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How To Pick the Right Android Keyboard For YOU

How To Pick the Right Android Keyboard For YOU

There are tons of ways to tap text into your Android (y'know, when you're not just talking to it). CareAce looked at the stock 2.1 keyboard, Better, Swype Beta, TouchPal, SwiftKey Beta, and ThickButtons and sorted out what's what. Their helpful guide will point out, for example, that Swype is wel

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Google Voice Review

Google Voice Review

Get used to hearing the words “Google Voice” an awful lot because after using it for the past week I would describe it with three words: awesome, awesome, awesome. I’m going to take some time using text, pictures and videos to: Overview what you can do with Google Voice Walk you through

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Intel 80GB Solid-State Drives Get Official (and High) Price Tag, Are Blazing Fast [Ssds]

Intel 80GB Solid-State Drives Get Official (and High) Price Tag, Are Blazing Fast [Ssds]

Intel's slightly delayed leap into the SSD game is now official, with the company announcing a $595 pricetag for an 80GB SSD, which comes in 1.8-inch (X18-M) or 2.5-inch (X25-M) sizes for the same price, with 160GB versions coming later this year. While that's a considerably higher price-per-gi

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Signs of Armageddon: We’re worrying about CO2 emissions of a Google search

Take some interesting science statistics. Mix in a well-known company such as Google. Stir well. And you have a bunch of malarkey about how searching the Web is killing the planet. I suppose there’s nothing else to worry about on the weekend (Techmeme). First up, the Times of London “reveals t

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Top 5 features in Android 1.5 (Cupcake)

Top 5 features in Android 1.5 (Cupcake)

Google has released a preview SDK for the long awaited next version of Android: version 1.5, a.k.a “Cupcake”. I’m happy to report that this time it’s for real, and not just another rumor. Android 1.5 is expected to be featured on the new HTC Magic that is coming out in Europe next month f

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Windows 7 Build 7022 goodness: Screenshot Gallery

Windows 7 Build 7022 goodness: Screenshot Gallery

You may have heard by now that build 7022 of Windows 7 has recently hit the net. If you haven't had the pleasure of using the build yourself yet, you can always count on a nice screenshot gallery to satisfy your inner geek enthusiast. Keep on reading to see just what 7022 has to offer.

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Windows XP Mode No Longer Requires Virtualization Hardware

Windows XP Mode No Longer Requires Virtualization Hardware

Windows XP Mode is a pre-configured solution for Windows 7 users needing support for older software, and, until recently, it required AMD-V or VT processor hardware. An update released today should make XP Mode far more accessible to more Windows 7 users. If you're a 7 user who's been trappe

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Opera 9.6 Faster, Stronger, Available Now

Opera 9.6 Faster, Stronger, Available Now

Opera just popped out the latest version of their desktop browser, 9.6. Besides being just plain faster, it adds feature improvements all around, like a new low-bandwidth mode in the built-in email client, expanded syncing (speed dial, search engines and notes), and RSS feed previews, so you c

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10 skills developers will need in the next five years

With the recent changes in the economy, a lot of developers are focused on their short-term job prospects. At the same time, it’s important to make sure that you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to taking the time and energy to learn new skills. Here is our list of 10 skills you should be learning right now to make sure that your resume is relevant for the next five years. The list is hardly exhaustive, and there are huge swaths of the industry it won’t cover (mainframe developers, for example). Nonetheless, for average mainstream development, you can’t go wrong learning at least seven of these skills — not only to the point where you can talk convincingly about them at a job interview, but actually use them on the job.

Note: This article is also available as a PDF download.

1: One of the “Big Three” (.NET, Java, PHP)

Unless there is a radical shift in the development world (akin to an asteroid hitting Redmond), most developers will need to know at least one of the Big Three development systems — .NET (VB.NET or C#), Java, or PHP — for the near future. It’s not enough to know the core languages, either. As projects encompass more and more disparate functionality, you’ll need to know the associated frameworks and libraries more deeply.

2: Rich Applications (RIAs)

Love it or hate it, in the last few years, Flash is suddenly being used for more than just animations of politicians singing goofy songs. Flash has also sprouted additional functionality in the form or Flex and AIR. Flash’s competitors, such as JavaFx and Silverlight, are also upping the ante on features and performance. To make things even more complicated, HTML 5 is incorporating all sorts of RIA functionality, including database connectivity, and putting the formal W3C stamp on AJAX. In the near future, being an RIA pro will be a key resume differentiator.

3: development

Web development is not going away anytime soon. Many developers have been content to lay back and ignore the Web or to just stick to “the basics” their framework provides them with. But companies have been demanding more and more who really know how to work with the underlying technology at a “hand code” level. So bone up on , CSS, and HTML to succeed over the next five years.

4: Web services

REST or SOAP? JSON or XML? While the choices and the answers depend on the project, it’s getting increasingly difficult to be a developer (even one not writing Web applications) without consuming or creating a Web service. Even areas that used to be ODBC, COM, or RPC domains are now being transitioned to Web services of some variety. Developers who can’t work with Web services will find themselves relegated to legacy and maintenance roles.

5: Soft skills

One trend that has been going for quite some time is the increasing visibility of IT within and outside the enterprise. Developers are being brought into more and more non-development meetings and processes to provide feedback. For example, the CFO can’t change the accounting rules without working with IT to update the systems. And an operations manager can’t change a call center process without IT updating the CRM workflow. Likewise, customers often need to work directly with the development teams to make sure that their needs are met. Will every developer need to go to Toastmasters or study How to Win Friends and Influence People? No. But the developers who do will be much more valuable to their employers — and highly sought after in the job market.

6: One dynamic and/or functional programming language

Languages like Ruby, Python, F#, and Groovy still aren’t quite mainstream –  but the ideas in them are. For example, the LINQ system in ’s .NET is a direct descendent of functional programming techniques. Both Ruby and Python are becoming hot in some sectors, thanks to the Rails framework and Silverlight, respectively. Learning one of these languages won’t just improve your resume, though; it will expand your horizons. Every top-flight developer I’ve met recommends learning at least one dynamic or functional programming language to learn new ways of thinking, and from personal experience, I can tell you that it works.

7: Agile methodologies

When Agile first hit mainstream awareness, I was a skeptic, along with many other folks I know. It seemed to be some sort of knee-jerk reaction to tradition, throwing away the controls and standards in favor of anarchy. But as time went on, the ideas behind Agile became both better defined and better expressed. Many shops are either adopting Agile or running proof-of-concept experiments with Agile. While Agile is not the ultimate panacea for project failure, it does indeed have a place on many projects. Developers with a proven track record of understanding and succeeding in Agile environments will be in increasingly high demand over the next few years.

8: Domain knowledge

Hand-in-hand with Agile methodologies, development teams are increasingly being viewed as partners in the definition of projects. This means that developers who understand the problem domain are able to contribute to the project in a highly visible, valuable way. With Agile, a developer who can say, “From here, we can also add this functionality fairly easily, and it will get us a lot of value,” or “Gee, that requirement really doesn’t match the usage patterns our logs show” will excel. As much as many developers resist the idea of having to know anything about the problem domain at all, it is undeniable that increasing numbers of organizations prefer (if not require) developers to at least understand the basics.

9: Development “hygiene”

A few years ago, many (if not most) shops did not have access to bug tracking systems, version control, and other such tools; it was just the developers and their IDE of choice. But thanks to the development of new, integrated stacks, like the Microsoft Visual Studio Team System, and the explosion in availability of high quality, open source environments, organizations without these tools are becoming much less common. Developers must know more than just how to check code in and out of source control or how to use the VM system to build test environments. They need to have a rigorous habit of hygiene in place to make sure that they are properly coordinating with their teams. “Code cowboys” who store everything on a personal USB drive, don’t document which changes correspond to which task item, and so on, are unwelcome in more traditional shops and even more unwelcome in Agile environments, which rely on a tight coordination between team members to operate.

10: Mobile development

The late 1990s saw Web development rise to mainstream acceptance and then begin to marginalize traditional desktop applications in many areas. In 2008, mobile development left the launch pad, and over the next five years, it will become increasingly important. There are, of course, different approaches to mobile development: Web applications designed to work on mobile devices, RIAs aimed at that market, and applications that run directly on the devices. Regardless of which of these paths you choose, adding mobile development to your skill set will ensure that you are in demand for the future.

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