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Kate Richards, May 21, 2009

10 Must-have BlackBerry applications

Mike Peters, May 13, 2009
Ok, I admit it. I'm a CrackBerry!

I feel the BlackBerry is the absolute best consumer handheld device and can't imagine my life without one. (Yeah I did try the iPhone. Trust me, it doesn't even come close)

Funny thing is I rarely use the BlackBerry for voice calls. 95% of the time I use it as a portable handheld.

People always ask me "What's the best app for this and that", so I've decided to write it all here. Then I can easily refer people to this post.

Following Adrian's 10 Must-have applications that will improve your work flow, here's a list of my top 10 BlackBerry applications. I use all of these on a daily basis.

== Communication

1. BOLT browser

Much better than the built-in browser, Bolt offers native support for SSL, Javascript, Frames, IFrames and Ajax. Opera Mini is another great bb browser, but I like BOLT better.

2. JiveTalk

Tried just about every instant-messenger for the BlackBerry.
supports GTalk, Yahoo, MSN and ICQ. Great user interface and very stable

3. UberTwitter

Best full-featured twitter client for the BlackBerry

== Search

4. Google Mobile Apps

Adds a slick blue "G" button, that allows you to quickly search Google.com without having to launch a browser. Also comes with a fast GMail interface

== Staying up to date

5. Google Sync

Google Calendar is my primary way of managing all meetings, calls, firm deadlines etc. Google Sync automatically syncs with Google Calendar on the air.

6. Viigo

Hands down the best RSS reader. Fast, efficient and supports offline mode (read stories offline and they will be marked as 'read' when you go back online)

== Software Development

7. MidPSSH

Light-weight SSH client. Free and good enough to handle most tasks. User interface takes a while getting used to

== Travel

8. Garmin Mobile

If you travel as much as I do, shell out $99 and spoil yourself with Garmin Mobile. The best GPS navigation system for the BlackBerry. Beats my car navigator.

9. CryptMagic

When on the go, I always used to forget an important password or two. CryptMagic is a password vault with powerful 128-bit encryption

10. Beyond411

Everything you get when calling 411 and more, totally free. Built-in GPS support for local search, directions and weather.



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Got any additional recommendations? Let me know!

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How to pick a GREAT Software Engineer

Mike Peters, February 18, 2009
Having worked with hundreds of software engineers, with different skill sets, character, origin and drive, I constantly find myself having to evaluate whether I'm dealing with a GREAT Software Engineer or wasting my time.

There are lots of common practices to evaluate how good of a software engineer you're dealing with.

You can check references, use tests, ask the candidate to write some sample code or grill him/her with questions about past projects they were involved with.

Most of the time, companies still end up hiring the wrong person. And that's because they completely miss what I believe are the three most important traits of a great software developer.

It's the stuff between the lines. The little details, that make all the difference in the world.

It took a while to come up with this list...

Three traits that would clearly isolate great coders from the rest of the bunch.

I now use it exclusively to evaluate (and frequently re-evaluate) all software engineers.

Here goes:

#1. Be a Great Problem Solver (50% towards overall score)

Nothing is impossible!

This is key.

Acknowledge that not only does -every- problem has a solution, but rather that there are always going to be at least two solutions to every problem.

Your job is to find the clean, simple and elegant one.

Einstein once said "A clever person solves a problem.
A wise person avoids it."

KISS or die.

#2. Passionate (30% towards overall score)

Love what you do and pass that love to everyone you deal with.

Always be positive, energetic and make progress, no matter what.

What do you do in your spare time? If you're not writing code, installing a virtual machine, reading TechCrunch/Slashdot/DZone or testing out the latest version of Windows 7, you are not passionate about technology.

#3. Can quickly pick up new skills (20% towards overall score)

What you know now doesn't matter. Experience is important, but it's the skill-set that counts, not your ability to write code adhering to a specific syntax or operating system.

When was the last time you picked up a new programming language? A new API to interface with? New operating system your code needs to run on?

You must posses an ability to quickly adapt and evolve with time.

Adapt or die.

View 8 Comment(s)

Email Nomenclatures

Dawn Rossi, January 29, 2009
Ever wonder what are all the common email nomenclatures companies use?

I was working on a project that posed this exact question.

Here they are - 21 email address combinations:

Firstname.Lastname@domain
Firstname@domain
FLastname@domain
FirstnameL@domain
FirstnameLastname@domain
FirstnameL@domain
Firstname_Lastname@domain
LastnameF@domain
F.Lastname@domain
Firstname.L@domain
Lastname@domain
FL@domain
LF@domain
Lastname.Firstname@domain
LastnameFirstname@domain
Lastname_Firstname@domain
Lastname-F@domain
F-Lastname@domain
L.Firstname@domain
LFirstname@domain
Lastname.F@domain

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The most popular ones appear to be:

Firstname.Lastname@domain
Firstname@domain
FLastname@domain
FirstnameL@domain
Lastname@domain
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