5.31.2010

Get ready for the SD Times 100

It’s almost time to unveil the SD Times 100 – the top 100 companies, project and movements that are demonstrating innovation and leadership in the software development industry.

This year, the SD Times 100 will be “officially” published in the June 1, 2010, issue of SD Times. It’ll also appear on that date on sdtimes.com.

However, continuing a new tradition begun last year, we will tweet out the SD Times 100, category by category, on Monday, May 31, starting around 11:00am Eastern, 8:00am Pacific. We’ll begin with the “Agile & Collaboration” category, and will tweet another category every 30 minutes or so, continuing through all 12 categories until we reach the biggest one: Influencers.

See all the action by following us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/sdtimes.

What is the SD Times 100? As we wrote in the debut 2003 awards:

The editors of SD Times identified the industry’s top leaders, innovators and influencers, and broke them out into 10 separate industry segments. Some companies lead in one category, others in more than one. In each category, one company has been spotlighted as a star deserving of special notice.

When choosing the SD Times 100, we carefully considered each company’s offerings and reputation. We also listened for the “buzz”—how much attention and conversation we’ve heard around the company and its products and technologies—as a sign of leadership within the industry.

The SD Times 100 looked for companies that have determined a direction that developers followed. Did the company set the industry agenda? Did its products and services advance the software development art? Were its competitors nervously tracking its moves? Were programmers anxiously awaiting its developments? Those qualities mark a leader.

Subjective? Of course. But leadership and innovation can’t be measured by stock valuations or analyst reports. The SD Times 100 represents what we believe to be the best of the best....

While you’re waiting for the 2010 SD Times 100 to tweet out next Monday, please feel free to peruse the debut 2003 awards and last year’s 2009 awards.

See you on Twitter!

5.21.2010

Computer Associates does it again

Computer Associates. CA. CA Technologies.

What are they thinking over there in Islandia? When Computer Associates changed its name to CA in 2006, it seemed like a lame move at the time. And indeed, while some people do refer the computer as CA, it appears to me that most people refer to it as Computer Associates. Or as some hybrid, like "CA — you know, Computer Associates."

Not content with that, five years later the company has renamed itself again. To CA Technologies. And it took more nearly 700 people to come up with that name, too.

Improvement? Not.

Here's what the official press release says:

CA, Inc. Has a New Name: CA Technologies

LAS VEGAS, May 16, 2010 -- CA WORLD -- CA Technologies (NASDAQ: CA) today unveiled its new name to demonstrate its commitment to managing and securing IT environments and to deliver more flexible IT services to its customers.

The evolution of the company brand and name change to CA Technologies and its new internet site design—ca.com—were unveiled today at CA World 2010, the Company's annual customer conference. CA World has attracted more than 7,000 customers, partners, analysts, press and employees to the Mandalay Bay Resort, and runs today through Thursday.

"The name CA Technologies acknowledges both our past and points to our future as a leader in delivering the solutions that will revolutionize the way IT powers business agility," said CEO Bill McCracken. "We are executing on a bold strategy to delight our customers with unprecedented levels of IT speed and flexibility."

The brand and name change to CA Technologies was designed with insights from nearly 700 customers, partners and market thought leaders, and was developed to ensure the delivery of a consistent story in the market that reflects the full breadth and depth of what the company offers.

“Our integrated marketing campaign and name change will demonstrate a consistent brand message and image to our global customers,” said Marianne Budnik, Chief Marketing Officer, CA Technologies. “We are rolling out a global advertising campaign, website redesign, online marketing, new collateral and signage to ensure our new identity and brand promise resonates with customers and partners around the world.”

Sorry, Marianne, but you'll always be Computer Associates to me.

5.14.2010

Do you share an email address with your spouse?

Those of us in the technology world – call us nerds, geeks or software developers – expect a 1:1 ratio between personal email addresses and people.

I’m not talking about business or workgroup addresses. I mean your home, non-business address, which might come from your cable TV company, DSL or wireless provider, or from a free email service like Google’s Gmail, Microsoft’s Hotmail, Yahoo, India’s Rediffmail and so-on.

Many people (like myself) have dozens of personal email addresses. Some current, some legacy, some active, some dormant, some used for friends and family, some used for buying things online, some used for subscribing to newsgroups, some totally forgotten. So, yes, it's not really a 1:1 ratio; it's 1:many, but here "many" means many addresses, not many people.

For techies, you can safely assume that a personal email address is like a personal cellular phone number. All my personal email addresses are for me. My wife has her own personal email addresses. There are no shared addresses.

I would venture that most of you receiving this blog also view email addresses and email messages as personal, not shared. Yet I’m continually astonished at how many families share one personal email address, just like they share one home phone number. Jack and Jill Smith might use the shared address smithfamily@provider.com or smiths@provider.com or jandjsmith@provider.com, and that’s the sole non-business address they have.

This seems to be a generational divide. My parents share one email address. I see a lot of shared personal email addresses in the directories of several non-profit organizations and even in my son's school parents directory. The divide seems to be somewhere north of 50 years old:

• Over 70 years old, the spouses most likely share one address. It's probably from AOL or their Internet service provider.

• Under 50 years old, it’s almost certainly not a shared address, and it's probably not from AOL or the ISP. But I know many exceptions.

• Between 50 and 70 years old, it could go either way, but it's more likely to be personal than shared, and is more likely to be from the ISP.

Why is this relevant? Many of us assume that a non-business address is a one-person email address, and therefore is suitable for receiving confidential information. That can be a false assumption — even with couples under 50 years old.

Also, what happens if both spouses try to create accounts on a website that uses an email address as the registration key? Registration systems increasingly rely upon the email address as an unique identifier associated with one, and only one, person.

5.07.2010

iPhone, iPhone/iPad DevCon and iPad

There are three separate vectors relating to Apple’s mobile platforms buzzing in my cranium. They're the SD Times iPhone application, the technical program for iPhone/iPad DevCon and my barely used iPad.

I'm very proud of our new SD Times Newsreader iPhone app. It was written by our in-house IT team — here’s a big shout-out to Usman S. — and is available in the iTunes App Store.

Use the app on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad to read the latest stories from the sdtimes.com website any time you’ve got a live WiFi or cellular data connection. It’s a version 1.0 product, and we’ve got some great ideas for version 2.0 – and it was wonderful to get our feet wet with mobile development.

Download it (totally free) and let me know what you think!

I'm equally proud of how our plans are coming together for our first iPhone/iPad DevCon. I’m focusing right now on the workshops and technical classes, and right now the program is about 98% complete.

A lot of work goes into putting on a technical conference, especially for the inaugural event – there’s a great deal of research into what real developers are doing and what they need to learn. We feel confident that we’ve assembled a top-notch faculty and have selected the appropriate topics for enterprise developers, ISVs and even “indie” developers seeking their fortunes in the mobile apps gold rush.

Hope you can join us – San Diego, Sept. 27-29, 2010.

And then there’s the iPad. I pre-ordered a WiFi model in March, and it arrived in early April. I’ve maintained that my only reason for being an early adopter is to see what the iPad means to the future of publishing, while contemplating what an SD Times newsreader app for that platform would look like. And you know… that reason has turned out to be the truth.

I’ve got the iPad, it works fine and it’s impressive. I can’t find a single significant design flaw – quibbles, yes, but no major complaints. But even after loading it with apps and taking it on two trips, I can’t figure out what to do with it. For the past week, the iPad has sat unused on my desk.

Maybe I’m just the wrong customer demographic.

About Me

My Photo
Co-founder and editorial director of BZ Media, which publishes SD Times, the leading magazine for the software development industry. Founder of SPTechCon: The SharePoint Technology Conference, AnDevCon: The Android Developer Conference, and Big Data TechCon. Also president and principal analyst of Camden Associates, an IT consulting and analyst firm.