BizTalk Server, some versions of Windows 10, Windows mobile, Azure scheduler and Microsoft SQL Server 2008. What do all these Microsoft products have in common? In 2019, Microsoft will stop supporting them and if your business uses any of them, you will want to start planning now for upgrades and replacements. The above software is just a small sampling of the products that are at the end of their support lifecycle with Microsoft. In October, the company updated its End of Service list, which includes more than 50 products for which service is ending or changing. Businesses that have been relying on older software should check the full list, or even better, check the Microsoft Product Database for their specific products to make sure their software is still covered by Microsoft support. But first, what is "end of support"?
5G is almost here and when it arrives it's going to be fast. Major markets are ramping up now, with the expectation that 5G will be widely deployed in 2020. What does that mean for the world? Faster load times, speedier connections and brand-new devices. What does it mean for your business? Likely the same thing, along with some IT upgrades and the new possibilities that come with higher speeds.
Agile: it started as a movement in 2001 and is now the gold standard for software development. Despite wide adoption, however, not everyone is using it. But you should: agile development is an approach to development that allows teams to respond to complex issues with innovation, flexibility and creativity. If you’re seeking rapid innovation and maximum flexibility for your next software project, you should definitely be using agile development.
Scrum. Agile. If you’ve worked in or near software development in the last 20 years, you’ve heard these two terms tossed around a lot. And, because they’re often used together, people sometimes think they’re the same thing.
7 Barriers to Agile Implementation What could happen? Ever ask that?
None suffer to have me, but do from my lack. What am I? Do you ever hear yourself saying, “There is not enough time in the day,” “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” “This is taking longer than I thought,” or (here’s a good one) “I’m so clumsy today?” What if those times could be greatly reduced or eliminated all together? Studies show all it could take is one thing…that luxury of all luxuries that most of us have a hard time consistently enjoying. Enhanced memory, improved attention span and healthier immune system are just a few of the positive impacts this can have on a person. What is this magical drug??? SLEEP! All of us have heard that adults should get about eight hours of sleep each day. But do you know the fundamental reason your brain needs sleep? I didn’t. It turns out, the brain has the ability to repair itself. But unlike your body, which repairs continually, your brain only repairs itself at night. During sleep, your glymphatic system removes the toxins that your brain produced during your active hours. This process could take eight hours for every 16 hours of awake time. If all these toxins are not removed, they are left till the next sleep cycle. If these toxins build up throughout the years, issues may occur. Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases have been linked to amyloid plaque and other deposits that come from these toxins. How to get a better night’s rest: 1) Exercise regularly: By now everyone should know that regular exercise helps with everything including bad eating habits, mental health, physical health and sleeping habits. 2) Set a regular bedtime: Even on the weekends, having a regular bedtime will put your brain on a needed schedule. 3) Naps: They are good when you need to catch up on sleep, but taking too long of a nap could affect your regular sleep schedule. 4) Turn off bright screens: Turn off or turn down the brightness level of your device when getting ready for bed. 5) Take off the sunglasses: Having natural light hit your face and eyes helps your brain regulate your sleep cycle later in the day. 6) Nighttime routine: Doing the same thing each night goes a long way in preparing your brain for sleep. 7) Turn down the thermostat: Most people sleep the best when the room temperature is between 60 and 67 F. Challenge yourself to improve your sleep habits and see if you don’t feel more energized and productive as a result!
A little background on myself first. I came up through the ranks to become a project manager: intern, developer, senior developer, scrum master and currently project manager. From the start of my career I always loved working with the business, trying to understand what the current issue was and how IT could help make their job simpler, faster and have a more reliable outcome. As my communication skills improved and my understanding that each client has different needs and expectations, I knew I wanted to become that “go to” person. You know, that guy that ties the client to the development team together. As a project manager at Omni I find myself doing many activities/roles on a daily basis. There is the scrum master role of leading daily standups, running sprint reviews, leading sprint grooming and sprint planning sessions—making sure my teams have a clear understanding of the priorities and goals they have today and what’s coming to them tomorrow. Then, there is the true project management aspect. Some of the responsibilities include communication to the client on project status and budget. This means making sure client expectations are met on a daily/weekly/monthly time frame. I always put myself in the client’s shoes and answer these questions: 1) Is my project on schedule? a. If it’s not, how does it get back on schedule? b. What are we doing so this does not happen again? 2) What is my budget vs project progress? a. Projection on where we will be at the end for both budget and project. 3) What are the potential roadblocks that may be coming? a. Action items needed before it becomes an issue. I found that if you can give the client the answers to those simple questions and have clear and precise communication on a continual basis, good things will happen. I work very hard with the development team and client to understand what their needs and concerns are. You need to understand both sides in order to paint the expected picture. That picture can be broken into smaller pictures as well. Depending on who you are talking to, the needed picture changes. As you can imagine, the CEO of a company has different questions than the business expert, but each question must be answered fully in order to gain their trust. Once I have the client’s trust it is a much easier conversation for both good and bad news. Clients need to know that you understand what is happening in the project and are doing everything you can to continue the current quality work or to correct an issue that has been found. One of my goals is to never have to “surprise” a client with news. They should have heard about it weeks ago if at all possible. Overall being a project manager is all about communication here at Omni. There are lots of tools that can help you manage a project. Using these tools to understand the past, present and future of your project is a great advantage. For me what differs one project manager from another is their communication of the above three questions. It is a great feeling when you can review the status report with the client and the client response with “I have no questions.”