News

4 Revolutionary Behavioral Email Marketing Ideas

Posted in Tips on 27 March 2015

Email marketing is a crapshoot.

You send mass emails hoping that some small percentage of people will open, click and convert. The bigger your list, the less you know and the more you're forced to guess about what to say and when to send.

But what if you flipped the paradigm by sending email as a result of behavior? Instead of begging uninterested users to take action, you're moving already-interested people through a buying cycle.

Promotional email isn't dead, but data-driven behavioral email is proving to be more effective. In this new world of email marketing, personalization, dynamic segmentation and data reign supreme.

That future is here, it's just not evenly distributed. And that is a huge opportunity for you. Here are five ways any business can take advantage of behavioral email.

1. Send the best welcome email in town

In the time it takes to create and send one promotional email, you could craft the perfect welcome email. Welcome emails are an essential part of the onboarding process for every business. A great welcome email will impact on your activation rate, helping you turn subscribers into avid readers, free trial users into raving fans and new customers into lifelong partners.

The goal of a welcome email is to guide users to the next step. Ask yourself, "How can I show the value of my product/service/information as quickly as possible?"

If you're Twitter, that means encouraging users to complete their profile. If you're Amazon, it means driving new customers to your most profitable products. And if you're Basecamp, it means getting people logged in so the product can sell itself.

Figure out which action gets people hooked, and build your welcome email around it.

2. Don't let anyone leave without asking, 'Why?'

Imagine someone walks into a store, picks up an item off the shelf to check it out but leaves without buying anything. A good salesperson would never let this opportunity slip away without at least asking a few questions.

Whether you have an e-commerce store, a SaaS product or a mobile app, people are kicking the tires all the time without converting. Don't let them leave without 1) incentivizing them and 2) asking for feedback. Here are a few ideas:

  • Send abandoned shopping cart emails. According to Baymard, 68.07 percent of all carts are abandoned. Collect email addresses early in the checkout process so you can ping people who abandon
  • Send "Are you still interested?" emails. Airbnb is great at this. When you a view a listing but don't book, you get an email the next day asking if you're still interested
  • Send inactivity emails. If someone has signed up for your product or service, most of the really hard work is done. If a user is inactive, send them a little reminder. RunKeeper and Mint.com have this down pat
  • Ask for feedback when people are really done. This information will be incredibly valuable for your business development

3. Renew, renew, renew

Email is the perfect way to turn expected problems into simple solutions.

For example, if you sell dog food, trigger an email reminding customers to replenish their supply at a regular interval. Try to time the arrival of the email with the customer's realization that it's time to buy more dog food. It's a problem you can easily solve over and over again.

If you have a subscription-based product, renewal emails are the lifeblood of your residual sales. Remind users how much of a pain it will be to switch to another product and provide an easy path to renewal.

Timeliness will drive more revenue than a catchy subject line or a beautifully designed email. Be there when you're needed.

4. Kill it with email receipts

Transactional emails are opened at up to eight times the rate of promotional email according to Experian. Considering that most transactional emails lack any marketing value, this is a massive opportunity.

Receipts are a great place to start. If you're sending someone a receipt, it means the customer has already made a purchase. You've overcome a number of challenges to complete a sale. The receipt is an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with the customer.

You can't sell directly in a receipt, but here are few ways to make them more valuable:

  • Include a referral code
  • Offer a discount on the next purchase
  • Ask customers to follow you on Twitter, Facebook or your blog

Email marketing can drive real revenue for your business, but you've got to think bigger than blasts. Behavioral email is key to unlocking the hidden value in your customers and users.

Source

Five signs it's time to go back to school

Posted in News on 23 March 2015

In today’s challenging job market, gaining new qualifications is one of the most effective ways to add momentum to your career. Professionally accredited courses are ideal because they add instant credibility to your CV, plugging skill gaps and demonstrating your capabilities and ambition. Another benefit is that professional study can often be completed in a matter of months, so it won’t be long before you start seeing the benefits of your hard work.

Nowadays, it’s possible to gain a wide range of professional qualifications via distance learning, allowing you to go back to school without ever setting foot in a traditional classroom. Instead, you study at the time and place that suit you best, with tutorial support delivered over the phone or by email. Many courses also offer virtual classes and contact with fellow students via an online learning platform, so you can enjoy all the benefits of being part of a wider community.

If you're still unsure whether further study is for you, here are five sign that it's time to make a positive change and enrol on a new course:

  1. You lack confidence in the workplace
    Do you compare yourself to others, convinced that everyone knows more than you? If you get intimidated in meetings, or are scared of using the wrong jargon and making yourself look silly then professional study will give you the knowledge and the lingo you need to have faith in your own ability.
  2. You’re not fulfilling your true potential
    If you’ve reached a plateau in your career and are struggling to progress further then working towards a new professional qualification could show your boss that you’re capable of greater things. Alternatively, it might give you the confidence to hunt out new opportunities that make better use of your particular talents.
  3. You’re bored in your current role
    Money and promotions aside, boredom is a common reason for seeking a new job. If you’re in need of a fresh challenge then enrolling on a course will get your brain ticking and give you something positive to focus on, while preparing you for better things.
  4. You have practical experience but no qualifications
    You might have been doing your job for years but if the education section of your CV is thin on the ground then you could lose out to more qualified candidates. Don't let a lack of achievement at school hold you back from further study as an adult. Many of the things that held you back in years gone by simply don’t apply when learning as an adult.
  5. You want to change career but don’t have relevant experience

It’s the classic chicken and egg scenario: you can’t get a job without experience but you can’t get experience without a job. Except, you can! Many employers are happy to consider professional qualifications when recruiting for entry level positions – after that it’s up to you how far you progress up the ladder.

If any of that sounds familiar then why not take a look at the extensive range of distance learning courses available from the Fitzwilliam Institute Group and see how professional study could boost your career?

Source

We all will be coders: Don't fear the future of software development

Posted in News on 23 March 2015

Code savvy users will demand a customized user experience like never before

Software development is unrecognizable from what it was 20 years ago, and in 10 years it will be completely different again. Soon all new hires, regardless of their role, will know how to code, and as we all know, robots are capable of increasingly complex functions that threaten jobs in previously unheard of ways.

But, against this doom-and-gloom outlook, I'm here to tell you software developers everywhere: don't worry. Our craft and our jobs are going to be OK. Here's why.

First, a bit of background: the U.K. has introduced coding into the national school curriculum, the first G20 country to take this step. This means that in 10 years, all school graduates in the U.K. will know how to code. In the U.S., organizations like Code.Org are trying to encourage the same results through programs like the Hour of Code. I believe that more and more countries will adopt these programs, which will forever change the software development industry.

The fact that, in the future, all new hires will know how to code, is important. But does this mean they will all be software developers? Of course not. What this means is that the user of the future will be more educated in software technologies, and thus will expect (or demand) more from the software they use everyday at home or at work.

The user of the future will demand customization, and they will increasingly be able to do the customization themselves. This isn't just about changing the color of a button or the font of the text. I'm talking about adding new fields to a form, validations, changing or adding new workflow routing rules, or even integrating with other applications. The coding knowledge of the future generation will be mostly used to code configuration of the software applications of the future, as opposed to the development of new software applications by everyone.

If an application is not customizable, future users will quickly look for alternatives, or for hacks that may compromise the integrity and security of an app that is too rigidly built.

Fellow software developers, if we want our craft to flourish we need to provide the future generation with applications that will benefit from a user that knows how to code. Why should adding a new field to a form in a business application involve so much custom code and database changes? Why can't a user just add a new field without having to involve IT or change a business rule without the need of BPEL? Why can't a user decide how to validate a field? After all, the user usually knows more about the business needs and requirements than the software developer.   

This is an opportunity for the development of new frameworks and tools that allow software developers to easily incorporate customization into their applications. The most successful applications of the future will be the ones that offer configuration and customization to its users. There will be no market for rigid applications.

Software developers: the software development industry will not die because everyone knows how to code. A lot of people know how to cook and I don't see the restaurant industry disappearing anytime soon.

What will happen is that the next generation of users will be the most demanding in the history of software. Regular users will now understand how software applications are built and will demand a quality user experience, and customization that have never been expected before.

The user reality of the future will demand a new breed of software developer: one that can design to the requirements of the uber user, the user that can code.

Source

IT jobs outlook: High demand, higher salaries

Posted in News on 23 March 2015

Tech professionals are netting slightly bigger paychecks in 2015

With the hot job market for technology professionals, it is not surprising that salaries are up, too – though only a bit.

Technology jobs site Dice.com reported late last week that technology pay was up again last year, with IT professionals earning an average annual salary of $89,450, an increase of 2 percent over 2013. More than half of these professionals – 61 percent – earned higher salaries in 2014, mainly though merit raises. Another 25 percent said they received higher pay by changing employers. Thirty-seven percent of tech professionals polled said they received a bonus last year, slightly more than the 34 percent in 2013.

Technical recruiters salaries jumped as well, by 19 percent to an average of $81,966, demonstrating the importance of identifying and bringing on technical professionals, Dice.com said.

Dice gathered its data by surveying 23,470 technology professionals online between late September and late November.

“As demand for technology professionals rises and highly skilled talent is harder to find, the pressure is being reflected where it counts: paychecks,” said Shravan Goli, president of Dice.com said in a statement released by the company. “Still, tech pros are less happy with their earnings, signaling to companies that in order to recruit and retain the best candidates, offering more will be necessary."

Despite the news on salary increases, satisfaction with wages declined. Fifty-two percent of professionals were satisfied with their compensation last year, down from 54 percent the prior year. Satisfaction with wages has dipped annually since 2012, Dice.com said.

Dice also said tech professionals are more confident that they can find a new position; 37 percent anticipate changing employers this year for improvements in pay or conditions. But with pay rising, professionals are slightly less likely to relocate to a new job in 2015.

Big data and cloud computing professionals earn the highest paychecks, Dice.com said. “Cloud is not new to the tech world but as more companies — large and small — adopt the technology, tech professionals with this experience will enjoy opportunities,” said Goli. “Big data made a big showing last year and we’re seeing it this year, too."

Regionally, the Pacific region has the highest salaries, with professionals in Silicon Valley earning an average of $112,610, a 4 percent climb year-to-year. The second-highest-paid region is Seattle, with average salaries of $99,423, an increase of 5 percent in 2014. Sacramento technology salaries rose 14 percent to $96,788, while salaries in Portland were $91,556 – an uptick of 9 percent. In San Diego, tech salaries ascended 4 percent to $94,121.

Other markets with above-average pay increases included Boston and Chicago, with salaries rising 3 percent year-to-year to $97,288 and $88,866 respectively. In Dallas and New York, average pay increased 2 percent respectively to $91,674 and $95,586. Washington, DC, salaries in technology rose only 1 percent, to $98,323.

Dice.com’s findings were similar to those by Janco Associates and eJobdescription.com, whose recently released 2015 Salary Survey found hiring and salaries have improved for IT in most North American metropolitan areas. “For the first time in over six years salaries for IT pros have moved up almost across the board,” Janco CEO Victor Janulaitis said. “We believe that this is due to the fact that over 112,000 new IT jobs were created in the last 12 months and that the economy seems to be in a recovery mode.”

Source

Torvalds: ‘People who start writing kernel code get hired really quickly’

Posted in Tips on 23 March 2015

Linux creator says kernel developers tend to go from volunteer to professional status in a hurry

Now more than ever, the development of the Linux kernel is a matter for the professionals, as unpaid volunteer contributions to the project reached their lowest recorded levels in the latest "Who Writes Linux report," which was released today.

According to the report, which is compiled by the Linux Foundation, just 11.8% of kernel development last year was done by unpaid volunteers – a 19% downturn from the 2012 figure of 14.6%. The foundation says that the downward trend in volunteer contributions has been present for years.

Even so, unpaid contributors were still the single biggest source of commits in the latest Who Writes Linux, at 11,968 total changes – good for 12.4% of the whole. However, corporate contributors collectively account for much, much more. The Linux Foundation said that more than 80% of all work on the kernel is done by paid professional developers.

According to Linus Torvalds, the shift towards paid developers hasn’t changed much about kernel development on its own.

“I think one reason it hasn't changed things all that much is that it's not so much ‘unpaid volunteers are going away’ as ‘people who start writing kernel code get hired really quickly,’” he told Network World.

Torvalds said that, while Linux development has changed for plenty of other reasons – and that, naturally, new contributors pop up all the time – many of the original developers, with decades of experience, have simply been snapped up by companies with an interest in Linux.

“We may have started as volunteers, but we're happily employed doing Linux these days,” he said.

Torvalds’ own role in development has become increasingly hands-off, according to the report – he has personally signed off on 329 patches since version 3.10 of kernel was released, or 0.4%. Increasingly, subsystem maintainers do their own reviews and merges of code.

Source

How just about everyone gets unit testing wrong

Posted in Tips on 23 March 2015

One of the biggest ways that people could leverage technologies more effectively is to use unit testing correctly. Most teams either don't utilize unit testing at all or use it far too much -- it's tough to find that "sweet spot" where the tests increase quality without hindering productivity. But if you're able to achieve that balance, you should be able to enjoy higher quality software with a lower cost of creation.

Once a humble backdrop to real software development, API design is coming into its own, with a plethora

Read Now

What is unit testing?

Before I go too much further, I feel like I should explain what "unit testing" actually is, because the term is misused quite frequently. Unit testing is the act of testing a small component, or unit, of your software application. Because the scope of each individual unit test is so limited, the only way to achieve it is to write code that tests your code, usually using a framework like NUnit or the Microsoft Testing Framework. A detailed description of how it works is out of the scope of today's post, but in a nutshell, unit testing is when a developer writes a test method that calls "real" code and lets him or her know when the actual results don't match the expected results.

Confusingly, many developers who are unfamiliar with these testing frameworks refer to the manual testing they do as "unit testing." That isn't "unit testing" -- that's just "testing".

Why in the world would I write code to test code?

To someone who isn't a software developer, the idea of writing code to test code may seem rather silly. But for those of us who actually do it, the benefits are easy to see:

  1. During a typical test of a system, you have to log in and perform a specific set of actions in order to test particular functionality. This is incredibly inefficient and time consuming. Unit testing allows the developer to perform specific, targeted testing on the area in question.
  2. When something does go wrong, the development team doesn't need to look in the entire system for the source of the bug. They can run all of the previously-created unit tests and narrow down their search.
  3. Finally, as I mentioned last week, rewriting/refactoring code periodically is vitally important for the long-term health of your system. Rerunning all of the unit tests is a great way to help ensure that you didn't break anything in the rewrite.

When unit testing can be taken too far

Most of my experience with software developers is that they tend to think of things in terms of right or wrong. If it's right to write unit tests, then you must write unit tests for everything you do, right? Here are two unit testing beliefs that can cause your project more harm than good.

The idea behind Test Driven Development is that you write your unit test before you write your product code. You then write product code to make the test pass. If you need to add or change the functionality, you change the tests first and continue making fixes until all of your tests pass. This is a nice idea, but a good chunk of the typical developer's code just doesn't need to be unit tested. Complex business logic absolutely needs to have corresponding unit tests. But writing unit tests for simple logic will require the developer to spend more time writing tests than delivering value to the business.

100% Code Coverage

One common metric that software teams track is code coverage, i.e. what percentage of the code written for the product is tested by a unit test. Many software development managers believe that 100% code coverage is necessary to ensure that the code is tested adequately. Code that is very highly tested is very tough to change. If unit tests are used excessively, software teams will find themselves considering the costs of changing the existing unit tests when changing the code, and these costs can spiral out of control.

So what is the right balance?

Unfortunately there are no hard-and-fast rules to know what unit tests should be written, but here are some guidelines that I follow.

Consider writing unit tests:

  • When the logic behind the method is complex enough that you feel you need to test extensively to verify that it works.
  • When a particular code function breaks and it takes longer than a minute or so to fix it.
  • Whenever it takes less time to write a unit test to verify that code works than to start up the system, log in, recreate your scenario, etc.

Consider avoiding unit tests:

  • When elaborate frameworks need to be created or installed (such as mock objects and dependency injection) just to get the tests to work.
  • When the tests are applied to code that, if broken, has very little bearing whatsoever on the overall software quality.
  • When the costs of maintaining the set of tests are higher than the costs of maintaining the actual product code.

To summarize, unit tests are intended to help development teams reduce costs by reducing testing time, reducing the need for regression tests, and making much-needed maintenance easier. Writing unit tests is absolutely the right thing to do if you want your software project to be a success. However, development teams that find themselves maintaining large libraries of tests are actually causing many of the problems that unit testing was meant to solve.

Source

iOS Developer

Posted in Jobs on 23 March 2015

With over 12 million users around the world, my client works with some of the biggest names in the digital agency industry! With their unique digital platform they are taking the market by storm and have established themselves over the years as a market leader.
They are located in the heart of London, the centre of pioneering technology. This is a real chance to get involved with a company that will really value your knowledge and input, understand you as a person and further develop your skills to become an expert in the field.
A fantastic and laid back environment, the team regularly go out for drinks and enjoy fun filled day events.
Skills/ Experience

Essential:

  • Android development experience 2rys+
  • iOS knowledge
  • Published iOS applications to the app store
  • Familiar with software engineering practices such as test-driven development, automation and continuous integration

Desirable:

  • Developing applications for Smart TVs
  • Developing hybrid applications for iOS and Android

Salary: £400pd

If you are interested in hearing more about this opportunity then please send me your CV to stefan.matovic(at)revolutiontechnology.co.uk

Salary: £400.00 /year

Please apply here.

Mobile Developer

Posted in Jobs on 23 March 2015

Overview

The Opportunity

Isobar Australia is looking for a talented programmer to join our growing mobile team. We’re looking for a person who’s truly passionate about programming and working on high-profile applications for Australia’s most iconic brands.

The Role

You’ll create innovative high-quality solutions for iOS while overlooking and mentoring the mobile team. On top of that, you’ll be exposed to cutting-edge applications and a kick-ass culture where creativity thrives. Working with Isobar means you’ll be part of our global network, and attractive benefits, remuneration and the opportunity to work on overseas projects.

The Responsibilities

Aside from upholding the Isobar value of 'No Bullshit', it's expected that you'll:

  • be a master of Objective C, including all the intricacies and obscurities
  • possess medium level Android/Java capabilities
  • have a knowledge of Python, C, C++ and C#
  • be comfortable and experienced with back-end development have knowledge of Unity

While it’s not mandatory, there’s bonus points for:

  • knowledge of Erlang, Redis, Memcached, RabbitMQ
  • experience in 3D, OpenGL, shader programming and game development

If you read hacker news, high scalability and objc.io on a regular basis, and have a genuine for doing what’s never been done, we have a job for you.

In return, we’ll get you time and resources to work on the things that you’re passionate about, a relaxed company culture and generous training budget.

If we’re speaking your language, get in touch. We’d love to chat over a coffee or a beer.

Please apply here.

iOS Developers

Posted in Jobs on 23 March 2015
  • Permanent full-time role
  • Major projects
  • Immediate start

Dialog requires skilled iOS Developers to join a large and growing team in Brisbane. Previous experience in the Government sector would be ideal.

 If you can demonstrate all of the following essential capabilities and a range of the desirable capabilities Dialog would like to hear from you.

Essential Capabilities

  • Senior iOS Developer with Objective-C and Swift capabilities
  • Extensive experience in the use of standard web technologies (HTML & CSS)
  • Experience integrating with existing web APIs
  • Excellent problem solving, critical thinking and communication skills
  • Degree in Computer Science or IT

Highly Desirable Capabilities

  • Experience working with State or Federal Government.

Dialog offers career development through diverse projects, training and mentoring in a team environment.

Join our team of professional, enthusiastic and experienced consultants, where communication, learning and knowledge sharing are prized. We offer an excellent benefits package.

Dialog is an equal opportunity employer.

Applicants should be Australian or NZ citizens or Australian permanent residents.

Please apply here.

iOS Engineer

Posted in Jobs on 23 March 2015

As the iOS Engineer, you will be part of a growing technology team responsible for developing and delivering products for William Hill Australia. Your day-to-day activities will include mobile development on our brand new mobile apps (replacing our currently available mobile apps).

You'll be working as part of a team, with other engineers, to deliver high quality products, with your responsibilities including designing, coding, documenting, testing and the support and maintenance of the code for core sports betting and wagering mobile channel products.

The iOS Engineer will need to be highly proficient in mobile development technologies for iOS platforms, but we like polyglot programmers, so experience in other languages such as C++, Java, PHP, Python, Scala or Ruby etc would be a great bonus. Git or a similar distributed version control system is a necessity.

You will have strong disciplines and experience in Agile as well as best practices in software engineering such as Test Driven Development, Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, pair programming, and performing code reviews.

You will understand how to work optimally with APIs for mobile solutions.

You will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Write code and tests with appropriate documentation
  • Thrive working in an environment with agility, automate the testing of your solutions, and are comfortable code reviewing and being code reviewed. You think automation first
  • Maintain high quality code, and constantly commit to source control
  • Use your experience in Agile teams to collaborate effectively with colleagues
  • Be responsible for maintaining and supporting the code that you and your peers will write: "you build it, you run and maintain it"
  • Perform code reviews of your colleague's code
  • Must be comfortable interacting with end users and all levels of management
  • Collaborate with other technical stakeholders, select suitable software technologies for the solutions being developed, through analysing vendors and products and having a deep understanding of programming languages, practices and platforms
  • Responsible for software development quality assurance on solutions and designs provided by internal developers and third party suppliers or developers

Key Skills

 Required:

  • Experienced with iOS technologies
  • Computer Science degree or demonstrable experience to that level
  • Experience working in Agile and test driven development environments

 

Desirable:

  • Knowledge and experience of online sports betting
  • Exposure to other languages - e.g. Python, Java, Scala, Clojure, Ruby etc
  • Any computer language specific certification
  • Demonstrable Agile methodology experience

 

Key Competencies

  • Effective time management
  • Strong interpersonal skills (ability to work with diverse personalities, and across matrix structure)
  • Enthusiasm and initiative to take action
  • Ability to clearly communicate requirements, expectations and queries
  • Adaptable to work as required within a 24/7 business
  • Constantly looking to improve your technical and professional knowledge levels'

You are a strong communicator and have the ability to develop close working relationships to understand objectives as well as discuss options and suggest improvements to strategies. Your passion and understanding of the wagering industry will enable a clear understanding of the objectives and enable you to reach and exceed targets.

Please apply here.

 

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