Random thoughts

Its been a while since I have had a post that I would consider of any value or real substance. I do not know it this post will have any value either but it is a good thing to do a little introspection from time to time. Given the environment that we “Technologists” now find ourselves in, unloading helps reduce the mental stress, so think of this a random thoughts and dare I say it some plain old brain farts.

ITToolbox Sucks

Given the focus of this site focuses on a industry that I work in and has forums that specifically address relevant topics it made sense to to subscribe to the notifications. And from time to time respond. I feel overwhelmed by what seems generally in  a lack of quality posts that offer any value whatsoever. Just recently a poster was asking questions with regards to going from Goldmine to ACT applications. The type of responses that are given show me that it seems that mostly sales types are mining and providing mindless crap. Honestly when a post like “both Act and Gold mine are in the minor leagues. If you want to play in the big leagues then try …” . The problem with this post is that it is utter garbage, like sorry dude but your not man enough unless you use X, I now that your business may have budget, technical constraints but any choice other then my choice would render you a less a man.

Its this kind of sales banter that likens unto some form of comedy play that has me unsubscribing from this site today, and bidding it good riddance.

LinkedIn Groups for HR Trolls

Ok, so I have gotten into this whole social thing and have jumped in head first. I am in Linked in, Facebook, and watch a few people in Twitter. I am part of the SLXDeveloper community and frequent the NG more often then I should. There is some definite value in having a centralized location to be located/locate and interact, and I truly believe that but some things seem so nonsensical to me.

For example LinkedIn groups, I have joined a few that are of interest of me. These groups tout numbers of 10K+ members so, really and unmanageable number unless you can dedicate hours and hours a day to plow through and see if there is anyone there would linking up with make sense. My problem is that in most of these groups there seems to be a glut of HR agency individuals that do not have a direct interest in the topic, but rather to use the list as a contact sheet. Because of these memberships it seems that the value of the list is diminished. Think about it, how many times would you continue to go to a user group to find information on your chosen technology where one other person can discuss and 30 others are there with no valuable contribution to make, you would just contact the individual directly and get together for coffee as there is no value in supporting the other 30.


To the HR hiring firms, we love you and you do a great service when you are needed however,


Honestly do you not think that the people in these groups are not smart enough to seek you out if the need arises. We understand that you have the customer relationship and we have the technical chops but do you have to flood some of the sacred places that the geek’s collaborate to render them ineffectual. If you are looking for resources, you know what, look for a local user group and sponsor the catering (some pizza and pop), provide some swag and post to the open job employment areas.


Books for Training vs. Training Courses vs. Google

Training mileage varies from individual to individual. I am generally a mix of books and Internet searches to identify technologies. I have always been good at reading something and getting it fairly quickly. I have also justified book purchases in the past with the simple equation that if a book could save me x hours in solving a problem its purchase was worthwhile.

Training courses are somewhat a different issue for me, 1 because of the time and effort to get out and get trained, coupled with the lost opportunity costs. I see definite value in training when you are new into an industry or need to bootstrap ones skill faster then can be achieved by rolling up ones sleeves and digging in.

Lately I have been feeling that my book purchases have been lacking in substance and I do not know if its part of the downturn in the sales of books, that the quality is rushed but I can honestly say that I have not yet seen a book in the last year, that offered anymore value then what could easily be retrieved from the Internet or with playing with the bits.  It looks like I will be reducing my budget in the coming year (which is probably a good thing)

Hiring good people is hard

One of the most difficult things for me is finding and hiring good developers. I never though this part of business growth would be easy but really its is a lot more difficult then I initially conceived. Earlier attempts in bringing someone into the company have not been so successful. But I do look forward to controlled growth in the future. I have brought on a part time developer to help ease some of the load and start working on some of the products that I am itching to build.

Should I Partner up

So Being the owner, technologist and Services salesperson,… and so many more hats can be come consuming at times. The office is also pretty quiet generally during the day except for the clicking of the keyboard. This is a great thing when it comes to lowering exposure but not so great when looking to go into growth mode. More lately then before I ponder if bringing on a partner with complementary skills is the way to get to the next level. Just thinking, …

Final thoughts

I really love what I do. I work with some incredibly talented and just all around nice people and am very privileged to be able to do this each and every day. There are good days and bad days but as a whole its a pretty great gig.

Does Apple’s TOS hurt the development of a Sage Mobile Platform

Sage Mobile works on the premise of allowing per business customizations to be deployed up the the mobile phone. These customizations are run locally through plug-ins or runtime components that consume XML and provide some set of functionality. Both Microsoft and Adobe have been locked out of the Apple iPhone game (as have many others) due to the Terms of Service that Apple has put in place. Given that the Sage Mobile platform is indeed a development environment and the client does consume code, and download external binaries it seems that having Sage SalesLogix on the iPhone as a rich client is a somewhat dead premise. That being said, it is completely possible to provide a fully web solution to your customers avoiding the whole controversy.

You can read more about the TOS on the Wired web site.



Bi-Weekly Dev Meeting

I am looking at starting up a BI-Weekly developer meeting where 10/15 developers can gather in a very open discussion looking at discovering technology and answering the all elusive how do I … The goal of the meeting really is around education and shared learning of technologies but the side benefit since the size of the groups need to be constrained will be trust relationships that will be formed. As a developer it is sometimes difficult to find that answer to a problem you are working on, having a pool of friends or experts you can use in a pinch is a benefit.

If you are in the Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge-Guelph area and have an interest in learning more please do not hesitate to send me an email at mark.dykun@bittelligentdev.com


– Mark

More Technology Choices

One of the hardest things to do when developing new products is to determine what tool set/technologies to use. Within our company we are a pretty focused .Net development shop, however we do have experience in BlackBerry and Java development as well. Given our slant to MS technologies using Visual Studio is a no-brainer. When determining the frameworks, data access layer, presentation layer and more the difficulty of choice arises. Given the chatter lately around MS’s support for either Linq-to-SQL and Entity Framework, they have help drive our ‘General’ data access strategy towards Entity Framework. It seems that the future development effort will be more directed to Entity Framework and looking at different technologies coming from MS it is definitely the preferred method moving forward. Now to bone up on my EF development skills.

– Mark