Why Run With The Herd?


Mobile Programming, Big Data and New Tricks

Doesn't look like an iPhone

For the last five years, I’ve been focusing on managing large technology programs and new business initiatives overseas. It’s been a little time since I last managed a technology delivery project. (Well, actually we were doing mobile programming projects during my time in China, but I wasn’t close enough to the technology to get a good understanding of the technology.) During those five years much has changed – the two major changes have been mobile programming and big data.

Doesn’t look like a mobile device to me.

After two and a half years in China helping my company set up an IT delivery center, a promise I made to myself for 2013 was to dive deeper into the latest and greatest technologies. Let’s start with mobile.

After doing a little research on mobile programming, I was thinking to myself “this is deja vu all over again”. The articles comparing iOS and Android, the ins and out about the iOS and Android SDKs, UI design considerations of both, sounded to me very similar to things that were being said during the browser wars of the mid to late nineties. At the time, everyone had multiple development efforts going on to support IE and Netscape and the literature was filled with comparisons.

When it comes to IT development, my default reaction is to look for the easy road. I know – in life this doesn’t always yield the outcomes we value – but in software development – reducing (or at least hiding) complexity – is a good thing.

So over the past weekend I downloaded and installed Titanium – a cross platform Eclipse based development environment that supports Apple, Android and HTML 5 (and others). After a few fitful hours installing and reinstalling Java and a few open source packages that were needed – I was able to successfully launch a “Hello World” app in the Android emulator. (My dev environment is Windows – so no Apple yet.)

Over time, I’ll post a few updates on mobile programming, and eventually big data. Why big data too? Well, I have an academic background in Operations Research, which is a suite of mathematical tools that allow data scientists to model the real world. My experience in OR was based on military problems – and believe me they have some BIG data problems – so it will be interesting to see those tools and techniques applied to the private sector.

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