Newsletter: April 2010
Wednesday, 28 April 2010

The LDSTech Developers Conference: A Huge Success

The inaugural LDSTech Developers Conference was held on April 1–2. Over 150 people came as volunteers and left as technology pioneers.

We express our gratitude to you for making this event a huge success. The community initiative has taken a leap forward and project work has increased significantly. We plan to build on this momentum and continue to enable you to easily contribute your time and talents to Church technology efforts.

Because of your excitement and the conference turnout we plan to make the LDSTech Developers Conference a regular event. We also understand that there are many who would have liked to come but were unable to. Future events will enable more people to participate remotely.

Stay up to date about future conferences and more via RSS, Twitter, and Facebook.

 


LDSTech Forum Will be Converting to LDS Account for Authentication

LDS Account is a single user name and password for any person who interacts with online LDS Church resources. LDS Account will become the primary account authentication credentials for most Church sites and applications.

The LDSTech Forum has used its own sign-in system since it started in January 2007. The LDSTech forums will be switching to LDS Account in the near future. To help prepare for this migration, we need you to visit the LDSTech Forum Account Migration page to move your forum account to LDS Account.

Learn more about the conversion.

 


Gospel Library iPhone Application Now Available

The Gospel Library Application, an official application of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for iPhone and iPod touch is now available for download.

The Gospel Library allows you to study, search, bookmark, annotate, link, and highlight the scriptures, general conference talks, and many other gospel materials published by the Church on your iPhone or iPod touch. Over 1,200 people are already using the application. It is the second iPhone application that has been released by the Church that has been developed by the community.

Gospel Library applications for other mobile platforms are in various stages of development. If you are interested in contributing to these projects, please contact Tom Welch to get involved.

 


From the Archives

Managing Technology Choices
by Pete Whiting

Most technical problems have no shortage of technology solutions. Sometimes there is a clear winner, but it has been my experience that more often, multiple good choices are available. Some of the choices have specific attributes that are favorable, but rarely is one choice a clear winner.

Sometimes team members may have opposing objectives. For example, part of the team may define its success as quickly delivering a solution. Another part of the team may define its success as efficiently operating what was delivered. A solution that favors quick implementation may present a challenge for efficient operations.

In August of 2006, Gartner published an article entitled, “To Save Time on Product Selection, Flip a Coin.” The author argues that the product selection process should first focus on:

  • Understanding which options are good enough from a technology standpoint
  • Eliminating technologies with fatal flaws
  • Choosing from the technology-safe choices using factors such as existing skill sets, infrastructure, and business relationships

After you've done this, if there is no clear winner, says Gartner, flip a coin instead of getting bogged down in more detailed analysis. While I don't see the Church making major decisions using a coin flip, the article provides an interesting counterbalance to the idea that technology decision-making is purely analytical.

It should be no surprise that an organization the size of ICS will end up with different project teams selecting different technologies. Assuming the department has been competent enough to eliminate technologies with fatal flaws, it is reasonable to assume any that "good enough" technology can be successfully implemented—this is basically the premise of the Gartner article. Unfortunately, it may be hard to succeed if, over multiple projects, all of the technologies are chosen. To help manage this risk, we’ve created guiding principles that in turn are used to create standards.


Read full article.

 


Community Spotlight

Instead of spotlighting one person this month we'd like to highlight a few of our favorite quotes from the LDSTech Developers Conference.

"The conference was awesome and the interaction with fellow developers was very rich. I think that a great conference was given to us and I appreciated it. It really helped to get me jazzed about participating." -Gerald, Utah

"Keynote speaker was fantastic!" -Herald, Harrisville, Utah

"It made me motivated and willing to find an hundred other IT volunteers in the Pacific Northwest to join LDSTech in the next conference." -D Richard Dance, Bellevue, Washington

"The first day was astounding. It was an amazing spiritual experience. The project overview was to the point and helpful. I left very inspired." -Paul, Tri-Cities, Washington

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