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Comment Adobe Framemaker is an alternative (Score 1) 160

Framemaker in structured mode is an alternative for technical and book publishing. It supports content management systems natively and is all XML under the hood in structured mode. Being Adobe and meant for professionals, it's fairly pricey as you can imagine. Lyx/Latex is a pretty decent alternative.

Comment 5.2% of gross is average for US companies (Score 1) 146

When we set our budget this year, we researched and found that the national average for IT budgets according to and couple of other sources (all self reported, though) was 5.2% of the company gross. I would sit down with the corporate comptroller or CFO and find out where you should be. It sounds like most of your expenditures are directly related to product (and if the use any form of cost accounting internally) should be able to trace directly to your expenditures. Remember, if after the analysis things look even better than 5.2% then promptly point out your exceptional leadership and ask for a raise...

Comment You are IT... (Score 1) 572

You are IT just at another section... try working WITH the rest of the team. You do realize that IT policy managers are the police of the corporation along with the safety manager, HR, legal, etc. They exist to keep employees from breaking the law and doing serious harm to the company. They work for the corporation, not you.

Comment Andreeson Horowitz funded startup (Score 3, Informative) 67

This is a Andreeson Horowitz funded startup founded in 2010. The principles are JR Rivers (formerly of Cisco and Google) and Nolan Leake (formerly of Tile and 3Leaf) They're pretty darn smart cookies.

That said, I wonder if they are trying to gain some momentum (there seem to be quite a few major players in the SDN crowd since they founded their company) or if they have run out of steam and are trying to get the Open Source crowd involved on the development side... worth keeping an eye on, I guess.

Comment From a guy who used to do this professionally (Score 1) 331

I was a contractor for over a decade as a "hatchet man" to come in when large projects were in serious trouble, fix the project and then usually do an after action report which many times included firing people.

My recommendations:
1.) Hire someone like me to do this and completely side step the politics and anger that will come with dealing with this. Trust me on this. Get as far away from this as possible.
2.) On the question of evaluating IT budgets... current thinking is about 5.2% of the yearly gross of the business goes to IT but that's an average.

Comment Exiting the desktop market (Score 1) 497

Microsoft is slowly exiting the desktop market. They are doing this by developing an app market and moving their business apps to the cloud and pushing them hard. There is a very strong rumor that Office 2013 is the last desktop Office (Office Web Apps Server works extremely well for most use cases and is the basis fro Office 365).

They are doing fantastic in the enterprise apps market (Dynamics, Exchange, SharePoint, Lync) and Server 2012 is a stunningly good server OS with Azure being a heck of a platform, too. They don't need nor want the desktop OS market; they want the desktop APPLICATION market... it's where the money is.

Comment It's called management (Score 1) 195

Management is it's own freaking science FFS... and large systems architecture is, too. Just because someone is a top tier programmer doesn't mean they can run a project to save their lives. I'm a LOUSY programmer... but I have managed hundreds of programmers on dozens of concurrent and many times linked projects and kept it together... because that's my skill set.


BBM Coming To iOS and Android 146

grub writes writes with news that BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins has announced that BBM (BlackBerry Messenger, one of the favorite features of BlackBerry device-owners) will soon be coming to rival mobile operating systems. Devices running iOS 6 and Android ICS or later will be supported, pending approval with the App Store and Google Play. "BBM uses carrier data networks to pass secure messages back and forth through its servers to other BlackBerry users. The service recently gained the ability to make phone calls, conduct video chats and even share screen tops with other BBM users (requires BlackBerry 10). Normal chat and group chats will be the first features to hit the Android and iOS BBM apps, followed by the others (including voice and video) during the course of the year. BBM for Android and iOS will be free." The company also unveiled a new smartphone today: the Q5. It's a budget device intended for emerging markets.

Comment Agree on UML (Score 1) 509

UML was a management and inter-project requirement for coordinating code across hundreds (or even thousands) or projects within the multi-company infrastructure. We had upwards of 3000 developers working on various parts of the ERP at a time and it was a helpful tool to make sure programmers had a pretty good idea of where the project leads wanted them to go. They were never gospel, though, as we wanted creativity and flow first, standards second. Standards were my job along with spec'ing, SDLC, proper process control, HR related stuff, etc. We let programmers program and managers managed. Man, I miss that job...

Comment Re:perspective (Score 4, Interesting) 509

It's not that new if you came up in the HPC world working with something like Erlang, but I didn't see it until 15 years after my first CS class when I went back to school to learn C++ (When I started, it was C that I learned and then I ended up working in Eiffel later on). I have never seen nastier harder to track down bugs than when we shifted to a concurrent model while chasing lower latencies in GUI's... I will give it to the young guys who came in after me though; they seem to live and breath this stuff. I got out of the way and became management. I drove them crazy with forcing UML and unit tests and strong code review (they wanted to move FAST), but they are all much better coders than I ever was. I can still kick their butts designing algorithms, though. Different skills for different targets. I hope the fellow grey beard in the OP realizes the change like I did and find a different role where his skills make more sense. Good luck.

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