News from the World of Software Development – October 2017

Welcome to this month’s edition of our news digest here at the Betica Blog. With the year end rapidly approaching, your organization needs to burn the midnight oil to achieve its annual goals. Hopefully these interesting stories from the software engineering world inspire your own efforts.

If you interested in checking out last month’s digest, simply click on the following link.

Innovative Continuous Delivery relies on Automation and AI

As many software organizations now leverage Agile and DevOps with an eye towards achieving the Holy Grail of continuous delivery, automation is playing a larger role. One example of the growing importance of automated software delivery is the $20 million in venture capital awarded to Harness, a company hoping to make enterprise-level CD available to businesses of all sizes. News about the Harness VC appeared earlier this month in SiliconANGLE.

Reaching continuous software delivery is a challenge for the largest companies in the industry, so naturally it’s even more difficult to implement at a small to medium sized business. The smaller firms able to meet this goal end up relying on manual interaction to fix any problems and errors within the process. Harness hopes to change all that, and are led by an executive team filled with industry veterans with experience in DevOps and state of the art software development technology.

Harness CEO, Jyoti Bansal, formerly led AppDynamics, known for their app monitoring software. He commented on what Harness brings to the CD table.

“At AppDynamics, our customers were happily using our platform to monitor their complex software applications, but almost all of them told me that the process for delivering rapid changes to those applications remained a huge problem. Software engineering teams need a platform that’s intuitive and powered by modern AI to meet demand for incredibly fast, high-quality releases,” said Bansal.

The Harness solution leverages AI and machine learning to provide automated monitoring of the software delivery process. It learns about an application and becomes able to initiate rollbacks when detecting irregular behavior. This allows for continuous updates without the worries of downtime. If interested, Harness is offering free trials of its application at the following link.

Quality Management Software Market Grows

Organizations in a variety of industries rely on quality management software (QMS) to ensure consistency in what they produce, be it software, consumer products, or even manufactured goods. This need is leading to a rapid growth in the market for this type of application, which is now projected to grow to $24 billion by 2022. News about this growth appeared this month in the Nasdaq GlobeNewswire.

Some of the major drivers of this growth include increased usage of quality management software at small and medium sized businesses, greater need for QMS in the automotive industry, and the emerging Cloud-based business sector. North America is predicted to be the leading region for QMS usage over the next five years, but the rest of the world is also contributing to the overall market expansion.

Forward-thinking software companies need to consider entering the lucrative QMS market to take advantage of these newfound opportunities.

Stay tuned to the Betica Blog for additional news and insights from the growing software development industry. As always, thanks for reading!

A Closer Look at the MEAN Stack

The LAMP stack – which stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP – has been standard practice for web development at many shops for nearly a decade. Since the one constant in the technology world is its rapid pace of change, it stands to reason a new standard is emerging in this software development space. The MEAN stack leverages many recent innovations in technology, including NoSQL databases in addition to some popular JavaScript libraries.

What follows is a high level overview of the MEAN stack to give you some food for thought before architecting your next web development project. Leverage these insights to make an informed decision on which development stack works best for your needs.

What is “MEAN?”

The MEAN stack is made up of MongoDB, one of the most preeminent NoSQL databases, used in combination with three popular JavaScript frameworks, ExpressJS, AngularJS, and Node.js. The fact that nearly all code for a MEAN project – from database to client – is written in JavaScript is one of the main reasons for its rapid growth. If your organization boasts a lot of JavaScript coding talent, it makes MEAN worthy of consideration on your next web project.

The Four Components of the MEAN Stack

MongoDB is a NoSQL document database widely popular for all kinds of applications. MongoDB is also available through many Cloud service providers, including Amazon AMS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. It leverages the JSON format for data transfer, making it highly appropriate as the database of choice for MEAN.

A lightweight framework for architecting web applications, ExpressJS was inspired by the popular Ruby library, Sinatra. It is a high performance framework well suited for both scalability and concurrency. It also facilitates the creation of unique APIs specifically for use in a web application.

AngularJS is a Google-developed framework for quickly building web-based user interfaces. It makes the creation of dynamic web pages a breeze; leveraging two-way data binding along with other useful features, including client-side code execution and support for the MVC model. Angular’s extensibility and flexibility enhances its compatibility with other frameworks and libraries, in addition to being a major component of the MEAN stack.

Node.js provides the server side execution environment for a MEAN application. Expect a high scalability factor even with a server farm charged with hosting multiple applications. Built upon version 8 of the Chrome JavaScript runtime engine, Node.js by itself is growing in usage among development teams.

The Advantages of the MEAN Stack

Obviously, the fact that all server and client code is written in JavaScript remains of the major advantages of the MEAN stack. Companies are able to take advantage of their staff’s familiarity with a scripting language that’s been around for two decades. Any overall learning curve is lessened by simply focusing on learning MEAN’s three libraries and MongoDB. 

The scalability features of ExpressJS and Node.js make the MEAN stack suitable for the highly concurrent web applications currently in vogue throughout the technology world. The flexibility of the libraries used in MEAN make it easy to swap out any of the components for a library (or database) more familiar to your development staff. It is definitely worthy of exploration for use in your team’s next web development project.

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

News from the World of Software Development – September 2017

With autumn now upon us, it becomes time to train our eyes towards the latest software industry news to see if any interesting stories provide meaningful insights on how your team builds applications. If you want to check out last month’s stories, simply click on the following link. Stories on the use of AI to improve continuous delivery, and a new DevOps metrics tool await you.

CCleaner Malware Attack places renewed Onus on “Cybersecure” Development

One of the last month’s biggest stories in the technology world involved the malware attack on CCleaner, a cybersecurity application from Avast, one of the most well known anti-virus companies in the industry. Hackers were able to infect the development team at Avast, interjecting malware into versions of the deployed application – both CCleaner and CCleaner Cloud.

Ultimately, the over two-million users who installed the application on their own systems effectively provided cyber criminals with a gateway into their computer. End-users feeling they are taking the right steps to protect their desktops ended up getting burned by a cybersecurity company unknowingly serving as the middleman for hackers. News and analysis of this insidious cyber attack was published on eWEEK, as well as many other sources.    

Avast acquired the original developer for CCleaner – Piriform – in July. The attack took place some time in August, with all versions of the application installed from August 15 to September 12 affected by the malware. Since the CCleaner install had a legitimate digital signature from a respected antivirus company, effectively all users installed the program unaware of the hacked code within.

The places the onus on software engineering teams to secure all computers and digital signatures involved in the development process, a point echoed by Craig Williams, a senior technical lead with Cisco. “The fact of the matter is, when it comes down to supply chain attacks, if the attacker is in your build system already, you’ve lost. Once the attacker has all the certificates and all the keys and all the passwords, there is not a lot you can do,” said Williams.

Artificial Intelligence changing Software Quality Assurance

AI continues to influence many aspects of the software engineering process, so it isn’t surprising quality assurance is also taking advantage of machine learning routines to improve its efficacy. A variety of companies specializing in QA services – Infostretch, Appdiff, and dinCloud – are now including AI-based functionality in some of their testing products. News about the inroads artificial intelligence is making in the QA world was published this month in Tech Target

Infostretch’s new service is called Predictive and Prescriptive QA. It relies on data analysis and machine learning to quickly give software testers the information they need to find defects. The other two companies’ products essentially are testing bots aimed at software development organizations already taking advantage of automated QA as part of their DevOps implementation.

The introduction of AI and robotic testers doesn’t mean QA engineer jobs are at risk. Instead, these tools only help them become more productive and ultimately better at finding software defects.   

Keep returning to the Betica Blog for additional news and insights from the world of software development and QA. As always, thanks for reading!