A Source Code Search Engine makes Programming more Efficient

No matter your experience level as a software engineer, being able to quickly find code examples helps make your job a bit easier. Most developers know how to write a complex Google search query, as well as being able to navigate GitHub. Nonetheless, having a dedicated source code search engine offers the potential to become more efficient at writing software.

A nascent software developer feels the same way, and is working on a search engine dedicated to finding those valuable code snippets that inspire a solution to a pressing problem. This approach also offers the potential to make learning new languages an easier process. Let’s take a closer look at his efforts.

Learning New Programming and discovering New Functionality

After being exposed to software engineering as part of his college education, Canadian developer, Anthony Nguyen felt there had to be a better way to find relevant code examples. Sure, a Google search helps somewhat, but what about a dedicated search engine specifically for source code? Nguyen began work on SyntaxDB, a tool he hopes to someday be an essential part of any developer’s toolbox.

Michael Byrne first reported on Nguyen’s efforts earlier this year at Motherboard on Vice.com. If Nguyen makes SyntaxDB a success, it becomes another key to making the modern software development team work more efficiently. Interested developers are able to use this emerging resource today.

Byrne notes the tool’s utility for seeing how a common code pattern or piece of functionality gets written in an unfamiliar language. Considering the rapid rate of change in the software development world, new languages and functional libraries get introduced regularly. Having SyntaxDB at the ready helps to speed up the learning process for any programmer.

The Developer Community helping SyntaxDB build its Content

One current weakness noted by Byrne involves SyntaxDB’s relative lack of reference documentation. At the time of his article, it appeared Nguyen himself produced a lot of the internal content returned in the search results.

A robust community of developers willing to help add material to the SyntaxDB database has come to the rescue; potentially increasing the amount of content referenced by the search engine. It currently provides references to many popular languages, including Java, C, C++, C#, Ruby, Go, Swift, Python, and JavaScript.

Adding extensions to allow SyntaxDB to work within the most popular IDE’s is another way Nguyen needs support. He built one for Visual Studio Code and other contributor wrote one for Atom. Nguyen hopes to eventually integrate SyntaxDB into every major IDE and source code editor – a worthy goal, indeed.

Nguyen also wants input from other developers on how to refine the search engine’s interface. He also encourages developers to submit any corrections to the tool’s current source code examples. His current major project with SyntaxDB involves building an interface to easily allow content contributions from other software engineers.

With a goal of becoming the fastest programming reference in the world, Anthony Nguyen gives hope to developers struggling to learn a new programming language or simply how to do something new. Take some time to use SyntaxDB and offer feedback and even add some content of your own.

Stay tuned to the Betica Blog for further insights on the growing software development world. As always – thanks for reading!

Lean helps Organizations implement DevOps

With more businesses jumping on the DevOps bandwagon, some still struggle during the adaptation. As with any newer methodology, it helps to analyze the best practices of those early adopters to foster a smooth implementation at your own company. Increasingly firms look to Lean, a system focused on improving efficiency first developed in the manufacturing world, as a pathway to DevOps success.

We previously talked about Lean as a popular Agile framework. Let’s look more closely at how it makes implementing DevOps easier for businesses of all sizes. It just might be what your company needs to succeed.

Lean focuses on Process Efficiency

Lean first grew out of a desire to make car manufacturing more efficient through the reduction of waste. When we covered it as an Agile framework earlier this year, we mentioned its appropriateness for companies with well-defined procedures and policies already in place. IT manager, John Rauser recently wrote an article for SD Times illustrating how Lean can also make a positive difference for businesses adopting DevOps.

Rauser notes how Lean emphasizes process efficiency, focusing on optimizing the interaction between those involved on a project. He explains the differences between this approach and traditional IT’s focus on resource efficiency. Since the prime directive of DevOps usually involves improved software delivery, streamlining the flow of that process makes perfect sense.

The hallmarks of Lean – waste reduction, enhanced collaboration, and ultimately faster delivery – dovetail nicely with the principles of DevOps. Rauser feels these same goals need to foster a transition from an IT department made up of functional silos to one group built around the flow of the software development process. Strong collaboration combined with an “experimentation and feedback loop” then becomes basis for a new organizational culture.

Joining the Efficiency Matrix

The Efficiency Matrix, from This is Lean, serves as an abstraction of the pathway from an old school resource-focused IT shop to one that embraces DevOps. Resource efficiency as it relates to localized silos offers little to a modern shop hoping to achieve continuous delivery. Hauser comments that shops using this outdated structure to deliver software in today’s business world suffer from waste due to poor interaction between these silos.

Realizing the inefficiency of their current organizational structure remains the key for most businesses looking at DevOps as a software development panacea. A Lean approach requires this realization before a transformation to a process-based structure begins. Implementing DevOps as a trial project within a subset of the organization serves as a proof of concept for those unsure about the new direction.

Finding someone passionate and experienced about leading this change offers a greater chance of success. This needs to happen before DevOps gets rolled out on a larger scale. Leveraging Agile techniques along with the integration of automation and other tools plays a key role in improving process efficiency.

Ultimately, growing into a mature Lean DevOps organization involves close monitoring while making subtle changes as necessary. It essentially becomes one living organism focused on delivering value as efficiently as possible. This is worthy goal of any software development business in today’s market.

Stay tuned to the Betica Blog for additional dispatches on the ever-changing world of software development. As always, thanks for reading!

Scale your Organization’s Cloud Operations using Fugue

While Cloud Computing continues to revolutionize the IT industry, DevOps supercharged the pace of this transformation over the last few years. Companies strive to achieve a competitive advantage by both improving efficiency and cutting costs, with Cloud-based technical infrastructures being a big part of this equation. Increasingly these firms use Fugue, an automated tool to assist in the governance of Cloud operations.

Let’s take a high level overview of Fugue and its functionality to see if it makes sense as part of your organization’s Cloud investment. If you are looking at turning DevOps into DevSecOps, it might be the perfect fit.

What is Fugue?

At its heart, Fugue provides automated services for regulatory compliance and corporate policies as they relate to a Cloud infrastructure. It uses a code-based model to facilitate this infrastructure management, thus lending itself to a higher level of regulation, especially at firms implementing DevSecOps. Companies use Fugue as the “single source of truth” when operating and managing their Cloud-based technical assets.

Fugue uses a classical music metaphor to describe its functionality. The programming language used in the application is called Ludwig. Individual programs are known as compositions, while the automation server is called the Conductor. Chef, another Cloud infrastructure management tool, uses food-based metaphors in a similar manner.

Ludwig offers a host of features suitable for software engineers, including types, code validation, and a module-based architecture, allowing complex designs to be broken down into individual abstractions. It facilitates collaboration as well as the documentation that is vital in a regulatory compliance scenario. Once again, this approach illustrates the blurring of technical roles which is a major aspect of DevOps itself.

Scenarios where using Fugue makes Sense

Organizations embracing DevOps with the hope of automating their Cloud operations make up the core of Fugue’s user community. It automates all aspects of CloudOps, including the creation, operation, and maintenance of any size infrastructure. As usage needs increase, the system scales in a seamless fashion – an important consideration in the modern technology world.

It also plays well with other DevOps tools used for Continuous Integration, including Jenkins, Travis, and CircleCI. This helps automate the entire lifecycle of any organization’s Cloud-based infrastructure. Ludwig compositions are also able to be stored in a source code repository, including Git and GitHub.     

The tool truly shines in the management of Cloud-based infrastructures where cybersecurity and regulatory compliance are highly important. As noted earlier, Ludwig makes the creation of vital system documentation an easy process. Fugue supports traditional IT processes relevant to compliance, like change control and policy enforcement – all in an automated fashion.

Companies with an investment in container technology, such as Docker, also benefit from being able to easily create and manage virtual Cloud-based environments. Fugue includes a “no-op” operational mode to properly vet any infrastructure changes before they go live in production. Remember that everything gets documented and stored in source control

In short, Fugue needs to be considered as a valuable tool by any company who relies on the Cloud for their technical operations. It is especially useful for organizations embracing DevSecOps or that require strong regulatory compliance. 

Keep returning to the Betica Blog for additional insights from the software development world. Thanks for reading!