To all WordPress Users, Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress (GADWP) is Now ExactMetrics

With over 17 million downloads and over 1 million websites, Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress (GADWP) is the second most popular analytics plugin in the WordPress.org repository.

Today, I’m thrilled to announce that we have acquired the GADWP plugin from Alin Marcu and rebranded it as ExactMetrics.

Alin has done a phenomenal job in building an amazing product and community. As he wanted to pursue his next venture, he was looking for a new home for this extremely useful plugin.

Given our experience running the most popular WordPress analytics plugin, MonsterInsights, this was a perfect fit for our family of products.

Who are we?

Hi, my name is Syed Balkhi. I’m the founder of Awesome Motive, and we build amazing products that help small businesses grow and compete with the big guys.

We’re the team behind some of most popular plugins and resources including:

  • WPBeginner – the largest free WordPress resource site for beginners.
  • OptinMonster – popular conversion optimization software that helps you convert abandoning visitors into subscribers and customers.
  • WPForms – the most beginner friendly WordPress contact form plugin.
  • MonsterInsights – the most popular Google Analytics plugin for WordPress.
  • WP Mail SMTP – the most popular SMTP plugin for WordPress.

Yes, we know a thing or two about building awesome products that customers love (at scale).

What does this acquisition mean for existing users?

Aside from new ownership and the new name, it’s business as usual. You can continue to use the plugin that you love without any interruptions.

In a future release, you will see the plugin icon change in the WordPress admin area.

With our experience and a dedicated team, we will be adding new features and improvements to ExactMetrics in the near future.

What’s Coming Next?

Our work is just starting.

Running an analytics plugin at scale comes with plenty of challenges. We have learned a lot from our experiences over the last several years.

We want to take what we learned from MonsterInsights and combine it with the best of ExactMetrics to create a new version that we know you will love.

This includes in-depth reporting for each use-case: publishers, eCommerce, forms, custom dimensions, etc.

It’s a massive task, but we’re up for the challenge. I will keep you guys updated as we roll-out new features.

I want to thank Alin for all the hard work he put in GADWP, and I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

I also want to thank all users who have supported this plugin so far, and I hope to earn your support for years to come.

Sincerely,

Syed Balkhi
CEO of Awesome Motive Inc.

Source: exactmetrics.com

CMMI Development version 2 released

The CMMI Institute is strengthening its ability to help businesses rapidly deliver high-quality software and meet customer satisfaction with the release of CMMI Development V2.0. CMMI, also known as the Capability Maturity Model Integration, is a set of best practices designed to improve performance, key capabilities and business processes.

CMMI Development 2.0 is designed to address global business challenges with best practices including engineering and developing products; improving performance; building and sustaining capability; managing business resilience; planning and managing work; selecting and managing supplies; ensuring quality; managing the workforce; and supporting implementation.

“Global adoption of the CMMI has been growing at a record rate because of the material results it delivers,” said Kirk Botula, CMMI Institute CEO. “High-performance commercial and government organizations around the world rely on CMMI to provide a clear roadmap to mitigate risk, create value, and build a resilient culture of continuous improvement. These include companies like Honeywell, Cognizant and Unisys, and U.S. government agencies, such as the FDA and NASA.”

The updated product suite includes a maturity model, adoption guidance, system and supporting tools, training, certification, and an appraisal method.

CMMI Development V2.0 aims to help businesses drive measurable, improved performance against time, quality and budget; provide best practices that will be continuously updated to meet ever-changing business needs; strengthen agile with Scrum project processes; improve reliability and consistency of benchmarks; reduce preparation time and lifecycle costs; and provide online access and adoption guidance.

“CMMI Development V2.0 is an integrated product suite consisting of 5 components that, when used together, provide a clear and proven path to achieving your business objectives,” according to the CMMI’s website.

Google Cloud expands MongoDB availability across GCP regions

After popular demand, Google has announced it is expanding MongoDB availability across most Google Cloud Platform regions as well as on Cloud Launcher. MongoDB is available on Google Cloud through its database-as-a-service solution, MongoDB Atlas.

“With over 35 million downloads and customers ranging from Cisco to Metlife to UPS, MongoDB is one of the most popular NoSQL databases for developers and enterprises alike,” Kent Smith, cloud customer engineer at Google, wrote in a blog post. “With MongoDB Atlas, you get a globally distributed database with cross-region replication, multi-region fault tolerance and the ability to provide fast, responsive read access to data users around the globe. You can even configure your clusters to survive the outage of an entire cloud region.”

MongoDB Atlas on GCP is now available in Iowa, South Carolina, Oregon, North Virginia, Sao Paulo, Belgium, London, Frankfurt, Taiwan, Mumbai, Tokyo, Singapore and Sydney. “With this expanded geographic availability, you can now join the wide variety of organizations around the world, from innovators in the social media space to industry leaders in energy, that are already running MongoDB on GCP,” Smith wrote.

According to Smith, MongoDB Atlas on GCP can be used to reduce operational overhead of setting up and scaling databases, and enable team members to focus on building apps. In addition, it provides multiple sharing policies and enables users to distribute data across a cluster. Clusters are managed into projects and live inside a Virtual Private Cloud per region. Users can configure cross-region replication from MongoDB Atas’ UI, and automatically scale the storage of clusters or enable sharding with no manual intervention.

GitLab adds CI/CD integration with GitHub

GitLab 10.6 has been released, featuring new CI/CD integration with GitHub and further integration with Kubernetes. With GitLab CI/CD for GitHub, developers can create a CI/CD project in GitLab and connect it into GitHub.

According to GitLab, while it already has received position feedback from its built-in CI/CD features, the company felt GitHub integration was a huge piece missing to its portfolio. GitLab also added the ability to integrate CI/CD with other repositories, such as BitBucket.

This new functionality was primarily designed for four audiences: open-source projects, large enterprises, GitHub users, and Gemnasium customers. Users with a public open-source project on GitHub will be able to take advantage of all of GitLabs highest tier features for free.

Large enterprises will now be able to use a common CI/CD pipeline for all of their different repositories. According to the company, many enterprises have wanted to standardize on GitLab, but could not because they had code stored in different repositories.

“Continuous integration and deployment form the backbone of modern DevOps,” said Sid Sijbrandij, CEO and co-founder of GitLab. “With this new offering, businesses and open source projects that use GitHub as a code repository will have access to GitLab’s industry leading CI/CD capabilities.”

GitLab is making the GitLab CI/CD for GitHub feature free for the next year. This means that anyone using GitHub for any reason will be able to take advantage of the this.

Following GitLab’s recent acquisition of Gemnasium, the new feature will allow customers that were using GitHub + Gemnasium to start using GitLab CI/CD without having to migrate code.

Other GitLab 10.6 features include the availability of Kubernetes Cluster Integration and GKE Integration, making it easier to users to use Kubernetes with GitLab. Kubernetes clusters can now be monitored right from within GitLab.

“With this release, we make it even easier for users to use Kubernetes with GitLab. You can now deploy a GitLab Runner to your connected Kubernetes cluster with a single click. You can also monitor your connected Kubernetes cluster from within GitLab itself. And you can now also see the IP address of an Ingress controller connected to your Kubernetes cluster, again, right inside GitLab,” the company wrote in a post.

Source: sdtimes

10 books every web developer should read to increase their software IQ

When wannabe developers ask what books they should read, I usually respond “First off, just read.” A large part of the software development process is reading other people’s’ code. That said, the best thing you can do to improve as a developer is to read anything that will sharpen your speed and comprehension skills.  The more effective you become at reading, the more efficient you will become in your day-to-day work building software.  The following however, are books that if you have not yet read them, will have the most significant impact on your software IQ.

Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer and Mike Chamberlain – Google is great, but for all the convenience it offers, it really has deteriorated true learning. Why memorize what you can look up, right? And, if you don’t have a solid understanding of how to improve your memory, you really have no other option. Most developers are not taught memorization techniques and never even make an attempt to get better. As a result, mobile devices have become a crutch, and it shows. Today’s developers struggle to produce more than a few lines of code without referencing Google and then StackOverflow. Looking up language nuances or a specification when you are coding is a time sink. Guessing the signature of a function a few times and then looking it up is an even bigger time sink. But there is another way. This book teaches specific tactics to get the most out of focus, chunking, and repetition so that when you have to recall shortcut keystrokes, status codes, or the arguments to a function, you can do so easily. The author reveals tips about how humans with the best trained memories compete in memorization competitions and how he learned techniques over a very short period of time.

You Don’t Know JS by Kyle Simpson – This is a series of books that collectively should be treated as the bible for JavaScript. Every JS developer should read it and maintain a copy in the closest night stand drawer. The author has even provided the full copy of each book online if you would like to read it for free on GitHub. It’s a tough read, and slow going for most. The volumes are each little booklets that usually require a couple of passes to absorb it all, but each of the 7 volumes will deepen your knowledge of some of the trickier parts of JavaScript.

Clean Code by Robert C. Martin – The author of this book is referred to with reverence in the software community as “Uncle Bob” and is well known for his numerous conference talks about writing well organized and maintainable code. After reading this book developers will likely spend more time thinking about why we write code in a particular way and what that our styles and habits say about the seriousness of our approach to the craft. Uncle Bob’s principles will allow you to identify code smells (the difference between good code and bad), and better yet, a process you can use to clean up and refactor your code to make it more readable and maintainable.

Software Craftsmanship: The New Imperative by Pete McBreen – The principles in this book align well with Clean Code. It differs in that it talks more about the art, than the science of software. Reading it will help developers figure out how to deliver value to customers via software. It addresses collaboration with stakeholders, project management, and more of the soft skills that are needed to really be a master at the craft. There is even a chapter on managing software craftsmen that will help developers better understand the relationship between those that code and those that lead.

7 Languages in 7 Weeks: A Pragmatic Guide to Learning Programming Languages by Bruce Tate – The ability to learn fast and pick up new languages gives developers a real edge in today’s market. This book will help developers become decent at reading the code of these new languages, and understand the role they play, even if you’re not planning to become a polyglot (one who has mastered many languages). The point to learning a bit of 7 languages in 7 weeks is to gain a generalist’s knowledge. This allows a developer to better compare and contrast languages, and should strengthen the mastery of those used more regularly. If you’re curious about the 7 languages that are covered in the book, it examines Clojure, Haskell, Io, Prolog, Scala, Erlang, and Ruby. Using this 7 week approach you will learn, or be reminded of, programing paradigms that have evolved over time. Many have strengths that make the languages best suited to solve particular types of challenges. Others demonstrate the fad-like nature of how engineers work for a few decades, and then collectively decide the old way is boring, and the new way is “the only way” to code well. JavaScript programming, for example, can be done in a functional, object oriented, or procedural style. This book will inspire you to take a look at languages that are more focused on one or two of those methods and take a deeper dive into how each language implements common design patterns.

7 Databases in 7 Weeks: A Guide to Modern Databases and the NoSQL Movement by Eric Redmond and Jim Wilson – By gaining exposure to 7 different databases, developers can broaden their ability to pick the right database solution for each new problem they encounter, versus feeling stuck with using the one or two solutions that are most familiar to them. This book will give developers the confidence to conquer building applications using any database. Even those databases that first appear to be unique will suddenly seem very similar to those used quite commonly by today’s developer community.

JavaScript the Good Parts by Douglas Crockford – JavaScript is moving really fast these days. So fast, that some people skip learning the basics and focus on mastering frameworks and libraries before they have a deep understanding of “vanilla” or pure JavaScript. In this book you will go back to basics and learn many of JavaScript’s nuances and what pitfalls to avoid. Since there are so many libraries and frameworks, software developers need to be able to evaluate libraries and frameworks quickly. This book serves as a guide for best practices. Even if you decide not to follow them, understanding Douglas’ decision making process and rational will help you get better at evaluating other people’s code. It will help you refine your ability to not just say what you don’t like, but articulate why. Understanding why some areas of JavaScript should be avoided will also help you craft better software, and think more about design patterns that will stand the test of time.

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill – Success in software development parallels success in life. The principles that you can learn and see practical application of in this book will make you more productive and mentally successful. Personal and professional achievement requires a productive thought process and success oriented mentality. This book was published almost a century ago, but its stories are just as applicable to the life of a success-minded individual today.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie – From an outsider’s perspective writing code is thought to be one of the most important skills of a software engineer. However, being able to listen and communicate effectively is far more important. Simply having a great idea or design for how to build something is wonderful, but being able to effectively communicate that idea, get buy-in and the “green light” to build is another. This book will provide anyone – even developers – with the tools to negotiate and be empathetic to stakeholders. Use this book to get better at setting and managing expectations. After reading and practicing the techniques you will be well-equipped to understand others and motivate them to embrace your solutions, so you can spend more time building things you love.

HTML & CSS: Design and Build Web Sites by Jon Duckett – This is the book you will set on your office coffee table, and every time you pick it up you will learn something new. It is not a book you will read cover to cover, but it is one that you will return to frequently and digest it in small chunks. It is beautifully illustrated and the examples of code make HTML come alive. As much as we like to think we know the fundamentals, this book is packed with implementations of HTML and CSS specifications that developers can come back to over-and-over and still learn each time. Use it like a dictionary to look something up (when Google is not handy), or when you just want to refine your knowledge of designing websites.  On your coffee table it will make you look like the hipster coder we all aspire to be.

Postman announces new API development platform for the enterprise

Postman has announced the release of Postman Enterprise, a new solution designed to expand on the features of its API development solution Postman Pro. Postman Enterprise was created to provide enterprise users with new and improved security and enterprise-only features.

“Enterprises want the option for their developers to use Postman, but within a safe, secure and enterprise-controlled environment,” said Abhinav Asthana, CEO and co-founder of Postman. “These organizations now have the option to make all of their API development faster, easier and better with Postman Enterprise.”

The new release features Single Sign-On (SSO), allowing organizations to more easily and securely manage team members’ access to API development work within a Postman instance. Postman Enterprise already supports multiple SSO providers such as Okta, OneLogin, Duo, Ping Identity, AD FS, and GSuite. Going forward, the company plans to add new providers based on customer need. Postman will also be providing SAML 2.0-compliant identity provider support.

Postman Enterprise will also provide audit logs, allowing customers to track activities within teams, especially when they are collaborating on code, the company explained. With this feature, users will be able to review every change and see who made the change and when.

In addition, the solution will offer extended support and billing such s additional self-server options designed for larger organizations with more structured policies on procurement, provisioning, and customer success.

Microsoft releases its Azure Service Fabric to open source

Microsoft’s Service Fabric Team announced the open-source release of Azure Service Fabric under the MIT license yesterday. The team behind the distributed systems platform, designed to easily package, deploy and manage scalable and reliable microservices and containers, will be transitioning to a completely open development process on GitHub over the coming months.

While the Service Fabric repo available on the project’s GitHub contains build and test tools for Linux, allowing users to clone and build Service Fabric on Linux systems, run basic tests, open issues and submit pull requests, the team says it is “working hard” on migrating the Windows build environment to GitHub with a complete continuous integration environment.

“We’ve been developing Service Fabric internally for Windows for close to a decade, and most of that time it was a Microsoft-internal platform, which means we have close to a decade’s worth of internal Microsoft tools to migrate and processes to refine before we can put something usable out on GitHub,” the team wrote in a development blog. “When we started working on Linux support a couple years ago, we were a public product and already planning to go open source, so we made sure to use common, publicly available tools as much as possible.”

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The team began the transition in March of last year with the open-sourcing of elements of Service Fabric, including Reliable Services, Reliable Actors and the ASP.NET Core integration libraries, and have been moving other “small parts” of Service Fabric to GitHub, such as Explorer and the CLI over the course of the past year.

“We’ve heard from many of you about the importance of being able to participate in the development and direction of the platform that you depend on to run your mission-critical applications,” the team wrote. “We stay active on GitHub and Stack Overflow for that reason, and open sourcing the platform is the natural evolution to make that collaboration even better. That’s why we’re committed to making Service Fabric a successful open source project by moving our entire development and planning process onto GitHub, where we can openly collaborate with the community to make Service Fabric better for everyone.”

 

Visual Studio Code will now ship with Anaconda

Microsoft has announced that Visual Studio Code will ship as part of the popular Python data science platform Anaconda. Microsoft first announced plans to bring Python to Azure Machine Learning, Visual Studio and SQL Server in September of last year.

According to Microsoft, “Visual Studio Code can easily be installed at the same time as Anaconda, providing a great editing and debugging experience for Python users, with special features tailor-made for Anaconda users.”

Microsoft has previously made investments in the Python community. It has already released a Python extension for VS Code and provides support for Python in Azure Machine Learning, SQL Server, and Azure Notebooks. According to Microsoft, the Microsoft Python Extension for Visual Studio Code is the most downloaded extension in the VS Code marketplace.

In addition, Microsoft created a team to support its Python extension, and will be extending that support for Anaconda environments as well.

According to the Anaconda team, VS Code is a good IDE choice for its users on Windows, macOS and Linux because of its debugging, code completion, and Git integration features. It also offers a number of extensions that developers can tailor to their specific needs.

“Anaconda, Inc. is excited to be able to make installation of Microsoft Visual Studio Code and the Python Extension for Visual Studio Code a more seamless experience for our Anaconda users,” Crystal Soja, product manager for the Anaconda Distribution and Anaconda Cloud, wrote in a post.

Google announces Android KTX for Kotlin development

The Android team has announced a preview of Android KTX. Android KTX is a set of extensions designed to improve the process of writing Kotlin code for Android. It does this by providing an API layer on top of the Android framework and Support Library.

Android KTX will enable developers to convert strings to URIs more naturally, according to the team. It will also be easier to edit SharedPreferences using Android KTX than it is with Kotlin. Android KTX will be more efficient at translating path differences and simplifies the process of triggering an action with View onPreDraw by several lines of code.

Currently, the part of Android KTX that supports the Android framework is available. The part that supports the Support Library will be available in an upcoming Support Library release. The team has indicated that it is waiting for the API to stabilize before this happens.

To start using Android KTX, developers will have to add a snippet of code to the app’s build.gradle file. Once the project has been synced, the extensions will automatically appear in the IDE’s auto-complete list.

A full list of features can be found on the Android KTX GitHub page.

 

CollabNet announces new Agile and DevOps features in Winter 2018 release

CollabNet has announced the VersionOne Lifecycle and Continuum Winter 2018 Release with a number of new features and capabilities. VersionOne Lifecycle for Agile ALM is the company’s agile lifecycle management solution while VersionOne Continuum for DevOps is a continuous delivery solution that allows teams to speed up software deployments while reducing risk and ensuring quality.

“Our winter release continues to help organizations achieve end-to-end visibility so they can deliver software faster with reduced risk and confidence,” said Flint Brenton, president and CEO at CollabNet.  “CollabNet is committed to bringing enterprise software teams together unifying Agile, DevOps, and Source Control lifecycle management.”

As part of the VersionOne Lifecycle, the company has added a new Milestones feature. Milestones are designed provide more visibility into a team’s planning process by capturing and communicating key dates such as industry events. According to CollabNet, this will help teams keep track of targets, sync times and important events. Uses can also create and view milestones within their roadmaps.

Also included in the VersionOne Lifecycle for Agile ALM release are saved views for grid, and team transitions.

VersionOne Continuum now features enhanced integrations for TeamForge SCM. According to the company, this will provide a more streamlined interaction from Continuum to code repositories. The solution also features a new insights dashboard for collecting development data, an environments dashboard for viewing package revisions, and an encrypted plugin data for more security.

“We are excited to announce the 2018 Winter VersionOne Product Release. With this release, VersionOne launches new capabilities that provide teams with greater flexibility for planning and managing software delivery with confidence,” the company wrote in a post.