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Archive for the ‘IT Trends’ Category

 

“Computer programming is an art, because it applies accumulated knowledge to the world, because it requires skill and ingenuity, and especially because it produces objects of beauty.”
Donald Knuth, 1974

 

It’s better to start your journey into the career of programming by answering the question “Do you really need programming?” This question does not apply to those, who majored in computer programming or was close to it. If at school you were good at math, if you like to spend a lot of time sitting in front of the computer, if you want to learn something new, then programming is for you. What is more, this area is now in demand and highly paid in the world, job vacancies for the post of programmers are always open. Isn’t it the best time to be a programmer?:)

Everyone knows that the future programmer should be able to think broadly and to present the project from different perspectives before its implementation and realization. Unfortunately, the machine does not understand a human language. Of course, I’m not talking about Siri and other voice recognition — I’m talking about the creation of new software. To create the calculator, the computer needs to be given the task in the same way as the foreman explains to workers how to lay bricks. That’s why you can’t do anything without understanding the programming languages. Well, first you need to decide what kind of programming languages we should start with.

And here everyone chooses a language which will be useful for him. It depends on the kind of products you are going to develop. Most of us studied Turbo Pascal at school, and it’s no news that this language is practically not used anymore. So, if you want to join the team of programmers in the nearest future, the choice of language should be made sensibly.

Among the most popular programming languages in 2016 are Java, followed by C languages, then Python, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, etc. It should come as no surprise that the more popular language is, the more chances you have to find work in the future. So, you’d better start with Java or C#, as these are the best paid and relatively simple learning languages of writing code. If you can’t cope with them, then you should try to learn Python. This language suits for quick and effective programming.

But if you have no programming experience at all you can start with something more simple for understanding. Good examples can be the basics of HTML and CSS.

Why? These two languages are essential for creating static web pages. HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) structures all the text, links, and other content you see on a website. CSS is the language that makes a web page look the way it does—color, layout, and other visuals we call style. Well, if you are interested in making websites, you should definitely start with HTML and CSS.

Let’s move to JavaScript. It is the first full programming language for many people. Why? It is the next logical step after learning HTML and CSS. JavaScript provides the behavior portion of a website. For example, when you see that a form field indicates an error, that’s probably JavaScript at work.

JavaScript has become increasingly popular, and it now lives outside web browsers as well. Learning JavaScript will put you in a good place as it becomes a more general-purpose language.

Some people also suggest choosing Python as the first programming language because Python’s program code is readable, first of all. You don’t even need to be a programmer to understand what is happening in the program. Due to the simple syntax of Python you will need less time for writing programs than in Java, for example. A huge base of libraries will save you a lot of strength, nerves and time. Large technology companies are working with Python: Yandex, Google, Facebook and YouTube. It is used for web applications, game development, software for servers.

Java can also be a good choice for a beginner. This language is more popular than Python, but a bit more complicated. At the same time, the development tools are much better designed. Java is one of the most popular languages for the backend development of modern enterprise web applications. It is used in Amazon, eBay, LinkedIn and Yahoo! With Java and the frameworks based on it, developers can create scaling web apps for a wide range of users. Java is also the primary language used for developing Android applications for smart phones and tablets. Moreover, after Java you will be able to work with low level programming languages.

PHP is one more popular language. The PHP language, along with databases (e.g. MySQL) is an important tool for creating modern web applications. Most of the sites developed on PHP are focused on a large amount of data. It is also a fundamental technology of powerful content management systems like WordPress. There are no normal imports in PHP, there are many solutions to one and the same problem. And it makes training more complicated.

 

 
The languages C and C# are a bit complicated for a beginner. But if you develop software for embedded systems, work with system kernels or just want to squeeze out every last drop from all available resources, C is what you need.

Ruby has begun to gain popularity since 2003, when the framework Rails appeared. Used widely among web startups and big companies alike, Ruby and Rails jobs are pretty easy to come by. Ruby and Rails make it easy to transform an idea into a working application, and they have been used to bring us Twitter, GitHub, and Treehouse.

Choosing a programming language may still seem challenging. It shouldn’t. You can’t go wrong. As long as you choose a language that is regularly used in technology today, you’re winning. When you are starting out, the goal is to become solid in the basics, and the basics are pretty similar across almost all modern programming languages.

Part of learning to code is learning a language’s syntax (its grammatical or structural rules). A much bigger part of learning to code, the part that takes longer and gives you more headaches, is learning to solve problems like a programmer. You can learn the grammatical structure of the English language pretty quickly; however, you won’t truly understand the language until you put that grammatical structure to use in a conversation. The same is true in programming. You want to learn the core concepts in order to solve problems. Doing this in one language is similar to doing it in another. Because the core concepts are similar from language to language, I recommend sticking with whichever language you choose until your understanding of the core concepts is solid. If you have a clear idea of your reasons for learning to program, and know exactly what you want to accomplish with your new coding skills, then you’ll be able to make the right choice.

How did you guys get into programming? What are the best programming languages for first-time learners?

Please, share with us your experience and opinion here below:)

 

Kate Kviatkovskaya

Kate Kviatkovskaya

Business Development Manager | LI Profile

E-mail:Kate.Kviatkovskaya@altabel.com
Skype: kate.kviatkovskaya
www.altabel.com

IT Trends

Is Nordics pioneering IoT? From remote
control to autonomous connected things
and intelligent decision making. Initiatives from
Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland:
start-ups and industry leaders engaged.

 
Nordic countries are leading the way in the Internet of Things, the latest ‘Connected things’ study by TeliaSonera shows. There will be ~4 connected devices per person in the Nordics by 2018, Gartner Inc. predicts. Currently the Scandinavian region has 4 times as many connected “things” per person as the rest of the world.

map

The TeliaSonera report forecasts the Nordic market for IoT devices will grow by 23% annually, to €9.1bn by 2018: with Sweden placed first, Norway and Denmark – placed 2nd and 3rd,  and followed by Finland.

Connected vehicles, connected building and connected people are the three driving forces for developments in connected cars, smart homes and digital health.

 

internet of things

The fastest growing segment of IoT in Scandinavia is ‘connected people’ which includes not only people, but also animals. The market for connected people is expected to grow by 59% annually until 2018. ‘Connected vehicles’ (anything that transports passengers or cargo) sector is forecast to increase by 36% annually. ‘Connected buildings’ sector is expected to grow by 23% annually until 2018, when there will be, on average, 3 connected building devices, such as security, energy and HVAC, per household in the Nordics.

Impressive, but connected devices are only the first stage of IoT. “Enabling connected things to exchange and comprehend each other’s data, regardless of place, manufacturer or format, is key to realising the full potential of IoT, ” said Anders Elbak from IDC. So the aim is that “connected cars transform into intelligent transportation systems, connected medical devices into digital health and connected homes into smart cities.”

From the business prospective, Elbak pointed out  that “very few [companies] acknowledge the business transformation opportunities” – or how to best make use of the vast amounts of data ‘connected devices’ generate to enable intelligent decision making, research and development and predictive services.

In the study by Accenture the Nordics are placed among the countries with the most conducive environment for Industrial IoT, along with the US, Switzerland and the Netherlands; while China, Japan, and Germany are just mid-table performers.

Recently in the Scandinavian region there have been several promising practical initiatives in the field of IoT, on radar both in start-ups and industry leaders.

In Norway, Nornir’s ‘smart home’ project addresses the expected elderly boom problem by providing the opportunity for them to live at home. The smart home environment accommodates intelligent sensors that monitor changes in the environment and the security system which recognises individualized patterns deviations and gives instant alerts to the ‘stakeholders’ if smth happens out of the ordinary.

Also one of the first worldwide real-time data linking systems is being implemented in Norway by Synaptic Technologies, and their Real Time Web (RTW) ambitiously strives to be a world-wide open platform for everybody to share and exchange readable or writable machine data online and for intelligent objects to be connected.

In Sweden, the startup Automile is tapping into telematics and untraditional cloud-powered fleet management. CEO Jens Nylander explained old legacy solutions typically require quite expensive physical installations and modifications to the car – meaning dependency on retailers and installers. Targeting primarily at smaller business, Automile operates on a SaaS model where the device itself is free and users pay a subscription fee. Interesting that big names like ABB and Ricoh International are now among the customers.

Thingsquare, Swedish IoT pioneer, provides the software platform allowing you to connect all your products with smartphones wirelessly.

Also the Swedish car manufacturer Volvo has introduced a cloud-based communications system for road safety: the tech is piloted in Sweden and Norway, where weather conditions can be suitably extreme, and it’s hoped the system will be standard in Scandinavia already in 2016 and is even a part of the governmental program.

The Swedish multinational provider of communications Ericsson recognises “Networked Society” as its core directive to align with IoT thinking aiming at connecting 50 billion devices by 2020; all in order to benefit its subscribers.

In Finland the IoT initiative is represented by BaseN Platform – a highly scalable and easily distributed IoT platform, enabling required scalability for hosting millions of things.

These are just a few interesting starts, still many more to mention are: from Sweden – Yanzi Networks, one of Intel’s innovation labs,  Imagimob with Artificial Intelligence innovation for torso body tracking through embedded, wearables and mobile devices,  Connode with unique position in Smart Metering Market, Springworks known for its machine-to-humanity (M2H) connectivity innovaton, FarmDrones with a connected solution for farmers to increase productivity and crops yield,  Watty with the next generation energy product, Ewa Home, hidn Tempo, Minalyze; from Norway – Nordic (Semiconductor); from Finland – CyberLightning with its Smart city concept at the industrial scale, etc.

Have more interesting examples, or wish to share your point of view? You are welcome to leave your comment here.

 

Helen Boyarchuk

Helen Boyarchuk
helen.boyarchuk@altabel.com
Skype ID: helen_boyarchuk
Senior Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

mobile

Can you spend a day without your smartphone? I can hardly imagine it.
Could we imagine about 10 years ago that we would use smartphones and tablets every day, everywhere for almost everything: playing games, ordering taxi, watching tv, ordering food, etc? Possibly, not.
The mobile application industry is growing increasingly fast. It`s almost beginning of 2016 and it`s time to speak about top mobile app development trends that will rock this year.

Cloud driven apps will be on top

Cloud is going to play a leading role for a number of mobile apps in 2016. The cloud gives the possibility to sync apps across multiple devices. As the number of people using multiple mobile devices ( smartphones, tablets, wearables) is on the rise, the cloud approach makes it easy for them to access any data from any channel. Also, thanks to the cloud, app developers can retain the small size of mobile apps.
Gartner.com predicts that by 2018 at least 30% of service-centric companies will move the majority of their ERP applications to the cloud.

Focus on Mobile apps security

We witnessed a great increase in information leaks and hacker attacks in 2015 that affected a lot of organizations from small companies to industry giants and government organizations. Reports just prove this fact, more than 75% of mobile applications would fail basic security tests in 2015.
This is horrible as many mobile applications store sensitive and personal information. Gartner predicts that by the end of 2016, more than 50% of global 1000 companies will have stored customer-sensitive data in the public cloud.
So security is a key principle mobile developers should focus on in 2016.
IOS has proved itself as the most secure platform. Android has always been claimed as a non-secure platform, however developers paid more attention to security issue in the latest Android versions.

Shift towards enterprise mobile applications

This trend of the year 2015 will continue to boost in 2016.
According to a survey conducted by Vision Mobile in the beginning of 2015 43% of developers working on enterprise apps were making more than $10,000 per month. In comparison, only 19% of the app developers focusing on consumer apps were making a similar income. The percentage of successful enterprise apps developers is double the percentage of consumer apps developers.
So it`s not a secret that mobile apps developers will focus more on enterprise applications development to generate more revenues

Internet of Things / IoT and wearables

We have seen a big increase in usage of wearable devices in 2015 and this trend will continue to boost in 2016 as well. Certainly, IoT is still in its infancy and it`s mostly consumer based at the moment, but it`ll be adopted for commercial as well as industrial use.
Wearable tech devices, such as Google Glass and iWatch, have already created a huge buzz in the market and are becoming more and more popular.
Analysts predict that IoT will be the next big technological breakthrough and more and more people will be connected to “Things” in the nearest future.
It means that mobile developers and entrepreneurs should be prepared for this trend and consider IoT and wearable technology while developing new applications.

Focus on swift programming

Swift, a relatively new programming language from Apple, has already gained quite a substantial popularity. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, claimed that this set of tools was downloaded more than 11 million times in the first month alone. Now, these numbers are bigger.
Swift is designed as both an application language and a systems language and gives the possibility to develop apps for iOS, OS X, watchOS, tvOS, and so on.
I`m sure we will hear more about Swift in 2016.

Vaster adoption of location based technology/ Beacon

Another great trend for mobile developers is beacon technology.
This technology has already revolutionized the shopping experience and is expected to be adopted by other domains other than retail for its location tracking benefits.

New cross platform tools

With the rise of wearable devices, smart TVs, mobile applications need to suit the requirement of multiple platforms and devices. Cross platform tools may be a good solution. Sencha, Titanium, Unity 3D, Cocos2D, PhoneGap, are already playing a big role in the mobile app development market. In 2016 we may see the emergence of new cross platform development tools.
So, this was a short list of mobile app development trends that will be on their rise in 2016. I`ll be happy to hear you opinion on the future of mobile industry. What trends would you like to add to our list?

 

Anna Kozik

Anna Kozik
Anna.Kozik@altabel.com 
Skype ID: kozik_anna
Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

With the end of the year approaching, many experts make predictions for the market directions at least for an upcoming year. Such organizations as Gartner have already announced their visions. So let’s have a closer look at the top tech trends and discuss how it will influence of lives and business strategies.

1. The Device Mesh

The device mesh refers to an expanding set of endpoints people use to access applications and information or interact with people, social communities, governments and businesses.

The device mesh is basically a part of Internet of Things. We all have noticed a tremendous growth in this area this year. Many companies are stating that they’ve got the best platform for internet of things. Still most of them ignore the fact that they all are just fragmented. It’s quite obvious that users would benefit more if there was an ecosystem where data was shared more broadly. This trend is expected to evolve in 2016. The value of the combination is much greater than the sum of the parts, experts say.

2. Ambient User Experience

This trend results from the previous one. It’s expected that sensors will gather more contextual information. Here experts are talking about a long-term future of immersive environments with augmented and virtual reality, but for now it’s mainly about continuity between devices and location.

“Instead of the user having to go and look for something like hotels, the device would already know what kind of hotel they are looking for based on what hotels they have picked in the past.”, experts say.

Context comes from both human and physical elements. The former is emotional state, habits, interests, group dynamics, social interactions and colocation of others, present tasks, and general goals, while the latter is the user’s absolute position, relative position, light, pressure, noise and atmosphere of the area.

3. Information of Everything

According to Gartner, by 2020, 25 billion devices will be generating data of all possible kinds about almost every topic imaginable. Looks like a chaos, doesn’t it? So the most challenging trick is to be able to sort out this data and make sense of it. Hence the need in different semantic tools, classifications and data analysis will only arise. So this is where some companies might consider expanding into.

4. Advanced Machine Learning

Another tech trend for 2016 and beyond – and tied up with the Information of Everything – is advanced machine learning. It basically means that computers are going to automate data processing by learning and adapting. The end result is artificial intelligence. In the process, much of the initial analysis can be done by machines and people will need to engage at a higher level as a result.

5. Virtual assistants

The software virtual assistants are also bringing the change. Google Now, Cortana, Alexa and Siri are just the beginning. Many specialists are exploring how they can use autonomous things and agents to augment human activity and free people for work that only people can do.

6. Adaptive Security Architecture

The majority of CIOs list security as their top priority, especially with an increased number of companies that have experienced breaches. That’s why the development of adaptive security architecture is inevitable. Techniques to avoid detection include frequently checking antivirus results and changing versions and builds on all infected servers when any traces of detection appear. Cloud-based services and open APIs only make the demand for adaptive security higher.

Among other trends, experts mention 3D-printing and bioprinting in particular, bluetooth beacon and others. These trends have already set foot in our lives, they are just going to expand further. So which of them have influenced your life in particular? Do you think one of them will outpace the others? Please share your thoughts and predictions here. Thanks a lot!
 

Aliona Kavalevich

Aliona Kavalevich
Aliona.Kavalevich@altabel.com
Skype ID: aliona_kavalevich
Senior Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

 

The Go Programming Language (Go) is an open-source programming language sponsored by Google and created by Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson that makes it easy to build simple, reliable, and efficient software.

Go has gained popularity since it was first announced in 2009, and it’s now being used by many companies worldwide and for a variety of applications; Dropbox, Google, SoundCloud,  CloudFlare,  Docker and Cloud Foundry are some of the Go programming users.

go

Like any technology, though, it has its adherents and critics. Here are some key benefits and perceived drawbacks of the language as told by experts familiar with it.

Pros:

  • It is fast. And not only fast in the sense that programs written in it run fast when compared to other common languages; but also fast in the sense that its compiler can compile projects in the blink of an eye. You can even edit and run Go programs directly on the Web.
  • It is a garbage-collected language. This puts less pressure on the developer to do memory management, as the language itself takes care of most of the grunt work needed.
  • It has built-in concurrency, which allows parallelism in an easier way than is possible in other languages. Go has the concept of goroutines to start concurrent work and the concept of channels to permit both communication and synchronization.
  • Go has documentation as a standard feature. That makes it easier for developers to document their code and generate human-readable data out of source code comments.
  • Go has a rich standard library which covers a lot of areas. In fact, Go is probably the only language that can claim to have a fully working Web server as part of its standard library.
  • Go’s built-in build system is both elegant and simple. No need to mess with build configurations or makefiles.

Cons:

  • Go is still a very young language and has a very young ecosystem. This means there aren’t many libraries for it yet, leaving developers to write libraries themselves. There is also a shortage of books and online courses on the language.
  • Go is simple to the point of being superficial. Go’s simplicity is mostly superficial, and in its effort to find simplicity, it threw away decades of valuable programming language progress.
  • Although Go is a high-level language, it still has low-level features such as pointer-arithmetic which does not rule out the chance of doing systems and OS programming.
  • Go’s tooling is really weird, on the surface it has some really nice tools, but a lot of them, when you start using them, quickly show their limitations.
  • It is still not so easy to learn Go and it’s difficult to handle errors in it.

What is your attitude to Go? Is it worth learning? What do you think are Go’s advantages and disadvantages? Can you tell us about a real use you have given to this programming language? Please, feel free to share your thoughts here below.
 

Katerina Kviatkovskaya

Katerina Kviatkovskaya
Kate.Kviatkovskaya@altabel.com
Skype ID: kate.kviatkovskaya
Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

Startups have short launchpads and high expectations. In order to lighten the yoke, many startup founders turn to outsourcing, letting a third party provider handle some aspects of the business.

If you do it the “right way”, you can build a very successful company that way. The right way is *not* to think of your remote team members as outsourcing, but as a key part of your team.

In considering outsourcing as a potential option, you must first weigh the positive and negative impacts. Outsourcing frees up leadership to focus on the parts of the business that differentiate you from the competition, while staying assured that the basic parts are all still operating properly.

Outsourcing is a great option for some startups, but it can be confusing. There’re 5 questions you should answer to decide if outsourcing is the solution:

What is outsourcing?
Outsourcing is the farming out of a business process or service to a third-party provider. Outsourcing frees up some mental space for founders and can sometimes even save money.

What exactly are you outsourcing?
There are certain skillsets which are difficult to bring in-house. It is essential to understand what you will and what you will not be outsourcing, to understand what should rest totally in your control and what can be handled by someone else.

Is the vendor startup-oriented?
The choice of which company to outsource to is important. Vendor should be very active in implanting best practices from the software industry into the startups they work with.

Are you a good client?
Good clients should know what they want, otherwise they’re effectively wasting their own money. A highly collaborative attitude is helpful too. Clients should want to understand the development process just as developers should get a handle in the product’s business objectives. A mismatch between end-project and expectations is often the result of poor communication.

Does the reputation of the vendor matter to you?
People often rely on reputation to make outsourcing decisions. Ask for reviews and recommendations of providers to try and determine which one best fits your needs.

Outsourcing is one of the earliest crucial decisions that startups have to make after inception. Often, the decision lies not in whether to outsource, but who to outsource to and how.

Do you outsource? Please share your experience in comments bellow.

Kristina Kozlova

Kristina Kozlova
Kristina.Kozlova@altabel.com
Skype ID: kristinakozlova
Marketing Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development


The mobile app development industry is thriving and continuing to evolve year after year. In 2014, we saw mobile app market maturing from smartphones and tablets to wearable devices and Internet of Things. There was also an increased focus on app analytics and mobile app marketing. Actualy developers don’t need us to tell them that the app landscape is constantly changing. But it never hurts to pause for a moment and look into exactly how it’s changing:

1. Swift surges onto developer scene
Anyone in the technology business knows it’s rarely an “if you build it, they will come” proposition. Adoption of new technologies and products—even trendy ones—can take a while. So the rise in usage of Apple’s Swift language for iOS apps is certainly noteworthy: According to VisionMobile’s survey of 8,000 developers, one in five were using Swift just four months after its public launch. Compare that with a 39% usage share for Objective C (which obviously had a bit of a head start with iOS-centric devs) among device-side developers. That’s rapid adoption, to put it mildly.

A decent chunk of early Swift developers—nearly a quarter of them—are new to iOS development. But VisionMobile notes Objective C isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and the best iOS developers will have both languages in their toolbox: “For at least the next few years it seems that practically speaking it’ll be necessary to learn both languages to be an accomplished iOS developer,” the report reads.

2. Cross-platform tools growing in popularity
The State of the Developer report found third-party tool use among mobile developers, in particular, at an all-time high: 83% of respondents use at least one third-party tool for things like analytics, crash reporting, and testing. Even more notable, use of cross-platform tools has jumped from 23% to 30% during the past six months. What goes into selecting the right tools? One tech exec noted the importance of choosing a stable provider that’s going to be around for the long haul.

3. Enterprise apps make more money than consumer apps
Smartphones continue to fly off the shelves and the app stores teem with activity, yet there’s no guarantee your app will earn a dime. In fact, developers working on enterprise apps are much more likely to make money, and it’s not even close: 43% of developers focused on enterprise apps hit or exceed $10,000 per month in revenue, compared with just 19% of consumer app developers. Many consumers aren’t eager to shell out real money for mobile and other digital apps. On the other hand, as VisionMobile’s report says, “businesses are very willing to pay for software that helps them be productive and make money.”

4. The Internet of Things is hot, even if the payoff isn’t imminent
Internet of ThingsPlenty of developers are investing energy in something that might take a while to deliver a tangible payoff: the Internet of Things: (IoT). More than half (53%) of developers included in the report say they’re working on some form of IoT project. Interestingly, many are doing so as a side project or hobby, not their actual job. It’s no real surprise that the biggest areas of current interest within the broad IoT universe are those where existing mobile platforms—namely iOS and Android—have a clear stake, such as the smart home/smart building and wearable computing markets.

While it’s still early days, VisionMobile’s report cites an enormous upside in the IOT for the developer community at large: “The [IoT] products with the best software will be the most desirable; hence developers become essential to creating competitive products.”

Put it all together and you get a picture of a mobile development market that continues to evolve rapidly in everything from tools and languages to device platforms and economics. Keeping up with the changes can be almost as challenging as doing your actual job, but that’s one reason why mobile is such an exciting area right now.

 

Lina Deveikyte

Lina Deveikyte
Lina.Deveikyte@altabel.com 
Skype ID: lina_deveikyte
Marketing Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development


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