Introduction – a little history
For the first time, outstaffing in its form began to be used in America and other developed countries in the 60s of the twentieth century. This service was most widespread only in the 90s, which happened due to the introduction of new laws relating to personnel management. Following the new requirements, American small and medium-sized businesses were forced to devote a lot of time to paperwork, which was unprofitable.
Other sources suggest that outstaffing originated in Japan. And this version also has the right to exist since objective data confirm it: in the Land of the Rising Sun, only a third of the total number of employees work in the state; the rest work outside it (at the same time, they are socially protected, they are accrued seniority, and so on).
The active introduction of these personnel laws began in the early 1980s and continued until the 2000s. Companies were faced with a choice: to spend a lot of time and resources to comply with all the new requirements and norms or to look for other solutions to the current problem. This led to the emergence of outstaffing as a recent personnel phenomenon.
Outstaffing – what is it in simple words?
Outstaffing is the re-registration of employees to the staff of another company, as a result of which the workers continue to work at the old workplace and perform their previous functions. Still, the role and responsibilities of the employer are officially transferred to a third-party outstaffing company.
In other words, being a high management technology, outstaffing is a form of relationship between the employer and his employees, in which the employer transfers, formally registering, his employees to the staff of another outstaffing company, concluding an outstaffing agreement with it. At the same time, employees continue to work in the territory of the former employer and perform all of their former functions as before.
However, the official employer on paper is now an outstaffing company that has registered employees with its company under an employment contract. Currently, it performs all the functions of an employer: maintains personnel records of employees, monitors workers’ documents, calculates taxes, pays wages, interacts with government agencies, etc.
The meaning of outstaffing is simple: a company (usually a large one) wants to focus on its core business and not be distracted by various HR issues and agrees with an intermediary organization that provides it with staff. The latter is legally their employer and resolves all matters related to the selection, salary, and registration of subordinates. She also maintains all documentation (accounting and personnel).
At the same time, employees entirely work in the customer’s company but are on the staff of the provider company. Outstaffing is mainly used by companies with at least 100 employees (such giants as Mail.ru, Yandex, and MTS also work with Rubrain). The service is also popular among Western startups who want to quickly get the specific experts they need for development, which are difficult to find in any other way. Most often, for the state, there are deduced:
- IT specialists.
The intermediary takes on the functions of paying wages, paying taxes, and enforcing labor laws (hiring, sick leave, dismissal, and so on). At the same time, employees are engaged in projects for the customer company during all their working hours. The staff is also under the direct control of its managers, which is one of the main differences between such a service and outsourcing.
People work in precisely the same way as full-time employees. They perform their usual duties, often even in the office of the client company. But without unnecessary legal complications and the risk of costs. If the employee does not fit, the outstaffer changes him for free, so there is no need to fire anyone.
When is outstaffing appropriate?
It would be advisable to apply the removal of employees from the state in situations where the legality of the employee’s employment and the impossibility of expanding the company’s staff come into conflict. Such problems may arise as a result of factors such as:
- The need to save the salary fund, tax spending, thoughtful provision of social packages;
- the employer cannot take full responsibility for the financial, accounting, and documentary services of their personnel;
- the desire to reduce the burden on office work and accounting;
- labor migrants are the main labor force, but there is no way to track the documentary side of their official registration;
- it is necessary to relieve oneself of responsibility to one’s personnel and inspection state bodies;
- unwillingness to staff registration of seasonal workers or those undergoing a probationary period;
- the desire to employ a specialist from another region without opening a particular representative office (branch);
- the need to increase the number of employees, but the impossibility of staff growth due to the limits of the simplified tax regime (STS).
Types of outstaffing
All outstaffing contracts are bound by validity periods. They can be:
- It is necessary, first of all, to reduce the number of people in the state. Legally, people get a job in another company; in fact, they remain in the same place. Or a company is looking for a rare specialist for a permanent position but finds him only through outstaffing employees and agrees.
- They are needed in companies with significant seasonal load changes and changing market conditions. The contract is temporary, usually for 1-3 months.
- They are needed to complete one specific project or task. After the project is closed, the specialists return to the outstaffing organization and are assigned other company tasks. The contract specifies the conditions for completion (documented final product or the moment of its launch)
Pros of outstaffing
Outstaffing allows you to save resources on staff search – the outstaffing company will do it instead of you. This service will also allow you, as a business owner, to extend the probationary period for new employees, which makes it possible to check their professional qualities in more detail.
Are you familiar with the situation when the labor inspectorate finds any violations? If you have experienced similar problems, then you probably know that the responsibility lies with the employee and the management. But even minor violations lead to significant fines imposed on the legal entity.
Using this service, you get absolute protection during inspections by regulatory authorities because you do not have employees who have fallen under the outstaffing procedure. Even communication with controlling assessments becomes the responsibility of the contracting company. You will no longer be bothered by various checks and can fully devote yourself to the main processes that bring you profit.
You ultimately get rid of obligations under labor relations with the personnel. If a conflict situation or a labor dispute with an employee arises, the outstaffing company deals with its solution. All risks associated with employees and proceedings for work-related injuries and accidents, including death, are shifted to the outstaffer as a legally registered employer.
Does your company employ foreign employees, and do you spend a lot of time on proceedings with the migration service? We will help you solve all these issues!
The outstaffing company takes care of all the problems with the migration service and the official registration of foreign citizens by the law. Your skilled workers from abroad will be able to work in the same place, and you, as a business owner, will forever get rid of communication with migration service inspectors.
Do you still maintain a large HR staff, and the accounting department often does not have time to cope with many personnel? We have a solution for you.
Reducing the number of employees in the state by order of magnitude will lessen the burden on your accounting department. After all, the outstaffing company assumes the following obligations:
- Selection, registration, accounting, and dismissal of employees.
- Calculation and payment of wages.
- Registration of benefits, travel and sick leave, and vacation planning.
You can also reduce the personnel department staff or transfer the entire department to the team of the outstaffing company.
Outstaffing will allow you to maintain the status of a small business and minimize taxes while increasing the number of employed employees several times. After all, the more employees officially registered in your company, the more taxes you do not need. In addition, with a formally small staff and low personnel costs, you will increase financial performance per worker, thereby increasing investor interest in your company.
Cons of outstaffing
Despite all its advantages, outstaffing still has some risks. Luckily, there aren’t many of them.
The most critical issue that needs to be resolved immediately after the outstaffing procedure is communication and coherence of interaction between the customer company and the provider. And suppose a communication system is not established between the management of the customer company and the outstaffer. In that case, the staff may not promptly receive instructions and recommendations on work. This can cause some delays, and as you know, time is money.
Another risk associated with employees outside the company’s staff is the negligent attitude of employees to the tasks performed. In addition, the division into full-time and outstaffing employees can negatively affect the quality of the work performed. Out-of-staff workers may lose motivation due to the lack of benefits and indulgences that permanent staff have.
Why do companies use outstaffing?
To begin with, let’s pay attention to what services are often taken out for outstaffing:
- Administrative Staff
- Finance specialist middle level
- IT specialist
Although, in general, outstaffing applies to any field of work, both physical and mental tasks.
And they turn to this method on the following grounds:
- Hiring new employees for some positions necessarily implies the passage of a probationary period to prove the declared level of professionalism in work. Not every leader wants to deal with this.
- When a firm plans to expand, it may need employees in other regions or countries before opening branches. A convenient solution is to use outstaffing.
- One of the main reasons is it’s profitable. The entrepreneur saves on wages (although not always), workplace arrangements, tax calculations, and other points.
- Outstaffing is used as an opportunity to reduce staff without losing the best professional team.
- If outstaffing is not regulated by the state, entrepreneurs avoid many difficulties with inspection services regarding the organization of personnel work.
How do outstaffing services affect the competitiveness of companies?
By transferring employees’ salaries under an outstaffing agreement as part of the remuneration for agency services, production costs are reduced, and the tax base is reduced.
The investment attractiveness of the business increases as the share of profits in terms of the number of own personnel of the company-consumer of outstaffing services grows.
The costs for the work of the personnel service are reduced because the employees of the outstaffing company are engaged in the selection, registration, and maintenance of personnel records management.
The ability to legally use the simplified taxation system with the disposal of the state exceeding the limits dictated by the tax laws.
Freelancers do not need time to adapt and learn because we are talking about the same people in the same workplaces.
If your company is tasked with increasing business profitability, reducing personnel costs, and increasing productivity, use professional outstaffing services. When choosing a provider, pay attention to the company’s experience in the market and the work experience of specific specialists assigned to the project for your organization; read the reviews of those who have already used outstaffing.
For companies ordering outstaffing services, this form of cooperation can be an effective solution to increase the attractiveness of companies to various investors. This is due to a significant reduction in costs associated with staff training, hiring, accounting, and paperwork.
Thanks to such savings, it is possible to significantly reduce costs, significantly improving the company’s financial performance. This will make it more likely to attract investments, allowing the company to stimulate its development and further growth.
Advantages and disadvantages of outstaffing for an employee
Pros for the employee
Official employment with all the issues accompanying this concept is assessed as a definite plus.
The service provider, by concluding an employment contract, legally becomes an employer that provides:
- labor and social guarantees;
- stable salary payment;
- payment of taxes and contributions to funds;
- order in the documentation (including tracking permits and migration documents).
Cons of outstaffing for an employee
- A bad outstaffer can develop a variety of schemes to get rich at employees’ expense: non-payment of taxes, withholding salaries for allegedly violated clauses of the contract, and so on.
- “Leased” employees are often deprived of certain benefits the former employer provides for established positions. Many people note the impossibility of career growth and a small salary.
- Frequent job changes and the need to get used to new conditions and changing functionality. In general, the lack of the notorious “confidence in the future” leads to a loss of motivation.
Outstaffing has become an excellent form of management that helps cope with difficulties during a crisis. Outstaffing helps reduce the company’s expenses and optimize its income, affecting the favorable formation of corporate relationships.
Cloud technologies are in most areas of human activity, and even people far from the IT world are familiar with several services using this architecture. However, the penetration of cloud technologies into our lives does not end with the storage of information in Google or the use of the store.
Business, industry, medicine – these and other vital areas also use cloud-based solutions. In our article, we will tell you what this tool consists of; we will deal with the types of these technologies and consider their benefits and applications in detail.
The concept of cloud technologies
The essence of cloud technologies is that with their help, it is possible to provide extensive ubiquitous access to any configuration of computing resources. This refers to servers, networks, applications, storage, etc. All this can be easily and quickly taken into use or released. Management is simple, and direct contact with the provider is not required.
Simply put, cloud technologies are technologies that allow users to access computer resources online.
A simple example can explain the work of cloud technologies: not so long ago, computers everywhere had Microsoft Outlook (an email client) designed to read email.
Now its location is a remote server. You can use the program from any device; you need to pre-authorize it in the browser (outlook.live.com/owa/). Of course, cloud technologies are used widely and in various areas, but only a single generalized example is given here.
What does Cloud Native mean?
Cloud Native applications use modern infrastructure components to facilitate rapid, scalable deployment. A “cloud” system is created using several independent attributes. It will have a high level of automation and dependency separation resulting in excellent resistance to change through code releases and environment updates.
Most commentators associate cloud technologies not only with technical qualities but also with the methods of work and thinking of the implementing organization. Cloud-enabled organizations will actively use the cloud for their entire stack, seeing it as a differentiating feature of their offering. This is in contrast to vendors who know the cloud simply as the data center where their services run.
There is no one way to use cloud technologies. The terminology is flexible and based on qualitative characteristics. Native cloud systems are typically based on microservices deployed with a container orchestrator, using auto-deployment flows to move code through a pipeline. The actual implementation remains with each organization.
This model allows you to quickly introduce new changes without losing control. Developers commit the changes, save them to a repository, and let their CI pipeline deploy the latest production release. Automation reduces the risk of errors and gives developers more room to focus on writing new code.
As a result, faster development cycles increase productivity by delivering more features to users in less time. This promotes customer satisfaction and engagement by creating an image of an ever-evolving codebase where bugs are fixed as soon as they are discovered.
However, the cloud environment doesn’t quite “let the machine do all the work.” Another critical principle is observability, the notion that systems should display their internal state to be easily accessible to operational teams.
Effective monitoring, tracking, and logging allow you to see when problems occur. The observed system displays the information needed to solve problems. You use the reflective power of your infrastructure to uncover the lifecycle of requests, from your network to individual services and back.
An essential characteristic of cloud systems is strong decoupling. This goes hand in hand with the microservices model. Services should be autonomous without hard dependency on each other. This increases resilience and makes it easier to replace parts of your stack in the future.
Each functional block becomes its microservice that interacts with others through well-defined APIs. This allows you to separate individual parts of your system, helping developers focus on their specific area and enabling you to enforce tighter security measures around critical services in a production environment. Your authentication service can benefit from more isolation than your general-purpose web containers.
Separating services makes them more scalable, so your system is better able to respond to changes in user demand. If media coverage causes a surge in user registrations, you can quickly add more instances of your registration service backend to handle the additional traffic. The usual approach with a monolithic application in a virtual machine or server without an OS cannot be adapted in this way.
What other features do cloud-native applications have?
Designed using best-in-class languages and environments
With a granular approach to microservice development, each cloud application service is developed using the language and environment best suited to its functionality. Services use various languages, runtimes, and frameworks.
Focused around APIs for interaction and collaboration
Cloud services use lightweight APIs based on protocols such as REST, gRPC, or NATS. REST is the lowest common denominator to provide APIs via Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). To improve performance, gRPC is commonly used for internal communication between services. NATS has publish-subscribe features that enable asynchronous communication within an application.
An architecture with a clear separation of stateless and stateful services
Persistent and reliable services follow a different pattern of higher availability and resiliency. Stateless services exist independently of stateful services.
Independent of the server and operating system
Cloud applications are not tied to a specific operating system or individual computer. They operate at a higher level of abstraction. The only exception is when the microservice needs particular capabilities, including solid-state drives (SSDs) and graphics processing units (GPUs).
Cloud applications can be highly automated.
They fit well with the concept of infrastructure as code. A certain level of automation is also required to manage these large and complex applications.
Pros cloud-native technologies
Cloud as a competitive advantage
Cloud-native is when the cloud is used not to save IT resources but as a business development tool. In the age of software, successful companies can quickly develop and deliver applications to customer requests.
Focus on stability
When outdated IT infrastructure goes down, services can suffer. In the cloud environment, developers pay special attention to the architecture to ensure it is resilient. Clouds help design systems that stay online regardless of failures in any environment.
Public cloud providers offer impressive features at a reasonable price. But many companies are not ready to stop at one infrastructure. With a cloud-enabled platform, businesses can develop applications that work equally well in the public and private clouds. Development teams launch applications and services that are more profitable for companies without being tied to one cloud provider.
Optimization of IT processes for business needs
By automating IT operations, business units can become small, goal-driven teams that respond to current business priorities. The risks of failures due to human errors are reduced, routine tasks requiring the administrator’s attention are automated, and employees can concentrate on the process. Automatic patches and real-time updates at all levels of the stack reduce downtime, eliminating the need for specialists in processes that require manual intervention.
Cloud applications allow you to quickly create and bring products to market and test hypotheses. At the same time, implementing an idea can take several days and even hours instead of several months.
Benefits of developing native cloud solutions
General benefits of moving to native cloud solutions:
- On-demand computing and storage provisioning
- Reusable modular software components, services, and APIs
- DevOps Friendly – Microservice architectures are great for setting up continuous integration and continuous integration/ongoing deployment processes, among other things
- Cross-platform portability with the ability to move between public and private clouds or between on-premises and hybrid clouds
- Flexible, scalable, and extensible software application architectures can evolve with the business.
Business Benefits of cloud-native technologies
Moving to the cloud often significantly impacts the organization as a whole. Improved scalability can lower costs, increase uptime, and keep infrastructure ahead of users. All this results in a more competitive platform, flexible enough to respond to market changes.
Legacy systems may not have established deployment procedures, instead relying on periodically rolling out the latest production environment changes. This makes it impossible to respond quickly to customer concerns. In the cloud system, you can respond to tickets as they come in. The code is usually shipped immediately after the merge, allowing you to make improvements in minutes, not days.
Cloud systems can also be more attractive to developers, making it easier to hire the best people. Using technologies such as Docker and Kubernetes in production demonstrates a commitment to modern workflows that make day-to-day development less demanding. The ability to access highly skilled engineers usually results in better products being built in less time, creating a self-sustaining cycle that triggers growth in the organization.
Cloud Native and DevOps
Native cloud systems are often the result of good DevOps practice. While DevOps describes the interaction between development and operations teams, cloud environments focus on the outcome of this interaction and its impact on the business.
The DevOps cycle maintains a tight process between planning, building, testing, release, and monitoring. This speeds up development by clearly defining the sequence of events in the lifecycle of a new feature. Adhering to DevOps principles increases the likelihood of a system becoming an effective cloud citizen.
The two tend to emerge from each other. If you consciously practice one of the terms, you are probably already enjoying the benefits of the other. Cloud systems are automatically deployed at a regular frequency; using DevOps tools like CI/CD pipelines is a logical way to implement fast development flows.
Cons cloud-native technologies
Don’t move everything to the cloud.
Businesses and IT professionals must jointly prioritize legacy and new challenges, assessing each case’s technical feasibility, strategic importance, and ROI of migrating to the cloud.
Don’t experiment too much with the tools.
Developers need to agree on how and on what they write. When using the cloud, developers will likely need more discipline to follow the 12 Application Development Principles and standardize their platform and development services. So you want to use new technologies and templates for each new application. But advanced teams deliberately limit their choice to focus on developing innovative software rather than reinventing basic things anew.
It is better to buy rather than develop.
Many companies are considering building their cloud platform by combining open-source automation software and container technologies. But it soon turns out that this requires more components than expected since not all of them can work together. This delays the start of work on the applications themselves. Another factor is added – the need to support the working platform. When using a ready-made cloud platform, you can immediately focus on building applications without thinking about process organization and infrastructure.
What about “Cloud-enabled?”
A cloud-enabled system will operate using the cloud infrastructure but cannot be wholly separated and modular. If you have a legacy monolith, it’s usually relatively easy to package it as a Docker container and run it in the cloud. This offers some immediate benefits, including the prospect of automated deployment and a degree of scalability.
However, the application layer is still a monolith. It will take a period of refactoring to split the stack into separate microservices that can scale separately. A containerized monolith cannot provide the same level of resiliency as a system designed and built for the cloud.
Using the cloud in the system is the first step towards becoming a “citizen” of the natural cloud. It may be followed by a “cloud” approach, where the application primarily runs in the cloud with a high degree of separation of services. There may still be some binding relationships between components or feedback to the legacy infrastructure. After they are eliminated, the architecture can be called “native to the cloud.”
A native cloud system is a system that leverages everything the cloud has to offer to accelerate development, automate deployment, and improve resiliency and visibility. This results from organizational investment in modern tools and methods to enable teams to release code faster and add value to the business.
Moving to the cloud doesn’t happen overnight. Depending on the size of your system, it may be appropriate to choose a “cloud-enabled” or “cloud-based” approach first. Gradually evolving your architecture allows you to pick the low-hanging fruit and monitor the impact of individual changes, giving you an idea of whether your efforts are paying off.
Mobile application security is a difficult task, especially in large teams. The clever work of architects is essential here, which will provide security mechanisms for each of the “bricks” of the project, thereby providing multi-level product protection.
What does app security include?
These are all measures, including those that precede the development stage:
- Correct setting of the development and deployment cycle. This includes choosing a relevant development approach (Agile/Waterfall), applying DevOps best practices, and using trusted server hardware.
- The team should have one or more specialists responsible for information security.
- The generated security threat model – metrics that need to be constantly monitored, especially with each update or change in external factors. It should be understood that threat models will be different for different applications.
- We are using technical means of code security analysis.
- I am using a secure development environment.
What are the technical means of code security analysis?
The central layer of analyzers includes:
- Static are source code analyzers based on the Static Analysis Engine (SAST). Verification occurs without running the program itself at the intermediate stages of development or the assembly stage. SAST solutions include Synopsys, AppScan, Checkmarks, Veracode, Appercut, Application Inspector, and Micro Focus.
- Dynamic – applied to the finished code and focused mainly on web applications. They work based on dynamic security testing (DAST) by submitting a URL to an automatic scanner.
- It is integrated into CI (Continuous Integration) – scans static and dynamic code.
- Pentester tools.
How to create a secure development environment?
It is worth remembering that you can only ensure the security of an application comprehensively, so pay attention to each of the stages:
- Segment the network and organize the management of network passages.
- Set permissions for each role.
- Store passwords in a hashed form using a so-called salt.
- Organize secure remote access.
- Manage updates.
- Monitor and document.
- Anonymize important data when working with the database in test mode.
How about the security of mobile applications?
Secure mobile app development involves three steps.
- Firstly, it is essential to consider in advance what leads to vulnerabilities, and even during development, to provide for all preventive measures. So, to prevent data leakage, it is necessary to use cryptographic algorithms and multi-factor authentication, generate unpredictable session identifiers and store authorization tokens in the most secure parts of the operating system. The security of information transfer is carried out by confirming the reliability of communication sources, the correct versions of SSL, and negotiation checks. Access rights to hidden sections of the application should be given only to a narrow circle of specialists responsible for them.
- Next, you need to test the application for such vulnerabilities. Mostly white-box and black-box methods are used. White box method (SAST Statistical Security Testing) involves verification by a developer who has access to the code. The black box method analyzes only the user experience without evaluating the code. You can test manually or with the help of special services.
- And lastly, before actually working out the identified vulnerabilities, prioritize. First of all, fix the errors that prevent the application from working. Then there are critical bugs: system freezes or temporary crashes. Then look for errors that do not affect the work, for example, design flaws. At the very end, fix minor bugs.
What should a developer pay attention to protect the application from hacking?
It is better to take care of the security of the service at the earliest stages of its development.
One of the main steps to securing an application is limiting functionality on a per-user, need-to-know basis. This principle originated in the military environment but is also helpful in development: by observing it, you do not allow the user to receive more information than he needs.
No less important are the processes of code review and independent security analysis. Second, you can involve your security team, contact specialized companies, or add the application to the bug bounty program so that hundreds of researchers worldwide are constantly looking for bugs for you.
It is also essential to study the vulnerabilities of other people’s code that you contribute to the project: look at the issue on GitHub and check the product in the vulnerability database.
At the final stages of development, it will not be superfluous to protect the code from reading and disassembly. Here, too, there are time-tested techniques: from simple obfuscation to the use of assembler inserts and advanced debugger protection. Generally, it’s good practice to “clean up” code before sending it to production. After all, the user will not be helped by comments explaining how this or that call or function works. But for an attacker, this is a great help when analyzing a product. In addition, you should avoid prescribing various confidential data within the code itself. For example, it is not recommended to embed links with authorization data on the server for automated testing.
Mobile App Security Trends
Application of XDR solutions to improve the accuracy and productivity of protection systems
Advanced detection and response (XDR, X Detection, and Response, where X means that these tools respond to signals from any source) are emerging that automatically collect and correlate data received from several security systems. This allows you to detect threats and respond to incidents more effectively. For example, XDR tools can “understand” that malware injection attempts via email, endpoint, and network are one complex attack.
Process automation to eliminate repetitive tasks
The scarcity of trained security professionals and the availability of automation in security tools has led to an increase in automated processes that “self-sufficiently” solve problems based on predefined rules and patterns. These automated tools are much faster, more accurate than humans, and easy to scale. Security & Risk Management (SRM) leaders should invest in automation projects that help eliminate repetitive, time-consuming tasks so that employees can focus on more important security issues.
AI experts are indispensable.
The use of artificial intelligence, and especially machine learning, leads to further automation of processes and expands the range of options for human decision-making in the field of security and digital business.
However, these technologies require security expertise to address three key challenges: protecting AI-powered digital business systems, using AI in products and services to enhance security, and preventing malicious AI from being used.
Security chiefs are responsible for all aspects of security
The number of incidents, threats, and identified vulnerabilities outside traditional corporate IT systems has increased significantly in recent years. New threats have emerged, such as ransomware attacks on business processes, building management systems, GPS systems, “physical” systems, and IoT systems.
This prompted leading companies to reconsider their approaches to security issues, considering the digital world’s impact on the physical world since it is impossible to cope with all these threats by dealing only with information security issues. It is necessary to deploy information security management systems that use information from all data stores and integrate IT security, physical system security, supply chain security, product management security, etc., within one centralized model under a single control.
Ensuring privacy becomes a discipline in its own right.
Ensuring confidentiality is no longer just part of the legal or auditing realm. It is an increasingly effective separate discipline that affects all aspects of the activities of enterprises. This means that it must be implemented throughout the organization. In particular, it is integrated into corporate strategy management, linked to the work of the security service, production units, human resources, legal departments, etc.
New digital trust teams focus on integrating all communication channels
Consumers interact with companies through various channels (from social media to retail), which are constantly growing. How secure the consumer feels during each contact is extremely important for his perception of the brand.
Now, as a rule, each channel has its security service. However, to control all points of contact with the client, enterprises are increasingly moving to form cross-functional teams that must handle all interactions with the consumer and provide a standard level of security for each channel.
Protecting remote workers from potential attacks
The pandemic has spurred many trends, including the transition to remote work. Organizations face increasing attack surface and variety with so many employees working from home. Security is the top priority in this situation, but if companies want to maintain productivity, service degradation must also be prevented. Another problem is the lack of face-to-face communication. In today’s environment, employers may never meet their employees in person. As a result, more organizations are moving to zero-trust models that prioritize security, protect against social media attacks, and mitigate the potential threats associated with remoting.
Transition from local protection to the cloud
Cloud security services are becoming more and more popular. Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) technology allows enterprises to better protect mobile workers and cloud applications by routing traffic through cloud-based security solutions than in the “classic” incoming traffic processing in their own data center.
Cloud computing hasn’t yet reached the security maturity of on-premises systems, but excuses for being “new” are no longer accepted. Cloud computing is more than one year old, and profound experience in dealing with attacks has been accumulated in this area. Many organizations are looking to increase control over permissions in their cloud systems. At the same time, additional intra-industry and inter-industry coordination of efforts to optimize safety standards can be expected in the near future. Going to the cloud brings enormous benefits to companies in terms of scale and agility and forces them to take on the responsibility of protecting their cloud environments.
Build cloud application protections throughout their lifecycle
Often, the same security solution is used for a user server device and when transferring an application to the cloud using the “lift-and-shift” method (software replication to the cloud without redesigning it to take into account the features of the cloud architecture). But products designed from the ground up for the cloud require different security practices, which Gartner calls the Cloud Workload Protection Platform (CWPP).
Cloud solutions are often upgraded, so the means of protection must constantly change. Products responsible for the cloud security posture management process are abbreviated as CSPM (Cloud Security Posture Management).
Maintain readiness to prevent attacks on global supply chains
One of the consequences of the pandemic has been the continued disruption of global supply chains. This trend will continue throughout 2023. Meanwhile, attackers are looking for new approaches to information and communication platforms used to manage physical supply chains around the world, while their level of vulnerability is constantly increasing. Distributed denial-of-service attacks and ransomware are expected to increase in 2022, and organizations looking to limit the power of hackers will need to maintain a high level of preparedness.
“Zero trust” instead of virtual networks
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted many of the problems with traditional VPNs, and the concept of Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), which allows enterprises to control remote access to applications, has become increasingly popular. In doing so, the applications are “hidden” from the rest of the internet since the application only communicates with the ZTNA service provider and can only be accessed through the cloud service of the ZTNA provider. The full-scale deployment of ZTNA will be hampered by the fact that the enterprise, when working with ZTNA, must determine in advance which users and applications need to provide this kind of access.
To understand how to ensure the application’s security, you should study the most dangerous vulnerabilities, consider them at the development and testing stages, eliminate them if they are identified, and document all the problems found to avoid them in the future. Do not forget about analyzers and the security of the development environment itself.
Software teams work on the principle of self-organization, and the skill sets of different team members may overlap. This is partly achieved through code review. By doing code reviews, developers become familiar with the code base and learn new technologies and techniques that help develop their skills.
What is a code review, and why is it necessary?
Code review is a systematic review of software source code to find bugs and evaluate quality. Code review consists of the following steps:
- Determining the most efficient ways to complete a task;
- Search for logical errors;
- Search for the most common vulnerabilities;
- Malware detection is a special kind of code review to look for suspicious code snippets or any malware integrated into the software.
When a developer completes a task, another developer analyzes the resulting code, considering the following questions.
- Are there obvious logical errors in the code?
- Is the code entirely usable for all the use cases described in the code requirements?
- Do the new automated tests cover the added code sufficiently? Do existing computerized tests need to be rewritten to accommodate code changes?
- Does the code meet the requirements of the existing design guidelines?
Code reviews should be part of the team’s existing workflow. For example, if it’s customary for a team to create task branches, code reviews should begin after all code has been written, automated tests have been run, and passed, but before the code is merged into the upstream branch. Then the person checking the code will be able to pay attention to those sections of the code that did not fall into the field of view of automation, and errors in the code will not fall into the main development branch.
There are several reasons why code review is considered a necessary part of development.
The first reason is risk reduction. Let’s say you have software written by a freelancer or agency, but you’re not sure about the quality of the work because even good developers can miss something. So double-checking is always a good idea.
What’s more, by working together to learn code, each team member can come up with more innovative solutions that will improve the project’s overall performance.
The main thing to remember about code review is that it should be done before your new development team takes on the codebase or project. A code review before launching a project allows your team to review it and determine the quality of the code and whether improvements are needed.
There are no hard and fast rules about who should conduct the review in a code study. The ideal scenario is when the analysis is carried out by a more experienced colleague, a team leader, or a lead project developer. In reality, this does not always work out: often, the middle checks the middle.
Tasks of the code reviewers
Code review is a stage of code development. Most often, it is carried out by other developers from the same team. This is how more experienced coders control the quality of the work of juniors or interns. A reviewer on individual components can show you how to simplify and clarify the code. For example, he will offer to take a function that has already been written for another fragment. Code review is especially important for large teams.
In large-scale projects, the code is very voluminous, and each developer knows only their fragment. People often don’t know what’s happening in other components and modules. This is not a very stable situation because the code’s author may go on vacation or stop maintaining his fragment for various reasons. The code review stage adds a second person who understands the code and can work with it.
Code reviews are an excellent way to agree within a team on how to write code. For example, obfuscated code is challenging to maintain and scale. The code review stage helps share knowledge, find new solutions, and improve the development process.
Unlike testing, it is more important for a code review to understand the logic of a solution than to find errors. And also – to convey the essence of the problem to the developer. This will require the ability to accurately formulate the situation and report it without unnecessary emotions.
The code reviewer moves from the general to the specific. First, he needs to understand what problem the author of the code was solving. To do this, the inspector looks at the terms of reference and clarifies the details with the developer. Next, you must evaluate the code’s architecture and see if it is written correctly. This is the most valuable stage of the code review; it helps to avoid blunders and saves time for the testing team.
When the reviewer has figured out the problem and the logic of the solution, he looks at the functions, unique algorithms, and their effectiveness. Checks if it is possible to replace them with other methods and if it would be better for the whole product.
After verification, the reviewer leaves comments for the developer. His task at this stage is to explain why it is essential to correct the error. Also, the reviewer can suggest a solution or provide links to materials with which the developer will quickly put the code in order.
To check the code, you need to understand it. It’s good that the reviewer has already solved such problems, written similar code, and was familiar with the technology stack that the team uses. Then the reviewer will be able to give the developer valuable comments.
Code Review Guide
Divide code reviews into time slots
Don’t try to analyze the whole project at once. Experts advise not to look at more than 400 lines of code at once. Moreover, a one-time check should take no more than an hour. Humans cannot efficiently process this information, especially over a long period. When you exceed this mark, the ability to detect errors is noticeably reduced, so you may miss some critical mistakes.
Seek help from teammates
One head it’s good, but two are better. You may be surprised how much the quality of the review will improve if you share this process with someone else. Collaborative code review improves the software and increases the team’s competence level by sharing knowledge through discussion.
Before proceeding with the review, the team should set clear goals, such as “halving the defect rate.” The purpose of “finding more bugs” is too abstract to be achieved. During the review, record metrics such as the speed of the evaluation, the number of bugs found per hour, and the average number of bugs per line of code. Constant monitoring of the review results will show you an accurate picture of internal processes.
Keep a positive attitude.
Code review can sometimes hurt relationships within a team. Nobody likes to be criticized, so it’s essential to maintain a friendly atmosphere unless you want your co-workers to lose motivation. Instead of taking each bug negatively, consider that these are new opportunities to improve the quality of the code.
Remember that feedback must be balanced. Its goal is not to offend a person but to highlight areas for improvement reasonably (for example, using code examples and links to patterns).
Also, don’t focus only on mistakes; praise them if you see an exciting solution or a non-standard approach. So again, show a colleague that you have one goal, and relieve stress.
Seven Reasons Why Reviewing Code Builds Better Skills & Teams
Code review is helpful for any team, no matter what development methodology they follow and helps distribute work among employees. No team member is the only expert on a particular code base. Simply put, code reviews are a tool for sharing knowledge about the code base among all team members.
Code review promotes knowledge sharing.
At the heart of all software, teams are unprecedented freedom of action since all team members can take work from the backlog and perform it. As a result, teams storm new work with great enthusiasm because the tasks are independent of each other. Generalists can work both on the client side and the server side.
During code review, developers come across new ideas and technologies, and as a result, the quality of their code increases.
Thanks to code checks, the accuracy of estimating the complexity of work is improved.
Recall the section on complexity estimation. The whole team is involved in this procedure, and when all participants equally well know the product, it is possible to assess the volume and complexity of the work more accurately. When the need arises to add new features to existing code, its first developer can share their knowledge and assess the complexity. In addition, all code reviewers receive information about the difficulties, known issues, and features associated with the code base fragment of interest. Therefore, the reviewer has the same knowledge of this code as the original developer. This gives the team a wealth of evidence-based input to make a more accurate and reliable final estimate of complexity.
Code review allows you to take breaks at work.
No one wants to be the only person who can answer all questions about a piece of code. Also, no one is tempted to deal with a critical part of code someone else wrote, especially during an emergency in the production environment. Code reviews promote knowledge sharing across the team, so anyone can pick up the baton and move on. But the main benefit lies elsewhere: if more than one developer is involved in critical tasks, all participants in the process can take breaks from work. If you feel you’re being held hostage by source control, checking your code is a great way to find freedom. So you can go on a long-awaited vacation or devote time to another product component.
Code reviews enable the training of new specialists.
Another distinguishing feature is that when new members join the team, more experienced people become mentors. During code reviews, they discuss the code base. Often, knowledge is hidden in the code and unknown to the team. During the check, they are found. Beginners bring their fresh eyes and notice ugly, overlooked, due to lack of time fragments of the code base that need to be revisited. As you can see, through code review, new helpful information is framed by existing knowledge.
At the same time, code review should not be reduced to the supervision of junior employees by senior employees. Any member of the team can check the code of any other member. Knowledge should have no boundaries! Yes, code review can be helpful for beginners, but it should not be used only as a mentoring tool.
Distributing the load
When the author is going to appoint reviewers, he chooses from a wide range of team members. Any two specialists can check the code. Thanks to this, the process is decentralized, all work does not depend on one person, and the team has a wide selection of specialists who can participate in code review.
Checking before merge
Mandatory review of the code before it is merged into the upstream branch ensures that unverified code does not enter the production environment. This means that controversial architectural decisions made at 2:00 a.m. and mistakes that an intern makes in using a design pattern will be caught before they can have long-term (and unfortunate) consequences for the application.
Use social pressure to your advantage.
When developers know that a teammate will review their code, they put in extra effort to make sure the code passes all tests and is written as well as possible so that the reviewer does not run into difficulties. With this awareness, the process of writing code becomes more streamlined and, as a result, runs faster.
Don’t wait for code review if an outsider’s perspective is needed early in the development cycle. Early feedback followed by frequent comments improves the quality of the code, so feel free to ask for help at any point in time. This will not only enhance your results but also develop peer review skills.
Code review should be an essential process in any development company as it helps to maintain high-quality coding standards. Working together on a code review brings the team together and provides an opportunity to share knowledge and experience within the company. So if you’re starting a startup or outsourcing a project to another team, always do code reviews to ensure your software is of the best quality.
Introduction – to recall the main characteristics of outstaffing
- A person/team of people on the web production staff, but their hours are entirely bought out by the customer company. Most often, it is full-time work on one project. Less often – part-time, in this case, there can be two projects.
- The customer usually chooses one developer or a whole team, conducts an interview, or even more than one. This also includes test tasks and even live coding. In general, all circles of hard selection.
- The customer’s manager is responsible for backlog formation and task setting. Developers communicate with him directly. The client’s project management system records all commits, reports, and actions.
- The function of the contractor is to supplement, strengthen or completely replace the customer’s team. Usually, the need for only one specific feature is closed (for example, frontend development on React.js).
- The contractor’s manager is responsible for general accounting and HR support.
- The payment format is a retainer (when the client pays a fixed amount per month for the developer/team) or time and material (hours worked multiplied by the rate, ideally with payment for downtime due to the client’s fault).
Difficulties of outstaffing
In this case, you hire employees based on their skills and many other factors such as nationality, cultural affiliation, religious affiliation, social standards, and stereotypes.
If you are hiring a team of outsourcers, you may rightly be wondering if the final product will be suitable for the target audience. The concern that different nationalities often behave and perceive things differently has, in many cases, discouraged outsourcing initiatives.
In the case of outstaffing, you will have to deal with foreign developers and their cultural characteristics for a long time. In this case, information plays a key role. You must know and consider the specifics of your team’s national thinking, traditions, and cultural values to achieve mutual understanding and high productivity.
The only way not to miss the chances of a profitable relationship due to insufficient knowledge of the interlocutor’s culture is to learn the best about his nation. This practice will be an excellent start to a long-term partnership and demonstrate your respect for your partner.
Okay, national identity can be identified with the naked eye, but how to determine cultural identity? Everyone, whether it is a conscious decision or the result of an extended stay in a particular environment, classifies himself as a different culture. Whether it happens naturally or under the influence of circumstances, each person becomes a part of a specific culture. And it is much more challenging to identify this affiliation because there is no clear criterion, such as geographical location. But once you find a suitable characteristic, it will become much more manageable.
Revealing cultural affiliation is quite simple, thanks to the resources available in our time: social networks, films, and books – all this allows you to reveal all the subtleties and trends of modern subcultures.
Still, people value their interests and are happy to tell you about them if you show interest.
Why should it even matter? It’s simple: religion is one factor that makes up a person’s worldview. It can influence decision-making. Faith is the crucial factor here. This is not just a belief in the existence of higher powers – it is a set of principles and rules reflected in every decision made.
The world is diverse not only in ethnic, cultural, and religious terms. Social standards also differ. They say: “The well-fed do not understand the hungry” – it turns out that if the difference in the middle of living is too significant, then there is no way in the world to reach a mutual understanding.
To some extent, outsourcing helps reduce the gap in this regard. Complex projects are suitable for training more qualified specialists who will later share their knowledge and expand the circle of IT enthusiasts. At the same time, outstaffing teams do not face such a difference in the quality of the working environment and wages, as they work under the same conditions as the in-house team.
One of the biggest fears for outsourcers is dealing with a team that is so culturally and physically distant that it becomes almost impossible to communicate with them.
It is essential to strike a balance to work competently with outsourcers and outstaffers. You will not be able to get a competitive product with the lowest possible investment. On the other hand, you won’t be able to plug any cultural rift with money.
Overcoming national and cultural stereotypes is crucial in building trust between internal and external teams, managers, and outstaffers.
Any manager with foreign experience can spend hours telling funny stories about how business is done in different countries.
Stereotypes appear in the form of hypertrophied images. Their goal is to facilitate thinking, systematize the world and create an overall picture where you are a little better than others. However, business requires equality, neutrality, and respect. Therefore, we get rid of stereotypes and work with start-ups and enterprises from all over the world. Cultural and ethnic differences are not an obstacle to achieving common goals.
Three common mistakes when using outstaffing
Outstaffing of highly qualified personnel
In the case of outstaffing, qualified employees are transferred to another employer (they are enrolled in the staff of the provider company), which, until the expiration of the outstaffing contract, will deal with their registration and support, payment of sickness benefits and vacation pay. Naturally, in such a case, skilled workers will be concerned about their new position. The prospect of moving to another company’s staff can provoke a helpful team’s dismissal. Even if a qualified employee agrees to outstaffing, he may have problems with motivation and loyalty: it is not very pleasant to realize that the employer is trying to solve his problems at your expense and is ready to put you in an ambiguous position for his benefit. Naturally, an employee who comes to work with such thoughts is unlikely to work with complete dedication and fight for his company’s interests as for his own.
Outstaffing of a small number of employees
HR managers do not always know how to use outstaffing to reduce costs properly. It is not uncommon for a Customer to take out only a few employees to maintain a simplified taxation system and stop there. This is not a very smart tactic for two reasons.
- Firstly, a customer who does not leave a reserve in his state to recruit new employees will be forced to conclude a new outstaffing agreement every time he recruits new full-time employees. And this, in turn, can distract the personnel department from more critical projects and, in addition, reduces the financial efficiency of outstaffing;
- Secondly, many provider companies have a variety of tax benefits, so outstaffing employees allow the customer to reduce tax costs. The more staff outsourced, the greater the savings.
Therefore, by outsourcing many employees, you not only optimize personnel management and retain the right to use a simplified taxation system but can also significantly reduce company costs.
Transfer of employees to an affiliated company
Employees of large companies can face this tricky aspect of outstaffing. The relationship of interdependence (affiliation) between the customer and the provider company can give the tax inspectorate grounds for initiating legal proceedings to qualify outstaffing as an attempt to evade tax payments.
Suppose an HR manager or HR director working in a large company with many divisions and inadvertently initiating outstaffing misses the fact that an interdependent relationship has been established between his company and the provider company. In that case, this can lead to severe problems. Therefore, we recommend that employees of large companies always pay attention to this point when ordering outstaffing services.
How to Avoid Mishaps in Outstaffing
A detailed description of the goal and the project
When looking for an outstaffing team for your project, don’t be lazy to explain the details. A situation when a contractor receives a laconic request in the form of «Need frontend development on React» — perhaps a good start to an acquaintance, but it happens that all the introductions from the client end on this.
Approach “money in the morning” (CV, test assignment, technical interview) and “chairs in the evening” (detailed description of the project, deadlines, details of the technological stack) does not allow the contractor to understand your requirements and select suitable candidates. A developer who understands what he has to deal with will be able to refresh his memory on the necessary topics before the start of the project, study the documentation, and onboarding will be faster and more efficient.
If your contractor is not interested in qualitatively removing the requirements at the start, you may become overwhelmed by dozens of irrelevant CVs. Or, even worse, you choose the developer you liked, and you get rejected — because there is a significant demand for specialists, and you choose not only you but also you.
Choice of the team
Customers often approach interviewing candidates responsibly — perhaps, even more thoroughly than recruiting employees. But overly inflated requirements lead to the customer hardly missing a single candidate out of 20 suitable CVs. How can we not allow it?
The interview must be adequate for the project tasks. If the team passes a critical few developers at the next stage of your funnel, maybe it’s not the developers? Try to clarify the entry requirements to get more relevant CVs, or slightly loosen the nuts and bolts on the team — this way, you will increase conversion and save your resources on selecting candidates with qualifications sufficient for the project (if the task is still to hire, and not to create visibility of work).
If you were not doing the first joint project with the contractor and went through fire and water together, don’t be afraid to listen to his opinion. Maybe the developer’s excitement did not allow him to open up in interviews. The contractor knows the qualities and abilities of his employees better than you do after a few hours of interviews. Therefore, if a candidate has not formally passed your team but a contractor persistently asks to give him a chance, do not refuse it.
Another recommendation – be sure to give feedback after the interview. This will allow you to complement your requirements, and subsequent candidates are more likely to work out, as the contractor will know what is especially important to you.
The motivation of the outstaffing employees
Outstaff employees are usually even more motivated than the in-house team, as they are determined to achieve a specific result in a relatively short distance – for example, completing a project in 3-4 months.
But if you leave your employees the most exciting tasks and connect outstaffers only when everything is on fire or broken, a decrease in motivation and even burnout can happen. How to avoid this?
Keep the promises you made to the developers – treat them in this matter like your employees. Everything you say in an interview should not be at odds with reality. For example, if you need to work with large volumes of legacy code from three years ago, do not hesitate to say so – they also work with such tasks, but a person must understand what awaits him.
Don’t be afraid to give outstaffers more freedom and serious-level tasks. Keep a balance between refactoring and developing features that will allow the developer to become better. Working “on the table” also does not motivate anyone – if you worked on a part that did not go into production, it offends and demotivates – even if the work was paid.
Do not encourage overwork, even if the employee takes the initiative and is passionate about the project. Better a long and stable job with flat performance than bursts of productivity interspersed with dips in performance and motivation.
Communication, clear expectations, and trust in outstaffers
Outstaffing implies that the client takes responsibility for loading the developer who sits in someone else’s office, even in another city. At the same time, every working hour is paid. A natural desire to have complete control over the process and to spend funds rationally.
Here is the standard work procedure for the outstaff: a team performs tasks on a backlog formed by a customer. A developer tracks the time spent on each task. Reporting is submitted at the end of the month; payment is made after approval. Its size depends on the labor cost; the customer can see how many hours were spent on which task and compare it with the history of the commit (portion) code.
On very long projects, the rates of specialists can grow as wages rise. Therefore, outstaffing should be treated as an HR process, not as a purchase of goods. The chain here is straightforward: you will not index the rate – the supplier will not be able to increase his employee’s salary – the employee will quit, and you will lose him. Therefore, if you plan to work over a very long distance, pay attention to whether this clause is spelled out in the contract.
Another aspect of trust is data confidentiality. It feels like it’s always easier to save privacy within a command. But with the right approach to the organization of the outstaffing process, the same results can be achieved without any problem.
Distribute to the outstaffer all the control mechanisms adopted in the command. Bureaucratize the process of transfer of confidential data, its storage, and disposal. Use specialized software for secure employee connection (for example, Citrix).
In large organizations, where data privacy is paramount (for example, in banks), a security service and proprietary software usually allow remote connection. As a rule, this does not cause any critical complications, and the contractor has no reason not to meet and ignore your safety regulations.
Conclusion – what’s the use of outstaffing for a web production and the client
Outstaff culture is still being developed; customers and contractors build rules for practical work. But the demand for this service is growing at an incredible speed — so we need to form cultural interactions as quickly as possible.
The advantages of outstaffing for web production:
- Long and well-predictable load of developers. It can be calculated; it is easy to manage.
- The team gets versatile experience.
- One cannot get stuck with an incorrect fixed price estimate because the work is not according to such a model.
Here are the benefits for the client:
- The ability to quickly build up IT expertise. Focus on the product goal, not the HR routine.
- Deep integration of a specialist into your team.
- Rapid scaling of the team in both directions: strengthen if necessary, stop cooperation at the end of the project – and no one will be fired.
More users choose digital formats for entertainment and everyday tasks. The popularity of mobile apps is increasing at a fast rate. Sensor Tower predicts that user spending on in-app purchases and subscriptions will grow at a rate of 19.5% over the next five years to reach $270 billion.
Long-term factors for further growth of the mobile apps market
Sensor Tower predicts that user spending on in-app purchases and subscriptions will grow at a rate of 19.5% over the next five years to reach $270 billion.
Long-term factors drive further growth of the market:
- They are changing consumer behavior towards mobile-first and prioritizing online channels. Today, users spend more than half of their time on the Internet using mobile gadgets. Each application must be optimized for the maximum number of devices for developers. In Russia, 60% of users make online purchases. Of these, more than half use a smartphone for this.
- We are increasing the number of mobile devices and high-speed Internet penetration in all regions. According to We Are Social and Hootsuite, the increase in smartphone users over the past year was 2.4%. By 2023, more than 70% of the world’s population will have a mobile connection. Cisco analysts suggest that in two years, almost the same number will have access to the Internet – in 2019, only one in two had this opportunity. The connection speed will increase by about 50% due to the introduction of 5G.
- Consolidation of acquired habits. During the pandemic, many users have discovered new app categories (e-com, health, entertainment, education, work, etc.). For example, in Europe alone, downloads of various planners, trackers, and other business applications increased by 132%, while spending on mobile health and fitness apps jumped by a record 70%.
Top consumption trends in apps
More people will pay for subscriptions.
Today, mobile app development companies’ revenue from paid features ranks second in terms of earnings after advertising and accounts for 30% of the total volume. On a global scale, the yield of the subscription model for 2020 increased by 56%.
Going forward, the subscription model is likely to be adopted by most applications. So, most PicsArt features are free for users to view ads. Subscription models aim to offer more and more user benefits: access to all platforms, loyalty programs, subscriber-only content, etc.
Non-gaming apps will earn more for the first time.
According to the State of Mobile 2020 report, games account for 70% of app user spending. However, Sensor Tower analysts suggest that as early as 2024, the revenue of non-gaming products in the App Store will overtake the competing sphere – $86 billion vs. $73 billion, and in 2025 the gap will reach almost $30 billion.
The most profitable category that works according to the Freemium model (basic functionality for free, advanced for money) can be called applications from the Health and Fitness series.
The growing popularity of the subscription model, the consolidation of new habits, and the further development of global trends will provide the basis for the growth of the capitalization of some non-gaming categories over the next five years:
According to the McKinsey study, the practice of social distancing is likely to continue after the epidemic’s end. This is one of the reasons why applications focused on online entertainment will grow, to which the generation of zoomers, in one way or another, gravitates.
First of all, this applies to streaming services like Twitch and TikTok, which overcame two billion downloads during the quarantine. Not only will they retain their younger audience, but they will also continue to engage older generations.
To maintain an image on the web, you need tools to create and process creative photos and videos. The capabilities of modern graphics applications allow not only to apply a quick makeover for online calls and conferences but also open up opportunities for bold creative projects.
In the coming years, graphic applications will develop under the influence of the digital fashion industry and artificial intelligence.
Social networks (7%)
Over the past year, the number of social media users has increased by more than 13%, with each user spending an average of 3.7 hours daily looking at photos and reading friends’ posts. Thus, despite the popularity of other types of applications and the record growth in their profitability, most smartphone users often use social networks.
In the future, there will probably be more than one hybrid project that will dilute the classics in the face of Facebook. Moreover, social networks are gradually turning into promising sales channels. The social commerce market, according to ResearchAndMarkets, will increase over the next seven years, at 30% per year, and will exceed $600 billion by the end of the period.
This group includes applications that help solve vital tasks: from healthy eating to dating and organizing personal leisure. Self-care, a bright global trend of recent years, should become even stronger in the post-COVID world.
Social distancing and the general trend to shift communication online will be the key to the continued growth of dating apps. Last year, the audience of services increased by 7.5% to 320 million people. The primary trend in this category is the ever-increasing requirements for the safety of participants.
Redistribution of spending geography
Digitalization and the development of the Internet are global. Still, Cisco believes that over the next five years, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Africa markets will grow faster than China and North America on both platforms. The backlog of past years will be rapidly compensated.
According to Sensor Tower, by this time, Europe will become the leader in user spending growth, where 11 countries will generate $ 42 billion in revenue, that is, about a sixth of the global market. This should be considered by startups initially focused on foreign markets or planning expansion in their development strategy.
Top 10 mobile apps with the increasing popularity
Notion is a popular application that allows you to collaborate effectively between different teams. Notion allows anyone to create documents, dashboards, websites, and more – all with drag and drop.
To-do lists and corporate knowledge in one program help teams keep track of the overall status of tasks, helping teams stay focused on valuable context.
Notion users can enjoy an extensive collection of community-created templates, resources, and integrations.
Some teams even use it as a task manager, but this seems to us not very convenient with many tasks. At one time, we also built the company’s knowledge base inside it, but ultimately, we decided to transfer it to the task manager.
With TripAction, business trips, corporate cards, and expense reports are combined into a single solution. This allows you to plan and approve trips quickly. Also, in the application, you can manage travel expenses.
TripActions reimagines travel, corporate cards, and spend management. The application provides small companies with technology previously only available in large multinational enterprises.
TripActions allows users to manage corporate cards, travel bookings, and accountable expenses. The app relies on an extensive list of bookings and local travel agents and claims to have some “artificial intelligence” features.
With TripAction, business travel, corporate cards, and expense reporting come together in a single solution, making it easy for travelers, administrators, and senior management to plan and approve trips quickly and manage travel spending through dashboards and compliance rules.
The Postman platform has a complete set of tools for the entire API life cycle, including design, sandbox testing, documentation, and builds, to full sharing of completed and thoroughly tested APIs.
You have probably not heard of Postman if you are not a developer. And if you have listened to it, you know it can be a real salvation.
Developers often interact with APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). An API is how programs allow developers to interact with them through code, such as getting or writing data.
APIs can be complex when they are opaque or poorly documented (and they often are). Postman solves this problem: It provides an API platform for creating and using APIs. This allows developers to access a vast network of APIs and share what they make with developers from anywhere in the world.
The Postman platform includes a complete set of tools for the entire API lifecycle – design, sandbox testing, documentation, and mocking- to share ready-made and thoroughly tested APIs.
Postman also allows developers to create and distribute API libraries and associated metadata that can be published to all levels of your business. These libraries can be fully enriched with search, notifications, security warnings, and reports.
Figma offers a web-based vector graphics editor and prototyping tool that allows anyone to access simple yet powerful design tools.
The application also provides real-time collaboration between remote employees.
Software users place ever-increasing demands on how applications look and feel. As a result, successful companies are increasingly adopting a “design first” approach.
This is where Figma comes to the rescue. It is an online design solution built for collaboration. Figma allows you to quickly create designs and prototype ideas, involving all team members in the development process.
Figma offers a web-based vector graphics editor and prototyping tool that allows anyone to access simple yet powerful design tools. It also provides live collaboration that keeps people in sync, whether working from home or the office.
In short, Figma brings everyone involved in the design process together, allowing people to create better products and release them faster.
Remote work seems to have become the norm. This approach is excellent for working on the beach but can make it difficult to generate ideas together. Unless you have Miro…
Miro is a full-featured whiteboard and mind-mapping tool that can be used with anyone, anywhere, for real-time collaboration. If you have used this app, you know its user-friendly interface’s impressive. Miro also offers easy Slack login and hundreds of templates.
This allows for brainstorming and practical discussion of ideas even at a distance and dramatically simplifies the work of those who are used to finding brilliant solutions through co-creation.
Curiosity is a productivity app that provides a single space to search for all your downloaded files and apps. This allows you to save time and get more done. Unlike other search apps, Curiosity keeps your data secure and never sends it to the cloud.
Curiosity connects to the tools you already use, including local folders and cloud apps like Google Drive or Slack. You can use the command bar with shortcuts for quick access and the file browser for deeper searches with advanced filters.
Curiosity is available for free for Windows and Mac. You can also get a free 2-week trial of Curiosity Pro (unlimited sources/file content search).
Keeper is a suite focused on IT and data security. It is based on a password manager where you can securely store logins, passwords, and financial data. It also includes a password generator, MFA (multi-factor authentication), and cross-device sync.
However, Keeper is more than just a password manager: the company offers a range of corporate security products and services, such as gateways, ransomware protection, and more.
This is another novelty that you have probably seen. Airtable is like a database with a web interface. To put it even more simply, it is similar to the web version of MS Excel with flexible links and interfaces.
Functionality includes importing information, creating relationships in data, and viewing information from different perspectives. This allows you to discover and act on previously unseen connections and resources.
In addition, you can develop and implement automation in Airtable that fires notifications, eliminate redundancy, combine tools, run code, and so on.
Airtable also allows you to design interfaces that present information and allow people to perform predefined actions.
Fivetran makes it easy for organizations to build data pipelines. For data retrieval, the application provides secure connections to data resources using a large selection of fully managed and well-documented connectors. For large companies, this is very important.
Fivetran also provides tools for end-to-end management of data pipelines and workflows.
Fivetran provides secure connections to data resources using a large selection of fully managed and well-documented connectors for data retrieval. Fivetran also provides tools for end-to-end management of data pipelines and workflows.
Monday is an online project management and task coordination tool. It offers a flexible yet powerful way to bring teams, resources, processes, and agencies together to achieve organizational goals and provides much flexibility regarding structure and visualization. This makes it easy to manage activities and projects for different teams, such as creative and design teams, software developers, marketing, CRM, project management, sales, and so on.
Some apps are famous; while others are less visible but very successful, there is a growing trend in the popularity of online collaboration applications. They occupy almost half of the top. Obviously, this trend has accelerated since the pandemic, but for many people, the web space has become as much a part of life as offline. Therefore, we think that even in the absence of viruses, work would also shift online.
We all leave a deep digital footprint behind us every time we transact online. The more platforms we use, the more digital footprints we leave.
Blockchain-based identity systems can solve the digital identity problem in a new way. Among the many possible use cases for blockchain technology, digital identity management, and document verification is one of the most promising areas.
It can be foreseen that each person will have a particular set of digital attributes over time – people inevitably build ever larger communities, no matter how it affects their self-esteem.
How can blockchain be used in digital identity?
When a file is recorded on a blockchain, the authenticity of the information is ensured by the many nodes that keep the network running. In other words, the requirements from the users confirm the validity of all recorded data.
In such a scenario, nodes could act as an authority or government agency responsible for reviewing and validating digital records, in which each node would have a say, thus authenticating the data so that the files could ultimately be used in precisely the same way as and an official document, but with a higher level of security.
Significance of cryptography in this process
Understanding that a blockchain-based identity system does not need to be directly exchanged is essential. Instead, digital data can be transferred and authenticated using cryptographic methods such as hashing functions, digital signatures, and zero-knowledge proofs.
With the help of hashing algorithms, any document can be converted into a hash, which is a long string of letters and numbers. In this case, this hash will contain all the information used to create it, acting as a digital fingerprint. In addition, government agencies or other trusted organizations may provide a digital signature service to validate a document.
For example, a citizen can submit his document to an authorized body to create its unique hash (digital fingerprint). Based on the information provided, this institution makes a unique digital signature that confirms the validity of the soup, which acts as an official document of an individual.
In addition, zero-knowledge proofs allow the use and authentication of credentials or identity without revealing information about documents. This means that its authenticity can be easily verified even if the data is encrypted. In simple terms, you can use this type of evidence to prove that you are of legal age to drive a vehicle or go to a club without disclosing your exact date of birth.
Self-sovereign identity is a model where users have complete control over their personal information that can be stored on their accounts (an analogy with cryptocurrency wallets). In this context, decisions can be made about when and how the user’s personal information will be shared. For example, you can store credit card details in your wallet and then use your private key to sign a transaction and send that information to the recipient. This would make it possible to prove that the actual owner of this card carried out the transaction.
While blockchain technology is primarily used to store and trade cryptocurrencies, it can also be used to exchange and verify personal documents and signatures. For example, an individual may have a government agency sign their Accredited Investor status and then submit proof of that fact to a brokerage firm via a zero-knowledge proof verification protocol. As a result, the broker can be sure that the investor has been appropriately accredited even if he does not have detailed information about his condition or income.
Pros of blockchain identity
Incorporating blockchain technology and cryptography into a digital identity can provide at least two significant benefits. First, users can better control the distribution of their personal information, significantly reducing the risks associated with storing data on centralized servers. In addition, blockchain networks can provide a higher level of privacy by using cryptographic systems. As mentioned earlier, zero-knowledge protocols allow users to validate their documents without giving the rest of the information.
The second benefit is that blockchain-based digital identity systems can be more secure than traditional ones. For example, it is relatively easy to verify the origin of an outgoing claim about a user through digital signatures. In addition, blockchain systems make it difficult to falsify information and effectively protect all data types from fraud.
Cons of blockchain identity
As with many possible use cases, there are some barriers to using this technology in digital identity. Perhaps the most challenging issue is that these systems will still be vulnerable to a type of fraudulent activity known as synthetic identity theft.
Synthetic identification combines valid information from different sources to create an entirely new identity. Since every piece of information used to create this kind of identity is good, some systems may recognize fake IDs as genuine. This attack is popular and widely used by criminals in credit card fraud.
However, this problem can still be solved using digital signatures so that the matched combination of documents is not accepted as a verified record in the blockchain network. For example, a government agency may provide digital signatures for each paper and a standard digital signature for all data registered to one person.
Another point to note is the 51% attack probability, which is more likely for small blockchain networks. This kind of attack can reorganize the blockchain by significantly changing the order of the records. This problem mainly affects public blockchains, where anyone can join the process of checking and validating blocks. In turn, private blockchain networks can reduce the likelihood of this attack since only trusted persons will act as validators, representing a more centralized and less democratic model.
Blockchain identity verification
Blockchain identity verification based on distributed ledger technology holds great promise for the Identity and Access Management (IAM) market, creating secure storage and management of digital ID cards for companies and consumers. Also, to prevent massive database breaches, the technology can allow individuals to retain control over their digital identities (called self-sovereign identities).
Blockchain ID systems are ostensibly about storing digital identities on the blockchain. But it’s not just that – as you’ll find out in this guide.
Several blockchain identification solutions have emerged in recent years, including at the government level. In 2018, for example, the World Food Program (WFP) used an Ethereum-based identification system to deliver humanitarian aid.
Meanwhile, the ID2020 initiative is a global partnership dedicated to ushering in the next era of personal data governance. This alliance is between BLOK Solutions and Accenture, two startups specializing in blockchain digital identity services.
According to a report by Allied Market Research, the blockchain identity management solutions market was valued at just $107 million in 2018 and will grow to $11.46 billion in 2026.
Government, healthcare, and retail appear poised to be the main drivers of this staggering growth in the coming years.
Independent Identity (SSI)
A self-contained identity (SSI) describes a digital identity controlled and owned by the user.
SSI reserves the individual’s right to reveal different aspects of their identity in various domains and contextual settings. In other words, they are responsible for how their information is used, not the companies whose forms they fill out online. Identity sovereignty is stored in the user’s phone or distributed in a blockchain network.
As a kind of digital passport, the SSI system uses decentralized identifiers to enable verifiable, decentralized, digitized identities. Decentralized identities have the function of verifiable credentials such as usernames and passwords.
Sovrin is an open-access network that enables the online management of digital identity documents. Designed to “build on the existing system of separate identities, endless passwords, and insecure databases,” this non-profit network provides data indelibility and secure identity verification with lifetime validity.
The Sovrin network consists of distributed server nodes managed and administered by a set of trusted individuals called Stewards. Each node contains a copy of the registry, which verifies the validity of documents issued within the scope of the network. By using Sovrin, organizations can avoid the regulatory burdens associated with storing vast amounts of data that, as mentioned, can be easily misappropriated.
GlobaliD is another platform committed to issuing self-sovereign identities. GlobaliD identities are made up of a name and critical information that defines the user; this may include government identifiers such as name, date of birth, and address and more advanced identifiers such as biometrics, location information, and social media profiles.
Global iD’s lawsuit helps companies convince their users that they take security seriously since neither GlobaliD nor any of the other parties in the project can see users’ data without their express permission.
Is it helpful to use digital identity?
Safety can lie in the basis of digital identity use, but even more interesting is that it is convenient to use. After all, people still leave their data on many online platforms because they want to get a service or product conveniently and quickly.
If crypto and blockchain are ever going to be mainstream, they need to be fast, and the user experience needs to be flawless. Part of the impeccable user experience is the product’s ease of use. The creation of crypto identification systems allows users to leave their (some) personal data on a particular device, allowing them to interact with various apps in their crypto ecosystems easily. Users can choose what information they want to share, depending on what apps they want to use, and they should also be able to delete their data at any time.
A new generation of more reliable wallets can be another excellent option for use. Stories about lost keys and funds are widespread. I have the opportunity to place your data, for example, fingerprints, on the blockchain; only you, with your fingerprints, can access a specific wallet. No more keys will be needed, which means no more lost keys.
But that’s not all; as soon as the data is on the blockchain, it becomes safe and accessible. There will be no data loss due to data center malfunctions. There will be no unavailability of data because the central organization decided that users can control their personal (digital) data more effectively.
Risks of using digital identity
But all these advantages have their price. The immutability of most blockchains is a double-edged sword. Placing information on the blockchain can also mean that it cannot be removed, exposing information that should not be disclosed.
The presence of the identity document can also pose a threat to confidentiality and security. A form of identification is needed that is reliable and secure and allows the submitter to choose when to share or not to share personal information.
Encrypting data before placing it on the blockchain is also associated with various risks. Although encryption may be safe now, that doesn’t mean it won’t be decrypted in the future, allowing other users to access data they shouldn’t have access to.
Considering all the above, blockchain identification has many possibilities and can help those who currently do not have access to identification, which often deprives them of many resources. This can also help the blockchain to enter the mainstream, and although putting personal data on the blockchain might be risky, it might be worth it.
Despite its shortcomings and limitations, blockchain technology has great potential to change the way digital data is verified, stored, and exchanged. While many companies and startups are already exploring this possibility, they still have a long way to go in perfecting this innovation. However, in the coming years, we will likely see many services related to digital identity management, where the blockchain will act as a critical element.
What are Python, PHP, and Django?
Python is a high-level, dynamically typed, interpreted language. Its characteristics are readability and brevity of the code. It was created in the 90s of the last century by Guido van Rossum. The name comes from the title of a comedy series on the BBC called “Monty Python’s Flying Circus.”
PHP is a scripting language often used to create web projects (online stores, corporate websites,s and portals). PHP was created in 1994 by Rasmus Lerdorf and was initially called PHP/FI, or Personal Home Page/Forms Interpreter.
Django appeared in 2005 and has gradually become one of the best frameworks that have helped thousands of developers to do this or that job within a few minutes. Initially, Django was a framework for the Python language, with excellent functionality; Django has simplified several complexities in developing web applications, giving this work a more simplified approach.
General comparison between Python and PHP
Both PHP and Python are dynamically typed and object-oriented languages. They are compatible with multiple operating systems, so they are similar in some ways. However, these languages are notable for their ease of use.
Unlike Python, a general-purpose language, PHP was initially developed as a tool for creating dynamic websites and web applications. PHP development can be too complex due to its rigid syntax.
On the contrary, Python is relatively easy to understand due to its high readability. In addition, written code in Python can be easily interpreted and read, facilitating the debugging process. Because of this, it may be easier for a company to hire Python web application developers than an experienced team of PHP web application developers.
A few years ago, Python was faster than PHP, but that has changed with the release of PHP 7. The core PHP development team has done a lot to speed up the language, which is why PHP is now faster than Python and many other languages. High speed can significantly improve performance if developers must process vast amounts of data romance.
However, for creating simple and small applications, both languages are suitable. Factors such as hardware resources, code logic, memory size, data path width, and hard drive access times can also affect software performance regardless of programming language. In addition, lack of storage space and the failure of RAM or hard drives can slow down the software or lead to crashes and errors.
User information and data security are topical issues in any IT-related debate. The WhiteSource report ranks Python as one of the safest programming languages. Python has several security features that can be used to build complex applications with precise goals and functions. For example, its Django framework has built-in security features that allow developers to deal with threats effectively.
Unlike Python, many PHP applications can have security issues due to old coding practices and destructive code. Many of these issues have been resolved with the help of the PHP community. However, experienced web application developers can use both languages to create secure applications if they follow the latest security practices.
Both Python and PHP have excellent community support. PHP has been on the market since 1995, forming a vast community of developers ready to provide support.
Python was released even earlier, in 1991. Like its competitor, Python has a large community of developers who continuously develop web applications; hence, the community support is outstanding.
So given the popularity of the languages, both PHP and Python developers can be sure they can get help or valuable advice.
For the success of the companies, they need to ensure that their applications can quickly adapt to changing market and customer requirements. Both PHP and Python are great for developing web applications because they offer many libraries and frameworks. For example, PHP provides several robust web frameworks used by many big brands. Frameworks like Symfony and Laravel are prevalent among PHP developers.
Python also provides robust web application development frameworks like Flask and Django. Both frameworks are swift, secure,e and scalable.
However, Python-based solutions offer even greater scalability through the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence. For example, developers can build scalable applications with Django because the framework allows engineers to use separate and independent components. Moreover, the framework is excellent for deploying machine learning models.
Similarities between Python and PHP
Before you understand the most significant differences between these two giants, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with their main similarities.
Let’s start with the fact that PHP and Python are open-source languages. This means that you will not need to purchase a license. In addition, developers can independently change and expand existing functionality.
Both languages are “friendly” to newbies, which means that there are many courses on the market and a large community of programmers ready to answer many questions. Moreover, both languages are high-level languages, the syntax close to the human language. They are readable and more tolerant of possible errors.
Also, many beginners, and even experienced programmers, use the documentation. Depending on the state of the documentation and its maintenance, as well as constant updating, a conclusion is made about the brand of a particular programming language. In the case of PHP and Python, there are no problems here; the documentation is at a high level.
Critical Differences Between Python and PHP
Despite the many factors linking these two programming languages, there are quite a few differences, which we’ll cover below.
Appearance and syntax legibility
Python’s syntax is more readable, elegant, and a pleasure to build web products from, although the code is a little too pedantic in places).
Frameworks for web developmentFindinga more intuitive, straightforward, and feature-rich framework is more complex than Django. Of course, there are other Python frameworks (Flask, FastAPI, etc.), but Django is the most popular and battle-tested.
PHP has frameworks like Laravel, Symfony, and even CodeIgniter.
Django has a lot of built-in tools, and its speed is slightly ahead of PHP frameworks. It isn’t easy to name a winner here because the framework is chosen depending on the project’s needs.
In this matter, Python and PHP go hand in hand. PHP has a powerful debugger called XDebug, and Python has a debugger called PDB (Python Debugger). It will be hard to find a winning programming language here.
PHP was created for building websites and web portals. As for developing solutions in Machine Learning, image processing, API, etc. Python is indispensable here.
The vast majority of web design tools are free. However, there are situations when you have to pay for this or that solution. As for languages, which again are free and open source, it will be hard to find a winner in this category. Instead, the victory will depend on the specifics of your industry and the product’s functionality.
Over 80 percent of today’s websites have been built using PHP. This statistic has changed a bit over the years because the new Python has come along with an arsenal of its frameworks. Of course, this proportion will not reverse in a short time, but anything is possible over time. Python will begin to play an increasingly important role due to the greater security and flexibility of its solutions.
General comparison between Django vs. PHP
Django is a framework, and PHP is a web development language. Django helps build and maintain web applications. PHP allows you to create dynamic content to help you interact with databases.
“Many of the most heavily used sites are based on Django, such as Instagram and Pinterest. Even Facebook uses Django for many of its utilities. Django was born in a publishing environment, so it’s no surprise that this framework is used by sites like The Washington Post and Smithsonian Magazine.” — Amit Ashwini, VP Marketing @ Zibtek.
- Django reduces development time by adding extra features. The developer can create a project in no time.
- Django is a framework that can quickly scale and keep up with growing needs.
- It protects the Django website from common attacks such as cross-site request forgery, SQL injection, clickjacking, etc.
- Django supports rapid changes during development.
- Django is a machine learning-friendly framework because it provides computational and statistical capabilities.
- It comes with pre-written, ready-to-use codes that save development time.
- It is supported by various operating systems, including Linux, UNIX, Solaris, macOS, and Windows.
- PHP is easy to learn and very similar to the C programming language.
- It offers high speed, boosting user engagement and SEO ranking by loading web pages faster.
- Django is not suitable for small projects. It is a battery-included framework that needs more bandwidth and a server.
- It can only process one request at a time.
- It is also considered monolithic. This slows down the evaluation of the structure.
- The developer needs an additional interpreter program to interpret the codes in a language understandable to the computer.
- PHP’s main problem is the lack of uniformity in structural patterns, which increases the cost of hiring new human resources.
- Developers need to install third-party tools to speed up the user experience, which slows down the website.
Where to use Django
- You need to develop a web application or an API backend.
- You need to work quickly, deploy quickly, and make changes to the project.
- By default, the application should be protected from the most common vulnerabilities and attacks: CSRF, SQL injection, XSS, clickjacking, etc.
- At any time in an application, scaling may require either upscaling or downsizing.
- In the future, you plan to integrate the latest technologies, such as machine learning.
- You need to use a robust framework that is actively developed and used by many top companies and leading websites worldwide.
- Both the web application and the API back end are required to be in the same code base, consistent with the “single source of truth” (DRY principle)
- You don’t want to work directly with database queries and need ORM support.
- You are going to use free software.
- If you get stuck, you will have to find a solution, so that you will need good documentation and a responsive developer community.
Where not to use Django
- You are dealing with a colossal application that does not fit in one code base. It might be better to break your application into microservices. A dedicated team will better handle each level. Different technologies will be suitable for each specific use case. In some of these scenarios, Django may also come in handy. Still, it would not be practical to develop such an application entirely in Django (as well as in any other separate framework).
- You need to write a simple application that doesn’t require you to work with a database, perform file operations, or do anything slightly complicated. For such situations, microframeworks are better suited. One of the most popular microframeworks is Flask, written in Python, like Django. Similar microframeworks are also available in other technologies, e.g., Slim to PHP, Apache Spark to Java, Express.js to Node.js, etc.
- You want to write everything from scratch and know what you are doing.
- You or your colleagues are entirely new to Django/Python and don’t have the time or resources to develop the necessary skills.
Django is an excellent and popular framework supporting advanced technologies such as machine learning. On the other hand, PHP is an easy-to-learn programming language that can be used to build web applications.
Python is widely used in artificial intelligence, data science, and the scientific community.
You can make your choice according to the requirements of the project.
In the modern world, technology is developing rapidly. Every minute new sites, applications, and various programs are created. Developers use frameworks to speed up work on projects.
A framework is a software product that simplifies the creation and support of technically complex or loaded projects. It contains only basic program modules, and the programmer implements all specific components based on them. Thus, a high development speed is achieved.
This article will objectively consider which mobile app framework to choose in 2022 and why.
If frameworks did not exist, then the creation of the site would take a long time. And so it makes it possible to connect to various types of database management systems (DBMS) without diving into the specifics of infrastructure organization. It has ready-made solutions for working with the file system and tools for optimizing and speeding up the application.
We will consider the main advantages of frameworks:
The easy diagnostic and debugging process
In addition to shortening uptime, frameworks make software debugging and maintenance easier. Debugging involves going through the code and looking for the point where an error occurred while writing the program. Some have an internal code testing system that allows programmers to run unit tests simultaneously. This process will enable you to spend more time testing than fixing bugs.
Improved code efficiency
Frameworks also encourage code reuse and make your code more efficient. By browsing the platform base, you can avoid creating complex structures with hundreds of lines of code from scratch. This method provides developers with code that can be easily modified to implement additional functionality. You can also write your code to use in future projects.
The system includes core software modules, libraries, user interfaces, flexible processing environments, and other features that make your work easier. Developers don’t have to worry about data anonymity, session management, error handling, authentication, etc. The platform does an excellent job with most of these features. This lets developers start writing code immediately without being distracted by other tasks.
If all the advantages are analyzed, it can be said that the system works best. For example, the developer does not need to think about writing data to a file, so it is enough to call a method to solve this problem.
What characteristics should you pay attention to when choosing a framework?
Even if we wrote the code ourselves, it could not be easy to get back to it after a while, and the program must make this process easy for us. Choose a system with good documentation and learning history, making understanding the code and the platform’s features easier.
Check if the framework you want to use has an active user community. It is essential to do this in the planning phase of the project. If you have a question or problem, the community is always there to help, and you can find ready solutions during the conversation. You may be alone with your problem if there is no such community. In that case, you either find the answer yourself or start from scratch using a new build.
Not all frameworks are created equal, and not all have the exact performance requirements. Not everyone needs ultimate items to do well in missions. However, at least ensure that the configuration you’re interested in doesn’t use deprecated functions. This can lead to product errors that can reflect poorly on your app, developers, and organization in the eyes of the customer.
Top Mobile App Frameworks in 2022
Laravel is a free and open-source general-purpose PHP framework. The framework has good flexibility. With its help, complex and non-standard tasks can be solved. Tremendous functionality makes it possible to create a clear architecture, engage in caching, and develop routing from the RESTful series. Laravel is among the first to work with PSR-4. This is the name of the standard that allows you to deal with the structuring of a web resource, taking into account the requirements of the customer.
But if you develop a site from scratch and try to implement the customer’s ideas, then this business requires experience and considerable knowledge. So in this situation, it is worth resorting to the support of professionals.
Django is a high-level Python web framework allowing you to create secure and maintainable websites quickly. Built by experienced developers, Django takes most of the hassle out of web development so you can focus on writing your web application without reinventing the wheel. It’s free and open, has a growing and active community, excellent documentation, and plenty of free and paid support options.
Flask is a microframework for creating a simple and fast project in the Python programming language with the ability to scale to complex applications. The concept of “micro-framework” means that there are no kit tools and libraries in the kit. The programmer can install them himself, depending on the tasks.
Python web developers use Flask. Microframework is suitable for beginners. It allows you to create a web application using only one Python file quickly. Flask can be used to develop mock projects or small sites that do not need a complex backend, as well as APIs and complex e-commerce projects. The core of the framework can be scaled for different tasks. The developer must choose the libraries and tools he wants to use.
ExpressJS is a web application framework that provides a simple API for building websites, web applications, and backends. With ExpressJS, you don’t have to worry about low-level protocols, processes, etc.
Express provides a minimal interface for building our applications. It provides us with the tools we need to create our application. It is a flexible tool, as many modules are available on npm that can be directly connected to Express.
Express was developed by TJ Holowaychuk and is maintained by the Node.js Foundation and numerous open-source contributors.
Ruby on Rails
Rails is a web application development framework written in Ruby. According to his approach to application development, developers should establish agreements in advance to achieve a common goal. Therefore, Rails offers conventions for handling routing, stateful data, asset management, and more—it provides the core functionality that most web applications need.
Rails follow the model-view-controller (MCV) architectural pattern, which separates application logic located in models from routing and presenting information about the application. This structure (along with other conventions that allow developers to extract code into helpers and partials (or partials)) prevents unnecessary code duplication.
Spring, or Spring Framework, is a framework for the Java programming language. It is needed to make it easier for developers to design and build applications. Spring is not tied to a specific programming paradigm or model so it can be used as a framework for many different kinds of applications.
Spring is often used in large enterprise projects, typical for Java and related tools. But thanks to its versatility, Spring can be used in other cases. Its goal is to give developers more freedom in design and implementation.
Spring is an open, free project; anyone can view its source code. It is written in Java, Kotlin, and Groovy, so in theory, it can be used with any of these languages. In practice, Spring is most often used with Java.
Mobile Angular UI
One of the best frameworks for mobile app development is Mobile Angular UI. As the name suggests, this tool uses Angular and Twitter Bootstrap technologies to build mobile apps. It has many built-in components that allow developers to create any application easily.
Another mobile app development platform is Onsen UI. It includes many UI components that make it easy for developers to create user-friendly mobile applications. In addition, several ready-to-use functions make the development process fast and efficient.
Kendo UI is another solid platform for developing HTML5 apps. It is capable of producing highly intuitive and user-friendly mobile applications as well as websites. Using this development tool, you can create the perfect application as it complies with modern web standards.
FireBase is Google’s solid and reliable platform used as the foundation for mobile app development. This development tool is a powerful package that includes all the essential features developers need. You can create any mobile application for iOS, Android, and Mac OS X platforms.
With Flutter, create apps for any screen. Flutter is an open-source framework from Google for building multiplatform, native, and beautifully designed apps from a single codebase. The framework is fast, flexible, and performant, enabling fast rendering and application development on any mobile or web platform. It also controls the codebase with automated testing to ensure that applications perform well. In addition, Dart is used as the language, which is optimized for building fast applications. Flutter becomes an easy choice for any developer as it is a solid platform, and they can always easily find help for any issue in Google’s global developer community. Quite a few popular companies use Flutter to develop their applications. For example, the application for Groupon, headquartered in Chicago, is built using Flutter. If you’re on the lookout, here’s a list of the best app developers in Chicago.
Mendix is a low-code mobile development platform popular for developing large-scale and high-speed applications. It claims to be a leader in enterprise mobile app development, and it is, thanks to its robust cloud architecture, intelligent automation, and data integration. It serves as a platform for anyone with an idea to create an app, both for businesses and individual developers. Deployment becomes a smooth process from concept to application thanks to Mendix, an integrated platform offering both low-code and no-code tools. It simplifies app development by allowing users to learn AI for intelligent apps and create visual touchpoints that guarantee customer delight.
Microsoft’s Xamarin was introduced in 2011 and is still a popular choice for developing cross-platform apps for iOS, Android, and Windows with a C# codebase. Its compatibility with the .Net framework is one of its most significant advantages. It uses native components to build native applications. Xamarin focuses on improving functionality and speed, so applications feel native. This simplifies app updates, and developers can work on multiple projects because two apps can be updated simultaneously. Using Microsoft Visual Studio, developers have access to all the features and development tools of Xamarin. It has one of the best backend infrastructures, resulting in fewer bugs. Thanks to cloud services, testing can be carried out on any number of devices.
Mobile applications are helpful for a person in every aspect of a business. As needs arise, mobile applications are developed. Growing companies and startups have led to the development of many new mobile applications. The development tools listed above help developers create user-friendly mobile applications for various purposes. Many listed tools offer free versions with all the necessary development features.
Whenever you are productive, you get quality work that helps you finish important tasks or get closer to your goal. On the other hand, being busy means, you don’t allow yourself much free time because you’re constantly trying to work on too many things, whether they’re working or not. How can you become more productive so that your work brings results? In this article, we will considersix6 tips for increasing dev productivity.
Six tips for Increased dev productivity
Looking or feeling like a busy programmer is easy, but it does not achieve results. Spending too much time reading emails or doing repetitive tasks doesn’t do much.
Whenever you are productive, you get quality work that helps you finish important tasks or get closer to your goal. On the other hand, being busy means, you don’t allow yourself much free time because you’re constantly trying to work on too many things, whether they’re working or not.
A busy person can spend days without having anything tangible in the end. How can you become more productive and your work brings results? We will discuss six tips for Increased dev productivity.
Know when to step away from your computer
Coding can get intense, especially when coding for hours on end. You inevitably look at the screen from time to time, not knowing how to solve the problem you are facing.
As already mentioned, productivity does not equal hours spent on the keyboard. Staring at the screen for too long will give you a false sense of productivity because you’re busy but still doing nothing.
Clear your head for a few minutes and renew your focus. Stretch your legs or have something to drink. You will find that you can solve problems faster.
You will notice that the solution to many complex problems suddenly pops up in your head when you do another everyday task.
Spend time learning new tools
You work. In addition to mastering your tools, you should spend time learning new ones.
Developers have unique needs depending on their area of expertise. There is no list required for every developer. The tools you need are different for every programmer. It largely depends on your technology stack; a Java developer uses one more than a Python developer. And even if the technical stack is the same, each developer has their preferences.
You need to figure out which tools are available to you and which ones you like best.
The goal is to always look for those that can reduce the amount of manual and repetitive work as much as possible.
Automate as much as you can
As with most works, some things tend to be very repetitive. Programming is no exception to this rule. Programming is probably one of those areas where you can automate most of your repetitive tasks.
Thus you spend less time on manual and expensive things. Of course, at first, you will have to spend some time creating a script to automate a specific task, but it will pay off in the long run.
This is not only because you could save a few minutes by not having to perform specific tasks manually. It’s also important that you don’t need to be distracted from finishing some boring tasks you’ve been doing endlessly.
You focus on more significant tasks, forgetting about the monotonous ones.
Work on your most important task first.
Your most important task is critical accountability to create the significant results you want. All the tasks on your checklist are non-critical, so don’t treat them like they’re all the same. Determine the highest priority and make it first. That’s all it takes.
Next, you must have the discipline to schedule time to work. Work on this task in the morning. Psychologists say that we are at our best for about two hours in the morning. Finish your most crucial job before answering all the emails and phone calls.
Create a plan before writing code
Creating a plan before you start writing code will help you stay focused. As a result, you know exactly what needs to be built and how you want to approach the problem. It won’t let your thoughts slip away or add some unnecessary features that you think might be useful in the future.
First, you need to make sure you understand all the requirements. To build or fix something, you must understand what you must code. The minor details can significantly impact the solution you want to implement, so you must understand the requirements. Once you’ve done that, you can start making a plan, which you can do by breaking down your problem or feature into smaller pieces.
Think about the challenges you will face and research whatever you need. While you can get away with a lack of planning when working with a small application, lack of planning negatively affects large applications.
Cut yourself off social media.
Last but not least, the tiniest advice to improve your productivity is to give up social media. Social media is a big distraction. And for some reason, we tend to check them every 10 minutes to ensure we’re not missing anything. Only to find out that nothing interesting happened. They can suck up much of your valuable time if you’re not careful. Every time you get distracted by them, it takes time to focus again, and at the same time, nothing is easy. This is possibly the tip that can increase your productivity the most, depending on your social media habits. The best part about it is that it can be applied without much effort.
Thirteen addons/apps for better focus and wellbeing
In today’s digital world, it’s hard to focus on one task. Most people cannot ignore absolutely all external stimuli. But we can choose useful tools and form habits that will help us stay focused.
Feature: Helps you know how many times a user has visited distracting sites.
Escape is a simple app that considers how often a user has opened an email, social media, or other distracting websites. Every day, the service reports the number of breaks, working hours, and sites that absorb the most attention.
This is an excellent tool to understand where time is being spent and how to spend it more rationally.
Platform: Windows, Android
Function: Helps analyze habits and productivity.
This is one of the most famous applications due to its effectiveness. It helps to understand what precisely the working time is spent on. Due to paid features, users have additional options: block distracting sites for a specific time, track offline activity (for example, meetings or phone calls), and register personal achievements.
Users can also set up notifications. They pop up if you spend more time on site than initially planned.
Cost: 6.15 $
Function: Helps to manage time and tasks.
Иногда кажется, что каждый день появляется как минимум одно приложение для повышения продуктивности. Возможно, так и есть, но на Proud все равно стоит обратить внимание.
Его идея проста — взять лучшие функции аналогов и объединить их в одном месте. Например, здесь можно хранить все идеи и списки дел, создавать напоминания о важных моментах, устанавливать триггеры для формирования привычек и ставить личные цели.
Cost: 12.14 $
Feature: A text editor that removes text if the author is distracted.
When you’re trying to write an email, a blog post, or a book, it’s sometimes hard to force yourself to follow through. Thanks to Flowstate, the user will have no other choice: the application causes them to overcome discomfort and move down to the last letter; otherwise, all text will disappear.
The process is quite simple: you need to choose a name, font, and session duration. All letters disappear when the user starts writing text and is interrupted for more than five seconds. The only way to save literary work is not to be distracted until the end of the session.
One Big Thing
Function: helps to focus on the most important goal during the day.
This is a straightforward application. It allows you to choose the “goal of the day” on which you want to focus. You can add two or three secondary goals and switch to them after completing the main one.
It’s like a digital version of regular stickers, and the app’s design is so simple and clean that it makes you want to use it daily. In the paid version, users can choose the background and stickers that appear when the task is completed.
Platform: Mac, Windows, iOS (Jailbreak), Android, Linux
Function: adjusts the temperature of the screen brightness depending on the time of day.
If you look at the screen of a computer or smartphone for a long time, you can go crazy. In addition, blue light leads to insomnia. To avoid being distracted from work due to annoying backlighting, you can install f.lux – the program adjusts the brightness and saturation of the screen depending on the time of day and protects eye health.
Platform: iOS, Android
Function: express meditation application.
Headspace helps fight stress and defocus through meditation. The authors claim that by using the application for 10 minutes a day, one can become a more attentive, creative, and happy person.
The developers have provided a 10-day introductory course to help you adapt and form a new habit. The application allows you to choose sessions for different purposes – to calm down, cope with stress and anger, or find balance.
Function: Helps you keep track of time with artificial intelligence.
With the help of the application, you can find out how specific long tasks take and become more collected and responsible. Time allows you to add tasks quickly, allocate a certain amount of time for them, and track how long they take.
Thanks to artificial intelligence, the application “learns” and, over time, begins to give hints on how to increase personal efficiency.
Platform: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android
Cost: from 2.22 to 6.42 $ per month
Feature: Blocks internet irritants on all user’s devices.
The service allows you to choose the most distracting applications and block them – for a day or a couple of hours. According to the developers, the application saves an average of 2.5 hours of work time per day.
Cost: 5.50 $
Function: Helps focus on the current window by shading other open windows.
You have to open many windows and applications during work: in this case, the attention can be scattered even among the most focused and disciplined people.
HazeOver allows you to separate the wheat from the chaff: the application shades the desktop and all open tabs except for the active one. This helps keep you focused in a sea of open programs, emails, and conversations.
Function: Artificial intelligence generates music to improve concentration, relaxation, and sleep.
Brain.fm creates personalized brain training programs based on psychoacoustics. According to the developers, it is enough to use the application for 15-30 minutes to feel the effect.
Platform: iOS, Android
Cost: 2.42 $ for iOS, shareware for Android
Function: Helps you put your phone away and do more essential things.
The application allows you to grow your digital forest. To plant a tree, you need to set a timer and put your smartphone aside – when the time is up, it will appear on the lawn. If you close the application before the countdown ends, the seedling will die.
With the help of gamification, Forest helps to maintain focus and not be distracted by the smartphone, even when it is bursting with notifications. This is important at work and at home – especially when you want to read a book.
Go Fucking Work
Function: motivating website blocker.
The extension for Google Chrome not only effectively blocks unwanted sites but also encourages the user to spend less time on unnecessary things. To do this, you must create a blacklist and specify breaks.
Then, if the user visits a prohibited site during working hours, the plugin will remind him to return to the current tasks.
Conclusion or tips for focusing without apps
Let’s discuss some tips on how to stay focused even without apps. One effective habit is logging out after using an addictive platform. The idea is to increase the friction in the process so that you have to put in extra effort to use it. By entering an extra step, you are less likely to come back. You can set up two-factor authentication for the platform. Not only does this make the login process lengthy, but it also provides an extra layer of security for your account.
If you’re on a budget, getting a decent pair of noise-canceling headphones is a great way to stay focused. This blocks outside noise, which in turn, reduces distractions. You can turn on ambient music, cool lo-fi beats, or whatever helps you calm your mind.
Finally, one aspect that most of us often overlook is the right mood. Clean your desk or workspace. It doesn’t have to be the expensive dream table you see in one of those YouTube videos. A minimalist and functional desk with proper cable management goes a long way in ensuring productivity.