mrc's Cup of Joe Blog

Join us in exploring the world of modern development, evolving technologies, and the art of future-proof software

Year: 2012

Want to cut your development time in half?

ProductivityHere are a few questions for you as we head into 2013: Do you want to cut your development time in half? Do you want to automate mobile development? Do you want a way to quickly build new features into your current software?

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, here’s a video you’ll want to watch. This short, 2-minute video explains how m-Power answers each one of the questions above, and even walks you through a sample build process. I hope you enjoy it.

Weekly recap: 9 app dev projects you should cancel in 2013, CSS3 pseudo-classes, and more…

EducationEvery week, I share the most interesting and useful tech articles that I’ve found over the past week. This week’s top articles focus on app dev projects to cancel, consumerization of IT, and more. I hope you find them useful:

Getting to know CSS3: Structural Pseudo Classes
CSS3 introduces a number of new pseudo-classes, including structural pseudo-classes that target elements based on position or based on relation to other elements. This article gives a great introduction to these pseudo-classes, and is a must-read for any web developer.

10 most popular posts from 2012

First, I’d like to start off with a sincere “Thank You” to everyone who has taken the time out of their days to read this blog over the past year. I hope you’ve found it useful and informative. If there are any topics you’d like to see covered in the coming year, please feel free to let me know in the comments.

Secondly, as 2012 draws to a close, I thought I’d try something new. Rather than recap what I thought were the most useful articles, I’d like to share the posts that you found most interesting over the past year.

With that goal in mind, I took a look back at the past year and identified the 10 most popular posts of 2012, as determined by the readers of this blog. These are the posts that attracted the most attention (and often the most debate) over the last 12 months. I hope you find them interesting:

1. Hybrid vs. Native vs. Web app comparison chart
Does your company want mobile apps? You must first answer one question: Do we want native, hybrid, or mobile web apps? What’s the difference, or…more importantly, which is better? This post provides an easy-to-read comparison chart for each mobile development method. It compares the main differences, advantages, and disadvantages of each.

HTML5 is finished: What would you like to see?

EducationBig news this week: The Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) announced that the specifications for HTML5 are finally complete! While it doesn’t technically become the standard until 2014, all of the HTML5 features are finalized.

Wait…what is HTML5?

Let me quickly explain HTML5 for those unclear on the topic. HTML5 is the next iteration of HTML, the markup language used for structuring web pages. While it does bring some new features, HTML5 is simply an improved version of the HTML standard that we already know and love.

What do we need to know about HTML5?

HTML5 brings a bunch of new features, like offline storage, native audio and video, improved semantic markup, and more. If you’d like to learn more about HTML5, here’s a great resource for you. We’ve also written up some tutorials over on the techblog.

Your turn: What would you like to see in m-Power?

While we’ve already added some HTML5 features into m-Power (and plan on adding more), I’d like to get your thoughts. What HTML5 features and capabilities would you like to see added to m-Power in the next year? Which new features would most improve your web (or mobile web) applications?

I’d really love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments section on this post.

Weekly recap: 6 ways IT still fails the business, HTML5, and more…

EducationEvery week, I share the most interesting and useful tech articles that I’ve found over the past week. This week’s top articles focus on HTML5, monetizing data, and more. I hope you find them useful:

Monetizing data to drive a competitive advantage
As companies gather more and more data, they must answer one big question: What are we doing with this data? If your company isn’t using your customer data as a competitive advantage, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

3 new realities IT must learn to accept

EducationHow would you describe your IT department? Are they innovators, laggards, or somewhere in between? In case you’re unfamiliar with those terms, they come from the technology adoption lifecycle concept–a sociological model developed in the 50’s that describes the adoption or acceptance to new products or innovations.

While that concept is generally applied to consumers, I believe it just as easily applies to IT departments.

Every major technological shift comes with varying levels of acceptance among IT departments. Some drive new trends (innovators). Some welcome new trends with open arms (early adopters). Others sit back and wait to see what everyone else is going to do (majority). Still others are reluctant to change, with some even actively fighting it (laggards).

That being said, some trends are out of your control. These trends are driven by consumers. It doesn’t matter which category your IT department falls under–you must adapt. In fact, you could refer to these as more than just trends. They’re realities. In other words, they’re not up for debate. You can’t sit back and wait to see what others will do. You can’t refuse to change.

What are these realities? While I’m sure there are more, I’ve put together a short list of 3 realities that your IT department must learn to accept:

Weekly recap: 9 ways to improve user experience in mobile design, mobile BI, and more…

EducationEvery week, I share the most interesting and useful tech articles that I’ve found over the past week. This week’s top articles focus on mobile app user experience, CSS3 transitions, and more. I hope you find them useful:

9 ways to improve user experience in mobile design
Developing applications for use on mobile devices is a whole new world for traditional web developers. You must build applications for a touch-based interface on a small screen, and that isn’t easy. This article gives some great tips for developers who want to create better mobile interfaces.

5 ways BI will change in the next 5 years

EducationThe world of Business Intelligence (BI) is undergoing some pretty fascinating changes. Whether or not you buy into the “Big Data” hype, you can’t deny the fact that we’re generating crazy amounts of data–more so than ever before.

What are we doing with all of this data? Or, more specifically, do we fully understand the potential? I’m not so sure that many companies know the answer to those questions.

While these changes create many questions, here’s one thing you can count on: Data analytics is changing, and will play an increasingly important role in the business world. When you combine this deluge of data with recent tech trends, we get a few very important changes to the world of Business Intelligence. What are they? Here are 5 key ways that BI will change in the near future:

File uploading comes to iOS

EducationHere’s a piece of good news for all mobile web app developers: Starting in iOS 6 (which was released earlier this year), the default iOS browser now supports file uploading!

Why is this so important? Let me take a step back and explain.

As you may (or may not) know, mobile web apps support file uploading. There’s still quite a bit of confusion surrounding this topic, and the topic of mobile web app features in general. Many people don’t realize that mobile web apps offer nearly every feature found in native apps, like GPS access, gyroscope/accelerometer access, file uploading, and more.

Weekly recap: 6 tips to break app dev bottlenecks, how to master new skills, and more…

EducationEvery week, I share the most interesting and useful tech articles that I’ve found over the past week. This week’s top articles focus on development bottlenecks, web standards, and more. I hope you find them useful:

How to master a new skill
Keeping your skills current is one key to success in the IT profession, or just about any field for that matter. But learning a new skill is quite intimidating if you don’t know where to start. This article lays out a great plan of attack for learning new skills.