Top code and framework trends to watch in 2018

 

Top code and framework trends to watch in 2018Like most years, 2017 was full of change for developers. But for some ecosystems, the year was extremely busy. Heck, even C++ (a language that has updated its standard only three times since 1998) released a new standard version in 2017. This never-ending churn is why it’s important to review the major changes from the past year and get a sense of what’s coming down the pike.

To help you review the various ecosystem changes that happened last year and get ahead of the curve on the trends for 2018, TechBeacon interviewed experts in architecture, microservices, data science, Java, JavaScript, and Android. Here’s what we learned.

Expect a greater focus on evolutionary architecture and microservices data distribution

“Evolutionary architecture and automation of architectural governance and analysis are going to be a major focus for software firms in 2018,” said Mark Richards, author of Software Architecture Patterns. To get up to date on the latest software architecture trends, he recommends reading Neal Ford’s Building Evolutionary Architectures.

It isn’t just about pushing for a switch to microservices—although microservices do qualify as an evolutionary architecture. It’s about focusing on the development of architectures that can handle significant change over time. As long as the architecture has …

  • Modularity and lose coupling
  • Organization around business capabilities
  • And the ability to conduct an operationally inexpensive experiment

… it qualifies as evolutionary architecture. It doesn’t have to be microservices.

As for the evolution of microservices, many organizations have already figured out how to make them, Richards said, but data distribution is still a difficult aspect of breaking down a monolithic architecture, and there’s no easy way around that.

He expects more organizations to hit this snag in 2018. “Most companies have figured out the functional and technical portion of microservices now,” he said, “but the hard part of microservices is still data.”

Serverless will continue to grow, with AWS Lambda dominating

Bradley Holt, developer advocate and senior engineer at IBM, said 2018 is the year that serverless will gain a foothold with developers. “Functions as a service (FaaS) allowed developers to compose applications and services from fine-grained components with the ability to scale capacity and cost based on demand,” he said.

As the number of serverless and FaaS resources and conferences grows, so will developer interest. As it stands, AWS Lambda is the go-to serverless platform for most developers. And even though serverless technology is still new, AWS will continue to dominate the serverless space for 2018, just as it dominates in other cloud infrastructure areas.

Almost all companies will ask if they need a data scientist

Businessman climbing ladder drawing idea on cloud

“Developers are beginning to realize the possibilities surrounding data science and ‘cognitive’ technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing,” said Holt. “I predict increased collaboration between application developers and data scientists, and further utilization of machine learning and related technologies.”

Richards agreed that “data science is everywhere now,” as evidenced by the growth of R (a statistical programming language) and Python’s data science libraries in 2017. That growth will continue into 2018, driven by the hype around artificial intelligence (AI).

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Java will be more vibrant than ever, with a new release cadence

Martijn Verburg, a leader of the London Java Community, said 2017 was a monumental year in Java’s evolution.

With Java SE moving to a six-month release cycle, Oracle’s JDK components migrating to the open-source OpenJDK, and Java EE moving to Eclipse, Java will only get better, Verburg said. “We’re going to see Java SE released more often, with more features.” And because OpenJDK will be the same as Oracle’s JDK, developers won’t face licensing issues.

These changes come in the wake of a major controversy that happened last year when a majority of the Java Community Process executive committee voted against Project Jigsaw, a proposed implementation of Java modules. Verburg and others worried that Jigsaw would harm the industry, so they asked for modifications.

“Mark Reinhold and Oracle—to their credit—listened to us and made the changes,” said Verburg, and the new proposal passed.

Shortly after that, Oracle proposed that the OpenJDK move to twice-yearly releases for new Java versions, a measure the community welcomed. Slow releases—often taking a year or more to complete—were a common criticism of Java. So this year, the community may see fewer posts arguing that Java is dead.

“I expect 2018 to be a year of innovation for Java as almost all of the remaining legal, IP, and release delay issues have now been resolved.” —Martijn Verburg, CEO of JClarity and a key contributor to OpenJDK

Java EE (now EE4J) will go cloud-native

Top code and framework trends to watch in 20181

Oracle’s donation of Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) to the open-source Eclipse Foundation, which Eclipse renamed EE4J, was another huge change for Java in 2017.

The Eclipse Foundation also launched micro-profile, a platform definition that optimizes EE4J for microservices. Together, EE4J and MicroProfile will enhance traditional Java EE APIs in 2018, turning them into cloud-, asynchronous-, and microservice-compatible APIs, while following a semi-standardized process.

The MicroProfile community doesn’t want to take a hard standards approach, according to its website, because that would slow down innovation. Instead, it wants to allow projects within MicroProfile to innovate and consider standardization only when contributors agree on approaches.

MicroProfile should help more enterprise Java developers move to microservices—specifically, those who still prefer Java EE/EE4J implementations (for example, CDI) over Spring framework ones (like Spring DI). But developers who don’t mind using the Spring ecosystem can use Spring Boot, a microservice-building framework that has been available to Java developers for several years.

Java 10 will include major performance boosts

Last year, Verburg predicted that Java 9 wouldn’t have as much impact as Java 8, and so far that has indeed been what happened. Java 9 comes with big changes that could be slowing adoption since it forces developers to update some of their applications in order to use the module system. The more frequent language releases coming in 2018 are another reason adoption has been slow. Since Java updates now come twice a year, some teams may decide to skip a few versions before catching up.

But Java 10, with its many performance improvements, will be harder for developers to skip, Verburg said. Here are his highlights for Java 10:

JEP 286: Local-Variable Type Inference—This represents a massive improvement in how developers use switch statements, an instance of operators, and so on. It will make Java code clearer and more concise.

JEP 296: Consolidate the JDK Forest into a Single Repository—Eases OpenJDK development.

JEP 304: Garbage-Collector Interface—Makes it easier for Shenandoah and other garbage collection improvements to come into the platform.

JEP 307: Parallel Full GC for G1—A much-needed performance boost for garbage collection.

JEP 310: Application Class-Data Sharing—Another performance-enhancing feature.

JEP 312: Thread-Local Handshakes—A precursor to a lot of interesting optimizations around performance.

JEP 313: Remove the Native-Header Generation Tool (java)—Removes the javah tool because javac, which serves a similar purpose, has superior functionality.

JEP 314: Additional Unicode Language-Tag Extensions—Implements more of the Unicode extensions specified in the latest Unicode Locale Data Markup Language (LDML) specification, in the relevant JDK classes.

JEP 316: Heap Allocation on Alternative Memory Devices—Extends where Java can run.

JEP 317: Experimental Java-Based JIT Compiler—Preparation for the Graal project, which will make it feasible to write a programmable, optimizable runtime in Java.

JEP 319: Root Certificates—Enhances security.

JEP 322: Time-Based Release Versioning—Moves Java back to a sensible versioning scheme.

As for Java 11, expected before the end of the year, OpenJDK developers haven’t confirmed any features. But Verburg thinksOpenJDK developers will begin building the foundations for introducing value types in Java 11.

Kotlin will get even more support from Android

Top code and framework trends to watch in 20184

As predicted, the Kotlin programming language took off last year. Since becoming an official language for Android apps at Google I/O, its use among Android developers has grown significantly. Android developer and TechBeacon contributor Aritra Roy expects Kotlin to continue gaining traction in 2018.

“There is a lot of official documentation that is still in Java, which will slowly start getting converted to Kotlin,” he said. He also expects Google to invest more resources in the Architecture Components library.

“One more thing that is going to be big on Android in 2018 is AI,” Roy said. “More AI capabilities will be available directly and natively on the Android OS itself so that any app developer can start leveraging them.”

Expect evolution for CSS and steady improvement in JavaScript

JavaScript isn’t going to have an exciting new feature every year, but at least it’s adding features annually, said Ryan Lewis, a software engineer at Kuali and a Node.js contributor and speaker.

“The ECMAScript 8th edition [ES2017] release didn’t contain many big new features [watch the full overview here]. The main feature was async/await, the next evolution of Promises,” he said. The release also includes a few small additions to the API, such as new functions.

It was a good thing that async/await gained broad acceptance, especially on Node.js, said JavaScript speaker and trainer Dr. Axel Rauschmayer. He also likes the tooling additions to the JavaScript ecosystem, such as Prettier, which brings automatic source code formatting to JavaScript.

The features in the next version of JavaScript (ES2018) are still in flux, Rauschmayer said, but he’s excited about these potential features:

  • Rest/spread properties
  • Asynchronous iteration
  • Dynamic import() of modules
  • Named capture groups for regular expressions
  • BigInt (arbitrary-precision integers)
  • Private fields for objects
  • New array methods: .flatMap() and .flatten()

The changes in JavaScript/ECMAScript are starting to ramp down after a few years of abundant new features, said Trey Huffine, founder of Get connected, but he expects CSS to take a major leap forward in 2018.

“We’ll see a rapid evolution in CSS much like what JavaScript experienced two or three years ago,” he said. “With JavaScript stabilizing, and developers almost unanimously agreeing that component architecture is the best way to build modern web applications, the front-end community will try to address the issues with CSS and work toward a general solution that fits well with the way we’re architecting projects.”

web assembly could also have a large impact on the JavaScript ecosystem. “While I’m unsure of the impact, I believe we’ll see WebAssembly talked about and used much more in 2018,” Huffine said. “It offers a way to yield drastic performance improvements for the web.”

Need to catch up on other major changes in front-end development in 2017? Huffine provides a great recap here.

Node.js will withstand controversy, improve performance

Top code and framework trends to watch in 20185

Node.js continues to stay on track, with twice-yearly releases, including one long-term service release annually. That’s a big benefit for enterprise adopters. Node is keeping up with most of the features in ES2017, and the Node.js package manager (NPM) has had many updates.

In 2016, Facebook released its Yarn Node.js package manager, which was so good it threatened to usurp NPM in popularity. At the time, Lewis thought that NPM wouldn’t get pushed aside, but instead would adopt Yarn’s best features.

It turns out he was right. In 2017, NPM released a major update that gave it parity with most of Yarn’s features.

Rauschmayer, however, still has one item on his 2018 NPM wish list: “that the community will establish clearly defined best practices for publishing NPM modules created via compiler-to-JavaScript languages, such as Babel or Typescript.”

It wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns for Node.js last year. As serverless platforms built on Node.js have become more popular, keeping up with regular security patches has become even more critical for cloud service providers.

“As Node.js spreads to different corners of the web, upgrading becomes difficult,” said Lewis. “A perfect example is the embedded Node.js engines on serverless function services like AWS Lambda and Google Cloud Functions.” Your cloud service provider must upgrade those Node.js versions when new security flaws are found, and they might not always do that so quickly. “Google upgraded its Node.js version for Cloud Functions within a week after the most severe vulnerabilities came to light last year, but Amazon took months,” he said.

Also, Node.js community issues resulted in the dissolution of the Node.js Core Technical Committee (CTC) in 2017. “This resulted in some bad blood in the community, but also some positive results,” Lewis said. “The moderation team has been formed, which I’m the temporary chair of, and we’ve been working to clarify and standardize how moderation activities occur.” The goal, he said, is to ensure that the Node.js community is a safe space for everyone to discuss technology and contribute to the platform.

The biggest news for Node.js was the introduction of support for ES6 modules (modules standardized in the ECMAScript/JavaScript language itself) in Version 9. “This was a huge decision, with many detractors arguing about the correct implementation of ES6 modules,” Lewis said. “Node.js already had a module pattern, following the Common.js pattern, so making ES6 modules work with Node.js was a large task.” The main implementation mechanism is a new file extension (.mjs) to designate ES6 module files. “Many see this new file extension as fragmenting the Node.js ecosystem.”

Rauschmayer said he hopes that ES modules will finally work seamlessly across platforms. “For Node.js, the transition to ES modules is much harder than for browsers because its module system works synchronously,” he said. “But it is slowly getting there.”

Node.js will see two new releases in 2018: 10 LTS and 11. Lewis doesn’t expect many new features, but plenty of performance improvements will come from the continuing improvements to V8.

React reigns today; ReasonML could be next

React still maintains its place atop the market-share charts for front-end frameworks, according to the recently released State of JavaScript survey. Angular’s popularity continues to decline, while Vue’s small following continues to grow (especially in China). React Version 16, released last year, increased performance by rewriting the framework internals while keeping the API consistent.

But despite these successes, the reigning front-end framework had a crisis last year when the Apache Software Foundation put React and other Facebook-produced software on a list of projects it didn’t consider open source due to the licensing models. Others in the open-source community agreed with Apache, and Facebook decided to remove the contentious clauses from its licenses.

React is now well positioned to dominate in 2018 and beyond, and Rauschmeyer is bullish about other web development technologies coming out of Facebook as well.

“I’m excited about ReasonML, a new object-functional programming language,” he said. “I like its clean design based on the OCaml programming language and its emphasis on good interoperability with JavaScript. I wouldn’t use it in production yet, but it will be ready soon.”

Facebook released ReasonML in 2017, and Axel is anticipating more open-source releases from Facebook this year. “It will release new offerings in areas they haven’t touched yet, such as Node.js web frameworks,” he said. “They continue to present their own perspectives on popular libraries—such as React for front-end, Jest for testing, and Yarn for package management. The team there seems highly motivated and has lots of ideas.”

Key takeaways and next actions for 2018

2018 will be filled with plenty of twists and turns for developers, including revolutionary new technologies, game-changing updates to existing ones, and certainly some controversies. Here are the things that will have the biggest impact on you as a developer 2018:

  • Finding companies you trust to handle security concerns that affect you will be a critical challenge.
  • Having found that public pressure works, even on tech giants such as Facebook and Google, the developer community will put more pressure on organizations that aren’t creating an inclusive environment.
  • Expect a huge push to adopt modularity, as both Java and JavaScript refine support for modules.
  • More organizations will be investigating whether data science and machine learning can help their business, and you should too.
  • Developers will find more even ways to benefit from using serverless platforms.

What are the trends that will most affect you or your development team in 2018? Post your thoughts below.

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TOP Software Development Trends to Watch for in 2018

Something that was all the rage last year, might not even be talked about now. Things change and fade away rapidly—all because of advancements in technology. This also is seen in trends for software development as well. The year 2017 witnessed some great breakthroughs in this field and 2018 has already whispered the emergence of trends in software development ranging from cryptocurrency, augmented, virtual and mixed reality to oil rigs, mobile computing, artificial intelligence, and blockchain.

As of now, enthusiasts are assuming 2018 will be an exciting and important year for innovative advancements in software and application developers will play a fundamental role in every domain. Let us look at the 5 software development trends that will shape the world for future generations.

1.The Shining Star – Blockchain

Do not get confused it with astrological findings. Blockchain is the technology that has shined in 2017 because of the Bitcoin hype. It is believed that blockchain will revolutionize nearly every industry and more companies are considering blockchain development and blockchain-related services every day.

Crypto Bitcoin Cryptocurrency Technology Blockchain
Crypto Bitcoin Cryptocurrency Technology Blockchain

Blockchain is a network of interconnected peer-to-peer devices. This technology provides for the absence of central computers, as well as the lack of clearly defined locations where all data is stored. The technology is revolutionizing the financial services industry by empowering millions across the globe to authenticate and transact large-scale, non-cash transactions immediately and without costly intermediaries. The implementation and acceptance will also be witnessed in other, broader fields such as administration, healthcare and supply chain to streamline processes.

IBM is a leader and already has been building relationships with banks, food distributors, and government regulatory agencies to use blockchain for financial transactions. Other technology giants, like Microsoft, Oracle, and Amazon, are stepping up to introduce exclusive blockchain platforms. This means that businesses will need software applications that support blockchain and their demand for blockchain developers is going rise. The year 2018 will be a gold rush for developers who devote themselves to this demand and many of them will end up a lot richer.

  1. The Surge of Progressive Web Apps

Wikipedia says, “Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are web applications that are regular web pages or websites but can appear to the user like traditional applications or native mobile applications. The application type attempts to combine features offered by most modern browsers with the benefits of a mobile experience.”

surfacepro.0

In 2017, PWAs were a part of Gartner’s software technology trends and in 2018, there are reasons to believe the growth of web-based solutions will grow even more. Web apps will contribute to a significant share of the market as compared to mobile apps in the long term. Even Google started focusing on features in its browser to allow web apps to work like mobile apps, giving the same level of user experience. Progressive web apps are easier to develop and maintain than regular mobile apps. In addition, they offer the best features of the web and mobile app combined. Companies involved in e-commerce, entertainment, healthcare, banking and more are having web apps developed to provide better accessibility to the masses.

  1. The Adaptability of IoT

The IoT ecosystem is huge and wearables like Android Wear, Apple Watch, and Fitbit were just the initial spark. Soon, everything from driverless cars and roads to home appliances, communication devices, and business processes will become always connected, collecting enormous amounts of data.

iot

Be it fitness and healthcare to manufacturing and retail, everyone is quite excited about the possibilities that Internet of Things will present. Thus, it demands vigilance of software developers to allow them to figure out how to best program devices that will assist the users in controlling them. These developers will be focusing on developing applications that allow for seamless controlling of devices from anywhere and at any time.

  1. The Intelligence of Artificial Intelligence

As of now, it is estimated that more than 40% of businesses have adopted Artificial Intelligence in automating their processes. They are integrating AI-driven solutions to perform specific tasks to stay ahead in the competition and provide a better service experience for their customers. From voice-activated home assistants, Smartphones, Big Data, and Insight-as-a-Service, companies developing frameworks to perform more tasks with the help of these are going to make it big in 2018. Google, Facebook, and Slack are leading the development of AI. Google is even focusing on plans to base all its algorithms on this technology.

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In addition, AI is bound to become more intelligent in decision-making abilities and that will have consequences that are hard to roll back. Future-enthusiasts, like Elon Musk and world leaders like Vladimir Putin, believe Artificial Intelligence has the power to change the world in both good and bad ways. For positive-thinkers, the intelligence and capabilities of AI is going to make this world a better place, inducing comfort in people’s lives and saving time.

  1. The Evolving Mixed Reality

In simple words, Mixed Reality (MR), is sometimes referred to as hybrid reality in the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time. Mixed reality takes place not only in the physical world or in the virtual world, but is a mix of reality and virtual reality, encompassing both augmented reality and augmented virtuality via immersive technology.

mixed

In 2018, different businesses are exploring the possibilities of building immersive experience for passing a huge amount of information to the users to benefit their everyday life for communications, entertainment, and productivity. Mixed Reality has immense potential. As a result, it is being integrated in a large scale in newly-created web and mobile apps where customer’s interactions with products or services are an important aspect for a successful business. For example, e-commerce stores can allow their customers to view apparel on virtual mannequins or those involved in home improvements can design their houses virtually with furniture, colors, and flooring and see the exterior look before making a purchase. 3D mapping and Mixed Reality is also used in educational programs and AR games.

 

These are just few that are carrying the legacy forward since their inception. There are even more of them that need to be addressed in separate ways. We will see new trends in software development in 2018 as these develop further.

More Reading: 

How Top CEOs and Leaders Communicate with Their Team

As a leader, achieving your project goals depends on one important thing: team communication. Often, the secret for the success or failure of any project or initiative within the company lies in the ability of your team members to interact and convey information to each other. In an open, friendly and professional work environment, projects are accomplished on time and orchestrated like a machine. Each member of the team is aware of and keen to fulfill their roles and responsibilities. What a dream!

Unfortunately, it’s not cut and dry for most of us. A lot of workplaces don’t operate this efficiently. Personal misunderstandings, endless back-and-forth discussions and backlogged teams all result in stress and project delays. This is where effective team communication strategies come in. Implementing one can keep all stakeholders aligned with your targets and provide a structured way of communication with each other. It allows information to travel freely across the group and reach the right people at the right time. Team communication is one of the secrets to building great teamwork.

With this, you may be asking yourself, what are the best team communication strategies?  We looked at the secrets of how the most successful leaders and CEOs engage their employees and inspire their team to move forward. Here are their top team communication strategies:

  1. Elon Musk, Tesla Motors CEO: Have an Open Door Policy

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Elon Musk has always been a master communicator. Whether it’s done for his Twitter followers or his annual meeting with shareholders, the Tesla CEO has used a variety of techniques that relays information to other people in a no fuss way. Here’s an example. In an internal memo to employees, Musk highlighted the importance of keeping doors open and organizational barriers for communication flat:

There are two schools of thought about how information should flow within companies. By far the most common way is chain of command, which means that you always flow communication through your manager. The problem with this approach is that, while it serves to enhance the power of the manager, it fails to serve the company. Anyone at Tesla can and should email/talk to anyone else according to what they think is the fastest way to solve a problem for the benefit of the whole company. You can talk to your manager’s manager without his permission, you can talk directly to a VP in another dept, you can talk to me, you can talk to anyone without anyone else’s permission.
– Elon Musk

In a traditional setting, business communication should go through proper channels. Often, this means relaying your message in a chain of command and through layers and layers of people that are not privy to that information anyways. The problem with this type of strategy is that there can be significant delays and there is always information that gets left out and context gets thrown out of the equation entirely. By the time you get your answer, it’s all watered down.

To you Mr. CEO, I say, tear down the walls standing the way of effective communication! The best way to solve this is to have an open-door policy where everyone is free to communicate with each other regardless of position or tenure. Having this in place allows people from your team to ask the right questions, express concerns or issues and propose ideas without fear from being drowned in the sea of bureaucracy. Keeping doors open empowers your team members to make decisions for you and it builds trust and independence. Making accessibility a challenge for everyone sets the tone that we should only work around our silos and be confined to our internal work flow. That should not be the case.

Removing obstacles in communication allows for everyone to be more agile and solve their problems before raising them in the next team regroup. An easy way to apply this is by bringing everyone on-board a flexible messenger app like Fleep and making the boundaries for communication more relaxed.

  1. John Flannery, General Electric CEO: Practice the Rule of 3 Within Your Team

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When John took over the helm at General Electric, he made it abundantly clear to the company’s 300,000 employees what needs to be done and accomplished. In a letter to the team, he said:

I have a relentless focus on three things – customers, team and execution/accountability.
 John Flannery

If you’ll notice, Flannery didn’t highlight 10 or even 5 initiatives. John Flannery knows that people can only carry and pick up 3 or 4 key messages. The best way to get your team members to remember and follow things is to be precise and specific in what you want them to do. Giving and relaying too many action points and next steps often confuses your team and our cognitive understanding cannot process too many ideas at once. This is what researches refer to as “cognitive backlog”. The best way to solve this within your team is to foster the rule of 3. By boiling down everything into just 3 key points, you’ll avoid the fluff and just focus on what matters to people.

  1. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook: Share Your Views In A Nonthreatening Way

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Sheryl Sandberg is an exceptionally insightful leader. So it is not surprising she is also an excellent communicator. One of the key team communication strategies she shared in her book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” reflects on how even in business, there’s rarely one absolute truth. Which is why we need to communicate our views in a nonthreatening way:

I learned that effective communication starts with the understanding that there is MY point of view, (my truth), and someone else’s point of view (his truth). Rarely is there one absolute truth, so people who believe that they speak THE truth are very silencing of others. When we realize and recognize that we can see things only from our own perspective, we can share our views in a nonthreatening way. Statements of opinion are always more constructive in the first person “I” form. The ability to listen is as important as the ability to speak. Miscommunication is always a two way street.
 Sheryl Sandberg

Sharing your views in a nonthreatening way is necessary so other people in the room wouldn’t feel put down, silenced. Even more, it shows that you listen and hear what others are saying as well. In this way, no one will feel discouraged from speaking up in the team, fostering the kind of team culture where effective team communication “just happens”.

  1. Jack Stahl, Revlon CEO and Former President of Coca Cola: Provide Constructive Criticism Without Demoralizing

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Source

Stahl understood the importance of providing constructive feedback early on in his career. But he learned this not as a leader but as a member of the team. His observations on how his superiors would handle errors and failure became the cornerstone of his leadership style when he took over the position of President in Coca Cola. In an article for Harvard Business Review, he outlines the ways he manages to give effective feedback. One situation stands out the most. For a while, he was the lead project manager of taking a company public. His primary task was to develop a prospectus on the operations and finances of the company:

One evening about a month before the prospectus was due, my boss–then the CFO of the company–sat in with my team to review our progress. I thought everything was right on track, but he painstakingly pointed out that there were about 187 holes in the draft document: critical financial information that was still missing, even the phone number of the new company we were forming. We spoke about the need for me to be more focused on details and to follow up consistently with my direct reports to make sure things were getting done. At the end of the conversation, I was worrying about my own future. [But] He went out of his way to reassure me that my missteps weren’t fatal, that he still valued and supported me, It made me understand that when people feel valued, they can hear difficult feedback without being demoralized by it. Instead, they feel motivated to change.
― Jack Stahl

Feedback is necessary to make sure that mistakes are avoided again in the future and your team members understand what needs to change. Remember that constructive criticism should remain constructive. To make feedback more effective, make it clear to everyone in the team. Be detailed and concise on what needs to happen moving forward. At the same time, accept criticism as well. Effective team communication is about giving everyone the opportunity to speak out and give each other the tough love they need.

  1. Sam Walton, Walmart Founder and CEO: Be Truthful and Honest to Your Team Members

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No one understands the value of being honest like Sam Walton, the head of retail giant Walmart.  In his autobiography “Made in America” Walton explains how he believes that it’s important to treat team members like co-owners of the business. He does this by sharing a complete overview of the current status of the business or any project. He knows that by doing so, he will encourage them to suggest solutions to problems and discuss opportunities that can bring them growth:

Our very unusual willingness to share most of the numbers of our business with all the associates … It’s the only way they can possibly do their jobs to the best of their abilities—to know what’s going on in their business. … Sharing information and responsibility is a key to any partnership. It makes people feel responsible and involved …. In our individual stores, we show them their store’s profits, their store’s purchases, their store’s sales, and their store’s markdowns.
 Sam Walton

This is by far one of the most effective ways to bridge the communication gap in the workplace. Honesty builds trust in the team. The key here is to be as open and transparent as possible. Don’t make your employees feel like things are being hidden from them. While there will always be sensitive information you cannot divulge, it’s better to be clear why some information is not being shared. Give your employees the assurance that they can be honest with you without any pushback and ask if they would do the same thing to you. Mutual understanding and belief in one another can be beneficial to any professional relationship. The most effective managers and leaders know how to relate and understand their employees. This involves admitting to failure or lapse in judgement. Taking steps to owning up mistakes you have done can show that everyone is susceptible to mistakes and gives you a sense of humanity that your employees value.

  1. Seth Godin, Top Author and Entrepreneur: Create an easy and relaxed environment

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While achieving business goals is paramount to your success, smart business leaders understand that your team member’s personal convictions matter as well. Being able to inspire and make your employees feel confident about the decisions they are making can lead to less confrontations and more opportunities to discuss anything openly as needed. Seth Godin has always believed that leaders have the accountability to boost their employees’ regard for themselves and empower them to use their ideas:

Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.
― Seth Godin

When aligned with the company’s spirit, personal goals and values enable people to do more. In keeping with this, it’s important to allow interactions within the workplace that foster this kind of alignment. Set informal meetings with your team members via coffee breaks or lunch outs. It has been shown by research that conversations over coffee or lunch promote healthy communication and encourage open discourse on ideas.

  1. Jess Bezos, Amazon CEO: Disagree and Commit

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Healthy discussion is the cornerstone of great team communication. It fosters and allows your team members the opportunity to air out violent reactions or responses to certain decisions that the team plans to take. It’s no secret that there are dissenting opinions across each and every one of us when it comes to how to attack a certain problem or issue. In order to get things done, you must be able align everyone in your team and keep them committed. Compromises are a part of this. Jeff Bezos has recognized the value of compromise, as he wrote to shareholders about disagreeing and committing last 2017:

We use the phrase “disagree and commit.” This phrase will save a lot of time. If you have conviction on a particular direction even though there’s no consensus, it’s helpful to say, “Look, I know we disagree on this but will you gamble with me on it? Disagree and commit?” By the time you’re at this point, no one can know the answer for sure, and you’ll probably get a quick yes. This isn’t one way. If you’re the boss, you should do this too. I disagree and commit all the time. We recently greenlit a particular Amazon Studios original. I told the team my view: debatable whether it would be interesting enough, complicated to produce, the business terms aren’t that good, and we have lots of other opportunities. They had a completely different opinion and wanted to go ahead. I wrote back right away with “I disagree and commit and hope it becomes the most watched thing we’ve ever made.” Consider how much slower this decision cycle would have been if the team had actually had to convince me rather than simply get my commitment.
 Jeff Bezos

Using this phrase actually cuts the time it takes for everyone to decide and curtail what would have been an endless back-and-forth. It’s also a way of showing support to everyone regardless of your own personal views.

“We use the phrase ‘disagree and commit.’ This phrase will save a lot of time.” – Jeff Bezos

 

  1. Steve Jobs, Apple CEO: Build Your Team’s Communication Capabilities

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By Matthew Yohe via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

Taking workshops and lessons on communication can be great at improving your team’s capabilities. Even if you set the rules or implement a certain strategy, people may still go back to their old patterns. Having regular trainings will make your team more adept than ever before. Steve Jobs knew this well. The top tech CEO was known for being tough on his employees and team members but has always advocated that the role of a leader is to make them the best that they can be:

My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.
 Steve Jobs

Communication training doesn’t just underscore the way we converse and communicate with each other. It could also cover important skillsets that can improve your business, like presentation skills, business writing and team management. They can be quite expensive but the benefits can match it when you see your team communicating like clockwork.

At the same time, developing your team’s capabilities in communication is also about highlighting their key strengths. Each and every one of us communicates differently. There are people who would prefer emails to face-to-face meetings. Some would be more adept when they are done via auditory means like a phone call. Others via a personal chat message on a team chat platform like Fleep. Check and see which type of communication works well with your team members. Luckily, Fleep allows you to communicate with everyone regardless if they still want to keep using email, video call or messenger format.

  1. Sophia Amoruso, Founder of Nasty Gal: Setting expectations and managing roles

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Photo courtesy of Mend

Another effective way of communicating with your team is being clear on what is required from them and what are the roles that each one will do from the very beginning. If you communicate clearly what you need from your team and why, they have a clear direction on where to go. Girl boss Sophia Amoruso captures this well:

Communication is really important. Being proactive with communicating out, but also creating an expectation that your team will communicate back, and making it clear how that should happen. Explaining not just what you want to do, but why you want to do it is really important, because people want meaning.
 Sophia Amoruso

I’ll bet that no one will finish a project or do their work on time if the tasks that are given to them are not clear. Ensure that the entire team understands their scope of work. Round-up the team each week to check on their status reports, ask the right questions and address any concerns they may have. Make them aware of their responsibilities.

Designing Your Own Team Communication Strategy

There you have it! You’ve finally discovered some of the tips and tricks that top CEOs and business mavericks use when they engage with their team members. While these strategies are helpful, it’s equally important to set your own course. As I’ve said earlier, every team is unique and so your team will work differently than others. You are the only one who can bet which strategy will work for you. So, here are some practical tips for developing your own team communication strategy:

  1. Decide on the best channels for team communication
    It’s probably smart to choose a tool that is meant for team communications, and leave phone calls for urgent matters, consumer apps for personal life. So you may consider using a team chat app, like simpliv. Unlike other team chat applications, simpliv is an open network and integrates well with email. It’s a vast open network that allows you to contact anyone, anywhere regardless of what device they have! You can also give out tasks – being clear on everyone’s job and pin important messages that they need to remember. You can even work and organize your contacts into project teams for easier collaboration and discussion. It gives you and your team members the power to make communication easier and less stressful.
  2. Manage expectations with rules and guidelines
    Once the team is prepped and the chat is up and running, it’s time to set some ground rules. This helps manage expectations for communication, like whether people have to respond quickly or if asynchronous communication works better. Or when and how often the team would need to meet. You may also want to set the tone for your team with some guidelines of participation – allowing ideas to run through brainstorming without passing judgement or ensuring that no one interrupts when another person is speaking etc. All of the rules should be agreed on by everyone.
  3. Determine roles
    Have everyone agree on their roles and responsibilities. Be clear on the designations and who have decision making power. In this way, everyone knows what is expected of them – and whenever there is a disagreement, it is clear who has the right and responsibility to call the shots.
  4. Have a system for resolve communication issues
    When communication issuesrise (as they most certainly will), strive to address them immediately. Have the team leader or other decision-maker serve as the mediator. The first step in addressing such issues is to evaluate if any rule has been broken. Be clear on what your system is for resolving issues, and make sure everyone involved in the issue comes to an amicable resolution.

Takeaways

Taking advantage of these tips can help align your team’s goals and improve communication across all levels of your organization. It creates a stress-free environment that is helpful to the success of the project as whole. Communication is always made easy by being open, honest and transparent with one another. Using the right tools, like Fleep, that allow for transparency in the team is great for that too. Treat your team members like family and they are bound to do the same for you.

Want to communicate with your team easily? Sign up for simpliv now!

12 Best Jobs for the Future

When contemplating your career plans, focus not only on the kind of work that fits you well now but also on what offers a path to the best jobs of the future. “Sounds reasonable,” you say, “but what specific positions should I focus on?”

Many are technical in nature. Ever-advancing technology has opened up a wide variety of new and evolving roles, so many of the most promising professions require knowing and staying up to date with the latest digital innovations.

However, not all jobs that are seeing growth or projected to grow in the foreseeable future necessitate being a tech wiz. Some involve knowing only specific software and hardware relevant to your duties — which is a best practice in the digital age no matter what you do for a living.

Here are 12 of the jobs our data show as having some of the greatest long-term potential, including their salaries from our Robert Half Salary Guides.

Read on to learn more about each job:

Mobile applications developer

appdev

Mobile development continues to generate traction across industries. And as more businesses rely on mobile technology to reach customers, demand for mobile applications developers will continue to increase. These professionals are in the driver’s seat when it comes to designing and recommending enhancements to smartphone- and tablet-based software. They work on new deployments, app coding, testing and debugging.

The midpoint salary for a mobile app developer is $141,000, and the outlook is bright. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports hiring for software developers is projected to increase 24 percent by 2026 — much faster than the average rate of growth across all professions.

Data architect

While the collection of data can be automated, the translation, analysis and ability to make business recommendations based off the data is in high demand from employers. As the Internet of Things (IoT) grows and more devices and sensors become interconnected, the volume of available data is only going to expand. To help manage and derive value from it, businesses need skilled data architects who can translate information into specific database solutions.

Data architects need analytical and creative skills, plus in-depth knowledge of data systems and database methodology. They need to communicate effectively, plan and coordinate data resources, and translate business requirements into database solutions. Familiarity with Oracle, Microsoft SQL servers and other systems — like Unix, Linux, Solaris and Microsoft Windows — is essential. Data architect jobs are plentiful across the nation, particularly in tech hubs like Austin, Texas; New York; San Francisco; and Seattle. The midpoint salary for a data architect is $130,000.

UX designer

User experience (UX) designers are responsible for how a product or website feels. Their job is to zero in on users’ underlying emotional and functional needs and help create an enjoyable digital experience based on those discoveries. UX designers conduct usability testing and consult with clients to understand their goals and intentions.

The growth of mobile and web development leads to continued demand for this role. Cities like Austin, New York, San Francisco and Seattle have particularly active markets. Today, the midpoint salary for a UX designer is around $93,000 — and it’s likely to rise in the future.

Digital strategist

Digital strategists identify digital marketing strategies and campaigns for meeting a company’s or client’s goals. To succeed in this role, you must be knowledgeable about web analytics and optimization, search engine optimization and search engine marketing, and customer relationship management software. You also need an in-depth understanding of traditional marketing methods. Digital strategists also inform various stakeholders about progress, benchmarks and overall success of digital marketing initiatives, so good communication skills are a must.

Job prospects for this position are strong. As more companies reach customers through digital channels, hiring for the role continues to expand. The current midpoint salary is $91,250.

Business intelligence analyst

Companies have embraced the use of big data analysis, which has increased their activities in data mining and reporting. As a result, the need for business intelligence analysts has grown exponentially. This job involves turning raw data into actionable insights and developing reporting solutions that work across the organization. People who succeed in this role have solid analytical, troubleshooting and problem-solving skills, along with proficiency with using business intelligence, data mining and Excel pivot table tools to analyze data. An education in finance, business or information systems is typically required. Relaying results and making recommendations to senior management necessitates high-level communication skills.

The current midpoint salary for a senior business intelligence analyst is $91,000, but due to the high demand for the role, employers may be willing to pay more for candidates who have additional qualifications, such as the CPA certification or specific industry expertise.

Systems analyst

Systems analysts help business and IT teams find technical solutions to business problems. They play a central role in the planning and execution of projects, and they may serve as a liaison between IT and end users. Duties include analyzing hardware and software issues, writing and maintaining systems documentation, and translating user and system requirements into functional technical specifications.

Hiring for systems analysts is projected to increase 9 percent by 2026, according to the BLS, largely because of the rapid adoption of cloud computing and the rising use of IT services in the health field. Currently, systems analysts earn a midpoint salary of $91,000.

Digital marketing manager

what-does-a-digital-marketing-manager-do

There is strong demand for digital marketing managers across North America, especially in Charlotte, North Carolina; Cleveland; Houston; Minneapolis; Philadelphia; and San Francisco.

Professionals in this role develop, implement and oversee digital marketing campaigns that promote a company and its products or services. They enhance brand awareness within the digital space and drive website traffic, sales and leads. Strong digital marketing managers have technical and analytical skills and experience in marketing research and analysis, campaign strategy, and web analytics. The midpoint salary is $80,000.

Compliance analyst

Working under the direction of the compliance manager, a compliance analyst in the legal field assists in the development of risk controls and works with the compliance administration team to implement internal procedures, processes and programs. People seeking this career should have a post-secondary degree and four-plus years of compliance and audit experience in a relevant field. Due to frequently changing regulatory mandates and increasingly strict enforcement, the practice area is expected to continue to grow.

Compliance analysts are in high demand in the legal profession, especially those who are familiar with industry software programs and possess strong organizational and communication skills. Candidates with four to six years of experience can expect average salaries at a midpoint of $72,250.

Business analyst

Business analysts bridge the gap between business and IT. They determine business unit needs and plan, implement and improve business information systems across multiple departments, ensuring business data and reporting needs are met. Companies hire for this role when they want to act on business intelligence and make data-driven decisions. People with experience in financial analysis, data flow analysis and project management are strong candidates.

These jobs are in high demand, especially in San Francisco and Minneapolis, and it can be difficult to fill these positions across industries. Previously considered a subset of general business skills, business analytics is a field with space to build a lucrative career thanks to explosive growth since it came into its own. Business analysts with one to three years of experience can expect to earn a starting salary around $67,000.

Litigation support/eDiscovery analyst

 

Litigation is expected to yield the greatest number of jobs in the legal field over the next two years, according to the 2018 Robert Half Legal Salary Guide, driving demand for lawyers and paralegals with litigation support and eDiscovery backgrounds.

Employers typically seek litigation support/eDiscovery analysts with a juris doctor or bachelor’s degree and proficiency in the latest industry software. Strong project management abilities, attention to detail and interpersonal skills are needed to support litigation matters and liaise with external firms and service providers. The midpoint salary for a candidate with one to two years of experience is $61,500. Hiring for this position should increase as law firms and companies focus on keeping pace with technological advancements, federal rulings and new regulations.

Member services/enrollment manager

In the healthcare field, member services managers are responsible for the quality assurance of the organization. They supervise other customer service staff, who answer inquiries from providers and members about coverage, claims, benefits and other issues.

Stellar communication skills are a must, as well as the ability to maintain confidentiality and demonstrate leadership. The midpoint salary for member services/enrollment managers is $55,000.

Customer service manager.

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These professionals direct a team of customer service specialists and help resolve escalated or difficult issues regarding customer complaints and other problems. They evaluate overall team performance and work closely with managers in other departments.

The customer service industry continues to grow — particularly the call center sector — making these jobs especially sought after. Overall, employment in the customer service sector is expected to increase 5 percent by 2026. Plus, companies will need supervisors and managers to direct the new teams. Excellent communication skills are an absolute must. Currently, the midpoint salary for a customer service manager is $44,000.

Are you trying to forecast your future career? Download the 2018 Robert Half Salary Guide to learn more about compensation and hiring trends in your industry.

Do you want Free courses

12 Best Jobs for the Future

When contemplating your career plans, focus not only on the kind of work that fits you well now but also on what offers a path to the best jobs of the future. “Sounds reasonable,” you say, “but what specific positions should I focus on?”

Many are technical in nature. Ever-advancing technology has opened up a wide variety of new and evolving roles, so many of the most promising professions require knowing and staying up to date with the latest digital innovations.

However, not all jobs that are seeing growth or projected to grow in the foreseeable future necessitate being a tech wiz. Some involve knowing only specific software and hardware relevant to your duties — which is a best practice in the digital age no matter what you do for a living.

Here are 12 of the jobs our data show as having some of the greatest long-term potential, including their salaries from our Robert Half Salary Guides.

Read on to learn more about each job:

Mobile applications developer

appdev

Mobile development continues to generate traction across industries. And as more businesses rely on mobile technology to reach customers, demand for mobile applications developers will continue to increase. These professionals are in the driver’s seat when it comes to designing and recommending enhancements to smartphone- and tablet-based software. They work on new deployments, app coding, testing and debugging.

The midpoint salary for a mobile app developer is $141,000, and the outlook is bright. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports hiring for software developers is projected to increase 24 percent by 2026 — much faster than the average rate of growth across all professions.

Data architect

While the collection of data can be automated, the translation, analysis and ability to make business recommendations based off the data is in high demand from employers. As the Internet of Things (IoT) grows and more devices and sensors become interconnected, the volume of available data is only going to expand. To help manage and derive value from it, businesses need skilled data architects who can translate information into specific database solutions.

Data architects need analytical and creative skills, plus in-depth knowledge of data systems and database methodology. They need to communicate effectively, plan and coordinate data resources, and translate business requirements into database solutions. Familiarity with Oracle, Microsoft SQL servers and other systems — like Unix, Linux, Solaris and Microsoft Windows — is essential. Data architect jobs are plentiful across the nation, particularly in tech hubs like Austin, Texas; New York; San Francisco; and Seattle. The midpoint salary for a data architect is $130,000.

UX designer

User experience (UX) designers are responsible for how a product or website feels. Their job is to zero in on users’ underlying emotional and functional needs and help create an enjoyable digital experience based on those discoveries. UX designers conduct usability testing and consult with clients to understand their goals and intentions.

The growth of mobile and web development leads to continued demand for this role. Cities like Austin, New York, San Francisco and Seattle have particularly active markets. Today, the midpoint salary for a UX designer is around $93,000 — and it’s likely to rise in the future.

Digital strategist

Digital strategists identify digital marketing strategies and campaigns for meeting a company’s or client’s goals. To succeed in this role, you must be knowledgeable about web analytics and optimization, search engine optimization and search engine marketing, and customer relationship management software. You also need an in-depth understanding of traditional marketing methods. Digital strategists also inform various stakeholders about progress, benchmarks and overall success of digital marketing initiatives, so good communication skills are a must.

Job prospects for this position are strong. As more companies reach customers through digital channels, hiring for the role continues to expand. The current midpoint salary is $91,250.

Business intelligence analyst

Companies have embraced the use of big data analysis, which has increased their activities in data mining and reporting. As a result, the need for business intelligence analysts has grown exponentially. This job involves turning raw data into actionable insights and developing reporting solutions that work across the organization. People who succeed in this role have solid analytical, troubleshooting and problem-solving skills, along with proficiency with using business intelligence, data mining and Excel pivot table tools to analyze data. An education in finance, business or information systems is typically required. Relaying results and making recommendations to senior management necessitates high-level communication skills.

The current midpoint salary for a senior business intelligence analyst is $91,000, but due to the high demand for the role, employers may be willing to pay more for candidates who have additional qualifications, such as the CPA certification or specific industry expertise.

Systems analyst

Systems analysts help business and IT teams find technical solutions to business problems. They play a central role in the planning and execution of projects, and they may serve as a liaison between IT and end users. Duties include analyzing hardware and software issues, writing and maintaining systems documentation, and translating user and system requirements into functional technical specifications.

Hiring for systems analysts is projected to increase 9 percent by 2026, according to the BLS, largely because of the rapid adoption of cloud computing and the rising use of IT services in the health field. Currently, systems analysts earn a midpoint salary of $91,000.

Digital marketing manager

what-does-a-digital-marketing-manager-do

There is strong demand for digital marketing managers across North America, especially in Charlotte, North Carolina; Cleveland; Houston; Minneapolis; Philadelphia; and San Francisco.

Professionals in this role develop, implement and oversee digital marketing campaigns that promote a company and its products or services. They enhance brand awareness within the digital space and drive website traffic, sales and leads. Strong digital marketing managers have technical and analytical skills and experience in marketing research and analysis, campaign strategy, and web analytics. The midpoint salary is $80,000.

Compliance analyst

Working under the direction of the compliance manager, a compliance analyst in the legal field assists in the development of risk controls and works with the compliance administration team to implement internal procedures, processes and programs. People seeking this career should have a post-secondary degree and four-plus years of compliance and audit experience in a relevant field. Due to frequently changing regulatory mandates and increasingly strict enforcement, the practice area is expected to continue to grow.

Compliance analysts are in high demand in the legal profession, especially those who are familiar with industry software programs and possess strong organizational and communication skills. Candidates with four to six years of experience can expect average salaries at a midpoint of $72,250.

Business analyst

Business analysts bridge the gap between business and IT. They determine business unit needs and plan, implement and improve business information systems across multiple departments, ensuring business data and reporting needs are met. Companies hire for this role when they want to act on business intelligence and make data-driven decisions. People with experience in financial analysis, data flow analysis and project management are strong candidates.

These jobs are in high demand, especially in San Francisco and Minneapolis, and it can be difficult to fill these positions across industries. Previously considered a subset of general business skills, business analytics is a field with space to build a lucrative career thanks to explosive growth since it came into its own. Business analysts with one to three years of experience can expect to earn a starting salary around $67,000.

Litigation support/eDiscovery analyst

 

Litigation is expected to yield the greatest number of jobs in the legal field over the next two years, according to the 2018 Robert Half Legal Salary Guide, driving demand for lawyers and paralegals with litigation support and eDiscovery backgrounds.

Employers typically seek litigation support/eDiscovery analysts with a juris doctor or bachelor’s degree and proficiency in the latest industry software. Strong project management abilities, attention to detail and interpersonal skills are needed to support litigation matters and liaise with external firms and service providers. The midpoint salary for a candidate with one to two years of experience is $61,500. Hiring for this position should increase as law firms and companies focus on keeping pace with technological advancements, federal rulings and new regulations.

Member services/enrollment manager

In the healthcare field, member services managers are responsible for the quality assurance of the organization. They supervise other customer service staff, who answer inquiries from providers and members about coverage, claims, benefits and other issues.

Stellar communication skills are a must, as well as the ability to maintain confidentiality and demonstrate leadership. The midpoint salary for member services/enrollment managers is $55,000.

Customer service manager.

503

These professionals direct a team of customer service specialists and help resolve escalated or difficult issues regarding customer complaints and other problems. They evaluate overall team performance and work closely with managers in other departments.

The customer service industry continues to grow — particularly the call center sector — making these jobs especially sought after. Overall, employment in the customer service sector is expected to increase 5 percent by 2026. Plus, companies will need supervisors and managers to direct the new teams. Excellent communication skills are an absolute must. Currently, the midpoint salary for a customer service manager is $44,000.

Are you trying to forecast your future career? Download the 2018 Robert Half Salary Guide to learn more about compensation and hiring trends in your industry.

Do you want Free courses

Technology Trends that will Dominate and Continue into the Future

Technology is all around us and it influences the way we live and work. Take a loom at the technology trends of 2018 that will also extend to the future.

Artificial Intelligence

Learn Incredibly Useful New Skills1

Artificial Intelligence or AI and its subset machine learning are subtly but irrevocably influencing technology. Machine learning is making great progress. Witness the rise of Tensor Flow, Google’s second-generation system for machine learning based on deep learning neural networks. These networks carry out operations on multi-dimensional data arrays known as tensors and Google has even built a tensor processing unit for machine learning to take advantage of Tensor Flow. Among its various applications are search queries where it can supplement or replace static algorithm-based search results. It can be applied to video, images, sound and voice for increased accuracy. For instance, chat-bots can recognize sentences or automatically translate languages.

BlockChain

Bitcoin brought block chain into the limelight and this technology now finds greater adoption in business for data encryption and verification with higher security. Smart bonds and smart contracts using block chain technology enable automatic payment to holders of bonds and for contracts to self-execute. Brokers find it useful as do insurance companies for claims processing. Car keys, smart-phones and real estate transactions are just a few examples where cryptography offers higher levels of security.

Internet of Things (IoT)

internet-of-things-IoT

It is a connected world with the Internet of Things linking together devices and people. One of the most visible areas is smart homes where you have air conditioners, light, fridge and heaters as well as audio-visual equipment’s connected together through sensors. It just needs a smart-phone to program and control these equipment’s. IoT has even greater use in industry to link machines to centralized control equipment’s for monitoring performance. It is present in health care services, in automobiles and in wearables. IoT in smart cities will help in energy management, pollution reduction, security and communication as well as better transportation. A future without IoT is just unthinkable and industries that adapt it sooner will find themselves ahead in the race.

Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin’s rise has sparked an interest in cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is gaining traction as a mode of payment on various platforms and trading has also increased significantly in recent times. Tim Draper, a venture capitalist, has written a book and predicts that Bitcoin is likely to increase in value to USD 250000 by the year 2022. He expects cryptocurrency may replace credit cards and actual currency.  This should further spur investor interest in cryptocurrency. Whether governments like it or not, cryptocurrencies are here to stay.

Data Mining

There are terabytes of data flowing across the internet and deriving useful insights from big data can be extremely beneficial and it is also quite complex. Data mining does present challenges but with artificial intelligence and requisite hardware, data mining will make progress in the time to come. It is not just text where data mining will shine. Data mining extracts data from multimedia and from mobile devices to glean information about individual users.

5G

4G LTE which is currently the latest technology may be supplanted by 5G by 2019. It is 10 times faster than 4g and it could change the way content is streamed and how businesses operate. Self-driving cars will no longer remain only in concept but could become a routine thing one sees on roads. With 5G they can detect obstacles and follow maps as well as communicate with other cars. 5G will impact smart cities as well as internet of things. With 5G in place, AR and VR will work smoothly and entertainment as well as shopping will reach new levels.

Mobiles in enterprises

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The ubiquitous smart phone could be seen as a point of convergence of diverse technologies since it can be used as a controller, as an information center and as interactive devices for communication and remote operation. Enterprises will likely make greater use of mobile workforces using mobile devices for interaction. Greater use of mobiles will naturally lead to micro moments that marketers will leverage to deliver personalized messages.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS is nothing new. It has been around for years, but we could see a decided shift towards it in the future as developers focus more on offering hosted services instead of licensed versions of software.

Ecommerce

Ecommerce is growing and there is no saying when it will plateau. Technologies such as AR and VR will give it a fillip since buyers of products can actually visualize the product in their home setting or run a demo before they buy.

Technology, in a world is becoming more sophisticated. Traditional developers will need to upgrade themselves and companies that want cutting edge solutions will look for developers with capabilities in IoT, VR and artificial intelligence.

More: 

 

50 Killer Tips for Improving your Software Development Game

How do you keep improving as a software engineer? Some pieces of advice are valid no matter your experience level, but often the advice will depend on where you are in your career.

If you’re a beginner, the best advice is to simply learn your language, frameworks, and tools top to bottom and gain more experience with a variety of different projects.

If you’re an experienced software developer, you should constantly try to find new ways to optimize your code for readability, performance, and maintainability, and then practice making well-reasoned decisions about where to focus time and resources in your code—whether it’s testing, performance optimization, or other technical debt.

Those are some of the themes you’ll find if you ask veteran software engineers to share their best advice for being a great programmer. There aren’t any well-kept secrets. The advice of many of the most successful developers is readily available to you on blogs and forums.

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I’ve taken the most illustrative advice and recurring tips from blogs and forums and organized them into five categories that emerged as I compiled them. I’ve paraphrased and merged various similar tips into single snippets, and I’ve also left a few pieces of advice as untouched quotes from their authors.

Whether you have five, ten, or twenty years of experience programming—or if you have almost no experience—I think just about every developer will find some good ideas for self-improvement.

Domains, architecture, and design

  1. The best programmers can take a complex problem, break it down into smaller pieces, solve each of those pieces, and then put everything back together to solve the initial problem.
  2. Software is just a tool for solving domain problems. Since it’s needed in almost all domains, develop in one that interests you. If you understand a domain well and are passionate about it, you’ll be a much better, more motivated developer. You’ll also be exponentially more valuable and lucrative to companies hiring in your chosen domain.
  3. Don’t let one domain pigeonhole you into one way of coding. An example would be a mobile developer who is mainly good at hooking together existing APIs but can’t come up with a sane data representation. Don’t be a one-trick pony.
  4. Plan your code away from the computer. It will help you build a clear mental model before you start. You use the same strategy in writing, because if you don’t have an outline, your content becomes a messy stream of consciousness.
  5. “When you’re stuck, write your program on paper. I’m serious. It’s magic. This is standard practice in programming competitions. (I think it works because when you don’t have to think about syntax you have more excess brain power to solve the actual problem.)” (Source)
    Joseph Gentle
  6. “Compelling web apps tend to be the ones that use data in unexpected ways or in ways that solve everyday problems. Learn everything you can about data storage.” (Source)
    Maggie Nelson
  7. As an architect, you can’t have blind spots in your understanding of your applications and their execution environments. You need to know how things work in the front end (UI), the back end, the data store, the OS, any virtualization layers, the hardware, the network, and the data center.

Languages, tools, and advancing from beginner to intermediate

  1. Contribute to open-source projectsas a bridge from beginner to intermediate. Collaborate with the developers of the project and attend meetups to collaborate with other developers in person.
  2. Don’t let anything get in the way of that initial motivation to learn programming and just build something. Sometimes you block yourself by having too much focus on reading books or resources first. Other times beginners will try to find the perfect first language. Your first language doesn’t matter. What matters is learning to program well. Just start coding.
  3. “Learning programming languages is NOT learning how to program. Focus on programming techniques, problem solving, and analytical skills, not on learning as many languages as you can.”
    Richard Eng
  4. Learn multiple programming paradigms such as object-oriented programming, functional programming, reflective programming, etc. Believe it or not, your programming in one paradigm will improve after studying an alternative paradigm.
  5. “Wherever possible, always choose the simpler programming language. More complex languages increase the cognitive load on your brain. Simpler languages do not necessarily give up anything in terms of power or expressiveness.”
    Richard Eng
  6. Beginners learn just enough of their tools to get by. To become an intermediate or expert developer, you need to know your tools cold. Learn all of the features, menus, and context menus. Learn to use them without a mouse by memorizing keyboard shortcuts. Find every “tips and tricks” article available.
  7. Learn your stack on the deepest levels before you decide to reinvent the wheel. Peter Nixey gives a few good examples: “If you are a Ruby developer take time to learn the language’s incredible range of methods. If you are a Node developer, take time to understand the architecture, the methods, and the mindset of Node. If you are an Angular developer go right up to the rock-face and understand the logic behind of the incredible architecture the core team is forging there right now. Ask before you invent.” (Source)
    Peter Nixey
  8. The same goes for the languages you work in. Learn the most important libraries for your use cases. The more libraries you’re aware of, the less likely you are to try reinventing the wheel.

Best Websites for Free Paid Online Coursesaa   16. Whenever you can, use programming languages that will eliminate entire classes of run-time errors. To do that, look for languages with features like strong typingstatic typingmanaged memory, and/or immutable data.

17. “Frameworks, libraries, languages, never mind if you can’t understand what you find under the hood on your first attempt. You can always put them aside and return to them later, just see to it that you can take them apart and have a look. All the rules you have to follow when you first learn were invented by someone, you can make them yours to reinvent with some persistence. Steer clear of tools that put barriers in the way of this activity, those make you depend on them in the wrong way.” (Source)
Jan Christian Meyer

18.“[When reading high-quality code], it might be tempting to look for main () and start from there, but you’re likely to spend a lot of time just reading set-up code and command-line parsing. I prefer to scan the filenames to look for some activity that interests me and then dig into those files. It’s not crucial to understand the whole project or the ins and outs of the entire design, you’ll wear yourself out doing this. Read the code. Look at the comments, see what the authors are doing, and how they went about it.” (Source)
Andrew Binstock

19.Create some of your own tools. (But of course, if you’re going to use it in production, make sure it’s not another wheel reinvention.)

20. Make common programs that have been made before. Not for a production project (see “reinventing the wheel”), but as a learning project. If other developers can make a calculator, text editor, paint, Tetris, or Pong, then so can you. Look at several examples of these apps written by more experienced developers and try to learn their tricks.

     21. Develop an aesthetic appreciation for code. Read the source code of famous open-source tools and frameworks such as Ruby on Rails or Jenkins and get familiar with norvig.com. Over time, you need to train yourself to know what great code looks like and what bad code “smells” like.

Code readability and maintainability

  1. “Don’t ask permission to refactor, test, document etc. It’s all part of ‘programming’. Don’t ask permission to do your job.” (Source)
    Jerome Terry
  2. “Fix what isn’t broken. You should go to your last project and read through the code. Think about what each piece does. There’s a loop here, some sorting there, a bit of number crunching, screen updates, HTML generation, database CRUD, that sort of thing. Now replace the hard-coded HTML with a templating system, get the database CRUD out of your business objects and re-write it to use proper parameterized queries instead of string concatenation, replace all the “writelns” and “MessageBoxes” in your error handlers with a logging framework, refactor code that’s trying to borrow methods from other classes, use locale-aware string formatting, stop guessing how big an array should be and use a dynamic collection, delete orphaned code.” (Source)
    Chris Wenham
  3. Most developers have heard the saying, “Always write code as if the person who ends up maintaining it will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live.” What that means realistically is that you should write readable code that could be easily comprehended a year later by someone who’s disinterested and in a hurry. If you’ve ever had to dig through indecipherable code, you know why this is so important. Have some empathy for the developers who will read your code.
  4. Name variables so that other developers can understand your code better. This is a skill you need to nurture.

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26. Using inheritance often reduces testability and reusability of your object-oriented code in the long run. Your first choice should be using composition and interfaces.

27. Don’t use design patternslike a hammer looking for a nail. If you don’t have a clear reason you need it, don’t use it

28.  Always favor shallow code hierarchies to deep-nested code (whether it’s inside or outside a function). Deep-nested code is harder to maintain, harder to reuse, and more likely to create bugs.

29. Reusable code is helpful and important, but trying to write overgeneralized, super flexible code is often a waste of time. This kind of code is usually harder to maintain and causes bugs. It’s okay to hardcode some things if your code is doing one task.

30. Master the art of debugging using “print statements.” There are many scenarios where a sophisticated debugger is not available to you, but I’ve never found a platform nor environment where you couldn’t output textual information to a screen or file.
Richard Eng

31. Having great writing and communication skills directly translates into programming capability. Joel Spolsky can elaborateon why this is:
“The difference between a tolerable programmer and a great programmer is not how many programming languages they know, and it’s not whether they prefer Python or Java. It’s whether they can communicate their ideas. By persuading other people, they get leverage. By writing clear comments and technical specs, they let other programmers understand their code, which means other programmers can use and work with their code instead of rewriting it. Absent this, their code is worthless.”

32. Just like natural languages, you haven’t mastered programming until you see and think in code. A popular book, Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, by Abelson, Sussman, is one of the best resources to help you do this. Don’t worry that its examples are in Scheme; it’s an optimal language for learning to think in code.

Technical debt, code coverage, and process

  1. Donald Knuth, is known for his maxims “When in doubt, use brute force” and “Premature optimization is the root of all evil.” When he says “use brute force,” he means that you shouldn’t let yourself get stuck trying to come up with a prematurely optimal algorithm. Just use the simplest, unsophisticated algorithm that will work and iterate from there. Using the simplest formula will also help you better understand how your software should work so that you can start forming a mental model with which to think of better, more efficient algorithms.
  2. Know when to take on technical debt and when to pay it off so it doesn’t compound. When exploring (and discarding) different features and pivoting frequently, borrow heavily on technical debt. When your position is stable, and your direction is clearer, optimize your remaining features and clean up bugs to pay off that technical debt before moving on to the next stage.
  3. Within the context of your projects, learn what the right amount of testing is. Too little and your software becomes unreliable and everyone is afraid to deploy to production. Too much and you’ll end up wasting too much time and resources writing and maintaining them, while also making the development process slower.
  4. Estimating time is hard. This is why iterative development methods such as Scrum are so popular. Push yourself and your team to have increasingly shorter release cycles. Surprisingly, shipping code more frequently reduces risk instead of increasing it. It forces you to have better organizational practices and make a better product for the customer with faster feedback.

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37. Commit your code in small, working chunks and write a detailed commit messages that will help developers find and understand bugs that may have been introduced in that commit. Just summarize what you did and why you did it.

38. Most developers don’t think about security in every unit of code they write. Many thinks that frameworks will handle that for them. Don’t be like most developers.

39. You can spend an exponentially greater amount of time hunting down the last 1% of bugs in a project than you would for the first 90%. If you’re not working in a domain that requires your software to work perfectly 99.999% of the time, then you should spend less time debugging the edge cases and features people probably won’t use.

Soft skills and productivity

  1. Have large chunks of time set aside for focused coding each day. The quantity of time spent coding is meaningless if it’s full of interruptions such as meetings, emails, and web browsing.
  2. Communicate clearly with your team about what you’re doing each day. Talking about your architectural approaches will help you think about those approaches in new ways. It has nothing to do with proving to people that you’re doing good work. More likely, your team will have some ideas you would have never thought of on your own, and you’ll solve problems a lot faster. Your team should also document solutions and share them on a wiki to save valuable time for everyone.
  3. Don’t be ashamed to admit when you don’t know something. As a developer, you’re often solving new problems, so you can’t be expected to know all the solutions immediately. Trying to hide your lack of knowledge only slows the learning process.
  4. Don’t be afraid to share your unfinished work with others frequently.
  5. “Emotionally detach from your code. Find the code that you’re the most proud of and delete it, then rewrite it from scratch in a different way. Use a “design pattern” that confuses you or that you hate (e.g., the Singleton) and figure out how to make it work. If necessary, delete that after you’ve got it working and try again with a new pattern or language. Not only will you learn that there’s More Than One Way to Do It, but you’ll learn that your code is transitory. Code, by its nature, is not just inextricably glued to its language, platform, and the APIs it consumes, but written in the form of ephemeral static charges, orientations of magnetic particles, subject to the whims of the market, Moore’s Law, and your employer. … Remember that emotional detachment from code is a virtue, but this doesn’t mean emotional detachment from your work is, too. In fact, another way to become emotionally detached from code is to put your interest into the outcome instead.” (Source)
    Chris Wenham
  6. Googling is a crucial developer skill. Learning how to do something you haven’t done before and finding optimal solutions from the collective intelligence of the developer community is half the battle in programming.
  7. “Good programmers know what to write, but great ones know what to rewrite (and reuse).” (Source)
    Eric S. Raymond
  8. Teach. Even if you’re a novice at programming, you’re knowledgeable about something. Teaching teaches the teacher. And if you can train other workers, your manager should realize that you’re exponentially more valuable.
  9. Don’t focus on becoming a “10x” programmer. Read thesearticlesby Matt Asay and Scott Hanselman to see why.
  10. “You won’t—you cannot—become a better programmer through sheer force of programming alone. You can only complement and enhance your existing programming skills by branching out. Learn about your users. Learn about the industry. Learn about your business. The more things you are interested in, the better your work will be.” (Source)
    Jeff Atwood
  11. Make mistakes, ask questions, get rapid feedback, get uncomfortable, compare it to what you know, keep going. More on that here.

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Additional resources and comments

Here are some books and other resources that were referenced multiple times by programmers giving advice for how to get better:

Take a look at some of these and then maybe pick some of your favorite pieces of advice from this article to create a tentative checklist for your personal growth. Share some of your own advice in the comments below or tell us about some advice here that you really liked or disliked. Hopefully we’ll all get the jobs we want with this advice.

Further Studies: