July 2012

Job Title: Architect

What follows is from an actual job opportunity that was presented to me. It has been edited for brevity and to remove identifying information. I also cleaned up typos and broken grammar (recruiters apparently never read these things before sending them to candidates).

Job Title: Architect

Responsibilities:

  • Drive Solution Architectures for high performance and very highly scalable platforms.
  • Collaborate with key Telecommunication Architecture on definition of delivery of solution.
  • Participate in Joint Application Design/Requirements sessions
  • Create and present PowerPoints to leadership describing architectural approaches and solutions

Seeking Enterprise Architecture related type candidates. Not seeking a candidate with developer, project manager, or solution architect experience.

Skills & Experience Needed:

  • UML 2 3-5 years Required
  • Visio 5 years Required
  • MS Word 5 years Required
  • Agile Methodology Intermediate Desired
  • OAuth Intermediate Desired
  • Cloud computing Intermediate Desired

Note what is not required of an Architect: Any knowledge of how to actually produce working software. All you need to know is how to use Visio and PowerPoint.

Distributing a Custom iOS B2B App

I recently went through the process of distributing a free custom B2B app in the App Store. I hit a few snags, and I found very little information about the process, or help in online forums, and Apple Support assistance was very slow. So I'm documenting what I learned here. I hope it helps someone.

Entity Framework Cheatsheet

This is my cheatsheet for using Microsoft's Entity Framework API.

(The existence of this page should not be taken as an endorsement of Entity Framework. It's not something you should learn more about if you don't have to. It's just another complicated ORM framework with its own quirks and annoyances.)

What Siri Is Good For

A recent study indicates that Apple's Siri doesn't perform very well when searching for information. I think most people who use Siri would agree, but "searching" is only one thing that Siri does.

I don't use Siri much for general question-asking. ("Siri, is it raining?") Instead, I use Siri as a quick way to perform operations on my phone. For example:

  • "Add eggs to my groceries list"
  • "Text my wife I'm on my way home."
  • "What is 345 times 843?"
  • "Set timer for five minutes."
  • "Set alarm for 6 AM"
  • "When I get home, remind me to take the trash out."
  • "Give me directions to Mall of Georgia."

Siri works almost perfectly for these types of requests. I can do all of these things without unlocking my phone, typing anything, or navigating through user interfaces, saving time and minimizing interruption of whatever I'm doing.

There was a period a few months ago when Siri was offline/unavailable a lot, but it is pretty reliable now.

Apple hasn't done a good job in educating people about Siri's capabilities. Anyone who tries to do what the celebrities do in the TV commercials will be disappointed. Instead, I'd recommend reading something like Talking to Siri: Learning the Language of Apple's Intelligent Assistant which can give you all the necessary instructions and tips.

Siri is far from perfect, but it is a really nice feature, and every other phone and computer maker is adding similar features. I'd recommend learning how to use the features effectively, rather than dismissing them due to their imperfections and limitations. Or you can just keep typing everything, like an old person.