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Opinion: Can Microsoft and Google keep up with Amazon in the battle of cloud computing?



Buzzwords and hype are common in the technology sector, where everyone is looking for the next way to play the “disruption” of one thing or another.

Certainly, if you catch a trend at the right time, you can make a lot of money relatively quickly.

Remember 3-D printing that was all the rage in 2013? Leader 3D SystemsDDD, +0.93%  ran up about 170% on the year compared with 30% gains or so for the S&P 500 SPX, -0.16%  . Now the current bitcoin craze just caused one unsung U.K. stock to surge 400% in a single day simply because it added the word “blockchain” to its name.

Of course, 3D Systems is now down about 90% from its peak. On Tuesday, shares plunged after earnings missed expectations and full-year guidance was withdrawn. And tons of respected analysts from Robert Shiller to Ray Dalio say bitcoin’s bubble is about to burst.

As tech investors, then, it’s important to look through the volatility and fancy lingo to find durable trends that deliver lasting returns.

The next such game-changing trend for investors is cloud computing. Some of these gains have already happened, as a bunch of cloud computing stocks have rallied in recent years. And heck, there are even fashionable ETFs like the First Trust Cloud Computing ETF SKYY, +0.19% dedicated to the trend.

But keep in mind that the fact that 21st-century tech sector is brutally selfish. From AMZN, -0.82%  ruling e-commerce to Apple AAPL, -0.71%   dominating U.S. smartphone sales, it’s clear that technology companies don’t like to share high-growth markets.

And that’s exactly what we have in the cloud. Gartner estimates that worldwide cloud services tallied $209 billion last year and could grow to $383 billion by 2020 — an amazing 83% jump in an already large market across just four years.

So who are the players now winning this cloud computing war, and who is best positioned to profit from the rise of cloud infrastructure and the pervasiveness of this new tech trend?

Likely winner: Amazon

There’s a reason that is the go-to investment for those looking to play cloud computing — and it’s not just because of the phenomenal track record of this stock. Amazon Web Services is now pacing a $20 billion annual business, posting $4.58 billion in revenue last quarter and commanded as much as 30% market share, according to one analyst.

Even more important is that the 42% year-over-year expansion in the most recent quarter is on par with the same growth rate reported last quarter. That suggests that while growth may be plateauing, AWS is still expanding at a very healthy clip. The icing on the cake is that Jeff Bezos & Co. have shown a brutal habit of dominating markets they enter even at razor-thin margins. With Amazon Web Services already a big profit center, you can be sure they will put the screws to all who try to compete in this market.

Likely winner: Microsoft

Of course, while Amazon is the leader, Microsoft MSFT, -0.76%  is no slouch. Under CEO Satya Nadella, the firm has pushed whole hog into cloud computing over the last three years — and it has paid off. Microsoft recently landed some big customers like advertising giant Publicis PUBGY, -0.41% PUB, -1.49%  and retailer Costco COST, +0.69%  for its Azure cloud-computing interface.

Microsoft’s most recent earnings report saw its Azure unit — a direct competitor of AWS — post 90% growth over a year earlier after growing a stunning 97% in the prior quarter. Its “commercial cloud” unit is now seeing a $20 billion annual run rate on par with Amazon (though admittedly some of that total is just old Office software licenses classified in a new category). It’s clear Microsoft has a sense of urgency and is intent on being one of the few left standing in the war for cloud computing revenue.

Possible winner: Google

Google parent Alphabet GOOGL, -0.75% GOOG, -0.71%  has a lot of positive mojo associated with its brand, and continues to talk up its presence in the cloud-computing ecosystem. But while Microsoft and Amazon provide some numbers for investors, it’s difficult for investors to get visibility into this unit; the word “cloud” doesn’t appear once in the Alphabet news release about last week’s earnings, and its Google Cloud offerings are rolled into its “Other Bets” revenue that includes everything from Chromecast hardware to in-app purchase on Android smartphones. And still, that entire business segment only recorded $300 million in total revenue last quarter — a far cry from the scale of the cloud businesses at Amazon and Microsoft.

This summer, Google claimed it was scoring many more big deals with clientsand growing nicely, but without more details and without more scale, it’s hard to gauge whether Google will be a player or just another also-ran.

Likely loser: IBM

International Business Machines IBM, -1.54% has been trying mightily to restructure its business for the age of cloud computing, but it is very likely too little and too late for this one-time king of tech. Sure, its cloud business was up nicely in the most recent quarter and represents 20% of total revenue and an annual run rate of $9.4 billion thanks to big clients including the U.S. Army and Honeywell HON, +0.30% But Big Blue has struggled as an organization, suffering 22 straight quarters of declining revenue even as it crosses its fingers and bets on everything from the cloud to cybersecurity to its Watson artificial intelligence applications.

It’s always possible that IBM could continue to see enough growth and success to play with the big boys, but the broader headwinds against the business make it difficult to imagine IBM becomes a leader… and if you’re not a leader in tech these days, you’re a loser.

Likely loser: VMware

While the price of VMware Inc. VMW, +1.30%  shares has been on a tear since early 2016 and recently hit levels not seen since its 2007 IPO, I’m not optimistic about its staying power. The company’s core server virtualization business faces an existential threat from the likes of AWS and Azure, and that threat isn’t going away. A partnership with Amazon announced in late 2016 was cheered by VMware investors as a match made in heaven, but such a move seems self-defeating since it will only encourage firms that already use VMware for virtualization to move their datacenters wholly off-site via AWS. Integrating the two may be a short-term boon for VMware as a way to keep current clients happy, but it’s hard to imagine it will counter the long-term threat.

Non-factors: Oracle, Salesforce, SAP and every other SaaS name

For the record, I don’t see companies like Oracle ORCL, -0.13%    and SalesforceCRM, -0.03%   as anything other than enterprise software companies – not true players in the cloud.

When was founded 20 years ago, it was thought of as a tech stock simply because it was a dot-com name. But come on – it’s a consumer travel company. Just as retailers have had to adapt to the realities of e-commerce, so have enterprise software names had to adjust to the new normal of cloud computing. That doesn’t make them core plays on this trend, however, and investors shouldn’t think of them as such.

Instead, the question for investors is whether the actual software and value-add gives a company like Oracle or Salesforce a true edge or a wide enough moat over competitors to be worth it.


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Your ultimate guide to getting hired in UX design




f you want to get hired in UX design, you need to know what design managers are actually looking for in their candidates. We’ve talked to design recruiters, hiring managers, and UX coaches to bring you an ultimate guide to getting hired in UX design.

With their help, we broke down the most important factors for UX designers to consider throughout the job search process—your portfolio, your UX resume, the interview itself, and everything in between. Let’s jump in!

1. Your Portfolio

Crafting a UX portfolio is no small feat, but if you do it right, you’ll reap major dividends in the job search process. Design Recruiter at Figma Korin Harris has a few portfolio-building tips to share:

“I see a lot of portfolios as a design recruiter. Applicants often make the same mistakes again and again—from including far too much text in project highlights, to overcomplicating animations on their landing page. I recommend you build your product design portfolio the same way you would tackle any design challenge: Start by putting yourself in the shoes of your target audience.

Leaders like this are very busy. They’re always running to their next meeting, phone call, or candidate interview, so they have limited time to review a portfolio (we’re talking minutes or even seconds). They’re trying to quickly parse a lot of information in that short period of time:

  • What type of design you do
  • Where your talents and passions lie
  • Whether you have the right experience for this particular role
  • How you tackle design challenges
  • Your overall design abilities

You can’t expect them to dig through pages of content to figure this stuff out. Instead, you need to spoon-feed the most pertinent information for the particular role you’re applying for.”


How many clicks
 does it take to get to your work? Does your landing page only consist of “about you” content? Click. Is your “work” icon in the upper right-hand corner? Click. Are your projects laid out so you have to pick one? Click.

Your target audience can’t go hunting for information. Your homepage should give them an overview of your design projects, so they’re only one click away from your work.


Tailor your project choices based on your career goals. Are you interested in mobile, web, or virtual reality design jobs? Make that clear by highlighting your experience in that area. Are you dying to quit the e-commerce industry and want to move into fintech, healthcare, or something else? Choose previous work accordingly.

“Tailor your projects” may seem like obvious advice, but applicants often struggle with this. They try to capture the entire breadth of their design career in one portfolio. They assume people will take the time to go through everything—but hiring managers often can’t.

For more UX portfolio tips see How to create a UX portfolio to land your first job

New Year, New Portfolio Site


Happy 2020! I recently updated my portfolio site. I am still working on it, but it’s at a point where I want to share it. I built the site in Webflow, and I loved it. Check out the live site here Thanks for looking!


2. Your Resume

To create a stand-out user experience resume, UX designer and coach Sarah Doody recommends doing the following:

  1. Tailor your resume to each role you apply to: Before you apply to a role, you should devour the job description because that’s where you can find out exactly what recruiters and hiring managers are looking for. Based on what you find in the job description, use this to tailor your resume for each role. By tailoring you could:
  2. Think of yourself as a product: The company is hiring you to do a job for them. What do great products do? They don’t just talk about their features. Instead, they highlight their benefits. By benefits, focus on the outcomes you’ve achieved. For past projects you worked on, what happened? What was the benefit to the team, business, or product?
  3. Include a title and a personal elevator pitch: Often times, especially in UX, job titles mean different things to different people. Ask 10 people what a “UX Designer” specifically does, and you’ll get 10 different answers. I recommend that you not only give yourself some type of title, but also have an elevator pitch. Your title quickly lets people know what you do at a high level. The elevator pitch helps clarify exactly what you do, and what you don’t do.

Check out the rest of Sarah’s resume building tips in her ultimate guide to designing a stand-out UX resume.

Minimal Figma CV/Resume Freebie


Hello dribbblers, Here is my first shot, a minimal CV/Resume template in Figma. Hope you guys will like it. Feel free to use it for your personal project! Kindly check it and let me know your comment below 🙂…


3. The Interview Process

Now that you’ve got your portfolio and resume ready, it’s time to prepare for the actual interview! Design Recruiter at Facebook, Carl Wheatley explains why proactive storytelling in a UX design interview is one of the most powerful techniques for demonstrating your expertise and communication skills:

“I’ve understood something from my many years of experience with UX interview sessions, which is the difference between telling your interviewers about you and showing them something about you. Which do you think is more powerful? I choose the latter because it’s been my greatest weapon in winning interview sessions and landing the job.

There’s no better way to shine during an interview than sharing a few compelling stories about your best design work. Your interviewers are always interested in learning about your past experiences, especially when you share them through captivating stories that help them make informed decisions faster. Anyone can tell an interviewer “I know how to run a usability test.” Instead, share the story about how you once ran a usability test and what the outcome was.

Hiring managers, like most people, are more captivated by stories than facts or data alone. Just remember not to go off tangent by sharing stories that aren’t related to the position you’re applying for. You don’t need to share stories about your degrees, family, or whatever. Focus on your working experiences, awards if any, your ultimate roles, the changes you’ve enacted, and the teams you’ve worked with.”

Here’s a list of 21 questions to expect in a UX interview and how to approach answering each one.



Try to use mixed mode to draw this illustration, I hope you like this style. Next, I will try to keep drawing T T Last but not least, hit “L” on that keyboard to share some ❤️ and stick around for future inspiration. Thank you all. Follow me to see more.


4. Negotiating Your Salary

Remember, the sharpest candidates also spend time researching and preparing for one of the most important yet often anxiety-inducing questions: “What salary are you looking to make?”

Based on her experience facilitating interviews between designers and hiring managers, Alayna Burton shares a few tips for approaching the salary conversation:

  • Do your research. What is the average salary for your design discipline? How many years of experience do you have? Know your numbers.
  • It’s always acceptable to bring up your salary expectations in an interview. You’ll end up saving both you and the employer’s time if it’s not the right fit.
  • The initial offer is typically not the final offer. Don’t be afraid to counter the first offer if it’s not too far off from what you asked for. There’s likely a little wiggle room.
  • Don’t forget to discuss your compensation package (health insurance, perks, etc.)—negotiations can also be made in this area.
  • Know your worth. It’s ok to walk away from a job offer if it isn’t right.

For more salary negotiation tips from Alayna, check out How to negotiate your design salary like a pro

Asking For a Raise


Part of a larger infographic about how to ask for a pay raise.


5. The Follow-Up

Never underestimate the power of a follow-up message! Design Recruiter at Facebook Carl Wheatley explains why this is important and suggests some helpful language to use:

After applying to a company, send a nice message to their recruiter or hiring manager letting them know you applied and are very interested in the role. This goes a long way. I recommend following up twice within the first month you applied. After that, I’d wait a month before you message them again. It always helps to follow up! Not everyone will reply, but it’s certainly worth doing. Here’s an example of the type of messaging you can use:

“Dear Carl, I’m a huge fan of Dribbble and how you connect all of us designers around the world. I applied to your UX Designer position and believe I could add a lot of value to your team. Please review my portfolio and feel free to reach out with any questions regarding my experience.”

Message Sent


Fly, bird, fly! Instagram



We hope you found all of these tips helpful! At the end of the day, remember that hiring managers especially want to see that you are a stellar communicator and have confidence in your expertise. Put yourself in their shoes when crafting your portfolio and resume, and remember that the interview process is where you should let your communication skills shine. With the help of these tips, you’ll be well on your way to landing your next best UX design job.


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Why Online Casinos Are Poised To Expand Globally




Right now, online casinos produce very popular games in certain parts of the world. Gaming sites in this category are concentrated largely in Canada, Oceania, Great Britain and other parts of Europe. However, given their nature as browser-based games, they also have reach around the world. Most anywhere that real-money casino gaming is legal, people can access sites from these areas; in some cases, they can even do so in a way that allows them to play the games for free, if real-money gambling isn’t an option.
Even given the global status of modern online casino gaming though, there’s a reasonable argument to be made that this category has potential to expand even more around the world. Consider the following factors.

The Mobile App Obsession
Given the estimation that smartphone users spent $120 billion on mobile apps in 2019, it’s safe to say that the world’s obsession with mobile apps is nowhere near drying up. People are always looking for new apps, whether for productivity, social interaction, information, or whatever else it may be. But gaming still makes for a significant portion of mobile app expenses, and it just so happens that casino games are increasingly available as mobile options.
Of the aforementioned casino gaming hotspots in Canada, Europe, and Oceania, many have games that can either be accessed via mobile device, or which even function as their own apps. And looking at the history of this genre of gaming in the mobile space, it looks as if more games could make their way to the medium in time.

The Natural Appeal Of Bonuses
Across all genres of gaming, and many of the most popular games, there are reward systems in place. From mobile apps in which you can unlock new levels with small payments, to console experiences in which your accomplishments open new possibilities for your character, the argument can be made that bonus incentives actually drive modern gaming. And when you really think about it, it’s fair to say casino gaming invented the model.
The bonuses at online casinos in Canada, which we pointed to above as being some of the worldwide leaders, demonstrate this in multiple ways. First and foremost, they offer matching deposits for people who register anew with Canadian gaming sites – which is not a model we see imitated too frequently in other gaming categories, but which very directly attracts gamers who love to get more, or get something free. Additionally, when you explore individual casino platforms in Canada or in some other places, you’ll find that some games – primarily among slot arcades – contain their own special bonuses and mini-games that can act as reward structures for players.
As the gaming world falls more and more in love with idea of bonuses and extras, casino games should only achieve greater appeal.

More Casino Content In Other Areas
Interestingly enough, we’ve actually seen some other, more mainstream video games embracing casino content in interesting ways, too. This isn’t a new phenomenon. Games from Super Mario RPG to Far Cry 3 have been including various forms of just-for-fun gambling for decades. Lately though, we’ve seen some popular console games going further to embrace full casino gameplay.
The most prominent example is Grand Theft Auto V, within which there’s a full-fledged casino. Featuring games, horse racing, membership options, and even penthouses, it’s arguably the most elaborate casino we’ve ever seen within a larger video game. This should only further general interest in casino play, perhaps specifically among gamers who haven’t delved into online casinos before.

Virtual Reality’s Lingering Potential
Finally, there’s also virtual reality’s lingering, looming potential to consider. Some have essentially written this medium off already, and this is understandable. There are reasons it isn’t mainstream yet, from prohibitive pricing to struggles in the development of good games. However, the technology remains astonishing when it works well, and developers haven’t given up yet. There’s every reason to believe that VR will ultimately produce some very engaging casino games – possibly in direct collaboration with some of the existing platforms in Canada, Europe, and around the world.
Altogether, these reasons comprise a case for even more expansion of online casino gaming around the world. Right now most people think of it as a popular form of gaming, but one confined to certain populations or niches. In the near future, we may simply think of it as a massive, global entertainment industry unto itself.

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Tips For Writing A Good Thesis




Are you in the final year of your studies? Then there is a good chance that you will (almost) start writing your graduation thesis. This is a big project, and it will take a lot of time and energy. Quite exciting so! give you a number of tips for writing a thesis:

1. The Subject

Coming up with a good and fun subject is often one of the most difficult things about writing a thesis. The subject must probably meet certain requirements for your education, and it is also important that you find it a nice subject. Then of course it should interest you a bit!

2. Plan

You probably hear it throughout your school career: planning is incredibly important. Chances are that you always thought: ‘What nonsense! I write all my reports in one day (or night of course) ‘.

For your thesis we can help you from that dream: That will not happen now! Writing a thesis really takes a lot of time and moreover you will usually have to do research, for which you certainly need a couple of weeks (or months).

And that is also with your side job and your hobbies! So start on time and stick to your schedule as well as you can! In addition, also plan moments of relaxation. Otherwise you will scream crazy.

3. Use Your Supervisor Or Supervisor

At most schools / universities, students have appointed a supervisor for their thesis. This is usually a teacher or professor who knows a lot about the subject on which you write your thesis.

An expert! Make use of his or her expertise! Schedule regular meetings with your supervisor, present him or her your work, and ask for feedback. This will only make your final thesis better. You can usually also contact your supervisor or supervisor for more general questions about writing a thesis.

4. Keep Your Source List Up To Date!

A list of sources is required for every thesis. It is therefore useful if, at the moment that you add a source to your thesis, you immediately add it to your source list.

This saves you a lot of time and stress at the end, just before you have to hand in your thesis. A tool that helps you keep track of sources is  Mendeley Highly recommended!

5. Keep In Touch With Your Fellow Students

Writing a thesis can be a bit lonely. Often you have no or very few lessons, and so you see few classmates or studymates during that period.

Meet them occasionally. You can spar together about certain things that you are not sure about, and they can give you new insights. In addition, it is also just really cozy!

6. Request Feedback From Others

When your thesis is finished at the end, ask your parents, your brothers or sisters, your friends or your classmates if they want to read your thesis. Ask if they want to pay attention to spelling errors (they just sneak in, no matter how well you check your thesis) and whether they can follow everything correctly. Schedule time to process their feedback and make some final adjustments.

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