Staff turnover is one of the major business concerns, but few companies are willing to take the extra steps required to develop an employee retention program.
Employee Retention Definition
Today, the lack of employees is a key challenge for IT market participants. Considering globalization and the spread of remote work, the struggle for highly qualified specialists is going on at the international level.
Where to find a good developer? Often developers come to companies on the recommendation of employees, partners, or clients. Many employees bring their friends and former colleagues to work, reducing recruitment time and cost.
IT recruiters actively use job sites and, Telegram channels, conferences. The social network LinkedIn and the community of IT specialists “Habr” are considered popular search places. There are many channels for searching for IT specialists. Therefore, it would be more correct to replace the question “where” with “how.”
The problem of attracting companies is solved in different ways. They work with the HR brand, increase salaries, offer options, retrain employees, and look for alternative opportunities. For example, they give employees more freedom of action or the chance to sell their product.
Both novice and experienced developers pay attention to the company’s opportunities for development and growth. The high professional level of the manager and team members is appreciated. Equally important is the team’s psychological atmosphere and concern for employees’ well-being.
Employee retention is the ability of an organization to prevent employee layoffs. While this can be put in statistical form, many see it as a company’s effort to retain its employees. It may seem surprising at first, but work on retention begins at the hiring stage. The more effort you put into recruiting candidates with the right skills and culture, the fewer problems you will have with laying off employees in the future.
Why employee retention is essential, especially in the IT sphere
Maintain a high team spirit
If for any reason, employees are not satisfied with their current career or employer, this will become apparent to the rest of the team. What’s more, if many of your employees start to leave the organization at short notice, it could lead to a snowball effect, meaning more team members follow in their footsteps. As a result, team morale will plummet, jeopardizing the stability of your business.
High employee turnover affects the net profit
According to the Work Institute, the cost of employee turnover is equal to a third of a worker’s annual salary. However, in technology, these costs are much higher. In fact, it costs a whopping $87,000 to replace a developer on average. These costs are associated with processes such as recruitment, compensation, lost productivity, and onboarding and training your new employees. In general, creating and executing an employee retention plan is more cost-effective than replacing your team members.
Developers can easily change jobs
According to a Stack Overflow study, 32.4% of developers change jobs more than once a year. If you don’t prove to your employees that you value their work and care about their professional development, you risk losing them to another company. Keep in mind that hiring a developer takes 43 days on average. This time can be significantly longer if you are hiring for a particular niche or rare skill.
A-players care about their development
One of the most important criteria when deciding whether to join a company is the opportunity for professional development. This is especially true when it comes to top programmers who are ambitious and learn quickly.
Your competitors can benefit
Losing employees can be painful because finding replacements is costly and time-consuming, and they can switch sides and join the competition. The knowledge they have acquired while working for you can fall into the wrong hands and bring significant benefits to your business competitors. This is especially risky when your key employees leave – when you hire someone who matches their skills, the workload will have risen, and it will be challenging to catch up.
It can damage your reputation
High employee turnover leads to lower employee morale and can negatively affect your reputation outside the company. It is common practice to search for information about your potential employers on forums/portals/review sites. Most likely, those who leave will write you a negative review. Even if they don’t, many testimonials appearing on your profile in a short period will still indicate high turnover. This, in turn, can harm your recruiting efforts in the future.
What drives employee retention
People choose a particular career for a reason – some like the hype around creating new products, while others like drawing graphs in Excel. Whatever the reason, doing a satisfying job is critical for employee engagement. Your employees need to feel that their work is valued and appreciated.
Providing Growth Opportunities
42% of employees believe professional development is a top priority when choosing an employer. The human brain is programmed to search for and learn new things – this is called the “search system.” Organizational behavior professor Daniel M. Cable states, “Our search systems create a natural impulse to explore our worlds, learn about our environments, and make sense of our circumstances. Following our search engine’s urges releases dopamine – a neurotransmitter associated with motivation and pleasure – which makes us want to explore more.”
If employers want to keep their talents, they must be able to provide them with opportunities for continuous growth.
Trust your employees to make their own decisions and avoid micromanaging; after all, you’ve hired the best people, so let them do their job. It would help if you empowered people to make decisions independently of you. Each team member is an extension of your leadership; if they feel you are giving them strength, they will increase your ability to lead.
If you value talent retention, you must ensure your employees know how to work effectively together. This can mean anything from eliminating silos between teams (such as designers and developers) to learning who to contact with specific questions to help your employees get to know each other. As the Forbes Council of Coaches aptly noted, “socialization must be an ongoing process and is paramount to the ultimate success of the business” and for new hires to feel confident in their new role.
Implement structured workflows
Employees can be frustrated if there are no rules or processes in place for their daily work. To improve employee retention, you must make it easy for your team to do their jobs and find the necessary information and answers to their questions. You should, for example, ensure your technical team has access to the knowledge base and set up a flexible workflow.
Keep your tech stack up to date
To increase tech retention, you must ensure your company’s tech stack keeps up. Namely, the ability to work with new technologies is the second most crucial factor developers look for when working immediately after compensation. Moreover, if your company adapts its technology stack to the latest standards and trends, you will also be able to attract more talented and motivated employees.
Ten Methods, strategies, and tips for retaining IT staff
Before we start discussing retention strategies, it’s worth emphasizing that retention begins with hiring. Therefore, it must be a conscious, planned effort throughout the employee’s life cycle.
Not all job applicants are perfect. Avoid hiring both underqualified and overqualified candidates. Both scenarios will most likely result in them leaving your organization. To ensure your candidates are the right fit for you, you should accurately test their skills with a technical skills assessment.
As mentioned in the previous sections, the best technical talent looks for promising career opportunities. They prioritize learning new skills that will help them advance their careers.
Recognize achievements and offer promotion
The most effective leaders understand that building an engaged workplace is essential for employees to feel understood and appreciated. We all like to hear from time to time that we did a good job. Recognizing success is vital as it keeps employees motivated. It will also help if you notice employees who are about to be promoted instead of waiting for them to come to you.
Be open and transparent
Open communication between employees and management can help create a sense of community and shared purpose. Your employees need to know that they are free to express their opinion, whatever they may be, and that their voices will be heard and considered.
Use technology to measure employee engagement
It’s a good idea to measure employee engagement regularly – for example; you can send out anonymous surveys. A low employee engagement score can trigger a red light. You can prevent employees from being fired if you understand the problem quickly enough.
Conduct annual performance reviews
Another vital employee retention method is a thorough annual performance review. By conducting a yearly inspection, you will be able to learn about your employees’ satisfaction levels, find out if there are any problems or problems they are struggling with, and discuss the long and short-term perspectives of your employees and organizations. goals. For best results, consider reinforcing annual assessments with more frequent feedback sessions.,
Maintain a good work-life balance
Giving an employee too much work often leads to frustration and burnout. This can lead to a severe loss of productivity and the dismissal of an employee from your organization. Respecting your employees’ leisure time and giving them a flexible vacation policy will positively impact your employee retention. You can also offer your developers the opportunity to work from home or choose their working hours. Both of these factors are extremely important for technical professionals.
Offer fair compensation
According to a 2020 Stack Overflow study, 70% of tech professionals say that rewards are the most important factor they look at when choosing a new job. Therefore, you must offer your current employees competitive wages, so they do not quit. This does not guarantee they will stay, but at least they will have one less reason.
Communication with employees
As humans, we value our connections with others in our personal and professional lives since it is more difficult to leave a company if employees are connected and their managers are; your retention methodology should also be aimed at integrating the team.
Conducting exit interviews
Last but not least, while you won’t be able to prevent all of your employees from being fired, once they’ve filed for resignation, you should be sure to collect feedback for your company. Schedule an exit interview and try to understand their motivation. For example, are they leaving because they’re moving, looking to gain experience in a new industry, or maybe there’s a problem in your organization? Knowing why team members go will help you resolve any issues and strengthen your retention strategy over time.
In recent years, the competition for IT talent has become extremely intense, with companies worldwide constantly vying for the attention of technical specialists. If your organization doesn’t have the right employee retention strategy, your team members won’t think twice if they’re approached with the right offer and decide to leave you.
Fortunately, there are ways to keep your employees and improve their job satisfaction. Among other things, you should ensure you are connected to your team, respect their work-life balance, conduct annual performance reviews, and use the right tools to measure their level of engagement. Follow the methods above, and you’ll be better equipped to retain your IT people and turn your company into a great workplace.
Introduction – what are blockchain games
Blockchain is steadily gaining popularity in the gaming industry. Its main advantages — decentralization and openness — can significantly change the gaming market. Thanks to the blockchain, users can own and freely exchange in-game assets without intermediaries, including between different games. This also benefits developers – they can earn extra money by selling game tokens and items.
Blockchain games allow participants to be rewarded with tokens that can be used in the game or exchanged for real money. Developers are willing to pay not only for the game’s results but also for the very fact of participation, the performance of specific actions, the development of add-ons, and the installation of software.
This motivation encourages the gamer to play more, get game content, and attract other people, which helps developers promote the game.
Pros blockchain games
- I am earning an opportunity. Perhaps this is the most important thing.
- The ability to withdraw funds from one game to another.
- Higher security and privacy compared to games where the game currency is purchased through a bank or PayPal.
- This is an exciting opportunity to work with cryptocurrency and help the industry grow.
Cons blockchain games
- The industry is just developing, so many crypto games are pretty boring. They cannot be compared with regular online games. Perhaps this is temporary.
- Your personal income depends on the success of the project. The higher the demand for game currency, the better for you.
- Also, your income depends on how late you joined the game.
Benefits for gamers
First of all, blockchain games are exciting as they can empower players and improve their experience. Below are some leading benefits players can get from playing on the blockchain.
Any or all items and elements in the game can be placed on the blockchain. Whether it is the scarce resources in the game, rare items or coveted items, or the characters and avatars themselves, any entity in the game environment can exist as a crypto asset. Typically, this manifests itself in the form of token tokens (in the form of in-game currencies) or non-penetrable tokens (in the form of items and avatars) on the existing blockchain network. The main component of a blockchain is the value of the sovereign property for its users. When game elements are placed on the blockchain, they can interact directly with the player. When avatars or accounts are linked to players’ wallets, their loot and accumulated currency can be sent to their wallets as they reach them in the game. In such a system, the players genuinely reap what they sow. Their rare swords, gold, armor, and everything else are theirs forever. The developer has no right to take everything the player has earned; even if the game closes, the items still belong to the player. They can send it to other wallets and sell it for real profit. Owning their subjects gives them a tangible result of their efforts and successes.
Pretty decent gameplay
When players cheat on their competitors or games don’t work out the way they expected, the experience is completely ruined for everyone. Blockchain Gaming delivers the quality of a “fairly provable gaming experience.” The game logic and gameplay elements are shared when games are placed on the blockchain. The consensus mechanism to protect the network works simultaneously to protect the game. This means two things for gamers. First, hackers, scammers, or anyone else who tries to disrupt what is possible for players is inherently unable to do so. If their moves contradict the stated game logic, their activity is rejected. Two: the games are transparent. If, for example, there is a chest in the game that says there is a 10% chance of finding a rare item, players can be confident that there is a 10% chance of finding a rare item. They can look at the game logic posted on the thread if they are not convinced.
Paid winnings haunt millions of players around the world. It’s not fun to play a game where unrivaled success comes with the deepest pockets, no matter who has the highest skill level. Blockchain Gaming turns the payout of winnings on its head with the “play on win” system. As mentioned above, blockchain gamers retain actual ownership of their items and virtual assets. This includes the ability to sell them on open markets to other players. Blockchain games embody the quality of rewarding players with crypto assets that carry real value. In a freemium payout model, top players or top-ranked players may need to spend thousands of dollars to play. In the play-to-earn model, the top or highest-ranked players can profit thousands of dollars.
What does a gamer do when they stop playing their favorite game? Either they grew out of it, or the game died out – the community left, or the developers decided to switch off. Unfortunately, there is little they can do other than find the next game and start over. Games exist in suspended, independent universes; there is no continuity between different games at the current scale of the industry. In the blockchain, this component is also radically broken. Once games and game resources exist on a blockchain, they can communicate with any other environment on the identical blockchain. If the developer made a continuation of the game, items from the first could be transferred to the second. Avatars can jump across multiple games. Quests or events can jump through games.
Most importantly, players will never have to start from scratch again. Ideally, they have one generic avatar that follows them as they jump into different games. Their virtual currencies and items can carry functionality in games.
While it is essential to improve the gaming experience, it is also necessary to understand the developers’ benefits of incorporating blockchain into their game development. After all, if it’s just a headache, the developers won’t bother. When applied intuitively, developers have several advantages when creating games with the blockchain.
For every big indie hit, there are dozens, hundreds, or thousands of alternative games that never get out of the game. Perhaps the biggest hurdle for an independent developer or studio is their ability to stand out and capture the attention of gamers to attract an audience and build a community around their game. The experiments of many traditional game studios in blockchain game projects confirm the assumption that there will be a breakthrough game in the blockchain, and now there is a race for those who do not. The first significant blockchain games that can catch the attention of a broad gaming audience will be massive, and innovative developers will be well rewarded.
The associated costs can be severe for an industry with such low returns as game development. Even when games do take on an active player base, the burden of publishing, server maintenance, player moderation, etc., can be out of reach for games that “don’t monetize” their players when building games on the blockchain, all of these costs can be passed on to third-party miners or validators responsible for spreading the network. Publishing and distributing online games could potentially be a zero-cost endeavor.
New genre developments
In the same vein as before, developers and studios, especially in the indie world, are always looking for ways to differentiate themselves. There are unique properties associated with blockchain games, and these properties can be used to shape wholly new and previously unknown genres of gameplay. There are already examples of “play for money” games where the gameplay is focused on the concept of players earning real-world profits. Several existing projects also have the potential to recreate the OASIS universe from Ready Player One, a New York Times bestseller, and subsequent Hollywood movies.
So many recent gaming trends have revolved around sucking value from players in “freemium” and “pay-to-win” models that emphasize addiction and spending more than the actual fun. Understandably, many developers across the board oppose this profit model and the parasitic effects it has on the industry as a whole. With blockchain, developers get more creative opportunities to generate profits. Blockchain games allow developers to create fake crypto assets with real, transferable, intrinsic value. Not only does this give players more opportunities to make money, but it also gives developers less intrusive mechanisms for making money. Setting up games to distribute profits between the developer and the player is a much better alternative to draining the player’s bank account.
Improved Player Base
The current and future players that make up blockchain games are an exciting part of the population. These players show an increased interest in their gameplay and an increased focus on finding profit through their game. Blockchain Gaming connects developers with “super gamer” communities, with much more resources and investment in their games. It is possible to establish a more active, fruitful, and profitable relationship between the two parties than is possible in traditional gaming counterparts.
Overview of the most popular blockchain games
The first games on the blockchain were launched back in 2017, but right now, this sector of the crypto industry is experiencing a wave of hype. The rise in popularity of decentralized video games, or GameFi, owes much to decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Many GameFi projects follow the play-to-earn concept, in which gamers earn in-game digital assets that can be used in the game or transferred to third-party platforms to exchange or sell.
By 2020, GameFi projects in the form we know them now began to appear on the crypto market – these are blockchain games where users can not only have fun and collect in-game items but also earn tokens and in-game digital assets that can be sold on the secondary market. Thanks to this concept, the GameFi sphere has received a multimillion-dollar audience, which is constantly growing.
Let’s take a closer look at the most popular decentralized video games at the moment.
Axie Infinity is the most popular NFT game on the crypto market at the moment. The developer of the project is Sky Mavis, founded in early 2018. It has a team of 40 employees and is headquartered in the Vietnamese city of Ho Chi Minh City. The site says that the trading volume of the game’s internal marketplace over the past 30 days is about 156,459 ETH – about $540 million at the current rate.
Axie Infinity players earn income in the form of SLP tokens and other rewards. Rewards can be used in the game or sold on the in-game marketplace and withdrawn from the game to the open market. The SLP token has a daily trading volume of $164 million and is listed on major crypto exchanges such as Binance, KuCoin, Gate.io, FTX, and OKEx, among others. The game also uses the AXS management token, whose holders can vote on the project’s development, engage in staking, and make payments within the Axie Infinity ecosystem.
Alien Worlds, the largest decentralized metaverse, runs on its own WAX blockchain (a fork of EOS) and on Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain. At the same time, Alien Worlds is the fastest-growing blockchain game and one of the market’s most popular decentralized applications (dApps), surpassing the decentralized exchange Uniswap in terms of the number of users. Today it is played by more than 2.7 million people.
There are seven planets in Alien Worlds, and users are engaged in earning a TLM token. They earn TLM by mining, fighting other players, completing quests, or renting their land. Game items are NFT tokens that can be used as avatars or mining tools.
Decentraland is a decentralized virtual world based on the Ethereum blockchain where you can buy, build and sell digital real estate, art, and other NFTs. Just like the previous Alien Worlds game described, Decentraland is more of a new generation social network than a video game in the usual sense of the word.
Trading within the project takes place using the MANA token. To date, all 90,000 plots of land into which the Decentraland metaverse is divided have been sold. Now users implement them within the project and on third-party NFT marketplaces.
You don’t have to pay to start playing. It is enough to open the Decentraland website in a browser, create your own avatar, accept all the registration conditions, and you are ready to start. At the same time, to start participating in events, you need to connect a crypto wallet that supports Ethereum blockchain assets.
CryptoBlades is a browser-based RPG powered by the Binance Smart Chain blockchain and created by Riveted Games, which has been operating on the crypto market since 2014.
CryptoBlades users must participate in battles and defeat enemies with powerful weapons. They receive a Skill token for defeating rivals and participating in raids. Players can also recruit additional characters to earn more tokens. The game has an open market where you can not only sell your Skills, but also exchange your in-game characters.
CryptoBlades is one of the most popular decentralized games. According to DappRadar, it has 472,000 monthly users.
Splinterlands is a decentralized card game powered by the Hive blockchain. Its users collect cards with different abilities and characteristics. All cards in Splinterlands are NFTs that can be traded.
The game uses three tokens – Credits, DEC and SPS. Credits are in-game currency that players can use to purchase card packs. DEC is an internal token used to buy cards and is awarded as a reward for winning. And SPS is a governance token. To start playing, it is enough to buy a book of spells for $10, after which various game features will be unlocked, and the first DEC coins will be issued.
At the moment, Splinterlands is the second most popular blockchain game behind Alien Worlds. During the day, the number of users of the application reached 200,000. The project has cross-compatibility with other blockchains such as Tron, Ethereum, and WAX.
Even though blockchain games are attracting millions of users, looking at the development path of the GameFi segment, it seems that it is still in its infancy. So far, the connection of decentralized games with cryptocurrencies may be repulsive to the general public because many do not understand the technologies on which this sector is based. The user audience plays a significant role in the distribution of the game and its popularity.
History of Go as a programming language
Go (or Golang, short for Google Language) was developed in 2007 and released in 2009 as an open-source programming language. It was designed to overcome the complexity of modern server-side languages such as C, C++, and Java. The developers who created it felt that server-side languages hadn’t evolved enough since its inception.
It is also worth mentioning that Go was created by Google developers (Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson), who are now supported. With one of the largest companies in the world behind you, language is not going anywhere anytime soon. The widespread introduction of multiprocessing gave them the idea of creating a modern backend language that can effectively use multiprocessing and solve complex cloud computing problems. The language is also used by major companies such as Dropbox, Soundcloud, Docker, and the BBC.
Then Google was actively developing, including the increase in the amount of code used to manage the infrastructure. As a result, the work of the programs constantly became slower, and it became more and more difficult to maintain their code. Therefore, cloud engineers at Google concluded that it is easier to develop a new programming language and port all legacy to it than to optimize all the code constantly. Plus, this would make it possible to have a language with the performance of C, but at the same time, it is easy to write code.
One of the creators of Go, developer Rob Pike, said that the new programming language should be similar to C, C ++, or Java – so that developers do not have to relearn much. But at the same time, it must be simpler, faster, and more efficient – because Google employees are primarily engineers, not scientists who can spend hundreds of hours studying technology.
What is Go used for
Go was originally designed for networking and infrastructure applications to replace popuinitiallyrformance server-side languages such as Java and C++. Today, Go is used as a backend language for a huge number of different areas of development:
- Cloud and server applications, web services
- A’vasts and process automation
- Command Line Applications
- Artificial intelligence and big data
- Programming of microcontrollers and robotics
However, Go is best revealed as a programming language for working with infrastructure. The most popular tools in this area are explicitly written in Go – Kubernetes, Docker, and Prometheus.
Advantages of Go
Simplicity of language
Go is easy to learn and understand the basic concepts. There is a famous tale that Go’s entire specification and documentation can be read without problems in half a day. Developers who choose Go as their second language confirm that it is easier to learn than other technologies.
Syntax-wise, Go is in the C-like group, like many other programming languages, so it’s easy to switch to and learn. That is, the developer wrote in PHP all his life, and then he just took it and switched to Go. And he began to write code thousands of times more productive than the previous one.
High Performance Applications
Go is very productive: it’s easy to write high-performance applications on it. It was designed to automate processes on a large scale, so it can be used to create systems with high performance and load.
In addition, Go works great with infrastructure and cloud platforms. It is used as the primary language by Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
Community and salaries
Go has a very vibrant and active developer community as it is an open-source project. They independently contribute to it, create new modules and libraries, and help beginners master the language. Despite its open source history, Go is actively maintained by Google, so the language is rapidly evolving and changing.
About salaries: Go-developers have the second salary in the IT market in the USA, which exceeds $140,000 per year. However, it is worth noting that such a skew in the wages of Go-developers in the US market may be because most of them work at Google, where programmers traditionally receive a large salary.
According to a 2021 Stack Overflow survey, Go developers earn an average of $75,000 per year globally, making it the eighth most profitable language in existence. That’s more than Python developers ($59K/year), JS developers ($54K/year), Java developers ($51K/year), and PHP developers ($38K/year). Probably, such a salary is related to the experience of Go-developers. It is rarely entered by juniors and is practically not taught as a first programming language.
Great for working with microservices
Go is a compiled language, but the process takes less than a second. Even large projects are assembled in a matter of seconds – for compiled languages. This is an excellent speed.
The entire project and the entire codebase are collected into one binary file
This means you can write one code, which can then be easily compiled for any platform and processor architecture – under Windows or Linux. This is often used in DevOps when writing and collecting scripts for each hardware. And this is done in just one line.
Go was initially designed for heavy workloads – in this case, it means the number of parallel tasks being performed. For the program to work in parallel, you must write asynchronous code that will serve several actions simultaneously. Go implements the concept of Green Threads for this in the form of goroutines. And it happened that writing asynchronous code in Go is not difficult, while it works efficiently and maximizes the use of all hardware resources, including the processor core.
Parallelism is essentially breaking up an extensive application into smaller programs that run at the same time. This means that Go can run a thousand mini-programs within a monolithic program while maintaining an impressive speed and handling many requests at any given time.
Difference between Go, HTML, CSS, and JS
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascade StyleSheets) are the building blocks of websites. They are the basis of web development, and not a single site can do without them. But they are not quite programming languages.
They are needed to create the content of the web page – content and design; you can’t write a program on them. Nevertheless, web technologies are now being used in other areas, including when creating desktop and even mobile applications, so these “languages” have good prospects.
HTML is a markup language that defines the structure of a web page using tags. Tags indicate to the browser how to display content: “this is a title,” “this is a paragraph,” “this is a picture,” and “this is a link.”
CSS — cascading style sheets that describe the appearance of a page: font, background, color, visibility of elements, and much more. Several styles can be applied to each part of the page, and cascading determines the order of using styles to the component — for example, first increase the font size, then make the text italic, and finally paint it blue.
HTML – web page skeleton, CSS – responsible for appearance.
HTML and CSS are elementary – you can figure out the basics in just a couple of days, even on your own. So if you are afraid of programming and do not believe you will succeed, try to start with them. Everyone can do this; it will help you smoothly enter programming and evaluate your strengths. And then, if desired, you can switch to other languages. HTML and CSS are front-end languages.
Initially, it was used to create interactive web pages, but now it is used for servers, mobile, desktop applications, and much more.
- Suitable for client and server-side
- Huge amount of libraries
- Low entrance threshold
- Weak typing that allows you to concatenate a string with a number
- Confused syntax
In 2009, Google created the Go language to replace C++ and Java in developing the backend of web applications and network services. The developers have kept the speed of the “pluses” and made the syntax more expressive and concise: there are only 25 keywords in the language.
The main feature of Golang is multithreading. On Go, you can cheaply (only for a few kilobytes of memory) and quickly run independent functions – goroutines – and not be afraid of a lack of memory. Docker and Kubernetes were written in Go.
Go has a low risk of errors and automatic memory cleanup and code documentation but cannot manage memory and has no ternary operators.
The giant Google supports the language, which is a great advantage.
What are suitable for Go, HTML, CSS, and JS
There are more and more Golang programmers every year. About 1.1 million developers around the world use Go as their primary language. Another 2.7 use it as a complement to another language. The increased number of vacancies also speaks of the demand for the language. Go is used by web agencies, outsourced developers, and businesses. The language is increasingly used by well-known IT corporations that have decided to rewrite their own code.
Large companies use Go – SAP, IBM, Google, Walmart, Dell, Intel, HP, RedHat, Microsoft, Adobe, BBC, Uber, Dropbox, Netflix, and Twitter.
Go is a simple language, but it allows you to do very complex things. You can quickly write a highly loaded, multi-threaded, cross-platform application. The main scope of the language is network software, utilities, and the backend.
All web pages on the Internet have been created using some form of HTML. This is essential for browsers to learn how to display texts or load various elements. Html is a programming language that can be quickly learned and is very convenient. It is also platform-independent. Html makes it easy to add video, images, and audio content to a web page. The language can also be used to add hypertext content to text sections.
HTML is easy to learn and use; most developers consider HTML to be one of the easiest programming languages to learn. Many developers have learned HTML before any other language, which is now integral to any development curriculum. HTML is easy to learn as it uses simple tags, and there are no case-sensitive issues.
HTML is a free language, and developers don’t need to buy software to start. The language does not require users to work with external plugins and software to access key features. Many companies worldwide use HTML to fulfill their website design requirements. You can create entire websites in HTML format.
The language is supported by the most widely used browsers. Hence, if the website is written in HTML, there are no issues related to browser support. HTML sites can be optimized for the various browsers from which they can be loaded.
CSS is a programming language used to describe how documents should look in terms of layout and style. A document is usually a text file structure using a markup language.
CSS is used to transform a document into a human-readable form. This is especially important for browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Edge, which are designed to display documents visually on screens, printers, and projectors.
CSS selectors are tools that allow users to select and manipulate various elements on a web page. They can be called structural components to match attributes and attribute values. The new selectors can target pseudo-classes to style elements that target a URL. The selectors also include a checked pseudo-class for styling checkbox elements, including various radio buttons and checkboxes.
CSS can be used to make various changes, text effects, and stylings, such as changing text alignment, document breaks, and hyphen styling. The language has properties that help adjust whitespace between characters for more significant visual impact and capitalize letters at the beginning of paragraphs.
CSS saves time because CSS code is written once, and the same code can be used on multiple HTML pages. A style can be defined for each HTML element, and the user can apply it to various web pages depending on the requirements. The CSS code is easy to maintain, and users can easily make global changes to edit the style. After changes are made, all web pages are automatically updated.
A web browser can be called a client, which the user uses. The data is uploaded to the server by the client, and after its visualization, the user gets access to it. The user may use a client or browser to view websites and interact with websites. User input validation, also known as form validation, allows users to initiate customer interaction by filling out a form on a web page. The client must verify the form data to validate the information provided by the user.
All of the programming languages mentioned above languages deserve the attention of developers. You can explore their features, advantages, and disadvantages to choose the best one for your specific programming needs. Selecting the correct language will help you achieve perfect development results and provide a quality user experience.
What are dApps (decentralized apps)
Decentralized applications, or dApps for short, are blockchain-based applications that allow you to carry out financial transactions without intermediaries. Their functionality is similar to ordinary applications and offers similar functions, but they have a key difference – they run in a peer-to-peer network. There are a few more requirements for dApps: transparency and public availability of all transactions, open source code, and using a cryptographic token to ensure network security. However, some applications do not meet all the requirements or even none.
How decentralized applications are created
Decentralized applications (dApps) have come a long way and have become an essential part of the blockchain industry. Created initially to eliminate intermediaries from financial transactions, dApps have found applications in various areas, from cryptocurrencies, identity, gaming, and prediction markets to asset tracking and the implementation of advanced business models.
dApps based on a peer-to-peer (P2P) blockchain network have the main advantages of the technology – data immutability, transparency, security, and reliability. Unlike typical applications, dApps do not depend on a single centralized server but use the redundant power of thousands of computers worldwide to store data, create smart contracts, or work with derivative tokens.
According to Dapp.com, by the end of 2019, about 3,000 decentralized applications were released on different platforms, which more than 150,000 people used daily, making more than 2 million transactions. Thanks to the innovative open source dApp software ecosystem, developers have created secure and sustainable online tools in high demand in global business markets.
The first implementation of a decentralized application was bitcoin, allowing any user to download a piece of network code to connect to the blockchain and mine cryptocurrency. The main feature of dApp is a distributed structure that provides flexibility and stability. As with RAID arrays, if one of the computers (nodes) fails, the others immediately resume the task.
Another advantage of dApps is the interaction with smart contracts, which allows you to automate many business processes and significantly reduce administrative costs. While blockchain provides immutable data storage and transaction verification, intelligent contracts perform predetermined functions.
The scope of decentralized applications is almost limitless. These include digital asset exchange (LBank), gambling (PokerKing), online games (Cryptokitties), auctions (Auctionity), and prediction markets (Betfair). Also, dApps are used by small and large businesses to track product supply chains and carry out international financial transactions without intermediaries such as central banks or clearing houses.
- No downtime in work, even if some of the nodes fail
- High resistance to censorship
- Open source, which helps developers create new and better applications based on the code of existing ones
- The functionality is not inferior to conventional applications, but all actions have a decentralized basis
- Easy integration of cryptocurrencies into protocols
- A beginner needs time to get comfortable using dApps, and you need to select and create a cryptocurrency wallet, then connect using it. There is no regular registration process
- Frequent hacks are a weakness of open source. Hackers have the opportunity to examine the code in detail and look for vulnerabilities
Top 10 Blockchain-based decentralized apps
SmartContract, the developer of ChainLink, initially focused on optimizing smart contracts. Considering that the scope of their application has long gone beyond the cryptocurrency industry, the problem of the technical compatibility of blockchain technology with the data transfer methods used by modern organizations has become especially relevant.
ChainLink is a secure middleware or so-called “oracles” that enable decentralized data exchange between contracting parties. Simply put, ChainLink technology allows you to implement specific smart contracts with access to third-party data sources, including APIs, financial transactions, asset prices, loan or interest information, insurance terms, GPS data, and more. The application is so promising that Google has begun testing it as a proxy for its BigQuery platform data store.
Oracle can be used as a database or other source that feeds traditional business information into a smart contract running on a blockchain ledger. Chainlink is also responsible for selecting oracles that meet the contract’s requirements, relying on the same consensus algorithms used in blockchains to reach an agreement on the validity of transactions.
The work of smart contracts is based on the processing and analysis of several input data. Chainlink can connect to any API to verify money transfers from a bank or other financial market participants, such as Visa or PayPal. The advantage of oracles is that they allow smart contracts to interact directly with any systems outside the blockchain (or DLT) they run on.
Brave has abandoned the user activity tracking mechanism and intrusive targeted advertising, unlike other browsers. The open-source dApp allows key players in the advertising ecosystem, such as publishers, advertisers, and readers, to participate directly in the new business model. Users decide what sensitive data they are willing to disclose. In addition, for viewing ads, readers are rewarded in BAT functional tokens or bitcoins. Brave uses the “Brave Payments” system to encourage publishers, where users can set the number of donations to support the sites they visit.
A list of the best dApps would be incomplete without a gaming app. This time, the choice fell on EOS Dynasty, which boasts around 12,000 unique daily users and claims to be the first blockchain-based player-versus-player (PvP) RPG.
EOS Dynasty is a remake of the famous game EOS Knights with a new storyline. Users can create up to three warriors and fight in battles, increasing their strength and abilities by collecting various items and selecting equipment and animals for movements, such as horses, tigers, turtles, and others.
Players receive limited-edition Three Kingdoms (TKT) tokens based on smart contracts for specific achievements. TKT is awarded for trading items, winning on the battlefield, completing various tasks, and fighting in PvP.
MakerDAO is one of the most popular decentralized applications and an established lending platform in the crypto space. It runs on the Ethereum blockchain and uses the Dai stablecoin, which is pegged to the US dollar. In addition, the company provides the stability of its cryptocurrency with ETH and uses it as collateral for a loan.
Users of the MakerDAO platform can apply for a loan by locking a certain amount of ETH as collateral and, in return, receive Dai and dispose of it at their discretion.
The maximum loan amount is calculated considering the collateral’s value. Users have access to 66% of the ETH market price. MakerDAO takes a percentage for its services – the so-called stability fee, which is charged in MKR tokens.
In the event of a default or non-repayment of the loan after the due date, ETH collateral is sold at a public auction at a 3% discount.
Chainyard, a blockchain consulting company, aims to solve the problems of supplier data management systems, such as slow speed, inefficiency, and inability to adapt to new requirements. In collaboration with IBM, the company has created a new Trust Your Supplier (TYS) blockchain network designed to register suppliers, improve the quality of their verification and manage the data lifecycle. In addition, the service allows you to reduce the time and material costs of these operations significantly.
Most existing management systems use manual labor and outdated technologies and tools. Email, spreadsheets, and text documents are still used to verify identity and track ISO certificates, bank account information, and tax and insurance records.
In TYS, each supplier’s digital passport is created for identification in the blockchain. Through the app, eligible buyers can access verified supplier information and include them in their supply chain.
Regarding fundraising for charity, the first questions are transparency and traceability. Startup AID:Tech has partnered with the Irish Red Cross to develop the TRACEDonate app for distributing international aid via the blockchain.
The platform allows you to directly connect charitable organizations and individuals with beneficiaries, ensuring the security and transparency of cross-border transfers. Users of the application have access to complete information about what their donations are used for and can also track the history of their contributions. The developers hope that thanks to TRACEDonate, philanthropists will be sure that their funds are used for their intended purpose by those who need them.
The blockchain is used to identify the charitable organization and individuals to whom the donation is intended. The registry also stores information about all transactions and amounts. Moreover, donors can indicate where the money should go, whether it be medical care, food, or the purchase of basic necessities.
Like other similar applications, Circulor is designed to track the supply chain. In this case, dApp allows you to control the quality of the sources of raw materials used in the production of electronics and electric vehicles.
The Circulor blockchain platform enables all participants in the chain to receive data on the origin of raw materials, manage payments, and exchange reliable information. In addition, the company offers many additional features that make Circulor promising for other applications.
Cipher, created by Avanza Innovations, is a middleware that powers four blockchain applications for government agencies and regulators worldwide, including a reconciliation and settlement network, loyalty program tokenization, a purchase payment network, and a document exchange and compliance network for banks. And their clients.
The main areas of Cipher blockchain solutions are the transformation of digital government services, financial regulation, and supervision. The company works with Dubai law firms, including Smart Dubai, the Ministry of Finance, the Electricity and Water Authority, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Emirates NBD Bank, and Network International.
The KYC-Chain application is used by businesses to verify the identity of the customer and simplify the onboarding process for Know Your Customer (KYC) compliance. The app allows you to check individuals and corporate and institutional business customers for illegal activity in real-time using a partner database of sanctions and lists of suspicious persons, covering more than 240 countries.
KYC-Chain uses an independent dApp from partner company SelfKey, which allows users to store their own certified identities on the blockchain and control access using public keys.
Also, with the help of KYC-Chain, users can pay for ten services, such as checks of accredited investors, verification of cryptocurrency funds, identification data, and authentication of documents. In addition, the service allows you to check the clients’ spending on cryptocurrencies and the presence of known risk indicators.
Based on the Hyperledger Fabric business platform, DLT.sg includes a series of enterprise-grade blockchain dApp modules focused on supply chain and counterfeit recognition technologies. DLT.sg is designed to be shared between large organizations in the e-commerce sector. The app provides trade finance, traces product supply chains, and provides a model for unlocking inventory and freeing up cash.
For example, the SKR module aims to eliminate Pharma counterfeiting by tracking the origin of products throughout the manufacturing process. Another SmartFIN module is an application that helps finance trade between multinational corporations, commodity traders, and banks. It creates an online permission ledger through which corporations can securely interact with their financial institutions in negotiations on trade finance, bonds, guarantees, and risk mitigation.
Compared to traditional ones, decentralized applications are still in the early stages of development. However, there are already thousands of such services offering many services. This has been a significant breakthrough since the inception of Bitcoin when the cryptocurrency was perceived only as a medium of exchange. Smart contracts, which gained popularity with the advent of Ethereum, really changed the industry and pointed the way forward. Using these tools, developers create applications with various use cases, from games and prediction markets to financial and investment portfolio planning.
Regarding app development, Ionic and React Native are two popular options. Although both platforms belong to the cross-platform Ecosystem, they have significant differences. Whether React Native or Ionic, each has its functions, capabilities, and goals. Which is better? Which one to consider for your project? We will try to define each of them individually and then highlight the pros and cons to get a clear idea.
Ionic is an open-source framework for developing progressive and native web and mobile applications. The latest version of Ionic has greatly improved over the earlier versions in terms of usability, features, and performance.
Ionic framework is platform independent. It supports both iOS and Android. At the same time, it also supports the Universal Windows Platform if the need arises to develop applications for Windows 10. Ionic’s cross-platform allows developers to spend less time creating applications.
When working on hybrid applications, the Ionic platform usually works with Cordova to improve performance. Using CSS for transition purposes maximizes CPU time while utilizing overall GPU performance.
Easy to adapt
Cordova plugins work well with the Ionic framework. Integrating these plugins when developing an application using the ionic platform improves the functional aspects of the application by providing access to features such as flashlights, GPS, email, cameras, etc. In addition, Ionic is best suited for those customers whose needs are mainly focused on the development of hybrid applications.
Ionic’s user interface is highly user-friendly. Every available component and theme can be customized. The user interface is such that it forces the members to adapt accordingly to different platforms.
Developed with AngularJS
This makes Ionic a solid framework to work with. Since Ionic is built on AngularJS, developers are given the opportunity to take advantage of several additional features and a robust structure to control the coding process convincingly. It also allows developers to work on hybrid applications with confidence.
This is a minor issue. In most cases, you won’t notice any performance issues with Ionic. But in some specific circumstances, there is a marginal performance gap.
The ionic structure is not safe. However, most applications that cater to the financial and account sector, banking applications, government site applications, and consider an Ionic framework for development purposes are not recommended when developing complex applications. This may not provide a better security option than native applications.
Restriction of built-in functionality
The Ionic Framework does not support all built-in features. Some features are missing, and in such cases, you need to look for third-party plugins, or you can even develop the same ones.
React Native was developed by Facebook and is considered one of the most promising open source frameworks for mobile app development. React Native is platform agnostic, which means that apps developed using this framework can run efficiently on any platform, such as iOS and Android. The capabilities of native platforms are used when using the framework for developing cross-platform applications.
Pros React Native
Minimal investment without slowing down development speed
React Native is a cross-platform framework with which codes can be easily ported to different platforms. This suggests that developers can create two different versions of an application with minimal effort for two other platforms. This saves time and money by increasing development speed.
Great user interface promises a great user experience
The React Native UI is highly stable and user-friendly. It has been designed to provide the best possible user experience regarding fast loading speeds and smooth navigation. User interfaces contain built-in widgets, and their flawless performance is the key to success. The user interface makes React Native a popular choice for developing business applications with less investment.
Live update capability
Codes can be used over and over again
One code works for different platforms. It’s a pleasure to work with the React Native framework. The same code you use to develop Android apps can be used to create iOS apps with a few changes. This code reuse feature helps save a lot of time when developing applications. The support of the React Native developer community is an added benefit.
Intuitive interface and modular structure increase the flexibility of the development team
As already stated, code reuse is possible with React Native. This reusability also helps to identify errors and correct them. The intuitive and modular architecture makes it easy for developers to understand projects. As a result, the flexibility of the team working on the project is increased. It also helps reduce maintenance time.
Cons React Native
Security can be a problem
Unstable memory management
Difficult to learn in a short time
For a beginner, React Native may seem a bit difficult to learn, and the same in a short time. React Native can be a daunting task for those new to the field. Some other cross-platform competitors are easier to learn compared to React Native.
Initialization time is longer than usual
Relatively new to the field
React Native is a new framework and, therefore, immature on some level. The framework is still on the verge of improvement, and developers often have to write additional codes for the component compatibility factor.
Hybrid vs native apps
Many are faced with a choice: Ionic or React Native. Both have a huge team of dedicated developers, both frameworks are heavily used in large projects, and both boast a set of consumer-favorite applications. React Native and Ionic allow developers to build mobile apps for iOS and Android.
Yes, both of these frameworks are good: they allow developers to quickly model and publish applications to numerous resources with one source code.
That’s all well and good, but how do these two technologies differ? Which one is best for your mobile project?
Before you start, there is one crucial thing to consider. Ionic is a framework for hybrid mobile apps, while React Native is a cross-platform framework for developing native apps.
We will consider some parameters for comparison:
The positive aspect of React Native is that it allows you to write some components in Swift, Objective-C, or Java when developers need it. Using native modules and libraries in React Native applications, you can deal with operations involving many calculations, such as editing videos or pictures.
Ionic uses HTML5, CSS, and JS to develop and run applications and also requires Cordova to access control on native platforms. Working on Ionic, you can use TypeScript, which improves the quality of the code.
This is the ranking of frameworks based on the advantages that their languages provide:
- React Native (React)
- Ionic Framework (Angular)
Ionic provides incredible access to code reuse. The idea of ”packaged web applications” ensures you can reuse code. As a result, you just get a “packaged” web application. The library of adaptive components also helps (they automatically adapt to the platform on which the application is launched).
React Native also compiles to native conditional settings but only provides a basic set of components. You already have to adjust them yourself, from which a lot of work follows for the application to fit the style of both platforms. In short, code can be reused (because you’re still using the same language, and libraries like Redux don’t need tweaking).
Here’s how you can rate these frameworks for code reusability:
- Ionic framework
- React Native
Extensive template library
This parameter answers the following questions: How easy is creating a beautiful UI? Will you have to make many UI components yourself, or is there a large set of pre-made ones? Do these sets automatically adjust to the required platform?
Ionic itself is a vast collection of pre-built and styled-components. The compiler responsible for the native application is also part of the Ionic suite (provided by the CLI) but also uses bundles such as Cordova or Capacitor. The components that Ionic provides are automatically adapted to the platform on which the application is running. So creating a beautiful, native-looking application is a pleasure.
React Native has a good set of built-in components, but many must be styled by hand. In addition, they are non-adaptive. Just like with Flutter, you have two OS alternatives. This requires fitting into your code, where you already have to select styles and widgets according to conditions.
Here’s how you can evaluate both frameworks by the library of ready-made components:
- Ionic framework
- React Native
The performance provided by React Native is similar to native applications as it renders code elements to the native API. React also allows you to use native modules, which can be written in native languages in incredibly complex cases. However, they cannot be used across platforms. Their main goal is to provide high performance.
In terms of performance, Ionic loses. Its performance is not as good as React Native or Flutter. The reason for this is the use of web technologies to render the application. This approach significantly reduces the speed. In addition, it does not use native components and only tries to create a native look or feel through web technologies.
But there is also the other side of the coin—ionic speeds up the testing process, which runs instantly in the browser and simplifies the development process.
Among the three available frameworks, Ionic provides the lowest performance due to the use of web technologies. There is only one “but.” “Worse” does not always mean “terrible” or even “bad.” Performance is worse only when compared to other options. On modern devices, any application will run without a hitch. You will hardly notice the difference if your FPS is 100 instead of 105. So don’t forget about Ionic when you start developing a new application.
This is how you can rank these frameworks in terms of performance:
- React Native
Users begin to judge the application from the first seconds of launch. Therefore, the GUI of the application must combine attractiveness and simplicity. Let’s see what they offer us:
React Native modules are linked to native UI controllers, making them as user-friendly as native apps. In addition, it uses the ReactJS library with rich UI elements. All this together dramatically simplifies the development of the UI.
Ionic doesn’t use any native elements at all and just renders everything in HTML and CSS. He then uses Cordova to create a native feel. The Angular components that the framework includes also make Ionic apps feel native.
Here’s how they can be sorted by what kind of UI they offer:
- React Native
Ecosystem and Third Party Libraries
What does their Ecosystem look like? Is it easy to find help (for example, on Stack Overflow), and are there third-party libraries from which to add the desired functionality?
Here’s how you can rate them against the Ecosystem and third-party libraries:
- React Native
Market and community
A dynamic ecosystem is good, but the popularity of the chosen option also matters. Let’s see:
In terms of popularity, Ionic comes right after React. It allows developers to build native mobile apps the fastest way. Ionic has strong community support and a great marketplace where you can find many starters and templates to start developing any app from Uber to Spotify.
Here’s how they can be sorted by industry recognition and reliability:
- React Native
Access to native device functionality
Your application will need access to native features such as a camera or GPS. How easy is it to get? And is it just as easy for relatively new features like the Android/iOS AR API?
To provide access to native features, Ionic has Cordova and Capacitor. They offer a good set of packages to access functionality, such as the camera. You can also write your wrappers for some functions and include them in your code. It is worth noting that the Ionic/Cordova and Angular plugins are stable and updated with every platform update.
Due to its popularity, React Native has a huge set of third-party packages and built-in APIs for accessing the platform’s functionality. Over-reliance on third-party packages has drawbacks, which the developers of those packages may have left behind. Because of this, support is not at the same level as Ionic and NativeScript.
Here’s how they can be sorted by accessibility to native device functionality:
- React Native
React Native: Android 4.1+ , iOS 8+
Ionic: Android 4.4+ , iOS 8+ , Windows 10
React Native: Facebook, Instagram, UberEats, Airbnb (later, they stopped using RN)
Ionic: JustWatch, Pacifica, Nationwide, and many more
React Native: Fully open-source framework. Developers can use this system and its libraries free of charge. Ionic: This is a free, open-source framework for developing cross-platform applications. The company also offers a paid Pro Development Environment. They ensure that Ionic Pro speeds up the development process.
When working with React Native, any third-party library can become outdated and incompatible with the updated codebase. This leads to serious support problems.
In Ionic, unlike RN, you only have to work on maintaining a single application (in RN, you need to support builds for iOS and Android separately). The biggest problem is the constant updates of the framework itself and frequent releases on Ionic and Cordova.
If you need to build near-native, performance apps, then React Native is your choice. On the other hand, if the rental requirements allow you to create a productive application that looks like a native one, you can always start working in Ionic. Everything depends on the needs of the project.
In general, it cannot be said that some framework is better and some are worse. They are just different. The choice depends on the tasks, the ultimate goal, and many other factors. It can be recommended to use Ionic for rapid development of mobile application prototypes and React Native for full-fledged development of ready-made solutions.
Each company is gradually becoming a software business. As digital transformation accelerates, the software will fundamentally change what companies do, how they do it, and the services they provide to their customers. As a result, software development is becoming a turning point, if not a strategic imperative, for many organizations.
In this article, we will concern with some contemporary practices that people can implement in their work to be relevant these days.
Opportunities for low-code development
A growing trend in software development is low code development. Low-code platforms are becoming increasingly popular as the demand for quick and easy application creation grows. Anyone with basic programming knowledge can now try to build their applications.
Low-code solutions are popular because they allow developers to speed up the development process. Moreover, low-code development has become a popular option because the demand for software developers outstrips the available supply. However, small code development is not a sustainable long-term solution because the software built this way is not robust enough to meet the changing demands of your business.
However, as the world is still grappling with the pandemic and the urgent need for software developers, low-code development can be expected to play a significant role in 2022.
Demand for outsourcing will continue to grow
The global software industry is expected to reach $536.24 billion by 2022, and the offshore software development services market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.72%.
Many businesses are finding they lack the resources needed to meet the industry’s ever-changing needs. Due to the difficulty of finding IT talent in the local market, businesses are turning to software development companies for highly skilled professionals outside their area (nearby or offshore).
Outsourcing teams can perform various tasks, including coding, testing, and product management, and are proficient in multiple programming languages. Delegating software development to professionals from IT companies is becoming more and more popular and will become even more popular in 2022.
The growing need for IT outsourcing can be explained by the need for companies to innovate quickly and cost-effectively.
In addition to meeting these needs, outsourcing helps companies access the most qualified people without diverting from their core competencies.
As management tools are constantly being improved, it becomes easier to establish an efficient workflow and productive relationships between in-house and outsourced employees.
Centralized Infrastructure: Cloud Oriented
The public cloud will continue to crowd out regional data centers. It will become the main infrastructure for enterprises, governments, and startups in the coming years.
Digital innovations already fuel the public cloud, and this trend will remain in 2022. To democratize security, it introduces a variety of blockchain novelty and forms available to users.
Gartner predicts that public cloud revenue will grow by 16% in 2022.
If you’re running a digital company, it’s time to get serious about the cloud. And for engineers, it’s time to start exploring this area.
Decentralized Infrastructure: Edge Computing
Unlike the public cloud, which provides storage, computing power, and AI/ML in a central location (availability zone, region), edge computing allows you to place all this next to the client.
Scenarios where edge computing is needed:
- Low latency access (gaming)
- Poor network bandwidth (offshore sites)
- No network
- Regulatory requirements
- Smart and powerful devices (Internet of things)
With the development of 5G, Web 3.0, and other innovative technologies, edge computing will become widespread in 2022 and beyond. In addition, edge computing will be actively implemented in retail in the near future.
Public cloud providers AWS, Azure, and GCP also offer many edge computing services, such as AWS Snow Family, AWS IoT Greengrass, Azure Stack Edge, Azure Edge Zone, and Google Distributed Cloud.
Public cloud: multi-cloud
One of the main challenges of introducing a public cloud is vendor lock-in. When you turn to a public cloud provider for your infrastructure, storage, and data processing space, you become dependent on it. To avoid this, many companies use the services of multiple providers. This results in dependency on various vendors. If you cannot use one public cloud (such as CosmosDB, AWS S3, and BigTable) in another public cloud, you cannot avoid vendor dependency.
Fortunately, there is a reverse trend – services that are API compatible with widespread public cloud services. Here are just a few of the many services that provide cloud neutrality:
- MinIO (compatible with S3)
- Aviatrix (cloud-based network)
- Volterra (distributed cloud computing service)
- LightOS (cloud-centric storage)
In addition, Google is working on introducing its popular services (Big Query) to other public clouds (AWS and Azure).
Development of software for e-commerce
While most businesses faced tough economic times in 2021, the e-commerce market has peaked due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many companies have switched to online trading and delivery services, as this was the only option for safe shopping during the quarantine.
However, the e-commerce industry will continue to evolve post-pandemic. Statista says businesses will follow this trend, with the e-commerce market expected to grow to 22% by 2023, up from 14.1% in 2019.
E-commerce apps have proven to significantly improve the customer experience and push toward business process automation during the pandemic. Companies will continue implementing digital e-commerce solutions, making them more attractive to customers.
Continuous growth of artificial intelligence and machine learning
These technologies have the potential to change every industry, supporting organizations to achieve their business goals, make important decisions, and create innovative products and services.
These disruptive technologies could change every industry
Here are just some of the examples:
- Healthcare: Assisting physicians in diagnosing and prescribing treatment
- Logistics: vehicle management, driver behavior analysis
- Education: automated and fair evaluation
- E-Commerce: Better Customer Service with Chatbots
- Smart Home: Energy Analysis
- Logistics: autonomous vehicles and route optimization
- Other: acceleration and smoothing of processes, more accurate forecasts
AI and ML allow you to delegate a wide range of tasks that humans usually perform to computers that can solve these tasks faster, more efficiently, and eliminate errors.
The AI/ML sector is expected to grow by an average of 33% by 2027. It is estimated that by 2022, companies will implement at least 35 AI initiatives into their operations.
More IoT Solutions
With the proliferation of smart devices, everything will soon become part of the Internet of Things. According to Gartner, 61% of enterprises have reached a high level of IoT maturity, and the hype around this technology will not subside. This makes IoT one of the most popular software development technologies.
The opportunities for IoT for businesses are significant: predictive maintenance of equipment and facilities, real-time tracking of vehicles and cargo, real-time patient health monitoring, enhanced property security, smart energy consumption, and more. This technology is best represented in healthcare, logistics, the public sector, manufacturing, hospitality, etc.
The Internet of Things is not a big deal; instead, it is a large number of small things that can significantly impact a business and provide a competitive advantage in a short period. It is one of the most promising technologies today, and its full potential will only be exploited in the future.
Container: Docker will replace Kubernetes
Containers are the most important technology in today’s IT industry. And the Kubernetes platform has played a significant role in promoting and democratizing it. Thanks to great effort, careful design, and implementation, Kubernetes is a reliable technology today. And thanks to the laconic visible design (actions, volume), it can be used in many cases without notable changes.
However, Kubernetes will see less use in the coming years, although it remains the engine of modern software development. At the same time, more attention is being paid to new ways to deploy and use Kubernetes, and their growth is slowing as the technology matures.
Like Kubernetes, Docker has played a vital role in adopting containers. Unfortunately, the company failed to monetize Docker. Recently, it became possible to order a new model.
PWA is gaining popularity
Progressive Web Apps have been around for quite some time due to their native app-like user interface. PWA can be accessed from any browser and run on any device. In addition, PWAs are lightweight and provide easy access to web pages.
PWA is a cost-effective approach for organizations to build a cross-platform mobile app without hiring developers specializing in native app development. Ideal for an application with simple functionality, PWA can also be used to test more complex application ideas as an MVP (Minimum Viable Product).
According to Statista, in 2021, 9% of e-commerce businesses have invested in PWAs. In addition, 8% of e-commerce firms have already implemented PWAs.
Cybersecurity: the growing importance of security
Cybersecurity is an essential topic for startups and mid-sized businesses. Many cannot insure it properly due to a lack of finances. Only large companies can afford specialized security services.
One of the most significant benefits of public cloud providers is the democratization of cybersecurity. With public cloud services, startups and mid-sized companies can deploy highly secure applications at a low cost.
A bad part of this approach is that if the security of the public cloud is breached, millions of businesses will suffer. In 2021, there have already been several high-profile exposure cases. This year, public clouds and Linux will work harder to improve security.
Another challenge is the current development method (open source). One of the developers, often in his spare time, creates an essential module/library. Unfortunately, this module/library affects almost every company in the world. One of the most considerable reverberations was a vulnerability issue in Log4J that affected nearly half of the world’s computer companies.
It’s time for tech giants to rethink the open-source model, which allows developers to maintain the bulk of the software without any financial benefit and support.
Blockchain: Development Beyond Cryptocurrency
Blockchain is often associated with cryptocurrency. Whenever a cryptocurrency scam is exposed, the blockchain is targeted.
Blockchain has become one of the most disruptive technologies of the 21st century. Cryptocurrency is the most famous example of its use, but the blockchain is much more than cryptocurrency. It can change many areas and affect our daily life.
In 2021 we saw a prevalent new use case for the blockchain: NFT (non-fungible tokens). Today, NFTs are more commonly used in digital art, but more applications can be found in 2022.
With everyone taking blockchain seriously, vast amounts of money will be spent on this technology in 2022.
Blockchain is often criticized for being energy intensive. As a result, many companies want to move from an energy-intensive proof-of-work model to an energy-efficient proof-of-work model. Ethereum, a popular and widely used blockchain, moves to proof-of-stake in 2022.
Databases: multi-model and multi-purpose databases
In the last few years, there has been a trend to use a particular database corresponding to a specific use case:
- Relational database management system (RDBMS) for transactional operations with structured data
- Database with wide columns for distributed databases with low latency
- A key-value store for a distributed cache
- Graph database for purely relational data
- Document database for transactional use cases with semi-structured data
- Search engines for full-text and advanced search (for example, search by location)
- Distributed SQL for a distributed database with low latency and transaction guarantee
- OLAP database for data warehousing and data analytics
The disadvantage of this approach is that a single application often requires multiple databases. There is also a new trend where each database offers more than one model and serves more than one use case. Pioneers in several such databases are:
- PostgreSQL (multi-model database)
- Azure CosmosDB (multi-model, multi-purpose DB)
- SingleStore (OLAP and OLTP)
In 2022, more databases are appearing that offer multi-model and multi-purpose use.
Robotics will become more common
In 2022 robotics becomes more common in everyday life. Healthcare, agriculture, automotive, warehousing, and supply chain management will benefit from robotics-based automation, which will continue to evolve.
For robotics companies in logistics and retail, the COVID-19 pandemic presents both challenges and opportunities. Supply chain inefficiencies were exposed due to unexpected strain on supply systems and product shortages. It is also clear that robots and automation provide manufacturers with a safe way to keep their business running.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) facilitates the automation of repetitive activities. In 2022, RPA will expand and becomes a standard business technology. CIOs use RPA to free employees from monotonous, repetitive tasks and allow them to do more rewarding work.
Finally, nanorobots, small sensors with limited processing power, are becoming increasingly popular. Nanomedicine may be one of the first applications of these nanotechnologies. For example, biological machines detect and destroy cancer cells or deliver drugs.
Each of the practices in software development is a driving force for change. Together, they point to a compelling yet unmanifested new kind of developer experience. We can see the details at work and how they move, but the future is more and more challenging.
Having a software, app or website is becoming a prerequisite for businesses looking to succeed in this ultra-competitive business world. Hiring the right software development team is one of the most critical factors in determining the success or failure of any business. Whether you have a large business or a small startup, having a software development team that understands your purpose goes a long way.
Eight key elements for successful recruitment of software development team
The project team is organized for its implementation, so such a characteristic as the specifics of the project is one of the main ones in the formation of the team. The specifics of the project determine the formal structure of the team, which is approved by the management: role composition; a list of knowledge, skills, and abilities that team members must possess; terms, stages, and types of work on the project.
Organizational and cultural environment
The organizational and cultural environment of the project team is divided into external and internal. The external environment includes the background of the project in all aspects. The internal environment or organizational culture of the team itself is determined by how team interaction processes are organized and run (such as coordination, communication, conflict resolution, and decision-making activities, establishing external relations). The formation of organizational culture is also influenced by the distribution of roles in the team, methods of delegation of authority, cohesion, and connectedness of team members. An important role is played by the presence of norms of behavior accepted and shared by all participants.
Features of the personal style of interaction between the leader and other team members
The project manager must be flexible and confident in himself and his employees. His influence on the team should not be based on status or position but professionalism and competence. It is also helpful to consider that the central concept of modern leadership is to increase subordinates’ ability to self-leadership.
Human resource planning
Human resource planning is carried out to determine the roles, responsibilities, and accountability in the project, and one of its main results is the development of a project staffing plan.
Roles in a project can be defined for both individuals and groups. These individuals or groups may be recruited from within the implementing organization or from outside.
Distribution of roles and responsibilities
When implementing a project, its participants can be considered abstract acting agents that perform specified functions. Here, a function is understood as a specific action during the execution of which certain resources are consumed, and a particular result is produced. A functional view of the participants in the project’s development makes them interchangeable and impersonal within the competence corresponding to the function performed. It leads to the concept of a role assigned to an employee to perform the corresponding duties.
Project Team Recruitment
Recruiting a project team is acquiring the human resources needed to carry out the project. The project management team may control this process, but this is not required.
Here you can use the inner resources of the company or consider outstaffing as a better alternative for a software development team.
Financing a project is an essential aspect when designing a software project. Financial security guarantees that the work can be done from the beginning to the end. Thus you can rely on the smooth and rhythmic passing of the project. Financial stability allows you to unfold the plan’s full potential and reach your aims.
Support after finishing the project
Not everything ends with the fulfillment of the project. The performer team or company usually are involved with further support if any problems arise. In this way is kept the connection between the contractor and the performer for eventual new projects.
Distribution of roles in a modern IT team
Positioning and promotion of the product on the market, achieving business goals.
- Definition of the product concept
- Creation of Go To Market strategy
- Market segmentation and analysis, value determination
- Analysis of competitors
- Task list (backlog) management and requirements pyritization
- Monitoring the development status
- Choice of product strategy and monetization methods
- Generation of hypotheses to improve business performance
- Assessment of the achievement of business indicators
- Building a process/feedback loop from users and product quality assessment
Product development on time, not exceeding the selected budget, and with good quality.
- Team management (formation, motivation, control)
- Creation of RoadMap (development plan)
- Development cost estimation
- Design and distribution of functions, control of execution
- Organization of team activities
- Conducting interviews and meetings with clients
- Solving organizational issues
- Participation in the acceptance of the product
- Making decisions on complex issues (all)
- Making decisions on the publication of a new version of the system (together with the Technical Leader)
Creation and optimization of business processes to achieve business goals
- Development of the concept of a software product
- Definition of user roles and their needs
- Description of the subject area (including the main objects and relationships between them), creation and optimization of business processes
- Software requirements management
- Conducting interviews with customers and end users
- Analysis of competitors
- Development team consultation
- Participation in product acceptance and user behavior analysis
- Development cost estimation (together with PM)
It ensures the system’s efficient operation to fulfill users’ goals successfully.
- Definition of user roles and their needs (if BA does not do this)
- Description of the subject area (including the main objects, their attributes, and relationships between them), business processes, data flows
- Software requirements management
- Development of prototypes and UX (together with the designer)
- Conducting interviews with customers and end users
- Forming a stack of tasks (backlog) (if the PM does not do this); Development team consultation
Revealing hidden patterns in data to optimize business processes.
- Fixing business indicators
- Organization of data collection and monitoring of indicators
- Building models
- Testing hypotheses to improve business performance
- Making report
Designing a system architecture that satisfies the requirements (both system functions and system loads)
- System architecture development and technology stack selection
- Monitoring compliance with architecture recommendations
- Acceptance of complex technical solutions
- Development team consultation
Technical team coordination.
- Creation and distribution of technical tasks, control of implementation
- Consulting programmers on narrow technical issues
- Code review
- Making decisions on the publication of a new version of the system (together with the PM)
- Journal of the system in stores
- Development cost estimation (together with PM)
Development of a software system following the requirements.
- Development of a software system (writing code, developing a database structure, etc.)
- Making decisions about the development method
- Quality control of growth and code review
- Code testing
- Writing technical documentation
- Release of a new version of the product
Minimize errors in the system.
- Requirements testing
- Writing test cases and test plans
- System testing (regression, load, functional, etc.)
- Development of auto-tests
- Search for bugs based on feedback from users
Development of a convenient and attractive user interface for the software system.
- Development of screen designs
- ScreenFlow development
- Development of a design concept and guidelines
- Development of screen prototypes
- Optimization of user interaction (creation of recommendations)
- Development team consulting
Development of user and technical documentation.
- Development of user documentation
- FAQ development
- API description development
Minimize software user dissatisfaction by providing help and answering questions.
- Answers to user questions
- Solving user problems
- Collecting feedback from users
- Fixing bugs found by users
System Administrator (DevOps)
Minimization of technical errors during system operation, hardware and software support for the development team
- Maintenance and analysis of server load
- Creation of the necessary conditions in the infrastructure for the normal functioning of the software
- Assistance in deploying the system and setting up the environment for the rapid publication of new versions
- Log control
- Setting up tools to automate the development and testing process
Promotion of a product (software system) on the market.
- Market analysis
- Product website promotion, SEO
- Assistance in publishing a software system in stores
- Preparation of PR materials
- Social promotion networks
- Organization and conduct of advertising campaigns
Outstaffing as a better alternative for a software development team
Outstaffing of personnel is required when the employer does not see the point in hiring employees in their own company but needs labor. In this scenario, he needs to find an intermediary to provide the required number of people.
At first glance, it may seem that this approach is more complicated because the intermediary also has its benefits. In practice, it turns out that using outstaffing can save a lot.
How outstaffing works
Outstaffing, in essence, is an opportunity to attract employees to work in a company without registering them as staff. That is, the employer legally uses freelance workforce. This form of relationship between the employer and the employee is called outstaffing.
For what purpose may an enterprise need an outstaffing service? This allows you to optimize the company’s activities because:
- The personnel department is relieved of part of the load
- The amount of work (and hence the costs associated with them) related to the execution of migration documentation for foreign employees is reduced
- The possibility of fines (and other risks) for employing foreigners is reduced to zero
- Less money to spend on salaries and taxes
Companies providing personnel outstaffing services select employees for the customer enterprise who are entrusted with particular work (permanent, seasonal, or a specific project).
These employees are on the staff of the outstaffing company.
That is, legally, the employer’s role here is a company that provides outstaffing services. But the staff works for the company that ordered the service. The customer determines the scope of duties for third-party employees, manages the process, and controls the execution of work.
You agree on the outstaffing of personnel, according to which you get the necessary employees at your disposal. You do not need to register them in your state. Under this agreement, you will be billed, including the salary of employees hired in this way. It turns out that this is just an expense (not a salary expense), which means you are entitled to a significant tax deduction for income and a VAT refund. The benefit is there.
As part of staff outstaffing, a specialist comes to work in a company but is not included in its primary staff. Legally, he is not an employee of this company, but he performs all the duties assigned to him. What are the positives of this? The only thing that can be called is the exact observance of all the requirements of the Labor Code (if we are talking about a responsible outstaffing provider). Most of these firms care about their reputation, so they do not allow violations.
Pros of outstaffing
- More expenses go through accounting, which means lower income taxes.
- The cost of maintaining full-time personnel (stationery, equipment, consumables for it, software products, etc.) is reduced. This becomes especially noticeable in the HR and accounting departments. Small firms often altogether remove their HR department. Outstaffing companies have enough resources to handle the work of this plan on their own.
- Simplifies the process of personnel management. There are precisely as many employees in the company as required. Nobody walks without work. And if you need to quickly add people to the staff, there is always such an opportunity. For example, this is often practiced when it is necessary to quickly form an IT department.
- Facilitates the search for qualified personnel. This is a valuable resource that outstaffers have already formed.
- Management continues to directly manage employees, but the administrative and financial burden is significantly reduced.
- The number of insurance and other unforeseen accidents decreases in the team.
- The company does not resolve labor disputes with employees.
Cons of outstaffing
As cons of outstaffing can be pointed to the more complex control and that the fulfillment of the tasks to some extent relies on the consciousness of the employees of the hired team.
Situations when it is appropriate to resort to outstaffing of personnel
The need for outstaffing of personnel arises in cases where, for some reason, it is impossible to enlist an employee in your staff. Still, you need a person who legally performs particular work in your company.
It makes sense to use outstaffing in cases where you need to:
- Reduce costs and free up additional resources. The smaller your staff, the lower the taxes on salaries and the cost of maintaining the personnel and accounting department.
- Stay on the Simplified Tax Payment Scheme (STS). If the number of employees exceeds a specific limit, then the taxation system for the enterprise changes. Therefore, the number should be monitored and reduced if necessary.
- Employ migrants. This, as a rule, is beneficial, but here one should be well versed in the legislation and avoid violations. It makes no sense to hire a competent HR specialist for this (it will cost a lot). And if you deal with an excellent outstaffing company, then it will deal with such issues independently.
- Feel free to accept any checks. Legally, the outstaffer is responsible for the provided personnel and participates in labor disputes (if any). The bodies exercising control, or the employees themselves, cannot make claims against the receiving party.
- Establish a more extended trial period. This helps to understand whether the hired employee is suitable for the company and whether his presence is vital.
- Have your employees in other regions. Thanks to outstaffing, you can not open your remote branches but simultaneously carry out activities wherever it makes sense.
According to recruitment agencies involved in the supply of personnel, outstaffing is most in demand in the following areas and professions: restaurant business, trade, repair, construction activities, equipment installation, cleaning services, security, logistics, food industry.
Basically, as freelancers, companies hire low-skilled personnel, namely loaders and cleaners, storekeepers, drivers, security guards, maids, construction workers (painters and plasterers), and many others. Now middlMiddlMiddle managers are rough outstaffing, but, perhaps, not so often.
For example, it makes sense to resort to outstaffing for large shopping centers, where staff turnover is relatively high. People don’t work long hours in low-paying jobs. Of course, you can easily find others to take their place, but you will need both an accountant and a personnel specialist for appointments and dismissals. It is more profitable to simply contact a specialized company, which will supply ready-made frames as needed.
Software development, in its essence, resembles a corporate game in which its own rules must operate in the form of norms and regulations that determine the rights and responsibilities of each participant. Every company can choose between permanently recruiting a software development team or the version with outstaffing.
To attract users’ attention and keep them on the site, web designers constantly analyze the tastes and needs of the audience, working to improve the interface, the technical part of the resource, and the visual design. Visualization in the field of e-commerce plays an important role. According to research, the appearance of a web page affects its financial performance, that is, conversion. Those online stores with high site design and meets modern requirements and trends have 32% more profit than the rest.
Importance of web design in e-commerce
The process of developing and designing a site involves working on the layout, color, graphics, interface, fonts, content, style, and structure. Web design in the field of e-commerce has the following tasks:
- Improving interaction with visitors
- Broadcasting brand values
- The opportunity to become a point of contact between business and customers
- Way to stand out from the competition
The quality of customer service is one of the crucial criteria used in evaluating commercial activities connected to selling goods and services via the Internet. A site can be trendy and unusual but bring almost no sales. The visitor pays attention to the design and usability of the resource first. And it is these two leading indicators that determine whether the user will remain on the site, whether he will place an order, and whether he will return to the page.
Why is the vision of an online store so important from a business point of view? When the client experiences difficulties when scrolling through the pages and something distracts him from completing the target action – making a purchase- sales figures will never be high until the situation changes.
An inconvenient interface and a primitive design can cause failures when the buyer reaches the shopping cart. Emerges the risk of losing existing customers who have made a purchase but are not satisfied with the site and do not trust the brand. The visual connection between the web design of an online store and the presence of a loyal audience is evident.
How “super” should be the design of the selling site?
The concept of “super-design” has rather blurred boundaries. Entrepreneurs also have their own opinion on this matter. The design and visual of a site selling products made of natural stone and a site that provides cargo transportation services will differ significantly.
In the field of online trading, you can find very stylish and expensive resources made by the best webmasters, but with design elements that make it difficult for users to find the information they need. There are also “Spartan” sites that convert well despite the simple visual and make a profit. To come to that very golden mean, you will need to perform a series of actions:
- Find templates for basic website designs that match the specifics of the business
- Include in the design the accents identified by identifying the pains and needs of the target audience
- Add elements to the site that correspond to the values and objectives of the brand
- Develop several design schemes
- Conduct A/B testing of the site, aimed at identifying a more attractive and selling design layout
After completing all these steps, all that remains is to approve the final version of the design of the resource and launch the site. Some entrepreneurs ignore the recommended scheme, explaining that there is no time to complete all the steps. But more often not, the design of a site that has not been thought out and tested has to be redone. And also, overpay money and wait a few weeks until the designer makes a new layout.
What is essential to consider when developing a web design
First of all, you need to take care of security. This is important because personal customer data and certain types of content are business assets from which the company makes a profit. To avoid problems in the future, you should approach the issue of choosing a webmaster with particular scrupulousness. The specialist must provide cases and real reviews. It is recommended to independently double-check the studies with the help of search engines and acquaintances if any. Be sure to sign a cooperation agreement. Do not deceive yourself with the cheap services of inexperienced designers. Better to pay more and not worry about security.
The adaptability of a resource is essential for a business. The site must load correctly and work on all types of devices: desktops, tablets, and smartphones. Large design elements often remain unadapted: buttons, templates, and images. During the development of design layouts, adaptability must be constantly monitored so as not to redo the same elements several times.
What is crucial in web design in the e-commerce industry
The first thing customers see when they click on your eCommerce site will decide if they will stay to see more.
According to Australia’s leading e-commerce SEO agency SEO Advantage, the rise of the e-commerce industry has seen many businesses compete with each other, and websites with the best designs are often highlighted as the best. This is because customers are attracted to bold and clear designs.
It’s more compelling and enticing than a bunch of random content.
Grab the reader’s attention with focal points
Also, it’s very important to create focal points where you want the reader’s eyes to land. This can be anything from images to block content, but they will stand out enough to grab the visitor’s attention.
You’ve heard the term “call to action” in marketing – well, it simply means you want a response from the visitor. Whether you want them to click through to a sales landing page or product demo video, creating focal points is the key to getting them to click through from page to page. After all, this is one of the very effective ways to reduce your bounce rate.
Organized content is more accessible
From now on, to focus on the content, the website’s structure should be the top priority. Neat information and product display pages provide an easier and hassle-free browsing experience. Categories, company information, FAQs, and contact pages should be tagged so they can’t be missed.
In this way, the website becomes more accessible and easier to navigate, which is what customers ultimately want. As a consumer, it would be far from ideal to walk into a store and see a disorganized and chaotic display of products – this line of thought should be carried over to websites.
Limited use of fonts
As mentioned, first impressions can make or break a site. Along with well-organized content, you should avoid overusing fonts. Although you might think that some of them are extremely attractive and maybe even chosen to highlight the product or feature you are trying to highlight.
Unfortunately, too many fonts can detract from your main message: the products or services you sell on your eCommerce website.
Sometimes you can add some color to highlight something like a significant 50% off sale for a limited time. This is fine. However, if possible, stick with the colors in your brand logo. Learn more about using color below.
What is presented to the world is critical regarding how customers perceive a brand. Brand image determines how a business is perceived, and a positive perception tends to increase sales and consumer engagement.
A prominent, consistent brand mode provides increased credibility and a more authoritative presence. It can also make it easier to enter global markets by making it easier to establish clear boundaries between your company’s reach and alternative competition.
Strategic use of color
In keeping with brand image, another very important aspect of design for eCommerce is the strategic use of color. Depending on your brand’s Logo design, you should use those colors in your web design.
It will not only keep well-organized content but also work subconsciously in the future. When developing a brand image, you work to ensure that your audience thinks of your brand whenever a product in your niche or product line is mentioned.
For example, think about Coca-Cola for a moment. Their label is red with white lettering and always has been. Take a moment to visit the global website, coca-cola.com. You will see these two colors prominently.
When someone asks for a Coke, they can almost see the Coca-Cola logo on the edge of their mind, even if they are being served some generic brand.
Convenient use on different devices
A user-friendly website is more attractive than one that is difficult to navigate. This merges with dots around the content organization. In addition to this aspect, user interfaces must be accessible to support visits and interactions.
If a website is difficult to use, no one will use it. It would help if you also considered replicating a site that can be used on mobile devices and tablets. Mobile sites are condensed and edited versions of the main website that make it easier to access from a phone or similar device, less annoying, and more intuitive for the customer.
Convenient shopping cart navigation
One of the main reasons for abandoning the shopping cart is the way it was designed – or, better, the lack of a functional design. The shopping cart should be clearly designed and easy to navigate regarding all the information needed during checkout.
There must be clear instructions on how to enter billing information. All fillable fields must be clearly labeled, and radio buttons must also be clearly defined. Many people often miss the switch, which means you’ve read the website’s terms and conditions.
Instead of processing the order and paying, the screen returns to the shopping cart checkout screen. Clear and concise instructions and buttons are fundamental if you want to avoid cart abandonment.
Web Design Trends for E-commerce in 2022
The fast development of technology has affected the behavior of users on the Internet. People began spending more time online, behind a laptop screen, or with smartphones in their hands. Such a load affects well-being – the eyes get tired of the constant glow. Therefore, the designers came up with an ingenious solution and introduced the ability to set a dark mode into the interfaces. Now users can easily surf the Internet even at night. The statistics show that about 30% of online purchases are made at night.
Scrolling through an endless page with a large amount of information in the text is boring. But now comes the opportunity to make this process exciting and interesting. When you move the website, some actions are displayed in the center of the screen: animation or video with sound. The designer literally creates a story that unfolds on the resource page. It is unlikely that anyone will resist and close the site before the story reaches its logical conclusion.
Mobile 3D elements
Three-dimensional and colorful 3D graphics will hardly surprise anyone. But users still like content in this format. Therefore, the designers decided to combine 3D technology and animation, and the picture has become even more realistic. Elements of this type can now be found on some portals during site loading. 3D objects are spinning while resource pages are being loaded. This allows visitors to decrease the waiting time and cheer up at least.
One of the easiest and most effective e-commerce packaging design tricks to start with. Unlike other trends that use intricate illustrations or unusual expressive fonts, the consumer is drawn to bold, bright, and often unconventional packaging colors. In addition, bright colors immediately attract attention among the same type of goods.
The right choice of color helps set the right mood, create a specific aesthetic perception of your products, and give customers functional information: composition, volume, and preparation method. For example, you can use a palette of colors that describe the main ingredients: red for a Korean strawberry-scented mask and pale yellow for a lemon soap. This trend is somewhat underestimated, but it’s an incredibly effective way to make your products stand out from the competition.
Another graphic design trend shaping the world of packaging on online marketplaces is simple yet vibrant geometry. This design is predominantly built on straight lines, sharp corners, and bright, exciting colors to attract potential buyers. The geometry looks aesthetically pleasing, looks good even on the small screen of your smartphone, and easily scales to a wide range of SKUs.
Although geometric patterns may seem simple at first glance, their superpower lies precisely in their abstract simplicity. Instead of directly showing or telling clients a story through complex illustrations or photographs, geometric elements tell us a story through simplified images. For example, you can reflect the bright taste of the product in colorful geometry with a lot of contrasting shades or emphasize the seriousness of the brand by painting the geometry in gold or bronze colors, work out the direction with a single color.
Environmentally friendly packaging
The mantra of “reduce, reuse and recycle” is becoming increasingly popular among young, educated, and modern consumers. According to an Accenture survey, most consumers prefer to buy from companies that share their personal and fundamental human values. 62% of surveyed said they would like to buy their products from companies that reduce plastic and care about safety and the environment.
Consumers are aware that they are leaving a carbon footprint on the Earth and are more likely to support brands that relieve them of negative thoughts about it at the time of purchase.
Variety of natural shapes and colors
This is one of the most popular packaging design trends right now. This trend combines several currents that form modern design: environmentalism and art therapy, naturalness and plasticity of forms, conscious consumption, and love for the magical realism genre.
How to be in trend? Use not even symmetrical blocks filled with complementary colors but expressive collages of unbalanced, unevenly weighted shapes that use chaotic overlay and are replete with details, dots, lines, spirals, simple geometric shapes, worn effects, foil, and embossing.
They allow the imagination to complete the plot, whether they are abstract illustrations or illustrations depicting some natural scenes. For many people who have spent the entire pandemic at home and now also do not go out very often, this is a real breath of fresh air.
This trend involves dividing the page into two fields. Each part has objects and design elements that are opposite in meaning and different in color and contrast. Content with this design looks good on any device. Designers use a split screen to make it easier for the user to perceive content, manage the visitor’s attention and focus on important information. Dividing the page into two parts, one with an image and the other with text, the customer’s eye is focused on the information, even though the illustration should draw more attention.
Emphasis on typography
Tiered headings, lettering in large print, and bold highlights are a bold yet practical trend for 2022. Words are now an independent graphic unit and not just text. Atypical size, modern concepts, and new color combinations make it possible to more clearly convey to the audience the thoughts and values that the brand conveys. When using this trend, you should ensure that the chosen font and design are consistent with the company’s image and style, customers’ interests, and brand goals.
Product as a design element
If the product’s packaging looks aesthetically pleasing and original, it can be used in the page’s design. This achieves two aims: to create an unusual design that is radically different from competitors’ plans and to capture visitors’ attention, thus increasing the memorability of the product. Packaging is often used as a design element to promote food products.
The desire of designers to remember the good old days has resulted in a new trend – retro or nostalgia, as it is also called. Users greeted the reference to the theme of the 80-the 90s with a bang. Retro style elements now make friends with neon lights, grids, dark hues, and pastel palettes. The combination of a modern background image with prints from the past looks great together and is actively used in website designs. Retro style helps visitors better perceive information and remember details directly related to the product.
Not all entrepreneurs are chasing complex and trendy websites. Some prefer elegant simplicity and clear structure. This design also exists. This is not bad when the site elements are designed as blocks or resemble a table. In 2022, there is a trend towards the return of realism to the visual. Therefore, there are more visible borders. If the designer manages to choose the right colors and combine them into a standard harmonious palette, you will get a discreet, concise, stylish, and aesthetic website.
Recently, people have become too obsessed with design, paying a lot of attention to this aspect. As a result, one can now observe a kind of race of design works; each specialist is trying to do better than the other to surprise and impress the user. Based on this situation, a new trend was born – anti-design. It was created for those tired of template builders and similar sites. It will appeal to those who want to rid the web design sphere of stereotypes and allow beauty to be different.
This trend is characterized by asymmetrical elements, incompatible and contradictory colors, and incomprehensible font. Most visitors, getting to a site with such a design, will be shocked by what they see. But some will appreciate and accept the anti-design trend.
A great design is the first step to creating a successful website that helps your business grow, not hinders it. A site must look good to attract attention and inspire further viewing, but all other components must also meet high standards to stimulate sales.
Market and customer research can speed up this process by providing insight into the needs specific to a company’s customer base.
Introduction – mobile development: cross-platform or native
In the dawn of the smartphone appearance, developers were limited to a platform-specific, or native, approach to building apps. They could only create an application for a platform (iOS and Android). If support is necessary for both platforms simultaneously, you must create two separate mobile platforms.
Now the choice is a bit more because, in addition to the native one, you can create a cross-platform application that will work on Android and iOS using only one code base. Next, we will explain what is behind the terms of native and cross-platform application development and also point in detail the pros and cons of each approach and their nuances.
What is native and cross-platform development:
- Native development (2 independent applications in Swift and Kotlin)
- Cross-platform development – a common code base for iOS and Android (using Flutter or React Native frameworks)
Each method possesses its characteristics, pros, and cons. Every one of them is suitable for each specific project and each particular goal. Now I will explain how to choose and what to look for.
Native development is the traditional way to build iOS and Android apps. It is conducted using tools and programming languages offered by vendors – Apple and Google. The languages, in this case, are Swift (iOS) and Kotlin (Android), and there are a lot of tools for profiling and debugging in native development.
However, we must understand that we are making two independent applications in this case. They are being developed in parallel. Each application can implement a feature in its way, and each can have its bugs. And most importantly, native development will not go anywhere: as long as iOS and Android exist, Apple and Google will provide tools for creating applications.
Native development allows you to create the highest quality and most functional application. Still, in return, you will have to develop and debug everything twice and ensure that the applications correspond to each other functionally.
This is the most popular way to create applications among developers. Therefore, assembling a team, even a large one, in this case, is more accessible than a cross-platform. First of all, because of the number of offers on the market.
Pros of native development
High speed and performance
When creating native programs, tools and technologies are used that are directly related to the platform; this allows for direct and, at the same time, more direct interaction of the application with the platform, which considerably increases the overall speed and performance of the program, mainly when using the graphics chip of the device (which is why almost all mobile games are native applications). For the same reasons, “natives” have a lower response time and a low probability of crashes and freezes.
More options for integration with the platform
Complete access to the functions and services of the platform allows you to create applications with full use of the possibilities of this platform. For example, native photo and video apps usually produce better quality products. The same is valid for Bluetooth, NFC, GPS, audio modules, and other functions.
Familiar user interface (more adapted)
As native applications are more closely integrated with the platform, this allows you to use the maximum available capabilities of the device’s hardware and more fully comply with the guidelines. Thanks to this, it is possible to implement a more familiar interface and user experience for the platform’s audience.
Best positioning in online marketplaces
Due to closer integration with the platform and device and a better user experience, native applications are usually positioned higher in such marketplaces as the App Store and Google Play. There are also suggestions that the ranking mechanisms on these sites are a priori more friendly to “native” applications.
Cons of native development
Big time and cost of creating an application
Developing a program for each of some platforms can significantly increase development time, as engineers need to write two code bases, thus developing an application at a higher cost. Adapting UI / UX design for each platform can also take a relatively long time, further “inflating” the development budget.
Dependency on one mobile operating system
For native solutions, software engineers use a language medium specially developed for the operating platform, which makes the application incompatible with other platforms. Sometimes this is not a problem, but this approach will often limit the reach and availability of your service, product, or service.
Lost financial opportunities (profits)
The deliberate reduction of its market by one mobile platform is a deliberate reduction in potential financial benefits. It happens when no one thinks about the possible release to other mobile media in case of a successful launch during the design and development of the project.
Cross-platform applications are programs built around the concept of “compile once, run everywhere” as they involve developing the same codebase to run on different platforms/operating systems. This is performed through development tools such as React Native and Xamarin, which allow you to write the program’s code and deploy it on different platforms with close to the native UI / UX design for the given platform.
Due to the cross-platform approach to creating programs, you can significantly reduce the time and cost of development. However, it would help if you did not count on outstanding performance and/or maximum integration with platform and device features and services. Another problem can be customization, as it can be limited by the framework used.
Pros of cross-platform development
Single code base for all platforms
The main advantage of cross-platform development is using one code base for different mobile platforms. In this case, the development team can use only one technology stack (and it is much easier to pick it up) rather than multiple technology stacks for each mobile platform / operating system simultaneously.
Easier and faster deployment
Because you don’t need to learn multiple technology stacks to create cross-platform solutions, developers can focus on a single technology stack, allowing them to explore and realize all of its benefits. In addition, a single codebase also dramatically accelerates the initial deployment of an application on multiple platforms at once, reducing the time and complexity of updates.
Reduce development time and cost
This is another essential advantage of cross-platform development, which reduces the time it takes to write code for two or more code bases. The time and money saved depend on the task of the project and the framework.
Coverage of a broader audience of users
Since cross-platform solutions are made for two or more platforms / operating systems, they also have more target audience coverage. Thus, the application can be presented on more mobile devices for more users, making cross-platform more profitable for businesses than on only one platform.
Acceptance of the same interface and UX
One development team and a common code base make it possible to create the same user interface for all platforms, which is very important for brands. It also allows you to implement a “seamless” transition from one platform to another, for instance, from a smartphone to a tablet, laptop, computer, or TV (game console or smart TV).
Cons of cross-platform development
Less flexibility than native apps
A unified technology stack does not provide the same high flexibility as a platform-specific stack. Because of this, the vast majority of cross-platform solutions cannot demonstrate the same degree of integration with the platform and device as native solutions.
Lower performance and reliability
Loss of flexibility in development will also mean loss of opportunities to improve and optimize performance. In other words, other things being equal, cross-platform solutions will never work as fast, reliable, secure, and smooth as native applications.
Possible inconsistency in design across the two platforms
Another problem you might have is some differences between user interfaces and user experience across platforms/operating systems (for example, Windows has a start button, but macOS doesn’t). This often is due to both diverse requirements for the design and the specific limitations of user interfaces on different platforms.
Possible difficulties with app marketplaces
The mechanism and requirements for cross-platform applications in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store marketplaces differ. Going through all the bureaucratic procedures, checks and tests can take a lot of time and cause difficulties.
Features of native and cross-platform approach
When creating mobile applications, guidelines are used – these are valuable instructions/instructions from the platform owners, focused on fitting the functionality and appearance of the application to the platform standards. Guidelines reflect the vision of platform creators for making the user experience on the platform as comfortable as possible. Thus you can understand how the design should look to be familiar to users of the given platform.
Native development uses languages with complete tools to apply all the guidelines’ requirements and create a familiar design platform for the audience. At the same time, cross-platform development incorporates the use of universal tools, which, although they allow you to bring the design closer to “native,” you will have to spend much more effort. At the same time, animation speed, responsiveness, effects, and design will still be at least a little but different (although this is not always a bad thing).
Lower responsiveness (the speed of the application’s response to user actions), sharper (jerky) animation, ping, and freezes can significantly spoil the user experience. Often these problems lead users to uninstall the application after the first launch, despite its uniqueness, excellent design, and low cost.
Cross-platform solutions, due to the use of non-platform-specific languages, are inferior to native ones – they slow down and hang, and this is their main problem. And although there may be freezes for a fraction of a second, this is enough for the user to prefer the native application. For example, many people prefer Android devices because, in this market, you can find devices with a screen refresh rate of 90-140 Hz. At the same time, on the same iPhone 12 Pro Max, it is only 60 Hz, which significantly spoils the user experience.
Developers of cross-platform applications usually make the same design (easier, faster, and cheaper), which may not always is a benefit since each platform usually has its own specific rules (guidelines). And when these rules are neglected, users of one of the platforms may find it unusual (uncomfortable) to use the application.
A vivid example is a Back function familiar to Android devices, which has no analog on iOS. If a cross-platform application has the same design, then users of this platform will be forced to adapt, which can worsen their user experience. The solution is to create two different designs, considering each platform’s characteristics. The result will be two separate applications but in one cross-platform language, which essentially eliminates the advantages of this approach to software development.
Mobile Platform Limitations
With native development, you will be limited by the capabilities of the platform and the device you are using. When designing a cross-platform application, the developer must have in mind these limitations and the capabilities of the language, bridge, and framework used.
Service and Support
Comprehensive maintenance of a cross-platform solution (updates, security updates, finding and fixing bugs) usually requires half as many resources since one specialist (team) can handle this. In contrast, maintenance of native solutions for two platforms requires at least two specialists (Android and iOS).
Development time and cost
Creating cross-platform solutions is much cheaper than native development due to the more minor work. The winnings are usually between 30 and 50%.
Conclusion – which approach to choose, cross-platform or native
Selecting the optimal approach to application development depends on the business objectives, the complexity of the project, and individual circumstances, so there is no single correct answer here.
It is better to stop at the native approach of app development if:
- The application will have to run the most of all the available features of the platform and device (multi-tiered menu, calendar, animations, camera, phone book, geotargeting, etc.);
- Maximum reliability, security, and stability are needed;
- Requires top speed and performance;
- The application must be able to work offline.
A cross-platform approach is preferable if:
- When your budget is limited;
- It is necessary to start the application on two platforms in a short time;
- Your business does not need complex functional developments (multi-tiered menu, phone book, geolocation, etc.);
- You are ready to put up with low responsiveness.
If you plan a rich application with logic on the client for a large audience, then native is better. In other cases, cross-platform solutions can be considered.
It can also be further emphasized that in most cases, it is preferable to create a native application (for Android Java and Kotlin, for IOS Swift), as it is more profitable in the medium and long term.
A cross-platform approach is better to test the idea and enter the market in the shortest possible time. Also, this approach is preferable if you need a simple application for a specific task, such as a news feed or a voting form.
If you plan a rich application with logic on the client for a large audience, then native is better. In other cases, cross-platform solutions can be considered.
What is Docker
Docker is an open platform for developing, delivering, and operating applications. Docker is designed to get your applications up and to run faster. With Docker, you can decouple your application from your infrastructure and treat your infrastructure as a managed application. Docker helps you deploy your code more quickly, test faster, deploy applications faster, and reduce the time between coding and running code. Docker does this with a lightweight container virtualization platform, using processes and utilities to help manage and host your applications.
Docker development began in 2008, and in 2013 it was published as free software under the Apache 2.0 license. Docker was included in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 distribution as a test application. In 2017, a commercial version of Docker with advanced features was released.
Docker runs on Linux, whose kernel supports groups and namespace isolation. For installation and use on platforms other than Linux, there are special utilities, Kitematic or Docker Machine.
Benefits of using Docker
- Minimal resource consumption – containers do not virtualize the entire operating system (OS) but use the host kernel and isolate the program at the process level. The latter consumes much less local computer resources than a virtual machine.
- High-speed deployment – you can not install auxiliary components but use ready-made docker images (templates). For example, constantly installing and configuring Linux Ubuntu does not make sense. It is enough to install it once, create an image, and continuously use it, only updating the version if necessary.
- Convenient hiding of processes – for each container, you can use different data processing methods, hiding background processes.
- Working with unsafe code – container isolation technology allows you to run any code without harm to the OS.
- Easy scaling – any project can be expanded by introducing new containers.
- Convenient launch – an application located inside a container can be launched on any docker host.
- File system optimization – the image consists of layers that allow you to use the file system very efficiently.
- 1. Docker-daemon – a container server that is part of the Docker software tools. The daemon manages Docker objects (networks, storages, images, and containers). The daemon can also communicate with other daemons to manage Docker services.
- 2. Docker-client / CLI – interface for user interaction with the Docker daemon. The Client and the Daemon are the most critical components of the Docker Engine. The Docker client can interact with multiple daemons.
- 3. Docker-image – a file that includes dependencies, information, and configuration for further deployment and initialization of the container.
- 4. Docker-file – a description of the rules for building an image, in which the first line indicates the base image. The following commands copy files and install programs to create a specific development environment.
- 5. Docker container – a lightweight, a self-contained executable software package that includes everything needed to run an application: code, runtime, system tools, system libraries, and settings.
- 6. Volume – file system emulation for reading and writing operations. It is created automatically with the container because some applications store data.
- 7. Docker-registry – a reserved server used to store docker images. Register examples:
- 7.1. Docker Center – The registry used to download docker-image. It provides hosting and integration with GitHub and Bitbucket.
- 7.2. Azure Containers – designed to work with images and their components in the Azure directory (Azure Active Directory).
- 7.3. Docker Trusted Registry or DTR is a docker registry service for installation on a local computer or company network.
- 8. Docker-hub or data storage is a repository designed to store images with various software. The presence of ready-made elements affects the speed of development.
- 9. Docker-host – a machine environment for running containers with software.10лDocker-networks – are used to organize a network interface between applications deployed in containers.
- 10. Docker-networks – are used to organize a network interface between applications deployed in containers.
What is Docker Engine
The Docker Engine is the core of the Docker mechanism. The “engine” is responsible for operating and communicating between the main Docker objects (registry, images, and containers).
Docker Engine Elements:
- The server initializes a daemon (background program) used to manage and modify containers, images, and volumes.
- REST API is a mechanism responsible for organizing the interaction between the Docker client and the Docker daemon.
- Client – allows the user to interact with the server using commands typed in the interface (CLI).
How Docker works
The operation of Docker is based on the principles of a client-server architecture, which is based on the client’s interaction with a web server (host). The first sends requests for data, and the second provides them.
Scheme of work:
- The user issues a command using the client interface to the Docker daemon deployed on the Docker host. For example, download a finished image from the registry (Docker image repository) using the docker pull command. The REST API provides the interaction between the client and the daemon. The daemon can use public (Docker Hub) or private registries.
- Based on the command given by the client, the daemon performs various image operations based on the instructions in the Dockerfile. For example, it builds them automatically using the docker build command.
- Image operation in a container. For example, running docker-image with docker run or deleting a container with docker kill.
Application examples of Docker
Developing applications with dependencies
Usually, to install some library or database, the developer needs to read the instructions on the site. He downloads it, installs it, configures it, and launches it. And when you need to switch to anotherthat’sdency, it removes it. And that’s how you deal with every addiction.
Docker provides an alternative path. Libraries, frameworks, and database vendors publish their software on Docker Hub almost daily as a Docker image. The image can be downloaded and deployed via Docker, worked with, pushed, and then stopped or deleted, leaving no traces in the operating system.
A single control interface eliminates the need for individual commands. It is enough to learn Docker commands: how to download images, run containers, forward, stop and remove ports. With Docker, you can run as many identical databases as you want inside one OS. Thanks to isolation, if something goes wrong, the errors will not affect the operating system and will not break anything.
To run autotests, specific dependencies are required, such as databases, message brokers, and the like. They must first be installed and configured on the build server. Problems sometimes arise in this place: if you miss some detail during setup, you can spoil the data or break something. It is much safer to deploy dependencies as a container on the server automatically. This allows you to run the tests quickly and remove the containers without lea”ing a”trace.
Even if the tests “break” some data, they will be deleted along with the container. In addition, the Docker server on which autotests are run will become universal. After all, thanks to containerization, it will be possible to run anything on it. So, you will save on hardware and system setup.
After testing, the project is packaged into an image and published, transferred to clients or infrastructure engineers.
Docker makes it easy to deploy an application further. SRE doesn’t have to consider what dependencies to install because everything is already packaged in the image. For them, this is a black box, which they update uniformly and automatically through the same commands.
The deployment environment also becomes universal because it always deals only with containers. Today, one container was deployed in it, and tomorrow another. At the same time, entirely different applications can be packed in containers.
Cons of Docker
High resource consumption
Docker creates an additional logical layer and consumes additional resources. Therefore, you must determine what is more important to you – resources or convenience. If you have enough resources, you can safely install Docker – you will conveniently update and version applications without fear of damaging the operating system. If resources are in short supply, then it is better to use the classic application installation scheme.
Large applications require an orchestrator.
Docker is suitable for running multiple containers. The default distribution of Docker Compose has a mechanism that allows you to control their launch using a YAML configuration file. But this mechanism is simple; it will not pull an application that includes 50-100 services. Docker does not have enough tools for managing and distributing resources, redundancy, and fault tolerance to implement different schemes for updating containers.
Installation issues on Windows and macOS
Docker was built for Linux. Other operating systems it does not support some types of networks. No one will notice this in most cases, but this limitation must be remembered. Also, on some devices, there is a conflict with Virtual Box when installing Docker on Windows.
What are container technologies?
A container is a standard unit of software in which an application is packaged with all the dependencies necessary for its operation – application code, launch environment, system tools, libraries, and settings.
Containers have been in use for over a decade, and today about a quarter of the leading IT companies use container solutions in production.
Many solutions on the market represent container runtimes and orchestrations, such as CoreOS rkt, LXC, OpenVZ, Apache Mesos, and Docker Swarm. However, more than 4/5 of the containers run in a Docker environment, and over half of the users have chosen Kubernetes for orchestration.
Why containers are useful
Lightness, speed, and the ability to work at a high level of abstraction, delegating hardware and OS issues to the provider, are the advantages of containers, which allow you to reduce the operational costs associated with the development and operation of applications that make solutions based on them so attractive to businesses.
Technical specialists primarily love containers for the ability to package an application along with its launch environment, thereby solving the problem of dependencies in different environments. For example, the difference in versdeveloper’sguage libraries on a developer’s laptop and subsequent environments will sooner or later lead to failures. It will be necessary to spend time at least analyzing them and, at the very least, solving the problem of bugs that have entered production. Using containers eliminates the problem.
Containers also reduce application development time and simplify its management in production due to ease of configuration and configuration changes, the ability to version it along with the application code, and convenient orchestration tools that allow you to scale the infrastructure quickly. In addition, the virtual absence of container binding to the hosting platform gives great flexibility when choosing or changing a provider – you can run them without fundamental differences in the final result on a personal computer, bare metal servers, and cloud services.
How containers differ from virtual machines
The most common question when choosing an application launch environment is the difference between containers and virtual machines – currently the two most popular options. There is a fundamental difference between them. The container, in essence, is a space limited inside the OS that uses the host system’s kernel to access hardware resources. A VM is a complete machine with all the devices necessary for its operation. From this, differences are formed that are of practical importance:
- Containers require significantly fewer resources to run, which positively impacts performance and budget.
- Containers can only be run on the same operating system on the host system – that is, it will not work to run a Windows container on a host system with Linux (on personal devices, this limitation is bypassed using virtualization technology). However, this does not apply to different distributions of the same OS, such as Ubuntu and Alpine Linux.
- Containers provide less isolation because they use the host system’s kernel, potentially creating more operational risks if security is not considered.
Basic principles of application containerization
One container – one service
A container should only do one thing – it shouldn’t contain all the entities that the application depends on. Following this principle allows you to achieve more excellent reusability of images and, most importantly, will enable you to scale the application more thinly – the bottleneck of your service may be only some part of the technology stack used. Dilution of all its parts into different containers will allow you to increase your service performance.
Immutability of the image
All changes inside the container should be made at the image build stage – following this principle ensures you against data loss when the container is destroyed. The immutability of the container also makes it possible to perform parallel tasks in CI / CD systems – for example, you can run various kinds of tests simultaneously, thereby speeding up the product development process.
This principle is a prime e”ample of the modern concept of “Treat infrastructure like cattle, not like pets.” Any container can be destroyed anytime and replaced with another without stopping the service. A container’s configuration in its image is essentially separated from the container instance that directly performs the work, which allows instances to be “knifed” when necessary – when the container state fails, downscaling, etc. Compliance with this principle means that the exit of containers from the building should not be new to your application: container rotation should be a development requirement.
The container must have points for checking the state of its readiness (readiness probe) and viability (liveness probe) and provide logs to track the state of the application running.
The application in the container must be able to interact with the process that controls it – for example, to correctly complete its work on a command from outside. This will allow transactions to be closed gracefully, preventing the loss of user data due to stopping or destroying the container.
The image with the application must have all the necessary dependencies for work – libraries, configs, etc. On the other hand, services do not belong to these dependencies. Otherwise, it would contradict the “1 container – 1 service” principle. The connectivity of containers that depend on each other can be determined using orchestration tools, which will be discussed below.
The best practices for operating containers include setting resource limits (CPU and RAM): following this practice allows you to remain attentive to saving resources and respond in time to their excessive consumption.
Benefits of using Docker containers
Docker solves dependency and environment issues
Containers allow you to pack an application and all its dependencies into a single image: libraries, system utilities, and configuration files. This simplifies porting the application to another infrastructure.
For example, developers create an application in the development system – everything is set up there, and the application works. It needs to be transferred to the testing system and the production environment when it is ready. If one of them does not have the required dependency, the application will not work. Programmers will have to take a break from development and, together with the support team, figure out the situation.
Containers do not have this problem, containing everything needed to run the application. Specialists are engaged in the development, not the solution of infrastructure problems.
Isolation and security
A container is a set of processes isolated from the primary operating system. Applications only run inside containers and do not have access to the underlying operating system. This improves the security of applications: they cannot accidentally or intentionally harm the primary system. If the application in the container crashes or hangs, it will not affect the leading OS.
Accelerating and automating application deployment and scalability
Containers make it easier to deploy applications. In the classical approach, to install the program, you must perform several actions: execute the script, change the settings files, and so on. In this process, the possibility of human error is not ruled out: the user will run the script twice, mix up the sequence, or not understand something. Containers allow you to fully automate this process, including all the necessary dependencies and the order in which actions should be performed.
Containers also make it easier to deploy across multiple servers. In the classical approach, you will need to repeat the same steps to deploy the same application on several machines. Containers get rid of this chore and allow you to automate deployment.
Containers move closer to microservice architecture
Containers fit nicely into a microservice architecture. This development approach breaks an application into small components that are as independent as possible—usually contrasted with a monolithic architecture where all system parts are tightly coupled.
This allows you to develop new functionality faster because, in the case of a monolithic architecture, a change in some part can affect the rest of the system.
Docker compose – Deploy multiple containers at the same time
Docker-compose allows you to deploy and configure multiple containers at the same time. For example, you need to deploy the LAMP stack: Linux + Apache, MySQL, and PHP for a web application. Each of the applications is a separate container for Linux OS. But in this situation, we need all the containers together and not a single application. Docker-compose allows you to deploy and configure all applications with one command, and without it, you would have to deploy and configure each container separately.
Until recently, the debate on the justification for using containers in production did not stop, and accusations of their unreliability were heard now and then. However, time does not stand still, the industry has assessed its prospects, made its choice, and investments in container solutions have flowed like a wide river, every day making resolutions based on them more convenient and attractive. Containers have proven to be a viable and competitive solution that reduces the time to market and the cost of its development and operation.