snydeq writes: With Java hitting its 20th anniversary this week, Elliotte Rusty Harold discusses how the language changed the art and business of programming, turning on a generation of coders. 'Java’s core strength was that it was built to be a practical tool for getting work done. It popularized good ideas from earlier languages by repackaging them in a format that was familiar to the average C coder, though (unlike C++ and Objective-C) Java was not a strict superset of C. Indeed it was precisely this willingness to not only add but also remove features that made Java so much simpler and easier to learn than other object-oriented C descendants.'
snydeq writes: InfoWorld's Paul Solt argues that It’s high time to make the switch to the more approachable, full-featured Swift for iOS and OS X app dev. 'Programming languages don’t die easily, but development shops that cling to fading paradigms do. If you're developing apps for mobile devices and you haven't investigated Swift, take note: Swift will not only supplant Objective-C when it comes to developing apps for the Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and devices to come, but it will also replace C for embedded programming on Apple platforms. Thanks to several key features, Swift has the potential to become the de-facto programming language for creating immersive, responsive, consumer-facing applications for years to come.'
... That’s changed in recent years with the emergence of new cross-compilers and interpreters. Suddenly the old can be brought into the present, not with perfect harmony but with enough integration that curators don’t need to feel like they’re living and working alone. The right tools can follow Ezra Pound's dictum to "make it new again."'
snydeq writes: Developers will need to rethink UIs, connection strategies, and how to capitalize on new data streams — especially as autonomous cars start rolling off the lots, writes InfoWorld's Peter Wayner, in a forward-thinking article on developing apps for cars, including autonomous cars to come. 'Delivering data to cars, autonomous or not, will take a whole new way of thinking. Rectangles will always be rectangles, but automobile network connections are spotty and the user interface needs to compete — if that's the right word — with the objects on the road for the right amount of attention from the driver. Here are eight ways developers will need to rethink their app strategies when it comes to delivering apps for cars.'
snydeq writes: Thanks to powerful tools, the need for speed, and the shifting nature of programming itself, framework APIs are fast becoming the center of interest in programming today, replacing most of the old programming language wars over syntax and structure. 'When I sat down with other faculty members at Johns Hopkins University to plan out a new course, frameworks dominated the conversation,' InfoWorld's Peter Wayner writes. 'This was the center of the action, worthy of a survey course that would explore the architecture of the most important software packages girding today’s Internet. In this sense, frameworks are the new programming languages. They are where the latest ideas, philosophies, and practicalities of modern-day coding are found. Some flame out, but many are becoming the new fundamental building blocks of programming.'
snydeq writes: A quiet revolution with a potential impact on the IT workforce reminiscent of outsourcing may be under way in the form of robotic process automation, InfoWorld reports. 'Geared toward automating a variety of business and computing processes typically handled by humans, RPA will stir passions at organizations that deploy the technology, with its potential to slash jobs, shake up the relevant skills mix, and if implemented strategically, stave off the specter of outsourcing.' BPOs and enterprises alike are implementing the technology and seeing positive results in slashing labor costs. 'I would say most IT infrastructure support jobs will be eliminated over the next three years,' says Frank Casale, founder of the Institute for Robotic Process Automation. That sentiment may be a bit bullish on the tech, but early results suggest that a shakeup of the IT workforce could be near, as RPA puts higher-value IT tasks in automation's cross-hairs.
snydeq writes: The software industry venerates the young — sometimes to its own detriment. There are just some things you can experiences come only after many lost weeks of frustration borne of weird and inexplicable bugs. InfoWorld's Peter Wayner offers up several hard-earned lessons of seasoned programmers that are often overlooked when chasing after the latest, trendiest architectures, frameworks, and stacks. 'In the spirit of sharing or to simply wag a wise finger at the young folks once again, here are several lessons that can't be learned by jumping on the latest hype train for a few weeks. They are known only to geezers who need two hexadecimal digits to write their age.' What are yours?
snydeq writes: InfoWorld's Roger Grimes offers some hard-earned lessons in dealing with fellow employees who have been caught embezzling from the company, illegally accessing private emails, or using customer credit card data to buy computer equipment for their home. 'As technology becomes more powerful and computer systems become increasingly rife with sensitive data, one facet of the people side of IT finds itself under increased scrutiny: Trust. Over the past three decades, I’ve made wonderful hires, people that my gut told me were the right candidates for the job, then went on to prove themselves beyond my wildest expectations. But every once in a while, I’ve missed early warnings signs that an otherwise great candidate or talented, hardworking employee lacked, let’s call it, a strong moral compass.'
snydeq writes: Strong legislation that will weaken the ability of the trolls to shake down innovators is likely to pass Congress, but more should be done, writes InfoWorld's Bill Snyder. 'The Innovation Act isn't an ideal fix for the program patent system. But provisions in the proposed law, like one that will make trolls pay legal costs if their claims are rejected, will remove a good deal of the risk that smaller companies face when they decide to resist a spurious lawsuit,' Snyder writes. That said, 'You'd have to be wildly optimistic to think that software patents will be abolished. Although the EFF's proposals call for the idea to be studied, [EFF attorney Daniel] Nazer doesn't expect it to happen; he instead advocates several reforms not contained in the Innovation Act.'
snydeq writes: Git made it possible for programmers to coordinate distributed work across teams — now GitHub makes it possible for everyone else, writes InfoWorld's Jon Udell. 'Most people don't sling code for a living. But as the work products and processes of every profession are increasingly digitized, many of us will gravitate to tools designed to coordinate our work on shared digital artifacts. That's why Git and GitHub are finding their way into workflows that produce artifacts other than, or in addition to, code,' Udell writes. 'One reason is that GitHub has gradually exposed more of the underlying Git capabilities in its Web interface. Another is the emergence of Web applications that use GitHub as a platform. Then there's the cultural factor: GitHub embodies a particular way of working together.'
snydeq writes: High demand, large workloads, and the changing nature of programming work have some developers seeking reps to help them land new gigs, InfoWorld reports. But questions remain as to whether this model, in which an agent hypes your skills and represents you in negotiations, offers enough potential to go mainstream. 'Before you roll your eyes at the idea of someone pimping someone else’s programming chops as a pretentious fad, consider this: Software work is becoming increasingly more project-based, and the days of settling into long-term employment without the need to keep an eye out for new work may be waning.'
snydeq writes: Researchers warn that a glut of code is coming that will depress wages and turn coders into Uber drivers, InfoWorld reports. 'The researchers — Boston University's Seth Benzell, Laurence Kotlikoff, and Guillermo LaGarda, and Columbia University's Jeffrey Sachs — aren't predicting some silly, Terminator-like robot apocalypse. What they are saying is that our economy is entering a new type of boom-and-bust cycle that accelerates the production of new products and new code so rapidly that supply outstrips demand. The solution to that shortage will be to figure out how not to need those hard-to-find human experts. In fact, it's already happening in some areas.'
snydeq writes: Yesterday's announcement of Azure Machine Learning offers the latest sign of Microsoft's deep machine learning expertise — now available to developers everywhere, InfoWorld reports. 'Machine learning has infiltrated Microsoft products from Bing to Office to Windows 8 to Xbox games. Its flashiest vehicle may be the futuristic Skype Translator, which handles two-way voice conversations in different languages. Now, with machine learning available on the Azure cloud, developers can build learning capabilities into their own applications: recommendations, sentiment analysis, fraud detection, fault prediction, and more. The idea of the new Azure offering is to democratize machine learning, so you no longer need to hire someone with a doctorate to use a machine learning algorithm.'