android's relevant security issues are and how you can assess their actual risk and remediation.'"
snydeq writes "The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Innovation Act, dealing trolls a severe blow despite opposition from universities looking to protect patents, InfoWorld's Simon Phipps reports. The act cleared the House of Representatives with an overwhelming majority of 325 to 91 despite opposition from the organizations most likely to feed new patents to the trolls. 'So bravo to the Innovation Act. It's far from perfect, as the EFF documents and as I commented before the holiday. But it's a step in the right direction, and the tidal surge of support it's seeing suggests legislators' appetite for proper patent reform is finally growing strong enough for them to contemplate substantial change.'"
snydeq writes "With eight qualified candidates for every 10 openings, today's talented developers have their pick of perks, career paths, and more, InfoWorld reports in its inside look at some of the startups and development firms fueling the hottest market for coding talent the tech industry has ever seen. 'Every candidate we look at these days has an offer from at least one of the following companies: Google, Facebook, Twitter, Square, Pinterest, or Palantir,' says Box's Sam Schillace. 'If you want to play at a high level and recruit the best engineers, every single piece matters. You need to have a good story, compensate fairly, engage directly, and have a good culture they want to come work with. You need to make some kind of human connection. You have to do all of it, and you have to do all of it pretty well. Because everyone else is doing it pretty well.'"
snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Paul Venezia provides an in-depth review of Puppet, Chef, Ansible, and Salt — four leading configuration management and orchestration tools, each of which takes a different path to server automation. 'Puppet, Chef, Ansible, and Salt were all built with that very goal in mind: to make it much easier to configure and maintain dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of servers. That's not to say that smaller shops won't benefit from these tools, as automation and orchestration generally make life easier in an infrastructure of any size. I looked at each of these four tools in depth, explored their design and function, and determined that, while some scored higher than others, there's a place for each to fit in, depending on the goals of the deployment. Here, I summarize my findings.'"