Credits: Mobilenapps

Credits: Mobilenapps

 

Hardware and software commercialism in Japan moved to a notch higher but still insufficient to drive Nintendo Wii U into extended shelf life. This significant sales drop over Japanese holiday Otoshimada and Nintendo Wii U will suffer this until the next few weeks.

Gifting tradition in Japan is different from that of the west in a sense that adults giving money to kids actually last until mid January. Nintendo Wii U and other gaming hardware plus software are primary beneficiary of this tradition. Basing on Media Create chart comparison from previous week up to current, the sales actually rose to 128 percent for software and 111 percent for hardware, DualShockers reported. Then again this translates a significant drop compared to last year so Nintendo Wii U suffered the impact.

The same report shows that Nintendo Wii U cuts a smaller this year due to lower figures in side by side comparison to same week of 2015. Albeit current rise, it is safe to presume that 2016 is lower by 77 percent on hardware sales and 73 percent on hardware compared to 2015. Nintendo Wii U dipped at mind-boggling figure, based on M-Create analysis.

On a layman language, Nintendo Wii U sold 80,000 units is Japan during 2015 holiday season. Comparably, this console sold just a little over 5,000 units since a week before Christmas.

It may be heartbreaking for Nintendo Wii U that banks on local sales in Japan even during late September when PlayStation 4 have overtaken them. Remember that Japan is supposed to be the strongest market for Nintendo Wii U since conception.

Here is another reason to blame for Nintendo Wii U demise; Japanese family have been looking for more family-friendly games. Yes, these are available on other platforms like PlayStation 4 that offers wider game library as opposed to Nintendo Wii U.

Lastly, blame it on Nintendo Wii U themselves after deciding that support is going to discontinue starting 2017. Support dies at the advent of Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Wii U died with it.

Credits: Iotbusinessnews

Credits: Iotbusinessnews

A first wave of automakers and industry suppliers – led by Toyota Motor Corporation – is adopting Ford SmartDeviceLink software – a huge step toward giving consumers more choice in how they connect and control their smartphone apps on the road.

SmartDeviceLink is the open-source software on which the Ford SYNC® AppLink™ platform is built. It provides consumers an easy way to access their favorite smartphone apps using voice commands. Automotive suppliers QNX Software Systems and UIEvolution also are adopting the technology, with plans to integrate it into their products.

By adopting this Ford technology, automakers and suppliers are helping accelerate an industry standard that will increase the number of apps available for in-vehicle use. With common industry software, developers can focus on creating the best experience on one platform – SmartDeviceLink – which will be available to customers of many brands.

PSA Peugeot Citroën is investigating adding SmartDeviceLink to its vehicles. Automakers Honda, Mazda and Subaru also are considering adding the software.

“Ford is making the software available as open-source, because customers throughout the industry benefit if everybody speaks one language.”

SmartDeviceLink software, including AppLink, is part of Ford Smart Mobility – the plan to take Ford to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics.

How an industry standard benefits consumers
SmartDeviceLink-equipped vehicles enable drivers to manage popular smartphone apps using display screens, buttons and/or voice recognition commands. Popular music apps such as Spotify and iHeartRadio, information apps including AccuWeather and MLB, retail apps such as Domino’s, and a growing list of apps from around the world are already available for Ford AppLink users.

Those apps become more readily available in vehicles equipped with SmartDeviceLink because developers have access to higher volumes of vehicles and new capabilities. For automakers and suppliers, SmartDeviceLink adoption broadens the choice for customers in how they connect and control their smartphones while on the move. Adoption also supports increased quality and security of the software as multiple parties can collaborate on improvements.

As part of Ford SYNC, AppLink is available on more than 5 million Ford vehicles globally. The technology is expected to reach 28 million more vehicles by 2020.

Industry-wide adoption of SmartDeviceLink will help the technology spread to new markets, such as China, Taiwan, New Zealand and Thailand.

Later this year, Ford will introduce the next version of AppLink based on SmartDeviceLink software, allowing customers to access their favorite compatible navigation app – much as they do on a smartphone – on in-vehicle touch screens. The upgrade brings smartphone navigation to the car, an important feature for customers worldwide.

Growing the connected car community
By making SmartDeviceLink software available to the open-source community, Ford is providing the industry a way to maintain differentiated, brand-specific entertainment and connectivity systems that deliver on customer expectations for smartphone app integration – regardless of smartphone.

Livio, a wholly owned Ford subsidiary, continues to manage the open-source project by working with SmartDeviceLink adopters to build the appropriate interfaces into each unique vehicle environment.

“Developing a safer and more secure in-car smartphone connectivity service – which better matches individual vehicle features – is exactly the value and advantage an automaker can offer customers,” said Shigeki Terashi, executive vice president, Toyota Motor Corporation. “We expect that many companies share our view and will participate in the industry SmartDeviceLink collaboration.”

 

Credits: Timesofindia.indiatimes

Credits: Timesofindia.indiatimes

MakeMyTrip chairman Deep Kalra has called for a stronger representation of companies in India’s $16-billion consumer internet industry , expecting that will pave the way for creating a level playing field without too many bumps. “There is an urgent need for the industry to co me together and have a cohesive voice,” Kalra said in an interview to ET.
“On a single issue, there are different voices that go out,” said Kalra, who heads the largest travel website in India, emphasising the need for internet companies -both Indian and foreign -to build consensus on policy issues, practices and standards.

“Whether under the aegis of Nasscom (the Indian software industry grouping) or IAMAI (Internet and Mobile Association of India) or under a new body , I am agnostic. It’s important all key stakeholders or a majority are represented at the highest level,” he said.

“I am a big believer of level playing field. (But) the reality is in some aspects like two-factor authentication, which is a massive issue in digital payments, companies are actually disadvantaged,” he said. “You want to be proactive and together to respond to laws that can take the industry by surprise.”

Kalra’s comments also come weeks after Ola chief executive Bhavish Aggarwal red-flagged foreign companies, such as Uber, using profits from other markets to grab cab-drivers and consumers in India. Digital wallet MobiKwik’s CEO Bipin Preet Singh echoed the observation for his sector.The most vociferous voice has been that of Flipkart executive chair man Sachin Bansal, who cal led for safeguards against fo reign companies in India.

Kalra’s blueprint entails a single internet association with four or five divi sions under it represen ting travel, retail, finan cial technology and other large online sectors. “For a large industry , it will only be fair to have different verticals,” Kalra said.

Since 2004, IAMAI has served as a business association of nearly 300 companies for policy dialogue with the government on subjects such as net neutrality and proposed goods and services tax. The body,chaired by digital payments firm FreeCharge founder Kunal Shah, comprises groups for e-commerce, online aggregators, digital payments, fin-tech, digital advertising and other segments.

“When we need more specialised groups, we can create a new one,” said Subho Ray , president of IAMAI, adding that the association’s structures are working fine.

Ray agreed with Kalra, though, that internet companies need to build consensus on common practices and macro issues. While IAMAI is the de facto business association, Ray said the industry does need a “think tank” for companies to think beyond their individual interests. IAMAI has been working with the Nasscom Internet, Mobile and Ecommerce Council (NIMEC), active since 2014, on initiatives such as the recent Cash Mukt Bharat Abhiyan helpline to promote literacy on digital payments.

“As far as the government is concerned, Nasscom has been enormously influential,” says Prasanto Roy, head of NIMEC. In September, the council prepared a consultation paper on ecommerce before engaging with NITI Aayog, the government’s policy think tank. Nasscom also provided inputs for the Watal Committee on Digital Payments report that Roy said “has paved the way for digital payments in the post-demonetisation era.”

NIMEC is chaired by Sanjeev Bikhchandani, founder of online classifieds company Info Edge, with Kunal Bahl, executive chairman of online marketplace Snapdeal, as co-chair. It has 28 pure internet companies as members, apart from 60 companies that have internet operations among their other businesses.

But while Nasscom has the heft in policy circles, industry observers question its effectiveness for the internet industry , given its primary purpose of representing India’s IT industry.

Bikhchandani concurs with Kalra that all internet companies have common issues on regulation. “Both multinational and Indian companies need to deal with mostly the same government bodies – sales tax, service tax, income tax, excise, PF , labour offices, etc.,” he said by email.

 

Credits: Thinkstock

Credits: Thinkstock

 

Here’s a resolution for enterprise executives and IT leaders: This year – as you build your software products and solutions – resolve to give software estimating the focus it deserves. Any improvements your team makes will surely pay off by keeping your software on target.

If you’re not familiar with software estimating, it means specifying the time needed to create a software-based business product or service, which in turn informs and impacts go-to-market schedules and revenue goals. Project planning platforms, budget and financial systems, sales bids and pricing ingest data from these software estimates. Every software initiative needs an estimate to move forward, but the task is widely recognized as extremely difficult, if not impossible.

Still, we estimate

Steve McConnell, the CEO of Construx Software and author of Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art, believes people get sloppy about the meaning behind the term estimate. He explains in his blog how that leads to a key error: “One common mistake software professionals make is trying to create estimates when the business is really asking for a commitment, or asking for a plan to meet a target, but using the word ‘estimate’ to ask for that.” Thus, the estimate becomes a commitment to deliver a piece of software by some random deadline. That’s a setup for trouble, and trouble happens. Time and again, software projects fail because of estimation failures in some form or other. Some put that failure rate as high as 40 percent of industry software projects, according to an Open-works blog.

The fact that a software estimate is so important, yet acknowledged as “never accurate” makes estimating a puzzling thing. It depends on a clear understanding of what the software should do, user objectives and the skills of the programmers writing and testing the code — all nearly impossible to predict with any accuracy. Some call it a request to use unrealistic data to come up with a realistic amount of effort needed, calculated in man-hours or money.

Because there are so many moving parts that make up a software estimate, some professionals feel defeated before they even start developing the software. They know what’s ahead and understand the futility. A common practice is to pad the estimate, but by doing that, the estimate becomes inherently inaccurate anyway, so it doesn’t add much value.

It’s not surprising that novice software estimators overlook or miscalculate key areas. When you’re focused on software estimating, be sure to account for important areas such as these:

  • Engineer experience, availability and productivity.
  • Unforeseen defects, problems and last-minute requests.
  • Learning, briefings and ramp-up period.
  • Unanticipated testing.
  • Scaling, performance and maintenance issues.
  • Architectural flaws.
  • Time for R&D, design, architecture and prototyping.
  • Administrative and other related non-engineering work.
  • Time needed for wireframes, visual design and UX testing.
  • Enhancements and improvements requested by actual users of the software.

Software estimating and your outsourced team

If you outsource your software development, it’s tempting to just throw the estimating problem “over the wall” (or ocean) and let your offshore service provider figure it out. But how do you judge their estimating skills? That’s a serious level of responsibility to abdicate. Even if the supplier writes your software for a fixed-price bid, can you tolerate any delay if their estimate turns out to be badly off? There’s too much at stake to miss the mark. The bigger the software initiative, the better the estimate must be, but it’s also harder to scope at that scale. To circumvent this, make sure you work with a fully vetted or certified outsource provider for your software development, to help ensure the software estimates are more accurate.

A key advantage of outsourcing to experienced software developers is that their knowledge base is very deep. From their involvement in hundreds of projects or more, outsourced software teams have a broad foundation of data to draw on for much better estimating across a variety of software initiatives. There’s a consistency of trust, process and learning across teams that’s independent of the initiatives themselves. Good software development providers accumulate a trusted knowledge base that feeds into estimates and improves them over time. In-house teams don’t have that same exposure to many different situations, which can make their software estimating more challenging and unpredictable.

An estimate you can trust

However, while outsourcing supports better software estimating, a company should never make an outsourcing choice based on price alone; that leads to a less-qualified team, and the software initiative will likely overrun anyway (thus, the software estimate doesn’t really matter).

In the end, it looks like the best resolution for the new year could be to turn software estimating into the tool it was meant to be: one that keeps your software development on schedule. One way to do this is by outsourcing software development to a world-class team that’s highly experienced in software estimating. Another method is to focus on the often neglected areas listed above as you’re creating your own software estimate.

Credits: Thinkstock

Credits: Thinkstock

 

It’s estimated that there are 111 billion lines of new software code generated by developers every year, according to the 2017 Application Security Report, recently published by Cybersecurity Ventures and scheduled for release next month. (Disclaimer: Steve Morgan is founder and CEO of Cybersecurity Ventures.)

That’s a whole lotta code that needs to be tested and secured before it reaches the fingertips of consumers, businesses, and governments globally.

A software assurance report published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimates that 90 percent of reported security incidents result from exploits against defects in the design or code of software. Those figures were researched by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), a not-for-profit Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) at Carnegie Mellon University, specifically established by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to focus on software and cybersecurity.

The thought of 2 billion lines of new code being released into the world every week is rather concerning in light of SEI’s research and the amount of insecure code that already needs to be addressed. Watson — IBM’s star cybesecurity pupil — states that there are currently 75,000 documented software vulnerabilities. The number of undocumented vulnerabilities is even greater.

Watson is poring through 10,000 security research papers that are published each year and 60,000 security blogs that are written every month — and is sure to be reporting on scores of new vulnerabilities in 2017.

Earlier this year, a CSO story took a look at how to remedy the epidemic of security incidents that result from exploits against defects in software. The big takeaway was that software developers aren’t baking security into their day-to-day development process (namely testing and scanning for flaws and vulnerabilities as they go) — and deferring to harden up web and mobile apps after they’ve been written.

When an app has been fully coded, there’s a rush to get it out the door. That’s hardly the best time to start thinking about security. At that point, it may be too late.

“The best thing (for software developers) to do is accept that security is just as critical to building software as safety is to building airplanes, and make a conscious decision to build security into your software development process” stated Frank Zinghini, founder and CEO at Applied Visions, Inc. (AVI), a software development company focused on cyber security, business applications, and command and control systems to government and commercial customers worldwide. “Worry about software security before you even start writing code, incorporate vulnerability scanning tools into your continuous integration system, and integrate security testing with your quality assurance process” added Zinghini.

There’s more than 18 million programmers in the world, according to a count by market researcher IDC a couple of years ago. Considering one survey that found two out of three developers are self-taught, it’s hard to know exactly how many new programmers are entering the field each year.

The SANS Institute 2015 State of Application Security Report helps explain the problem around securing code by stating that many information security engineers don’t understand software development, and most software developers don’t understand security. Troubling as that sounds, it’s hard to disagree.

In the U.S., students can graduate from any one of the top 10 computer science programs without taking a single course on cybersecurity. Computer science is a favorite major for aspiring programmers.

To sum up the problem… the world has a major application testing and scanning chore on its hands which has been created by self-taught and renegade programmers who’ve generated a massive amount of insecure code. Then there’s the younger programmers who lack formal security training and are charged with building new apps.

[ ALSO: Build security into software development ]

Manual scanning and remediation of software code defects is simply not possible.

There is hope. Poor software development practices are being changed over at large enterprises and more experienced programming shops which are standardized on Static Application Security Testing (SAST) and Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) tools which automate the process of finding and eradicating harmful code.

Hybrid app security tools will gain traction in 2017, according to the Cybersecurity Ventures report. These next generation tools aim to bring real-time testing, analysis, and code remediation to developers.

Playing catch up is not a good place to be when it comes to security ​. Unfortunately, that’s the state of application security right now.​

Credits: Forbes

Credits: Forbes

 

When I launched my software development company, I had one major mission: to design software that initiates change and creates a compelling user experience. I hoped the results would lead to meaningful and sustainable relationships between the user and the software.

But like any startup, the challenges were endless, from raising funds to building out the executive team. And the more I spoke with other CEOs and founders — both in the software development industry and beyond – the more I witnessed the similar struggles that all entrepreneurs face. R ecently, I spoke with a business partner who is launching another startup, and he asked for some pointers. The following is what I told him — the most important pieces of advice that I believe can have a major impact, particularly for startups in the software development industry.

Focus On Quality

Quality is everything, and it supersedes quantity. Many startups make the mistake of pushing too much product or too many services out too early, without worrying about the quality. Take time in the beginning to relentlessly refine your product until it’s better than everything else out there.

For software companies, deadlines make this tricky. Some clients will ask for quick turnaround time, but make sure you stress the importance of quality first, even if it does take extra time. Provide a client with a high-quality product, and you’ll have a customer for life. But provide them with something so-so — even if they ask for something quick — and you can say goodbye to their business.

 When one of our major energy clients had a tight deadline, I stepped in and underscored the importance of quality over time. We secured an extra two weeks and were able to create a far better product. This led to additional work, and that client remains in our top three on our roster.

Seek Only Top Talent, And Spread Their Passion

Just as you should deliver top-quality products, you should also seek only top talent, even if it costs more. In my experience, paying a higher salary during the initial stages is worth it when you can serve a client with only the best. This also helps your business’s sustainability, creating a steady revenue flow.

Resumes say a lot about experience and prior success, but make sure to conduct your own research on every prospective employee. There are many gems out there with minimal experience who have the energy and passion to achieve much more, but often you can only see this through an interview.

On the subject of passion, most CEOs and company founders have this. Make sure to express your passion daily, as it spreads quickly and can have the same effect as continued education for your staff.

Network Constantly

Networking is a true factor for success, especially for a startup. Try to meet and befriend people who are successful within your industry. The easiest way is by becoming connecting on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook, as well as attending relevant conferences.

Through networking at conferences, I met the founder of a mobile app development agency and a digital marketing agency. We’ve since worked together, assisting each other by essentially bartering services. We’ve become partners in a few business ventures. I’ve also received some software work from his clients, and in return I’ve sent some marketing projects from my software clients his way.

Credits: Dzone

Credits: Dzone

 

The software development world is governed by many forces beyond our control. There’s so much to do and so little time, there’s so much to learn and experience, and on top of that, software development keeps changing and mutating all of the time.

There are forces of software development that remain the same regardless of technology. They are timeless and do not change. To fully control the software that is our creation, we professional software developers must master the five disciplines (which all mysteriously start with the letter “D”).

1. Design (and Architecture)

This is the act of deciding what your software will look like before it’s even written. Design is also a balance between what we know now, what we expect to happen, and some wishful thinking. Design can be abused by overthinking. Over-design happens when developers just want to use the latest technology or when someone reads a good book about design patterns and completely misses the point.

A good software design is understandable, maintainable, and flexible. A good design is easy to change as requirements are added, bugs are found, and customers change their mind. Design can be created using a pen and a napkin or grown over time using tests and lesson learned. There are projects without architects but very few with architecture (they are a mess). The lack of a guiding hand and clear development path gives birth to unmaintainable ugly that later becomes a story to frighten junior developers in years to come.

A good developer knows how to design enough and can choose the right tools and technologies that best fit the task at hand.

2. Development

This is the act of writing the code. Some think that is the only thing that software developers are good for. Writing software starts at the developer’s mind and becomes reality with the keyboard (and sometimes the mouse).

It is what software developers do (hence the name). However, it’s more than hitting your keyboard as fast and as hard as you can. It’s about how clearly a developer can express complex and sometimes contradicting ideas using code.

A seasoned developer knows how to employ his or her development environment of choice to create elegant code. He or she knows the keyboard shortcuts and knows how to refactor and navigate the code. The real tool of a good developer is the ability to learn. New technology, new paradigms, new programming languages, all bring more tools to use.

Software development is more than just writing code. It’s making sure that code works and employing the right methodology so that that code continues on working.

3. Debugging

An overlooked art of finding and fixing past mistakes. Debugging is rarely talked about but carries a lot of power in the hand of a real professional.

There’s more to debugging than pressing F10 countless times. Mastering debugging is hard. A bug catches you when you least expect it. When debugging happens, a developer is most likely concerned with getting back to work than finding ways to reduce the time and pain of trying to solve yet another issue no one has thought about.

In order to be good at debugging, a developer must understand the code top to bottom, as well as how that code interacts with other parts of the system. Debugging can require finding information that no longer exists that happened during conditions that are no longer valid. A new set of tools needs to be used under pressure from peers and managers while time runs out.

4. Deployment

Your code does not begin and end on your machine. In order for clients to use your code, they need your code to magically move from your machine all they way to the client’s, passing testing and staging environments on the way.

Deployment goes hand in hand with automation. Your code should be built and tested on another machine and if you get it right, update the next machine all the way to the production environment.

Although some developers think that deployment is none of their business, a smart developer will learn a lot by participating in the journey of his code and understand valuable lessons while contributing to the overall success of the project in ways that transcend “just writing code.”

5. Deadline

The deadline is the beginning and end of every software project. Having no deadlines sounds like fun, but without deadlines, there is no project. The art of deadline is also the art of trying to estimate work, of prioritizing and dividing tasks to create an iterative progress that guarantees that even if the project won’t be finished on time, at least your client (and boss) will be happy.

So, there you have it: the five Ds of software development. Now go write some code!

Credits: Dailymail

Credits: Dailymail

 

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 30 (Reuters) – At least 15 enterprise software companies are preparing to go public in 2017. Here’s a rundown of their plans and business models.

Anaplan: The San Francisco-based company that helps companies with business planning is in the early stages of prepping an IPO for 2017, according to sources familiar with the matter. It has not yet selected underwriters for its offering, the sources said. It said in August it would surpass $100 million in annual revenue this year. Anaplan declined to comment.

AppDynamics: The applications management company based in San Francisco made its IPO filing public on Wednesday. For the first nine months of the year, its revenue increased to $158.43 million, up from $102.79 millin a year earlier. It posted a net loss of $95 million, a slightly wider loss than a year earlier.

Appian: The software company based in Reston, Virginia focuses on business process management and has spoken to banks about an IPO in 2017, according to a source familiar with the matter. Appian could not be reached for comment.

Apttus: The software company based in San Mateo, California helps salespeople come up with pricing quotes for complex bundled products. The company told Reuters it is exploring an IPO for 2017. “Running the company without investment for our first seven years, totally bootstrapping, is another reason we feel very strongly about operating as a public, profitable company in the near future,” Apttus chief executive Kirk Krappe said. AppNexus: The New York-based advertising technology company, which makes software that forecasts and helps target online ads, filed confidentially for its IPO late this year, according to a source familiar with the matter. The company declined to comment. Avalara: Reuters has previously reported that U.S. tax accounting software company Avalara Inc interviewed banks late this year to help prepare for an IPO that could come in 2017 and value the company at roughly $1 billion. Carbon Black: The Boston area cyber security company has hired underwriters and filed confidentially for an IPO, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company could not be reached for comment. ForeScout Technologies Inc: Reuters previously reported that cyber security company ForeScout interviewed investment banks in the fall for an IPO. San Jose, California-based ForeScout makes software that helps companies monitor every device connected to their networks and ensure the connections are secure. Greenwave Systems Inc: Greenwave, which makes software that connects devices such as doorbells and televisions, hired Goldman Sachs to explore a 2017 IPO, its CEO said earlier this year. Irvine, California-based Greenwave is expecting to generate $100 million in revenue next year, a spokeswoman said. LogRhythm: The cyber security company selected bankers back in 2015 with an eye on a $1 billion-plus IPO in the second half of that year, but altered course when the market began to chill. In August, with an IPO still not in the immediate future, LogRhythm raised $50 million from private investors. The company’ s investors say it will go public when the IPO market opens back up. The company could not immediately be reached for comment.

MuleSoft: San Francisco-based applications software maker MuleSoft has hired banks for an IPO in 2017 that could value the company at more than $1 billion, according to a source familiar with the matter. MuleSoft declined to comment.

Pluralsight: Reuters reported in late 2015 that Pluralsight LLC, a startup that offers online courses on computer programming and software development, was preparing for an IPO in 2016 and had more than $85 million in revenue. Sources tell Reuters the company is still working towards an IPO. The company did not respond to a request for comment.

Okta: Reuters previously reported that Okta Inc, a U.S. cloud identity management company valued at $1.2 billion in its latest private fundraising round, has hired Goldman Sachs Group to lead an initial public offering or potential sale. Okta helps companies organize passwords and authenticate the identity of employees who log into work applications made by other software firms

Tintri: The flash storage company based in Mountain View, California is being closely watched as an IPO candidate in 2017. Earlier this year, it filed its paperwork confidentially for an IPO, according to Fortune. The company declined to comment.

Yext: Reuters previously reported that New York-based Yext, which helps businesses manage their location-based internet profiles, hired banks at the of 2016 to help prepare for a 2017 IPO. Yext generated $89 million in revenue in its last fiscal year, a 48 percent increase from a year prior. (Reporting by Liana B. Baker and Heather Somerville in San Francisco, and Lauren Hirsch in New York; Editing by Brian Thevenot)

 

Credits: Livemint

Credits: Livemint

The Indian software products industry’s revenue to date—taken over the past five years—is valued at $6.1 billion. The disproportionate balance between domestic sales and exports notwithstanding ($4.2 billion and $1.9 billion, respectively), it has a promising future, unlike other segments of the information technology process management industry. Globally, this market is about $411 billion today. Fast-paced as it is, huge opportunities await Indian software products companies—approximately 5,000 of them—if the government can take appropriate steps now and usher in much-needed change. While the recent Draft National Policy on Software Products is noteworthy, here are a few suggestions which could yield better results.

Ease of doing business is essential. Numerous regulatory compliances can lead to unintended oversights. A single repository of all applicable laws, compliances and their associated processes would serve better.

A support framework for product development is required, as products upgrade or even relaunch for long-term sustainability. For undergoing testing and evaluation, investments in test beds is critical. In-house investments can be steep, and shared resources supported by the government should be the favoured approach. The need for facilitation cell(s) for technology transfer and licensing in paramount. In addition, the principles guiding tech transfer and licensing have undergone major shifts because of the Internet, and Indian companies should be prepared to enter into contracts under these new paradigms.

To address this, it is recommended that a joint initiative under the ministry of electronics and IT (MeitY) and the industry be undertaken, to facilitate acquisition and commercialization of technology. New technologies have led to standards and patent rules which are still nebulous to many ecosystem players, and it requires a high degree of sensitization. Hence, platforms need to be created to facilitate such discussions to also include interoperability, integration, scalability, cybersecurity, and provide assistance in building global partnerships and access to global best practices.

The talent requirement of product companies is unique. Future-ready products are expected to be developed based on the mere articulation of needs and specifications. Talent accelerator programmes in partnership with industry will help create industry-ready professionals from a wide-ranging resource pool of engineers and other graduates. In addition to the ubiquitous need for tech skills in high-end technologies, the need for country-specific language skills must also be emphasized. Strong business communication is an essential prerequisite and its deficit has an adverse impact on growth.

The software products policy should amplify the government’s start-up initiatives, not just replicate them for software product start-ups. For instance, a registry of software product start-ups being supported under various programs can be created (voluntarily); they can then be mentored in a targeted manner. Furthermore, incubators and accelerators need to be set up in other geographies to provide greater market accessibility to start-ups.

Also, the support schemes should not be restricted to product start-ups alone, but structured to benefit the product segment as a whole. Products require upgrades, new releases and technology changes almost every other year, as a rule. Heavy investment in R&D creates a dire need for a targeted scheme that will incentivize companies to develop new products.

Often, government procurement falls back on specifications with reference to the Gartner Magic Quadrant, or by referencing products/platforms by name. This leads to rigidity and filters out prospective Indian vendors. For the domestic market to mature, it is essential to have wider participation which could lead to better price discovery as well. Here, Nasscom’s product excellence matrix may be highlighted. It includes specific product features with an expanded outreach. The government, along with the directorate general of supplies, should evolve a software product purchase method, including a comparison framework, to help in decision making as the government increasingly relies on e-commerce platforms for purchases.

The fund of funds (Rs10,000 crore) should reside with MeitY, not the ministry of finance. This will expedite decision making and deployment. The early promise demonstrated by domestic products is encouraging, and an innovation fund should also be created to cater exclusively to resident Indians.

The exports market (software products) remains small, but there is no reason it should languish. Emerging Indian products require new geographies to build scale to get brand positioning right. An organization which will function like an export promotion council, but exclusively for products and innovative technologies, is a must. And it would be beneficial to set up helpdesks in Indian embassies/high commissions which would function as advisers on local laws and market information.

India is third in terms of the number of tech start-ups. We have more than a 50% share in outsourcing, but in software product exports, we feature among the also-rans. Mobile penetration, demographic dividend and our mastery of the offshore development model can catapult the nation forward—if we harness the next wave of growth.

Credits: Businessinsider

Credits: Businessinsider

 

For anyone pursuing a career as a programmer, there are a lot of different options in terms of what coding language to focus on and gain proficiency in; the languages you end up learning should be dictated by what you want to create as a coder.

If you hope to focus on web development, strongly consider learning PHP as a tool to help you get jobs and fill out your skills as a coder. PHP is incorporated as a server-side programming language on over 80% of all websites where that information is known. And for the past few years, PHP has regularly been one of the top ten in-demand programming languages for careers, up with the likes of Java, Python, and iOS.

To those who are new to coding and hoping to learn a necessary skill, Udemy is currently offering a course entitled Introduction to PHP Programming Language that can help get you deeply familiar with PHP, as well as build a foundation of general programming knowledge to help you learn more languages moving forward.

Through a series of lectures and articles, students will learn the syntax of PHP and get a clearer picture of what the language is capable of, before moving on to working with arrays, defining loops, and learning object-oriented development. By the end of the course you’ll be ready to go out and pitch yourself as a PHP developer. With over 20,000 students enrolled and a 4.1/5 star rating, it clear that most are pleased with their investment.