3 Open Source Trends that May Affect Your Development Team in the Near Future

As a professional web developer, staying on top of the latest trends in technology and software is of utmost importance. The top open source tools and packages used by engineers and developers rarely stay on top for long. Keeping track of what is current in the ecosystem can sometimes be a moving target. Following are developments – in the development world – that are perhaps too large for your team to ignore.

1. Full-Stack JavaScript

In a space dominated by PHP and Ruby on Rails, JavaScript had, for years, been shunned as the ugly stepchild who had no place on the server. This has recently changed dramatically. The asynchronous nature of JavaScript’s infamous callback pattern has made it a favorite of front-end and server-side developers alike. Now, when companies put out an open source component or product, they are often including a Node.js API by default. This is due to the large increase of active Node.js projects and developers who have newly sprouted up online. Where there are active developers, there are opportunities for innovation and unique knowledge in a new, fast-growing technology. The Node.js community is ripe with active developers.

2. NoSQL and LessQL

No longer is MySQL the king of data storage. Over the last few years, we have seen several contenders chasing the crown, many of them intent on killing off MySQL entirely. Next generation databases are changing the way developers think about storing and querying data. Whereas MySQL can be thought of in terms of related spreadsheets, new databases can be thought of in terms of related ‘documents,’ each of which could potentially contain its own sub-documents. Companies are finding the speed and ease of setup of databases like MongoDB and CouchDB very attractive in a world where agility is everything. This new paradigm has sparked the interest of many developers online, and is sure to eventually make its way into your company’s tech talk.

3. Big Data Tools

Companies are recognizing the need to go beyond standard database analytics to glean insight into what their data is really telling them. It is valuable to have terabytes of information, but it is even more valuable to be able to make sense of that information via technology. Tools like Hadoop and Mahout make it possible for organizations to take massive amounts of data and use it to their advantage with techniques such as algorithmically cross-checking the data for similarities. The traditional database storage and query setup of yesterday simply is not built to perform these kinds of computations at the speed of today’s big data standouts. Now, years later, it is time to analyze that data – and the tools to do so are becoming very popular.

Being aware of these fast growing tools and paradigms is vital because more and more of the popular open source projects arising are using them in some form or fashion. Have your development team keep an eye on these and comparable technologies.  If you are involved in open source development, there is a good chance that you will be integrating such technology in the future.


Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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