In this roundup for App Academy, I try to capture the developer zeitgeist for 2107, and stick a pin in several significant trends you’ll see in the New Year.
And speaking of React and Angular, both frameworks released major versions in 2017. The one thing React 16 and Angular 5 have in common is their stated goal of providing a better base for new functionality in 2108 and beyond.
Upshot for 2018
If 2017 was the year of React/Angular, 2018 may very well be the year of Vue.js. Developer interest and attention continued to grow in 2017 for Vue.js as the Vue ecosystem of tools, libraries and code gained depth and breadth. If you want to dig deeper into React vs Angular vs Vue, this post, Angular vs. React vs. Vue: A 2017 comparison, by Jens Neuhaus is great resource.
Languages in 2017 and Beyond
Digging deeper, what’s the state of health of the “big” computer languages in 2017, and which languages should you consider tackling in 2018?
Continues to be the language that most developers know, with 2.3 million opened pull requests on GitHub. Whether you live and breath a js framework, or just use jQuery as needed, js continues to be the biggest tent in town.
Once relegated to being the computer language you learned in CS101 and not much else, Python has become the number-two language in all of GitHub. Why? Many of the economy-shifting technologies we hear about practically every day – machine learning, natural language processing, robotics, even artificial intelligence are rooted in Python.
With plenty of both old school (think banks and large corporations) and new school (Android) development projects, Java has about about the same number of developers as it did five years ago, at least according to Stack Overflow.
Stick a pin in it for 2018
Here are my 2018 recommendations — please don’t hate me.
Get good with either React, Angular or Vue
If you’re thinking about getting a new job in 2018, now is the time to get React or Angular on your CV. If you don’t use with either framework at work, you have another compelling reason to start that side project you’ve been daydreaming about.
If your day job is building Rails apps, consider focusing on Vue.js.
Very subjectively, I think Rails 5.1 and Webpack (via the Webpacker Gem) is an elegant way to cleanly incorporate React, Angular or Vue components. Vue plays well with Rails, and is attracting attention by leading developers like Chris Oliver, who’s GoRails developer site is releasing a 5-part video series on using Vue in Rails.
Machine learning, natural language processing, AI — these are all being touted as economy-changing technologies in the near future. So between 2017 and that shiny future there’s an awful lot of code to be written, and you as a forward-thinking developer want to be relevant and employable in that future. That means If you don’t know Python, learn it in 2018.
Where in the GAFAM are we going?
Plan to make some to track in 2018 what the top companies in the world, known together as GAFAM, are feverishly working on, because they’re talking about your future too. Yes, it’s Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple. Whether it’s the three-way battle to dominate voice controlled interfaces between Apple Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa or Microsoft versus Google when it comes to machine learning, these are the technologies that are going to be a big part of your programming future.
One last software prediction for 2018
After more than two full years in development the single most-used CSS Framework will finally graduate to 4.0. Bootstrap 4 will definitely, almost for sure, probably release!