Education Software and Courseware Testing Solutions

At Quardev, we love learning. We also thrive on sharing ideas that enable our team to grow professionally, and ensure that we are employing the best solutions for our clients.

In the education field, Quardev’s experience includes work that spans early learning and edutainment, K-12, and collegiate scholastic studies, as well as professional vocational and technical training. We understand the mechanics and nuances of delivering content while managing security issues and can quickly expose areas of high risk within an application.

Our clients find us a reliable partner in the testing of delivery engines, Learning Management Systems / Learning Content Management System applications, content, and database integrity – ensuring your product meets your requirements, release deadlines, and exacting standards for quality.

We look forward to hearing from you! Contact us today to learn more about Quardev, and what separates us from the field in the courseware testing space.

Which Technical Skills Should I Acquire?

by Torrie Arnold

Among the most common and worst questions that recruiters are consistently asked, “What technical skill(s) should I acquire to increase my marketability?” It’s a question commonly asked and a clear answer from a recruiter unwittingly places the candidate at risk. Changing labor market demands, a misunderstanding of one of the most common elements of success, and the massive amount of time it takes to properly develop a skill should have already placed this question in obsolescence.

Typically I answer this question in pointing out what we all know to be obvious. With the general labor market changing rapidly, the tech sector is perhaps the most dynamic and rapidly changing of all. Skills that were in demand 6 months ago from any specific point in time within the last three years have almost all faded towards saturation at best, obscurity at worst. Successful developers, architects, security engineers etc. have all risen to and maintained their edge in either developing new skills of honing expertise in one area. Constantly developing new technical skills to keep up with the market allows one to remain marketable, but can sometimes feel taxing like a treadmill that won’t stop. Contrarily, developing a true expertise may allow one to carve out a particular niche within a larger industry, but limits the scope of future opportunities.  Remaining a successful engineer will require either diversification or specialization, and won’t be easy either way. It’s best to start where your interests are than where the market is temporarily placing its spotlight.

With the above in mind, it doesn’t make much sense to choose a direction purely based on current market demand. However, we are also aware that failing to plan means planning to fail, and we know where we will ultimately end up in choosing to develop a skill that has no market demand. What next? As naïve as it sounds; following your passion is the best way to start. Identifying those areas with relative demand is rather simple, just check a few pages of local job listings and assess what skills the labor market is in need of, and take a personal inventory of what interests you most, if you haven’t already. Few common threads run amongst the most successful people in the world, but passion for what they do is one that is undeniable. Not only will you have more fun in acquiring such skills that you love, but you will also be more driven to meet the changing landscape of what will be needed now and later to achieve your personal passions and goals. Where do you start? Wherever you most want to, the where you start shouldn’t be determined without first recognizing your passion as the why.

The massive amount of time it takes to learn a new element of security, learn a new programming language proficiently enough to list on your resume, attain a Microsoft or Cisco certification, etc. is not going to be the best use of your time unless the pursuit of these skills is at least partly for reasons of self-edification and sincere interest. Rather than pursue the in-demand skill of today that you are half-heartedly interested in and won’t be in demand by the time you acquire it, it may be best to spend your time networking, learning who the organizations in your particular field are and what they do, request and attend informational interviews, learn how to market yourself in the resume and in the interview, and make sure you have a recruiting consultant that listens and partners with you in helping you to reach your goals.

Your career will most likely be a long road, denying your personal interests and refusing to be ruthless with your time will make this road all the more arduous and all the less enjoyable.


The Best Kept Secret of Top Performers

A common parallel among successful people is that they score highly in Emotional Intelligence. Even people who may not have the highest IQ can surpass their colleagues because of the ability to tap into their EQ to appropriately connect with those around them.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) has been thought of as an aptitude, something you either possess or don’t; however, it seems clear that the science is pointing to just the opposite. In fact, there is much you can do to assess and improve your EQ, the critical factor to both personal and professional success.

EQ is a nebulous thing we all possess at differing levels that affects how we understand ourselves and through the lens that we practice self-management, social empathy, and relationship building. Because it is so nebulous it is difficult to measure and to understand what you need to do in order to improve.

The good news is that there are seemingly infinite resources to help with both of these tasks – first figuring out where you stand currently on the EQ spectrum and second to practice and learn to improve where you can. The following are two resources by highly recognized researchers, consultants, and speakers, Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves.

These books are a great introduction, assessment tool, and action plan toward greater abilities in EQ. There are also many online resources for assessments (paid and free) and skill building. It seems well worth the time to work on these skills as highly emotional intelligent people are the most productive and in turn the most successful.

High Emotional Intelligence = Top Performer = Career and Life Success

Keep learning!

Thoughts on Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality – Why It Matters

Mixed reality is increasingly becoming a part of our lives, and those of us working in software and hardware development should keep a keen eye on these technologies. We are all likely to be affected, and the demands of these technologies will impact the work we do.

The term “Mixed Reality” was coined in 1994 by Paul Milgram and Fumio Kishino to describe the continuum that exists between our perceived reality and a reality that has been generated or modified artificially. That continuum stretches between the real environment, at one extreme end of the spectrum, to an augmented reality, an augmented virtuality, and to a completely virtual environment on the extreme opposite end of the spectrum.1

Some additional definitions may be helpful here:

  • Augmented Reality (AR) is a term used to describe the technology of using digital components to enhance our experience in the real world. Information not ordinarily available to our natural senses is provided by AR tools to improve our interactions with the world around us.
  • The Mixed Reality term Augmented Virtuality is used to describe a system consisting mostly of an artificially generated environment that also has some real elements. This includes using real-world images within a virtual space, for example. The common lexicon used to describe these technologies usually defines Augmented Virtualty (AV) as either AR or Virtual Reality (VR).
  • Virtual Reality is getting a great deal of attention these days, and it refers to a completely digital recreation of a real setting. It is not uncommon for a 360-video experience to be labeled as VR, but that is not always technically correct. As VR technology improves and audiences become more familiar with the technology, they will increasingly expect to be more than a passive observer of a VR experience. They will expect full interactions with the artificial environment.

Virtual Reality’s wide-ranging applications

Not surprisingly, the entertainment industries are pushing the development of Virtual Reality (VR), and this is particularly true of the gaming industry. In a recent game developer’s conference held in San Francisco, attendees were surveyed, and 16% of those polled indicated they were actively involved in virtual reality game development. To put that in perspective, that was more than the game development of the two current Nintendo game systems combined.2  This year’s Sundance film festival held in January featured no less than 30 VR-related experiences.3 Movies increasingly are becoming more interactive and games are becoming increasingly visual. The merging of these industries through VR seems inevitable.

The entertainment and gaming industries seem to be driving VR development at the consumer level, but VR is prevalent in other areas as well. The military has used simulators to train personnel for many decades, and the use of VR has only enhanced training efforts. VR provides a no-risk means of exposing soldiers to dangerous situations to train for proper responses.4  This type of training is also being used by police departments for similar reasons.5  Not just on the streets,  VR is being investigated as a way to give jurors a more detailed view of a crime scene and events that occurred. Researchers in Zurich have found it makes it easier for jurors to determine if someone is guilty or not.6

VR is also being employed in manufacturing. For example, Ford is using VR as a form of prototyping to inspect a vehicle design for flaws and usability.7 Ford is not alone.  According to one international VR company, Peugeot, Renault, BMW, and Jaguar all have VR centers, and Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Airbus, Miele, and BAE also use VR to prototype their designs.8   Toyota has used VR to help educate teens on the dangers of distracted driving and they believe VR will be used extensively in education to make learning more efficient.9 Several companies dedicated to VR education are creating packages of content and instructor materials for K – 12 schools.10

Other examples of VR use include museums using it to give visitors to their website a chance to tour their museum remotely, real estate companies providing potential buyers the ability to explore a new listing, and in medicine, VR is helping to train surgeons in operating rooms. It is also being used to help soldiers and others dealing with PTSD. The list of applications of VR just goes on and on. The same is true for AR.

Augmented Reality may prove to be even more important

As much attention as VR is getting these days, Augmented Reality (AR) is poised to be many times bigger. According to a recent article on, “Analyst Digi-Capital predicts an AR market of $90 billion annually by 2020, compared to $30 billion for VR.” 11 The difference is due to the fact that AR does not replace the user environment, but instead adds information to the user’s normal environment. This technology is poised to become ubiquitous in our daily lives.

A common example of AR use today in our lives is the use of a QR code to obtain information about something encountered in our environment. Snapping a picture with a smart phone of the QR code in an application that can read the code will result in additional information about an object or event presented at the point of interest. This technology is commonplace at retail shelves, but to give an idea of just how far this may go; one company is making use of QR codes for gravestones. They see a future in which people will snap the QR code on a headstone to see details of the deceased.12 It may seem strange today, but in a world where such information augmentation is everywhere, it will feel entirely normal.

Similar to QR code use, AR is also used to assist in visualizing how real elements will look with some sort of addition or modification by taking a picture and adding in artificial elements to see how they look together. Design software makes use of this sort of thing, making it possible, for example, to see how furniture or wall paint colors will look within an existing room.13 Retailers use this technology to see how a product or modification will look on store display shelves with existing products. This same technology has been employed in construction to visualize how a structure will fit and work in an existing environment.14

Some other uses of AR include an application in development that allows encrypted text to be viewed through AR glasses in unencrypted form. Also, real-time translation of foreign languages is increasingly being used in International communications and travel. Automotive windshield dashboard display, military use of heads-up displays, location-based notifications and alerts, parts identification based on a picture of the object, and in medicine, the aggregation of multiple displays into one combined display for a surgeon, are all examples of AR technology being used today.

We are the forefront of new technologies in VR and AR that will increasingly be commonplace in our lives. From entertainment to medicine and industrial use, these advancements will necessitate those of us in the software development lifecycle to stay informed and seek to find ways these technologies can be incorporated into our work.

We’d love to hear what you think of the VR/AR evolving landscape; share your thoughts with us on our Tweeter feed –, @quardev





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