Amcom Home Page

 ColdFusion Dudes/Dudettes Wanted. East Bay Area, CA

Job Title: Sr. Software Engineer

Parameters:

  • Location: San Ramon, CA
  • Salary: DOE
  • Telecommute: Not available. Position requires face to face interaction with our onsite customer.

Description:

  • Do you spend most of your time in traffic thinking about how to solve certain problems?
  • Do you try to squeeze in one extra line of code before you have to go home?
  • Do you sometimes lay awake at night because you know there's a better way to do something (such as technical implementations, and supporting processes)?
  • Do you pay attention to the industry and apply the latest best practices?
  • Do you consider yourself a hardcore developer?

Amcom Technology, Inc. is looking for an experienced Software Engineer to join our product development team (full time). As part of a team based environment the position involves working on mission critical web based solutions that enable the efficiency and growth of our clients utilizing rapid application prototyping methodologies and rich internet application development.

We are looking for highly self motivated team oriented people who have a passion for solving both technical and non-technical problems.

Work closely with customers... As a consulting company, this position entails working closely with the customer throughout the entire life cycle of the project. From the inception of the project where problem definition and business requirements are defined, to agile development and release, and assisting in achieving project ROI.

Wear many hats... The primary role is that of development (80%-90%); however wearing many hats is a must. The various hats that can be worn, but not limited to, include: process engineer, release engineer, business analyst, I.T analyst, team lead, DBA, information architect, technical architect, usability engineer, designer, project manager, and product managers.

One of the advantages of working with Amcom is that your position can be custom tailored.

Influence change... Working directly with our customers, often interfacing directly with the President and Executive staff, this position is a highly visible one. The ability to completely influence from a corporate level the processes and policies of technology and business management are very prevalent.

Leadership at all levels... The position is a time demanding one, and requires someone naturally diligent, highly organized, self-motivated, extremely focused, and has a "do whatever it takes to win" attitude. Amcom believes in leadership at all levels - we expect people to step up and lead in their areas.

Opportunities for growth... As you grow we grow. All members of the team are critical to the growth of the company, and with that growth comes new opportunities. The further you progress with your talents and skills, the bigger the goals we're capable of achieving.

The Mission... Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to create great user experiences for our customers and users; from the experience of developing software, to the experiences of the software itself.

Basic Requirements:

  • Work with team members to help translate customer needs into design/application specifications.
  • Architect, develop and design detailed prototypes and Web/RIA interfaces.
  • Work directly with clients to finalize application requirements.
  • Document all forms of knowledge (processes, procedures, specifications, designs, code).
  • Create and maintain database-driven web applications.
  • Integrate online applications with back-end systems (Web Services, SOAP, REST, etc).
  • Learn customer business models in order to lead technical solutions.

Required Technical Proficiencies:

  • 8+ Years of Software Development Experience.
  • Expert Level with Coldfusion 8.
  • Familiarity with Frameworks and Design Patterns.
  • Understanding of rapid development methodologies (e.g. Extreme Programming).
  • Advanced Levels with SQL, CSS, JavaScript, Web Services, XML.
  • Usability Best Practices.
  • Systems Architecture, Data Analysis, and Software Architecture.

Desired Technical Proficiencies:

  • Flex
  • Crystal Reports
  • AJAX (e.g Spry, jQuery, etc...)
  • Agile Development Concepts
  • Drools
  • Groovy
  • ColdBox
  • Transfer
  • ColdSpring

General Business and Customer skills required:

  • Close attention to detail.
  • Ability to effectively test and document your own work.
  • Great organizational and time-management skills, including an ability to estimate project completion times.
  • Ability to juggle multiple projects, tasks, and deadlines.
  • Self-motivated and self-directed: We need someone who will proactively tackle challenges, and propose innovative solutions.
  • Great communication skills: both written and verbal (Developers respond directly to client requests, so the ability to correspond professionally is critical).
  • Properly assess and meet customer needs in a professional and courteous manner.
  • Anticipate customers' needs and communicates/pitches new ideas.

Salary:

  • Dependent on skills and experience.

Contact:

  • Tariq Ahmed (Manager of Product Development). jobs @ amcomtech.net
  • Direct-Hire only, no recruiters please.

About Amcom (www.amcomtech.net):

Amcom Technology is a member of the Amcom companies located in the San Francisco Bay Area (San Ramon). The company provides premium end-to-end technology services from Web 2.0/RIA software development, to network infrastructure and business intelligence.

Amcom consists of two other divisions which include Amcom Data Processing (ADP) and Amcom Computer Services (ACS).

Amcom Data Processing was founded on April 1, 1973, and has been involved with the oil industry since 1978 with distributors and retail operations. The company currently has relationships with six major oil companies and specializes in the premiere software solutions for the Service Station industry.

Amcom Computer Services focuses on outsourcing, facilities management, programming, training, and supporting computer systems of small and medium sized businesses.

Acrobat PDF Version available

 Flex 3 to Flex 4 migration tidbit: Enhanced Constraints

Flex 4 of course introduces the new line of Spark components that replace the Flex 3 based Halo ones - although you can use Halo and Spark containers/components together.

One interesting tidbit is that both Halo and Spark support the notion of constraints, which is an option you can use for visual layout, by being able to anchor visual components from the edges or center of containers. E.g.

<s:Button label="Hello!" bottom="5" right="5"/>

That above example would anchor the button to the bottom right, regardless if the user resizes the browser.

However, as far as I know there's no Spark container that supports enhanced constraints. You would still use the mx:Canvas Halo container. E.g.:

<mx:Canvas width="100%" height="100%">
<mx:constraintColumns>
<mx:ConstraintColumn id="col1" width="200"/>
<mx:ConstraintColumn id="col2" width="50" />
</mx:constraintColumns>
<s:Button label="Button 1" left="col1:0"/>
<s:Button label="Button 2" left="col2:0"/>
</mx:Canvas>

 Report builder and style issues

I started working with Report Builder today and things were going along just fine. I was making some changes to the report, and adding in a bunch of styles, then ended up with some really wierd results once i shut the reports down and tried to open them back up again.

What appeared to be happening was that items that i had set up with a style were not staying set and that the report builder was forgetting the association with style. But that turned out not to be the case.

I decided to investigate a bit more and found out the following:

if you use a value outside of a normally used default value, in my case, we were using a font size of 7 (I know, really small right?) and it's not in a defined style, when you exit the file and load it back in, it will "forget" those values.

To replicate:

create a new file, and create a text label. enter some text in there. change the font size to 7. save the file. then close the file. Open the file up, and you'll see that the size has moved back up to the default font size.... How fun!!

The work around is to define a style with the minimum size/style that you want and assign it to the text area that you define.

Summary

This is my first time working with Report Builder in Coldfusion. I remember the hype about it a few years ago when they launched it, but it looks like it hasn't lived up to the hype... in some senses it seems like it would be easier/quicker/faster/more flexible/ to just create the report in CF and the pump it into pdf.

 MicroStrategy for Free?

MicroStrategy has released a free version of Reporting Suite targeting the small and midsize enterprise (SME) market. Reporting Suite is an operational reporting tool: it doesn't offer scorecarding or dashboarding features, but it does include drilling, graphing, data slicing, formatting, and interactivity. The suite is free for use by up to 100 users, which should address the reporting needs of most small- and medium-sized customers.

Check out the article here

So how do you use it? MicroStrategy offers free 1 day seminars on its product. Just enough to make you dangerous.

Enjoy!

 Moving windows on secondary monitor to primary when RDCing

Some of you may have encountered this Windows gotcha.

When you remote desktop to your PC, you'll see the primary monitor. The problem arises when you have windows showing on the other screen that aren't visible to you, or you open up a program that was last used on the secondary monitor – by default it'll reopen on there.

A quick solution is to right click on the task bar and select maximize. But if you need to work with multiple windows:

  1. Right click on the app and select Move

  2. Press any arrow key
  3. The window will now follow your mouse, allowing you to move it back onto the primary monitor.

 Browser Memory Utilization

We have a large body of users who remote desktop into a small terminal services farm to run a web based intranet app.

The application was originally aimed at Internet Explorer (because of its integrated window security for automatic login), and the servers are nearing the edge of comfortability.

So while we look at expanding on the hardware side of things, we also took at look on the software side - specifically the browser (currently supporting IE7).

After doing some tests, we found some surprisingly results. Keep in mind this was by no means an exhaustive analysis, but a quick evaluation to see if any browser has a clear advantage with our intranet apps.

The Results
To our surprise, IE8 actually runs the leanest overall:

Here are some other observations/notes:

  • Chrome and IE8 by default run each frame, pop-up window, and tab as a separate process (you'll see multiple .exe's running in the task manager). Most people don't know this and so it appears that the one Chrome process they look at seems like it's using incredibly low amounts of memory (but if you add it up, it's not as mindblasting).
  • We configured Chrome and IE8 to run as a single process.
  • Any theme, extension, add-on, toolbar, etc... to FireFox significantly increases memory usage. In the tests above, this was a FireFox running barebones.
  • Chrome seems to have a significant advantage on pages that have a lot of JavaScript involved (e.g. the my.yahoo.com portal when logged in) - and IE8 did the worst.
  • On the flipside with regular HTML pages that used simple JavaScript (e.g. form validation), IE8 did the best. Though Chrome was close on some of those occasions.
  • Was unable to test Safari 3 and 4, they flat out didn't work on the Intranet.

The next thing that would be interesting is to go through a series of planned steps for a period of an hour and see how well they do.

 Jon Hirschi joins Amcom Technology

SAN RAMON, May 4th -- Amcom Technology is pleased to announce that Jon Hirschi will be joining the Product Development Team in our Amcom Computer Services division.

Jon brings a rich set of skills and experiences to the table, with skills ranging from software engineering (Adobe Flex, Adobe ColdFusion, Java, and AJAX), systems development life cycle (agile methodologies, and technical design), to business (process engineering, project management, and product management).

Jon is also an active member with the community with having authored technical articles, to co-authoring Flex 3 In Action, and participating in the Adobe Community Expert program.

Amcom Technology is a member of the Amcom companies located in the San Francisco Bay Area (San Ramon). The company provides premium end-to-end technology services from Web 2.0/RIA software development, to network infrastructure and business intelligence.

 BI is going mobile...

Some interesting news that has implications for BI: SAP and Sybase Put the Power of SAP Business Suite in the Hands of the Mobile Workforce

This new partnership between SAP and Sybase is a nice step forward for providing mobile based enterprise software. Considering that mobile devices now outnumber desktops, this partnership helps create an understanding of how to deliver BI and analytics to a mobile user. The ultimate goal is to allow that user to interact with their data, and to take action, wirelessly, in real time.

In my opinion, this is a good pairing. Business Objects (SAP) has a Mobile BI component as part of their Enterprise BI suite. This provides the software platform for delivering information to Web and mobile users. Sybase has the database tools in its ASE (Adaptive Server Enterprise) product that can provide warehousing and data integration. You can use Enterprise Connect to establish dynamic connections to data sources, and the Data Integrator for managing the ETL.

With a bit of creativity, we could probably find the same type of tool sets for Oracle and SQL Server solutions. For example, in SQL Server, using Linked Servers in place of Enterprise Connect, and SSIS packages in place of the Data Ingegrator. Regardless of the marketing spin, it's nice to see how you can mix and match existing products to create an architecture for Mobile BI.

 Googles Groovy app engine...

When Google first announced it's app engine, I thought wow that sounds cool, but I wasn't really into learning python (nothing against it, just wan't interested). So I filed it for later investigation. Well after about a year or so, later has become now. And now we don't need to learn python. We can use Java or more interesting for me Groovy.

[More]

 AmcomTech proud to support the EBCFUG

AmcomTech is proud to be a sponsor for the East Bay ColdFusion Users Group (EBCFUG).

A few of the ColdFusion gurus from AmcomTech will be at the EBCFUG's inauguration (Apr 7, 2009) as the user group kicks off it's first meeting.

AmcomTech's staff has a long history of being involved in the technical community by participating and sponsoring user groups, authoring articles for technical magazines, supporting users in support forums, publishing books, and lending a hand to open source initiatives.

We look forward to seeing you.

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