Thursday, October 31, 2013

If you have explored the domain of product engineering services, you must be aware that it looks after the manufacturing of products so that they can be sold in the market. This sector not only takes care of the on goings associated with the cost and performance of the product but also its reliability and validity. The field of product engineering comprises of several other features like conceptualizing, crafting the product, improving it and finally producing it.

It is very important for the person involved in this sector to take all the necessary steps for enhancing the product and cutting down its final price. The software marketing sector is growing with every passing day and the new technologies are becoming a part of it. The business giants have started creating their own product development software so that they can be a part of the ongoing race for production of new products and software service distributions. With the help of these systems, software development companies can come up with new production and get a good number of leads.

The product engineering services sector has created a complete transformation of software support management. These companies work hand in hand with industrial giants in order to reach the clients all over the world. The popularity of social networking has increased so much that it has led the upcoming companies to come up with new web products by making the most of applications like Web 2.0. With the advent of product engineering services, the usual time taken for system and software testing has reduced up to a great extent.

When the software development is in the making, some steps have to be taken to maintain its reliability and validity. These steps include everything right from creating the design, programming and integration and last but not the least, testing. If all these aspects are not looked after during the development phase, the output of the product can turn out to be really weak. These days, due to the increasing demand for new and unique products from the clients; product engineering domain is becoming quite robust. The companies which are a part of this sector also avail customized software development according to the requirements of the client and develop the product accordingly.

Thus if you want a superior quality experience with your software, you must choose to get it done from a professional product engineering services firm.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I have had the pleasure and the opportunity to do one of my favorite hobbies in the past two years, and that is teaching. I have had the opportunity of teaching several different topics in the field of computer science, from introductory courses to upper division courses, and I have seen a pattern along the students which has been a puzzle for me especially in the upper division classes.

One of the main surprising facts I have noticed, is that most of the students have little or no practical experience in software development, especially in the upper division classes. That is, they have not been given enough opportunity to do hands on projects to improve and fine tune their programming skills in the lower division classes, and when they take courses such as Software Engineering, most of them don't have the ability to create a fully functional system from the ground up.

Now I can understand if this is the first year for the student and they are just starting out and getting to know their first computer language and all of the tools and environments that are available to them. And it is also understandable that there are different levels of students with different levels of skill sets and motivation. But to be in an upper division course and still be uncomfortable with the basics is a little frightening for me.

What I also noticed and honestly surprised me, is that most of the students who are just starting out in the computer science curriculum don't have a clue of what computer science is all about. Now maybe this is an unfair statement, you may argue that they are still unsure or undecided, but I think that is not the case. If you are in a science or engineering curriculum, then there are certain things that are critical for the student to know, like a good foundation is mathematics and physics.

Again maybe, the issue is how we prepare our youth in their earlier years of life.

For instance, as part of the computer science curriculum, the students are required to take a course in Software Engineering. I am not going to discuss what software engineering is, but to enlighten you, here is a description from Wikipedia: Software engineering (SE) is the application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the design, development, operation, and maintenance of software, and the study of these approaches; that is, the application of engineering to software. The term software engineering first appeared in the 1968 NATO Software Engineering Conference and was meant to provoke thought regarding the perceived "software crisis" at the time. Software development, a much used and more generic term, does not necessarily subsume the engineering paradigm.

In such a class, the students is expected to have a good understanding of at least one programming language such as JAVA, C#, C++ and etc... as well as a good understanding of Object-Oriented Methodology and Design. On top of the programming skills, the student should have good understanding of data structures and algorithms. Don't forget, a Program = Data Structures + Algorithms! It would also help if the students have database knowledge and etc...

These are just some of the technical skills that they should have and keep fine tuning on a daily basis. The more important aspect of computer science has nothing to do with programming of JAVA or C# or anything like that. It has to do with the ability to ANALYZE and SOLVE PROBLEMS!

In my last class, I had created six different teams composed of three members each. Each group was given the option to come up with their own project to design and develop throughout the course, and if they were unable to do so, I was going to assign them a project.

The students were very good at coming up with defining their own projects. We had a good variety of projects from Hospital Management System, to Hotel Management System, to iPAD application for Retail Shopping and Inventory, to Android application for a simple 2D game, to a Learning Management System on the web, and a Windows based application creating customized MIMES.

Now it was time to start the real deal! Let's start Engineering our Product!

Throughout the course the students were responsible of defining: the requirements and specifications, the design and implementation, and finally the testing and release (demo) of their software project.

The surprising thing for me was that most students didn't know where to start! Given a particular problem, how would one take it and dissect it into smaller parts to be able to solve it in small portions and come out with the final solutions by the divide and conquer method!

As mentioned some teams did a really good job at each and every step, and others started out weak, and then increased their efforts and effectiveness throughout the course. As you can see the projects themselves are somewhat complex for the students and all of them require the knowledge of good User Interface Design, Object-Oriented Design, Database Design, and for most some sort of Network Communication!

Some students didn't even have any programming skills, and for the matter of fact, they really didn't care much about investing the time to learn it! Relying mostly on their peers for the technical aspects of the project! Now we should not expect every person to be a guru, but they should at least show some interest and have some self-motivation to learn on their own.

Overall the majority of students in the class were hard workers and they really put a lot of time and effort in their respective projects. Most of them wanted to learn and be challenged. They just lacked the proper skills that were necessary prior to taking this class.

There was a lot involved for the students in this particular class, and this put a lot of pressure on the students to push themselves and to become self-motivated and self-starters. And that is exactly what my objective was in not only this class but all my classes. I want my students to push harder and to think bigger and explore more areas and ideas because this is the only way to grow and be competitive later on in their professional careers.

Monday, October 21, 2013

There is a wide range of field engineering software packages available for utilities, their vendors and consultants, but they aren't all created equal. Because most utility providers and their clients employee a number of individuals who serve different functions, it can be difficult to coordinate across different platforms effectively. When you're interested in a software solution, it's important to evaluate your company's needs and those of your engineers and other critical employees. Once you've determined what you need, do some research to find out which software companies provide the most reliable and flexible programs.

Key Elements That Make A Great Field Engineering Software Program

1. The Ability To Design And Document In The Field

Working in the field is always a challenge. If you don't truly have mobile capability that allows you to quickly, easily and accurately design, review or change extensions or repairs, you'll quickly realize that you aren't keeping up with repairs, extensions or other activities. Falling behind simply isn't an option in the utilities industry, so be sure your field engineers are using mobile solutions that give them plenty of latitude for work management regardless of their location.

2. Easy Integration With Other Company Platforms

No matter how great your field engineering software is, if it can't be easily integrated into your current system, it's useless. Be sure to talk to a representative about what you need and how well it will work with your current system. The best programs seamlessly tie together data such as utility maps and planning tools,including electronic sketching on specifications and drawings. Ask if the field engineering package can work with your accounting system or any other work-related systems back at the office. Keeping your engineers in the loop greatly enhances productivity.

3. Printable Reports

Whether you're holding a staff meeting, pitching your services to new clients, reviewing your inventory or invoicing clients, you should be able to print customizable reports that utilize the variety of information at your fingertips. Being able to view the "whole picture" instead of just bits and pieces of information will make everyone more efficient, which can improve your bottom line.

4. Systems Engineering And Analysis Capability

It's not enough to be able to see the information that's been input into your system. You have to be able to effectively analyze the information in order to determine the best course of action. Look for programs that let work crews not only view maps and sketches, but retrieve valuable information in order to engineer valid solutions. Systems engineering and analysis is the backbone of good field work, so be sure it is supported properly. The right engineering analysis software can save you thousands of dollars and hundreds of man hours.

5. Customer Service And Support

Any time you install new software on your network, there could be glitches. The learning curve can be steep for some members of your organization, but with the right customer service and support, they will soon be performing flawlessly. Ask vendors about the level of after-purchase support you can expect. Will they help your employees properly configure their computers, notebooks and smart phones? Will they be available if you run into an unexpected problem?

When you're ready to graduate to the latest in engineering analysis software, take the time to ask the right questions so that you invest in a product that will work across multiple platforms and quickly help turn problems into solutions.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Computer software is one of the biggest sellers online, everyone using a computer uses software, don't they? There can be problems, however, if you try to sell certain kinds of software that auction sites doesn't allow. Used software is a minefield, and you could end up buying something dodgy to resell without even realising it.

Here are the various kinds of software that you're not allowed to sell on most auction sites, and how to spot them. You should always try installing used software before you sell it, as this might give you a few clues.

Pirate Software.

This one is reasonably obvious, but pirate software can be hard to spot. The biggest things to look out for are auctions that don't have pictures or only have pictures from catalogues, unrealistically low prices, and come with no manuals or documentation. Microsoft software comes with a Certificate of Authenticity, which you should check. Software that is on recordable media such as CD-RWs is usually pirated. If you see software that offered for download only, it is often pirated but not always. Some small software developers allow download licenses for their software to be resold on other auction sites. Type the name of the software into a search engine, and go to the manufacturer's site to check. Remember that software you download is very unlikely to come with resale rights, though.

Beta Software.

Beta software is pre-release software, issued by companies for testing purposes. Companies generally do not give permission for their beta software to be sold or redistributed, as it won't be as good as the final product. Do not buy anything that says it is beta, and return anything you receive that says beta or not for resale or distribution anywhere on the CD or during the install.

Academic Software.

Some companies sell special educational edition's or student license's for their software, which are designed to make it affordable to students and teachers. You can only sell this software if you are a licensed educational reseller for the company, and your buyers are educational users. Academic software will usually say somewhere on its CD or in its installation what it is.

OEM Software.

OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer' this is software that is only supposed to be distributed with a new computer, as it came pre-installed on the computer. The licenses for this software usually stop you from selling it without also selling any hardware. Look out for the message for sale with a new computer only, or similar. Note, though, that it's usually fine to bundle any OEM software you come across with computers that you sell online. If you sell any kind of software that isn't allowed, then most reputable sites will shut down your auction, or your sellers might realise what they've bought and leave you bad feedback. It's not really worth the risk.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

In the computing industry, being able to use Java is a crucial skill. Java is a programming language used to make interactive content for webpages, stand-alone software, and server-side programs. The Java platform is the invisible force behind numerous apps we use in a variety of equipment, from personal computers to game consoles, as well as networks. Today, it is used by approximately 9 million software designers, and millions of end-users worldwide. Java is truly everywhere. 1 billion desktops and 3 billion cellular phones run Java. At the same time, 100% of Blu-ray players run this program. There are also more than 900 million Java runtime environment downloads annually.

History of Java platform

Java technology was created by James gosling, along with a small group of software engineers at Sun Microsystems in the early 90's. The team had the belief that the next phase of computing was the union of electronic gadgets and users. Earlier on in this programming language's development, Java was named differently, specifically Oak and subsequently Green. The Java language project was initially designed for interactive television, but back then it was too complex for existing digital cable systems. By 1995, Sun Microsystems introduced Java 1.0, and the company promoted it as a Write Once, Run Anywhere computing language. This implies that, Java applications can be created on any device, compiled as a standard bytecode, and run on any device that is loaded with a Java virtual machine.

Why software designers make use of Java

Through Java, software designers can write in one platform and be guaranteed that it will run on virtually any other platform. Apart from its cross-platform benefits, it is also efficient, secure, and portable, making it invaluable to developers. Using this programming language, software builders can create powerful and efficient software for a number of devices like set-top boxes, printers, peripheral devices for computers, video games, medical equipment, and so much more. It can also be used along with extensions like OSGi or CORBA to produce highly customized software or services.

Ways to learn Java

If you are interested to learn Java, there are many colleges and universities that are offering courses in this language. You can also develop your skills by browsing articles added to Oracle's Java developer website, being a member in online Java forums, newsletters, and signing up for instructor-led courses available on the Internet. Additionally, there are a lot of books you can use to learn Java. With so many alternatives to learn Java, there is high chance that you can find one that matches your requirements.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Change is inevitable and many of the things we count on today will not exist in the future.

This seems to be especially true in the cyber world, where new technologies are continually being developed to replace old or outdated software.

One older technology that has been refusing to 'go gently into that good night' is Adobe's Flash animation.

Flash has been the animation standard for many, many years and can be found on nearly every computer in existence. (Some research suggests it has been downloaded onto 98% of computers).

According to one article, Flash technology is the main reason sites like YouTube and Hulu have exploded in popularity over the past few years. And the main reason we have fast, reliable access to online videos at all.

But now, after years of fighting to save Flash, Adobe has abandoned plans to continue developing new versions of Flash for mobile devices.

It's difficult to understand why such a popular product has fallen out of favour, but it seems maybe Flash was its own worst enemy. The very fact that Flash was everywhere and used in so many different ways - some of which it was never originally intended for - ultimately led to its demise.

Flash animation is a great way to add movement and life to web pages. It is also used to facilitate streaming of videos on line. Moving characters, changing colours, rotating text, your imagination is really the only limit.

It was so successful that someone had the brilliant idea to build an entire website using Flash animation. The idea caught on and soon Flash websites were everywhere.

One major downside of a Flash-based website is that the search engines can't read the content, which leave Flash websites in the dust when it comes to search engine rankings. That problem has actually been addressed to a certain extent in recent years and the search engines have found ways to read the more of the content on Flash websites, but non-Flash websites are still better for search engine optimization.

Another issue with Flash websites is that they are not easy to edit. It's vital to keep the content on your website current and fresh for both the search engines and for visitors to your website. Outdated content is a sure way to bring your website down in the search engine rankings. With Flash animation sites, very few end-users are capable of editing their own web pages, which means they must pay a programmer every time the website needs to be changed, costing them time and money.

Splash down

Splash pages were a so-so idea that really took a turn for the worse with the addition of Flash animation. A splash page, also known as a splash screen, is a website intro page, rather like the cover of a book. Unlike books, however, websites don't need a cover page! Well, OK, there are certain cases where an intro page has some benefit, such as choosing which language version of a website you want to navigate to.

For the most part, however, these intro pages are either a chance for the website administrators to advertise products or for web designers to show off. The addition of Flash animation took splash pages to a whole new level of annoying as users were often forced to sit through some fantastical animated graphics loop - usually accompanied by an unwanted elevator Muzak audio track - while searching frantically for the 'skip intro' button.

Splash pages aren't so bad if directions for navigating through them are clear and precise.

But if almost everyone who stumbles on a splash page immediately starts looking for the exit, what is the point of having a splash page?

Other common complaints about Flash animation include the following: it slows down page loading and can actually bring older computers to a virtual stand still, especially in combination with dial up Internet service; Flash sucks power and creates security and privacy issues on mobile devices; basic keyboard functions like copy and paste don't work properly on Flash animation sites.

Apple bites back

With all of that, Flash was doing just fine, thank you, until it came up against the power of Apple.

Flash animation is usable on both Mac and Microsoft computers, but it is definitely NOT an Apple product.

That was made abundantly clear a few years ago when Apple made the decision to bar Flash applications from the iPhone. In fact, the Flash animation prohibition became a part of the iPhone user agreement.

Apparently the problem, at least as far as Apple is concerned, is that Flash is not just animation software, it is an application development platform. In other words, by downloading Flash onto the iPhone, users could potentially find a way to download apps, music, videos and games without going through Apple or the iTunes store. This would, of course, cost Apple money. More importantly, it would subvert Apple's absolute control over their users, in terms of their choice of apps, software and programming.

New direction

Adobe put up a valiant fight in support of Flash and even relished the victory of securing a place for Flash on Android and Blackberry mobile devices.

But in the end, Adobe decided they will no longer continue to develop new versions of Flash for mobile devices, opting instead to embrace HTML5 for the future. In fact, Adobe Edge, an HTML5 and CSS3 animation and design software - in other words, an eventual replacement for Flash - has already been in previews since August 2011.

However, to paraphrase the great Winston Churchill, "this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. It is, perhaps, the end of the beginning..." for Flash.

Flash is still widely used to facilitate online video streaming and it still exists on the vast majority of computers around the world so there is no danger of it disappearing into the ether anytime soon.

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