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The Top Programming Languages

We all remember our first programming language. Mine was basic on the Commodore64. And, we all know our favorite language – I still love “C” (without the “++” or the “#.” But it’s hard to keep up to date with all the languages and particularly hard to keep their relative importance sorted in your head.

So, which languages are considered “need to know?” Luckily, Baseline has the answer, sharing 11 essential programming languages, as identified in IEEE Spectrum.

Nick Diakopoulos, a well-known computational journalist and assistant professor at the University of Maryland, created the list by weighing and combining 12 metrics from 10 sources, including IEEE Xplore, Google, and GitHub.

Check out the list to see if you agree with the ranking. We’d love to know what you’d add or remove! And, if you’re interested, IEEE has posted an online, interactive version of the list so you can adjust the weight of each metric used to create a customized ranking.

Read, “11 Essential Programming Languages,” here.

Mike Harris

Written by Michael D. Harris at 05:00
Categories :

Application Issues Cost Companies

There is little more frustrating than when you’re trying to accomplish something at work and you’re held up by technology. You sit, waiting for the technology to work, all the while your stress level is raising as you watch the minutes tick by – minutes when you could be checking things off of your to-do list. Sound familiar? I’d be surprised if it didn’t.

According to a recent article from Baseline, app delays are a major problem for businesses. The reality is that most business users experience frequent delays while attempting to use software apps at work. While this is certainly frustrating for the users, it’s a financial nightmare for companies, who are losing millions of dollars a year as a result of such delays.

When employees waste valuable time troubleshooting the issue or stop using these often-expensive applications altogether, that’s a problem. Unfortunately, few IT decision-makers recognize this issue – or do anything about it. Needless to say, this is a problem.

I often talk about making the value of software more obvious to the business, and the situation above is a clear path to disaster. The lesson here is to make sure that the tools your team is relying on are as useful to them as you think, so that you can truly capitalize on their value, and, most importantly, deliver the required work.

Read, “App Delays Frustrate Users, Cost Business Billions,” here.

Mike Harris

Written by Michael D. Harris at 05:00
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Taking Value Creation to a World-Class Level – Or Not!

Michael D. HarrisBaseline is one of publications I routinely read. I’d recommend it to all of you as well – a lot of insightful articles!

On December 2, I came across an article on Baseline site called “Taking Value Creation to a World-Class Level.” This headline obviously caught my eye because it’s a topic that I’m passionate about – as you all know. But, the summary slides presented quickly upset me.

The first slide gives the big build up stating, “The traditional way that IT organizations create value is changing, with technology innovation being a primary driver of business innovation and value creation.”

Of course anyone in IT would read that and say, “Great! Sign me up!”

But the following slides are then all about IT as a cost center, focusing on the savings that can be made on the “commodities” that encompass IT (yes, including people). These are usually not value-driven initiatives.

The last few slides do mention what I would call “real” transformation approaches, such as the adoption of value-based performance management systems and the integration of “portfolio management of tech-based transformations in the business, based on value maximization.”

To be fair, the article is based on a recent IT research report from the Hackett Group, “IT in the Era of Business Technology Convergence,” which is probably more nuanced. The conclusion is important and I can’t argue with it: “Value-based IT planning is a collaborative process between IT and the business – one that requires a mature business relationship management function and roles.”

Ultimately, the message to organization should be clear: IT and the business must collaborate in order for the value of IT to be visible and actionable. Focusing on IT as a cost center misses the point and ignores the great problem.

Michael D. Harris
DCG President

Written by Michael D. Harris at 05:00
Categories :

Common Pitfalls of Analytics

Mike Harris 2014The Baseline article, “11 Common Pitfalls of Analytics,” is an important one. The premise for the article is that if the analytics you’re tracking aren’t having a meaningful impact on your organizational strategy, then you’re running into some common issues – and you should remedy them.

The article lists the 11 common pitfalls of analytics, as well as how to avoid them. I’ll go over them briefly here, and you can read the article yourself if you’re interested in more!

  1. Not knowing how to measure success. Goal-driven metrics are key!
  2. Lacking a data-driven decision culture. You must be able to change your course based on the data.
  3. Lacking an executive sponsor. At least one major influencer needs to support your data efforts!
  4. Asking the wrong questions. Insight is only valuable if you’re gathering the right information.
  5. Trying to measure everything. Focus on what matters and leave the rest.
  6. Not prioritizing. Rank your metrics according to which will deliver the most value to the business.
  7. Not embedding analytics with business. The analytics team and the business must partner for optimum impact.
  8. Reacting rather than transforming. The team must be proactive in setting a course for change.
  9. Shutting out stakeholders. Stakeholder input is necessary to prevent surprises later on!
  10. Not customizing a presentation. Only present what will matter to the group that you are speaking to – acceptance will follow!
  11. Viewing analytics as magic. Analytics, like most things, have their limits. Understand that in order to achieve maximum potential.

At DCG we firmly believe in the power of analytics. From code analytics to software metrics and estimation, we can help you implement an analytics program that will impact your business, streamline your vendor processes and deliver value.

Read the article here.

Mike Harris
DCG President

Written by Michael D. Harris at 05:00
Categories :

"It's frustrating that there are so many failed software projects when I know from personal experience that it's possible to do so much better - and we can help." 
- Mike Harris, DCG Owner

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