CQL Blog

4 Reasons We're Counting Down to TEDxGrandRapids

Posted by Adam Clarke

4/23/14 10:48 AM

Four years ago CQL helped found TEDxGrandRapids and since then has stayed involved with the event as sponsors, volunteers, and participants. I personally appreciate the support from CQL because I’ve been on the event’s planning committee all 4 years.

When the event first started, we were a group with a goal: To organize one of the top TEDx events in the world. I may be a little biased, but I believe we’ve done just that. TEDxGrandRapids is a great organization to be a part of and sometimes I can’t believe what a team of 30 volunteers can accomplish. 

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Topics: Community

6 Critical Lessons We've Learned About Refining A Business Process

Posted by Rob Haveman

4/18/14 11:36 AM

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in February 2012 and has been updated for accuracy. 

At CQL, we believe a good process is like a vehicle that drives us to our desired destination.

In theory, we should be able to use and reuse that vehicle (the process) for many trips to reach the same end point.

Wow that sounds easy! Right? Anyone who has ever experienced a long road trip knows that reaching the destination is rarely as easy as you envision, even when you plan out your entire itinerary.

Inevitably, you'll encounter something unexpected. What happens when the scenery changes? How about when a fellow traveler is trying to dictate a new unplanned route? Or you run out of gas?

We have been slowly refining and adapting our agile development process for almost a decade to learn how to avoid and adapt to these kind of roadbumps. Even though the technological scenery has certainly changed during that long road, we have found certain universal simple statements to be true.

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Topics: Business Strategy, Development

Testing SOAP and REST Services

Posted by Ryan Zuwala

4/16/14 10:48 AM

Have you considered techniques for testing SOAP and REST services? I've had some experience with SoapUI, a popular debugging application, in the past but am still amazed at how powerful it is.

SoapUI is a free, open-source Functional Testing solution, the self-proclaimed “Swiss-Army knife of testing.” Basically it’s the Fiddler-equivalent for web services, similar to the WCF Test Client that ships with Visual Studio, but with a much richer set of features.

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Topics: Development

What the Heck is the Cloud Anyway?

Posted by Andrew Webster

4/11/14 9:00 AM

Why Understanding the Cloud Matters

You may have seen headlines in the past few months announcing that 51% of Americans believe stormy weather will interfere with “the Cloud.” A study of more than 1,000 Americans conducted in 2012 by Wakefield research, and commissioned by Citrix, showed that for the most part people are still very confused by the Cloud, even though they’re using it.

According to the study, “Nearly 33% see the Cloud as a thing of the future, yet 97 percent are actually using Cloud services today via online shopping, banking, social networking and file sharing."

22% of respondents admitted to pretending to know what the Cloud is when asked. Only 16% said they think of a “computer network to store, access and share data from internet-connected devices.”

So, since most of us using it, we should probably understand what it is.

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Topics: Hosting

Why I Ditched My Microsoft Surface for an Ultrabook

Posted by Kevin Antel

4/9/14 9:13 AM

Eighteen months later and guess what? I no longer have my 1st generation Surface. The more I used it, the more it became like a low-end laptop to me. It’s much easier to travel with my Xyboard for general email and reading.  I tend to be a weight and bulk snob, so the Surface just wasn’t right for me. 

What’s new? NOTHING! I honestly can’t believe we haven’t seen some really cool innovations in this area. My guess is that we’re seeing a transition. Tablets are being overruled by phones, which can be sold in larger quantities over a year and replaced quickly.

Plus, with increased density of chips and better battery life, Ultrabooks are becoming sleeker, sustainable, and well, just cool! Throw on that the ability to touch the screens now. Yup, this ol’ IT geek, who would have bitten your greasy finger off for touching my screen, is excited I can finally swipe, tap and twist it!

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Topics: Gadgets, Technology