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Archive for March, 2013

Gamification in Relation to User Engagement

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On March 27, 2013 No Comments

Gamification is a relatively newer term only introduced in 2002 by Word Cloud "Gamification"Nick Pelling (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Pelling), it did not actually gain notoriety until 2010. By definition from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamification) “Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context in order to engage users and solve problems. Gamification is used in applications and processes to improve user engagement, Return on Investment, data quality, timeliness, and learning.”

Even if gamification is a relatively new concept for you, my guess is that you have probably already participated in it without even knowing it. You see gamification techniques have been utilized in apps that you employ a points or badge system for performing a variety of procedures. One such example of this reward-like system is Facebook’s Farmville developed by Zynga back in 2009. Farmville utilizes a farm management based simulation with a point system that encompasses the daily operations of farming, such as: plowing fields and planting them, harvesting crops and raising livestock. Perhaps one of the more notorious games which began back in 1989 and is still popular today is Sim City, most have at least heard of it if not played it. SimCity allows for interaction through game play in the course of building a city. So as you can see the social/reward characteristics of games into software (and simulations) have existed for quite some time, regardless of the term ‘gamification’ being only termed a few years back. (more…)

Rackspace Solves its Recruitment Problems

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On March 20, 2013 No Comments

open_cloud_academyIn its race with Amazon, Rackspace Hosting’s struggle over the open-source cloud computing has been epic.  The two firms compete heavily with each other over the emergence of each of there computing platforms.  Rackspace has promoted its OpenStack platform to corporate clients, just as Amazon has been doing.  As tech heavyweights throw their support behind one or the other, the growth for both firms have been massive.

Both firms struggle to finding enough technical workers with any experience with “cloud computing” skills.  These are the skills necessary to take the various computer languages and install them into the infrastructure of these cloud-based platforms.  Universities and colleges have limited or no programs dealing with these cutting-edge technical skills.

To solve this problem, Rackspace is launching the Open Cloud Academy.  The Open Cloud Academy will offer a number of educational programs that will provide students certifications in these cloud-based technologies.  Rackspace Chairman, Graham Weston says; “The Open Cloud Academy can help turn the tide by offering highly sought after technical training to the public, bolstering the this scarce pipeline and helping fill the countless number of roles in San Antonio and beyond.” (more…)

Training Dolphins to be Soldiers

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On March 13, 2013 No Comments

The History Channel has released a clip about the training programs employed by the Soviets in the 1960’s.

What makes this interesting is a Ukrainian marine mammal program that is training dolphins to do the same thing currently.  What makes this more relevant is the three of these Ukrainian Killer Dolphins are on the loose in the Black Sea.  Here is an article from Business Insider on this story.

Simulation Training Solutions and Learning Approaches to Combat Acute Skills Gap

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On March 6, 2013 No Comments

gselogoSYKESVILLE, Md., Mar 01, 2013 (BUSINESS WIRE) — GSE Systems, Inc. (nyse mkt:GVP) has published a new white paper titled “The Case for Simulation-Based Training in the Oil and Gas Industry, Upstream and Downstream”. The document examines the need for efficient and effective workforce development in the oil and gas industry worldwide to combat the acute shortage of skilled workers both upstream and downstream.

“Statistics show that U.S. universities are producing only about 20 percent of the engineering graduates they did 20 years ago,” said Jim Eberle, Chief Executive Officer of GSE Systems. “Thus, the petroleum industry needs to train its recruits better and faster on systems that are more complex than ever before. They also need to make sure that they retain those recruits over the long term. New innovations in simulation-based training will allow industry trainers to accomplish these goals in less time with lower costs.”




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