getting things done

Getting Things Done And Avoiding Busywork

We take a slight pause in the Creating a Software Solution series to look at productivity.  One of the key attributes of a good developer and team is the ability to accomplish goals.  Yes, this is obvious, but getting things done is not.  In this class and discussion we look at how to move things from your in box to the out box. Getting Things Done Instead of Working Hard We cover being busy instead of being productive.  Along the... Read more


Amazon Pinpoint Targeted Marketing Made Easy

Amazon provides a broad range of tools, but Pinpoint drifts more into marketing than their standard developer tool. Pinpoint is About Applications The first thing you should know is that this service aims at communicating with your app users.  As a side effect, it tracks usage.  This service integrates with several other application related services we have not yet covered.  These include the Mobile Hub, Device farm, Cognito, and others. Pinpoint provides an API and related services to generate analytics for... Read more

cost explorer

Providing Greater Value to Your Customer or Employer

We are employed to provide value to our employer.  That is the bottom line of any employment contract.  Thus, when you offer greater value to them, you are more likely to continue employment and advance in your career.  There are many ways to provide higher value so let’s look at some of the “low hanging fruit” steps we can take. Business Knowledge Provides Greater Value This is a fundamental part of any job and any role.  The more you understand... Read more

simple email service

Simple Email Service from Amazon

As we continue our AWS tour, this stop is the Simple Email Service.  This service is a great tool for adding email to your AWS environment.  It is secure and scalable. Straightforward and Secure Email Almost every app we build these days requires us to send email notifications somewhere along the way.  This may be a registration email, a password change, or some other information.  Of course, sending those emails require an account and SMTP setup.  Typically we grab a developer email... Read more

cloud watch

AWS Cloud Watch – Monitor Your Environment

When you start using some AWS resources, it will become useful to monitor them as well.  Thus, Amazon has provided the Cloud Watch service to efficiently accomplish this task.  It follows the pattern of being a low entry cost tool that can grow to a valuable enterprise solution. What Does Cloud Watch Do? In the world of odd names for Amazon services, this one ignores the trend.  The name sums up the service very well.  This one helps you watch your... Read more

aws snowball

Amazon Snowball Solves Your Big Data Problem

One of the problems with using a cloud solution is getting started.  You have massive amounts of data that are not in the cloud.  However, you want to provide access to that data anywhere.  The AWS snowball service provides a practical solution without requiring weeks of uploading. Snowball is an Appliance The Snowball service Amazon provides is an appliance, not a software service.  In this case, Amazon ships you a device for loading your data.  Then you send that device... Read more

increased bill rate

Increased Bill Rate: Give Yourself a Raise

One of the keys to signing up a customer is to get a signed contract.  When we start out the goal is often to get a long-term deal and lock that customer in.  This approach is great for stability.  However, it can make it hard to get an increased bill rate later.  Here are a few actions that can help open that door to conversation. Increased Bill Rate For A New Project A new project is one of the best ways to... Read more