Here’s a quick list of the some the Black Friday / Cyber Monday specials for developers and aspiring developers:

swift 2 for absolute beginners
Apress have a Cyber Monday ebook sale in which all Apress ebooks have been reduced in price down to $10 each, and all Springer books are just $20 each. The sale runs until Monday, November 30th at 11:59 p.m. (they don’t say which time zone, but for safety’s sake, assume it’s Eastern).

udemy sale

When it comes to online video courses, the sticker price is the sucker price. Udemy is having another one of its sales where all of its courses, many of which go for a couple hundred dollars, are now available for $15. You’ve got until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, November 27 (Black Friday) to get them at this price. Until they hold another sale in the next few weeks, of course.

fluent python

O’Reilly’s Cyber Monday sale gets you 50% off all their ebooks and videos. It runs until Tuesday, December 1 at 5:00 a.m. Pacific / 8:00 a.m. Eastern. If you spend more than $100, they’ll increase the discount to 60%. Just use the coupon code CYBER15 when checking out.

laughing squid store

The Next Web / Laughing Squid Store has a Black Friday coupon code — BLACKFRIDAY — that gets you 15% off everything in their selection. The code expires Saturday, November 28th at 7:00 a.m. Pacific / 10:00 a.m. Eastern.

code school

Code School has a $75 off deal for their 6-month subscription, bringing the price down to $99. This offer’s good until Monday, November 30th at 11:59 p.m. Eastern.


This is how many companies use agile methodologies

by Joey deVilla on November 22, 2015

so far so good

Click the comic to see the source.

Alternate title: This is me and regular expressions.


Sometimes when I make changes to the code…

by Joey deVilla on November 18, 2015

Sometimes when I make changes to the code, it ends up like this…

jenga fail

…and other times, it works out a little better:

success dog


Data scientist Monica Rogati won the internet with this recent tweet.

If you’re not familiar with what’s often called the Bechdel Test (or the Bechdel-Wallace Test), it’s an idea that appeared in Alison Bechdel’s comic Dykes to Watch Out For, and it points out a major problem of representation of women in popular fiction:

bechdel test full comic

Click the comic to see it at full size.

As in the comic, the Bechdel Test is typically applied to movies (although you can apply it to any popular fiction medium). It’s been observed that if passing the test were a requirement, many Oscar nominees would be disqualified. If the Techdel test were mandatory for tech conferences, we may have to cancel a lot of plane and hotel reservations.

If you’d like to know about which movies pass and fail the Bechdel Test, there’s a site for you:

All right, tech conference organizers: you know what your next challenge is!

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unified communications

Call it the “UC conundrum”: While 7 in 10 IT and business decision makers can see “significant and even enormous benefits to be realized from the deployment of UC”, more than a quarter of IT decision makers and 4 in 10 business decision makers are “somewhat or very fearful” of actually deploying it at their organizations. These figures come from a recent survey conducted by Osterman Research on behalf of ConnectSolutions, a cloud-based unified communications provider.

This “I want it, but I don’t want it” reaction isn’t all that different from the thought process we go through when making pricey personal purchases. Think back to the last time you were thinking one over: perhaps a 4K or Ultra HD TV for your home theatre, or the latest high-end smartphone or tablet (I’m sure there are a number of readers having this internal debate right now about purchasing a Surface Book or iPad Pro). You’ve already figured out the benefits that will come out of that purchase, but are unsure of the added value you’ll get over your existing setup.

The problem is that a lot of UC functionality is already addressed, if in a piecemeal fashion, by systems that employees are using right now. Basic voice is covered by existing office voice systems, mobile devices, and voice chat applications, email is most often handled by a separate system, instant messaging can be done via SMS, Skype, or many other ways, teleconferencing is done with third-party applications such as GoToMeeting or Webex, many teleconference applications also do desktop sharing, and so on. A UC system brings all this functionality into a single, centralized, manageable unit that’s more likely to be safe, secure, and more efficient, but that doesn’t solve any immediate problems. As far as many people are concerned, UC is just incrementally better than systems they already have.

Selling UC to customers requires providing them with a solid value proposition. That means explaining the benefits of a single platform over a hodgepodge of solutions accreted over time without thinking of the larger IT picture, which run the gamut from uniformity and interoperability to manageability and security. You may find that this is easier to “sell” to organizations with distributed/remote workforces or distant customers and partners, where having several modes and channels of communication is highly valuable. Along with the value proposition, you should also take the various deployment models into account (on-premises, cloud, and hybrid), and look at the viability of the UC platform’s partner ecosystem.

Reading list

this article also appears in the GSG blog


swift tips and tricks meetup

Hey, Tampa Bay iOS developers — here’s your chance to shine! At the next Tampa iOS Meetup (Wednesday, November 18th at 7:00 p.m.), a monthly gathering run by me and my friend Angela, we’re having a “Swift Tips and Tricks” night, where we’ll take turns sharing tips an tricks that we’ve either discovered on our own or found through others while programming in Swift.

Have you ever wanted to present something at an iOS meetup, but it was on a topic or technique that could easily be covered in ten or even five minutes? Well, this meetup is your chance to be an iOS rock star, as short presentations is what it’s all about! Whether you’ve been building apps since the Objective-C days or picked up Swift a couple of weeks ago, you’ve got knowledge to share with your fellow developers, who in turn have knowledge to share with you! Join us for an evening of demos, information exchange, and that buzz that you get when you’re in a room of smart, interesting people, one of whom is you!

Me and Angela at BarCamp Tampa Bay 2015.

In order to help kick off the event, I’ll start by presenting some tips and tricks that I’ve picked up while working on my own apps, and I’m sure Angela will be doing the same. After that, it’s everyone else! We invite discussions and questions throughout the meetup, as it’s the best way to learn.

Here are the event details:

  • What: Tampa iOS meetup, a new gathering in the area that complements the Suncoast iOS Meetup and Tampa Bay Cocoaheads, both worthwhile gatherings. We want to make sure that if you can’t make one local iOS event, there’ll always be another one in the near future!
  • When: Wednesday, November 18th, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Where: Energy Sense Finance, located at 3825 Henderson Blvd., Suite 300 (just west of South Dale Mabry)
  • If you have a tip or trick that you’d like to present, let us know! Drop us a line in the comments section at the bottom of our Meetup page or email me at We’ll provide a projector, and if you need one, a Mac to present on.
  • We’ll have provide some snacks and drinks. No idea what they’ll be, but I’ll post details as I found out.


Dark mobile: The secrets no one tells you

by Joey deVilla on November 12, 2015

dark mobile

GSG’s partner Enterprise Mobile has just published a blog post and solution brief on “dark mobile”, a term I coined in my capacity as GSG’s Platform Evangelist to describe that area of an organization’s mobile telecom environment that goes, unobserved, unknown, or unmanaged. Dark mobile is one case where what you don’t know can definitely hurt you — and your business. It can have negative effects on spending, management, security, and efficiency.

The good news is that dark mobile isn’t inevitable. A properly-managed mobile environment means that you know what devices, accounts, and users you have, which in turn means that you don’t have dark mobile, and aren’t troubled by its side effects.

I recently did a webinar on dark mobile with Enterprise Mobile, and we took its content and turned it into a blog post on their site along with a solution brief with Your Truly on the byline. Check them out, and find out what dark mobile means, and how you can counter it to avoid wasting money as well as facing administrative and security headaches.

this article also appears in the GSG blog