Articles

Dev Interrupted: Async Dev with DuckDuckGo Engineering Director

This week on the Dev Interrupted podcast, I spoke with Cate Huston, Director of Engineering at DuckDuckGo. She’s an expert in asynchronous development and shared tons of interesting ideas: 

  •  How DuckDuckGo utilizes transient and permanent spaces differently
  •  How product feedback sessions are completed asynchronously
  •  How to help new remote employees feel a sense of belonging and accomplishment. 
  •  The unique relationship between asynchronous managers and developers  

Cate is really smart and has a super-awesome sounding accent so check it out! 

Source de l’article sur DZONE

Dépoussiérez votre décisionnel avec SAP Analytics Cloud

SAP Analytics Cloud concrétise la Business Intelligence de nouvelle génération, avec une ouverture totale, un plus large ensemble de fonctionnalités et l’intégration de technologies intelligentes, allant jusqu’au prédictif.

« Être une entreprise Intelligente, c’est rechercher au sein de l’ERP les voies d’automatisation, d’intégration et de fluidification des processus, explique Florian Hamon, Business Development Director, SAP Center of Excellence, SAP. SAP Analytics Cloud ou SAC participe à ce mouvement, avec son analytique temps réel et ses fonctionnalités avancées. »

SAP Analytics Cloud combine dans une unique offre cloud une solution de Business Intelligence avancée, des outils de planification et des capacités d’analyse augmentée. Des atouts clés pour accélérer le processus de décision.

Une solution conçue pour les défis d’aujourd’hui…

SAP Analytics Cloud est né d’un triple constat : un changement de paradigme en matière de BI, une très forte accélération des solutions cloud et la volonté d’accéder aux solutions métiers depuis tout type de support.

Concernant la Business Intelligence, SAP Analytics Cloud est capable de se connecter à toutes les sources de données grâce à des connecteurs SQL, BusinessObjects et SAP. La création de stories s’effectue à la souris, avec la possibilité de personnaliser les dashboards et d’insérer des éléments visuels évolués (par exemple de la cartographie). Des fonctions avancées de collaboration et de partage sont proposées. Enfin, une intégration native avec Excel est assuré, au travers d’Analysis for Office.

Sur le terrain du planning, SAP Analytics Cloud permet une planification dans l’instant, c’est-à-dire en live. Vous allez pouvoir ainsi analyser et restituer depuis le même outil. Mais aussi simuler, au travers de scénarios de type what-if, qui permettront d’explorer différentes options de décision. Là encore, le collaboratif (partage de plannings, délégation de tâches) est au cœur du module planning de SAC.

… et de demain

Le pilier Smart de SAP Analytics Cloud est primordial. Ses fonctionnalités intelligentes s’appuient massivement sur les algorithmes et le Machine Learning.

  • Découverte intelligente : SAC va proposer automatiquement et intelligemment des dashboards clés en main construits automatiquement à partir d’un jeu de données, sans préparation préalable. Des KPI variés sont proposés et les indicateurs clés influençant les données sont mis en valeur.
  • Interrogation des données : il est possible d’automatiser la génération de contenu en effectuant des recherches exprimées en langage naturel. Vous n’aurez plus besoin de passer par le service informatique pour disposer d’une restitution personnalisée.
  • Analyse intelligente : cette fonctionnalité permet de comprendre ce qui se cache derrière une donnée de base. Elle pourra également détecter des patterns dans les données ou donner la raison d’un point de données particulier.
  • Terminons par l’une des fonctionnalités les plus innovantes de SAP Analytics Cloud, les scénarios prédictifs : l’entrainement de modèles de Machine Learning avec des données existantes permettra par la suite de les utiliser sur de nouveaux jeux de données. Une technologie qui ouvre la voie à l’analyse prédictive !

The post Dépoussiérez votre décisionnel avec SAP Analytics Cloud appeared first on SAP France News.

Source de l’article sur sap.com

4 Ways Big Data Is Evolving Risk Management

In the digital era, Big Data has drastically changed the landscape of business and risk management. With unlimited access to information about potential customers and user behavior, companies are using analytics to improve their risk management practices in more advanced ways than ever before.


Big Data Analytics

Techwave’s Big data analytics consulting services help you maximize revenue options and win loyal and happy customers.

Why Big Data Is Important

Big data has been around a long time, but it has taken a while for organizations to see the usefulness of big data. Big data doesn’t just track the consumer when they are online – it provides a history of behaviors that big data services can analyze and extrapolate from. If the consumer uses smart devices, makes a purchase with credit cards or checks, or visits establishments that use smart devices, they leave a data trail that can be analyzed by big data consulting to determine possible trends. These trends help businesses understand what drives their customers to make certain purchases over others.

Source de l’article sur DZONE

Exploitez la puissance de SAP HANA dans vos applications, avec une licence full use

Avec la licence Enterprise Edition, vous accéderez sans restrictions à la base de données SAP HANA. Découvrez en quoi le passage à une licence full use peut être avantageux pour vos données et applications métiers.

Il y a 10 ans, SAP présentait un outil de gestion de bases de données de nouvelle génération, SAP HANA. Une offre présentant plusieurs caractéristiques clés :

  • In memory : les données sont lues et écrites en mémoire, pour des performances extrêmes
  • Orienté lignes : ce mode permet d’optimiser l’écriture (un enregistrement par ligne)
  • Orienté colonnes : ce mode facilite les requêtes (un type de données par colonne)

Cette double casquette ligne/colonne permet à SAP HANA d’adresser à la fois les traitements transactionnels et analytiques. Des technologies avancées gravitent autour de ce cœur : serveur d’applications, scripting, prédictif, Machine Learning, vues OLAP, graphes, gestion des données spatiales…

L’ensemble propose à la fois une connexion aux applications SAP (BICS) ou non (SQL et MDX). Il est également possible d’accéder à des sources de données tierces via Smart Data Streaming et Smart Data Access et aussi d’intégrer quasiment n’importe quel type de données, structurées ou non, jusqu’aux sources Hadoop, au travers de Smart Data Integration. Tout ceci est combiné avec des fonctions de partionning, de haute disponibilité, de répartition de charge, de parallélisation des requêtes, d’aide à la reprise d’activité, etc.

SAP HANA est aujourd’hui au cœur de nombreuses applications SAP. Il est également possible de l’utiliser en mode autonome. « Dans les deux cas, l’ensemble des fonctionnalités est disponible, car il n’existe qu’une seule version de SAP HANA », explique Olivier Demeusy, Director at Center of Excellence, EMEA North for SAP Business Technology Platform.

Runtime VS Enterprise

La principale différence entre SAP HANA Runtime Edition et SAP HANA Enterprise Edition réside dans le mode d’accès à la base de données et les restrictions s’y appliquant :

  • L’édition Runtime est conçue pour les applications SAP et ne peut être adressée qu’à travers ces applications
  • L’édition Enterprise est accessible sans restrictions depuis n’importe quel système ou application, SAP ou non.

La Runtime Edition n’autorise donc l’interaction avec la base de données qu’au travers des applications SAP, qui vont se charger de lancer les requêtes. L’Enterprise Edition est pour sa part accessible depuis les applications SAP, des applications tierces ou vos propres applicatifs métiers.

L’accès pourra se faire en direct au travers de requêtes SQL. Les fonctions d’intégration et de qualité de données pourront être librement exploitées, tout comme les moteurs avancés de SAP HANA. Enfin, de multiples ponts seront accessibles afin de lier du code métier à SAP HANA. Et ce jusqu’à l’hébergement de vos applications dans SAP HANA. SAP HANA XS Advanced permet en effet le développement d’applications natives SAP HANA, capables de fonctionner au plus près de la donnée.

Un changement de licence facilité

Passer de la Runtime Edition à l’Enterprise Edition est aisé, SAP HANA restant identique dans les deux cas. « Le passage d’une licence à l’autre ne se traduit par aucun changement technique », confirme Olivier Demeusy.

Le tarif comprend un coût d’acquisition et une maintenance annuelle. « Le tarif appliqué dépend directement du volume de données qui sera pris en charge par SAP HANA, avec un calcul effectué par blocs de 64 Go. » Que vous utilisiez une base de données de 500 Go ou de 20 To, vous aurez donc toujours la garantie de bénéficier d’une offre parfaitement ajustée.

The post Exploitez la puissance de SAP HANA dans vos applications, avec une licence full use appeared first on SAP France News.

Source de l’article sur sap.com

Should We Be Designing For Voice?

Voice is one aspect of technology that is getting bigger and bigger, and showing little sign of relenting. In fact, 2019 data revealed that 22% of UK households owned a voice-controlled digital home assistant device such as an Amazon Echo or Google home. This is double the figure recorded in 2017 and it is predicted that over the next five years nearly 50% of all homes will have one. Smart home adoption rates are increasing, and it shows how voice control is something we are all becoming more accustomed to.

With these high figures, does it follow that voice should be something web designers build into sites? Or is it merely a gimmick that will die out and render sites with hardware and complex design issues? You only have to look at the failed introduction of Google glass to see that certain technological advancements don’t always have the outcome that might be expected.

Multiple Voices

One of the first issues with voice is establishing whether you want sites to recognise everyone’s voices, or just those who have registered. If you’re using the site in a crowded room will it pick up on snippets of conversation from others and think these are instructions? Google Home has a feature whereby you have to register your voice with its app to use more personalised features such as the shopping list. Is this the sort of thing websites would need?

Accents

The implementation of voice is complex, not only does it need to understand certain languages (such as English), but all the accents and variations too. With 160 English dialects alone, that is a lot that the technology needs to understand – not including mispronunciations, slang, and colloquialisms. Also, if a site is used all over the world (which many are) how many languages will it need to know?

Privacy Issues

if there are clips of your voice out there on the web…it can easily be imitated

If a website involves a feature such as online shopping or other functions which require sensitive details to be input, this could put people off using voice. Users need to know where this saved data is being stored, how it will be used and if it is secure. In 2018, HMRC had signed up about 6.7 million people to its voice ID service and HSBC said over 10,000 were registering each week. This shows many trust the service, but experts say that if there are clips of your voice out there on the web (such as in a podcast) it can easily be imitated. Bringing with it security and privacy issues.

According to futurologist Dr Ian Pearson, who invented the text message back in 1991, it won’t be long until we can complete a financial transaction with just a few words and a gesture. This can be a time-saver for things such as online shopping, but we need to ensure there are the correct security steps in place.

Users Don’t Talk The Way They Type

When speaking we tend to use shortened and more colloquial language as opposed to when we type. The voice function on a website will need to be able to adapt for this. One example is if you are filling in a form or comment box by voice for a website, you will need to tell it what to punctuate, letting it know where to add a comma, exclamation mark etc.

Website Processes Need to be Simpler

With the web as we use it now, we often browse through pages, reading other snippets of information before clicking through to the page we want. With voice recognition it will cut out these middle steps. For example, if you are looking for a recipe of something specific, you will just say the command “Show me the … recipe” and it will take you straight there. This direct access to what we are looking for could lead to a simplification of websites.

Regular Updates

With websites as they are now, they need updates semi-regularly, depending on how they are built, how complex they are, and what features we have built into them. A voice-based site will need updating regularly, whether to add new words or processes or to keep up with the fast-adapting technology. It might end up being quite a complex process.

Mistrust

While there are more of us now than ever using voice control via tech such as Alexa, Google, and Siri, there is still a level of mistrust over it. It’s still not quite clear where data is being stored, if it is being stored, and how easy it could be to abuse.

Larger Storage and Bandwidth

If a site is built for voice, will it utilise a ready-built plugin or will it have its own software built by developers? Will this feature require a greater amount of storage and bandwidth to cope with it? These are further factors to consider when thinking of the future of implementing voice to websites.

We Still Don’t Know Where It Will Go

Voice technology while working in some respects, is still a bit of a grey area when it comes to future use. Will it be the next big thing as many have predicted, or will it simply die down?

Look at Google Glass – highlighted as the big new technology, they soon died down and were eventually discontinued. Smart watches were another thing. You can see their initial downfall by reading an article published in 2017 about smartwatches – how major smartwatch makers such as Apple and Samsung rushed into the market before the technology was ready and they subsequently failed. Motorola exited the smartwatch market, Pebble and Jawbone shut down and Fitbit sold 2.3 million fewer devices than in their previous quarter. It was perceived as being a fad. However, fast forward to 2020 and more people than ever are wearing and using smartwatches. The smartwatch market was valued at shipment volumes of 47.34 million in 2019 and is expected to reach 117.51 by 2025, reaching a growth of 15.4 over the next five years.

Will voice follow a similar trend?

No More Impulse Buying

People enjoy browsing websites and many businesses rely on user’s impulse buying and ask their websites to be designed to reflect this. With voice taking you directly to the page’s users want to find, will they bypass these potential selling traps and just buy what they want – rather than added extras? Will it end up being a negative for businesses and see users not as satisfied for the experience?

Voiceless Still Matters

You will also have to remember that not all devices might work with voice, or people might be browsing somewhere where voice cannot be used. This means in the design process it needs to work both for voice instruction and manual use. It needs to work just as well for both to ensure the customer journey isn’t affected.

There are many ways voice can affect how we design websites in the upcoming future. It’s important to take note of market trends and usage – seeing how people use voice and thinking of the customer journey. It’s vital we don’t forget the end goals of websites – whether it’s to inform or to sell, the implementation of voice needs to assist this process not make it harder.

 

Featured image via Unsplash.

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17 Tools I Can’t Design Without

I think of a creative practice as a combination of an approach (a design philosophy) and a series of techniques (craft skills); a good tool facilitates a technique, which in turn supports an approach.

It wasn’t until I sat down to write a list of tools I can’t design without, that I realized just how many tools I rely on as an integral part of my creative process. The danger of tools is that they promote certain techniques, and that bias can alter your approach.

First and foremost a good tool does no harm, it does not dictate, or obstruct your approach. Secondly, a good tool offers flexibility in the techniques you choose. Thirdly a good tool is invisible, it leaves no marks on the end product.

If I’d written this post a year ago the list would have been different, and I hope that in a year it will be different again. These are the tools that I currently find enabling, that have contributed to my craft, and supported my approach.

Affinity Designer

I’ve always used Adobe products. Photoshop and Illustrator were the de facto graphic tools for half my life. I’ve never had an issue with the subscription licensing of Creative Cloud, which I think is proportionate for a professional set of tools. Then, around 18 months ago I got very frustrated with how sluggish Illustrator had become.

I’d written an early review of Affinity Designer, I’d been impressed at the time, so I decided to give it another try expecting the sojourn to last an hour or two before I gravitated back to Illustrator. Running the latest version of Affinity Designer was a revelation, I’ve simply never wanted to switch back.

Why not Sketch? Well, I do occasionally jump into Sketch, especially for pure vector wireframing. I was an early adopter of Sketch, but the reliability issues (long since resolved) poisoned my relationship with it. Why not Figma? Well, Figma’s real strength is in collaboration, something that I get with Sketch, and personally I find some of Figma’s features unintuitive.

Affinity Designer isn‘t perfect. I dislike the color tools, especially the gradient tool, which I find clunky. But it’s the first design app I’ve used in years that syncs closely with my creative process.

Affinity Photo

I don’t do a lot of photo manipulation, so when I switched away from Creative Cloud for design work, I was relaxed about switching from Photoshop to Affinity Photo.

In my experience, Affinity Photo is stronger than Photoshop in some areas, and weaker in others. Affinity Photo’s bitmap scaling is much better than Photoshop’s, largely due to Lanczos 3 sampling.

Affinity Photo also solves a lot of little irritations that Adobe has chosen not to address for legacy or philosophical reasons, such as the toggleable ratio setting when resizing the canvas — I’ve lost track of the hours I’ve spent in Photoshop manually calculating vertical whitespace so that it’s proportionate to the horizontal.

TinyPng

Both Affinity Photo and Photoshop are poor at web format optimizations. Photoshop perhaps has the edge, but its output certainly isn’t acceptable for production.

I run bitmaps through TinyPng, which on average halves the size of the file without any appreciable loss of quality. (It stripped 66% off the images for this post.)

Fontstand

When I started to drift away from Creative Cloud, the one service that delayed me was Adobe Fonts (née Typekit). Not so much for the webfonts — which are faster and more reliable self-hosted — but for the ability to sync desktop fonts into my design apps.

I tried Fontstand when it was first released, and I loved the concept, but was worried about the small library. When I took a second look and discovered the library is now substantial for both workhorses and experimental typefaces, it was an easy decision to switch.

Fontstand is a desktop font rental service. Once you’ve found a typeface you’re interested in, you can activate an hour-long trial, then choose to rent the font for a small fee. You can auto-renew the rental if you need to, and if you rent the font for 12 months it’s yours forever.

If there’s one tool on this list I genuinely could not design without it’s this one. Fontstand makes working with fonts from independent foundries affordable for freelancers, and it’s enriched the typographic palette available to me.

Khroma

Every designer has strengths and weaknesses. Since day one of art school, my weakness has been color. It just doesn’t come naturally to me, and I have to work quite hard at it.

An incredibly helpful tool that I’ve been using for a few months is Khroma. It helps my eyes warm up before approaching color, and helps me find a starting point that I can then refine. Comparing my design work before, and after Khroma, the latter color choices are cleaner, more vibrant, and more interesting.

Atom

A good code editor is essential, and I’ve never found one that I’m completely happy with. For years I’ve flitted back and forth between Brackets, Sublime Text, and BBEdit. I think that probably reflects the changes in the type of coding I’m doing.

For now, I’ve settled on Atom. It’s fast, reliable, and it’s not biased to front or back-end code.

CodeKit

I held out on compilers longer than I should have, using apps like Minify to minify CSS and JavaScript, and the command line to process Sass (see below). Then I found CodeKit and it’s been essential to my workflow ever since.

What I like best about CodeKit is that it’s a GUI. Which means I can change settings while coding, like toggling off the JavaScript linting, without switching mental gears into another language.

MAMP

MAMP is a tool that allows you to run a local server environment, meaning I can run PHP and MySQL without the tedious process of FTPing to a server to test a change. Mac comes with Apache, so this isn’t strictly necessary, but it’s simple to use and works well with both CodeKit and Craft (see below).

There’s a pro version of MAMP, which allows you to switch seamlessly between projects, but it’s heavily geared towards WordPress. I’m still trying to find the time to evaluate Laravel Valet.

Dash

When you first start coding you try and memorize the entire language. It’s very possible to become fluent in the core of a language, but there are always nuances, defaults, and gotchas that you miss. As you grow more experienced, you realize that all professional coders Google the answer at least once per day.

When I got tired of Googling I started using Dash which is a superb app that combines the docs of numerous different languages into a searchable window. I use it daily for everything from SVG to Twig.

LambdaTest

It doesn’t really matter what you’re building, even the indy-web needs to be tested. Ideally you’ll test on real devices, but if you can’t afford a device library — and who but the largest agencies can — you need a live testing solution.

There are a few upstarts, but your choice is basically between BrowserStack and LambdaTest. I went for LambdaTest because I prefer the style of the UI, but that’s entirely subjective. If you’re not sure, toss a coin, you’ll get the same results with both.

Sass

I can’t write CSS without Sass — and I mean that literally. If I try and write vanilla CSS I guarantee I’ll nest something with @at-root and it will throw an error.

Craft CMS

Stating any preference for a CMS online that is not WordPress inevitably invites impassioned protests from developers whose career is built on the WordPress platform. So let me say preface this by saying: if WordPress works for you, and more importantly for your clients, then more power to you; I think it’s a dog.

Shopping around for a CMS is challenging, and I’ve gone through the process several times. A good CMS needs to be in sync with your mindset, and it needs to be appropriate for your clients — all of them, because unless you’re in a large agency with multiple coders, you need to commit to a single solution in order to master it.

I have looked and looked, and finally settled on Craft CMS. Craft makes it easy to build and maintain complex, high-performance sites. It has a shallow learning curve that grows exponentially steeper, making it easy to get started with plenty of room to grow.

Vue.js

Way back when Flash went kaput I switched to jQuery, and that was a really easy route into JavaScript — ignore the people who tell you to master the core language first, do whatever it takes to start using a language, that’s how you learn. But jQuery is heavy, and I found I needed it less and less.

These days 90% of the JavaScript I write is progressive enhancements in vanilla JavaScript to keep the dependencies low. Occasionally I encounter a job that requires complex state management, and then I fall back on Vue.js. JavaScript developers are as partisan as CMS aficionados, so let’s just say I favor Vue.js because it’s not controlled by a mega-corp and leave it at that.

Ulysses

As editor at WDD, I cannot emphasize enough that the right way to write copy for the web is markdown.

Markdown is faster to write so you don’t lose the thread of your thought process, and it doesn’t impose formatting so you can easily migrate to a CMS. If you’ve ever spent 20 minutes stripping the class, id, and style tags out of a file created in Word, Pages, or (by far the worst offender) Google Docs, then you don’t need to be sold on this point.

There are a few markdown-based writing apps available, I tested half a dozen, and the one I settled on was Ulysses. I like its distraction-free mode, I love its clean exports. Everything I write, I write in Ulysses.

Screenshot Plus

Much like markdown editors, there’s no shortage of screenshot apps. My current favorite is Screenshot Plus.

Screenshot Plus has one feature that makes it standout for me, and that is its Workflows. It sounds like a small problem, but when you’re taking screenshots of a dozen sites, the extra clicks to save, switch to your editor, and open the file are laborious. I have several workflows setup in Screenshot Plus that allow me to take a screenshot, save it to a specified folder on my local machine, and then open it in Affinity Photo, all with a single click.

Spark

I get a lot of email, a lot. At one point the influx was so bad I was using multiple email apps to segment it. Yes, I use Slack daily, but it doesn’t eliminate the need for email.

I‘ve been using Spark for around six months and it’s radically sped up my workflow. I’m a big fan of the smart inbox that allows me to compartmentalize email like newsletters, and email that warrants a reply. I like that I can switch to a chronological list if I’m looking for something specific. I love the ability to pin, or snooze messages, which helps me triage my inbox.

Todoist

I’m one of those people who can’t make it through the day without being organized. I need lists and sublists, and I need something native that opens automatically when I boot my Mac, and something that sits on the home screen of my Android.

There are as many to-do apps as there are things to do. When I’m working in a team I’ll use whichever task-tracking system it prefers. But by choice I always use Todoist thanks to its balance of simplicity and power. At this point it’s something of a meta-tool, and the app I open first every morning.

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