Monday, September 29, 2008

Website Design 101: What you should do

It’s really easy to point out bad web design. Why? Because there are so many bad websites, and even more annoying features incorporated into websites.

We recently asked the question in our forum: What aspect of a website annoys you the most? You have provided a lot of great responses so far, but don’t worry, if you have an opinion on the matter, it’s not too late to join the conversation.

Now, I’d like to turn the question around, and make it a little more difficult. My question is this: “What makes a good website? What features in a website make your browsing experience more pleasant?”

I know, it’s a tough question because it’s easy to take good aspects of web design for granted. In your opinion, what are the best things to do when creating a website? Join the conversation in our forum post titled, “Website Design 101: What you should do.”

Friday, September 26, 2008

Website Design 101: What not to do

Last week, we posed the question: “What aspect of a website annoys you the most?” If you could talk to a room full of web designers, is there any one thing you would ask them to stop doing? What could they do to make your browsing experience a little more enjoyable?

Well, here’s your chance. Join the conversation in our forum and voice your opinion on this very topic.

Our goal is simple: We want to turn your responses into a helpful article for web designers or webmasters of company sites. We hope that it will provide them insight into how others view their site.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

10 ways the economic problems will change IT

The state of the economy has been all over the news this year, but was shoved into the spotlight last week. I knew that the credit crunch was affecting the financial industry, but didn’t realize it was so bad until last week.

We’ve seen the effect on the financial industry, but what about IT? How will the IT industry be affected by these economic problems? I ran across an article on entitled, “10 ways the credit crunch will hit IT” which attempts to answer that very question. It’s a pretty good read, and I feel that most of it is spot-on.

What do you think? How is the economy affecting IT at your company?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Debugging and the 5 Stages of Grief

Anyone who has ever written a line of code knows the pains of debugging. In fact, some would say it causes emotional pain. According to this article, a programmer goes through 5 stages of grief upon realizing there’s a bug in their code.

More importantly, bugs waste time, costing companies hours in productivity. As a result of these lost hours, bugs also waste money. I remember a report about 5 years back that placed the cost of software bugs on the economy at around $60 billion. Wow.

From a programmer’s perspective however, bugs are no fun to fix. The general consensus I’ve received from programmers is that while they love their jobs, they hate debugging.

We’ve had many programmers tell us, “m-Power makes programming fun again!” Why? It’s simply because m-Power generates open source, error-free java code. It allows them to spend their time being productive, without having to worry about bugs.

Try it out for yourself for free. Build 2 error-free applications in 45 minutes with m-Power using our online lab. You don’t even have to know Java or be a programmer to use m-Power.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Wanted: Cheap, Talented IT Workers

The latest problem to hit the IT industry: talent, or lack thereof. As this article states, corporations are complaining that universities aren’t producing enough qualified job candidates. As a result, corporations turn to outsourcing to answer the talent problem.

Meanwhile, outsourcing leads to job cuts, which results in more IT workers in need of jobs. Therefore, if more IT workers need jobs, then the IT talent is out there just waiting to be hired. If talent is available, what’s the real problem here? The real problem is this: Companies want cheap, talented IT workers, and that’s hard to find in the U.S.

Therefore, companies turn to outsourcing for the apparent cost savings. On paper, it looks like a great idea. If you can get the same job done for half the price, why not? They fail to realize that there’s a whole lot more than money to think about when considering outsourcing. Just read this article to learn a few of them.

Here’s my question for you: If you could keep your development in-house and complete projects faster and cheaper than you could with outsourcing, why wouldn’t you? Try our online lab to learn why m-Power is a practical alternative to outsourcing. It will only take 45 minutes and could end up saving your company a bundle.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

20 (more) IT mistakes to avoid

Problems have a way of just sneaking up on you. Sometimes they arise as a result of mistakes that just slip through the cracks, and you don’t realize that you are doing them until it’s too late.

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” With that in mind, I urge you to read this article entitled, “20 more IT mistakes to avoid.” Who knows, maybe you will be able to stop a problem before it happens.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Website Design 101: What not to do

The great thing about technology is the speed at which it advances. Unfortunately, with every great technology advancement, there are people who will figure out how to use it to annoy you. Take for example the telephone. Great invention. Now throw in telemarketers. Annoying.

We have recently been adding forum posts aimed to help with web design. But now, I'd like to turn that around and ask you a question: What features annoy you the most about certain websites? How have people used new web technology, or even old technology, to make your internet experience a little less enjoyable?

We've started the discussion with our forum post, "Website Design 101: What not to do". We'd love to hear your thoughts on the issue.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rich Internet (Business) Applications

Rich internet applications (RIAs) are web applications that have features and functionality of desktop applications. They are interactive, flashy, and usually offer rich functionality. More and more, they are being used to answer the demand for a better online user experience.

While I believe that RIAs are very useful for a business, there are a couple things that companies need to keep in mind before using them:

  1. Don’t use RIAs just because they are flashy. Figure out how they can be used to help your business before you do anything.
  2. Keep it simple. There are many possibilities when using RIAs, and it’s very possible to go overboard with functionality. Don’t confuse the user. Create something that is both beneficial and easy to use.
For instance, here’s a good example of how RIAs can be used to compliment Business Intelligence. Scroll your mouse over the little “callout” icons on the page and you’ll see one beneficial use for RIAs. Do you see how simple that is, yet very helpful at the same time?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Top 10 Cities for Tech Jobs

Which city/metro area in the U.S. is the number one location for technology jobs? I thought it was the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, until I saw this list. Surprisingly enough, at least for me, it wasn’t even in the top two. Even more surprising for me was the number 2 city. Never would’ve guessed it.

Where does your city rank? You can find the entire list here.>>

Monday, September 08, 2008

How to Keep Visitors on Your Website

A good website will tell a visitor everything they need to know, and what they should do, all in a matter of seconds. Does your website do that? Take a good look at your company website. Is it clear and easy to understand, or is it confusing?

Does your website need help attracting and retaining visitors? We have a few tips for you in our latest forum post entitled, “How to keep visitors on your website.”

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Contradictory IT Industry

It’s no secret that the economy is affecting the IT industry, but here’s what I find strange: No one seems to exactly agree on how the economy is affecting IT.

I recently read two articles published in the last few days. One article reports that CIO’s are trimming staff. The other reports that CIO’s are having trouble finding people to hire, and that IT workers are in demand. Both of these articles are based on survey results.

Which is it?

I’m not the only one to notice this. Here’s an interesting article in which explains a few of the seeming contradictions in the IT industry today. For example: The author reports that IT budgets are getting tighter, but cost cutting is not a priority. Sound contradictory?

Here’s the reason: There’s not a lot that can be cut easily these days. Rather than sitting idle and weathering the economic storm, IT shops should be focusing on how to grow the business. They must look for ways to achieve fast returns on low investments.

It’s not as difficult as you might think. Here’s a good example of a company that used a low investment to increase profits dramatically.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

20 Tech Habits That Will Improve Your Life

I’m a firm believer in using technology to better your life. Lucky for me, there are plenty of tools out there that promise to do just that. But not all of them actually deliver on that promise. How do you weed out the good from the bad? recently published an article detailing 20 tech habits that will improve your life. I hope you find it as useful as I did.

Monday, September 01, 2008

What does your website say about your company?

Why does your company have a website, and what is its purpose? Is it to keep up with the times? Provide information? E-Commerce?

These days, your website should be more than just information or e-commerce. Your website is the face of your company. Like it or not, it says something about your company to potential customers.

If you haven't given this much thought in the past, read our latest forum post entitled, “What does your website say about your company”.

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