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By Doug Winnie | Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Google Glass Open Beta Announced

doug-google-glass-open

Google announced yesterday that its Google Glass Explorers program is once again open to everyone. That means anyone can purchase Google Glass, and try it out in beta, as long as supplies last. You don’t need an invitation—you can just go to google.com/glass to buy your device.

If you’re interested in Glass, I have two courses to help you get up to speed before and after you get the hardware.

By Doug Winnie | Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Living with Google Glass

Doug Winnie - Living with Google Glass

Living in San Francisco, you see people wearing Google Glass often: at coffee shops, at restaurants, on trains. The Glass Explorer program, a group of people invited by Google to purchase Glass before its official release, has been expanding over time. As a result, thousands of Explorers are now using Google Glass and informing Google on how to improve it.

I’m part of the program myself, having received my Glass invitation in December. So I plunked down my $1,500 and went to the Google Glass office in San Francisco to pick it up. The “fitting,” as they called it, took place in a cavernous and sparse office building near the Embarcadero with sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay Bridge. A Glass-wearing representative helped me through the setup process then showed me how to connect it to my phone. Afterwards, I was turned loose to wander the streets of San Francisco with my new piece of fancy eyewear.

But instead—I put it away.

By Doug Winnie | Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Windows XP: 2001-2014

Windows XP: 2001-2014

This evening Windows XP will be taken off life support and pass into the ether of magnetic media. Loved by millions across the globe, XP will be missed by many. The child of Windows ME and Windows 2000, Windows XP joined the robustness of a 32-bit NT kernel with a friendly consumer interface, and proved to be greater than the sum of its parents.

In its early years, Windows XP was frequently derided as “garish” or “cartoonish,” but its tenacity eventually won over the hearts of millions. XP experimented in the mobile space with Windows XP Tablet Edition during its adolescence, which ultimately was a growing phase for the young OS that didn’t work out as expected. During a journey of minimalism, XP crammed itself onto pint-sized netbooks that gave people half as much to carry, but took four times as long to launch anything.

By Doug Winnie | Thursday, July 05, 2012

Investigating web and mobile development job trends using the indeed.com database

One of the ways I monitor what is going on in the web and mobile development industry is to look at job listings. While there are tons of sources to scour, a site called indeed.com conveniently aggregates multiple sources into a searchable trend database that allows you to look up and monitor evolving job titles, skill requirements, and technology trends over time. I was first introduced to indeed.com from a colleague of mine at Adobe whose role required him to monitor evolving and growing job roles to help make strategy decisions on where to take software.

From just a few searches, you can start to get a general picture of some basic findings:

1. Web and mobile design roles

When you do a basic search for job titles like “web designer” and “web developer,” there is clear long term growth, but you also see an interesting recent trend.

indeed.com data chart: web designer vs. web developer.

First let me explain this graph. Out of all of the job listings that indeed.com aggregates (which go far beyond tech positions) the graph shows the overall percentage of jobs that match the search term within the available listings. This percentage is based on the total number of jobs available at the time of sampling, which can go up or down, but shows the overall growth over time of that percentage.

In this case, there has been a slow growth over time for the role of web designer, growing from just under .1% in 2005 to just over .1% today. The web developer role has gone up from .25% in 2005 to just over .4% today. What is interesting to note, however, is that the web developer role has gone down in the last 12 months. While this data doesn’t tell us why the percentage has decreased in the last twelve months, it does provide a quantitative source to start investigating further.

When you consider the growth of mobile, have you ever considered how web roles stack up against mobile roles?

Indeed.com data chart: Web development vs. Mobile development searches

This graph paints a slightly different picture. When you superimpose the mobile role titles of “mobile developer,” “user experience designer,” and “user interface designer” on top of the existing web roles (web designer and web developer), you can see the slow growth in mobile development positions over the last two years. This can form a couple of hypotheses. First, that web developer roles are moving to mobile development. Second, that user experience and user interface design roles are impeding the growth of web design.

While there isn’t enough information to prove these hypotheses, it is an interesting piece of data to monitor, and it may lead you to other sources to prove or disprove your hypotheses.

2. HTML5 v. Flash

One of the things that is difficult to determine with indeed.com is information about very specific technologies, or uses of technology. The indeed.com database is much better at representing large technology areas. One specific area of interest is the perceived growth of HTML5 and the decline of Flash.

Indeed.com data chart: HTML5 vs. Flash technologies

When you look at the data, you see there has been a long-term growth of Flash, but when HTML5 technology needs hit the job market around mid-2009, the growth of HTML5 in job postings grew at a steady pace. When you look at Flash roles, there are nearly three and a half times as many Flash jobs as HTML5 jobs—however, the decline of Flash roles in the last year is at a steeper slope than that of the growth with HTML5.

If you draw trend lines based on the rates of growth or decline in the last 12 months, jobs mentioning HTML5 will overtake Flash sometime later this year.

indeed.com data chart: Flash vs. HTML projected growth

The data that indeed.com has covers up to late 2011. If the rates change has changed since then, then the point of intersection may have already happened, or will happen sooner than this prediction. While this is not a scientific way to look at it, it does provide additional information that can help guide people in their professional development.

3. Content management systems

If you do another data slice around the three major content management systems, Joomla!, WordPress, and Drupal, you can see how they are trending in the job market:

indeed.com data chart comparing Joomla!, WordPress, and Drupal

WordPress is clearly taking the lead in the job market, with Drupal and Joomla following. It is interesting to see that they were all around the same in the middle of 2009, but then WordPress shot up. The division of Joomla and Drupal took place sometime in early 2010.

4. Responsive design

A relatively new trend that is also interesting to map in job listings is responsive design. Responsive design—something that we generally take for granted—is growing quickly. By doing a search on indeed.com, you can start to validate that belief with data:

indeed.com data chart showing responsive design trending

While responsive design within job postings is still a very small percentage, the growth rate has been staggering in the last year, and following this current trend it will continue to grow significantly in 2012.

Wrap up

By looking at job trend data it is interesting to see how roles, technologies, and required skills are changing over time. This information can help inform your professional development, and help you to understand how shifts take place in the job market.

While research like this isn’t scientifically rock-solid, it does start to form hypothesis that you can use to validate against other sources, or take to the community to ask more questions and get additional guidance.

Interested in learning more about web or mobile development? • Titanium Mobile App Development Essential Training• Mobile Web Design & Development Fundamentals • HTML5 for Flash Developers • Create an iPad Web App

By Doug Winnie | Friday, April 20, 2012

When does lynda.com plan to launch a new Adobe Edge course?

The web industry is changing quickly. To keep up with this change companies that create tools for web designers and developers also need to change quickly. Adobe, Microsoft, and Google are releasing new tools and technologies at a fast pace, and updates to these even faster.

Although we work hard to get courses covering the latest materials live on lynda.com as quickly as possible, before we start production on a beta course, we sometimes have to pause to consider what plan of action will, in the long run, ultimately deliver the best learning experience for our members. A number of the lynda.com content managers have been product managers or engineers at software companies, and we understand a software company’s struggle to define, clarify, and deliver the right features to their users, and that changes can happen to software late in the game. When it comes to our courses, with releases going live nearly every week, we think it’s important to balance the time it takes to create the training you need, with a larger picture that keeps our member’s overall best interests in mind.

With the latest version of Adobe Edge, Preview 5, we were forced to strongly consider this delicate balance. As a result, we decided to skip the Preview 5 release and focus on the upcoming next release. We love Adobe Edge, we want to make sure you are successful with it, and we want to reassure you that there will continue to be new Adobe Edge content on lynda.com in the future.

Thanks for your support, and happy learning.

Doug Winnie, Senior Content Manager for Web and InteractiveMordy Golding, Author, Edge First Look and Director of Content

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