DevOps: Coming Soon to a Workplace Near You!

July 23rd, 2014 Nivia Henry, Consultant

I recently had the privilege of presenting and participating at DevOpsDays in Minneapolis, MN; and the experience left me euphoric and hopeful. While the majority of conference attendees were DevOps practitioners, the amount of IT and business leaders attending is increasing; and for a good reason. It is a mistake to dismiss DevOps as an IT specific movement, or one about particular technologies. It is nothing short of an innovative disruption.

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When in doubt, try UET (User Experience Testing)

July 8th, 2014 Dean Salvucci, Project Manager

As Bill Gates once said ‘Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning’.  Although I agree with this statement and have definitely had opportunities in my career to improve a product based on feedback from an unhappy customer, the idea behind agile development is to create an early feedback loop rather than waiting until the production release to find out if you’ve missed the mark.  

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TIL Emacs can do some things that I didn’t know Emacs could do

July 7th, 2014 Jason Graham, Consultant

If you use Emacs yet you don’t know much about it, then this post might be interesting to you. It is split into a few parts, so if you don’t want to read the background, skip to “How Emacs actually does the things I mentioned in the first part of this post.”

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Recommender System Basics, Part 2

June 30th, 2014 Martin Andrew Habich, Consultant

In part 1 of this two-parter, we discussed the absolute basics of Recommender Systems – what they are, why they’re used, and some basic vocabulary. This post will talk about some of the important decisions and problems which must be addressed when implementing a Recommender System.

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Recommender System Basics, Part 1

June 24th, 2014 Martin Andrew Habich, Consultant

Recommender Systems, also known as Recommendation Engines, are becoming more common with every passing day. As you are no doubt aware, there has been a relatively recent revival of data analysis techniques, spurned by the coming-of-age of “big data” and the associated machine learning techniques. As a result, the tool sets are getting better at an exciting rate, and the number of able and willing developers with data science skills is increasing.

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Summa and Pittsburgh TechFest

June 24th, 2014 Chris Miles,

Pittsburgh TechFest (or simply PghTechFest) is a yearly, one-day event in the first week of June where software development professionals from Southwestern Pennsylvania and surrounding areas get together to talk and learn about perfecting the craft of software development. Since its inception in 2011, PghTechFest has been a part of the Pittsburgh software development community allowing local talent to share their expertise.

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Automating Javascript Unit Tests in a Maven Project

June 23rd, 2014 Jeff Zapotoczny, Consultant

In the not-too-distant past, almost nobody unit tested javascript code. Whether this was because the js code seen in most apps consisted of thin little scripts that didn’t do much of anything important or because developers simply didn’t know how to write js unit tests no longer matters. The fact is that an increasing amount of logic and complexity in modern applications lives in javascript code, and failing to unit test it borders on neglect.

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Summa Named to 2014 Pittsburgh 100 List

June 18th, 2014 Marie Hoffman, Marketing Specialist

Summa is proud to announce that it was named to the 2014 Pittsburgh Business Times Pittsburgh 100, an annual list of the fastest-growing private companies in Western Pennsylvania.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Angular Unit Tests

May 19th, 2014 Steve Ayers, Consultant

When I was first learning how to write Angular unit tests, I sat with a coworker and watched him create a simple suite. As he wrote each line of code, I found myself struggling to maintain consciousness. Sure, he was a great teacher, explaining to me what each line meant, but I couldn’t help but be completely overwhelmed with what I was watching. There were so many things to remember and to do and to set up. And that was BEFORE even writing your first test. Spies, injections, and oh God the dollar signs. It looked like jQuery threw up everywhere.

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Software Architecture: A Misunderstood Concept- Part #1

March 20th, 2014 Aref Al-kamel, Consultant

Software Engineering (SE) or Architecture (SA) is similar to any other engineering disciplines- such as electrical or chemical or civil engineering- but it differs slightly since it is not dealing with the physical world.

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Singletons CSS

March 11th, 2014 Carl Paradis, UI Consultant

In this post, I am going to share a simple solution I have used on several projects which helped me maintain my CSS code. I call it Singletons CSS*.

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Calling Privileged Client .NET Code from a Web Application – Part 3: All the Myriad Technical Details – Build Steps 4 – 6

March 10th, 2014 Bob Snyder,

This final installment of our odyssey of configuring a stack to invoke a privileged DLL from a web page covers the remaining elements of the stack, and a quick description of how to step through the code to observe it in action and of course, debug.

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Automating Database Updates in Spring Integration Tests with Liquibase

March 9th, 2014 James Cox, Consultant

The goal of this post is to show how you can leverage your database change management process to keep your test schema up to date

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Another Penny Game exercise showing the importance of synchronization and cadence

March 5th, 2014 Phil Van Sickel, Senior Project Manager

A very well known exercise for teaching the importance of small batches and flow is the penny game.  When I first played this game, I was amazed at the impact just changing the batch size has on throughput.   The setup of the game is quite simple.

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Silverlight Application Library Caching (A Lesson Learned)

March 2nd, 2014 Adamo Mosca, Consultant

I was recently working on a Silverlight application where we used Silverlight Library Caching to help speed the load time of the site. By using library caching you specify different .ZIP files to build containing the assemblies your site needs. When a user accesses the site, all the .XAP and .ZIP files are downloaded simultaneously thereby speeding load time. Another benefit of library caching is that the browser will cache the resources so when the user re-visits your site, the browser will retrieve the resources from the cache instead of making a trip to the server.

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