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Testing & QA

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WORTH A READ

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Angular Vs. React

Angular Vs. React

If you are a frontend developer, it’s likely you have worked with Angular or React. In recent times, we have seen the popularity and proliferation of React steadily increase, especially among new developers and start-ups. Traditionally, Angular has been the dominant frontend framework with Google releasing new versions every few years (Angular 7 at the time of writing). What has caused the uptake of React opposed to Angular and what are the key differences amongst the two? Angular, developed by Google in 2010, is JavaScript framework written in TypeScript. React, developed by Facebook in 2013, is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces. Companies such as Forbes and Wix use Angular while the likes of Twitter, Netflix and Uber use React. Angular is a fully-fledged MVC framework that offers many ‘out of the box’ functionalities. Angular is a complete framework that uses a two-directional data flow process. React on the other hand is merely a JavaScript library, it only provides the view (V) in MVC. React is only concerned with one-directional data flow but can be bundled with other programming libraries. Angular offers quite a lot of advantages to developers and companies alike. It has a very credible background and a strong community support system. Angular is used more globally than React which has led to more tutorials and open-source contributions being available online. Angular is also quick to set up and a common part of many developers’ tech stacks. However, Angular has a steep learning curve and due to the excess syntax for the simplest things, coding times are increased which inevitably delays projects. This is a key influencing factor in the rise of React. React does not have a steep learning curve and it enables developers to create projects and build apps quicker than Angular. Code can be easily reproduced and copied streamlining developer’s work. React is also considered to be more stable than Angular due to its single-direction data flow. Developers are growing very fond of React with GitHub and StackOverflow statistics conveying this fact. React is the leading choice for 66.9% of developers with Angular lagging behind at 51.7%. React’s developer community is growing stronger every year being backed by the likes of Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp. Community support is very influential to the popularity of a language, as the support for React continues to rise, the popularity of React will rise accordingly. What does this all mean to you as a developer? Future proofing your tech stack is always highly recommended and with the rate of change in the technology industry increasing year on year, this recommendation stands true. If you are a developer using Angular, there is a plentiful supply of vacancies in well-respected companies. However, this could all change in a matter of years. As previously mentioned, new dominant forces in the tech industry such as Netflix and Twitter use React with start-ups often favouring React due to its reduced learning curve. Adding React to your knowledge base would serve to future proof your tech stack, (before Vue takes over but that’s a story for another day). If you are already familiar with JavaScript, then learning to work with React won’t be much of a hurdle. It is hard to definitively say which framework is better as they both offer their own sets of advantages and disadvantages. On the other hand, it is easy to definitively say that React’s popularity is continually growing with the framework fast becoming the frontend framework of choice for a significant amount of companies and developers.

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RPA – Hype of The Future?

RPA – Hype of The Future?

Robotic Process Automation or RPA is pegged to be one of the next ‘big things’ in tech. However, the rate of innovation and change in the tech world is unlike any other industry. New buzz words like RPA appear every other week and it can be hard to distinguish the difference between hype and reality. A number of insiders from the industry say that RPA is not only the future of controllership, but it is fast becoming the present. To understand the future of RPA, we must first consider what RPA is, the main players pushing RPA and the venture capital behind it. RPA is the application of technology that enables one to configure computer software or a ‘robot’ to capture and interpret existing applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems. RPA is essentially a software robot that mimics human actions. It is often conflated with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) but there is a clear distinction between the two. At the most basic level, RPA is associated with ‘doing’ whereas AI and ML are concerned with ‘think and learning’. A simple example of RPAs applicability is automating the grunt work of retrieving emails. Retrieval is based on the email’s subject, downloading the attachments (e.g. invoices) into a defined folder, and then inputting the bills into accounting software (typically through copy and paste actions). RPA is highly process driven, it is simply automating repetitive, rule-based processes that typically require interaction with multiple, disparate IT systems. This is the key difference between RPA and AI, AI is concerned with high quality data. AI is required to intelligently “read” the invoices, and extract the pertinent information such as invoice number, supplier name, invoice due date, product description, amounts due, and many more. Since every activity in RPA needs to be explicitly programmed or scripted, it is practically impossible to teach the bot exactly where to extract the relevant information for each invoice received. Hence the need for AI to intelligently decipher the invoice just as a human would. RPA tech is hot. Industry experts have valued the industry at €2 billion with forecasts indicating this figure will rise to nearly €4 billion by 2022. These valuations are supported by venture capital investments into RPA companies. In 2018, RPA specialists Automation Anywhere secured €270 million from SoftBank, Kryon secured €35 million, Softomotive secured €22 million, and Automation Hero secured €12.5 million. The dominant force in the RPA sphere is UiPath, a New York based company founded in 2005. In 2018, UiPath received a sizeable €500 million investment in a series D round of funding led by hedge fund Coatue Management. This brought the company’s total funding figure to €1 billion with the company now being valued around the €7 billion mark, not so bad for ‘hype’. The big players like UiPath’s core selling point is that it brings automation to enterprise processes through “intelligent software robots” that help businesses carry out laborious, repetitive tasks using computer vision and rule-based processes. UiPath state that their software streamlines work processes by eliminating the laborious elements of a job, freeing up valuable time for employees to work on other things. As with all automation software, the impact on human jobs is a real concern. To date, the impact has yet to be assessed and the main players in the RPA industry are downplaying the potential negative impact of their software on jobs. Like many others in the automation world, they argue that RPA removes laborious elements of jobs rather than removing the job itself. Only the future will tell the impact technologies like RPA will have on the workforce. Regardless, it’s safe to say that all indications seem to convey that RPA is not just a fad or the future, it is fast becoming the present.

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The Most In Demand Coding Languages for 2019

The Most In Demand Coding Languages for 2019

Software development is a highly dynamic field with the demand and popularity of various programming languages fluctuating from year to year. Developers need to be aware of these fluctuations when deciding what languages they want to learn, upskill and master. It is important to note that knowledge of specific languages is a requirement in some fields. For example, aspiring game developers should seek to master C# and C++ to move forward in their career, while those seeking a career in DevOps should master JavaScript. It is important to learn the language that will serve to boost your career prospects in your field of choice. Regardless of the area of development in which you currently work, or want to work, it is beneficial to know what languages are most commonly used, the most in demand and the average pay for each. Research from Indeed.com, the world’s largest job search engine and a survey of 65,000 developers worldwide, conducted by Stack Overflow, has shortlisted six main languages as the most popular. (A quick side note before I detail the list: SQL has been omitted despite its popularity, as it's technically not a programming language, since it lacks looping and other basic functions.) JavaScript JavaScript is the most popular language, with 66.7% of all professional developers using it. JavaScript is the most widely used language on GitHub and is used by 95% of all websites for any dynamic logic on their pages. 73.9% of DevOps engineers and 81.7% of web developers use JavaScript as their preferred language of choice. JavaScript’s dominance as the most popular and widely used language doesn’t appear to be slowing with the popularity of IoT & mobile devices using Angular JS and React driving growth. Indeed.com has 38,000 job postings for JavaScript developers in 2018, with median salaries hovering around the €40 – 45,000 mark. Demand and salaries for rise sharply for developers with experience working with React, Angular, and Node.js. Java Moving to the back-end of things, Java takes the place of the most widely used and popular back-end language. 38.3% of all professional developers use Java with DevOps engineers using it most (41.4%). Java shows no signs of dipping in popularity as it's used by millions of developers and billions of devices worldwide being able to run on any hardware and operating system through the Java Virtual Machine. Java programmers are always in demand, as all Android apps are based on Java and 90% of Fortune 500 companies use Java as a server-side language for backend development. Indeed has 62,000 job postings for Java programmers with the median salary floating around €43,000. Python A rising star in the programming world is Python. The continued growth and demand for machine learning developers appears to be driving the popularity of Python, with 27.6% of all professional developers using it. Indeed has approximately 46,000 job postings offering a median salary of around €46,000. C++ C++, known as quite a complex language compared to the likes of Python and Java, is another language growing in popularity. Heavily used in the game development industry, C++ is used by 20.7% of professional developers being used most by desktop developers (31.3%). Indeed posted 31,000 jobs in 2018 offering a median salary around €45,000. C# Similarly, C# is also heavily used in the game development industry. Designed to run on Microsoft’s .NET platform, 36.7% of professions developers use this language, with desktop developers using it most (59.4%). Indeed posted 27,000 jobs in 2018 with salaries averaging around €43,000.

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