Posts tagged Time
And you thought being a software engineer was all about dreaming up clever algorithms or amazing graphics routines and then instantiating them in elegant, tightly written code. Shows what you know.
It turns out, at least according to a survey conducted by software delivery service Electric Cloud, that developers spend almost 20% of their time… waiting. Waiting for their code to compile (that is, for it to be translated from a programming language like Python or C into a binary machine language computers can execute). Waiting for test routines to finish running. Waiting for that junior developer to get back with the Diet Coke and Funyons.
You get the idea. According to the survey, software engineers spend as much time waiting as they do brainstorming and collaborating. Check it out (click on each graphic for a larger version):
Of course, waiting can take many forms. Some programmers doubtless use the time to plot our their next project or bug fix. Others may have, well, other pastimes. (As in this iconic XKCD comic, for instance.) In any event, the sheer amount of time devoted to the waiting game blew the surveyors away.
“It was definitely surprising,” said Ashish Kuthiala, Electric Cloud’s director of marketing. “When I was a software engineer, I remember losing time to meetings when I’d rather be coding. But we didn’t realize how much time engineers lose waiting for tests and builds to complete.”
Electric Cloud conducted its survey last month after hearing clients — a group which includes Walmart, Samsung and GM — complain their engineers weren’t working as quickly as they’d like.
“Software engineers are our clients’ most expensive resources, so they’re always concerned about whether they’re being as productive as they can be,” Kuthiala said. Spoken like a true pointy-headed boss, you might say.
Electric Cloud circulated the survey to LinkedIn groups and forums engineers frequent, offering a Kindle raffle prize as an incentive. So far, it’s received nearly 1,200 responses. Survey participants had the option to remain anonymous or disclose their company names.
“Every time we conduct the survey, the results continue to map on top of each other,” Kuthiala said. “It doesn’t just show how the majority of engineers spend their time, it can be used as a benchmark to see how your company’s engineers are doing compared to the average.”
Is there any way to shorten those waits, or even avoid them altogether? Not really. Unsurprisingly, Electric Cloud offers a service it says can help by automating the cycle of building, testing and deploying code. Some open-source software claims to do something similar. And then there’s the time-honored, if not-necessarily-reliable, option of just throwing as much hardware as possible at the problem.
And yet as long as there are compile delays and testing latencies, engineers will always have an excuse when they’re slacking off.
Let’s hear it, coders. How does your work week break down compared to these survey results?
Photo by Flickr user Phil Heaberlin, CC 2.0
View full post on ReadWrite
It ain’t easy being Apple – for once, anyway.
Today, Apple will report its fiscal Q2 2013 earnings today at 2 p.m. PDT. Analysts widely expect the Cupertino company to post its first year-over-year decline in earnings in the last decade. But has Apple really begun its fall from grace, or is the house that Jobs built just falling short of its own impossible standards?
Here’s why Apple has been missing the mark in 2013.
Apple has fallen victim to its own success, plain and simple. The company’s been on top for so long, we just don’t remember things being any other way. Apple’s market and mind share are the stuff of legend, but they show signs of waning for the first time in… well, almost ever in Internet years. While any other company in the universe would be perfectly content being the world’s former most valuable corporate entity, for Apple and its stockholders, second best just won’t cut it.
Last quarter, in spite of a $13.1 billion profit, unhappy shareholders punished the company for failing to meet revenue expectations with a 10% share price plummet - AAPL‘s biggest nosedive in years. As Q2 wraps, Apple investors and acolytes alike are still itching to hit the panic button. Arguably it’s not because Apple’s near-future profitability poses any real cause for alarm – perhaps we just don’t remember how this whole thing goes for companies that aren’t Apple.
No Tricks Up Its Sleeve?
Really, what could the company that brought little white earbuds into ubiquity wow us with next? The iPad Mini, Apple’s latest mobile innovation – or iteration – is an exercise in practicality, a version of a revolutionary device with its ambition, processing power and pixel density scaled back and its price tag slashed. The iPhone 5, while slick, is old hat at this point.
At this juncture in consumer tech, we’re pleased to see the gadgets we own refined, but all anyone really wants is a revolution. And look at Google just over the Silicon fence: with Google Glass, we’re looking to see our devices pushed beyond their evolution into something borderline crazy but undeniably intriguing.
Unfortunately, reinventing the wheel isn’t easy – even for Apple, a company with a track record of doing exactly that.
The Competition Gains Ground
As competitors like Samsung gain more and more traction with a heterogenous army of Android alternatives (like the hotly anticipated Galaxy S4), Apple is wasting more time than ever looking over its shoulder – and building the fortifications of the Mac and iOS walled gardens ever-higher.
In the U.S. last quarter, Apple remained top dog with 38% of smartphone market share versus Samsung’s 21%, but globally the story is quite different, with Apple trailing by most metrics. With Apple shares trading at 40% less than September 2012′s booming highs, the company is at low tide for the moment.
On today’s call, Jobs successor Tim Cook might have to pull a literal rabbit out of his proverbial hat to meet expectations. From its products to its profits, Apple likes to think of itself as an exception to every industry rule – and usually it is. Unfortunately for Cook and company, with tenacious competitors chipping away and iPhone sales still dragging in Q2 2013, Apple just might be exceptional to a fault.
Stay tuned tomorrow for Apple’s Q2 2013 earnings report, which we’ll be reporting here at ReadWrite as it unfolds.
View full post on ReadWrite
EMarketz launches Express SEO service with two month delivery time – PRWeb
PR Web (press release)
The Express SEO service was recently launched by EMarketz India Private Limited, the leading online marketing solutions provider. The service has been introduced to meet the demands of clients who wish to see quick results from their search engine …
View full post on SEO – Google News
The Time Suck That Is SEO Reporting
If you're employed as an SEO, reporting is a task that you can't escape. In some cases, reporting fills a real purpose such as providing a measure of how closely you're hitting pre-defined goals, aka justifying your fees if you happen to work at an agency.
View full post on SEO – Google News
Shortly after Google Analytics received real time reporting, they released new time saving widgets. These widgets are available in the Dashboard area. When you log into your analytics account and visit the Dashboard, you’ll see the new ‘+ Add Widget’ button. It looks like this: Let’s set up a widget together. For an example, let’s [...]
The post Google Analytics Just Added New Time Saving Widgets appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
View full post on Search Engine Journal
It’s getting harder to make a dent in the mobile app market, especially for Apple and Google. While it’s easy to point to the billions being paid to app developers, the reality is that Apple’s and Google’s 30% cut on such revenue is a rounding error. Given Apple’s struggle to fend off Google, and the comparative peanuts it makes on mobile app sales, it may be time for Apple to give even more revenue back to developers to encourage a continued “iOS-first” policy.
Apple CEO Tim Cook crowed at an investor conference earlier this year that Apple had paid $8 billion to developers since the App Store’s launch. While this may sound impressive, that equates to around $3.4 billion to Apple over five years, or about $170 million per quarter.
Sound like a lot? It’s not.
The $170 Million Rounding Error
After all, just last quarter Apple notched $54.4 billion in revenues, nearly $31 billion coming from sales of the iPhone alone. $170 million in mobile app sales? Apple makes 3X that amount in the first day of a quarter.
Not that app sales are immaterial to Apple’s business. On the contrary, apps make Apple’s hardware more appealing. As beautiful as Apple’s devices are, few would bother to buy them if they didn’t come with a massive app ecosystem.
So apps matter to Apple. It’s just the app revenue that really doesn’t matter. Not even with the overall mobile app market blossoming to $25 billion in 2013, according to ABI Research. That’s not where the real money is.
The Mobile App Economy
At least, not for Apple. But developers? They could use that money.
Even as app sales boom, generating revenue from mobile apps is something of a bust for developers, and it’s getting worse. According to a VisionMobile report, 35% of mobile app developers “live below the app poverty line,” in that they don’t make enough money from app development to sustain themselves. Furthermore, research firm research2guidance recently released data indicating a 27% drop in average revenues per paid app, from $26,720 in 2011 to $19,560 in 2012.
That drop in top-line revenue is already hard to swallow, but becomes even more so for iOS developers, given how pricey they are to create relative to other platforms:
Hey, Apple, Can You Spare A Dime?
As such, and given Android’s continued market share domination, it may be time for Apple to further encourage developers to stick with it by dropping its App Store cut. While dropping its share from 30% to 20%, 10%, or 0% won’t hurt Apple’s revenue profile, it could go a long way toward keeping developers’ pockets full.
Of course, Google could (and likely would) simply follow suit. After all, Google, like Apple, doesn’t rely on app revenue, instead monetizing mobile through advertising.
But by moving first, Apple would not only generate goodwill, but it would reinforce developers’ preference for iOS, as a recent Appcelerator and IDC survey shows:
Apple, in other words, doesn’t need to win over developers, so much as it needs to give developers a bit more incentive to keep it top platform for them. As volumes start to shrink relative to Android, letting developers keep a bigger chunk of their App Store haul could go a long way toward encouraging developer loyalty.
View full post on ReadWrite
If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, you might want to triple-check your math before you do. That’s because the IRS employs a more watchful eye than ever, thanks to Big Data analysis and digital information-gathering tactics.
With the ongoing budget crisis, pressure for the IRS to recover lost revenue has never been higher. Conveniently enough, the agency has made massive investments in its computing power and tools for crunching big data, allowing for more automation and rapid analysis. That means a greater capacity for robo-audits and less room for honest mistakes.
It’s not just the tools that have improved. The data itself is richer and more varied than ever, drawing increasingly from whatever details about our digital lives the IRS can get its hands on, including information that isn’t publicly accessible. We don’t know the full extent of the IRS’s data-mining capabilities, but recent reporting has revealed new details.
1. Analyzing Your Social Media Updates
The social Web has been a boon for IRS investigators, who can use updates from Facebook, Twitter and other services to bolster its cases against alleged tax cheats. Information about work history, one’s physical whereabouts and even purchases can be gleaned from social networks. Some of it, like tweets and certain details from Facebook, are public. But should the IRS want to take a closer look, it supposedly has the means to do so, with or without a warrant.
According to recent reports, the IRS cross-references data from social networks with Social Security numbers and then works in a host of other private data to look for suspicious patterns.
2. Monitoring Digital Payments and Credit Card Activity
The rise of commerce and digital payments have also given the IRS new sets of data to mine and analyze. The agency has long looked at taxpayers’ activity on ecommerce sites like Ebay, but are now going deeper and getting a look at credit card transactions and other online payments.
The agency looks for potential auditing targets “by matching tax filings to social media or electronic payments,” according to MSN Money. The exact mechanism of this monitoring isn’t known, but MSN Money indicates that it includes examining credit card transactions “for the first time ever.”
It’s not clear how detailed or widespread this monitoring is, and the IRS isn’t likely to spill the beans (lest they tip off tax cheats), but suffice it to say that if the agency feels it has cause to take a peek at your online payment data, it won’t have a problem doing so.
3. Peeking At Your Email Usage
Exactly when and how the IRS looks at email usage isn’t entirely clear. The MSN Money report says the agency’s big data analysis tools are used in part for “tracking individual Internet addresses and emailing patterns.” That’s pretty vague. In theory, the IRS could glean some details about email usage simply by looking at browsing activity, whether that insight comes from an ISP or email service provider.
Does that mean that the IRS has blanket access to everybody’s Gmail account for the purpose of feeding its data-crunching behemoth? That seems pretty unlikely. Instead, what it likely does is request access to individual accounts for people who are already suspected of wrongdoing. The American Civil Liberties Union recently uncovered documents that suggest the IRS doesn’t feel a warrant is necessary to get such access. Good to know!
View full post on ReadWrite