I have started to use Lingvist to improve my french. I have to improve all aspects of my french and the most important one is the writing skills. The exercises proposed are fine to improve the writing skills.

The proposed platform contains elements of gamification where you can measure your results, time invested, etc. I miss that for reading and listening content the platform does not offer exercises to check your level of understanding or listening so you can also track that evolution.

ServiceNow Training Vs SalesForce Trailhead

I have accessed to the ServiceNow training services they offer. And as I have been using the SalesForce Trailhead services, to compare it is the first thing I have done.

The first thing you find is that the majority of the courses are so much expensive. You can consider that nothing is for free, but the amount of training courses offered by SalesForce is impressive.

The user interface is very classical in comparison with trailhead. The use of videos is low and there is a lot of documentation to read, but without a clear learning path or goal.

The way the information is updated it nice but you have the feeling you are accessing to a help database from 2002.

It’s clear the training strategy from ServiceNow is so much different to the one picked by SalesForce. I’m sure they are making some money with these training courses, but the speed of adoption of the communitty (technical, users and business users) is going to grow very slowly in comparison with SalesForce.

Retail, some basic lessons I learned

Based on a SAP platform, some basic lessons I learned about retail.

The stores:

  • The POS are terminals that retrieve data from a server, typically located on the same store.
  • The server of the store receives/sends data to a SAP PI.
  • The frequency of these communications depends on your capacity to manage big volumes of data.
  • The technology on the store can be independent to SAP. SAP PI will send the appropriate data format.


  • The Origin of all data comes from ERP, specially from SAP SD (sales & distribution).
  • SAP Retail will gather the detailed data that goes and come to the POS servers.
  • SAP Retail have all detailed data. The quality and the granularity of the data will determine the ability to posterior data mining actions.
  • Typical problems of SAP Retail are: communications, and reporting (have the ability to gather the required data in terms of volume or detail).
  • The management of promotions and affiliations is other major topic on the processes.
  • To simplify the data complexity, SAP Retail sends the data to SAP SD taking into account that each store is a single customer.
  • Affiliated people can be on a CRM or on SAP SD.
  • SAP PI sends/receives data and transforms it into the right formats. This enable the integration with different POS vendors.

Data mining:

  • For high levels of detailed data: retrieve it from SAP Retail. SAP HANA is not enough for handling big volumes of data. Hadoop is the preferable solution for these big volumes.
  • For detailed data: retrieve it from SAP SD.
  • For generic data: retrieve it from SAP FICO.
  • A serious BW retrieves data from SAP Retail.

Real time & transactions:

  • Frequency of transactions between POS and SAP can be complex when you have so many terminals.
  • The need to increase this frequency can stress the architecture and force changes at that level.
  • The demand of data miners and the need to act on prices at the end of the day depending on the consumption trends can be something complex if the architecture is not well implemented.
  • Majority of transactions are done during the night, but it could be different.

Trailhead, continuous evolution

I completed some trails of SalesForce Trailhead. Now I come back to make some new modules and I have found that some of the trails I did have included some new modules to enrich the knowledge of the trail.

For instance on the developer beginner there is a new module for search engine, where you learn about:

  • Salesforce Object Search Language (SOSL) and other aspects of search.
  • How to refine a search and have a balance between data offered and time response.
  • How to include auto-suggest on searchs.
  • How admins can promote a maximum of 2000 terms.

Once completed you have again completed the trail, with more points: from 19225 to 19525.


Discovering Kik

I have been reviewing Kik, specially the ability to create your own bot.

You interact with the development environment through a bot that adds you into the development environment and that guides you about the next steps you can perform to create a bot and a bot user.

It is interesting to see the bot store, and discover the maturity of the community.

It’s interesting to review the code of a basic bot, and review the kikAPI.

I learned that WhatsApp is against the creation of bots in its platform. So, they did their best to avoid any bots in their platform. If you manage to create a bot for WhatsApp, then it violates the WhatsApp terms and conditions. When WhatsApp is aware of your bot, the corresponding mobile number will be banned from WhatsApp and make your whole effort useless. WhatsApp is planning to support business through business accounts in middle 2016.

SalesForce Trailhead Developer Beginner

During these last 7 days I have been using my free time to complete the Developer Beginner training from SalesForce.

I have worked in Lotus Domino world during some years and so much of the concepts implemented in SalesForce have the same vision of Lotus Notes; the difference is for sure there are 20 years difference in the technology to implement that vision.

The similarities in the concepts with Lotus Notes made me to go quickly on the training sessions. The most useful part are the challenges and the code you can test at the same time you read the lesson. The usability and the way to acquire concepts is so good, the timing of 20 – 25 minutes is also good.

Do I recommend to go through this training? yes and no.

  • If you want to understand the basic concepts of the SalesForce platform and understand how powerful it is, YES.
  • If you loved Lotus Domino and miss to work on a platform as that, YES.
  • If you are a pure programmer that comes from Java, .NET world, you probably will find it boring, so NO.
  • If you find corporate workflows and business process boring, NO.

SFDC-Trailhead-Developer-Beginner I will go through other one during Christmas time, Which one do you recommend me?

Taking care of my career

All of us have to take care of our professional careers.

Frequently I am asking myself what should be the next thing I would like to do?, is the current role I perform the right one at medium/long term?, Which skills do I need to have the opportunity for a desired role?

Invested time by area of expertise.

joapen-invested-timeIn 2010 I started this picture. I have used it for different reasons: send to management for applying to positions, share with HR, annual reviews with my boss… and for thinking about where I go.

To all people I sent it, by the way not too much, they appreciate how clear is the progression and the direction of my career. And they always ask about what happens in 2007.

On the right side of this picture there is a wish list of potential roles, activities, type of projects and other professional ambitions I would like to put in place.

The second main metric I started to do was this one: # hours invested in courses.

This only include formal courses with a certificate, nothing related to personal reading/learning or any other activity.

This keeps me focused to plan new training activities related to the roles/initiatives I would like to be engaged.

joapen-hours-courses-2014The third thing I also have is the parachute diagram from Which color is your parachute. This is a powerful diagram that I recommend.

Do you have any recommendation?

Service Mesh, agility platform

I was reading and reading documents about how it works, the value it provides… and got a basic and blurred idea about the whole thing. So I decided to attend a training session related to Service Mesh, and this was a great decision because and now, after this sessions, that add a set of more than 50 real exercises, I can say that I understand how powerful is.

Just a reminder for me: CSC Service Mesh offers to all customers and users of the Agility Platform a set of Agility Platform Tools to create Agility Platform compatible images for a range of operating systems across public and private cloud providers.


HeartBleed vulnerability

Some basis I’ve learned about this issue.

OpenSSL is an open-source implementation of SSL.  It is not the only implementation of SSL, and is not even the primary implementation of SSL.  Most vendors have their own implementation of SSL and TLS, which is directly related.

OpenSSL is available as an installed package, or as a utility “toolkit”.

The heart-bleed vulnerability is due to a programming error introduced in December 2011 and has been present in production releases since February 2012.

Primary places where the full package is used:  web servers such as Apache and nginx.
Common uses for toolkit use: custom – written applications that use SSL to protect their data such as VPN clients and SSL VPNs.

The estimated number of commercial web sites subject to this vulnerability is huge:  500,000 worldwide.

is Windows or Mac affected by this issue?  Not inherently – neither use an open source implementation of SSL or TLS.  However the likelihood of any of the sites you use on a regular basis being vulnerable is very high as Apache is very commonly used for commercial web sites.  Your best bet is to contact product vendors and watch the security media to understand exactly which of your products are vulnerable.

is my Linux/Unix vulnerable?   Very possibly.  OpenSSL is much more common on these systems.

can I know if I’ve been compromised?  In short, no.  The vulnerability leaves sensitive data such as private keys, usernames, passwords, and more in memory on the system in a decrypted form where it can be directly read by any program.  Testing of the currently published exploits show that they are virtually undetectable.  This is a particularly difficult vulnerability as it is difficult to impossible to tell whether a program reading this area in memory is doing it as part of normal operation or as part of the exploit.  So typical log monitoring will not identify a compromise in this instance.

Is a fix available?  are all version affected?  The vulnerability has been re-mediated in the current version.  See the link below for a list of secure versions and a list of safe and unsafe operating systems.

A good source of additional info: