IT departments are under more strain than ever. Technologies are changing all the time and it’s a challenge for IT departments to stay up to speed. In an increasingly competitive workforce, businesses must leverage state of the art technologies to stay ahead. The IT director is often tasked with spurring technological innovation and keeping the company ahead of the curve by using the latest techniques in software development, mobile applications, website design, application integration, and more. This begs an important question: who will help them get all the IT staffing done?
Where does your company's culture come from?
I had an interesting conversation with our HR manager the other day about how our company's culture was created and cultivated. She claimed that culture begins and ends with upper management — that culture was purely a function of the top brass, whose direction determined how it evolved. This struck me as odd, and for someone I rarely disagree with I was surprised to hear her say this so matter-of-factly. I think I always assumed that at most companies the management team was at best an well-intentioned impedance to a genuinely enjoyable company culture. Sure, the brass can institute corporate-mandated fun or other culture-rific policies, but it is my belief that the actual core culture of a company — it's soul — grows more organically based on the personalities of the people who work there.
In 2012, by some crazy stroke of luck I was invited to participate in the Diablo III Beta program. It had been 12 agonizing years since the last iteration of the game was released (not including expansions). 12 years is a long time to wait for any sequel in a successful franchise, but even more conspicuous for a giant game company with deep pockets like Blizzard Entertainment.
Yes, it is always a struggle to keep your software up-to-date, but it is vital that you do so. Microsoft and Apple upgrade their operating systems every couple of years. Sometimes, when they do this, they break compatibility with their older operating system (OS). While this might be fine for most software, sometimes it does cause older software running on the new OS to break. If you have older software such as software written using Visual Basic 6 or earlier, FoxPro, PowerBuilder, and others, this means you are at risk of your software no longer working.
SIDEBAR: In late 2017 two new viruses appeared on the scene; Meltdown and Spectre. These viruses attacked vulnarabilities identified in CPUs. Thus, these viruses attack Microsoft and Apple OS's equally. Thus, no time is better than now to make sure you have applied the latest service packs to your operating systems as both companies have updated their OS's to mitigate these threats.
Pluralsight is your go-to website for thousands of developer videos. Paul now has 13 courses available in the Pluralsight library. His latest is described below...
Prior to .NET 2.0 when you needed a single method to work with different data types the only way to accomplish this was to pass an ‘object’ data type to that method. Working with the object data type introduces performance problems and bugs that can occur at runtime. The alternative is to create a new method for each data type that you wished to work with. This introduces a maintenance nightmare and leads to a larger API for programmers to learn. An example of using individual methods is shown in the code snippet that follows. Notice the calls to two different “ConvertTo” methods; ConvertToInt and ConvertToDateTime. The only difference between these two methods is the data types being passed in as parameters.
When working with strings, you should take advantage of certain classes and methods to avoid performance and memory problems. A key item to remember about .NET string is that they are immutable. Immutable means that strings are read-only and the value cannot be changed after it is created. If you add more data to the original string, a new instance of a string class is created to hold the new string and the old memory is marked for garbage collection. Thus, if you are doing a lot of string manipulation, you can create performance and memory issues in your application.
I have long had a problem with using HTML tables to display data to the user. I have an even bigger problem with editing on a table, but that is a different discussion. An HTML table is easy to implement for a developer, and this is normally why developers use them. However, a table is not always the best method for conveying data to a user, especially when that data is most likely viewed on a mobile device. Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule, but these should be "the exception" and not the rule. There are many reasons why a table is not suitable for user consumption.