2016’s high programming tendencies


2016’s high programming tendencies

Martin Puryear is head of curriculum and know-how at Coding Dojo, a 14-week coding bootcamp that teaches full-stack improvement.

Final January I wrote a TechCrunch submit predicting the main programming tendencies of 2016.

However within the software program improvement world, issues can change in a short time. It may be troublesome to see the high-level tendencies clearly by way of all of the chatter about shiny new improvement languages, frameworks and instruments.

So, as we close to the top of 2016, how correct had been my predictions?

Progress of the newest model of JavaScript

JavaScript/ECMAScript model 6 (generally generally known as ECMAScript 2015 or ES6) launched in June of 2015, and I predicted that 2016 would see widespread adoption of its new options as internet builders adjusted to the brand new model of this internet normal. I used to be largely appropriate. All the main browsers and Node.js (an open-source JavaScript runtime) are greater than 90 p.c ES6-compliant. These days, we see considerably extra ES6 syntax in manufacturing and never simply inside utilities and smaller low-stakes methods, however the major customer-facing methods, as nicely. Corporations not depending on legacy purchasers, like Airbnb and Google, are implementing ES6 syntax of their inside type guides.

Nonetheless, ES6 has not been universally adopted. Some builders have to help the previous model of JavaScript for legacy causes. Builders who wish to use ES6 notation however nonetheless want to achieve prospects utilizing legacy browsers can use instruments comparable to transpilers or polyfills to transform fashionable ES6 code to the older syntax. Additionally, some ES6 options haven’t been totally carried out in each JavaScript atmosphere, comparable to correct tail-recursion (Safari 10 and iOS 10 are blissful exceptions). This desk is a superb useful resource to see in case your goal platform is ES6-compliant. The previous model of JavaScript isn’t going to vanish in a single day, however we noticed vital development in ES6 utilization over 2016, and I count on most redeveloped websites within the new yr will use it as nicely. I’d say this prediction was fairly good!

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Backend as a service

Backend as a service, or BaaS, elevated in 2016, as predicted. BaaS is the observe of utilizing third-party companies to carry out sure repetitive duties for a mission — duties like cloud storage or push notification. By utilizing these companies, builders can concentrate on their specialty whereas these companies do what they do greatest. Backend API companies are thriving as a result of frontend frameworks are altering to extra simply work together with these companies. Builders are additionally more and more utilizing a way referred to as composition, the place an total system consists of a number of smaller functions. In such a system, these small functions are simply supplied by third-party companies.

Notice: In my final submit I discussed a preferred BaaS named Parse. Shortly after the article ran, Fb (its proprietor) introduced that Parse would quickly be shut down. These utilizing it might want to create their very own Parse servers and migrate earlier than January 28, 2017.

Simple picture administration and deployment

Providers like Docker and Packer grew to become a mainstay of many improvement groups in 2016, as predicted. These companies enable engineers to rapidly generate and replicate machine photos referred to as containers that bundle a chunk of software program with runtime, system instruments and libraries, and so on., guaranteeing that it has every part it must run in any atmosphere. Builders can quickly prototype a mission on a light-weight digital atmosphere with pre-built model management, then simply deploy the brand new model on a number of servers. Server provisioning by hand is inherently tough and time-consuming, so it’s no shock that automating this course of has caught on rapidly.

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Associated instruments that grew in reputation final yr embrace Vagrant (for simply organising improvement environments), and Puppet, Chef and Ansible (for configuration administration). Working with container-based methods has develop into an integral a part of the usual developer’s toolkit. I see no purpose for this to decelerate.

Elevated reliance on useful programming languages

Purposeful programming languages like Haskell, Clojure and Scala grew steadily in reputation throughout 2016. Utilization of those server-side languages is pushed by explosive development within the variety of smartphones and linked units in use, and by our elevated expectations of an ideal expertise on these units. As our computer systems, tablets, smartphones and IoT devices develop into extra highly effective, servers develop into the bottlenecks to efficiency. Rising a server’s skill to carry out concurrent duties makes it extra responsive when interacting with numerous linked units. The useful programming mannequin is (largely) stateless, that means that sections of software program can extra simply and effectively be run in parallel throughout totally different CPU cores or machines, with no need complicated synchronization. This provides the useful paradigm an inherent edge over the object-oriented method when doing concurrent processing comparable to internet requests.

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Shift towards materials design and commonality of patterns

Issues had been attention-grabbing in 2016 on the visible design entrance. Not surprisingly, Google integrated an rising variety of materials design components throughout its complete portfolio — methods (ChromeOS, Android), functions (Chrome, Drive, Google Play Music), web sites (YouTube, AdSense) and even internet search. We see materials design points in Android apps from Slack, Twitter, Spotify, Airbnb and Wikipedia, and in web sites from Asana, Geekbench and others. That mentioned, we didn’t see adoption in different platforms (iOS, Tizen, Home windows, MacOS — solely just a little with Ubuntu). Builders in these different locations pushed ahead with kinds particular to these platforms, to various extent.

I give myself just a few factors of partial credit score on that specific prediction from earlier this yr. If I’m allowed to recast my design prediction for 2017, then I’ll transfer away from conventional design paradigms altogether — towards non-visual interfaces (Amazon Alexa, Siri, Cortana, Google Residence) or extra-visual interfaces (augmented actuality, digital actuality).


2016 introduced many thrilling developments in software program and 2017 guarantees to be even higher as containers and useful programming languages develop in adoption and JavaScript strikes to develop into much more central components of ordinary improvement observe. I’m intrigued to see how software program norms will progress within the coming yr and wanting to share my ideas with my fellow builders!