Custom Software Development Blog

SYDCON Blog

We provide updates on technical news and offer suggestions on how custom programming can benefit your business.

Blog Feature

SYDCON, Inc. Named A Leading Chicago Developer by Clutch

By: Jennifer Devitt
March 19th, 2019

 In today’s multi-channel world, ecommerce is becoming a large area of B2B businesses.  can be reached by consumer’s fingertips on their smart devices, so for businesses to be competitive they must have strong digital channels to consumers. At SYDCON, we specialize in custom software development, iOS applications, and eCommerce development. We are so excited to announce that we were ranked on Clutch’s press release as one of the leading eCommerce developers in Chicago!

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SYDCON, Inc. Named Among Top 1000 Companies on Clutch!

By: Jennifer Devitt
November 30th, 2018

Software development is not typically viewed as a human-focused industry, but at SYDCON, Inc., we know it is personal.

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5 Mistakes Marketing Agencies Make When Outsourcing Web Development

By: Dave Devitt
August 9th, 2018

For marketing agencies, offering web development services to your clients is one of the best ways to stand out in a crowded field. If you don’t have the in-house expertise to develop websites yourself, however, then you’ll most likely be looking to outsource the bulk of the work. If you don’t have experience working with a development partner, however, it’s easy to fall prey to some common outsourcing mistakes. Below, we’ll go over 5 issues that you should avoid when partnering with a web development company.

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Is Outsourcing Web Development the Right Move for Your Agency?

By: Dave Devitt
August 7th, 2018

As a marketing agency, your job is to deliver clients the compelling and persuasive campaigns they need to attract and retain customers. As digital marketing becomes increasingly important, your clients will be looking for agencies that can provide a “one-stop shop” service: executing both the campaign and its online and mobile presence. This growing shift towards digital marketing might have you wondering whether you should outsource development work to a third party or build a team in-house. In this article, we’ll go over the four most important factors that influence a marketing agency’s decision to outsource their web development obligations.

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What is Custom-Made Software?

By: Dave Devitt
August 2nd, 2018

A growing number of organizations are discovering that custom software can be a key differentiator for their business. 87 percent of IT decision-makers agree that custom software applications are driving innovation in business technology, and a majority of them are more likely to use custom software over pre-built alternatives. If you don’t have a lot of experience with custom software development, you might be wondering: what is custom software exactly, and how can it benefit your business? This article will go over everything you need to know about building custom software applications.

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How to Add E-Commerce To Your Existing Website

By: Dave Devitt
July 31st, 2018

E-commerce continues to reach new heights. Customers in the U.S. spent more than $450 billion on retail purchases online in 2017. The increased convenience and lower overhead costs make e-commerce a winning proposition for U.S. shoppers and businesses alike. While the benefits are undeniable, e-commerce websites have a lot more going on than meets the eye. In this post, we’ll discuss the top considerations when adding e-commerce capabilities to an existing website.

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Custom Enterprise Software: Everything You Need to Know

By: Dave Devitt
July 26th, 2018

Custom software is increasingly popular among enterprises for its flexibility, scalability, and reduced cost. Whether you’ve already decided that custom software is the right path forward or you’ve just started your research, this guide will tell you everything you need to know.

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Custom Software Costs: 4 Tips for an Accurate Custom Software Estimate

By: Dave Devitt
July 24th, 2018

The potential return on investment of custom software is very high, making the costs well worth your while. Before starting the project, however, you first need to lay the groundwork so that you can have a better estimate of what the final expenses will actually be.

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Choosing an Outsourced Development Company: 7 Red Flags to Watch Out For

By: Dave Devitt
July 19th, 2018

Outsourcing your custom software development is a necessity for companies who don’t have the in-house expertise, but it’s also a majorly important decision. For every knowledgeable, experienced, and professional development partner, there’s a company that cuts corners, overpromising while underdelivering.

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10 Must-Have Features to Prioritize in Enterprise App Development

By: Dave Devitt
July 17th, 2018

Just like in real life, having priorities is important to custom software development. Trying to create a single piece of “Swiss Army knife” software that can do everything for you is a recipe for disaster. Software applications that try to do too much are often bloated, inefficient, and unappealing to use.

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Custom Enterprise Software Features You Think You Need (But Really Don’t)

By: Dave Devitt
July 11th, 2018

From flexibility and scalability to complete control over the development process, custom software has much to recommend for it. Yet the power that custom software affords can sometimes cause companies to bite off more than they can chew. According to a study of 100 custom-developed software applications, 45 percent of features were never actually used.

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Enterprise Automation: Choosing Between Packaged vs. Custom-Built Enterprise Software

By: Dave Devitt
July 11th, 2018

In an increasingly competitive and technology-driven business landscape, companies are turning to automation to become more efficient and gain the edge over their rivals. According to consulting firm McKinsey & Company, business automation technologies, such as robotic process automation (RPA), can see an ROI of 30 to 200 percent in the first year alone.

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6 Common Pitfalls of Custom Development Projects (and How to Avoid Them)

By: Dave Devitt
June 5th, 2018

Custom software development can bring advantages such as flexibility and innovation to businesses of all sizes and industries. Nevertheless, there are a number of common pitfalls that can affect the success of a custom development project. In this article, we'll discuss the six most frequent problems encountered during custom development projects, and how you can proactively take steps to avoid them.

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Project Rescue 101: How to Get Your Development Project Back on Track

By: Dave Devitt
June 1st, 2018

While there are many benefits of using custom software, it can also be risky if you don't find the right development partner or if you fall victim to an unforeseen circumstance. According to a 2016 survey, 55 percent of companies reported that at least one of their IT projects had failed in the previous 12 months.

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The Top 9 Cybersecurity Threats in 2018 to Watch Out For

By: Dave Devitt
May 29th, 2018

Effective cybersecurity is crucial in the effort to protect your sensitive customer and enterprise data. Part of what makes cybersecurity so difficult is that the threat landscape is constantly changing, so you need to refresh your knowledge at regular intervals. In this article, we'll discuss nine of the most pressing security threats in 2018 and beyond.

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5 Key Steps to Planning a Custom Software Development Project

By: Dave Devitt
May 17th, 2018

Deciding that you want to pursue a custom software development project, instead of buying out-of-the-box software, is only half the battle. You also need to engage in careful planning to make sure that the final product will live up to your expectations.

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Custom Software ROI: How to Get the Most out Your Investment

By: Dave Devitt
May 11th, 2018

No matter what kind of software product you decide is right for your needs, you want to make sure that you get the highest return on investment. In this article, we'll discuss what steps you should take before purchasing custom software in order to make it a successful and valuable project.

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7 Common Development Problems Marketing Agencies Face (& How to Fix Them)

By: Dave Devitt
May 10th, 2018

Businesses are always looking for the perfect marketing campaign for their next product launch or company facelift. This means that it's increasingly difficult for marketing agencies to stand out and win clients. One of the most in-demand skills that marketing firms can offer is web, software and mobile app development. Before you start offering development services to your clients, however, you need to make sure that you address the seven potential challenges below.

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8 Qualities to Look for in a Web Development Company

By: Jennifer Devitt
April 26th, 2018

Finding a web development partner is easy, but finding the right web development partner for your company's needs and objectives is a lot more challenging. Unlike in fields such as engineering, certifications aren't widely recognized in web development, which makes it harder to evaluate potential partners. What's more, there are thousands of web development companies, from small businesses specializing in e-commerce sites to large agencies that run digital marketing campaigns. In order to locate the web development firm that will be the best fit for your company, evaluate your potential partners using the eight qualities below.

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7 Ways Working With a Development Firm Gives Marketing Agencies a Competitive Edge

By: Jennifer Devitt
April 24th, 2018

More and more, companies are looking to partner with marketing agencies that can not only plan and run a campaign for them, but also create a website or app to accompany it. To meet this demand, marketing firms have several options: hire in-house developers, work with freelancers or partner with a development firm. Below, we'll discuss seven reasons why working with a development company is a smart choice for so many marketing agencies.

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Development Firms vs. Freelancers: How Digital Marketing Agencies Can Choose

By: Dave Devitt
April 20th, 2018

More and more, clients are asking digital marketing agencies not only to craft their marketing campaigns, but also to develop the accompanying websites and applications. Even though many marketing firms don't traditionally offer these services, being able to go the extra mile is increasingly important to winning your clients' business.

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Why Marketing Agencies Should Partner With a Web Development Firm

By: Dave Devitt
April 17th, 2018

Digital marketing is one of the hottest marketing trends right now, as companies seek more effective ways of capturing and retaining their audience's attention in a world of smartphones, search engines and social media. By fully leveraging digital technologies, you can help your clients create better marketing campaigns.

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Secure Software Development: Third-Party Code Checks

By: Dave Devitt
March 5th, 2018

One of the most commonly cited benefits of custom software development is that it has better security than out-of-the-box solutions. Since pre-built software has many more users, finding and exploiting a vulnerability has the potential to be much more profitable for hackers than doing the same with a custom-built solution. However, you should not let the idea of “security through obscurity” lull you into complacency. Secure software development practices should be a top priority in any project. In particular, custom e-commerce websites—with their stored payment card data and other personal information—represent a highly valuable target for digital thieves.

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Factors to Consider When Building Your Custom E-Commerce Website

By: Dave Devitt
February 23rd, 2018

Whether you have unique business needs or you want greater flexibility and control, you’ve already decided that a custom e-commerce website is the right choice for your business. Making this choice is only the first step, though; you still need to make sure that the site will be built according to your requirements and specifications. Your meeting with a e-commerce development company will go much more smoothly if you’ve already thought about the most important factors well in advance. Below, we’ll discuss the most important considerations for you to think over before writing a single line of code.

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How Much Does a Custom E-Commerce Website Cost?

By: Dave Devitt
February 22nd, 2018

You already have the sense that a custom e-commerce site platform is likely the right choice for your situation — now let's talk price. Usually, it's true that "you get what you pay for" when it comes to e-commerce site development. The good news is that there are custom software development partners to fit every need and budget. However, it's not always clear which partners are the best fit for your situation.

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SYDCON is among the top custom software development firms in Chicago

By: Jennifer Devitt
February 21st, 2018

For well over a decade, SYDCON has provided both top-tier technical expertise and a personal understanding of the customization software requires to be successful. With this two-fold belief in code and collaboration, we’re proud to say that our passion and hard work pays off time after time as we form long-lasting relationships with our clients. And now, thanks to Clutch, you can see these results in a new light!

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Why Your Agency Needs a Custom E-Commerce Website Development Partner

By: Dave Devitt
February 9th, 2018

Marketing agencies occupy a uniquely important position in any company's business strategy. As an agency, your job first and foremost is to communicate the value proposition of your clients, so that their customers will feel confident in their buying decisions. By making it much easier for customers to purchase goods and services, e-commerce platforms are one of the most important ways that companies have to interact with their audience. Despite the many benefits of having an e-commerce website, however, few marketing agencies have the kind of technical chops that are required to build such a website from the ground up.

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Shopify vs. a Custom E-Commerce Website

By: Dave Devitt
February 1st, 2018

Your e-commerce store is one of the most important parts of your website. Not only does adding e-commerce functionality to your site make it easier for existing customers to place an order, it also enables entirely new audiences to find and purchase your offerings, no matter what time it is or where they are in the world.

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WooCommerce vs. a Custom e-Commerce Website

By: Dave Devitt
January 19th, 2018

If your business model involves selling products over the internet, determining how best to build your e-commerce store is one of the most important decisions that you will make. For many companies, particularly those that are already using WordPress to host their website, the WooCommerce plugin for WordPress seems like an obvious choice. First released in 2011, WooCommerce is now used by thousands of e-commerce websites, from small businesses to large corporations. According to the WooCommerce website, the plugin now powers roughly 30 percent of all online stores.

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WordPress e-Commerce Websites: When Free Isn't Really Free

By: Dave Devitt
January 15th, 2018

WordPress is by far the most popular content management system for websites in the world — and for good reason. According to recent estimates, WordPress powers roughly 75 million websites and is poised to only grow even further in the future. Of course, one of the biggest selling points for using WordPress for your website is that it's "free." The WordPress code is open source and free to use for any purpose, including commercial websites. This stems from the fact that WordPress was originally developed as a community project, rather than by any single organization or individual. However, just because the WordPress platform is free to get started with doesn't mean that you can get a "free" website out of using it.

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Custom Software Development vs. Packaged Software

By: Jennifer Devitt
January 12th, 2018

The "build vs. buy" question is one that stumps many organizations, especially those on the smaller side that are looking to grow their business in the short and medium term. On the surface, out-of-the-box software sounds appealing due to the supposed convenience and cost savings it can provide. However, it's not the right solution for every organization. If you ultimately go with a packaged software solution, you have to come to terms with the fact that it almost certainly won't fit all your requirements and form a plan for how you'll address these shortcomings. Before you buy a ready-made software application, ask yourself the five questions below and compare the pros and cons of both alternatives — to make sure you find the best solution for your unique business problems.

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Packaged Software vs. Custom Software: 7 Problems With Packaged Software

By: Dave Devitt
January 10th, 2018

Out-of-the-box software is an appealing option for many companies, which are attracted to its convenience and ease of use. While these benefits are real, it's also true that packaged software comes with its own set of downsides that you may not realize before you purchase it. Before making the final decision between using a pre-built or a custom software solution, you should be aware of the seven problems discussed below.

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Using Custom Software Development to Make Your Business Idea a Reality

By: Dave Devitt
January 8th, 2018

Thomas Edison supposedly said that genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration—but what if you could pass that perspiration off to someone else? Unfortunately, many small businesses with big ideas are forced to stop in their tracks because they don't have the technical skills or ability to implement them.

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SYDCON Will Be at GEMS This January

By: Jennifer Devitt
January 5th, 2018

For SYDCON, programming isn't just what we do at the office; it's a passion that we want to share with the community. If you're a dedicated reader of this blog, you'll remember that, for the past two years, SYDCON has been at the GEMS (Girls in Engineering, Math & Science) conference: first as an expo participant, and last year as a session host. We're happy to announce that SYDCON will be back at GEMS in January for another year of this great program.

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Custom Software Development vs. Temp Agencies: Which Is Right for You?

By: Jennifer Devitt
January 3rd, 2018

Whether it's a vacancy from a recently departed employee or a sudden surge in work, every company has known a time where it was too busy for its own good. To address these problems, many organizations have two options available: streamline processes (which can be easily done using custom software) or hire temp workers. Despite the title of this article, there's never a binary choice between choosing to build custom software or hiring a temp agency. In fact, there are certain situations where it makes sense for you to use one, both or neither. The trick is learning how to use both of them together in concert, as opposed to in conflict.

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How Custom Software Development Can Revolutionize the Way You Sell: Project Example

By: Dave Devitt
December 20th, 2017

There are countless benefits of using custom software development for your organization. In addition to giving you better flexibility, security and control over your IT environment, custom software can often be a better fit for your company's style and needs. Despite these advantages, however, many companies are still unaware or uncertain of how custom software development can benefit their business processes. To help clear up some common questions and misconceptions, SYDCON is providing some examples of previous projects that it's completed so that you can get an idea of how companies are using custom software, and what custom software development can do for your business. In the following article, you'll find an overview of how SYDCON helped a medical supply e-commerce company revolutionize their business by giving them a new way to make sales.

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Business Process Automation: Project Examples

By: Dave Devitt
December 18th, 2017

From reducing errors to cutting down on wait time, business process automation can bring your organization a variety of benefits. If you're considering using business process automation for your company, the following two SYDCON projects are excellent examples of what you can accomplish.

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Business Process Automation: Is a Semi-automated Process Right for You?

By: Dave Devitt
December 11th, 2017

Automation is one of the hottest topics in digital transformation and business process management right now — but automation is only valuable for your business as long as it leads to optimization of your processes. In some cases, what makes the most sense is not fully automating everything, but leaving some steps and processes to be completed manually. Semi-automated processes are those that benefit from automation during certain steps of the process while requiring other steps to be completed by human beings. So what are the situations best suited for semi-automated processes, and how can you decide whether such a solution is the right choice for you?

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6 Reasons to Avoid Using a Temp Agency

By: Jennifer Devitt
December 6th, 2017

When you're running a business, things don't always go according to plan. People get fired, get sick, or go on maternity leave or vacation. On a more positive note, you might be experiencing rapid growth thanks to a new client asking for a big order. Any of these scenarios can leave you with a sudden, immediate need to temporarily cover a position or two.

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The ROI of Custom Software Development

By: Dave Devitt
December 4th, 2017

Even after you've verified the need for custom software and selected the right custom software development company, it can be a challenge to assess just how the new solution is going to affect your business processes. Of course, every company that spends money on a custom software application does so in the hopes that it will see net benefits from the transaction, but determining the extent of those benefits isn't always easy. There are two matters when it comes to calculating the ROI of custom software development: the mathematical balance of profits against losses, and the "return on effort," which is about the "soft" factors and intangibles that can't always be pinned down with financial figures. Below, you'll find a discussion of both questions.

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Business Process Automation: How to Start?

By: Dave Devitt
November 27th, 2017

Business process automation offers a wealth of benefits, from reduced errors to happier customers. In fact, you've already decided that automation is the right choice for some of your business processes — you just don't know what you need to get things going. As with any major initiative, business process automation requires a lot of forethought and planning if you want to pull it off successfully. If you feel like you're stuck at square one, the following article will give you a roadmap for how to begin implementing and executing your vision for automation.

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11 Benefits of Automating Manual Processes

By: Dave Devitt
November 21st, 2017

To streamline their workflows, become more productive, and cut costs, an increasing number of businesses are choosing to automate their manual processes as a result of the pain points that they've experienced. Whether it's wasted time or too many errors, every company has struggled with one or more of the problems in the list below. If you find yourself nodding along with more than one issue, automating your processes will likely be a valuable and worthwhile investment.

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Should I Use an IT Temp Agency?

By: Jennifer Devitt
November 17th, 2017

That deadline you've been dreading is just around the corner, or you've just found a security flaw that needs to get fixed right away. Your employees are already up to their ears in work, but you just need that extra bit of manpower to tackle this surprise project. Once you've installed the patches, fixed the bugs or implemented the changes, you won't have any more need to keep someone around.

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The Pros and Cons of Using a Temp Agency

By: Jennifer Devitt
November 16th, 2017

With your employees going on vacation, having babies, getting sick or leaving the company, things are beginning to pile up and you aren't finishing the jobs you need. What's more, you don't have enough staff who are cross-trained to fill in the gaps.

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How to Ensure Your Custom Software is Secure

By: Dave Devitt
November 13th, 2017

Despite news of devastating cyber attacks seemingly every other week, cybersecurity remains an afterthought for many IT professionals. In far too many cases, security falls by the wayside during the software development life cycle for custom projects, which means that these companies are setting themselves up for the legal, financial and reputational damages of a cyber attack. It's not enough to rely on your belief in "security through obscurity" by hoping that no malicious actors will take notice of your software. As soon as you've decided to develop a custom-built software application rather than use an off-the-shelf solution, you need to understand what steps you need to take to make the application secure. Whether you're doing the development in-house or using an outsourcing firm, here's an in-depth overview of what you need to know. It's time to start thinking "Secure Software Development" instead of just "Software Development."

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Using Custom Software Development to Manage Business Growth

By: Dave Devitt
November 10th, 2017

No two companies are alike, which means that it's impossible for any one piece of software to meet the needs of every organization. What's more, businesses must inevitably change, wanting different things as they grow, scale, mature, and adapt to different conditions in the market and industry. For these reasons, it's essential that you select the software that best fits your circumstances, requirements, and goals at this point in time. Many companies choose to manage their business growth by partnering with a software development firm to create a custom solution tailor-made to their specific needs.

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Onshore vs. Offshore: Benefits of U.S.-Based Custom Software Development Firms

By: Jennifer Devitt
November 1st, 2017

Choosing to outsource your development work to a custom software development firm is one thing—but are you planning on contracting an onshore team or an offshore team in another country? Although cost is often a driving factor in outsourcing, you need to make sure that your choice of team is worth the money that you'll be saving up front.

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12 Benefits of Custom Software Development

By: Dave Devitt
October 25th, 2017

Custom software development enables businesses to create a customized software solution built to solve their unique needs. Because every business is different, custom software development has grown in popularity over recent years as an alternative to boxed software solutions. Although custom software development has some upfront costs & work required to build this solution, it provides significant benefits to a business in the long run. Below you'll find 12 key benefits to using a custom software development solution in your business. 

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Business Growth Management: Scaling Your Revenue

By: Dave Devitt
October 18th, 2017

Ever since the first machines were rolled out on the factory floor, automation has promised to radically transform the way that you manage business growth and serve your customers. Using automation through custom software development can both help you grow by getting more customers and also get more revenue from your existing customers.

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Business Growth Management: Process Automation

By: Dave Devitt
October 11th, 2017

Too many businesses these days have too much to do and too little time with which to do it. Since there's not enough hours in the day to handle everything on their plate, work piles up, backlogs begin to swell, and errors become more commonplace.

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How to Select the Right Custom Software Development Company

By: Jennifer Devitt
October 4th, 2017

Many businesses know what they need in terms of a custom software development solution, but they aren't sure how to make it or how to tackle such a project. If you're struggling with how to get started finding a custom software development partner, here's an overview of the key points you need to know.

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It's SYDCON launch day. Come check out our new site.

By: Jennifer Devitt
June 25th, 2017

Happy Monday! It's an exciting day here at SYDCON. We are finally ready to launch our new website. 

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A Brief Introduction to HTML

By: Jennifer Devitt
February 27th, 2017

In January 2017 SYDCON was invited to attend the GEMS conference held at a local D155 high school, Prairie Ridge. The conference was held in order to excite and expose middle school girls to different opportunities in STEM. SYDCON was asked to teach a brief 20-minute session about software development. Naturally, we chose to focus our session around HTML and taught the young programmers the basics of how to create a simple static website. Below is the handout we created to pass out to the students.

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SYDCON in the community. A recap of GEMS 2017 and Basic HTML education.

By: Jennifer Devitt
February 6th, 2017

Computer Science Education. We’ve discussed the importance of it here on the blog before. We have also discussed the importance of attracting more girls and women to the field. As you may have read here before, SYDCON is a proud sponsor of school district 47 & 155, specifically for the GEMS (Girls in Engineering, Math & Science) program. I am honored to be a mentor within the program.

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Responsive Web Page Design and Proper Structure Using the Most Popular Bootstrap Framework

By: Jennifer Devitt
January 24th, 2017

Bootstrap CSS is a collection of predefined classes for responsive web development. You just need to use a particular class to an element on the page.

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Weight loss with AI, multi-factor biometric fusion, smart hairbrushes, pet collars, showers and telemedicine in tech news.

By: Jennifer Devitt
January 3rd, 2017

1. Weight loss app with AI? Enter the app Noom which uses AI (Artificial Intelligence) to sort thru a user's logs of calories and exercise to make personalized suggestions. 79% of users of Noom report having achieved weight loss and 25% of users reported losing more than 10% of their body weight.

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A Brief Introduction to Game Theory: The MiniMax Algorithm

By: Jennifer Devitt
December 14th, 2016

Artificial Intelligence

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Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at SYDCON! Are you ready for our Thankful Challenge?

By: Jennifer Devitt
November 22nd, 2016

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving?! How did that happen? With the mild temperatures we've had here in Chicago (well at least until this week anyway, brr) that Thanksgiving has snuck up on us. It seems that's happening more and more these last few years as stores go from Halloween to Christmas in the blink of an eye. Sure, there may not be many Thanksgiving decorations or songs but here at SYDCON, we believe in the importance of being thankful and counting your blessings. Over the last few years, here on the blog, we have participated in the Thankful Challenge which I learned about over on my friend Gini Dietrich's blog SpinSucks. Since then, we have both done variations of the challenge. If you follow the link to SpinSucks above, you can see Gini's 2016 version.  As for me, I went ahead and made my list.  I tend to get distracted during my ten-minute window dwelling on each thing I can think of so my list tends to be short for 10 minutes. This year, I came up with 30 things, I am thrilled to share some highlights with you below.

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Nintendo NES Classic, Visual Studio, Twitter abuse, Secret Code and Google PhotoScan in tech news.

By: Jennifer Devitt
November 15th, 2016

It's Wednesday so that means it's tech news day. In the near future, you will be seeing some changes here at the SYDCON blog. We will be going back to more industry specific posts and cycle in some posts from our actual developers. As many of you can imagine, it's easy to hit a phase of writer's block and veer off topic, or you get swamped with day to day business and then sometimes the blog gets lost in the shuffle. Our hope is to have a new blog cycle in effect starting around the first of the year, so stayed tuned! As we round out the end of 2016 expect to see our annual Thanksgiving, holiday tech gifts guide, and holiday posts.  In the meantime, let's see what kind of tech news I have for you this week.

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Digital transition, emojis, tech advances, shopping via Instagram, digital measuring tape, smoking robot and chat stories in tech news.

By: Jennifer Devitt
November 1st, 2016

Whose ready for some tech news Wednesday? Perhaps you need a break from the political news? But I know you don't need a break from Cubs baseball news!! What a game last night, here's hoping there is some fuel left in the bats and that Hendricks can do what he has done all year. Let's Go! Now onto tech news, yep you guessed it, I have some for you. Let's take a look.

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Kids tech, IBM Watson, HomeKit, 9 tech trends, iOS update, Kollecto and Mac's versus PC's in todays tech news.

By: Jennifer Devitt
October 25th, 2016

It's raining, it's pouring and it's dark and gloomy outside. So, what better way to distract yourself than by reading some quality tech news? Well, since it's Wednesday, your in luck because I have some quality tech news to share with you. Let's see what I dug up this week.

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Make Siri smarter, blood sugar monitor, HomeKit, robo cradle, cycling gear, smart oven and tech to-do list in tech news.

By: Jennifer Devitt
October 18th, 2016

Happy Wednesday! Wow, we are past the midpoint of October and we still have 70-degree weather in the Chicago area. I'll take it! I'm looking forward to this evening and no, not just because of the debate, Cubs game or It's a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Tonight I have the honor of attending a women's mentor session for area high school girls interested in STEM! Ok, I know you came here for tech news. It's actually been a busy week for it. In fact, I had to weed through what I found for the week already (and it's only Wednesday morning) so has to not post tech news overload! Let's see what I have for you today, shall we?

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Galaxy Note 7, tech jobs, smart homes, airports and President Obama in todays tech news.

By: Jennifer Devitt
October 11th, 2016

It's Wednesday, whose ready for some tech news? Yes, I found some good quality tech news buried by the political news and the Cubs news. Did you hear, the Cubs won the NLDS! Woohoo Go Cubs Go! Anyway, let's see what tech news I have in store for you today.

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Women in tech, baseball technology, Apple in healthcare, personal Google, Wall-E, smart clothing and more in tech news.

By: Jennifer Devitt
October 4th, 2016

It's Wednesday and October is here. Tech news will inevitably start shifting to holiday e-commerce news soon, and of course, there is politics. Social media is having a major influence on politics, but we won't cover that here just to be safe.  This week, I actually have a lot of tech news for you. Shall we take a look at what I have for you?

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iPhone 8, medication monitoring, car tech, Note 7 safety, IBM Watson and Apple History in tech news.

By: Jennifer Devitt
September 27th, 2016

It's Wednesday, so you know what that means, right? It's time for tech news. It seems as though politics has flooded the news after Monday's Presidential Debate. In recent years debate and election news, in general, has dominated social media news,  but no worries, I have some reading material for you.

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Business Incubator, macOS Sierra, Allo, car tech, Nike, bio computing and AP Computer Science in tech news.

By: Jennifer Devitt
September 20th, 2016

Happy Wednesday from the stormy Chicago area! As I type the sky is getting very black outside my window! Yikes, fall weather. But, it's Wednesday, so that must mean it's tech news day. I have my usual articles to share, of course, but today, I have something else too! I am excited to announce that SYDCON is partnering with School District 155 for a new class "Business Incubator". Dave and I had the honor of attending last nights Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and look forward to mentoring a group within the class as well as providing insight to the entire class on websites, app development and more! See bottom of the page for a photo of the school board and 2 students in the class cutting the ribbon! We are excited to be a part of this new district adventure! Now, onto today's tech news! Let's take a look at what I have in store for you this week, shall we?

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WatchOS 3, Google VR on iOS, iOS 10, tech for diabetes management and Samsung note 7 battery cap in tech news.

By: Jennifer Devitt
September 13th, 2016

Happy Wednesday! Did you miss me last week? As I mentioned the week prior I was on vacation. We had a fun, whirlwind trip to Walt Disney World! We were not disconnected though. Dave and our son were watching some of Apples iPhone 7 announcement at lunch! Geez, boys and their toys!  The iPhone 7 wasn't a big enough change to entice Dave & I to upgrade, but our son sure tried to convince us to front him all holiday and birthday money for the next year plus so he could get a Watch 2 Nike edition...yeah no his negotiation skills leave something to be desired. Ha! Anyway, let's see what tech news I have for you today, shall we?

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Google Street View, fitness tracker glasses, Apple Pencil, Smart Sports and tech in cannabis in this weeks tech news.

By: Jennifer Devitt
August 30th, 2016

Hey, it's Wednesday, half the week is done! Next week is a short week too! How is it Labor Day weekend already? If I see one more post about Pumpkin Spice anything or Halloween decorations! UGH, let's not rush into winter, shall we? But, back on topic. Since it's Wednesday let's take a look at what tech news I have to share, shall we?

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Apple 1 auction, coding in class, Apple Store rebrand, Warby Parker, Redbooth and tech jobs in todays tech news.

By: Jennifer Devitt
August 23rd, 2016

It's raining, it's pouring but it's the first day of school and it's also Wednesday so that means it's tech news day!!! I think a rainy day may ease the kids back into school a bit easier because they won't be staring outside at a beautiful sunny day wishing for one more day of summer! Now, let's see what kind of tech news I have for you this week, shall we?

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Googles new operating system, implanted medical devices, food label app, vintage Macs, robots and shot on iPhone in this weeks tech news.

By: Jennifer Devitt
August 16th, 2016

It's Wednesday again! This time next week local kids including our own will be back in school! Yippee!! Tech is everywhere in their schools now. Online registration, online schedules, high-end calculators, GoogleDocs, online assignments and tests, even our youngest is now getting her own Chromebook via the school! Ok, enough about Back to School let's see what kind of tech news I have for you this week, shall we?

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Learn to code, tech health sensors, wearables, library e-books, iPad Pro art, Botlr and Netflix speed test in today's tech news.

By: Jennifer Devitt
August 10th, 2016

It's Thursday so that must mean it's tech news day, right?! Wait, no, that's not right. I had a bit of a day yesterday and it got away from me, so here I am today. Sorry for any of you who look forward to it on Wednesday! But, alas, let's see what I have for you today, shall we?

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY SYDCON!

By: Jennifer Devitt
August 3rd, 2016

Happy 12th Birthday SYDCON! Dave and I are so proud to be celebrating SYDCON's 12th year! Man how time flies.

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Apple TV app, coding, IBM cancer chip detector, Baskin Robbins app, musical pillow and tech in the Olympics in this weeks tech news.

By: Jennifer Devitt
August 2nd, 2016

It's Wednesday so that means it's tech news time. Seems like I had a lot more to choose from this week for some reason. So let's take a look at what I have, shall we?

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The "eye" in iPhone, teen developers, OS3 competitions, Twitter sports and EpiWatch all in sports news.

By: Jennifer Devitt
July 26th, 2016

Whew, we made it to Wednesday! That makes the rest of the week a piece of cake, right? We'll see I guess. Things are rolling right along here in SYDCON- land. I am excited to announce we are growing again with the arrival of our newest developer next Monday! That brings us to 5 full-time software engineers!  Don't worry though, that doesn't mean I am too busy for tech news to share with you. Let's see what I've been reading this week.

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Apple history, Google Food, Snapchat, Nike, AI, Emergency SOS and ResearchKit in today's tech news.

By: Jennifer Devitt
July 19th, 2016

Hey, Wednesday! Maybe you wondered where the blog was last week. There wasn't one, all week! Well, that's because I was on vacation and unplugged the blog for the week. I'm back, recharged and refreshed. I made it past Monday so I must be on the right track! I have quite a few things for you this week, so let's get right to it!

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iOS 10 Beta 2, smart home devices, AI to help blindness, organ donation and computer journalists in this weeks tech news.

By: Jennifer Devitt
July 5th, 2016

It's a short week, so it's already Wednesday, whose ready for some tech news? Just because it is a holiday week, doesn't mean I have a shortage of news to share. Let's see what I have this week, shall we?

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Rainbow Apple Watch bands, evolution of Instagram, iPhone debut, tech in the wine industry and Black Girls Code in today's tech news.

By: Jennifer Devitt
June 28th, 2016

Hey Wednesday, you're here already? That means it's time for more tech news. Hmm, let's see what I have for you this week. One thing I can happily say I can omit this week is our open position. We are thrilled to say it's been filled! But, we are growing, so you never know when we might be looking to add on.

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Nasa on Apple TV, today in Apple history, Apple Watch, iOS 10 and we're hiring in today's tech news.

By: Jennifer Devitt
June 21st, 2016

Here we are another Wednesday so that must mean it's time for tech news. It seems it was a bit of a light week, news-wise, but I still came up with a few things to share. Let's take a look.

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Twitter's block button, Swift Playground, kill the password, Apple WWDC and We're Hiring in this weeks tech news.

By: Jennifer Devitt
June 14th, 2016

Another Wednesday, more tech news. Is it just me or are the weeks going by quicker and quicker? This week we had a bit more tech news due to Apple's WWDC 2016 on Monday. So, let's take a look at what I found to be highlights or standouts.

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Instagram changes, laundry goes tech, We're Hiring and Apple Music as explained by DJ Khaled in this weeks tech news.

By: Jennifer Devitt
June 7th, 2016

It's summertime and sometimes that means a slow down in newsworthy articles and blogs. But alas, I have come thru with some tech news for you this week! Let's take a look at what I came across, shall we?

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Facebook messenger, Mircosoft, virtual reality, The Jetsons, Google Cardboard and We're Hiring in this weeks tech news.

By: Jennifer Devitt
May 31st, 2016

It's a short week, so I feel like I am scrabbling for my usual tech news overflow. I feel like I have even less because I was off last Friday too (hence no IT Thing last week in case you were wondering). So, let's take a look and see what I came up with, shall we?

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Siri unlock my door, Levi's smart jacket, Apple Watch, alcohol monitor, Twitter and tech jobs all in todays Tech News.

By: Jennifer Devitt
May 24th, 2016

Another Wednesday is upon us. Time for another round of Tech News. Even with the nice weather finally arriving, I still find time to read up and learn about new tech initiatives. Let's see what I have for you this week.

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We're hiring, Apple house call and hashtag bans in this weeks Tech News edition.

By: Jennifer Devitt
May 17th, 2016

It has been a busy week already around here. But, that does not mean I didn't have time to dig up any good tech news to share with you. Let's see what I came up with this week, shall we?

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Instagram rebrand, kids developing apps and why are internet links blue in this weeks Tech News.

By: Jennifer Devitt
May 10th, 2016

How is Wednesday again already? That's ok closer to Friday, am I right? Who's ready for a dose of tech news? Let's see what I came up with this week.

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May the "4th" Be With You tech news edition take a journey with a missing iPad via Find My iPhone.

By: Jennifer Devitt
May 3rd, 2016

Happy Wednesday and May the "4th" Be With You! Seriously, Happy Star Wars Day! It's fitting that it's Star Wars Day and tech news day here on the blog, don't you think? Let's take a look at the tech news I drummed up this week, shall we?

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Apple CareKit opens the door for developers and healthcare companies to further medical advancement.

By: Jennifer Devitt
May 1st, 2016

The next step in development opportunities on the Apple Watch is here. Last week, Apple made its CareKit platform available to developers. The Apple Watch has already been credited with saving several lives. Since the device's release last year, many have been left wondering what the purpose of the device is and whether is something that will be a mainstream device. Currently, the device is an accessory to your iPhone. It can deliver your messages, emails, and calls via your wrist. You can use it for GPS directions, or you get notifications from Instagram and use it to track your health and fitness. So, what's the big fuss about CareKit? Well, CareKit,  HealthKit, and ResearchKit as well all carry huge potential when it comes to health care and fitness advancement within wearable technology. It has been my belief since the device debuted that health care and fitness will be what puts it on the map. With the release of CareKit to developers, it is opening up more functionality for developers and users. Some items now available are:

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Take a look at this weeks tech news edition. Join us, and sign the petition to boost tech education.

By: Jennifer Devitt
April 26th, 2016

It's Wednesday, so you know what that means. It's time for another edition of Tech News Roundup. It's been kind of a slow week in tech news, at least it seemed that way. Maybe people are still absorbing the season premiere of Game of Thrones or mourning the Blackhawks first round playoff exit. Not to worry though, I came up with a few things for you.

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My thoughts on the Apple Watch one year after it's debut.

By: Jennifer Devitt
April 24th, 2016

It has been a year since the Apple Watch debuted. A year and a day actually as the watch went on sale on April 24, 2015. When it was released a lot of people were skeptical, a lot of people were excited and a lot of people were naysayers. When the Watch first came I out, I was on the fence. Dave knew he wanted one right away, and outside of it fitting our business model and clients were inquiring about creating software for it, he really didn't know why he wanted one, just that he did. Me, it took me until August 2015 to decide to get one. As I mentioned in my early review back in August, my reasons for getting on the bandwagon were varying. I needed it to have discussions with clients. I wanted to use it for fitness, I was/is interested in SYDCON developing apps for the device. A year later the reviews are still as mixed as was the anticipation early last year. There are users who love it and wear it daily, and users who have left it to collect dust in a box. And then, there are those that believe it didn't live up to the hype. How do I feel about it a year after release? Let's take a look

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Time for some tech news. Check out the latest edition of our Wednesday Tech News segment.

By: Jennifer Devitt
April 19th, 2016

It's time for another Tech News roundup. It seems as though the tech news will stay focused on Apple and encryption for some time, so of course, I have some of that. Let's see what else I came up with shall we?

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Tech news round up Wednesday is here, check it out!

By: Jennifer Devitt
April 12th, 2016

It's Wednesday, time for a tech news roundup. Although, tech news has been kind of quiet this week.  So, let's see what I can dig up, shall we?

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It's Wednesday, here is your tech news roundup!

By: Jennifer Devitt
April 5th, 2016

It's Wednesday, so it's time for another Tech News Roundup. I read tech news that touches on any and all topics. To me, it's a big part of my job as a VP of Business Development. It shows me more things than I ever dreamed possible. As we discussed in February, I believe technology is key in business development. Keeping up to date on the latest advancements in technology can help spawn new ideas for us and our clients. So, let's see what's happening this week so far.

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April is Autism Awareness Month. Take a look at how Apple and technology is helping raise awareness and provide a voice.

By: Jennifer Devitt
April 3rd, 2016

April is "Autism Awareness Month".  It is estimated that 1 in 45 children ages 3 to 17 years of age is living with autism, roughly 2 percent of US children. Many people do not understand autism. Often times it can be misunderstood. It can be misinterpreted as a disobedient child, a child lacking intelligence, someone strange.  In fact, all of these assessments couldn't be further from the truth.  These labels often times come from lack of awareness. Hopefully many can learn more about it this month, thru Autism Awareness month. Apple has released two new videos to help raise awareness. These two videos center around a teenager named Dillan.  Let's take a look at them, shall we? Dillan's Voice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-K4Qtnm2Fc Dillan's Path.https://youtu.be/s-K4Qtnm2Fc Imagine being Dillan's Mother or his therapist. Being a mother is challenging and rewarding. I can only imagine how heartbreaking it was for Dillan's Mom to not hear his voice. To hear her say:

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Join me for another edition of tech news Wednesday!

By: Jennifer Devitt
March 29th, 2016

Tech news, tech news and more tech news. If it seems as though lately all the news is tech related, perhaps it's because tech is infiltrating all aspects of business. On that note, I have a Wednesday tech news roundup for you. I am toying with the idea of making this a weekly installment, tune it to see if it sticks around!

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It's Women's History Month, take a minute to learn about some key women in tech.

By: Jennifer Devitt
March 27th, 2016

March is Women's History Month.  As a woman, a mom of 2 daughters and a tech executive I thought I would take a minute to reflect on women in technology. It is often overlooked in discussions of the lack of women in tech that the first "programmer" was a woman. Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) is credited with writing the first computer program. So, women in technology is not exactly a novelty. Let's take a look at some current women in tech in 2016, shall we?

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A Wednesday roundup of tech news.

By: Jennifer Devitt
March 22nd, 2016

It's Wednesday and a short week for us here at SYDCON. Our office is closed Friday, so be on the lookout for IT Thing tomorrow! We had the big Apple event on Monday, the unexpected FBI pause in the Apple encryption case and some other tech news. So, I figured today would be a good day for a tech news roundup. Who's up for that? Let's see what I got.

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It's Twitters 10th Birthday, let's have a look at how it got to where it is today.

By: Jennifer Devitt
March 20th, 2016

Happy 10th Birthday Twitter! It's amazing how ingrained you've become in our lives. You have become a daily news source, a giant mixer, a meeting place and a never ending daily networking group! Twitter boasts 320 million active users, as of December 2015. It is estimated that every second there are 6,000 tweets or 500 million PER DAY! Lately, there are talks of user decline. That may be true, I am not noticing a decline in engagement on my end. We have discussed in the past varying uses for social media. Here on our blog in February 2015 we discussed how Social Media can provide a treasure trove of content for your business or blog. Daily, I find new content to share or generate new blogs with. Let's take a look at some key aspects of Twitter.

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It's Super Tuesday in Illinois and 4 other states. I urge to exercise your right and vote.

By: Jennifer Devitt
March 14th, 2016

Today is election day in 5 states, including my state of Illinois. This year more than ever it is the time we all exercised our right to vote.  I am a firm believer that if you do not exercise your right to vote you have no room to complain about the world around you. Voting effects everything in the world around us. It affects the air we breathe, the water we drink, the education of our children, the peace and civility of our country, my right to compose this blog and more. In fact, in the near future, it can have an effect on the technology you use to read this blog or conduct your business.  So, here are some reasons to vote today if you live in Illinois, Florida, Missouri, Ohio or North Carolina:

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What do Google, Coca-Cola,Happy Meals and the New York Times have in common?

By: Jennifer Devitt
March 2nd, 2016

Google, Coca-Cola, McDonald's Happy Meals and The New York Times. Hmm, what could they all have in common? At first glance you might say a kid can get a Coke as part of their Happy Meal, but where does Google and The New York Times fit into the picture?

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Spring training is upon us, are you using technology to improve your game? I have some ideas.

By: Jennifer Devitt
February 29th, 2016

Welcome to March. Spring is coming in 19 days and the official end of "Meteorological winter" was yesterday. Woo hoo. With that comes the beginning of spring sports training. So, baseball, softball, track, tennis and more are all starting up. Runners who have been trapped inside on their treadmill (like me, because I don't like running in cold, snow or ice) are eager to get outside. Coaches are holding team tryouts and players are working hard to be game ready. Inevitably, technology has some assistance to offer coaches and athletes.  Whether you are training on your own, trying to impress a coach or you are a coach looking for tools to help improve your athletes. I have a few smart devices/apps to introduce you to and a new wearable.

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What technology means for business development.

By: Jennifer Devitt
February 23rd, 2016

Technology is having a profound effect on every industry. Technology will affect career choices and paths, industry growth, business growth and more.

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It's Monday, here is a round up of a few tech news items that caught my eye.

By: Jennifer Devitt
February 21st, 2016

It's Monday. Man sometimes those weekends just fly by. Doesn't it always feel like it's Monday again? Tech news has kind of been all over the place the last week. But a major focus has been of course on Apple vs. the FBI. Sometimes when one topic dominates the news it's hard to get around it and find new news to learn from, or discuss. For this Monday, I thought why not try something a bit different? So, for today let's take a look at few of the top tech news stories from the past few days, shall we?

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Social technology shows that tech usage doesn't mean we are all zombies.

By: Jennifer Devitt
February 16th, 2016

Yesterday, we discussed some of the most tech advanced toys showcased so a far at the 2016 Toy Fair.  As the fair continues, I am sure other promising or intriguing new toys will surface or get into the limelight. We covered four toys, 3 were made by Mattel, Inc. one by Thames & Kosmos.

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It's February but these new high tech toys will have kids dreaming of Christmas!

By: Jennifer Devitt
February 15th, 2016

 ThingMaker by Mattel, Inc. It's February, Christmas is now a fond memory. We are all thinking about spring, right? Well, not if your Santa Claus or a toy manufacturer! This week in New York is the "Toy Fair" by Toy Industry Association, Inc. Toy manufacturers like Mattel and Hasbro to name a few are exhibitors at this year fair. This is an event that caught my attention this year. Why you might ask? And why am I blogging about it here on a tech blog? Well, the answer is simple toys are going tech in a big way. Tech toys no longer just mean video games. Nope! Now there are toys to teach basic coding concepts to toddlers. I just read an interview on "Her Agenda" with Maci Peters (a first place winner of the Women Who Tech  Startup Challenge). In the interview was this brilliant quote "Tech is no longer going to be its own industry- it's going to be the foundation on which industries are built." I truly believe in this quote and find it applies to the Toy Fair as well. The toy industry will be powered by tech. So, what are a few tech toys that have caught my eye and prompted me to do this blog? Let's take a look, shall we?

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It's time Computer Science Education became a equal with reading, writing and arithmetic.

By: Jennifer Devitt
February 9th, 2016

There has been plenty of talk in the news lately about the importance of Computer Science Education. And, this push is nothing new. We have been hearing it shouted from rooftops of the tech industry for the last few years. I mean, even the Hour of Code movement began in 2013. Here we are 3 years later and the movement is thriving and there is more and more talk of the importance of computer science education.

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Post Super Bowl Sunday Brand Bowl review. Let's talk the favorites and the bizarre.

By: Jennifer Devitt
February 7th, 2016

Avocados from Mexico 2016 Super BowlHappy Monday! How is everyone this morning? Still waking up after Super Bowl Sunday? As I have stated in the past, I am not a football person, so I cook lots of tasty treats for my family and only watch for the ads. I enjoy live tweeting the brand bowl. And, besides like I heard on the Highway this morning playing nice and not complaining while hubby celebrates that "man holiday" of Super Bowl Sunday will surely gain me brownie points for the upcoming "woman holiday" Valentines Day, right? Ha! Last year I wrote our post-Super Bowl Sunday blog in my PJ's from my home office because we had been hit with 15 inches of snow! Well, not that I would mind a work from home Monday, I am thrilled we didn't get any snow. Even our youngest said this morning she was glad we didn't have any snow days because that means for the first time in years they hopefully (knock on wood) won't have days added on in the summer! So, let's talk #brandbowl shall we? I am sure if you are active on social media, you have seen the tweets and reports that "Twitter is Dying". Well, according to Spredfast via Twitter last night, in the first hour of the game, Twitter saw 1.6 million Super Bowl tweets. I for one saw lots and lots of tweets, lots of engagement and unfortunately many offensive tweets as well. So, I think it's time to stop penning all the Twitter obituaries! As far as the actual ads and halftime show. Let's discuss what I thought were the winners and losers or some that just well creeped me out, shall we?

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Encouraging girls to pursue careers in STEM, SYDCON doing their part this weekend.

By: Jennifer Devitt
January 31st, 2016

In the last few years, there has been a dramatic push to increase women in STEM jobs. SYDCON is a proud believer in this movement, and encourage it for all. This weekend we were honored to take part in a local school district event. School districts D47 and D155 worked together to host their first ever GEMS Conference. GEMS = Girls in Engineering, Math, and Science.

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Valentine's Day is approaching, why not give a tech inspired gift this year? I have some ideas!

By: Jennifer Devitt
January 26th, 2016

Monday is February 1st. That means Valentine's Day is upon us. Ah, Valentine's Day, or has the cute kiddos say "Valentime's" Day, is all about showing your love and devotion. For kid's it's a hit, because well there is candy and a classroom party. But, it can be a hit for grownups too!

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I found a new app genre I love to use to clear my head and get creative. Guess what it is?

By: Jennifer Devitt
January 25th, 2016

We have reviewed apps here in the past. They can range from fun and silly to productivity to "can you believe there is an app for that"?  Here at SYDCON, we are all about trying the latest technology, fooling around with apps for fun and finding new apps that make life easier.

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How the Hour of Code initiative is reflected in the top jobs of 2016 lists.

By: Jennifer Devitt
January 19th, 2016

Back in 2013, a non-profit called code.org was launched. It was initially geared towards women and students of color. But ultimately their goal was that everyone should have access to computer science education.

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3 things to consider about the control you have over your business online branding and information.

By: Jennifer Devitt
January 18th, 2016

Building your brand and maintaining it online is crucial to your business. A well designed and developed website with the right content is key. Creating and maintaining social media accounts for your business is also key.

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5 tech inspired fitness tools to help you with your 2016 resolutions and goals.

By: Jennifer Devitt
January 12th, 2016

We are 13 days into this new year 2016. The roll around of the new year tends to bring with it resolutions. Depending on the person, resolutions can vary from work-related, personal, health, fitness, etc. Each person is different and thus will have varying resolutions and reasons behind them.

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This week in tech news: Apple updates, CES 2016, Owlet Smart Sock, Uber for beauty and BowieNet.

By: Jennifer Devitt
January 11th, 2016

The 2016 CES (Consumer Electronics Show) has come to an end. As always, there was a slew of new tech products revealed. Some available now, some in the near future, some were affordable, some not so much. With a show the size of the CES, you can imagine that the tech news is jammed packed with CES information and product releases. I know for me it was fun to read about all the new gadgets.

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It's CES time, 5 gadgets and gizmos I find intriguing from sneak peaks of the show.

By: Jennifer Devitt
January 5th, 2016

Walt Disney's "Little Mermaid" It's January, so chances are if you know a tech or gadget enthusiasts they are going gaga because this week is the CES (Consumer Electronics Show). The CES, brought to you by the Consumer Technology Association is an annual event where new gadgets and gizmos are shown off to the ooh's and ah's for tech lovers everywhere. As Ariel sang in the Little Mermaid they've got "gadgets and gizmos aplenty".

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What is Enterprise Software and how can it benefit my business?

By: Jennifer Devitt
January 3rd, 2016

Enterprise Software or Enterprise Application Software (EAS) as is it also referred to is typically a form of software developed to assist a large business or organization with solving a problem or streamlining everyday functions.

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How custom software solutions can make your business more efficient in 2016.

By: Jennifer Devitt
December 27th, 2015

Another year is coming to an end. How did your business do in 2015? Do you have plans to take 2016 by the horns and make it great? With a new year approaching, many businesses take the time to assess their needs, envision growth, set goals and budgets. Where does tech advancement sit on your businesses list for 2016? If you are still procrastinating on using tech to streamline your business or take it to the next level, what are waiting for?

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My top 15 holiday songs to kick off Christmas week. Happy Holidays!

By: Jennifer Devitt
December 20th, 2015

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas"... well actually, in Chicago it is NOT! How can Christmas be this Friday already? I hope you are all prepared. I am pretty good on that end. At least with anything that I can do in advance.

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SYDCON's Annual Holiday blog. It's a Wonderful Life, enjoy it!

By: Jennifer Devitt
December 13th, 2015

 It's a Wonderful Life Wow, can you believe it's already time for SYDCON's annual Holiday blog? I sure can't. I have always been a big fan of holiday music and movies but with this unseasonably warm weather here in Chicago, it is necessary to make it feel like Christmas time! So, on that note, it's is time for me to invite you to take a listen to my favorite Christmas song, Jingle Bells by the Barenaked Ladies.

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SYDCON's annual tech gift guide. We offer up 12 perfect gifts for your tech lover!

By: Jennifer Devitt
December 8th, 2015

It's hump day! Man, the week's are just flying by. Only 15 more days until Christmas. Is everyone ready? Have you made your list, checked it twice? Perhaps you're one of the lucky ones and you are all done with your holiday shopping. Well, if you are not, or perhaps you are always open to more ideas to spoil that someone special then I present to you the SYDCON 2015 top tech gift blog!

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Planes, trains and automobiles. Tech, transportation and the environment in 2015.

By: Jennifer Devitt
December 6th, 2015

As we approach the end of 2015 and take a look back at all the places technology has taken people and the world as a whole, we can see vast improvements, as well as stumbling blocks along the way. Day after day, week after week and year after year we will see advancements as well as pitfalls. It's how the world works.

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It's time for SYDCON's annual 10 minute Thanksgiving challenge. Are you game?

By: Jennifer Devitt
November 21st, 2015

Well, here we are, Thanksgiving week. Can you believe it? I know my parents and in-laws always said as you get older the time just flies by and boy they were not kidding. This has been a whirlwind year. I am very grateful to say it has been another good year for us here at SYDCON. This week, on the blog we have a tradition of counting our blessings and reflecting on the things we are thankful for.

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A quick run down on our initial plus/minus of the new iPad Pro.

By: Jennifer Devitt
November 15th, 2015

Apple's latest piece of hardware finally was released last week. The much anticipated mammoth iPad Pro. When Apple unveiled the iPad Pro at the September 9th event it was met with many "Oohs and Aahs" From its jumbo size to the new flashy gadgets. But, we would all have to wait until last week to get our hands on one.

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Take a look at some of 2015's latest tech gadgets to make holiday cooking easier.

By: Jennifer Devitt
November 8th, 2015

As we head into the second week in November, we get closer to holiday celebrations. Holiday celebrations and get-togethers typically go hand in hand with cooking and a lot of it. Holiday parties and get-togethers tend to mean cooking for a large group of people.

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A midweek app review. We take whirl on fitness challenge app "Matchup".

By: Jennifer Devitt
November 3rd, 2015

Happy Hump day! For my midweek blog, today let's talk about a new app we've been trying out.

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Apple Watch now offering more fashionable choices for women consumers.

By: Jennifer Devitt
November 1st, 2015

 Apple Watch Hermes It is now coming up on eight months since Apple began preorders for the Apple Watch (April 10, 2015). Since it's debut, Watch OS2 was released bringing more functionality to the watch.  Since it's release the Watch has been dubbed a fashion, luxury wearable, due to its price tag.

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Retro video games and our recent trip down memory lane with Mario Brothers.

By: Jennifer Devitt
October 27th, 2015

Nostalgia, retro, throw-backs. Sometimes you take a trip down memory lane to share memories, tell stories or just relive important moments in your life.

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Halloween is approaching. Use one of these 5 safety devices/apps to keep your kids safe.

By: Jennifer Devitt
October 25th, 2015

Halloween is Saturday, here in the US. Even though here in the Chicago area it tends to be freezing, and more often than not raining and windy the kids will still insist on venturing out in hot pursuit of a lifetime worth of candy!

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Happy Back to the Future Day! A look at our favorite quotes from the movies!

By: Jennifer Devitt
October 20th, 2015

 Dave posing with a DeLorean October 21, 2015. It's finally here. Happy Back to the Future Day! It's a favorite around our house. In fact, the whole trilogy is among Dave's favorites of all time! I like 1 and 2, not so much a fan of 3.

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Have a project that requires developers or programmers? Consider these seven things to get started.

By: Jennifer Devitt
October 18th, 2015

You have an idea for the next great app. Or perhaps you have a need for a software solution to make an office task simpler. Maybe you are feeling frustrated by the void of specific software or an app to suit your business needs. How to ease this frustration?

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Traveling and technology. Why staying "plugged in" will make your travels easier.

By: Jennifer Devitt
October 11th, 2015

Traveling and technology. The two seem to go hand in hand these days. If you are traveling for leisure these days you may find that unplugging is different that it was a few years ago.

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Fitbit versus Apple Watch, read about our accuracy comparison.

By: Jennifer Devitt
September 29th, 2015

Fitness wearables. There are many to choose from Garmin, Polar, Jawbone, Fitbit, Apple Watch to name a few. Like smartphones, they compete with one another, but they all offer different features and ultimately target different audiences. The key selling point could be based on a number of things ranging from features to price to availability.

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"Should I Stay or Should I Go Now"? My thoughts on Apple Music.

By: Jennifer Devitt
September 27th, 2015

Many free trial users of Apple Music maybe quoting the 1982 classic by The Clash "Should I Stay or Should I Go"?. The music streaming service launched on June 30th. And, to say it launched without hiccups or growing pains would not be accurate. And now the free trail is coming to an end.

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Wearable technology is not just for fitness. How can you integrate it into your life?

By: Jennifer Devitt
September 21st, 2015

Wearable technology. You either love it or you hate it, or perhaps you just don't get it. There are certainly many options out there, depending on your needs. Some say nothing on the market interests them for many reasons. Reasons could be that the device doesn't do enough for the user, or it could be the price tag or it could just be a lack of interest.

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Will you be upgrading to iOS9 today? Here are some highlights.

By: Jennifer Devitt
September 15th, 2015

Today is a scheduled software update for Apple. Until this morning it was expected that users would be able to upgrade to iOS9 as well as Watch OS2.

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Apple's big event has come and gone. Can you guess what item I am anticipating most?

By: Jennifer Devitt
September 13th, 2015

Last week Apple had their mega event on September 9th. And it was a mega event for sure. With new devices and larger iPads for tech geeks to salivate over (I am still waiting for Dave to stop drooling over the iPad Pro!). Best as I can tell the event lived up to the hype. And I know in our house asking Siri for hints was a fun way to wait for the official event.

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5 apps that can assist with personal safety while you're on the go.

By: Jennifer Devitt
September 8th, 2015

Safety. It is a top priority for everyone. Whether you are concerned with your own personal safety or the safety of a friend or family member. I often hear from my Mother-in-law that it's a scarier time to be a parent than when her kids were young. While in lot's of ways this is true, there are also more ways to keep tabs on kids or family members today than ever before.

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First it was mobile, now it is Flash. How Google and other firms are forcing companies to move forward.

By: Jennifer Devitt
September 1st, 2015

Outdated software and websites. We all know that the web is riddled with them. Sometimes outdated technology can be annoying. Sometimes it can cause you to loose customers. And sometimes, it's a security risk.

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Anticipating Apple's September 9, 2015 event. What we can expect.

By: Jennifer Devitt
August 30th, 2015

So, the invite has been sent. Have you marked your calendar for September 9th yet? Have you asked Siri for your hints?

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SYDCON's top 5 published blogs per LinkedIn statistics.

By: Jennifer Devitt
August 25th, 2015

Blogging. Whether your company pushes out daily, weekly or monthly installments of the company blog, full-time you want to know if your posts are hitting the mark with clients or potential customers. Creating a blog can be a big part of your job or potential full-time job depending on the frequency of your blog and the size of your audience. Finding topics can sometimes be easy, and other times be frustrating when you have writer's block.

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I challenge you to move more. Check out the "Stand" app to get started.

By: Jennifer Devitt
August 23rd, 2015

In the world of 9 to 5 office jobs, today we find ourselves sitting more often than we should. It is easy to get wrapped up in your daily work activities and in some cases only get up for lunch. In our office full of developers, it is easy for them to have their headphones on and get wrapped up in their coding and not even realize that they have not moved all day.

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Tips on how to get the most accurate quote for your software development project.

By: Jennifer Devitt
August 18th, 2015

So, you're embarking on a new software development project. Or, perhaps you need to find a new vendor to pick up a project left in limbo. Finding the right service provider can prove to be a daunting experience sometimes. This should not be a task taken lightly or done too quickly.

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Back to School shopping with a tech twist. 10 tech gadgets that made our list.

By: Jennifer Devitt
August 16th, 2015

It's Back to School time. No longer does that just mean purchasing new shoes, cute outfits and stocking up on paper and pencils. Nope, today for kids from Kindergarten thru Grad School the school supplies lists have gotten much more tech savvy.

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Technology is finding new ways to help patients overcome medical disabilities.

By: Jennifer Devitt
August 11th, 2015

Software, video games, apps and computerized hardware. All of these items have fallen under the technology umbrella. Most of them work in one capacity or another with each other. Some of these are for business, some for pleasure, some for productivity or healthcare.

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Why as a VP of Business Development for a software development firm I chose to jump on the Apple Watch bandwagon.

By: Jennifer Devitt
August 9th, 2015

Apple Watch. Yep, I caved. And only a little over a month after I said here that I thought the watch was geared towards men and a bit masculine. Yes, I switched gears pretty quickly. Let's discuss why shall we?

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Learn how coding can be your tool by discovering the "Made with Code" program.

By: Jennifer Devitt
August 4th, 2015

 Today, I would like to focus the blog on a program I sadly just heard of. It is called "Made with Code". Made with Code is a program geared towards encouraging girls and women to code. Simple as that. By taking mentors in varying fields and industries this wonderful initiative offers some interesting and mind-blowing insights into what can be done with code.

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How technology is affecting school supply shopping and reducing paper.

By: Jennifer Devitt
August 2nd, 2015

Today is August 3rd. For many schools around the United States, that means school starts this month! I am sure that news is a major bummer to kids and returning teachers but a call for celebration to most parents! Face it, summers are long when you don't have a family farm to maintain in the summer. Kids get antsy, siblings bicker, all sure signs it's time to get back to school.

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What to expect when you work with a custom software development firm.

By: Jennifer Devitt
July 26th, 2015

Last week on the blog, we did an in-depth look at a few of our most common FAQ. Today, in an effort to further discuss our process, I will discuss a few more.

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An in-depth look at our 3 most common custom development "FAQ's".

By: Jennifer Devitt
July 21st, 2015

FAQ's. Every company in every industry can supply a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ's). Some of these questions might be common, no brainer questions while others might be questions that many potential clients might like the answer to. It is typical for a company to have a "FAQ" section on their website.

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Are terms like "nerd" or "geek" discouraging today's youth from careers in technology?

By: Jennifer Devitt
July 19th, 2015

Revenge of the Nerds movie (1984). If you follow tech news, something you see a lot of articles about is either encouraging kids or women to code or cyber bullying. Is it possible that the approach to encourage careers in technology or coding is spurring a rise in cyberbullying? Even if unintentional?

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4 innovative, tech gadgets to help you monitor your belongings on your next trip.

By: Jennifer Devitt
July 14th, 2015

Bluesmart trackable carry-on Here we are smack in the middle of summer. It's a high time for traveling as well as beach and pool trips. With that always comes the worry of what to take with you, how to store it and most of all how to keep it safe. In today's environment, trips to the beach do not just mean lugging sunscreen, beach towels, and food. No, today we take our cell phones and possibly tablets or e-readers. Not only is keeping our electronics dry and free of sand a concern, but we need to make sure they don't get stolen.

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10 simple suggestions to make your next IT project run smoothly.

By: Jennifer Devitt
July 8th, 2015

IT projects. Many love to hate them. Are you planning a new project? Perhaps you are knee deep in the middle of one. If so, there are ways to help make the project run as smoothly as possible and hopefully ease any urges you might have to obtain a voodoo doll in the likeness of your developer!

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How will "Amazon Prime Day" impact Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

By: Jennifer Devitt
July 6th, 2015

Blue Light Special E-commerce. It has been hot on the heels of traditional brick and mortar retail for years now. Some said it would never catch on or would never last. I had a potential client within the last year tell me that her accountant advised against taking her clothing boutique the e-commerce route because "women do not buy clothes online". Sigh, e-commerce is here to stay!

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Have some summer down time? Use it to run these 8 quick website checkups.

By: Jennifer Devitt
June 23rd, 2015

Midsummer is upon us. For some businesses, it can be the calm before the storm. You may have summers hours at your office or you may be short-handed due to vacation schedules. Most of the time I don't think it is unusual to have some slow or maybe some more quiet time. You might find yourself more productive due to a client being out of town for vacation. Take advantage of this time to do some maintenance or planning.

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Is the Apple Watch geared more towards male consumers?

By: Jennifer Devitt
June 21st, 2015

We have discussed the Apple Watch here on the blog several times. We have discussed it during the anticipation phase while waiting for launch, and we have discussed it as great gift ideas for grads and Dads. Dave did end up getting one, though he was not one of the initial orders on launch day. He wanted to go into a store and see it first hand prior to purchase.

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It's the middle of June, time to get your tech systems in order for a strong finish of 2015.

By: Jennifer Devitt
June 16th, 2015

It's June 17th, we are just about halfway through 2015, can you believe it? How is your business faring this year? Have you implemented any changes you proposed last year? Have you started preparing for the second half of the year? Or, has your to-do list gotten lost in the shuffle of everyday tasks and new crises that pop up daily?

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Ownership is a key factor to keep in mind when considering custom development or programming services.

By: Jennifer Devitt
June 14th, 2015

When it comes to programming and web development, companies have many options. Business owners can choose to do it themselves, outsource it, work with a development company or partner with a firm. Another consideration is, do you want to go custom or utilize a boxed solution. One question we get asked a lot is "why custom"? Let's talk about some of the reasons you may want to consider custom development for your projects.

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7 great tech gift ideas for your Number 1 Dad!

By: Jennifer Devitt
June 9th, 2015

#1 Dad It's June 10th, we are quickly approaching the middle of the month and not far behind that is Father's Day. Father's Day is Sunday, June 21st this year. Time to get ready for all the barbecues, golf outings, and sports.  Expect to see lots of men in "#1 Dad" t-shirts (this always makes me think of the Seinfeld episode, gotta love Morty Seinfeld), or drinking coffee out of a shiny new "Best Dad" mug! Let's be honest, while your Dad will proudly sport the shirt and use the mug if asked neither would be on their wish list.

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How technology plays a role in the 2015 Stanley Cup playoff experience.

By: Jennifer Devitt
June 2nd, 2015

 NHL.com/ It's June, the weather is getting warmer. But yet around the world hockey is in the news. Yep, ice hockey. In case you are not a sports fanatic or simply think hockey is just a violent sport you might not be aware that it is Stanley Cup Finals time. In fact, game 1 is tonight.  The stage is set in Tampa, Florida where the Tampa Bay Lightning will host the Chicago Blackhawks. A newer NHL franchise, The Lightning, founded in 1992 and an Original Six Team, The Blackhawks founded in 1926.  It's been a long road to get to the finals, with both teams just coming off a series that needed the full 7 games to finish the series. But make no mistake, this will be an exciting series with two quick teams.

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The iMessage bug bolsters the fact that we all need to better understand tech.

By: Jennifer Devitt
May 31st, 2015

Smartphones and tablets, text messages and iMessages. They have become go to devices and services. Many are depended on for business, as well as the go-to form of communication. They are all dependable, fun and must have's until someone out there finds a bug or way to trip up the system.

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Graduation season is upon us, here are 7 tech related gifts to spoil the graduate.

By: Jennifer Devitt
May 26th, 2015

It's late May, that means Graduation season is upon us. Around the United States graduations from preschool, all the way through to grueling degrees from Grad School or Medical School and beyond are taking place.

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5 ways custom software development fuels global business in 2015.

By: Jennifer Devitt
May 19th, 2015

It's no big surprise that in 2015 most software developed is focused on the web. Most business today is conducted in some part via the internet. Whether the business is e-commerce or digital publishing via newspapers and magazines.

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A fun Monday App review. It will add some fun to your day!

By: Jennifer Devitt
May 17th, 2015

Happy Monday! The last few Mondays, we have been having some fun around here with app reviews to help ease any case of the Monday's that might be floating around. I'll admit some were to combat writer's block, some were to offset a case of the Monday's!

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7 tech gadgets to make your summer safe, relaxing and enjoyable.

By: Jennifer Devitt
May 12th, 2015

It's almost summer! If you are a regular reader than you know that I am craving warm weather and summertime. Although the last few days here in the Chicago area have been hovering in the 50's, it looks as though that will start changing again with a warm up approaching.  At some point soon we should be permanently in a warmer weather pattern. With that warm up comes more time outdoors.

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Summer travel is upon us, here are 8 ways technology has made traveling simpler.

By: Jennifer Devitt
May 10th, 2015

It's May and the summer travel season is sneaking up on us. Schools throughout the US are winding down for the year and parents, kids and teachers are looking forward to summer vacations. Summer fun can involve local tourist activities, domestic travel or international travel. Whatever your plans, you can rest assured technology will have an impact on how you make your plans, where you visit and what you do.

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Happy National Small Business Week! Here are 4 tips to boost your small business in 2015.

By: Jennifer Devitt
May 5th, 2015

Happy National Small Business Week. Since 1963 the United States has focused on small business by focusing attention on them during Small Business Week. Small businesses have powered the United States for centuries.  These businesses range from so-called "Mom and Pops" to startups.

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It's 2015 and the Royal Family is using social media for updates. Is your company?

By: Jennifer Devitt
May 3rd, 2015

It's May 2015, still, think your company doesn't need social media? Still, think social media is a passing fad? It's time to think again. Social media is growing in force and customers use it in various ways.

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Looking for a fitness wearable? See my review of the Fitbit Charge HR to see if it's for you.

By: Jennifer Devitt
April 28th, 2015

I have another product review for you today. And, believe it or not, it is not an Apple device. Au contraire, it is for a Fitbit. Yes, more wearable technology. I admit it, I am a gadget lover.

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Got a case of the Mondays? Give the app "My Idol" a whirl to kick start your day.

By: Jennifer Devitt
April 26th, 2015

Hey, it's Monday again! Man, doesn't it seem like Monday always sneaks up on you when you're not looking and smacks you in the back of the head? HA! I think I may have mentioned that I am not a morning person. I think I must be allergic to them. Like Garfield says, "I don't do mornings". And Monday, mornings? Well as you can imagine those are not pretty either.

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Happy Earth Day! 8 ways technology is supporting Mother Nature and protecting the planet.

By: Jennifer Devitt
April 21st, 2015

Happy Earth Day. Earth Day is a global initiative day to bring awareness on how to protect our planet. There are many who can argue Global Warming all day long, but the fact is that there are over 7 billion people in the world today, we all need to do our part to protect and appreciate the planet we live on.

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For online reputation management, policing social media as well as review sites is key.

By: Jennifer Devitt
April 19th, 2015

Social Media. It comes in many forms and platforms these days. Of course, there is Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and more. You can use social media in many ways. You can use it for business and your personal life.

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April deadlines, taxes and mobile. Google is making a change April 21st is your site ready?

By: Jennifer Devitt
April 14th, 2015

Mobile, mobile, mobile. You may think we sound like a broken record around here. We have had multiple blogs in the last few months that are urging businesses in every industry to embrace mobile. We have had holiday statistics galore. But, yet there are still those out there that are resisting. Well, I am here to tell you that the clock is now ticking.

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How a bank, pizza chain and eyewear manufacturer are all considered tech companies.

By: Jennifer Devitt
April 12th, 2015

In 2015, what do an investment bank, a pizza chain and a fashion eyewear company have in common? The answer is simple. Technology. Goldman Sachs, Domino's and Warby Parker have all recently been dubbed "technology companies". And yet, not one of them sells a piece of hardware, software or a specific technology service. So, what gives?

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7 ways technology has changed sports for coaches, fans and athletes.

By: Jennifer Devitt
April 7th, 2015

Sports fans and athletes come in many forms. You could be a baseball fanatic, football junkie, hockey enthusiast or star athlete. Sports appeals to fans of all ages. Baseball has been called "America's pastime" due to its popularity in the 19th and 20th century.  Some things about sports haven't changed in years. But then again some have changed immensely. Many of the changes that we see in sports today is a direct result of you guessed it, technology.

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7 tricks I use to survive when Monday sneaks up on you and smacks you in the head!

By: Jennifer Devitt
April 5th, 2015

Mondays. They certainly seem to come around quickly don't they? Even Monday's after a long weekend. Sometimes those are the worst. They come around quickly and smack you in the back of the head when you're not looking, am I right?

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7 modern day advancements in healthcare made possible by technology.

By: Jennifer Devitt
March 31st, 2015

Last week we introduced a new segment on the blog, discussing how technology has changed specific industries. You don't have to look far to see change brought on by technology. It could be in the use of smartphones, computers, digital media and more. Some may feel that all change is good and embrace it 100 percent. While others will buck it at every turn.

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