Neuroscientists from MIT have discovered that brain activity while coding differs from processing language or doing mathematics.

Coding is matched by many with learning a new foreign language. And, granted, there are certainly many similarities. To the brain itself, however, it seems to be quite different.

Researchers took fMRI brain scans of young adults in a small coding challenge, using both Python and visual programming language ScratchJr. The purpose was to see what parts of their noggins lit up.

Almost no response was seen in the language processing parts of the brain.

Instead, it appears that coding activates the ‘multiple demand network’ of our brains. This area “is also recruited for complex cognitive tasks such as solving math problems or crossword puzzles.”

Yet when solving maths problems directly, slightly different brain activity patterns emerge.

The multiple demand network is spread throughout the frontal and parietal lobes of the brain. Previous studies have found that math and logic problems dominate the multiple demand regions in the left hemisphere. Tasks involving spatial navigation lean on the right hemisphere more than the left.

Coding activates both the left and right sides of the multiple demand network. This counters the belief that it causes the same brain activity as maths. One interesting fact: ScratchJr activated the right side slightly more than the left.

You can find a full copy of the study here: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.16.045732v2.full.pdf

You might also find interesting: https://www.vonconsulting.net/ai-automated-coding/

Guido von Rossum launched Python on February 20th, 2021. Python is known as an incredibly versatile language. It is used in developing some of the most popular web applications, from Instagram to Dropbox.

At the same time, it is a gateway language for many in the world of software development.

Moreover, it is frequently taught to schoolchildren and people worldwide who lack any prior programming experience.

Read more details here: https://www.vonconsulting.net/study-python-is-the-top-programming-language-of-2020/

One reason for the popularity of this programming language lies in its simplicity. Its users do not need to understand compilers or assemblers. They also don’t need to understand other tiny details programming languages require.

Feedback is instant, and Python is improving all the time. In addition to its popularity among entry-level users, Python is rapidly becoming a priority within the business environment. It has also found favor for serving as the ‘gluing language’.

Large development projects always have a trade-off between scale and speed. The typical software stack that a large organization uses every day may include code written in several different languages. Moreover underlying data may be stored in numerous formats, languages, and locations.

In such environments, Python has taken root as a subtle, but powerful way to bridge between different applications and code libraries.

When Python is used as gluing code in compiled languages, development cycles are shortened. Results are made more interactive and are quicker to observe. At the same time, the delays caused by things such as long compile times are eliminated.

You might also find interesting: https://www.vonconsulting.ro/tech-trends-in-pandemic-times/

Researchers from MIT and Intel have created AI automated coding. Its name? MISIM, an algorithm that can create algorithms. What does that mean for software developers?

For most of us, writing code is like learning a foreign language. But no more! A team of researchers from MIT and Intel are looking to change all that by building AI automated coding.

The new technology is named MISIM (Machine Inferred code Similarity). MISIM studies snippets of code to understand what a piece of software intends to do. It uses a pre-existing catalogue of codes and it can understand the intent behind a new code.

Will this actually help software developers? The Intel-MIT team says yes. MISIM will help developers working on software by suggesting other ways to “attack” a program. MISIM will also aid them in offering corrections and options that will make the code more efficient.

The principle behind MISIM is not new. Technologies that try to determine whether a piece of code is similar to another one already exist. They are used by developers, but they focus on how code is written and not on what it intends to do. MISIM can act like a recommendation system. It suggests different ways to perform the same computation – that are faster and more efficient.

Software development becomes more and more complex. Technologies such as MISIM could have a significant impact on productivity. This was the opinion of Justin Gottschlich, the lead for Intel’s machine programming research team.

More details about the MISIM algorithm here: https://www.zdnet.com/article/software-developers-how-plans-to-automate-coding-could-mean-big-changes-ahead/

You might also find interesting: https://www.vonconsulting.net/study-tech-trends-in-pandemic-times-1-in-4-people-learned-to-code-during-lockdown/

Although it was created 30 years ago, Python seems to be holding firm ground in the top programming languages of 2020, according to a study cited by www.developer-tech.com.

Ideally suited for artificial intelligence and web development, still considered easy to learn and taught in many universities worldwide, Python ranked 100 points in a survey meant to identify not only programming languages preferences, but also programmers’ unique needs and interests.

Java takes second place

Newer – and younger – than Python, Java was created 25 years ago and is known for its versatility with the language powering mobile, desktop, and web applications/games.
It surges in programmers’ preferences and usage ahead of Ruby, R, Arduino – to name but a few – and it is still a popular option for the world’s most used mobile operating system, Android, despite intense lobby for Java to be replaced by Kotlin.
Java ranked in at 95,3 points of the scorecard.

Just 1 point behind Java – C

C is the oldest of the top three languages ranking in this survey. C was created 48 years ago, in 1972, and continues to be the language primarily used for system development work, such as drivers and operating systems, but also applications that require large amounts of calculations.

C and C++ ranked in the study afore mentioned at 94,6 points and 87 points respectively.

The R-ise of R

Universities and research institutes embrace Python and R for their statistical analyses. And now more than ever, lots of statistics and data mining need to be done to find a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus. As a consequence, statistical programming languages that are easy to learn and use have gained noticeable popularity now.

A statistical language, R saw an interesting increase in another ranking, comprised in the TIOBE index, just behind Visual Basic, with the top 5 being held by C, Java, Python, C++, C#.

 

Article brought to you by VON Consulting Tech Division. People. Quality. Tech.
VON Consulting Tech Division is a start-up operating also in Düsseldorf, Germany, which provides hardware design and verification services, IT support and software development for customers in different industries, mainly in IT, telecom, and networking and semiconductors industries. See more on http://www.vonconsulting.net.

Doors shut on many plans during the Covid-19 pandemic. Plans turned to day-by-day approaches, particularly where daily livelihood was concerned and job stability had to navigate mass layoffs and furloughs in some fields.

Yet, despite this rather asperse scenery, the following phenomenon happened: employees turned to learning new skills to keep their leverage on the working market, as well as to garner a new feeling of personal development. Case in point: technology proficiency.

The golden top 3 podium: Python, Java and C++

According to a study that collected data in August 2020 from more than 1,000 people in the United States, which is cited by www.developer-tech.com, around 1 in 4 people spent time learning coding languages during the lockdown.
The most commonly learned programming language were Python, followed by Java and C++.

Millennials, most engaged with new tech trends

70% of the study respondents said their technology skills moderately or greatly improved since the Covid-19 breakout. Breaking it down by generation groups, millennials, at nearly 3 out of 4 respondents, were the most likely to have improved their tech skills with Generation X not far behind.
Baby boomers were considerably less likely to report any tech improvement; still, over half said they were more skilled now than they were before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Biggest motivation to learn code: career development

The greatest motivations for people setting out to improve their skills were career development (55%), personal development (46%), and improving job search prospects (33%).

Online e-zines, online channels, and mostly freely available content, was the top source of training material for most (66%) people boosting their skills, with 1 in 3 turned to paid resources.

On average, people spent 7,2 hours per week improving their tech skills, the most time learning coding and programming languages, while improving telecommunication proficiency required the least study time.

One other interesting aspect to consider: people who had taken advantage of employee-provided training opportunities were much more inclined to pursue development on their own or through paid resources.
Over one-third of respondents (37%) whose employers didn’t offer technology education opportunities reported wishing their employer would do so.

Overall, close to 1 in 2 respondents believe their new or improved tech skills will be very or extremely beneficial to their career.

Article brought to you by VON Consulting Tech Division. People. Quality. Tech.
VON Consulting Tech Division is a start-up from San Diego, CA, which provides hardware design and verification services, IT support and software development for customers in different industries, mainly in IT, telecom, and networking and semiconductors industries. See more on http://www.vonconsulting.net.

Graph databases store information as nodes and data specifying their relationships with other nodes. They are proven architectures for storing data with complex relationships.

Graph database usage has grown during the past decade, despite companies considering other NoSQL and big data technologies.

The global graph database market was estimated at $651 million in 2018 and is forecasted to grow to $3.73 billion by 2026.

Competitors remain in the range of other big data management technologies, including Hadoop and Spark. And competition grew in popularity, skill adoption, and production use cases more than graph databases.

Graph databases and query languages

Developers think in objects and use hierarchical data representations in XML and JSON regularly.

For graph databases, although it may be relatively easy to comprehend the modeling of nodes and relationships used, querying them requires learning new practices and skills.

Developers can query Neo4j graph databases using Resource Description Framework (RDF) and Gremlin, but 90% prefer to use Cypher.

The query is elegant and efficient but has a learning curve for those used to writing SQL queries. Here’s one of the first challenges for organizations moving toward graph databases: SQL is a pervasive skill set, and Cypher and other graph query languages are a new skill to learn.

Graph databases can be used in flexible hierarchy design

Product catalogs, content management systems, project management applications, ERPs and CRMs all use hierarchies to categorize and tag information. Graph databases enable arbitrary hierarchies and developers to create different views of the hierarchy for different needs.

To take advantage of flexible hierarchies, it helps to design applications from the ground up with a graph database. The entire application is then designed based on querying the graph and leveraging the nodes, relationships, labels, and properties of the graph.

Graph databases and cloud deployment – reduced operational complexity

Deploying data management solutions into a data center must consider infrastructure and operations, security requirements, review performance considerations to size up servers, storage, and networks, as well as replicated systems for redundancy and disaster recovery.

Organizations experimenting with graph databases now have several cloud options. Engineers can deploy Neo4j to GCP, AWS, Azure, or leverage Neo4j’s Aura, a database as a service.

The public cloud vendors have graph database capabilities, including AWS Neptune, the Gremlin API in Azure’s CosmoDB, the open source JanusGraph on GCP, or the graph features in Oracle’s Cloud Database Services.

Year over year it’s interesting to study the evolution of in-demand skills in the software industry and this year for sure makes for an interesting time frame to study.

According to an article published by www.developer-tech.com, which cites a study made by career website Hired, the most notable surge in 2020 – where demand for software engineers in the US is concerned – is for AR/VR talent – with a whopping 1400% increase in comparison to 2019.
The explanation is very simple: as per IDC predictions, the AR/VR market and subsequent need for skilled software engineers was enjoying about 60% of the total spending on software solutions in 2018. Within a 3 year margin, by the end of 2021, it is expected to hit 85%, with retail, transportation, manufacturing and public sectors needing services from these software engineers on the top of the chart.

AR/VR and why it’s so in demand in the United States

On a geographical basis, North America is found to be the region that invested heavily in the AR/VR market in the past 12 months and is forecast to witness the fastest growth in the next 5 years. Moreover, salaries for AR/VR software engineers jobs range from $135k – $150k in major US tech hubs. Monetary incentives aside, developers are also looking to get started toying with the emerging technology, with 46% of software engineers ranking AR/VR as one of the top 3 technologies they’d like to learn in 2020.

Gaming and computer vision engineers come in 2nd and 3rd

After VR/AR, the second biggest growth of in-demand talent was seen for ‘gaming engineers’ and ‘computer vision engineer’ roles – both witnessing 146% growths over 2019.
Demand for ‘search engineers’ increased 137%, whereas for ‘machine learning engineers’ increased 89%. Blockchain talent is still in demand, shy off 2019, with a 9% increase.

Most in demand programming languages

As per the study, some of the most in-demand programming languages are Go, Scala, Ruby, TypeScript, Kotlin, Objective C, JavaScript, Swift, PHP, Java, HTML, and then Python.
Some of the less in-demand languages are, unsurprisingly, some of developers’ favourites. Python, JavaScript, and Java are developers’ favourite languages but are behind several other languages in demand – including three of developers’ least favourites (Ruby, PHP, and Objective-C).

Developers’ satisfaction increases productivity and product deployment. It’s all-official and on the record, according to a study cited by www.developer-tech.com. So if you’re a company operating in software providence services, you might find the following study useful, not only for personnel recruiting, but also for your developer personnel satisfaction and workflow efficiency.

There’s a clear connection between DevOps and developer job satisfaction – according to findings, published in April this year: developers working within mature DevOps practices are 1.5 times more likely to enjoy their work and 1.6 times more willing to recommend their employer to other fellow developer prospects.

Mature practices boost code deployment in 2020, as compared to 2019

The study cited by the afore mentioned website reveals that development velocity is quickly gaining momentum, with 55% of developers deploying code to production once every week at a minimum – a 3% surge to last year’s standings. Operations velocity also increased as compared to 2019.
The major differences in investment priorities between mature and immature solutions can be found across Container Security, with mature practices investing 2.2 times more than immature practices.

Security applications: there’s room for improvement

Here’s one other interesting finding brought out by the study: 47% of developers acknowledged that they didn’t invest in security despite its importance.
The study also shows developer teams would rather invest in automated security tools, including open source governance (44%), web application firewalls (59%), and intrusion detection (42%).

The method that most tech titans employ, which assures the success of their product release, is Design Thinking. Design Thinking helps to discover the real problems that users are facing and creates useful products they will love.

Here are the three steps to unlocking the secret of Design Thinking:

Step 1: In design thinking, you should employ desire as a main trigger to your users’ needs

Great design thinking often starts with the needs of users. You’re looking to discover the pains that users experience and the gains they desire.

Take telecom giants, for example, who create desire for customers by combining simplicity with luxury. Such a business ethos has helped them be some of the most profitable companies in the world.

Step 2: Make sure your product is viable

When early adopters are prepared to pay for your Minimum Viable Product (MVP), then you know you’re on the right track to viability.

Building an MVP requires you to develop as little as possible to meet the customer’s primary need.

A major part of design thinking – the economics of your product viability – can be tested by balancing the costs, as well as the revenues, from an early adopter usage.

Step 3: Always keep in mind your product feasibility

Another crucial step in the design thinking process also involves some operational considerations such as time, budget, scope and resources. These product development characteristics can play a significant role in the life of new products.

Also bear in mind that first-time products are full of hidden costs and unexpected problems. Sometimes these challenges, inferred by any design thinking process, are more than just a stumble along the way and can hinder a product before it’s launched.

Why R&D helps in the design thinking process

Our team offers research & development (R&D) services for design thinking type projects that entail long-term support and require solutions for our customers.

Our team is dedicated to identifying technologies that will become mainstream in the future. We focus on truly understanding our customers’ businesses and on chartering strong development plans, taking into account success scenarios, as well as challenges that may occur.

Hardware and software development outsourcing is beneficial in 2020, especially seen as the coronavirus pandemic has shuffled business processes worldwide.

By choosing the right tech outsourcing partner for your hardware and software development needs, you gain some major benefits.

How to choose your tech outsourcing partner

1. A reliable tech outsourcing provider helps you with the complex operations set, security, and scaling decisions.

2. A tech outsourcing partner you can count on will present you with growth opportunities in new market areas.

3. A long-term tech outsourcing partner actually closes the gap between your point of service delivery and the end users.

What are the main advantages of tech outsourcing

1. You can save costs and lower your taxes

Your company will have lower labor costs as you will not spend money on recruiting, training, and retaining the employees.

You will have access to trained resources on hire – a tech outsourcing already set up team – and also get tax savings as well.

2. You can save time on recruiting & training in-house teams

By partnering with a tech outsourcing vendor, you are able to save the time that is needed to recruit and train the in-house team for the same functions.

3. You can gain access to new resources & technologies

Your in-house professionals may not be always in sync with certain technologies that you may require.

A team of tech outsourcing professionals, who are hands-on connected to new trends in their field of activity, can get your projects up and running faster.

Reliable IT companies offer expertise and experience that is needed for early adoption of a new technology.

4. You can focus on your core business & development scenarios

When you outsource professionals to handle certain functions, you free up the internal resources to look after some other business-critical process.

5. You can invest time and money saved on fulfilling more meaningful requirements of your company.

At VON Consulting, we mobilize resources, providing support for the company’s day-to-day activities. This integration is done with our best technological talent, enabling our various partners to achieve their objectives.

We, at VON Consulting, therefore have professionals who have been especially trained and have experience in the engineering and IT world to attract talent for all kinds of projects. The goal is for our clients to have the right technicians for their projects and that, at the same time.

Digitally progressive organizations can make full advantage of tech outsourcing and what they gain by outsourcing IT & technology services. If you need in-depth, personalized advice, feel free to contact us.