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J. Thompson | 02 June 2016

As anyone who uses Python will tell you, it’s a wonderful language to write in, but the interpreter is slow. If you want programs that run fast, you should write them in C. Python provides an API for writing modules in C that can be imported into Python programs just like any other module. But sometimes writing in C can be a bit of a pain. It’s too low-level, and the syntax is nowhere near as nice as Python’s. That’s where Cython comes in. Cython allows you to compile C-extensions for Python without having to write so much C. In this entry, we’ll compile a C-extension to use the functionality of the command-line utility pdftotext.

As anyone who uses Python will tell you, it’s a wonderful language to write in, but the interpreter is slow. If you want programs that run fast, you should write them in C. Python provides an API for writing modules...
J. Muntz | 27 May 2016

We often need to build a functional prototype to demonstrate a new product idea. Developers often have mixed feelings about this process. Developers love to start a project from scratch because there is no legacy code to deal with. The freedom that typically comes with prototyping to make technical decisions makes it an exciting part of the process in many situations.

Developers who write software usually have no problem with visualizing how a software application will look and feel based only on a discussion of its functions or reading a spec document. But clients and managers usually don't have this same visualization. For them, the only way to know what they're going to have as an end product, is to build it, and then test it out. A prototype or preliminary model provides them with something they can use to further imagine how the end product will look/function without full development. However, building this type of prototype can also be viewed as a time sink. In all actuality this prototype can save money by preventing any organization from doing all out development on an idea that may not fit their plan.

Prototyping, starts with a basic idea for a new application. You want to build that app quickly, with the smallest amount of functionality you can get away with. You only want to do enough so that the "idea people" can see their ideas in action.

When prototyping web applications, my preferred technology stack is a LAMP server running Symfony and using Doctrine. I like this setup because it is relatively quick to set up. It is also a system well-suited for programming your app quickly. Then, if your prototyping project morphs into a project you intend to ship to customers - it is a great stack for that as well.

All web application projects have entities, database queries, and database tables.  These aspects of the project are what I call "undifferentiated overhead" - the things you have to do every time.  Doctrine uses an interactive questionnaire and simple configuration files to handle this undifferentiated overhead for you quickly, so you can spend more time on differentiated features of your app - which are the things your customer actually cares about.

Symfony documentation is well written and organized. Listed below are the basic steps of prototype using Symfony:

  • Install Symfony
  • Create your entities
  • Set up controllers and routing
  • Template with Twig
  • Access your App

 

Contact Artemis Consulting Inc. to learn about how we can create prototypes for your next project.

We often need to build a functional prototype to demonstrate a new product idea. Developers often have mixed feelings about this process. Developers love to start a project from scratch because there is no legacy code...
A. Shah | 20 May 2016

The terms Program, Program Management Office (PMO), and Program Manager are very popular these days and, yet, are one of the most misunderstood and misused terms in business. I am going to give you a sample of how I have seen and heard these terms used. For many, a Program means a big complex project that is mission critical or has high visibility for any number of reasons and therefore, it needs to be managed by a Program Manager rather than a Project Manager. For others, a Program is a specific, temporary or cyclical function in an organization. Meanwhile, for some, a PMO is simply an office that acts as a coordinator to gather information about a set of projects and funnels the information to more senior managers. While for others, a PMO is a centralized body for a series of related projects that ensure coordination between them, allowing consolidation of reporting, and resource sharing. So – which one is it? As a certified PMP, Project Management Professional, I have been chuckling, and sometimes grimacing, at this mishmash phenomenon for almost 10 years. In that period, I have watched many professional project and program managers shake their heads or get irate at the ways in which these terms have been used. I think the blame lies, at least partially, with those of us who are professionals in this arena. The Program Management industry has numerous seminars, conferences, and workshops every year. Very few of the ones I have attended break down the differences between project management and program management well. Even fewer explain the role of PMOs in clear and simple terms. Early in my career, I attended a three-day seminar on managing PMOs and projects and found myself scratching my head when loaded down with new acronyms, techniques, and processes. Since then, I invested time to understand the differences and learned the best ways to set-up and manage PMOs. Where do you fall in this debate? I will breakdown these concepts into simple terms that have served me well in my upcoming blogs. I look forward to turning some head scratching into head nodding.

The terms Program, Program Management Office (PMO), and Program Manager are very popular these days and, yet, are one of the most misunderstood and misused terms in business. I am going to give you a sample of how I...
S. Sydorko | 10 May 2016

Last month, we described our experience at one of the sessions at the Mobile summit put together by ATARC http://artemisconsultinginc.com/atarc-mobile-computing-summit. This week, we share some of our insights on other sessions that we enjoyed.

In the Continuous Mobile Integration session, participants began with a general overview of technology integration within the government both traditionally and for mobile development. The discussion quickly evolved into debating the policy and management challenges surrounding the mobile ecosphere—development, testing, user training, budgeting, version control, security, device management, third party and vendor policies, change review, agency integration, and C-level buy-in. The discussion was robust and gave participants a lot to think about. Participants left with an open question about whether Continuous Integration techniques could be applied at the management level to help bridge the gap between traditional IT management structure in which agencies had more time and control over their systems development life cycle (SDLC) process, and the emerging mobile landscape in which external and internal quick-change and turnaround are the norm.

During the Mobile Legacy Government Apps session, participants examined the challenges faced by government agencies in mobilizing legacy applications. They discussed that in terms of cost, there is the need for determining the resources dedicated to not only creating the application but resources for maintaining it as well. ROI is also difficult to gauge since there is not a direct cost-benefit from moving to mobile apps, and the real value comes from recapitalizing white space and regaining enterprise productivity. Additionally, there is also the complexity of load and scale that needs to be considered. Furthermore, participants talked about the lack of mobile compatibility. That is, not every application or feature is compatible for mobile use. End users may want those features on the website to be available through the mobile app even though it is not feasible. Finally, agencies must consider whether it is easier or cheaper to ‘bolt on’ mobile to the existing applications or is it worthwhile to create an application from scratch or use an existing product that can be customized to the agency’s needs.

Last month, we described our experience at one of the sessions at the Mobile summit put together by ATARC http://artemisconsultinginc.com/atarc-mobile-computing-summit. This week, we share some of our insights on other...
P. Dewsbury | 08 April 2016

Our team attended the Federal Mobile Computing Summit by the Advanced Technology Academic Research Center (ATARC) this week. This one-day symposium, featuring mobile subject-matter experts from the Federal government, industry and academia, discussed the latest tools and trends in government mobility. Artemis Consulting was invited as a known leader in development of mobile apps that help with citizen engagement.

Our team attended the Federal Mobile Computing Summit by the Advanced Technology Academic Research Center (ATARC) this week. This one-day symposium, featuring mobile subject-matter experts from the Federal government,...
C. Russell | 01 April 2016

Often, the biggest challenges when working with others is collaborating efficiently.  If we sit face-to-face with team members in a room, we can communicate immediately and respond to changing situations in real-time.  But when we’re removed from one another, sitting at workstations, or even in other offices, communication and coordination efficiency suffers.  Maybe we use e-mail, instant messaging, and phone calls to mitigate.  But what if we used a “virtual workspace” to help restore some of the conveniences we lose when we don’t or can’t work face to face?  What if we use Microsoft SharePoint as a team-centric, shared virtual conference room?

Often, the biggest challenges when working with others is collaborating efficiently.  If we sit face-to-face with team members in a room, we can communicate immediately and respond to changing situations in real-...
H. Wright | 17 March 2016

There has recently been a lot of talk about innovation and the benefits associated with being innovative. We all want to lead the team that is coming up with the latest and greatest solutions but there are many costs associated with innovation. In this blog, we are thinking of innovation as a change to the way of doing business or the business model, and with these changes come cost. One of the more tangible costs of innovation is the purchase of necessary infrastructure, technology, expert personnel, etc. These are costs that you directly see in the expense column of your project. These costs, if you are knowledgeable, can be quantified and anticipated.

There has recently been a lot of talk about innovation and the benefits associated with being innovative. We all want to lead the team that is coming up with the latest and greatest solutions but there are many costs...
H. Pham | 23 February 2016

A critical IT dilemma that commercial businesses and federal organizations are facing toda

A critical IT dilemma that commercial businesses and federal organizations are facing today is the formulation of a Mobile Strategy.  Often, the question they are trying to answer is: do I need mobile app(s), or do...
R. Gupta | 01 February 2016

Over the last many months, we have evaluated the major PHP frameworks that are in use in the industry.

Over the last many months, we have evaluated the major PHP frameworks that are in use in the industry. Read about how we launched our comparison in Launch...
A. Shah | 18 January 2016

As you begin 2016, have you asked your team what their professional goals are for the year?

As you begin 2016, have you asked your team what their professional goals are for the year? Have you asked yourself what your professional goals?  Studies have shown that goal-setting and planning are crucial to...
A. Shah | 05 January 2016

Welcome to 2016!

Welcome to 2016!  We at Artemis Consulting are excited to get started on another year of working with our incredible clients and partners. We will, once again, put collaboration and teamwork, open communication,...
A. Shah | 01 January 2016

Here at Artemis Consulting, 2015 was an exciting year.

Here at Artemis Consulting, 2015 was an exciting year. We built new web management and mobile app tools, infused Agile into all that we could, and grew the Artemis family. Along the way, we have sought to share our...

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