Teaching an Old Dog New Technologies Print E-mail
Written by Aimee Smith   
Thursday, 07 May 2009

Fetching the paper was once a useful and impressive skill for a dog to have. To keep pace with technology, though, Fido now needs to be able to get online, create a registration, subscribe to a news feed, and download a podcast. Fido has his work cut out for him—as do we—to keep pace with the increasingly diverse and complex technologies available. We must not only maintain our current service levels, but remain as appealing to our customers as that new puppy in the window. The trick is to identify and manage the gaps between the technologies we have, the technologies we are developing, and technology trends.
 
Old dogs have been trained until we are comfortable with them and they meet our needs. Working with old dogs is like working with old technologies and platforms. They require an investment in time and resources to ensure that the environments are operationally efficient, that we have skilled staff, and that documented processes are utilized by those who build and maintain the applications running on these environments. We develop a good relationship with old dogs; we know what to expect, and we understand what we can deliver through these environments.

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FamilySearch Facebook App Developer Wanted Print E-mail
Written by Cassie McDaniel   
Tuesday, 05 May 2009

FamilySearch is searching for a volunteer developer to help create a Facebook application that will read the FamilySearch API. This individual will work with FamilySearch in discussing, designing, and developing the application. Anyone who has experience creating Facebook applications and is interested in this project is encouraged to contact Gordon Clarke by phone at 801-240-0770 or by e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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LDSTech on Twitter Print E-mail
Written by Cassie McDaniel   
Friday, 01 May 2009

You can now receive updates from LDSTech by following us on Twitter.

Twitter is a free service that allows users to send and receive short updates.

We will be using Twitter to inform you about featured articles, opportunities to help with Church projects, hot topics in the LDSTech forum, and job positions.

Read Tom Johnson’s article about Twitter and LDS General Conference for more information about how members of the Church use Twitter to communicate.

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Does the Church Really Have Technical Writers? Print E-mail
Written by Tom Johnson   
Wednesday, 29 April 2009

At one of the last technical writing conferences I attended, I ran into a few technical writers who looked at my nametag (which listed the organization I work for) and suddenly perked up with questions: Does the Church have a lot of software? Are there really technical writers in the Church? They looked puzzled.

These questions never cease to amaze me. For an organization of our size, it seems obvious that the Church must have some administrative software and technical writers, but exactly who or how many or where they’re located is a mystery. In this article, I’d like to unfold some of those fuzzy details about technical writing in the Church.

 
Managing Church Information Technology Print E-mail
Written by Tyler Cooper   
Wednesday, 22 April 2009

The diversity of the temporal activities of the Church requires IT professionals to have flexible service offerings. We try to use industry-based applications and services to minimize our IT resource requirements, avoiding additional human resources costs. We rely on partnerships and contracts with Brigham Young University, numerous Internet service providers, telecommunications providers, software and hardware vendors, and outsourcing companies to move the work forward in a cost-effective manner. Managing IT at the Church is challenging due to diversity, scope, language requirements, and multiple vendor agreements.

We use industry best practices to ensure that we use resources effectively and efficiently. We use diverse software development methodologies, such as waterfall and Agile, to meet the needs of each project.

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Meetinghouse Webcast Print E-mail
Written by Cassie McDaniel   
Wednesday, 15 April 2009
Meetinghouse Webcast, as described on LDSTech, makes it possible to broadcast a one-way audio and video feed from one building to multiple buildings.

In a world where travel is expensive and time is precious, Meetinghouse Webcast can help reduce travel time and increase the number of people who can attend meetings. It can be used for any appropriate meeting, such as stake and regional conferences, firesides, and training sessions.

 

 
Is Your Database Application Armed? Print E-mail
Written by Lynn Conrad   
Wednesday, 08 April 2009

When debugging an application that is not performing well, finding the real issue can be very hard. Is it The LAN? The WAN? Is it the application server? Load balances? DNS? LDAP? The database server? Maybe it is the SAN or a disk storage device. We can do things to make it easier. You can arm your application and build it so that it is ready to do battle in the complete operation arena that it will be required to run in.

Arming into the DB Layer

Most databases have a procedural language and the ability to trigger audit transactions, and drive functionality. You can also build in debugging triggers that can track what is happening in the app. You can design your procedures and functions to do the same. If you track how long each type of transaction or call takes to complete, and what the parameters were when a function or package is called, then you have a great tool for debugging development, as well as identifying production issues. If you see that the “create new” function doesn’t take any longer to complete than it did before the slowdown, then the database is not the issue; it must be further upstream. If they are taking substantially longer, then it must be downstream (disk, server, DB configuration, DSS queries in an OLTP database, etc.).

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Upgrade: Help Test Beta Site Print E-mail
Written by Cassie McDaniel   
Monday, 06 April 2009

The LDSTech site is undergoing an upgrade. The upgrade will not affect the LDSTech Wiki or the LDSTech Forums. The upgraded site will have improved navigation. Irrelevant or outdated content will be removed. Before we release this change, please view the beta site. Check for broken links, formatting, and other bugs throughout the site. Report any problems to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
Employee Spotlight: Brittany Moore Print E-mail
Written by Cassie McDaniel   
Tuesday, 31 March 2009

QuestionBrittany Moore

What do you do at the Church?

Answer

I am a Recruiting Coordinator for the Information and Communications Systems Department (ICS). I support ICS recruiters in hiring exceptional candidates to work in the department.

Question

What role do you think human resources/recruiting plays in the Church organization?

Answer

Recruiting plays a pivotal role in the success of the Church as a corporation because this success depends, in large part, on the employees we find and hire. When we as recruiters are able to find the most experienced and qualified candidates to fill our positions, we are strengthening the corporation of the Church. Because we know that our teams of top performers, we can expect only the best possible output from them.

 
Customer Service à la Green Beans Print E-mail
Written by Jeffrey Tibbitts   
Wednesday, 25 March 2009

We've all heard the phrase "the customer is always right," a statement thought to have originated with one of the proprietors of the Marshall Fields department store in the late 19th century. These enterprising businessmen hoped to instill a sense of good customer service in their employees —placing the customer first in the list of competing priorities. The wisdom of this concept has repeatedly proven itself, as others who have adopted it have become the stuff of customer service legend. Nordstrom, Southwest Airlines, Lexus, and a host of others have found tremendous success by putting the customer first.

In the early years of my career, I was a typical technologist—spending the majority of my time narrowly focused on the IT tools and technologies that attracted most of us to this field in the first place. I didn’t give much thought to my customers or what was important to them— until a can of green beans changed my outlook on IT and life.

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