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21 hot programming trends -- and 21 going cold

Peter Wayner | March 11, 2016
Hot or not? From the Web to the motherboard to the training ground, get the scoop on what's in and what's out in app dev

Hot: GitHub
Not: Résumés

Sure, you could learn about a candidate by reading a puffed-up list of accomplishments that include vice president of the junior high chess club. But reading someone's actual code is so much richer and more instructive. Do they write good comments? Do they waste too much time breaking items into tiny classes that do little? Is there a real architecture with room for expansion? All these questions can be answered by a glimpse at their code.

This is why participating in open source projects is becoming more and more important for finding a job. Sharing the code from a proprietary project is hard, but open source code can go everywhere.

Hot: Renting
Not: Buying

When Amazon rolled out its sales for computers and other electronics on Black Friday, the company forgot to include hypeworthy deals for its cloud. Give it time. Not so long ago, companies opened their own data center and hired their own staff to run the computers they purchased outright. Now they rent the computers, the data center, the staff, and even the software by the hour. No one wants the hassles of owning anything. It's all a good idea, at least until the website goes viral and you realize you're paying for everything by the click. Now if only Amazon finds a way to deliver the cloud with its drones, the trends will converge.

Hot: Cloud complexity
Not: Cloud simplicity

The early days of cloud computing saw vendors emphasizing how easy it was to click a button and get a running machine. Simplicity was king.

Now choosing the right machine and figuring out the right discount program could take more time than writing the code. There are dozens of machine profiles available, and most cloud providers support some of the older models. All offer unique levels of performance, so you better be ready to benchmark them to decide which is the most cost-effective for you. Is it worth it to save 12 cents per hour by getting by with less RAM? It sure could be if you’re spinning up 100 machines for months at a time.

To make matters more complex, the cloud companies offer several options for getting discounts by paying in advance or buying in bulk. You have to put them in the spreadsheet too. It’s enough to invest in an online course on cloud cost engineering.

Hot: IaaS
Not: PaaS

Who doesn’t want to be coddled? Who doesn’t want extra help? Yes, developers often like having all of the extra support that comes from working with a full PaaS. There are plenty of extra features, some of which are actually useful.


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