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2024 Guide to Collecting Crowdsourced Testing Feedback for Software Development

Did you know that the hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica went undetected for a long period of time? This was because all of NASA’s data analysis software was designed to ignore extreme measurements.

Feedback for Software development

Bugs in software can be frustrating for users, but they can also be catastrophic. Think about industries such as healthcare, banking, or national defense where a small error could have a devastating impact. 

Testing software thoroughly before it’s released is, therefore an essential part of the development process. But it’s not cheap. Startups, in particular, have to balance their finances, and getting the most bang for your buck when testing software is a huge consideration.

Tracking bugs and errors is one of the main challenges for any business about to launch a product. Here we’ll look at testing options and how to collect feedback from crowdsourced testers.

Software testing options

There are four main types of software testing options. Selecting the right one for your business can depend on your resources, namely time and money, as well as on your expected outcomes and any industry regulations. 

The four main options businesses have for software testing are:

  1. Using an in-house software testing team
  2. Outsourcing software testing
  3. Automated testing
  4. Crowdsourced testing

In-house testing teams can be expensive. This is because you have to recruit the right people for the job. You’ll also need to set up a testing environment that can handle testing for all operating systems on various devices. Outsourcing can overcome some of these issues, but it can also be costly as you’ll usually be billed at an hourly rate, whether bugs are discovered or not. 

This leaves crowdsourced testing, where a diverse group of testers use the product and report issues. 

What is crowdsourced testing?

Crowdsourced testing involves using the expertise of a range of people across the world (the “crowd”) to use and assess products. Because of the diverse nature of the group, this type of testing can offer a broad range of perspectives.

Software development

Crowd testers are usually found online and are given tasks or asked to do research to spot bugs or UX problems in the software. The testers are usually carefully selected to match your demographic, giving a much-needed ‘human’ element to the feedback generated.

Say, for example, your business is building a new website for the Indian Ocean region, and you register io domain. Crowdsourced testers would be given access to this domain and undertake a series of functions and tests to make sure the website works as it should. Because the testers are based in different geographical regions and use different devices, the test will be extremely comprehensive as some users may experience problems when others don’t.

This can give much quicker results than traditional testing methods.

What are the benefits of crowd-testing?

Whilst thorough testing in any form is a non-negotiable, crowdtesting has many benefits when compared to other forms of testing. Some of the reasons to consider crowdsourced testing are: 

  • It reduces testing costs
  • It’s more flexible
  • It covers a wider range of testing environments
  • It simplifies updates and innovation
  • It helps ensure the product meets customers’ needs and expectations
  • It allows for quicker identification and correction of bugs
  • It allows for quicker product launch times
  • It’s more scalable.

What to consider when collecting crowdsourced testing feedback

Whilst crowdsourced testing has its advantages, there are many things to consider to avoid potential problems occurring in the feedback process. These include:

1. Quality control and consistency

When faced with an array of diverse testers with differing levels of expertise, maintaining consistency can be a challenge. This is why you’ll need to issue clear and strict guidelines to testers to ensure good results.

Profiling testers can also help. A great crowdsourced tester should have the following qualities:

  • A wealth of technical skills and a lot of motivation
  • Good technological knowledge
  • Good communication skills
  • The ability to work as part of a team
  • The willingness and ability to follow the guidance.

2. Security and data privacy

Since the software is exposed to external testers, data privacy and security must be considered. Putting measures in place to protect and safeguard sensitive information and ensuring legal compliance is a must.

Clean room solutions can offer secure cloud-based communication, which could be a great option for liaising with crowdsourced testers. Knowing the clean room data recovery cost can help you factor secure communications into your testing planning.

2024 Guide to Collecting Crowdsourced Testing Feedback for Software development

3. Communication challenges

Because the ‘crowd’ is from a range of backgrounds, speaks different languages, and comes from different cultures, collecting feedback will require effective tools and strategies to standardize communication. 

Consider how testers can reach out with questions too. Cloud PBX systems allow businesses to scale up or down their communications in a lower cost way. The omnichannel aspect means that bug reporting or feedback can be streamlined via a channel that works for both the testers and your business.

4. Test case relevance and completeness

Test cases must cover all critical aspects of the software in line with testing objectives. This means careful planning, and developers must oversee this process with due diligence and care. 

Using a bayesian neutral network can help spot missing data using probable inference to estimate the missing value. Understanding what is bayesian neural network is, is a great tool for developers to create a testing environment that provides the best feedback.

5. Bug triage

It’s realistic to expect a high volume of bugs to come through. This can be overwhelming if the correct triage systems aren’t in place. The best way to triage bugs is by having a system to categorize and rank them in order of severity, UX, or impact so fixing them can be prioritized.

6. Tester reliability and motivation

Testers are individual people based in remote locations. Their level of care and due diligence can vary, and this can be a concern when collecting feedback. To ensure testers don’t rush the testing process, developers must consider how tests and feedback can be standardized. This could be done with verification checks, clear questioning, and shorter tasks.

Machine learning algorithms can spot patterns and make decisions based on findings. This can help to spot incorrect answers, so knowing how to evaluate machine learning models can help reduce feedback problems like this.

2024 Guide to Collecting Crowdsourced Testing Feedback for Software development

7. Contextual understanding

Because the ‘crowd’ is generally from a wide range of places, language barriers can be a problem, leading to different levels of understanding of a given brief, the product, or the intended audience. 

Developers must provide clear messaging, perhaps with easy-to-follow videos or diagrams, to make sure people understand the brief fully and provide the best quality feedback. It may also be worth considering pre-screening the testers to farm out those who may be unable to understand any aspects of the brief.

8. Response time and bug-fix turnaround

As they say, time is money, so the importance of a quick, well-coordinated response is important. When the ‘crowd’ is a global group, this can be a challenge to orchestrate, so proper systems must be in place. Having a response team working through the triage list can help.

A quicker turnaround can lead to a quicker, cleaner product launch that provides a basis for strong lead enrichment from the get-go. This is because using real people to test software helps build a product that customers will want to use and will therefore help create a stronger bond with leads.

9. Tester bias

When you work with a large group of people, opinions and bias can be a problem if not pre-considered. Biased opinions can affect feedback, so measures will need to be taken to identify this in the feedback process. Factoring this into your feedback model and addressing this in any guidance material can also help.

10. Compliance and legislation

Compliance and legislation in your region (as well as in the regions where your testers are located) must be taken into account when planning crowdsourced testing. This is especially true if sensitive data is shared or stored at any part of the process, from granting software access to feedback collation.

This is where your business’s policies and quality assurance will be paramount to a smooth testing process. Virtual machines can replicate a computer system, so are great for software testing as separate environments can be created away from the main system, which can help to keep real data secure and compliant.

2024 Guide to Collecting Crowdsourced Testing Feedback for Software development

Final thoughts

Deciding whether or not to opt for crowdsourced testing can depend on several factors such as the size, scope, and nature of the project. As a business, you’ll need to have an understanding of the complexities of the testing required, your time frames, and your financial resources to make the best choice.

Whilst all types of testing have their place, crowdsourced testing is a great option for companies wanting to thoroughly test their product whilst keeping costs to a minimum. Effective planning of the testing process can help overcome the challenges this type of testing can pose and provide the best-quality feedback.

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The Surprising Ways Developers Can Drive Innovation in the Growing Electric Vehicle Ecosystem

There’s no denying that the 21st century is the digital age, with most of our daily interactions involving some form of mobile tech, internet connectivity, or wireless exchange. With such an increased emphasis on accessibility, flexibility, and sustainability, it should come as no surprise that many vehicle manufacturers are investing a great deal of labor and funds into the electric vehicle (EV) sector. Since car transportation is often both vital and unavoidable, it only makes sense that our vehicles will rely on innovative software developments.

Here we will explore the Fourth Industrial Revolution as it relates to the growing EV industry, examining how software developers are ushering us into a user-friendly, eco-conscious, data-mining vehicular renaissance.

Industry 4.0: The Influence of Smart Manufacturing on the EV Industry

Industrial labor, practices, and developments are driven by progressions in energy sources. We advanced from using steam power for manufacturing amelioration to a dependency on computer-based technology in a matter of two centuries, a shift that fundamentally altered the way we produce common goods. As we pivot from the hardware-centric Third Industrial Revolution to the more software-forward Industry 4.0 landscape, it is important to acknowledge how developers are motivating change through smart manufacturing in the car industry.

One of the primary ways developers have changed manufacturing is through Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices. IIoT products use sensors and internet connectivity to store, transfer, and analyze data shared between multiple devices, employing predictive AI to optimize operations and alleviate congestion or labor pain points throughout multiple areas of the supply chain. 

By employing smart tech in manufacturing facilities, productivity is positively affected. Developers are continuing to experiment with Augmented Reality (AR) IoT devices and applications to provide an immersive job training experience that is safe and optimizes labor. Current employees don’t have to spend time out of their busy schedule extensively training new employees, and on-the-job injuries can be prevented by allowing inexperienced trainees to practice operating machines virtually.

Beyond convenience, one of the best parts of smart manufacturing integration for EVs is the emphasis on environmental efficiency. Many people choose to invest in EVs to reduce their carbon footprint, contributing to a healthier future for generations to come. Industry 4.0’s focus on automation and data analytics allows EV manufacturers to continually reassess their energy consumption, helping identify when certain machinery should be replaced or which programs are draining unnecessary energy from facilities. Other key benefits of EV ownership include:

  • Lower costs for new model vehicles;
  • Extended fuel economy;
  • Government tax incentives;
  • Cheaper annual maintenance.

With so many reasons to switch to EVs, it makes sense why developers are investing time and resources into creating an amplified ownership experience that emphasizes the futuristic qualities of these vehicles.

How Developers Enhance the EV Ownership Experience

Developers are also playing a vital role in making EVs accessible for disabled drivers. Inclusivity in web and software design is a must, as over 16 percent of people around the world suffer from debilitating disabilities. Web developers, when designing the interface for EV devices like charging stations or digital dashboards, must incorporate things like large fonts and text-to-speech technology into the devices. Though owners of these charging stations should make an effort to create accessible spaces for those with mobility issues or other physical impairments, creating a user-accessible experience for all is something developers can have significant control over.

An IoT-integrated application that is perhaps one of the most helpful tools for drivers in particular is predictive maintenance in EVs. These applications help transport and process vital vehicle and car ownership data to other service devices or analytical sources. For example, EV charging stations, which connect to the vehicle to communicate important information to the stations, relay data like billing credentials or battery condition. 

GPS technology is another aspect of the EV driving experience that requires frequent updates and innovation. Developers can produce mapping applications for EVs that outline routes specific to a driver’s battery charge level, allowing them to maximize their digital fuel. These routes can also be optimized to help a driver travel within proximity of charging stations for long journeys.

Software Safety Precaution Developments in Electric Vehicles

Driving an electric vehicle catapults you into the future in many ways, with one in particular being the implementation of autonomous driving systems. Often, drivers are wary about utilizing this tech to the fullest, creating a need for enhanced safety precautions through software development that incorporates autonomous capabilities without relinquishing the majority of a driver’s control. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) can use GPS and IoT devices and software to predict your vehicle’s distance from other vehicles with a lane departure warning and collision avoidance tech that pumps the brakes for you should an obstacle suddenly come your way.

Another incredible part of EV ownership is the chance to operate a vehicle that employs regenerative braking, which converts the kinetic energy produced by braking into electrical fuel for your vehicle’s battery. For vehicles like Teslas, regenerative braking also allows drivers to brake simply by lifting their foot off the acceleration pedal. However, in 2022, Tesla released a software development that allows your vehicle to use your regular brakes when regenerative braking cannot be consistently used for ideal deceleration. This creates a much safer driving opportunity and doesn’t limit regenerative braking options for the driver either.

Final Thoughts

Developers are the true backbone of the EV ecosystem. With that said, the EV industry needs keen developers who understand the need for inclusivity and creating a relationship of trust between the vehicle and the driver. EV manufacturers that choose to work with developers who are more interested in aesthetics and complex designs rather than well-tested, scaled tech that is both appealing and easy to use are poisonous to the industry. It is important to encourage production that seeks to create sustainable, ever-evolving electric transportation options that are attuned to the growing needs of the individual, rather than the ambitions of a single company or entity.

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A Deep Dive into Accessibility: Designing and Developing for All Users

Website accessibility refers to the practice of making web content and features usable for all people, including those with disabilities. It involves designing websites and applications in a way that removes barriers that might prevent interaction or access by people with various impairments. 

Web accessibility includes ensuring compatibility with assistive technologies like screen readers, providing alternative text for images, and ensuring navigability and readability for users with different abilities. The goal is to enable equal access and opportunity for individuals regardless of their physical or cognitive capabilities.

It is important to consider accessibility in all aspects of design and development to ensure that all users have equal access to information and functionality.

To understand digital accessibility, here’s a brief summary of different disabilities and their impact on accessing digital content:

  1. Visual Disabilities: Individuals who are blind or have low vision may struggle with non-textual digital content, complex layouts, and navigation that is not screen-reader friendly​​​​.
  2. Auditory Disabilities: Those who are deaf or hard of hearing face challenges with audio content lacking captions or transcripts and voice-only web interactions​​​​.
  3. Cognitive, Learning, and Neurological Disabilities: This category includes ADHD, autism, and learning disabilities, where users may need simplified content, structured navigation, and visual aids​​​​.
  4. Physical Disabilities: People with motor disabilities often require keyboard-friendly navigation, larger clickable areas, and additional time for task completion​​​​.

Designing for accessibility involves creating digital content that is easy to perceive, understand, and navigate for all users. Some key design considerations include:

  • Using alt text for images to provide descriptions for users with visual impairments.
  • Ensuring proper color contrast for individuals with color blindness.
  • Using headers and lists to make content easier to navigate for screen reader users.
  • Making sure forms are accessible by using labels and clear instructions.

Developing for accessibility involves using proper coding techniques to ensure that all users can access and interact with digital content. This includes:

  • Using semantic HTML to structure and label content correctly.
  • Using ARIA attributes to provide additional information for assistive technologies.
  • Testing with assistive technologies to ensure that the content is accessible.

It is essential to avoid common mistakes in accessibility design and development, such as not providing alternative text for images or using images instead of text for important information. It is also crucial to regularly test for accessibility to ensure that the content remains accessible.

There are various tools and resources available to help with designing and developing for accessibility, such as screen readers, color contrast checkers, and accessibility auditing tools. These resources can aid in testing for accessibility and identifying areas for improvement. By considering accessibility in design and development, we can create a more inclusive and accessible digital world for all users.

What is Accessibility and Why is it Important?

Ensuring that everything is useable by everyone, including individuals with disabilities, is the definition of accessibility in design. It’s crucial because it provides equal access and opportunities for everybody. Businesses that prioritize this attract a wider audience and demonstrate their concern for all individuals.

Understanding Different Types of Disabilities

It’s critical to include everyone while designing and constructing, especially those with disabilities. Understanding the many types of disabilities that people experience is important. We primarily concentrate on four types: those that impair a person’s capacity for movement, hearing, vision, or thought and comprehension. We can ensure that what we develop benefits everyone by learning more about these.

1. Visual Disabilities

  • Provide text alternatives for non-text content, such as images and graphs, to accommodate individuals with visual disabilities.
  • Ensure proper color contrast between text and background to improve readability for all users.
  • Organize content clearly using headings and lists to facilitate navigation and improve accessibility.
  • Design forms that are easily accessible, allowing for seamless completion and submission.
  • Consider consulting accessibility guidelines, such as WCAG 2.1, to ensure comprehensive coverage for individuals with disabilities.

2. Hearing Disabilities

  • Provide captions and transcripts for videos and audio content to ensure access to information for individuals with hearing disabilities.
  • Use visual alerts and vibrations to convey information for individuals with hearing impairments.
  • Ensure that important audio information is also presented visually, such as in subtitles or on-screen text.

3. Motor Disabilities

  • Assess specific needs: Identify the user’s motor abilities, including any disabilities, to determine the best interaction methods.
  • Provide alternative inputs: Offer options such as voice commands, keyboard shortcuts, or adaptive switches to accommodate users with motor disabilities.
  • Optimize control elements: Use large clickable areas, adjustable time limits, and customizable interfaces to make the website more accessible for those with motor disabilities.
  • Ensure compatibility: Guarantee seamless navigation through keyboard and assistive technologies for users with motor disabilities.

4. Cognitive Disabilities

When designing a website, web design services implement accessibility steps thinking about people with cognitive disabilities. These disabilities can impact how a person remembers, solves problems, pays attention, or understands things. To help them, we should use clear, simple language, organize information in a logical way, and give enough time to complete tasks. This approach makes sure our designs are helpful and easy to use for everyone, including those who might process information differently.

How to Design for Accessibility

Creating a website or app that’s easy for everyone to use involves considering all kinds of users. This part of the process is about finding straightforward ways to make your digital content user-friendly. It includes strategies like adding text descriptions to images and designing forms that are easy for people with various abilities to navigate. Web developers implement these steps to make your digital content more inviting and accessible to a wide range of people.

1. Use Alt Text for Images

  • Provide a brief, accurate, and pertinent description of images using alt text to ensure accessibility for users with visual impairments.

2. Use Proper Color Contrast

  • Choose the right color combinations to ensure readability.
  • Use dark text on a light background or vice versa for optimal contrast.
  • Aim for a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for large text.
  • Consider color blindness by avoiding red-green combinations and relying on contrast rather than color alone.

3. Use Headers and Lists

  • Properly structure your content and enhance navigation by using appropriate headers.
  • Present information in a clear and organized manner by utilizing lists.
  • Maintain a hierarchical structure by correctly implementing heading tags (h1-h6).
  • Ensure an orderly presentation of content by using list tags (ul, ol, li).

4. Make Sure Forms are Accessible

  • Ensure clear and concise labels for all form fields.
  • Provide instructions and error messages in accessible formats.
  • Use proper markup for form elements, such as <label> and <input>.
  • Enable keyboard navigation and focus indicators for all interactive elements.
  • Implement logical tab orders to ensure accessibility for keyboard users.

How to Develop for Accessibility

In today’s digital world, it is crucial for designers and developers to prioritize accessibility in their work. By making websites and applications accessible to all users, we can create a more inclusive and equitable online experience. In this section, we will discuss three key ways to develop for accessibility: using semantic HTML, implementing ARIA attributes, and testing with assistive technologies. These web accessibility strategies will help ensure that your digital creations are accessible and usable for everyone.

1. Use Semantic HTML

Use semantic HTML elements like <header>, <nav>, <main>, <section>, <article>, <aside>, <footer> to provide meaning to the content.

  • Structure your HTML in a logical and organized manner, using elements like <h1> to <h6> for headings and <p> for paragraphs.
  • Utilize lists effectively with <ul> for unordered lists and <ol> for ordered lists, ensuring clarity and structure.
  • Employ appropriate HTML tags such as <label> for form labels and <input> with associated <label> for input fields.

2. Use ARIA Attributes

  • Define landmarks using ARIA landmarks to help users navigate the page.
  • Indicate changes in content with ARIA live regions for screen readers.
  • Improve keyboard navigation using ARIA roles to define interactive elements.
  • Ensure proper focus management using ARIA attributes like aria-activedescendant.

3. Test with Assistive Technologies

  1. Conduct automated tests using screen reader software like VoiceOver for iOS or TalkBack for Android to ensure content is accessible.
  2. Engage users with disabilities to navigate through the interface and provide feedback on accessibility barriers.
  3. Verify keyboard navigation and functionality to accommodate users who rely on keyboard input instead of a mouse.
  4. Utilize color contrast analyzers to guarantee sufficient differentiation for users with visual impairments.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Accessibility Design and Development

  • Ignoring alternative text for images and non-text content.
  • Not providing proper heading structure and skipping heading levels.
  • Using color as the only way to convey information.
  • Implementing inaccessible form elements and controls.
  • Forgetting to test with assistive technologies and real users.

Tools and Resources for Accessibility

As designers and developers, it is our responsibility to create digital experiences that are accessible to all users, regardless of their abilities. This section will provide a comprehensive overview of the essential tools and resources for accessibility. 

We will discuss the use of screen readers for individuals with visual impairments, color contrast checkers for ensuring readability, and accessibility auditing tools for testing and improving overall accessibility. These tools are crucial in creating inclusive and user-friendly designs.

1. Screen Readers

  • Ensure images have descriptive alt text.
  • Use proper heading structure for easy navigation.
  • Optimize form fields for compatibility with screen readers.

Pro-tip: Regularly test your website with screen readers to identify and address accessibility barriers.

2. Color Contrast Checkers

  • Select a reliable color contrast checker tool, such as WebAIM’s Contrast Checker or the Accessible Colors tool from Color Safe.
  • Input the foreground and background color codes or use the color picker to test various color combinations.
  • Make sure that the color contrast ratio meets accessibility standards, such as a minimum ratio of 4.5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for large text.
  • Double-check the color contrast for important elements, including buttons, links, and form fields.
  • Consistently use the color contrast checker throughout the design and development process to ensure accessibility compliance is maintained.

3. Accessibility Auditing Tools

  • Use automated tools like Axe, WAVE, or Lighthouse to scan web content for accessibility issues.
  • Conduct manual audits to verify the findings of automated tools and identify additional accessibility barriers.
  • Engage users with disabilities to test the website or app using screen readers, keyboard navigation, and other assistive technologies.
  • Implement a continuous monitoring process to ensure ongoing accessibility compliance.

When utilizing accessibility auditing tools, be sure to combine automated scans with manual checks and user testing to ensure comprehensive accessibility for all users.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What is the importance of designing and developing for all users?

Designing and developing for all users is crucial because it ensures that your content is accessible to everyone, regardless of their abilities. This not only makes it easier for users to access your content, but it also promotes diversity and inclusion. Additionally, by catering to users with varying abilities, you can positively impact their lives and create a more enjoyable user experience for all.

2) How can content creators make their content accessible for all users?

Content creators can make their content accessible by incorporating accessibility tools and features, such as screen magnifiers and closed captions for videos. They can also use descriptive alt text for images and ensure that their website and social media platforms are optimized for web accessibility.

3) What are the main accessibility issues that developers should be aware of?

Developers should be aware of difficulty lifting/grasping, cognitive/mental/emotional impairment, vision impairment, and hearing impairment. These issues can affect the ability of individuals to use websites and digital content, and it is important for developers to consider them in their design and development process.

Key Takeaways:

Ensuring that everyone can use and access digital platforms is critical. Beyond simply adhering to guidelines, it’s about creating a more inclusive digital environment. By understanding and considering various disabilities.

We can develop solutions that not only reach a broader audience but also enhance the overall usability and experience for users. This inclusive approach is fundamental in making technology accessible and beneficial for all.

Author Bio

Palak

She is a quality content writer for WordPress, technologies, and small businesses working at WPWeb Infotech – Web Development Company.  She is an incredible team player and works closely with the team to achieve great results. She watches Netflix and reads Non-fiction, self-help, and autobiographies of great personalities.

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Developer Nation Techie Treats: The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Developers – 2023

‘Tis the season to celebrate people in your life with the perfect holiday gifts, and if they happen to be coding wizards, hardware enthusiasts, or coffee aficionados, We at Developer Nation are here again with our most curated list of 10 must-have items that will make the eyes of Developers in your life light up. Read on for our top picks and discover the ideal presents for the tech-savvy minds who make the digital world go around. 

Before we get started, let me quickly tell you about our Emerging Technologies Developer Survey in which you can participate and win some of the gifts mentioned here and more.

1. Desk Mat: This doesn’t need any explaining but is a must-have for every Developer Desk.

camera, macbook, iphone

2. GaN Charger: Supercharges any workspace with a GaN Charger. The compact and efficient charger uses Gallium Nitride technology, providing faster and more efficient charging for all their devices. A good 10W charger can charge your laptop, phone and more at the same time. Our recommendation is UGreen or Anker.

ugreen

anker

3. Hardware Crypto Wallet Ledger Nano S Plus: They say if you don’t keep your cryptos in your own wallet, you don’t own it. So, keep your developer’s cryptocurrency safe and sound with the Ledger Nano S Plus. This hardware wallet provides top-notch security, ensuring all digital assets are protected from cyber threats.

ledger

4. Yubikey 2FA Hardware Security Key: This is a must-have; you might have noticed us giving away many of these lately as part of our survey prize draws. This device adds an extra layer of protection to online accounts, making it an essential tool for any developer serious about safeguarding their digital identity.

yubikey


5. Pourover Coffee Brewing Kit: Fuel late-night coding sessions with the v60 Pourover Coffee Brewing Kit. Give your developer the gift of barista-level coffee, enhancing their productivity and adding a touch of luxury to their work breaks.Our recommendation is one from Hario.

hario pourover

6. Aeropress Coffee Brewing Kit: For the developers who are always travelling but appreciate good coffee, the Aeropress Coffee Brewing Kit is a game-changer. Compact and efficient, it’s perfect for busy coding days when time is of the essence.

aeropress

7. Raspberry Pi 5: Unleash the creativity of your favorite developer with the new improved and powerfuk Raspberry Pi 5. This mini-computer opens up a world of DIY projects, from home automation to gaming, making it an ideal gift for those who love to tinker with technology.

Raspberry Pi 5

8. Zima Board: Dubbed as advanced hacked single board computer, it’s definitely much more powerful than the Raspberry Pi, thanks to x86 Intel CPU. It offers tons of I/Os including dual Gigabit Ethernet, and a PCIe which is phenomenal. It’s an ideal computer to run your personal cloud, Network Attached Storage or Media Servers. 

zima board

9. Rubber Duckies: “Quack the C0de” Sometimes, the best debugging partner is a rubber duck! These adorable desk companions serve as silent sounding boards, helping developers troubleshoot and unravel coding conundrums.

rubber duckies

10. A Book – “Soul of a New Machine”: Feed their minds with “Soul of a New Machine,” a classic in the world of tech literature. This Pulitzer Prize-winning book provides insight into the world of computer engineering, making it a captivating read for any developer.

11. USB C Cable Checker: It can be frustrating to identify the right USB cables. They all might look the same, but some don’t support Thunderbolt, high-speed data transfer or fast charging. So a USB C checker like this or this or even an advanced one like this can really come in handy.

usb c cable checker

We hope these gifts will make the developers in your life feel truly appreciated. If we miss any must-have items on our list, Share your suggestions in the comments below, and let’s make this holiday season the most tech-tastic one yet! Happy coding and happy holidays!🎄

– @iAyanPahwa

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10 Expert Tactics For Ensuring Cross-Platform App Consistency

If you’re looking for some of the best practices to ensure cross-platform app design consistency, then you’ve come to the right place. This blog will cover all the aspects of maintaining consistency and how to build a fully functional application. 

App development is a vast field and comes with many challenges to face. One of the challenges is to keep the UI design sustainable on all the platforms. That is why designers need to perform multiple techniques and methods to ensure that apps are working perfectly fine.

Why Consistency Is Important in UI Design?

UI design is the most important element of any application as it grabs the user’s attention. The more seamless and clean the UI design the less frustrated the users get. 7 out of 10 apps get deleted because of their bad UI design.

So, again consistency is key, keep the UI design uniform and let the user control the accessibility and have full control over the app.

But first, let’s put light on the difference between the three app platforms.

A. How Are Cross-Platform Apps Different From Native and Hybrid Apps?

Businesses always demand an app that can work even on the old versions of Android and iOS. A large number of users have old smartphone models, so no user should be left out.

Only a designer can have the best knowledge of all three, so let’s see how they are different from each other.

Cross-platform  VS   Native   VS  Hybrid Apps

Each of them holds significance in app development, however, you can differentiate between them based on these parameters.

  • Performance 
  • Customization 
  • App Data Security 
  • Overall Cost 
  • Market Competition
Factors Cross-PlatformNativeHybrid Apps
PerformanceDepends on the frameworkNo limitation when it comes to speedHigh development speed
CustomizationCan be customized according to user experienceHas better UI capabilities because it can be customizedHybrid apps can be customized
CostBest for low-cost and limited-budgetHigh-costCost-effective
App data securityAble to protect the user dataComes with built-in security featuresProvides security to an extent with encryption
Market competitionDoesn’t take much time to buildQuite time-consumingSame as CP saves time, and has reusable code

B. These 10 Expert Practices Will Maintain Consistency

These tactics are straight from a professional Android app development company. However, to ensure consistency it can be applied on other platforms as well.

i – Screen Size Adaptability

Start off with the screen size, as the devices are of different sizes and resolutions. Apps should be tested back-to-back on all the devices to ensure the screen size fits all the devices.

ii – Multiple Device Test

Experts suggest that when apps are all set to be launched, they need to be tested by the quality assurance manager. As a result, this will keep the app free from bugs and errors that keep meddling the user’s way.

iii –  Keep it clutter-free

Mobile app UI design should be decluttered in the sense that when users find so many options and tap on one screen it fills the screen. This is another thing that designers should focus on to keep consistency.

iv – Work On Readability for Visual Consistency

Visual readability is the most essential of all, the whole app design will fail if it doesn’t attract the users. This includes; themes, fonts, color palettes, imagery, and icons. All of these are focused on ensuring the users don’t find any trouble with the outlay of the app.

v – Keep In Mind The Finger Taps

The more time the user spends on the finger taps the more annoyed they become. Finger taps should be friendly and fast, slow loading taps are frustrating and consume time.

vi – Intuitive App Navigation

App navigations are like finding a way on a map, but expert designers suggest that taps and options should be not hidden under layers of pages.

vii –  Platform Rules Should Be Followed

All three platforms have some rules to keep in mind, so as per experts, each app’s standard should be maintained pre- and post-launch of the application.

viii –  Readability

When designing cross-platform apps, if there is one factor that triggers the whole app user experience, it is Readability. As apps are developed for all screen sizes and resolutions, content should be readable without pressuring the user’s eye. Also, the content should be brief and not long paragraphs.

ix – Review UI Pattern For Internal Consistency

For internal consistency, all the app pages should be followed by a review to ensure that the app has a consistent pattern of UI allowing users to retain their memory and enhance their learning.

x – Research the platform For External Consistency

Lastly, no app can be developed on any of the platforms if it is not well-researched. All the apps have their standards set. So, in order to keep the elements consistent, research is the key. So, spend time on the practices followed by the professionals in many top app development companies.

C. Some Of The Best Frameworks For Cross-Platform Apps

These 3 frameworks are used widely by the developers of iOS and Android app development. 

i – Ionic

Developers create unique and attractive UI designs with Ionic.  They can even alter the code structure which helps them to make modifications in the app design anytime.

ii – Flutter

Flutter is another framework that is considered impressive for building apps for cross-platform applications.

Moreover, this framework doesn’t require continuous updating so that implies that it will help in maintaining a consistent UI design. Also, it can work on all sorts of new interfaces.

iii – React Native

No apps can be developed without having React Native on their hands. All the bugs and errors are fixed easily with it.  Besides, the reason why React Native is given much consideration is because it requires one code for all which saves developers a lot of time. 

Conclusion

These were some of the best expert tactics to ensure the UI design consistency of the apps.

Categories
Community Tips

The Future of Front-End Development: Don’t Get Left Behind

Front-end development is really the closest coding gets to connecting directly with users. Every choice you make impacts the experiences people have with websites and mobile apps. This makes your skills and creative perspectives as a developer extremely valuable to organizations that need online resources. Which, let’s face it, is pretty much every organization today.

That said, the digital landscape is constantly changing. To keep being successful as a developer, you need to have a good understanding of what the future of front-end is likely to be and how you can navigate it. Let’s dive a little deeper into this issue.

In-Demand Features and Tech

As a front-end developer, one of the keys to not getting left behind is to embrace the technology and features that clients are prioritizing. This isn’t just the elements that are popular now, but also those that are likely to demand in the foreseeable future. Nobody’s expecting you to be both the master of all skills and a technological Nostradamus all rolled into one. Nevertheless, there are a few areas of front-end dev it’s worth keeping on top of.

Chatbots

Businesses are increasingly considering chatbots to be a front-line customer service and informational tool. It is, therefore, important to be adept in making conversational platforms that are relevant to specific clients’ individual needs and integrating these into websites. There are various platforms to help with this, including DialogFlow, which uses Google’s natural language processing (NLP) tools to support voice and text-based conversations.

Offline accessibility

Businesses naturally want their consumers to be able to engage with their web resources or apps easily and conveniently. Unfortunately, low network connectivity and dropped signals can disrupt this. One of the solutions is establishing offline accessibility. This is why it’s important to know how to implement effective caching, data storage, and information retrieval procedures. They let users interact with resources to some extent until connections have been restored.

Autocoding

Artificial intelligence (AI) driven coding tools can’t replace the creativity of developers. Nevertheless, it’s worth considering that autocoding platforms can be tools for efficient development. Starting to identify where to strategically automate some aspects of coding can streamline processes. On one hand, this gives you space to dedicate your attention to creative and problem-solving aspects. On the other, it makes you a more agile contributor for clients whose needs can change quickly.

Developing Collaboratively

As a front-end developer, it can certainly feel as though you’re operating pretty independently. Nevertheless, there are ways you collaborate on projects. This can be with clients or back-end developers, among others. These collaborations are likely to continue being important in the foreseeable future. To be left behind, you need to stay on top of how the nature of collaboration is likely to change.

Some of the aspects to be aware of include:

  • Collaborating remotely: One of the great advantages of the digital landscape is that companies have access to talented contributors across the world. This means that collaborating remotely, potentially between different time zones is likely to be key to your future in front-end development. Start getting familiar with tools that make these easier, like project management platforms and digital whiteboards for asynchronous ideation.
  • Collaborating in the metaverse: Virtual spaces are looking increasingly likely to be the future of online interactions. Therefore, you’ll need to start exploring not just how to develop for the metaverse, but also how to meaningfully collaborate with others within it. It’s wise to start testing out platforms for ideation meetings and perhaps even prototyping. Importantly, learn how to maintain the security of the data and ideas you’re sharing with others in these spaces. 

Additionally, no matter how you approach your collaboration, communicating your plans and ideas will always be vital to success. After all, there are various stakeholders connected to your front-end development and your actions in any project can impact those of other people. Mistakes here can cause conflict and may affect clients’ and other collaborators’ buy-in to your ideas.

Therefore, you need to adopt effective strategic plan communication measures. These include taking the time to suggest regular all-hands meetings that allow everyone to stay informed about the details of the project and feel meaningfully involved. You can also provide greater clarity on the goals and details of the development project with engaging visuals rather than just text explanations.

Maintaining Your Abilities

Not getting left behind in the future of front-end also means understanding that you need to pay attention to how effectively you’re functioning. There are likely to be challenges ahead that you’ll need to navigate. As a result, paying some attention to maintaining your ability to be a technical and creative contributor is essential. This isn’t just good for your professional efficacy, but also for continuing to enjoy what you’re doing.

Start by committing to seeking out opportunities to upskill. Even if you’ve already achieved a high level of development aptitude, there are always areas for improvement and diversification. Importantly, research into in-demand features and tools can give you the data to target the most relevant abilities. Perhaps above all else, be open to following your curiosity.

Another key to maintaining your abilities is to be aware of potential health risks associated with your work and mitigate them. For instance, computer vision syndrome (CVS) is an eye condition that can arise from prolonged screen time. This is due to strain from repetitive eye movements, closeness of screens, and even exposure to blue light. Be mindful of symptoms of such conditions, like regular headaches or light sensitivity. Importantly, take preventative steps by scheduling regular screen breaks and optimizing your computer setup.

Conclusion

Understanding the future of front-end development can help you more effectively prepare for it. This can include getting to know the likely in-demand features and tools, alongside best practices for working collaboratively as the landscape changes. Nevertheless, it’s important to understand that you can’t guarantee what the future will hold. Stay on top of industry news and have conversations with your professional network. This can help you to catch the early signs of changes so you can adapt in good time.

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Community Tips

Navigating the New Era of Learning: Top Generative AI Books for Programmers

Hello, we’re Computer Science Professors Dr. Leo Porter and Dr. Daniel Zingaro. We’ve dedicated our careers to helping students succeed in programming and computer science courses. There are approaches we know are effective in teaching novices, such as learning from worked-out examples and using real-world problems that resonate with students. When we’re reading a book, we’re always thinking: will this book help people learn? Does it use what we know about learning to serve as an effective teaching aid? Can we use this with our students? Can we for once stop analyzing the book and just read for fun? (The answer to that last question is, unfortunately, ‘no,’ 😀 We can’t help it!)

With massive changes happening due to generative AI tools like ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot, you won’t be surprised that there’s a swarm of new books that use generative AI to teach programming to beginners or to enhance what programmers can do.

In this article, we wanted to cover our top four generative AI books that are being published by Manning Publications.


Special Deal! Get 35% Off all Manning Products at checkout with code bldevnat23 @ Manning.com


Introduction to Generative AI
Introduction to Generative AI: An ethical, societal, and legal overview Numa Dhamani and Maggie Engler

We know, we know: you just want to use generative AI to supercharge your programming productivity. We want that, too! But we’re at the dawn of a programming revolution here, and we strongly encourage you to take the time to understand the ethical and legal concerns wrought by generative AI. 

What happens when generative AI models ingest objectionable speech or personal data? Why are these models apt to produce hallucinations, and why should we care? Why is it so difficult to address bias in machine learning? What is the critical role that human feedback plays in LLM training, and what are the associated costs to humans? Does generative AI’s use of copyrighted work fall under fair use?

As informed end-users of generative AI, it’s up to us to answer these questions–to understand what data we might be using, how that data was produced, and the societal and ethical impacts of these tools. This book helps us toward those answers.

We appreciate that many claims in the book are supported with references that the reader can check for additional details. We also benefited from numerous powerful examples throughout the book, such as racial bias in movie sentiment scores, a ChatGPT data breach, and a famous virtual influencer.

We’d also like to emphasize that while the focus of the book is on the responsible use of generative AI, there is also a non-mathematical overview coverage of how generative AI tools work, which we suspect will be of interest to many readers. For example, you’ll learn more about many concepts you’ve probably heard about in passing, such as foundation models, fine-tuning, emergent properties of LLMs, zero-shot and few-shot learning, and chain-of-thought prompting.

Finally, we applaud the balanced discussion of the pros and cons of synthetic media, the ways that LLMs are and will be misused, the ways that professionals are using LLMs and–of course!–the coverage of the impacts on education.

Dhamani and Engler’s Introduction to Generative AI is a must-read foundational guide not only to understand how generative AI works but also to understand its broader societal implications.

Learn AI-Assisted Python Programming
Learn AI-Assisted Python Programming: With GitHub Copilot and ChatGPT Leo Porter and Daniel Zingaro

The two of us (Daniel Zingaro and Leo Porter) wrote this book because we believe that the way new programmers learn to program has changed dramatically now that generative AI is here. We’ve both taught thousands of students to program over the years and a lot of our time needed to revolve around teaching syntax, which is the ways that words and symbols are put together to create programs that run. But generative AI handles syntax extremely well (which is a good thing, because many learners find syntax boring and frustrating). So, in writing this book, our guiding question was: what are the main skills that new programmers need to learn now?

In this book, written for absolute beginners, you’ll be writing programs that work from day one, in contrast to the before times when you would have had to learn lots of syntax first. You’ll learn how to test code that comes from the generative AI to check whether it is correct, break down large problems into smaller bits that the AI can better solve, and use a debugger to trace your code very carefully to see what it’s doing. Oh, and you’ll be learning Python along the way, too, in case you need that for your resume 🙂

Why would you buy and read a book with ‘obsolete’ in the title? What the author is getting at with this irreverent title is that generative AI is moving so quickly that everything written about it will be obsolete quickly. We may as well understand the foundations of effectively interacting with these tools, which is what this book focuses on.

The book starts by explaining the background concepts you need to know when working with generative AI tools. What’s a token? What are the differences between all of those GPT models? What the heck is temperature and Top P?

You need Python experience to read this one. This isn’t a programming book, though. It’s a “let’s see what we can do with generative AI!” book. You’ll generate fiction (not very good fiction… yet?), generate book cover images, convert slides to videos, and quickly obtain summaries of boring meetings and long PDF documents. The book tours many powerful generative AI tools that you may not have been aware of–it goes way beyond what the general public is doing with ChatGPT.

The key takeaway of the book is that the best results come from pairing your domain knowledge with the explosion of content you can create with generative AI.

AI-Powered Developer: Build great software with ChatGPT and Copilot Nathan B. Crocker

OK — so you’re already a Python developer and you want to start using LLMs to rocket your productivity. How? By reading Crocker’s new book 😀

This book shows you how to use GitHub Copilot, ChatGPT, and Amazon CodeWhisperer (and when to use each). It assumes that you already know Python, and we further suggest that familiarity with building APIs in Python would be a plus.

Through its chapters, you’ll build an Information Technology Asset Management (ITAM) system, using generative AI for each step… from designing the system to writing the code, generating data, testing and managing the deployment, and helping with security. (Yes: generative AI is useful way beyond writing code for you!)

The pro of writing the book as one comprehensive example is that you see how a complete application is built and deployed with generative AI help. The cons are that it makes it difficult to jump around the book and that if you are not motivated by the chosen example then the book itself may not be as motivating as a collection of smaller examples. We need books of both types!

For us, the material on system design is of particular interest, because in our time working with generative AI, we have done the high-level design and left the low-level code to the AI. Crocker’s book shows that experienced programmers can indeed push generative AI into the design realm as well, including proposing designs, creating class diagrams for designs, and comparing and contrasting potential designs.

Whether you want to understand generative AI at a societal level, to learn programming from scratch “the new way,” to add generative AI to your programming toolbox, or to be inspired to use generative AI to … generate (sorry!) content, we’re confident that you’ll find value in one or more of these books.

Manning Publications is a premier publisher of technical books on computer and software development topics for both experienced developers and new learners alike.

Manning prides itself on being independently owned and operated, and for paving the way for innovative initiatives, such as early access book content and protection-free PDF formats that are now industry standard.

Categories
Community Enterprise Developers

Meet the Enterprise Developers – Interview Series #1:  Investment Sector 

The term Enterprise Developer has been showing up quite frequently over the past few years in Developer Nation and other programming communities. In our experience, this term can have slightly varied meanings, but it often relates to the Developers working in big teams/organisations, supporting enterprise-grade software development. 

To shape a more accurate definition and learn more about Enterprise Developers’ roles, responsibilities, and challenges, we decided to ask them directly. Hence, starting this new series of blog Interviews at Developer Nation, talking with Enterprise Developers, giving our community more clarity about their work and how it differs from a startup environment.

The first interviewee in this series has requested us to keep their identity anonymous; hence respecting their privacy, we will call them Dev A.

Ayan: Can you briefly describe your job as an Enterprise Software Developer

Dev A: I work as a Software Developer at an investment firm, my work revolves around writing tools and data pipelines that help traders/operations and also data pipelines that run during and pre/post trading.

Dev A has briefly described their work as building tools and data pipelines that help investors trade on the platform. 

A data pipeline is a function that processes raw data from various data sources and then posts it to a data warehouse for further analysis.

Ayan: What are some of the challenges and benefits of working at a large company compared to a startup?

Dev A: Challenges – a lot of existing infra to go through and gain understanding on. Slow review and deployment process, lot of stakeholders.

Benefits – Learn about processes, scalable solutions, how large infra is maintained. You get a hang of good practices.

Processes make it easier for developers to work and support each other in a big team setup. However, these processes can also sometimes  become bottlenecks when new features of patches in the code need to be shipped to the production. As Dev A mentioned, the review and deployment process is slow, and many stakeholders are there whose reviews are needed. On the good side, these processes ensure the quality of the code having it being reviewed by multiple parties. Especially in financial organisations a bug showing an incorrect balance can be a disaster for the product. 

Ayan: If you could change one thing about how your organization operates, what would it be?

Dev A:  n/a

I asked Dev A if there’s anything they would want to change about the way their organization operates. Apparently there isn’t anything that is rare but good to know. 

Ayan: How is AI impacting your day-to-day life? Is there a policy regarding the use of AI tools in your company?

Dev A: Not allowed to enter proprietary information in LLMs. Consider anything entered into ChatGPT is as good as posting it on social media.

AI helps generate quick commands for generic things – e.g bash commands, generate snippets, etc. Stack overflow replacement in a crude way.

From the response, Dev A’s org seems to have a strict policy when it comes to using Large Language Models like ChatGPT with any proprietary information. However, Dev A has been using it to support their development work, like generating Bash commands or code snippets to automate aspects of their job, using it as a Stack Overflow replacement – Very Interesting. 

Ayan: How much of your work depends on specific tools, frameworks, programming languages, or cloud providers?

Dev A : Many libraries are inbuilt and maintained in-house, but many are used from outside as well. e.g redis, github etc.

This one is a classic. To be easily maintainable a big software project is usually organised into libraries, which are easier to maintain and reuse in different projects. As Dev A mentioned, many libraries are built and maintained within the org itself. However, like any other software product, they also depend on other work in open source and outside to support the product development. 

That was all from this interview, but keep an eye out for more. If you know anyone we should invite for this kind of interview session, please feel free to write me at ayan.pahwa@slashdata.co

Ayan

Categories
Community

Language Communities; Who leads the way?

The choice of programming language matters deeply to developers because they want to keep their skills up-to-date and marketable. Languages are a beloved subject of debate and the kernels of some of the strongest developer communities. They matter to toolmakers, too, because they want to make sure they provide the most useful SDKs.

size of programming language communities in 2023

It can be challenging to accurately assess how widely a programming language is used. The indices available from sources like Tiobe, Redmonk, Github’s State of the Octoverse, and Stack Overflow’s annual survey are great but offer mostly relative comparisons between languages, providing no sense for the absolute size of each community. These may also be biased geographically or skewed toward certain fields of software development or open-source developers.  ​

The estimates presented here look at software developers using each programming language globally and across all kinds of programmers. They are based on two pieces of data. First is SlashData’s  independent estimate of the global number of software developers, which was published for the first time in 2017. According to it, as of Q1 2023, there are 35.6 million active software developers worldwide. Second is the large-scale, low-bias Developer Nation Global survey which reaches tens of thousands of developers every six months. In these surveys, devleopers are  consistently asked about their use of programming languages across 13 areas of development. This gives a rich and reliable source of information about who uses each language and in which context. 

JavaScript remains the most widely used language. 

For the 12th survey in a row, JavaScript continues to take the top spot for programming languages, with 20M active developers worldwide. Notably, JavaScript is still experiencing growth, with a further 2.6M developers joining the community in the last 12 months. JavaScript’s lead is unlikely to be challenged in the near future, as its community has almost 3M more developers than the next closest languages. Moreover, JavaScript’s popularity extends across all software sectors, with at least 20% of developers using it in their projects. 

“Close to eight million developers joined the Java community in the last two years.”

In 2020, Python unseated Java as the second most popular programming language, but in Q1 2023, Java returned to just matching Python, with both languages now counting just over 17M developers. Java is one of the most important general-purpose languages, and although it is over two decades old, it has seen incredible growth over the last two years, gaining close to 8M users. This corresponds to the highest growth in absolute terms across all languages. Java’s growth is not only supported by traditional sectors such as cloud and mobile but also by its rising adoption among AR/VR developers, in part due to Android’s popularity as an AR/VR platform. 

Despite Java catching up, Python keeps adding new developers. However, in the last 12 months, only 1.3M developers joined the Python community, compared to the massive 5.6M developers who joined between Q1 2021 and Q1 2022. A major driver of Python’s growth was the rise of data science and machine learning, where 70% of developers involved were using Python in Q1 2022. However, this has decreased to 60% in Q1 2023, with other languages, such as Rust, Java, and Mathematica, receiving small increases and likely reducing Python’s growth. ​

The group of major, well-established languages is completed with C/C++ (13.3M), C# (11.2M), and PHP (8.8M). PHP has seen the second-slowest growth rate over the last 12 months, growing just 11% and adding 0.9M developers to its community. PHP is a common choice for backend and web developers but has seen decreasing popularity. 

PHP was used by almost 30% of all developers in Q3 2020 but by 25% of all developers in Q1 2023. This decrease in popularity is particularly apparent amongst web developers, for whom it has gone from the second most popular language in Q3 2021 (34%) to the fourth most popular language (25%) in Q1 2023, behind JavaScript, Python, and Java. Despite PHP 8 addressing many of the concerns developers had expressed about PHP, perceptions of it being insecure or outdated may persist.​

C and C++ are core languages in embedded and IoT projects, for both on-device and application-level coding, but also in desktop development, a sector that accounts for almost 45% of all developers. On the other hand, C# has maintained its position as one of the most popular languages for games and desktop applications. Overall, C/C++ added 2.3M net new developers in the last year, while C# added 1.4M over the same period. 

ranking of programming languages

Kotlin’s growth is beginning to slow

In previous editions of this report, Kotlin and Rust were identified as two of the fastest-growing language communities. If Kotlin’s growth continues, it will soon overtake PHP and join the ranks of the most popular languages. Kotlin’s growth has been largely attributed to Google’s decision in 2019 to make it the preferred language for Android development. It is currently used by 19% of mobile developers and is the third most popular language in the space. However, Kotlin may be showing signs of slowing its exceptional growth. Kotlin now has a community of more than 5.3M developers and has added more than 2.5M developers in the last two years. However, in the last year, there has only been an increase of 0.5M developers. Kotlin’s explosive growth may have resulted from a high demand for developers with Kotlin experience to fill a market need that may be approaching a level of market saturation. Despite Google’s preference for Kotlin, the inertia of Java means that it is still the most popular language for mobile development and still experiences immense growth.

“Rust has more than tripled the size of its community in the past two years”

Rust has more than tripled the size of its community over the past two years and currently has 3.7M users, of which 0.6M joined in the last six months alone. Rust has overtaken Objective C in the last six months and is the 11th most popular language in our survey. Rust has seen increased adoption in IoT, games, and desktop development, where it is desired for its potential to build fast and scalable applications. Rust was designed to handle high levels of concurrency and parallelism. Thus it can handle increasing amounts of work or data without sacrificing performance. Furthermore, Rust has built a loyal community of developers who care about memory safety and security.

Swift currently counts 5.1M developers, adding more than 1.6M net new developers over the past year. This growth continues to stem from Apple making Swift the default programming language across the Apple ecosystem, which has the effect of phasing out the use of Objective C. Despite this, Objective C has also shown strong growth, adding 1.0M developers in the last year alone, resulting in a community of 3.4M developers. This is primarily through its use among IoT developers, who are increasingly turning to it for their on-device code, as well as a growing number of AR/VR developers. Nonetheless, Objective C has fallen behind Rust, whose more modern approach may be more appealing to developers.​

Go and Ruby represent two of the smaller language communities that are important in backend development, but Go has seen substantially more growth over the last two years. Go’s developer community has more than doubled in the last two years, adding 2.3M new developers to its population, which stands at 4.7M developers. Similarly, Ruby has added 1.0M users to its community of 3.0M developers, showing impressive growth but trailing further behind Go. 

“Lua has added almost 1M developers to its community in the past year”

In the past six months, Lua has overtaken Dart to become the 14th most popular programming language. Lua has shown massive growth over the past year, going from 1.4M developers in Q1 2022 to 2.3M in Q3 2023. Lua is an alternative scripting solution for low-level languages, such as C and C++, and has seen more developers in IoT, games, and AR/VR picking it up. This could mark the beginning of Lua’s momentum and see it become increasingly popular, especially as the IoT and AR/VR spaces continue to grow. Dart has seen steady but slow growth over the past two years, predominantly due to the Flutter framework in mobile development filling a useful niche. However, with 13% of mobile developers currently working in Dart, a decrease from 15% in Q1 2022 may see Dart’s growth remain low, and its place within mobile development remain a minority language.

Categories
Community Tips

8 Java Programming Tricks Every Java Developer Should Know

Java is one of the most popular programming languages in the programming world, used by millions of developers to build complex software systems and applications. As a Java developer, it’s essential to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques to remain competitive and produce high-quality code. In this article, we’ll explore eight Java programming tricks every Java developer should know, including how java developers for hire can help you implement them in your projects.

  • Use Lambda Expressions

Lambda expressions are a powerful feature introduced in Java 8 that allow you to write functional-style code with less boilerplate. With lambda expressions, you can define a method as a parameter to another method, reducing the amount of code you need to write. For example, instead of writing:

List<String> names = new ArrayList<>();
for (Person person : people) {
    names.add(person.getName());
}

You can use a lambda expression like this:

List<String> names = people.stream()
.map(Person::getName)
.collect(Collectors.toList());

This code is more concise and easier to read, making your code more maintainable.

  • Use Optional Instead of Nulls

Nulls can cause many problems in Java code, including NullPointerExceptions, which can be difficult to debug. Instead of using nulls, use the Optional class, which allows you to represent an object that may or may not be present. Optional provides a safer and more elegant way to handle nulls in your code.

  • Use Streams for Collection Operations
    Streams provide a concise and powerful way to perform operations on collections in Java. With streams, you can perform operations like filtering, mapping, and reducing without the need for complex loops or temporary collections. Streams can significantly simplify your code and make it easier to read and maintain.
  • Use String.format for String Concatenation
    String concatenation can be a performance bottleneck in Java code, especially when concatenating large strings. Instead of using the + operator, use the String.format method to concatenate strings. String.format creates a formatted string that you can customize with placeholders and arguments, making your code more readable and efficient. 
public class StrFormat  
{  
    /* Driver Code */  
    public static void main(String args[])  
    {  
        String s1 = new String("Hello");    //String 1  
        String s2 = new String(" World");    //String 2  
        String s = String.format("%s%s",s1,s2);   //String 3 to store the result  
            System.out.println(s.toString());  //Displays result  
    }  
} 
  • Use Immutable Objects

Immutable objects are objects whose state cannot be changed after creation. Immutable objects are thread-safe and can simplify your code by eliminating the need for locks or synchronization. Use immutable objects whenever possible to improve the performance and reliability of your code.

String name = "baeldung";
String newName = name.replace("dung", "----");
assertEquals("baeldung", name);
assertEquals("bael----", newName);
  • Use Interface Default Methods

Default methods were introduced in Java 8 and allow you to add methods to an interface without breaking existing implementations. Default methods provide a powerful way to extend existing interfaces and create more flexible and maintainable code.

import java.time.*; 
public interface TimeClient {
    void setTime(int hour, int minute, int second);
    void setDate(int day, int month, int year);
    void setDateAndTime(int day, int month, int year,
                               int hour, int minute, int second);
    LocalDateTime getLocalDateTime();
}
  • Use Reflection Sparingly

Reflection is a powerful but dangerous feature in Java that allows you to inspect and modify the behaviour of a program at runtime. Reflection can be slow and error-prone, and should only be used when necessary. If possible, use other features of Java, such as interfaces, to achieve your goals.

import java.lang.reflect.*;

 
   public class DumpMethods {
      public static void main(String args[])
      {
         try {
            Class c = Class.forName(args[0]);
            Method m[] = c.getDeclaredMethods();
            for (int i = 0; i < m.length; i++)
            System.out.println(m[i].toString());
         }
         catch (Throwable e) {
            System.err.println(e);
         }
      }
   }
  • Use Enumerations Instead of Constants

Enumerations are a more powerful and flexible way to represent constants in Java. Enumerations allow you to group related constants and define their behaviour, making your code more expressive and maintainable. Use enumerations whenever possible to avoid the problems associated with traditional constants.

public class Main {
  enum Level {
    LOW,
    MEDIUM,
    HIGH
  }

  public static void main(String[] args) {
    Level myVar = Level.MEDIUM; 
    System.out.println(myVar);
  }
}
  • Use Try-With-Resources for Resource Management
    Try-With-Resources is a feature introduced in Java 7 that allows you to automatically close resources such as files, sockets, and database connections after they are no longer needed. Try-With-Resources can simplify your code and ensure that resources are always properly closed, reducing the risk of resource leaks and other problems.
  • Use Javadoc to Document Your Code
    Javadoc is a powerful tool for documenting your Java code. With Javadoc, you can create professional-looking documentation for your code that can be easily shared with other developers. Javadoc can also help you understand your own code better and identify potential problems and bugs.
  • Use Dependency Injection for Loose Coupling
    Dependency Injection is a design pattern that promotes loose coupling between components of a system. With Dependency Injection, you can inject dependencies into a class instead of creating them inside the class, reducing the complexity and dependencies of your code. Dependency Injection can also make your code more flexible and easier to test, making it a valuable technique for Java developers to learn.

Use Unit Testing for Quality Assurance

Unit Testing is a crucial technique for ensuring the quality and correctness of your Java code. With Unit Testing, you can test individual units of code in isolation, identifying and fixing problems before they become larger issues. Unit Testing can also improve the maintainability of your code by ensuring that changes and updates don’t introduce unexpected side effects or bugs. As a Java developer, it’s essential to understand and practise Unit Testing to produce high-quality, reliable code.

Conclusion

Java developers for hire can help you implement these programming tricks in your projects. The tricks we mentioned can improve the quality and efficiency of your code, and help you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques in Java programming. But if you need to do it asap, Java developers for hire can help you implement these programming tricks in your projects.