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Development Tools

What to look for in a development platform

EducationDriven in large part by the rise of mobile devices and the increased use of consumer-focused software, more and more companies are turning towards web application development platforms. Development platforms help these companies address a few growing problems, such as:

1. Device/platform fragmentation: Companies must now develop applications for multiple platforms, like PCs, tablets, and smartphones. Development platforms simplify this process, and let these companies develop cross-platforms applications using their current staff and skills.

2. Align IT with the business: With the rise of cloud-based software, end users can now bypass IT altogether if the IT department isn’t meeting their needs. A development platform addresses this issue: It gives end users the tools they need to create their own applications and reports, and lets the IT department control the data and user access.

3. Bridge the skills gap: Technology is evolving faster than ever, and companies are struggling to keep up. They need their current skills to maintain their current software, but also need modern skills to build modern solutions. A development platform lets these companies build modern solutions without constantly bringing in new skills.

If your company is looking around for a development tool or platform, we’ve put together something that might help. It’s a quick checklist that outlines 7 essential elements of a good development platform. I hope you find it useful.

Why development projects fail (and what can IT do about it?)

EducationDepending on the survey you read, anywhere from 25% – 68% of IT projects fail. These failures often cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, waste months (or years) of time, and usually lead to people losing their jobs.

The big question: Why do projects fail so regularly?

Today, I’d like to examine IT project failure, but focus specifically on development projects. Why do development projects fail? Perhaps a better question: What can your IT department do to make them succeed?

To help shed some light on why development projects fail, we posed the question to a few experts on the subject. I’ve listed their advice below, as well as a short “take-away” from each point that briefly explains how IT can avoid each problem. I hope you find it useful:

Weekly recap: HTML5 features you didn’t know existed, BI adoption, 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 features, BI adoption, and more. I hope you find them useful:

How well do you know your ide/development tool
Some developers worry that if they start using a tool or an IDE, they’ll become dependent on that tool and turn into a worthless developer. This article explains why you should stop worrying, and love your development tools.

5 most common IT money-wasters

Save MoneyTell me, is your IT department wasting your company’s money? That’s a tricky question to answer. Nobody wants to waste money, yet despite best efforts to the contrary, many IT departments unwittingly waste money every day.

How so? While I couldn’t possibly cover every way in one blog post, I’ve put together a list of some of the most common ways that IT departments waste money. If you’re looking for ways your company can save money, start by investigating these 5 areas:

7 things to look for in a web application development tool or IDE

EducationThe difference between good and bad development tools/IDEs is like night and day. A good development tool will reduce development time and turn anyone into a web developer. A bad development tool will cause headaches, restrict your options, and even harm the company.

With so many options, how can you distinguish the good from the bad before you buy?

The key to success is finding the development tool or IDE that provides the most options and the fewest limitations. While that decision is largely based on your company’s needs, here are 7 essential elements that you should look for in any development tool or IDE:

How one small IT staff became internally productive

ProductivityWhat does “internal productivity” mean? It means your IT staff is productive without relying on outside help. It means that you develop your apps and complete your projects quickly using your current staff and skills. It means you no longer rely on outsourcing companies or consultants.

This is a great goal for any IT department, but it’s much easier said than done. How can you accomplish everything you want to accomplish, using your current IT staff? Rather than explain it to you, I have a great example of a small IT staff that had some urgent projects, but couldn’t bring in outside help. What did they do? They found a way to become internally productive, and managed to fix everything themselves. You can read the whole story here.

Do you believe these 3 development tool myths?

Education*This post is from Brian Crowley, mrc’s Director of Development*

While at a recent tech conference, I had an interesting conversation with a long-time programmer. The programmer had apparently had some bad experiences with development tools, based on his views on the subject.

Frankly, nothing he said surprised me. I’d heard it all before. Most “anti-development tool” programmers usually cite the same reasons, and to be honest, I understand where they’re coming from. They’ve run into enough bad development tools in the past to form a pretty negative opinion of the whole lot. Their criticisms aren’t always accurate, and certainly don’t apply to ALL development tools, but I get why they feel that way.

3 questions to ask before buying a development tool

ProductivityOpinions of development tools vary widely in the IT industry. Some people swear by them. They couldn’t imagine working without a development tool. Others refuse to use them. Typically, these people have had a bad experience with a development tool, and assume that all development tools are alike. (Hint: They’re not.)

A good development tool can drastically increase productivity and let anyone in your office develop web applications. A bad development tool can be a waste of time and money. How do you know which is good and which is bad? Ask the right questions. Here are 3 of the most important questions to ask before buying a development tool: …