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Newsletter: January 2010
Friday, 22 January 2010

New Year

2010 is shaping up to be a banner year for the community. We have some exciting things planned, including the first LDSTech Developers Conference. Those who are interested in coming to Church headquarters, learning about development tools, and getting to work on volunteer development projects are invited to attend. Please mark your calendar for April 1 and 2. Registration and more details will be available in February.

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Meetinghouse Webcast Overview Video Print E-mail
Written by Jacob Stark   
Friday, 15 January 2010

Meetinghouse Webcast technology provides an alternative to travel for stake conferences, regional conferences, firesides, and training meetings by allowing local units of the Church to webcast these meetings over the internet to other locations.

Learn more by watching the overview video below:

The Camtasia Studio video content presented here requires a more recent version of the Adobe Flash Player. If you are you using a browser with JavaScript disabled please enable it now. Otherwise, please update your version of the free Flash Player by downloading here.

 

 

Additional Resources

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The Evolution of Web Services Development in an RIA World Print E-mail
Written by Bryan Hinton   
Friday, 08 January 2010

Web services have become common place in today’s connected world. Companies like Google, Amazon, eBay, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Twitter expose Web services to allow other developers to build on top of their infrastructure. In the consumer world these Web service APIs have allowed for a variety of fascinating “mash-ups” of data. In the business world, Web services have allowed for greater intra-company and inter-company (Business to Business or B2B) communication. What used to be done through TCP, FTP, and custom file formats can now be done with HTTP and XML.

In the early days of the Internet, a group backed by Microsoft started work on a standard called SOAP, a foundational layer for Web services. In the early days when people talked about building or consuming web services they were inherently talking about SOAP-based web services. Through the years SOAP has continued to evolve. The WS-* family of specifications provides greater support for reliable messaging, transaction control, and security. However, the increased functionality comes with a cost. A common criticism of SOAP is the complexity and overhead that come with it. Supporters have tried to counter these criticisms through better tooling and frameworks to abstract away the underlying complexity.

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Recreation Properties Application Project Print E-mail
Written by Tom Johnson   
Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Although the Church has more than 500 properties, from camps to lodges to ranches, there isn't a single content management system that centralizes all Church property information. Instead, many of the Web sites are independent of one another, inconsistent with each other and often incomplete, and maintained by different groups. When you try to locate a property, it can be hard to see the specific rules, availability, cost, activities, and amenities from one property to the next.

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Newsletter: December 2009

Merry Christmas

We want to extend our holiday greetings and thank you for participating in the ever-growing LDSTech community.

Over the last year we have seen a tremendous growth in activity on the LDSTech Web site. Here are some exciting statistics representing our growth.

  • Forum registrations have increased by 63% this year.
  • Over 15,000 new posts since the beginning of the year.
  • The LDSTech Wiki continues to grow with over 1384 pages and files.
  • LDSTech community projects have expanded to include10 new mobile applications in development.

We have a lot planned for 2010 and expect our growth to continue. We thank you for being a part of this exciting community.

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Work, Learn, Innovate: Principles We Can All Adopt in the Work Place Print E-mail
Written by David Kosorok   
Thursday, 17 December 2009

We are pleased to introduce David Kosorok as a regular contributor to the LDSTech site.

David is a QA Team Manager for the Church in the Information and Communications Systems Department.

David wrote monthly how-to articles in WordPerfect Magazine for five years and has tested software and managed test teams for over 15 years. David brings his technical expertise and snappy dress style (jeans, t-shirt and boots) back home to Utah. He enjoys spending his free time with family, reading a good sci-fi/fantasy book, camping, or watching a good movie, in that order.

Look for articles from David every other month.

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Using Cultural Beliefs to Accomplish Our Goal Print E-mail
Written by David Dalling   
Thursday, 10 December 2009

Since I began working at the Church I have noticed a significant difference in culture from other jobs I have held. I’ve noticed the teamwork and the drive everyone has to get the work done and help it to move forward. This helps us put our best work forward.

To support the mandate to “do more with less,” the ICS Department was given new cultural beliefs:

  • Receive revelation: I call down the Lord’s help in doing my work to aid in exalting the human family.
  • Be positive: I contribute to a positive and optimistic work environment.
  • Help others succeed: I am successful when those with whom I work and serve are successful.
  • Speak up: I professionally challenge, ask questions, propose alternatives, and exchange feedback.
  • Make it simple: I communicate clearly and avoid complexity in my work products and processes.

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A Thousand Bits of Paper Print E-mail
Written by Bryan Brady   
Tuesday, 08 December 2009

A few years ago I attended a seminar about relating to your customer. The instructor asked for a few people to come to the front to help him with a project. We approached a table set up with a ream of paper, a few pairs of scissors, a couple of rulers, and some pencils. Our project, as described by our instructor-turned-customer, was to cut a few thousand one-inch squares out of the paper. We had only a few minutes to complete the task. There were about a half dozen of us volunteers, and to clarify the task, we could ask any question before the task started. It seemed we asked all the wrong questions before we got started, unknowingly missing the most important question of all.

After a few minutes it was clear that we were not going to achieve the objective, as we had spent most of the time tracing lines, making accurate cuts, and various other things that made the process very slow. When the project deadline passed, we had maybe a hundred squares. When the instructor asked us what happened, we told him we didn’t have enough time for the difficulty of the project and the accuracy it required. The instructor agreed with our assessment but mentioned that we failed on more than one front. Not only did we not complete the requirements in time, but we failed to understand the whole purpose of the project.

In short, we didn’t ask, “Why?”

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The Next Generation of LDS Maps Print E-mail
Written by Jonathan Fowlke   
Tuesday, 01 December 2009

In the summer of 2008, the Church released a new version of the Meetinghouse Locator known as LDS Maps. Whereas the previous version of Meetinghouse Locator required users to drill-down through multiple static pages, LDS Maps has a single dynamic, interactive world map. Now, after more than two million visitors to LDS Maps and thousands of suggestions, we are preparing for the nearby release of LDS Maps 2.0.  The pre-release beta can be accessed by going to https://beta-maps.lds.org. Note: this is a pre-release version, the final version will be released sometime next year. Any comments or feedback should be submitted electronically through the “Feedback” link in the upper right corner of the application.

The new version takes the best of the original release and adds an abundance of feature enhancements. One of the new features is the ability for Church members to login with their LDS Account and see their own ward membership and ward boundaries. This makes it easier to find directions to any member in the ward. Members can download a file containing the coordinates of all their ward members and import them into most GPS devices.

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Newsletter: November 2009

LDSTech Talk 2009 Now Available

The recording of the LDSTech Talk is now availabe. Go to the LDSTech Talk page to watch it.

Submit any feedback to the LDSTech Forum.


From the Archives

An Introduction to the Clerk Wiki
by Robert Lindsay

The job of a quality assurance engineer is to constantly be looking for ways to improve quality, including setting targets for metrics or setting criteria that must be met before we consider it a quality product.

At a recent gathering of Church quality assurance employees we discussed the idea of how truth affects the quality of our work processes and lives.

We may be really good at setting goals and envisioning the future. However, our ability to achieve those goals depends on having a true understanding of our current state of being— how we’re doing right now. This is the point: often we are not truthful with ourselves about the reality of what our current state actually is. We think (or believe) we know where we are, but in reality we may be far off.

Read full article.


LDSTech Developers Conference

We are planning an LDSTech Developer Conference in Utah this spring and are considering options for the date of the conference, what topics will be covered, and more.

We need your input. Please visit the LDSTech Developer Conference poll and answer a few questions. This will help us gather information that will help us put on the best inagaural LDSTech Developers Conference.

More information is forthcoming.

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