My work in the news

Sometimes it takes so long in an enterprise software company to see the fruits of your work. Here is one case for me. Portfolio+ is the white label of the product I worked on here for the first year. My job was to clean up the navigations and make the product usable. At a minimum the financial advisors should not have to use help or the call center.

“Among Portfolio+’s requirements were high performance and reliability, and the system had to be fairly intuitive, says Driscoll, adding that financial advisers may not have time to read a manual. “A lot of time and energy was spent making sure it’s intuitive and well supported,” he relates. According to Merrill’s Sabbia, who says adoption has been successful, as part of the functionality bucket requested by financial advisers, tax-sensitive strategies and usability were both emphasized.”

“Citing the system’s flexibility, speed and the ability to bundle trades, Jay Fields, a financial adviser with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in Freehold, N.J., says Portfolio+ has helped boost his productivity. “This is really the best-in-class from all the products I’ve seen,” contends Fields, who joined Merrill last year after 18 years with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. As a senior portfolio manager, Fields uses Portfolio+ every day for portfolio trading. “When I get my work up and running in the morning, I open this up in an Internet Explorer window. It’s one of the first or second things that I have in front of me, and it’s out there all day long,” he says. “There are less steps involved in having to get trades done.”

Here is the whole article:
http://www.wallstreetandtech.com/wealth-management/240000639?pgno=1

Enterprise Software could really learn from Instagram

Shouldn’t all interactions be instantaneous?
Why wait for the app to do what it wants.
“give the Instagram user a feeling of responsiveness, even when someone’s phone is trapped on a lousy connection.

  1. Instagram Always Pretends To Work
  2. Loading Content Based On Importance, Not Order
  3. Anticipating The User’s Every Move”

http://www.fastcodesign.com/1669788/the-3-white-lies-behind-instagrams-lightning-speed

Many ways of publishing

Even thought he was focusing on Google+ I thought the multiple ways of publishing using different services was useful.

“I publish both a daily and a weekly email newsletter without doing anything. It just happens. Everything I write on Google+ is automatically posted on Twitter and Facebook, and it’s made available as an RSS feed.” – Mike Elgan 5/2012

http://www.techworld.com.au/article/424539/how_publish_from_google_/

exploring practical algebraic problems without using symbolic variables

“This page presents an idea for exploring practical algebraic problems without using symbolic variables. I call this tool a “scrubbing calculator”, because you solve problems by interactively scrubbing over numbers until you’re happy with the results.
Background: This work assumes a Soulver-like environment for interactive arithmetic, and picks up where Soulver leaves off. If you haven’t seen Soulver, go see it. You’ll be glad you did.”

http://worrydream.com/#!/ScrubbingCalculator

Online education

Harvard and M.I.T. Team Up to Offer Free Online Courses
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/03/education/harvard-and-mit-team-up-to-offer-free-online-courses.html?_r=2&ref=technology


But Harvard and M.I.T. have a rival — they are not the only elite universities planning to offer free massively open online courses, or MOOCs, as they are known. This month, Stanford, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michiganannounced their partnership with a new commercial company, Coursera, with $16 million in venture capital.
Meanwhile, Sebastian Thrun, the Stanford professor who made headlines last fall when 160,000 students signed up for his Artificial Intelligence course, has attracted more than 200,000 students to the six courses offered at his new company, Udacity.”

On Simplicity

“When technology was inherently and unavoidably complex, it was forgivable that solutions weren’t elegant and simple. It was at one time understandable that finding and visiting a new doctor could take weeks, or searching for enterprise information wasn’t successful. But with a myriad of elegant and simple solutions entering the market, users are learning to expect far more from their products. Simplicity has become a virus that will either destroy you or catapult you to the front of the market.”

http://www.fastcompany.com/1835983/the-simplicity-thesis by Aaron Levie – FastCompany blog