Jan 09, 2018

2017 summary in technology

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Michał Brodecki
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BinarApps for New Marketing, December 2017

1. The greatest success in 2017

The Artificial Intelligence hasn’t weeded us out so far, we are still needed ;) More seriously: in the industry we are getting closer and closer back to the concept of functional programming. It has its roots in the time of the greatest mathematical achievements of German romanticism, so it is pretty mature ;)

The first functional programming language comes from early 1930’s and in a nutshell: we’re getting back to the philosophy based on logic. It makes me want to scream: at last!

2. The greatest failure of 2017

For starters:

Javascript is still a thing and it doesn’t seem like it’s going down. Can’t win them all, I guess! I’m pinning my hopes on Webassembly and am looking forward to deposing Javascript in web browsers. Let’s get rid of 1995!

Secondly,

Apple hasn’t handled their own security systems or rather lack of them quite well. It came into view that to log in as a super admin in Mac’s new operating system, it’s enough to click here and there, hit some keys - et voila! Of course there was a requirement to log in as a user before trying that, but it doesn’t justify Apple’s guilt at all.

In general, Apple has had an eventful year (as usual) - after the faceID broken by a mask fuss, they did recently admit that they slow down older iOS devices. Obviously, all for the greater good of their users.

Well, still, 90% of the hardware we use in BinarApps is from Apple :)

Thirdly,

Classic every year fail:  when a new technology surfaces and the public eye and the industry is buying this pig in a poke, treating it as a remedy for all their problems. Our fail is that we’re trying to use all the technologies, based on whether it is trendy instead of checking if it’s useful. And useful for what solution exactly. This is what happens with the omnipresent blockchain.

Lastly,

One little error at OVH and half of the globe was left without its favourite websites. It took as little as a breakdown at one big fish company to paralyze a vast majority of web apps. Amazon was the most spectacular to slip up against the S3 service, where they kept their static assets. Brrrr…! I still tremble!

3. The most important event in 2017

Elon Musk has announced that he’s going to send hardware to Mars in 2022 and people in 2024. For us, it seems like Lem’s `Fables for Robots`, but such things precisely push our civilization forward by lightyears! It’s a spark that ignites the world! A light on a dark path of science! Just let it sink in: if not for the trip to Moon, our mothers would still scrape off pans with a scourer after burning a dinner a bit, as hyper expensive Teflon would be out of the reach of common household goods producer. It appears that we’re in front of the next stage of universe exploration, which will take the development of technology - and kitchen reality ;) -  to another level.

4. The most interesting trends in 2017

The interest in functional languages and their growing popularity. It has never been the most fly topic of the year, but you can clearly see that the trend is born and the community starts to gather around.  Those languages are being developed and enhanced (Scala, Elixir), which means that there is somebody who sees the point in doing so.

5. The hardest challenges in 2017

Blockchain. Because it is not only crypto-currency that made it rise to the top. Above all, it’s a new way of storing data. Data so important that we care about their security and resistance to potential manipulation. In 2018 we should keep an eye on the technology, so it doesn’t die along with its momentary use case.

6. The most interesting campaign/operation in 2017

The „Evolution of trust” study was released in June 2017. It showed us how the interaction was looking like in teams of players. It proved how the relationships work out when one is cheating and how does it apply to winning/losing. The results are very obvious: cheating doesn’t pay off :) Let’s stick to that! The results of the study are presented in a very convenient way - of course - as a game, which you can see here.

7. Opinion of current condition of the industry

The tendency here is that we have more and more work and it is going to stay that way. It is a perfect situation for us, programmers, but let’s face the truth: there’s still a lot of good specialists missing, who would keep an eye on the quality of code. In other words - when the market is forcing quick and cheap solutions, the stability and security are being corrupted. At the end of the day, our work will get back to us to get (expensive) adjustments. What’s the point of it? It gets only worse when you know that there’s a popular belief that a "Become a programmer in 5 minutes" course is a solid source of knowledge and experience. It’s still being swept under the carpet and later backfires.

On the other hand - you can see now more clearly than ever that IT stops being treated as a college/university faculty for basement-living males in overused jeans and with zero knowledge of the outside world. Undoubtedly it happens for years now, but it is exciting that it’s still going on, which you can notice on universities where there are much more women on IT faculties. The industry is effectively fighting the myth that it’s made in 80% of males. C’mon! It’s not a fire department!

We also invite you to Women In Technology and Rails Girls <3

8. What changes are awaiting us in 2018?

I cannot read future in tea leaves :( If I could, I would already be in Silicon Valley or drinking vodka with Elon.

9. What challenges are awaiting us in 2018?

I would like to call upon my colleagues here! Let’s not release schlumpy or not thought through code from our code factories! Maintaining it later, only because it earns money, sooner or later will make you drop everything and go live on a lonely island. And there’s no internet connection there, trust me. The call is over.

Challenges that keep me awake at night:

  • How to develop yourself constantly but not fall into narcissism. Try out new solutions, keep yourself updated, don’t waste your time on stagnation. It’s true that a revolution is probably not coming. But evolution is alright too!

  • Change your attitude towards coding based on a theory, stating that to have a good business you have to be first to the market.You don’t have to, there really was a world before startups - a solid and honest work with good marketing are still the key.

  • Blockchain - to come up with a technology that can be used in a blockchain while still being stable. We’re dealing with a new, not necessarily well-used solution. We need to think it through.

10. What trends can we expect in 2018?

Aforementioned functional programming.

The serverless phenomenon - which means leaving behind the classic understanding of server as a box, which contains all of our stuff and waste. The serverless phenomenon is focusing on small services which help us build a powerful monster! It’ll be thrillin’!

11. What to focus on in 2018?

Webassembly - Mozilla has made their first steps there, we’re craving more.

Blockchain used outside of finance industry.