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Over the past few years as a Software Engineer, I’ve worked on several Enterprise grade projects. That means tight, ridiculous deadlines on our part. When that happens, no one, QA leads included, cares about quality as long as your code is in the code base on time. No, the regret comes later when all hell break loose.
Once I worked with a guy who checked in some half-cooked code just to close the issue for then before it sets the alarm bell ringing within. However, that particular piece of code completely went on to run for hours and blew up in our face when the app went live. By then a slew of modules were built over this, and we (cough I cough) had to revisit it later on, make numerous changes to the design before that flow was usable. In this process we wasted several thousand dollars which could have been avoided if we had some sort of process in place. Sadly, most of the software world works the same way.
Big Deal! Hire a performance guy and optimize the DB performance, some might suggest. As valid as the idea is, not all bottlenecks are I/O related, though traditionally this is where most applications fail. It could be due to a poor coding as well or lack of sufficient hardware power. NewRelic is a service which analyses these issues and help you optimize your product. Does it work? Join me after the jump to find out.
Have you ever wanted to use a character or symbol in a document or program, but not known what it’s called or how to find it? You could trawl through a list or chart, trying to recognize it among hundreds or thousands of others. Or you could point your web browser to Shapecatcher.com.
Few single-purpose web apps are as elegant and useful as Shapecatcher. It takes your hand — or mouse — drawn approximation of the character in question, then spits out a list of possible matches. It’ll save you time, make this one little aspect of your life so much easier, and wow you with its ability to recognize the crudest of drawings.
Running a website which is making money is hard. While trying to manage products, prices and profit you also need to look at specific orders which are going to be most beneficial towards your business’ revenue. However, normal forms seem to only allow customers to tell you small amounts of information.
Expanding this form further and giving customers the ability to personalize their needs to you would be something which is highly beneficial. This in turn would allow you to prioritize these certain customers and maximize your profit. Convertable is a web app which achieves this difficult task in a simple and reasonably priced package.
Website heatmaps have revolutionised how major companies, particularly the ones trying to sell you something, design their website. For those of us unfamiliar with heatmaps they’re graphical overlays which demonstrate ‘high’ usage parts of a webpage.
In the early days of the Internet such information seemed unnecessary. But now, people click a lot faster than before with most webpages only open for a matter of seconds. This is thanks to both increased user browsing ability and faster connections.
So with the likes of Amazon making use of ‘Big Data’ to capture your every twitch of the mouse how can us little guys still make a buck from our website. Well MouseStats claim that they offer highly accurate heatmaps to small users. But I was sceptical. Heatmaps have been reserved for larger companies involving expensive software packages. If MouseStats actually can offer heatmaps for your website are they any use to small businesses?
Having a website is an obvious must for any business these days, but for small companies, even basic shared hosting can seem expensive for a basic site. Of course you can sign up for an EC2 account and host your website there for free if your bandwidth and storage requirements are low, but one has to deal with a myriad of configurations to even get started. When all you were looking to do was host a simple site online, the initial learning curve of just hosting your site can be maddening.
Enter Dropbox. Wait, Dropbox? Yup, you heard that right. Allow me to demonstrate how to turn your Dropbox account into a static web host, using Site44.
Wireframing and mockups have become the de rigeur in today’s world of web and app development — it’s a process that keeps communication clear and helps everyone (clients, designers, developers, and even UX folks) get on the same page on a project. One of the best tools for the job is Balsamiq, a suite of apps and plugins that encourage rapid yet detailed wireframe creation, sharing and collaboration.
Today we’ll take a look at the suite’s newest app, a web app named myBalsamiq. It’s packed with features that not only make prototyping easy for designers, but also allow coworkers and clients to share feedback and discuss ideas effortlessly. And hey, it looks like it might even be fun to use. Let’s sign up for an account and see how it works.
Web design nowadays doesn’t have to be a mass of complicated coding and endless head scratching. In fact, there are plenty of tools out there that allow even the most novice of people to throw together a fairly decent website without too much effort. One of those that we are going to be looking at is Edicy however this one comes with a slight twist – it is designed with multilingual websites in mind, making creating twenty different versions of your site an easy task.
Read on after the break for my thoughts. (more…)
When you think of a CMS, chances are you think of a PHP-based application installed on your server that lets you login and add/edit pages, such as Drupal or Joomla, or maybe even WordPress. Such content management systems are great, especially for users that aren’t massively fluent in code. However, the way these websites work can make it difficult to customise your website, leaving the backend dictating how the frontend works. Osmek, on the other hand, aims to be flexible enough (and powerful enough) to work with any design or idea you have whilst leaving you with benefit of easy data entry.
How does it do this, and how good a job does it do? Let’s take a look… (more…)
Store owners, bloggers and business have a vested interest in their websites being up 100% of the time. When Chrome won’t load a page, it ends in frustration and customer’s money going elsewhere.
ErlyWarn allows users to have their website monitored 24/7. At the first hint of trouble they receive an alert so the website can be attended to. Without such a warning system, sleeping soundly could be costing us all valuable visitors. Lets check this out. (more…)