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KRS partners with Sitefinity, the Enterprise CMS

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Enterprise Content Management, eCommerce and Digital Marketing all in one package

We are excited to announce that KRS has been appointed as a Progress Partner, for the SitefinityTM CMS and Digital Marketing Automation platform. The partnership agreement will see KRS offer development and support services for this feature rich, highly secure, enterprise geared Content Management System, to corporates, large-scale business operations and digital marketing agencies, across sub-Saharan Africa.

Content management is no longer solely the domain for media publishing houses, but increasingly, businesses are realising the potential of controlling their own content and the conversations that are happening online. However, while the generation of content is relatively easy to initiate, enterprises have the added requirement for stringent security to protect the platform and its content, as...

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Staying relevant over 30 years

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30 years is a long time in the Tech Industry! It’s the entire period of personal computing, from early IBM PCs to powerful mobile devices.

End of March this year, Khanyisa Real Systems will be throwing a party to celebrate 30 years as a software house. It’s a unique opportunity for a reunion of past and present staff to celebrate our 30 year journey, and the very unique KRS culture that’s held us together for so long.

KRS has faced many challenges to stay relevant over such a long period. These are generally in 3 areas: the obvious one of fast moving technology; how people’s attitudes have shifted; and business expectations and needs that are quite different to 30 years ago.

Technology Growth

KRS started with a lovely 4GL language called DataFlex in 1987, and then we moved on to Clarion and Delphi for many years. That’s a trip down memory lane – when we were writing serious...

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Tech Round-Up

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Two of the biggest topics in the tech world are Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) – here’s a little look into the future…

Augmented Reality – While strictly speaking not ‘true’ AR – love it or hate it, Pokémon Go has turned the world of AR on its head and forever defined the consumer AR experience. From kids to adults and even Heads of State, the hunt is on to find these odd creatures. However beyond the incredible success of the game itself, the developers of Pokémon Go have entrenched AR as a viable means for other applications to overlay content on the real world, such as industrial maintenance, education, training and even medicine. One such example is relieving phantom limb pain of amputees and the dawning of a new era of augmented reality therapy. AR is predicted to be a USD 90 billion industry by 2020.

Virtual Reality – VR on the other hand, is not yet...

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When Text-to-Columns Fails

A functional Van der Merwe story

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In a column of full names containing first, middle and last names, Excel’s Text-To-Columnsfunction fails with last names like “van der Merwe”. To get around this, using Names Manager, we’ll create our own text functions standing on the broad shoulders of some text functions already available in Excel: FIND, LEFT, LEN, MID, RIGHT, SUBSTITUTE, against a full name in cell $A2:

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  • Trim any leading/trailing spaces in Full Names to avoid errors
  • NoSpaceLen uses SUBSTITUTE to replace spaces with nothing.
  • LenFull returns the string length including spaces
  • SpacesCount subtracts the NoSpaceLen from LenFull to return count of spaces in original
  • NoMiddleName is true if there are less than 2 spaces
  • SpaceOnePos returns position of first space in $A2
  • SpaceTwoPos returns position of the second space: It uses SUBSTITUTE to replace the 2nd space found with a pipe...

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Product Owner Unicorns

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Product Owners are critical in an Agile team: they are the primary link between business and developers. The concept of Product Owners is awesome – as awesome as the idea of unicorns, and perhaps as unattainable.

Scrum defines a Product Owner as “representing the customer’s interest in backlog prioritization and requirements questions. This person must be available to the team at any time”.

Let’s go through what can be expected of a product owner on a typical business project:

  • Gather specifications from various stakeholders within the business, and build the stories that the team will work from.
  • Manage the priorities of the Backlog, deciding on which features will give the most business value.
  • Have the excellent communication skills to understand the business users as well as the development team.

So we have a role defined that requires high level strategic thinking around...

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KRS Internship Programme 2016

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January welcomed 14 bright new minds into the KRS family with the commencement of our 2016 internship programme. The biggest intake to date, these young men and women come from across the country to be on our intense boot-camp over a seven-week period.

Bridging the gap between tertiary education and what is required ‘on the job’, the KRS Academy immerses these candidates in real world situations, equipping them with the skills necessary to perform. The interns work with Agile methodologies to continually improve their abilities to develop better software and to function as part of a team. Technically, we cover the following skills:

  • Scrum Training – overview of the process and practical implementation for three sprints
  • TDD – Test Driven Development with a focus on Test First principles
  • DDD – Domain Driven Design – a focus on understanding Entities, Value Objects and Aggregates
  • A deep...

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Excel 2013: three new functions

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Date arithmetic is nothing new in Excel, but this function is new to Excel 2013. Previously one had to use a formula like “=B1-A1” where B1 would contain the later date, A1 the earlier date. Typing “=DAYS(“ in a cell, you are prompted with “end_date,start_date”), for the formula
=DAYS(B1;A1)

It’s not any quicker than the old way, but it is more memorable. On your system, you may need a comma in place of a semi-colon (it’s a Regional setting in Windows).

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ARABIC()

We have long been able to use the ROMAN() function to create Roman numerals, but Microsoft has finally included its opposite:

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ISOWEEKNUM()

Old (WEEKNUM) and New. Here are two formulas for week numbers, with results on the right:

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ISOWEEKNUM() differs in what it sees to the first Monday of the year.

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KRS Academy powers ahead

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Trends in software development careers

KRS has been busy getting out and about in the past two months. In April the team engaged with around 500 first year Computer Science students at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) exploring possible career alternatives and presenting what is currently available to them, and then at the beginning of May, some Agile lessons from the trenches with the Honours students at UCT.

In a previous newsletter we made mention of the divide between academic life and the real working world. The world of technology morphs and changes at an increasingly fast pace, so it is no wonder that tertiary education is often behind commercial needs. In order to prepare for the technology jobs of the future, a great deal of upskilling needs to happen.

Here are six of the key career trends currently on offer:

Mind your language – the number of commercially based...

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Powering up with Elon Musk and his Powerwall

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…..and so to a power back-up resource of a different kind and the future of energy (or a version of it). A more than possible solution to our current power woes was unveiled this month by serial entrepreneur, Elon Musk, founder and chairman of Tesla. While South Africa would love to claim Musk as its own (he was born here), Musk is a citizen of the world, and certainly his latest invention has global impact.

The Powerwall, (version 1) is a 130-centimetre tall by 86-centimetre wide by 18-centimetre deep box of lithium-ion battery storage. It is the first renewable energy source aimed principally at the home consumer market. It is currently billed as ‘energy storage for a sustainable home.’

Musk positioned the Powerwall as a more pragmatic innovation, offering “independence from the energy grid”. Musk and Tesla are positioning it as the way to positively move energy consumption...

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Top Topics at Mobile World Congress

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Since we are talking Apps in this issue and the majority are mobile, here’s a quick look at the top stories from Mobile World Congress that took place in Barcelona at the beginning of this month.

Connected Living dominated the talk this year, with innovations like wireless charging lamps and tables from Ikea and a slew of wearables that determine health state and the wear-all on how to improve, control and monitor it. On this point, MWC could have been forgiven for transmuting itself into Baselworld – watch and timepiece expo – with the number of watches that were launched.

You’re never too young to start in tech –MWC’s second Mobile Explorers Club brought together kids aged eight to 14 from around the globe who learned new skills and had the opportunity to discover the world of mobile and technology. Other big topics on the discussion board were: Big Data, mHealth, Connected...

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