Jesse Newcomer, Mobile Development Manager with Homes.com, says, “We have a Windows Phone app for Homes.com, but we don’t have new projects planned for the platform. Having worked on all three mobile platforms I do prefer the Windows development environment due to the superior Visual Studio IDE and debugging features. However, with the rapidly developing mobile environment the time/resource investment in developing a Windows Phone app is not justifiable for us. With limited resources and time, we see a better return on developing for the vastly larger user base of iOS and Android.”
James Cropcho, Chief Technology Officer at Fashism, says the number of devices is a big factor, “but so is knowing who is using them. If the app is for Windows7FanSite.net a Microsoft client is a good bet, but otherwise likely not.
“Also consider that developing a great native mobile app is pretty damn hard and costly, so Microsoft: you have to really make me want it. Otherwise I’ll stick to the platforms with the people on them.”
Ow! “…platforms with the people on them.” That is a major punch in the gut for Microsoft — and this isn’t from a guy who works on WeLoveLinuxAndHateWindows.com, but someone who works on the kind of consumer-oriented Web site that is almost certainly visited heavily by Windows computer users. And Homes.com isn’t an obscure geek site either. Hmmm.
But not everyone has given up on Windows Phone. From Simon Lee, CEO of Locassa Ltd: “We’re an iOS agency at heart but I have to say I really like the UI and foresight that Microsoft are taking with their platform. The UI is clean and Microsoft have always understood that developers are the ones who make or break a platform, something Google, and even Apple, sometimes miss. We are still waiting for Nokia to send us the free device we were promised (*nudge*) but can’t wait to see what we can do with it! Anyone who says Microsoft is too late to the party hasn’t been watching closely enough.”
From Chris Maddern, CEO at AppLaunch, an online tool to help indie developers get their Apps in front of reviewers:
(This is) something that we recently surveyed our customers at AppLaunch about. The result came back as a staggering 87% no (~800 responses).
A summary of the key reasons were:
- not a big enough addressable market
- wrong perceived demographic (I.e. boring big biz types)
- yet another development environment and language – likely requiring new hires as almost no startups have Microsoft.net in their stack
- lack of confidence that they will succeed this time around after several ‘failed’ OSes
Interestingly, a large number of those developing for Windows Phone had received money, development or in-kind benefits from Microsoft directly to fund the creation of their WinPhone Apps!! (~30%)
From Brian Geary, Marketing Coordinator for AndPlus LLC, a
mobile development company in Worcester, Massachusetts:
It does and it doesn’t make sense to develop for Windows Phone. As of today, Windows Phone doesn’t hold much market share when compared to iPhone and Android in the United States. (Android with 51%, iPhone with 34% Blackberry with 8% and Windows Phone with just 4.5%) But in my opinion, we are going to see a shift in that trend, where Android and iPhone will still be far ahead of the other operating systems, and Windows Phone taking over Blackberry’s stronghold in the number three spot. This surge in the Windows Phone user base will most likely attract developers to the operating system and only strengthen the Windows phone even more.
Another factor that is coming into play is Windows 8 tablets. Microsoft is planning on releaseing Windows 8 tablets before the end of 2012. This is important to Windows Phone developers because Windows 8 and the upcoming Windows Phone 8 are going to work hand and hand with one another. So today, it may not be a great idea to develop strictly for Windows Phone, but it should definitely be a strong consideration for developers in the near future.
That’s a good point about the soon-to-be-released Microsoft tablets. In other words, even if you’re not interested in developing for Windows Phone today, it’s wise to keep an eye on it, because there’s a good chance that it might yet have enough users that your apps had *better* run on it.]]>
The other big stipulation, which isn’t perhaps stated in an obvious way by Google, is that you should give your mentee realistic, substantive tasks to accomplish. The point of this program is to develop developers, not to give you someone who is paid by Google to be your flunky.
Many — possibly most — Summer of Code students work remotely. This is kind of an “up to you” thing; when it comes time to pick your student applicant(s), you may decide to go for local people. It’s also possible that there won’t be anyone near you that you feel is qualified to work with you. Or that there is someone you feel will be a perfect fit, but is on another continent.
The young people I’ve met who were Summer of Code student participants were all bright and knowledgeable. So are the Summer of Code mentors I know. I obviously have not met all 5,500 student participants and all 3000+ mentors who have been involved with the program since it started in 2005, but my sample size — over 100 — is statistically viable.
Note, too, that if you are pleased with your Summer of Code student, and you have a junior-level opening (or any opening, really) that student might be able to fill, you might be wise to extend a job offer to that student. He or she is prescreened — by you — and obviously knows at least a little about the work you need done and how to work smoothly with people you already have on staff.
And if you are a student, you need to look at the Summer of Code, too. But you have a little time to think about it. According to the 2012 timeline, you can’t even apply until March 26. We’ll see if we can’t grab an interview with someone from Google by then, so that you can get a little inside dope on what they’re looking for.]]>
These are five advice/forum sites I personally found interesting and potentially useful. Hit Google with the search term “IT Career Advice” and you’ll find thousands more.
If you’re unemployed and looking, or you’re in a job you don’t think is going to last, you should look through at least the first few pages of those Google links. If even a few of them teach you something, your time will not be wasted.]]>
Android is Open Source, and Google has worked hard to make Android developer tools available. Google’s tools are free, while membersip in Apple’s iOS Developer Program costs $99 per year.
Both the official Android app store and the iOS app store charge 30% of the gross sales price of your app. Which one is better depends on who you listen to. But since Android is Open Source, other companies can open their own Android app stores and offer developers better deals than Google does. Amazon, for one, has an Android app store that is much better-looking than Google’s — and has a number of customer-friendly features that may encourage users to try your apps.
Hedging your bets and working with both major smartphone OSes
Whether or not Ron Miller is right about Google going into the Android hardware business hurting overall Android adoption, it looks as if Android is here to stay and is likely to maintain at least market parity with iOS, with a chance that it may one day be a much more powerful app market factor than its competitors. So, obviously, it makes sense to develop for Android.
But don’t count iOS out. There are millions of iPhone owners out there, all of whom would surely benefit from your outstandingly original software. Microsoft Windows Phone 7? Apparently it’s not doing well enough in the market to be a factor, and may be nearly killed by Google’s Motorola purchase.
Blackberry/RIM’s new corporate motto seems to be too little too late, while Symbian seems to be dying of natural causes. Developing for these platforms is a bit iffy right now. Can you easily port your Android or iOS apps to them? That seems like the only way it’s sane to work with them.
So you have two big smartphone playgrounds: Android and iOS.
Since the Android developer kit is free, it would be the logical starting point for smartphone app dabbling.
Then, if your apps turn out to be worth the cost of working with Apple, you can start developing for iOS as well.]]>
The “defence” spelling leads us to believe this is from a British or British-colonial company. And it is — Simwood is based in London. (The one in England, not the Ontario one.) But does this matter? Not really. The Web is world-wide, as are most of the problems and criminals that plague it.
Anyway, picture this: you’re in a boring company meeting, and a suit expresses a worry about DDoS attacks or mentions one the company has suffered. You can say, diffidently, “Oh, yes. I’ve been reading up on DDoS defenses and I’ve seen one we might want to check out.”
Sure, you mean the Simwood one, but check Google for keywords “DDoS Protection”, and you’ll find many other DDoS prevention schemes and services.
A few minutes spent checking out some of those links can give you knowledge that will make you seem like a super-genius beyond-belief great asset to your employers.
While this may not save you from (example) a VP’s nephew who needs a (meaning “your”) job, it’ll give you a little more job security than you had before you mentioned that you know how to find and deploy anti-DDoS measures that will no doubt save your company megabucks.]]>
So far, the only Google service I use heavily is the Chrome browser. But I love a browser whose settings automatically synchronize across my Linux, Mac, and even Windows PCs.
Love may not be too strong a word, after all. Maybe we can get “Weird Al” Yankovic to write a song called “Chrome Love.” I’d love that. Wouldn’t you?
2. Speed. I like speed metal now and then, especially the Primus piece, Jerry Was a Race Car Driver. I like a browser that loads as fast as that song, and opens pages that fast, too. Without choking or crashing or any of that. Which Chrome does. It is, on average — across my Mac, Windows, and Linux computers — the fastest browser I have ever used. Vroom!
3. 100% cross-platform goodness. Have you noticed that Firefox has slightly different controls and settings locations in different operating systems? If you only use one operating system all the time you will never notice this. But for those of us who need to check work across multiple platforms, software that works the same across them saves us time and, more important, precious Brain Cycles. (You may have a lot of brain to waste. I don’t, so I try to conserve what little I have.)
4. Growing selection of add-ons. Yep. There are lots of cool things you can add to or turn on in your Chrome browser — that will instantly be available on all your computers, which is too cool. There’s nothing like a browser customized exactly to fit your tastes and work habits. And it is even cooler that your customizations appear on all your Chrome-equipped computers. (I already said that, didn’t I? Well, it’s obviously worth saying twice. So I did.)
5. One Convenient “Tools” Button. There is a little wrench-looking icon in the upper right-hand corner of your Chrome browser windows. Click on it, then click around on the various thingies you’ll see on the various menus hidden behind that wrench. “Preferences” is obviously an important menu to check. It’s where a lot of your customizing takes place, so use it wisely.
So these are five major reasons I like the Chrome browser as much as I do. Maybe you have others. Or maybe you you’ve tried Chrome and didn’t like it at all.
We are all different, right?
I mean, sure, life would be easier for people like us if everybody used Linux, but they don’t, and maybe never will, so we all just have to find the tools that work best for us — and be happy we found them and that they do what we need.]]>