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By Doug Winnie | Friday, April 24, 2015

What to Expect Next Week at Microsoft Build 2015

Microsoft Build 2015

Looking back at the last year, Microsoft changed its strategy significantly and surprised the technology community with some announcements and reveals: deploying Office for iOS and Android, expanding the Azure cloud platform offerings, and creating a highly transparent development process for the next version of Windows 10.

Oh, and freaking holograms.

Guessing what will be revealed at Microsoft Build 2015 is difficult. But there are some open questions that need answers. Here are some that I feel need to be—and hope will be—addressed when the conference kicks off Wednesday in San Francisco:

By Doug Winnie | Sunday, April 19, 2015

3 Life Lessons I Learned from Coding

coding teaches you about life

When I was learning how to code as a young child, I didn’t realize that that it would affect the way I see the world and tackle problems for the rest of my life.

When I look back, I realize there are three ways that coding teaches you to think—all of which prepare you for challenges far beyond coding.

By Doug Winnie | Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Review: The Microsoft Band Fitness Tracker and Smart Watch

The Microsoft Band has a lot of cool features.

Microsoft recently released the Microsoft Band, a fitness tracker and smart watch device. What makes it unique in a crowded and growing market for digital lifestyle wearables?

The Band has some impressive features, but comes with some bulk and awkwardness in fit. Let’s take a look.

By Doug Winnie | Monday, September 8, 2014

New lynda.com Segment Provides IT Training


Today we’re excited to launch our new training segment for aspiring IT professionals and data scientists.

Based on feedback and discussions directly with our members, we’re extending our content in existing areas and diving into new topics that will help you learn and apply popular IT hardware, information management, and data science practices for you or your business.

By Doug Winnie | Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Google Glass Open Beta Announced


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 8, 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 5, 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

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