AWS re:INVENT 2017


Date : November 27–December 1, 2017
Location : ARIA, Encore, MGM, Mirage, The LINQ, The Venetian
Las Vegas, NV

Event Details

AWS re:Invent is a learning conference hosted by Amazon Web Services for the global cloud computing community. The event features keynote announcements, training and certification opportunities. At the conference, you’ll have access to more than 1,000 technical sessions, a partner expo, after-hours events, and so much more.

Why Attend

The event is ideal for developers and engineers, system administrators, systems architects, and technical decision makers.

[Know more about the Conference]

About Idexcel: Idexcel is a global business that supports Commercial & Public Sector organizations as they Modernize their Information Technology using DevOps methodology and Cloud infrastructure. Idexcel provides Professional Services for the AWS Cloud that includes Program Management, Cloud Strategy, Training, Applications Development, Managed Service, Integration, Migration, DevOps, AWS Optimization and Analytics. As we help our customers modernize their IT, our clients should expect a positive return on their investment in Idexcel, increased IT agility, reduced risk on development projects and improved organizational efficiency.

Allolankandy Anand Sr. Director Technical Sales & Delivery will be attending this event. For further queries, please write to anand@idexcel.com

IT Salary Survey 2017: Highlights

Key findings from Computerworld’s survey of nearly 2,800 IT professionals, including salary trends, hot skills, job satisfaction, career outlook, biggest concerns and more.

Salaries are rising, but at a slower pace

Tech pros who responded to Computerworld’s 31st annual IT Salary Survey showed an interesting mix of optimism and anxiety. We polled 2,782 IT professionals — 55% technical staffers and 45% IT managers — asking them about their compensation, workloads, long-term career prospects and much more. Read more..

7 Behaviors of Successful People

Why just admire successful people when you could be successful yourself? Success isn’t all about luck. It’s about focus, determination, optimism and hard work. Changing your mindset and behaviors can be tricky at first, but the payoff — quite literally — is worth the extra effort. Below are seven specific behaviors that successful people practice in their daily lives. Continue reading…

One Simple Way to Develop Vision

Visionary entrepreneurs, artists and notable figures are often perceived and described as geniuses. But are they? What they have, undeniably, is more vision than other people. Can you develop more vision? Yes.

A lot of posts promise that there’s a simple trick to doing something complicated. In this instance, however, it’s true.

Developing vision is pretty straightforward. It’s not about seeing. It’s about seeking.
Continue reading

Idexcel Recognized as TAPFIN Premier Partner

January 21, 2016    

tapfin
We’re thrilled that our IT staffing division has been recognized as a TAPFIN Premier Partner for 2015, proving that we’re doing excellent job at seeing how IT industry is moving and preparing our clients well for it,” said Anand Allolankandy Director Sales & Delivery.

About Idexcel :

Idexcel is an innovative global provider of IT services, solutions and products focused on emerging technologies such as Cloud, Big data, Analytics and Mobility. Idexcel’s deep domain expertise in various verticals has helped us acquire and work with many Fortune 500 companies. The depth of our technical solutions is facilitated by strategic partnerships with leading technology vendors and system integrators. Through these alliances we are able to deliver competitive and competent solutions to our customers.

Will 2016 Be The Year Business Gets a Conscience?

This post is a book review, but it starts with a story from my past.

Way, way back, before San Francisco begat hip startups with nonsensical names, I found myself on the second floor of a near-abandoned warehouse on South Park, now one of the priciest areas of SF, but then, one of the cheapest. I surveyed the place: well lit in the front, but a shithole in the back. Detritus from years of shifting usage littered the ground – abandoned construction materials lurked in the poorly lit rear recesses, toward the front, where a wall of dusty industrial windows overlooked Second Street, a couch faced outward, and it was in this space I first met Louis Rossetto, founder of Wired and for all I could surmise, Willy Wonka’s twin brother from another mother. Continue reading…

How To Use Failure To Your Advantage

One of the biggest roadblocks to success is the fear of failure. Fear of failure is worse than failure itself because it condemns you to a life of unrealized potential.

A successful response to failure is all in your approach. In a study recently published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, researchers found that success in the face of failure comes from focusing on results (what you hope to achieve), rather than trying not to fail. While it’s tempting to try and avoid failure, people who do this fail far more often than those who optimistically focus on their goals.

This sounds rather easy and intuitive, but it’s very hard to do when the consequences of failure are severe. The researchers also found that positive feedback increased people’s chances of success because it fueled the same optimism you experience when focusing solely on your goals.

The people who make history—true innovators—take things a step further and see failure as a mere stepping stone to success. Thomas Edison is a great example. It took him 1,000 tries to develop a light bulb that actually worked. When someone asked him how it felt to fail 1,000 times, he said, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” Continue reading…

How Modern Code Generation Works

In the recent years, web applications have seen dramatic enhancements in the features and user experience, and this has raised the bar for all kinds of software applications. Even the corporate management expects that their internally developed applications should include the latest features, and also support industry standard technologies and platforms. To meet these raised expectations, the developers come under tremendous pressure to produce the best in the least possible time. Businesses are limiting budgets, and shrinking in head counts. In the midst of limited resources and mounting expectations, the developers must find ways to improve productivity, reduce development backlog and migrate projects to the latest technology standards.

With such pressing conditions, writing unnecessary code is painful, and a waste of time. It can be quite unproductive for any organisation to use senior development resources to work on time-intensive, low-level hand coding tasks. At the same time, there is usually insufficient junior staff, and even when they are available, they may not be trained enough for coding or code reviews.

IT departments can address these problems by investing in reliable tools that are easy to use and can automate and manage the development process. Application generators are the code generation tools that offer significant advantages. Application generator helps create application programs that can run on a particular platform. These generators take basic set of inputs and jumpstart the application development process by generating basic code which is more bug-free and reliable as compared to the hand-written code. This also makes the testing and bug-fixing much easier. Sophisticated application generators deliver code which is consistent with the pre-decided set of functionality. Additionally, these generators can generate complex web pages including reports, forms, filter and several other advanced navigation features. The generated code is comparable to the one written by the senior developers. Passive code generators create code and then have nothing to do with the project. Active code generators create code and keep track of the generated code during its lifecycle. The modern code generators are capable of:

  • 1. Starting from scratch with an application-specific data model
  • 2. Creating comprehensive functional applications that link everything and deliver executable, bug-free applications as a base
  • 3. Generating source code native to the target environment or platform
  • 4. Providing easily modifiable and well-organised source code
  • 5. Preserving customizations and modifications during subsequent application regenerations

Modern code generators mainly fall into three categories:

  • Templating– One-shot code generation, supported in editors and IDEs to some extent and code can be easily edited
  • Round-Tripping– Code is generated to be edited and the edited code can be re-imported into the generator
  • Compiling– Binary code or source code generated is not intended to be edited

Additionally, code generators can also be classified as:

Database Script Generators – They write incremental script to create and update relational database model based on the given model.

Application source code generators – Create code in any particular programming language to work with the database. The generated code includes classes to manage database access and to publish the access layer as Web service.

Code generation process is iterative, developers can add databound controls, user interface pages and databases tables to the application in any order. The generated base classes can be customized, and existing or third party code assets can be imbedded. Effects of changes can be easily seen by just regenerating the application at any time. With each new iteration, all the extensions and customizations are automatically preserved. Some of the most commonly used code generation tools are:

  • 1. Acceleo- An open source code generator that allows developers to use model-driven approach for building applications. It provides tools for code generation from EMF based models, and allows incremental generation so that users can generate a piece of code, modify the generated code and regenerate the code without losing previous modifications. Acceleo allows code generation from any kind of metamodel compatible with EMF like UML1, 2 etc. It also allows customization of the generation with the user defined templates and generation of any textual language such as Java, C, Python, etc
  • 2. Actifsource- A model driven software development to create any graphical editor for the domain models. A comprehensive design and code generator tool that covers domain driven software development. It is Eclipse-based, multi-user graphical tool, and offers sophisticated multi-model support
  • 3. Altova MapForce – Any-to-any graphical data mapping, conversion and integration tool which maps data between any combination of database, XML, XBRL, EDI, EXCEL, flat file, JSON or Web service. It instantly transforms data or auto-generates data integration code
  • 4. Spring Roo- Easy to use productivity tool, it is much more than a code generator. The code is automatically changed when changes are made to the Entities. User just needs to give commands, and Spring Roo does the rest
  • 5. RISE- A software application that operates on a RISE model and produces some kind of output. RISE model contains entire life-cycle of the data model, and code generator translates this into an incremental database specific scripts. Additionally, RISE supports C#(.NET) and PHP
  • 6. MyGeneration- Fairly straightforward, flexible and simple tool written in Microsfot .NET. It is good for generating code for ORM architectures. The database metadata is available to the templates through MyMeta API
  • 7. CodeSmith Generator- Template driven source code generator that automates the creation for application source code for any language (Java, C#, PHP, VB, .NET< SQL etc.)

Few other code generation tools are Visual Paradigm and Netbeans IDE to generate code from UML, and Netbeans IDE and MS Visual Studio for editing/generating GUIs.

Modern code generation tools can help develop code for today’s complex applications framework. These generators produce high-quality output which is maintainable and consistent. Code generation tools abstract the code design, and multiple outputs can be generated from a single application functionality model. This also relieves the development team so that they can focus on other strategic-issues and high-level design work. These tools help reduce the time and cost of development.

Get Paid to Find Other People’s Mistakes

In any profession or field, there is a difference between being a good professional and being an exceptional professional. On the same lines, anyone can be a good testing professional; however, it takes some unique skill set to be an exceptional tester. No application is ever bug free, and the success lies in nailing the most crucial bugs by being devious and curious.

Testing is not just a job; it’s also about imagination, and critical thinking. It is about not accepting anything at face value, and maintaining a questioning mindset for the product. If you wish to be exceptional, you always expand your knowledge and hone your testing strategies for improvement. So, as a tester, what mindset and skill dimensions that you should invest in, what areas to be avoided, how to make best use of available resources? Here are few tips that can help you gain that competitive edge:

1. Gain Perspective– As a tester, there are many different aspects to be considered in addition to comparing specifications with the implementation. These include consistency with the comparable products, user expectations, history of the product and so on. Your judgement will be better if you know what is important for your business. To gain perspective, talk to the customers, interact with customer supports, and have a day out with the marketing team.

2. Aim for Quality– Never shoot for quantity, as identifying few important glitches and bugs is going to be much more valuable than testing volumes.

3. Prioritize– Prioritizing is important. Rather than focusing on the minute details of the application, pay attention to the mission critical parts and identify the most valuable bugs first. This helps the development team to address critical issues as quickly as possible.

4. Improve Verbal and Written Skills– Conveying information is almost as important as finding an important piece of information. As an excellent tester, you need to have excellent written communication skills to write test cases, bug reports etc. which are important part of QA. These artefacts should be detailed, and easy to understand. Sometimes you will be in a situation where you will have to defend your findings, and explain why they are relevant. Describe your findings and be alert to the new information that comes up in the communication.

5. Learn from Mistakes– And not only yours. We all make mistakes, however, these mistakes must help you learn, understand and not repeat them. Prioritize better, communicate better, plan better. Constantly ask questions, and incorporate your knowledge to bring positive changes in your work and approach. It might be a good idea to keep a track of your past bug reports and understand which ones created confusion, and how could you have written them differently for better understanding.

6. Eye to the Details– Observation is the ability to notice significant and important details. As a tester, you need to observe the situations that are unusual. Slow down and observe by looking closer and keep your channels wide open. Go beyond the checklists.

7. Think like the User– Keep in mind that you need to find each and every possible bug before the software is deployed and used by the end customers. Don’t be humble, question everything, and do not take anything for granted. If you don’t understand something, chances are, neither would the end user. At the same time, maintain a healthy scepticism about the capabilities of the product while exploring its limitations and capabilities. It is important to maintain a balance between curiosity and questioning every decision made. Testing needs objectivity and fresh perspective. Keep an open mind and keep the end users’ perspective in mind.

8. Efficient Reporting– Make your bug report informative by adding screen shots and sufficient details. This will help developer understand the bug clearly and fix it. Give information such as when, how, where, under what OS, on which devices and so on. Free your report from irrelevant information so that it can influence right people to act.

9. Have Passion– Being passionate about what you do is the key to excellence. Stay informed about your field, attend trainings, do courses and certifications, do whatever you can to immerse yourself in QA. Keep in mind that knowledge is not static, especially in the technical domain. Improve your technical education, as well as understand how the machines work. BBST (Black Box Software Testing) and RST (Rapid Software Testing) are the two basic courses that are recommended for every tester as they give extensive hand-on experience to different test scenarios. Continual learning is the most important personal value. Invest in yourself.

In addition to these, it is equally important to have social skills to have collaboration, humour to sustain your sanity and staying focused, and practicing your skills to reach higher level of proficiency. Find the areas for improvement and make your actions self-reflective. Seek help when required.

Becoming an exceptional tester is a constant journey. Keep in mind: Testing is all about information discovery and information delivery. Test On.

Web Performance – A Critical Success Factor for eRetailers

Since the rise of online shopping in the late 1990s, we have seen many evolutions in the underlying technology infrastructure and in consumer expectations. The rise of broadband access in homes, businesses and the advent of Mobile surely have placed the ‘Online Channel’ ahead of other retail channels.

In a recent survey it is found that, around 80% of shoppers will research online before making a purchase, and they hop across devices to suit their needs. And, 3 in 4 shoppers will abandon the site if the site does not load in under 3 seconds. These are staggering facts and these user behavior and expectations have serious consequences for an online retailer with an underperforming site.
Let’s look at some of the facts that are making ‘Web Performance’ a critical success factor for eRetailers (Online Retailers).

Fact 1: Need for Back-end IT integration and providing a ‘Seamless Experience’ to the end customer

The rise in the ‘Online’ channel did not eliminate the need for other B&M channels, but it only made it very important for the retailers to maintain a consistent messaging across all the channels so that the consumers sees ‘One Brand’ and not multiple competing channels. This has been proven by a recent survey conducted by ‘Sterling Commerce’ and ‘DemandWare’, in which 85% of the respondents expect a seamless experience across all the channels. So, to project a ‘One Brand’ image and to meet the customer’s expectation of ‘Seamless Experience’, the retailers must integrate the back-end IT landscape. This integration brings in a lot of advantages such as:

  • A single view of the customer and Products
  • Continuous state of interactions
  • Opportunity to optimize processed and run insightful analytics
  • Consistent Messaging and Branding

This means that an immense amount of data has to be gathered, collated and presented. Additionally there are many process intensive actions. Adding all this data to the webpage is going to bloat the page size, consume more CPU and Memory and impact the overall performance of the retailer’s website.

Fact 2: Increase in Mobile and Social Media adoption in consumers
The trends in Mobile and Social Media also indicate that there is growth in the retailer presence and sales through these channels. For example, the sales from Mobile devices will reach 37% of the total online sales by Sep-2013 as compared to 17% a year back. Also, the number of Smart phones and the shopping apps on them, are on the rise.
This means that the retailers not only have to provide a mobile enabled retail store but also have to support the various makes and models of the devices and types of operating systems on these devices. The app has to perform better on all the combinations and if it does not, users have apps-stores and mobile browsers at their finger-tips and can jump to a competitor’s store in a flash!

Fact 3: Rich User Experience demands of the consumers
Online customers want a rich and engaging experience, but at the same time, they love their websites to perform and respond quickly.
The retailers really want to meet or exceed the consumers’ expectations in this area. They do Channel Integration, Customized Recommendations, Product Review/ Alternatives/Comparisons, Interactive UI, Video Demonstrations, Past history of the customer purchases and Social Media integration. In fact, the average web-page size over the last few years has grown tremendously. The average page size has crossed 1MB with over 100 objects per page.
The page size along with any 3rd party code integration is surely going to have a negative impact on performance. Here are some examples of the impacts of underperforming online retail sites:

  • A study of a travel website shows that 57% of the users will abandon the site if it does not respond within 3 seconds.
  • 60% of the mobile users expect their site to load in under 3 seconds, if it does not load in under 5 seconds, 74% of the users will abandon the site.
  • 79% of the online shoppers who experience dissatisfaction are likely to no longer buy from that website again
  • 46% of the dissatisfied online shoppers develop ‘negative perception’ of the company. With ease of access to various social media, the ‘negative perception’ propagates quickly and can damage the company’s reputation and brand image, in-turn impacting prospective sales.

Conclusion:
Surprising as all these may be, the financial implications of the user impatience are even more shocking.

  • Slowing down the page load by just one second could cost Amazon $1.6 billion in sales each year.
  • Almost 3 billion searches are done on Google each day and 95% of Google’s revenue comes from advertising. Slowing Google’s search results by just four tenths of a second could result in a loss of 8 million searches per day, meaning they’d serve up many millions fewer online adverts.

This is how important performance of the website is. Poor web performance cost retailers:

  • Loss of loyal customers
  • Loss of Brand Reputation
  • Loss of revenue (because of fewer page visits, Higher page abandonments, less customer satisfaction and fewer conversions)

The bottom line is “Poor online retail site performance = Poor user experience = Less time on site = Lower conversions”. When conversion of a visit to a purchase online is where the money is for the retailers, Web Performance Matters!!

Note: Please go through the webinar we conducted recently sharing a holistic approach on technology, process & tools to leverage in achieving a “world class web performance” for online retail store fronts.