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  1. #1
    Registered User jamespaulritter's Avatar
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    Got any pda career suggestions?

    Ive been in cardiology for 7 years now and am getting ready to begin more specialized training that will lock me into medical. I spend way more time than I should messing with anything pda. What job ideas are there for persons odsessed with handhelds?
    I dont want to leave KC, or do sales ( I like regular paychecks).

  2. #2
    Registered User jpmihalk's Avatar
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    I'm thinking that you shouldn't leave cardiology. It's certainly a better paying profession.

    Otherwise, unless you are an engineer, you won't find much out there. PDA's tend to be an afterthought to most computer manufacturers.
    John

  3. #3
    Editor and Site Administrator Convergent's Avatar
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    And like any electronics commodity, the bulk of the work is shifting offshore. Things I can think of are accessories and software development... if you have those skills. Probably the most lucrative money maker in the US would be consulting in the development of pervasive applications that use wireless PDAs. That is where I started in consulting, and would love to still be there. I've grown into large enterprise systems project management which is not nearly as fun. When I was doing pervasive, I was generally the project manager, lead consultant, and technical architect of the project. Often I even did some of the coding. Now I'm stuck managing project managers and dealing with customer executives, and dealing with paperwork... Thus, this site is an island of fun when I can escape here during the day.
    Mike - Been Converged?

  4. #4
    Registered User jamespaulritter's Avatar
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    Where would an oblivious person begin in accuiring info on "consulting in the development of pervasive applications that use wireless PDAs"?

  5. #5
    Editor and Site Administrator Convergent's Avatar
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    Originally posted by jamespaulritter
    Where would an oblivious person begin in accuiring info on "consulting in the development of pervasive applications that use wireless PDAs"?
    I would start with looking at what development tools are available for the devices. There are tools for building applications to run on the devices, and then there are also toolkits designed to build "connected" applications that would tie into other systems. Its been quite a long time since I've been involved in that end of the business, so I can't really make any recommendations about what tools to use. When I was doing it, it was a long time ago when the only wireless pen based terminals were big proprietary industrial devices that required a lot of manual coding. Today its a lot different. I will warn you that enterprise tools such as this are usually quite expensive, so if you are serious you may want to try contacting some of the companies to see if they have a developer program. The other thing that you may also need to deal with is that often you are connecting to backend systems which you would need to simulate somehow.

    With today's combination of WiFi and effective Web Browsers on the PDAs, you may want to just skip some of the specialized stuff and look at developing web based PDA apps. This opens up a lot of cost savings and productivity, however it may also create its own problems like security for example.

    Just to give you an example of a type of application that I'm talking about.... our company developed a PDA based application for one of the state's Parole agencies. The Parole agents would download their information to a Palm based device and it would include the schedule of Parolees that were setup for the day, as well as the applications used to do the interviews. At the end of the day, the agent would sync it up and the application would update their mainframe system. This saved them a couple of hours of paperwork and data entry each day, allowing them more time to meet with the Parolees. This was a project that lasted several years to develop. The application was developed using Lotus Notes and some pervasive tools for notes.

    One thing you may want to look into is the Blackberry environment, as there are a lot of vertical application toolkits for Blackberry.

    If you are technically savy and have general development skills, you could also seek a client that would be interested in working with you while you learn to prove out the technology. You may want them to buy the devices, if you invested the time to do the development. If you don't have a development background to start, then you'll need to build some programming skills, or work with a good developer and learn enough about the business end of pervasive computing to sell the clients on using it, then outsource the development. This would be a much greater challenge.
    Mike - Been Converged?

  6. #6
    Registered User jpmihalk's Avatar
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    I see more and more applications that are web-based and simply formatted for the small screens of PDAs. This way, the developers can keep changes to dynamic web sites consistent.

    Probably the best area to get into would be messaging. E-mail, SMS, IM, etc... there seems to be a big push for "push" technology - real-time messaging. PDA's are the obvious choice for a unified messaging client. Companies like Good Technology (Good Link) and Puma Technology (Intellisync) may be options for you.
    John

  7. #7
    Registered User jamespaulritter's Avatar
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    Like most careers it seems that the reality of the field is far removed from the users related interests.

    It seems a shame that a person like myself spends their working hours diagnosing cardiac dysfunction, and my free time absorbing any pda related information. While I have to give a pda rep (who can't answer any of my questions) alittle information so he dose'nt steer others wrong. And this is because he doset'nt pay attention at work and spends all his free time splicing home movies of his kids. Mean while the film editor painfuly watches the clock until he is off to meet his brother at the gym to run him through a good workout.

    Writing software for pdas. Would a career like that be any different than writing softwre in general. What about the people involved in the physical designing of devices? Are they some type of engineers? That soungs like something more related to the interests of a pda enthusiast.

  8. #8
    Converged Hundredaire Socialite njbair's Avatar
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    Don't you know? As soon as you get a job doing something you like, you just stop liking it.
    -nickster

    I'm pretty good with a bowstaff.

  9. #9
    Registered User jamespaulritter's Avatar
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    Ya, deffinately not all hobbies make good careers. And njbair
    are you busy with your career right now or your hobbie?

    And a tag on to my questions in my above post. Is application building a flooded market? Does every tech geek want to do this?

  10. #10
    Registered User jpmihalk's Avatar
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    Hehehe... it's just a phase you're going through. You'll outgrow it.
    John

  11. #11
    Registered User jamespaulritter's Avatar
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    You may be right. Or it may be a panic before commiting to bigger investments of time, money and effort in my current field. But the kid in me still says I have an out of the ordinary interest in little things with buttons and computers in general. The other day my wife decided to finish her workout on another piece of equipment because I was so involved in a conversation with the lady next to me about her pda. I start up conversations with people at work any time I notice them carrying a pda. And Im sitting her chatting with all you crazy people, thats some kind of proof

  12. #12
    Registered User jpmihalk's Avatar
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    I understand completely. PDAs are fun and distracting. And since I work in a healthcare company and we are doing a lot of work with PDAs, I pretty much live in the world of PDAs every day. I have a lot of opinions based on my research. I try not to let those opinions out too much.
    John

  13. #13
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    Re: Got any pda career suggestions?

    Originally posted by jamespaulritter
    Ive been in cardiology for 7 years now and am getting ready to begin more specialized training that will lock me into medical. I spend way more time than I should messing with anything pda. What job ideas are there for persons odsessed with handhelds?
    I dont want to leave KC, or do sales ( I like regular paychecks).
    Make some software. For people that sell on ebay.
    That way they can take pictures, do the wright-ups, check email, and get a bucket of finger licken chicken at the same time.

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