COVID-19 widens the digital innovation gap

A new study finds major differences in the digital capabilities of leaders and laggards.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the market shift to a digital-first economy, widening the digital gap between organizations that rely on legacy systems and those that have adopted next-generation technology, a new study finds.

Digital leaders are using cloud-based, API-first solutions to quickly test and deliver digital experiences that meet customers’ changing needs, according to the study by content platform provider Contentful. Meanwhile, companies with less agile processes and systems are struggling to build and scale digital solutions fast enough.

Chief concerns are time to market (89%); the unit cost of development (81%); and the ability to iterate on digital experiences, once delivered (79%), the Contentful study found.

Further, 82% of the 750-plus people surveyed tie digital experiences directly to increased revenue, the report said.

“Our survey also uncovered a gap

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GitHub: A cheat sheet – TechRepublic

GitHub is a code housing platform that allows developers to store their projects and network with peers. This resource about GitHub covers why the platform matters, how developers use it, and more.

GitHub is one of the most popular repositories for developers to house their ongoing projects. However, this repository goes well beyond being a storage platform for developers.

With GitHub you can collaborate on projects and invite other programmers to work on your project from anywhere. GitHub works seamlessly with the command-line tool Git, wherein developers can easily check in and check out their projects. GitHub offers the same distributed version control and source code management features found in Git and even adds more to the mix with bug tracking, feature requests, task management, access control for your projects, and so on.

This cheat sheet is an easy way to get up to speed on GitHub. We’ll update this

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AI planners in Minecraft could help machines design better cities

Meanwhile, Arnaud Grignard and his colleagues at the MIT Media Lab are using agent-based simulation to explore possible designs for busy public spaces, including a regenerated Champs-Élysées in Paris. And New York startup Topos is using AI to help understand how the layout of a city affects those living in it. In one project it used a range of AI approaches, including image recognition and natural-language processing, to learn how different areas in New York were used by the people living there. It then redrew the boundaries of New York’s five boroughs on the basis of similarities between neighborhoods, such as whether they are residential or commercial, leafy or urban. The resulting map arrays the boroughs as more or less concentric rings around a central Manhattan.

Jasper Wijnands, at the University of Melbourne in Australia, is also convinced that AI has a place in future urban design. He and his

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Half of professionals believe working from home has negatively impacted their careers

Professionals report that working from home has reduced internal and external networking opportunities and harmed their career progress, according to a new survey.

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In recent months, many companies have adopted remote work policies due to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, employees around the globe have transitioned from the traditional office to the virtual workspace. During this time, in-person meetings have transformed into blocks of Zoom meetings leading to a new type of burnout altogether. A recent informal survey on Blind, a popular anonymous network for professionals, details employee sentiment regarding working from home and perceived effects on their long-term career progression.

Last week, a Blind user created a survey posing a series of questions related to the perceived professional impact of remote work and reduced networking opportunities. The survey ran from Sept. 14 through Sept. 17 and garnered more than 1,600 responses. Overall, 53% of professionals

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Open source: Why governments need to go further

Commentary: Yes, governments should open source their custom code. But more than that is needed.

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For Drupal (and Acquia) founder Dries Buytaert, “the default [in government] should be ‘developed with public money, make it public code.'” That is, if a government is paying for software to be created, that software should be available under an open source license. While he acknowledged there might be exceptions (e.g., for military applications, as I’ve called out), his suggestion makes sense.

Years ago I argued that government mandates of open source made no sense. I still feel that way. Governments (and enterprises) should use whatever software best enables them to get work done. Increasingly, that software will be open source. But when good open source alternatives don’t yet exist, it makes no sense to mandate the use of suboptimal software. 

But software that governments create? There’s

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