Series: 5 Tips for Software Developers (Part 2)

Jack Wilson, Laplink Software’s Chief Technology Officer, has 30 years of experience in a wide variety of software development projects and is a seasoned software developer. He has extensive experience developing network devices and network-enabled applications. Jack’s professional skills were honed at leading companies, including Networks Northwest Inc., Boeing Defense and Space Group, and Westinghouse.

As the manager for the tech department at Laplink, Jack expounds on his 5 tips for software developers he would give to interested parties applying to work on his team. This is the second post of the series, so stay tuned for the last post.

TIP 2: Always think about what will make something better.

If you come up with something and you find out someone has already done it, then see if you can do it better. If no one has, then do it! There have been many companies that were started by someone who just found a better way of doing something, and they were the ones to succeed. The most fun I ever had in my career was working at a small startup; I was the fifth employee. We worked hard and created a great product. Unfortunately, we were unable to get our costs down to a competitive level and so the company ultimately failed. However, even though the company didn’t succeed, it was still a great time and a really great learning experience.

Having tunnel vision in your field can be debilitating for your future as a software developer. It’s always important to stay abreast of your competitive landscape from a product perspective. Because you want to make sure that your product is better than everyone else’s. Communicate regularly with your team’s project manager to better understand what your competition is doing, and see if you can’t make it better.

TIP 3: Software is not only limited to the PC, Mac, or tablet.

Software is now in everything and will keep growing immensely. Another misconception is that everything has a screen; more and more, screenless devices are part of the Internet of Things. My advice is to learn to do embedded software; it can be a real challenge. Pick up a Raspberry Pi or Arduino and play with it for a while just to see what you can learn. It will help you when you’re applying for software developer and programmer jobs.

But be wary whatever the new fad is. Engineers love to play with whatever is the new thing, which is okay as long as it is the right solution for the job. Otherwise, you are wasting time and money for your company, yourself.

Stay tuned for the final post in this series!

Microsoft’s Windows 10 Editions

Microsoft released information about the seven versions of Windows 10 it will offer in a blog post on June 1. Here are the key takeaway points:

  1. Windows 10 Home will be the version used by consumers on PCs and larger tablets, the focus here will be more so on retail.
  2. Windows 10 Professional is designed to run on desktops, laptops, 2-in-1s and tablets. Additional features in the area of business management and security, this version is aimed at users who will have a machine supplied by work but might also want to use it for personal tasks. Focus is retail again.
  3. Windows 10 Enterprise is the version targeted at larger businesses, and will be sold through Microsoft’s Volume Licensing program. It adds additional security and management features, and gives administrators control over the pace at which updates are released. There will be some stripped -down versions (embedded use) for devices like POS’s and ATMs.
  4. Windows 10 Education is a tweaked version of Enterprise targeted for the education market (e.g. schools and universities.)
  5. Windows 10 Mobile will run on smartphones and smaller tablets (with a screen size of 9 inches or less). This is the product currently known as Windows Phone.
  6. Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise is a business-focused version of Windows 10 Mobile, also sold via Volume Licensing. Like Enterprise, there will also be a cut-down “industrial” edition for handheld terminals and other task-specific devices.
  7. Windows 10 Internet of Things Core is a very stripped-down version of Windows 10, designed for “small footprint, low cost devices like gateways.” Microsoft has previously indicated this version will be free.

Windows 10 IoT