The Brandeis GPS blog

Insights on online learning, tips for finding balance, and news and updates from Brandeis GPS

Tag: cloud

Cloud Computing

Data hubs are becoming increasingly virtual. According to the most recent annual cloud computing survey by North Bridge venture partners, 50 percent of organizations had either a cloud-first or cloud-only policy and 90 percent used the cloud in some way. As the cloud continues to grow, it is essential that software engineers looking to advance in their field have a working knowledge of cloud-based services.

Brandeis GPS will be offering Cloud Computing as a part-time, fully online course this October. During the 10-week course, students will explore cloud-based services, using internet-based software suites such as Google Docs or Salesforce.com, through platform-based systems (PaaS), such as Microsoft’s Azure environment, that make it easy to focus on developing new apps or services, to complete cloud-based infrastructure (IaaS), such as Amazon’s Web Services.

The course also explores how use of the cloud changes how we “do” IT. Cloud-based services are especially well-suited to Agile development and Lean Startup thinking. This leads to new ideas such as DevOps and “continuous deployment.” In addition, use of SaaS security systems changes how we integrate systems, how we handle identity and access management (IAM), opening up new threats and new opportunities to keep data secure. Finally, the course looks at how the cloud enables us to work with more data than ever before, “Big Data”— NoSQL databases and scalable infrastructure (e.g., Hadoop).

Throughout the course, students will learn how to evaluate the various cloud-based services and how to communicate that evaluation to decision-makers in the organization.

It also includes a hands-on practicum using Amazon Web Services (AWS). Students will explore the most common features of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and how IaaS, overall, differs from older paradigms of systems management and program architecture.

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the major categories of cloud-based services and the major trends in cloud computing and be able to explain the impact of cloud computing on the role of corporate IT;
  • Describe new roles and approaches to software development tuned to the cloud, starting with DevOps and the idea of continuous development;
  • Assess specific services, evaluate whether or not they are appropriate to specific challenges, and plan their implementation, where relevant;
  • Describe how the cloud has enabled enterprises to rethink how data are gathered, analyzed, and processed, using NoSQL databases, and scalable infrastructure such as Hadoop;
  • Evaluate security challenges in the cloud and understand current best practices;
  • Successfully carry out backup, system imaging and disaster recovery;
  • Successfully set up, monitor, and maintain a reasonably complex web-based service on Amazon Web Services (the course practicum).

At Brandeis GPS, you can take up to two courses before enrolling in one of our 12 online master’s degrees. If you’re interested in exploring the Master of Software Engineering, or would like to learn more about cloud computing for professional development, contact the  GPS office for more information or to request a syllabus: 781-736-8787, gps@brandeis.edu, or submit your information.

The Top 5 Robotics Trends You’ll See in 2018

Robotics technology has proven to evolve at a rapid pace. In 2015, Uber began testing the first of its self-driving cars, and in 2016 it launched 16 self-driving SUVs in San Francisco. With the innovations of today providing just a small glimpse into future advancements, the robotics industry eagerly has its sight set on 2018. As we roll into the new year, we’ve got our eye on five particular trends that we think could characterize the next robotics wave.

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Analytics: Not Just For Data Experts

By Ariel Garber

Analytics is useful in any profession, with the potential to increase efficiency, profitability and accuracy. From healthcare, to marketing, to even sports, analytics is becoming an essential tool in all fields. Here’s a sneak peak into how data affects more industries that you expect.

Technology is shaping a new health care economy, evident in the advances of Stethoscopemobile devices, cloud computing and analytics. “‘We need to empower consumers with the in-the-moment guidance they need,’” said Dennis Schmuland, MD, Microsoft’s chief health strategy officer, “adding that a key technological component of that on both sides of the patient-provider equation is health analytics, thus the need to ‘make analytics easy for everyone.’”

Social media Picture1and marketing analytics tools are also important as social media becomes essential in all fields. Research has shown that “the conversations your customers have among themselves drive about 13 percent of business decisions and can amplify your advertising by 15 percent.

Sports analytics are valuable to both consumers and professionals, for the way we consume sports industry through sports data is dependent upon analytics. “Sports analytics is not just a catch phrase, but an influential part of the future of sports,” said Bloomberg Sports, the leading global provider in data and analytics, “We believe sports analytics plays an integral role in the future of sport, both at a fan engagement and elite sport performance level.” Bloomberg Sports offers a variety of resources to both consumers and professionals. For professional purposes, they provide analytic tools for scouting, video analysis and “player-centric applications to assess performances and aid the preparation of upcoming games.” They also have created a predictive analytics program and use their own broadcast and TV stations to “translate analytics-rich content into broadcast tools used on-air to inform and educate viewers.” They also host their own website, StatsInsights.com, featuring analytics-rich sports articles.

Big data is becoming incorporated into all aspects of sports, from devices that can track pitches during the game, to wearable technology. Adidas’ miCoach system collects data from a device attached to the player’s jersey that shows the top performers and who is tired, as well as “real-time stats on each player, such as speed, heart rate and acceleration.” The data from these devices assists trainers, coaches, and physicians in planning better training and conditioning.

There is also a demand for data analytics specialists to translate the data from these devices in a coherent manner for the players and coaches. Moneyball, a 2003 book and 2011 movie featured the Oakland Athletics competitive baseball that utilized analytics in their data-driven strategies. This highlights a shift in sports from gut instincts to a reliance upon science. Analytics is “gaining recognition as a tried and true instrument for competitive advantage in countless industries.”

Brandeis Graduate Professional Studies offers a Strategic Analytics program that produces professionals who understand the strategic potential of big-data analytics and who can translate analysis into effective organizational decision-making, poised to lead today’s organizations to new standards of efficiency and competitiveness.

Brandeis GPS is hosting an Analytics 360 Symposium on Wednesday, April 8, 2015 from 9am-4:30pm at Hassenfeld Conference Center of Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

360LogoALT2The day-long symposium will focus on promoting a discussion of the growing field of analytics and how organizations can leverage big data to make more strategic decisions. Panelists will engage in a conversation that places analytics in the context of big data, education, health, marketing and business.

Register here for the Analytics 360 Symposium on April 8, 2015 at Brandeis University. The cost for NERCOMP members is $135 and the cost for non-members is $265. Submit this form to learn more about special pricing available to members of the Brandeis community. For more information, email analytics360@brandeis.edu or call 781-736-8786. You can also find us on Twitter using #GPSAnalytics.

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Emerging Trends in Software Engineering to Keep Your Pulse On

– Associate Editor, BostInno

The need for talented software engineers is clear.

“I think if you talk to just about any company around here that has an engineering organization, they’re going to talk about howdifficult it is to hire good software engineers,” said Kevin Murray, director of talent acquisition at soon-to-IPO e-commerce giant Wayfair, in a previous interview with BostInno.

A key to becoming one of those good software engineers, however, is to be on the pulse of emerging trends, and the software space is no stranger to change.

Take Cambridge-based distributed database technology company NuoDprogram-hero-softwareB, which recently raised$14.2 million to help legacy 3D modeling software leader Dassault Systèmes transfer to the cloud. The 33-year-old company — creator of everything from sustainable wind turbines to an Airbus — has started shifting its focus to software as a service, meaning the need to shift to the cloud was necessary if they wanted to keep up with manufacturing demands.

NuoDB is now assisting Dassault Systèmes in making that move, and is expected to start helping several other companies do the same. As Barry Morris, NuoDB founder and CEO, explained to BostInno, “Thousands of companies are in a similar situation to Dassault Systèmes in that they historically would have sold software. But that software needs to be able to run on the cloud.” To Morris, the move is a no-brainer, particularly because it boasts “economic benefits to the vendor and to the user.” After all, gone are the days of needing hardware and data center space, or shelling out cash for up-front costs. Instead, software can be integrated to the cloud with a few simple clicks at a relatively low price point. Once it’s there, Morris added, applications can start integrating with other cloud-based applications, thereby adding value and sparking more business.

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Customer Relationship Management software provider Salesforce forced itself to move to the cloud, and is allegedly succeeding.

All-in-one inbound marketing software giant HubSpot is forging a forward-thinking path, as well. The local leader is currently beginning its IPO process, and saw a 50 percent jump in revenues in 2013.

That achievement stated, who better to ask for emerging trends than HubSpot’s VP of Engineers Elias Torres? He gave BostInno the inside scoop on where software engineers should focus their attention, as well as helpfully highlighted how HubSpot is innovating around those trends.

Per Torres:

  • JavaScript and single-page web applications using Backbone.js, Ember.js or Angular.js. At HubSpot, we’ve completely shifted all client-side development from Python/Django to Backbone.js and are gearing up for the future to make sure we can keep using JavaScript on the server-side to create isomorphic applications using node.js.
  • PaaS and the shift from virtual machines to containerized applications. The cost of managing static server allocations will force companies to look at containers and cluster management services such as Docker, Apache Mesos or CoreOS. HubSpot deploys 300 times a day on a minimal number of server instances by using Apache Mesos.
  •   DevOps is empowering engineering organizations to balance speed and product reliability. HubSpot does not differentiate between engineers and operators. We have created a release practice that minimizes roadblocks to customer satisfaction through better release and configuration management.

At the end of the day, customer satisfaction is key. One way to ensure customers are satisfied, however, is by repeatedly innovating and ensuring the product being delivered reflects the best of what’s happening in the ever-evolving field. Aspiring software engineers, take note.

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