Developer – HTML5/iOS/Scrum

Background

My client is a start-up Digital Agency working with a large household name to create a new range of digital products.

They have a requirement for a Developer (HTML5/iOS) to join to work on a cutting edge new digital project.

The right individual will have the opportunity to shape the product, project, technology direction and will be the core of a growing development team.

Requirements:

- An all around mobile app developer who is willing and able to work on all aspects of a new app development (architecture, front + back end, testing etc.)
– HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript
– Experience of development using Scrum
– Solid skills in developing apps for Apple iOS (iPhone, iPad)
– Strong understanding of offline capabilities of HTML5 based apps
– Strong understanding of hybrid iOS/HTML5 apps
– Experience in developing commercial applications that are visible on the App Store

The Role/Responsibilities

- Must be able to work collaboratively with clients
– Must be willing to contribute to all areas of the software development process (requirements gathering/analysis, solution design, testing etc)
– Excellent communication skills
– Must be able to work independently and at client sites
– Be able to work in a fast paced, test driven, agile environment

Other information

- Initial 2 month contract with long extensions likely
– Based in central London

Contact info@nlms.co.uk to apply or for further information

Kindle Winning the Battle of Print v Electronic

Two years ago I predicted that the Amazon Kindle would revolutionise the way in which we buy and read books.

What I actually said was: “The Amazon Kindle will help lead the charge in the market shift away from paper, and towards electronic reading. Get ready for a big change in the way you consume books. The eBook has finally arrived.”

I’m not usually one to say ‘I told you so’ but recent news that customers on Amazon.co.uk are buying more Kindle books than print books seems to show that I was right.

Celebrating the second anniversary of the e-reader in the UK, Amazon revealed that so far in 2012, 114 Kindle books were sold (it doesn’t include free books) for every 100 print books, both hardback and paperback.

Perhaps even more significant, Kindle owners now buy four times the number of books than they did before they owned their e-reader. At the same time, Amazon.co.uk has seen a 400%-plus increase in the number of UK authors using the self-publishing tool Kindle Direct Publishing.

That’s a lot of would-be writers out there!

Kindle EU vice-president Jorrit Van der Meulen said: “Customers in the UK are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books, even as our print business continues to grow. We hit this milestone in the US less than four years after introducing Kindle, so to reach this landmark after just two years in the UK is remarkable and shows how quickly UK readers are embracing Kindle.” Of course, what these statistics don’t do is compare revenue share – often many Kindle books are sold for a lot less than their print versions. Neither do sold eBooks necessarily equate to read eBooks – I’d suggest there’s a lot of impulse buying of cheaper eBooks partly because the mechanism to obtain them is so much easier.

That said however, the fact that Kindle has transformed our reading lives so dramatically in such a short time is testament to the fact that Amazon’s pared-down e-reader does its job effectively without any need for any of the bells, whistles or gimmicks that its competitors all too frequently opt for.

When you want to read a book, you just want to read a book. Simple. In my original blog entry two years ago, I also said: “This Kindle serves one purpose, reading books, and it serves that purpose well. Better in fact than any other device currently available. Amazon already controls the means of content distribution for books. Now they have a good device to distribute electronic formats, they will continue to dominate the book market in the way Apple have done with music.”

Again I don’t want to say ‘I told you so’, but…

Happy Facebook IPO day

On the 16th April 2007 I posted the following as a note on my Facebook account:

Facebook Has Arrived
The buzz around Facebook at the moment is just incredible and is proof that the social networking phenomena that has been predicted and talked about for years has now well and truly arrived.

The BBC mention it daily in their news programs as does just about everyone else. Registered user growth is exponential and currently expanding at 5% a week. That is a staggering figure!

I believe the Facebook model could help solve the email spam issue and help make the web feel like a smaller more personalised environment which is something most of us are crying out for.

It’s new status as a platform will ensure its success and some measure of longevity, a major issue with these sort of sites (hands up who remembers friendsreunited.com?). By allowing developers to extend the platform, Facebook will remain fresh and exciting for some time to come. Only basic plugins have arrived so far. Wait until Google, Ebay, Amazon and co wake up and smell the coffee.

Facebooks founder, Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly been offered $1bn for the site already and turned it down (quite right, its worth far, far more). His ambition for Facebook is nothing less than for it to become the social operating system of the web, the Google of people. Quite a target. There’s nothing like aiming high Mark.

Watch out Google. A new contender has stepped into the ring and its got knuckle dusters in its gloves.

It is incredible in light of what will happen today that only 5 years ago Facebook was valued (by someone significant) for “as little” as $1 billion.  Today it is expected to be valued at $80-100 billion.  Not bad for 5 years work!  To put this in perspective, this is in the same region as McDonalds, a global food giant that has been established as a market leader for over 50 years.

It is still a risky investment by the way.  The continued hype and strong feelings for Facebook mean it may be over valued.  However, if they can continue to deliver on their incredible promise and monitise their business model in the way Google have done then they may be very cheap at twice the price.  Watch this space.

2012 – The Year of the Internet Connected TV

This is what I predicted in Dec 2011, less than a month ago but it already but seems like almost a year:

Connected TVs will continue their slow rise to prominence and will one day soon be a defacto standard. An estimated 50m will be sold this year. Apple is rumoured to be working on an offering which is likely to launch this year and will no doubt be beautiful. Uptake of connected TV’s is slow comparative to other technology because of the high cost of a new TV. People are used to changing mobile phones every 1-2 years but TV’s only every 10 years or so.

I’m now convinced that this will be the year that Internet connected TV’s hit the big time in the UK, US and other core markets.

The launch of Netflix in the UK this week and the battle with Lovefilm that it has brought about will lower prices for all of us and quickly accelerate the terminal decline of DVD and Blueray.  Streaming movies to your TV will rapidly become the norm for most of us.  The proliferation of circa £100 streaming servers (Boxee, Apple TV, etc) have already reduced the barriers to entry and now we will have the content to make the technology a worth while investment.

I’m going TV shopping tomorrow.  Its time to embrace to the future of TV.

2012 Technology Trends To Watch

Here are my picks of the Technology trends to watch for in 2012.

Mobile Commerce

10% of visits to eCommerce sites in the UK already come from smartphones. Support for mobile in retailers digital presence will become a must have in 2012. Any retaliers without mobile enabled sites at the very least will be losing significant competitive advantage (you know who you are – PC World, Currys etc etc)! Simplicity is the key. At the very least retailers need a mobile enabled site that works on all platforms and screen sizes that allows the customer to carry out the basic shopping activity.

2012 will see the Olympics where mass audiences will watch through mobile for the first time.

Mobile gaming devices like the Nintendo DS are under threat as mobiles continue to replace them for many casual gamers. SMS services from mobile providers are also under threat as people move to free alternatives (BBM, Facebook etc).

Twitter

Twitter will continue to grow rapidly. 2012 will be the year where it introduces its full advertising offering and it will start generating some serious revenue.

Near Field Communications (NFC)

NFC (Near Field Communications) payments are on the way. The iPhone 5 is likely to support this and with a push from Apple it could really start to gain traction.

Internet Connected TV

Connected TVs will continue their slow rise to prominence and will one day soon be a defacto standard. An estimated 50m will be sold this year. Apple is rumoured to be working on an offering which is likely to launch this year and will no doubt be beautiful. Uptake of connected TV’s is slow comparative to other technology because of the high cost of a new TV. People are used to changing mobile phones every 1-2 years but TV’s only every 10 years or so.

Education

Education is becoming more expensive across the world due to widespread cuts in public services brought about by the global recession. Technology is emerging that would help students and educators (eBooks, Cheap laptops/tablets etc, video). Societal changes in digital media and communications haven’t really spread to education yet. Video is a great way of teaching anything. YouTube is launching an education service giving schools access to 450,000 education videos.

What Have I Missed?

What important trends have I missed? Let me know via the comments below.

5 things you can do to improve your life now

  1. Consume less, create more. E.g.Watch less TV, cook something nice for someone you like/love.
  2. Exercise regularly, starting today.  Whatever form of exercise suits you is best, just do something.  I love playing Tennis so exercising this way is easy for me and doesn’t feel like a chore.  If nothing in particular does it for you a good walk is a starting place.  Then try some new activities and see if you can find something that keeps you coming back.
  3. Identify something you love doing and do more of it.  E.g. Play tennis, read a book, bake a cake, watch a film.  All in moderation mind you!
  4. Learn something new every day.  Staying young is about staying interested and engaged with the world around you and there is no better way to do this than by “sharpening your Saw”.
  5. Confront, don’t avoid.  Delaying facing up to things that are bothering you just makes them worse in the long run as the volume of problems/issues will accumulate and your stress levels will rise.  Face up to things, one small step at a time.

Why You Need a To Don’t List

My recent post about To Do Lists missed probably the most important aspect of how such a list helps you be more effective.  The best feature of a To Do list is that it also serves as a To Don’t list.  In my To Do list, tasks without dates come to represent actions I want to remember, but not necessarily ever do.

To Don't List

Being productive is one of the keys to being effective, but productivity only helps if you are are doing the right things.  Having a To Do list and getting stuff done is a start, but recording things you may do and actively choosing not to do them is just as important.

Recording potential tasks and not targeting them for action helps identify the Must do’s from the Could, Should and Won’t do’s.  We all have many more tasks we would like to do than there are hours in the day.  Using a To Do (and To Don’t) list will help ensure you stay focussed on the important and urgent tasks that will make a real difference.  The Pareto principle (the 80/20 rule) will help take care of the rest.

What is on your To Don’t list?  Mine currently includes purchasing a mountain bike (which I will probably never ride) and updating my C.V. (that will probably be out of date again by the time I need it).

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