Staying current in the programming field can sometimes
make you feel like the first cloud to rain.
You’re a master at Ruby on Rails or any other language?
Great, but how are you with statistical analysis in R? Want to work at Google?
Forget Python and start building channels in Go.
1. Introduction to R
It may be surprising to hear that R has been used since around
1994. It was built at the University of Auckland by Ross Ihaka and Robert
Gentleman and was based on the Bell Labs language S. The turning point for this
statistical analysis tool came when it in the 2014 Dice Tech Salary Survey, it
came up to first place as the highest paying tech skill. That can be considered
the year that Big Data arrived in mainstream business and R was clearly the
best way to handle it.
Originally it was preferred by academic data scientists
though, R has proven instrumental for enormous business applications like
large-scale financial reporting for Bank of America and Facebook’s Social
Graph, which analyzes interactions among 500 million people. Today, companies
like Microsoft are using R as a server platform to go further with predictive
modeling and machine learning. For many of these companies, R is becoming
extremely resource-intensive for advanced analytics and is replacing SQL.
are three reasons why R has taken off recently:
Because R supports missing values as a core
data value, it can easily deal with incomplete data sources that are more
common in real world projects.
A popular data visualization package for R
called ggplot2 breaks up the graphics into scales and layers as components.
It’s now the most used R extension package.
3. It has a customizable top-level language
shell, and coders have used that feature to build integrated development
environments such as RStudio, which made R much easier to learn and more widely
available for business use cases.
In the Redmonk Programming Language Rankings of 2016,
which compares the popularity of code on GitHub vs. Stack Overflow, R ranked
Introduction to Go
While some of the other languages here are getting a new
life, Go (a.k.a. golang) is experiencing its first one. In 2012, Google
presented the open source Go v. 1.0, after giving the world a glimpse of the
experimental language three years earlier. Google had its eye on the future,
saying, “People who write Go 1 programs can be confident that those programs
will continue to compile and run without change, in many environments, on a
timescale of years. In the same way, authors who write books about Go 1.0 can
be sure that their examples and explanations will be helpful to readers today
and into the future.”
Go was made for web services that need to handle
thousands of concurrent web requests. The other prominent app builders like
Python can’t deal with the speed and intensity of parallel requests on mobile.
For the same reason, it is an excellent HTTP handler. Like C++, Go is ideal for writing web
services with precise control without the sharp learning curve of the aging
object-oriented standby. Go has also been compared favorably with Algol.
As backing of Google is expected from a language, Go has
been used for major projects like Docker’s large-scale, distributed software
projects. The range’s proof of Go came in the form of highly productive Revel,
which is a full-stack web framework, built with Go. Revel has capability to
handle web essentials like caching, parameter parsing, routing, templating and
Go’s power of handling concurrent requests resides in its
goroutines and channels. While goroutines function like threads, channels are
the communication ports between goroutines.
As per the Redmonk Programming Language Rankings of 2016,
Go currently ranks as the 15th most popular language.
Introduction to Hack
Hack was released as open source in 2014, but it was an
internal Facebook project. Hack is a way of combining the short dev cycles of
dynamically-typed language with the core discipline of static-typed ones, as a
replacement of their PHP. It also borrows features from some of the other new
languages, such as type annotation and generics that allow you to set
parameters for classes and methods, while adding many features commonly found
in other modern programming languages.
Facebook noted that it was becoming problematic handle many
common tasks in PHP, such as calling a method accidentally on a null object,
which would generate an error that you wouldn’t be able to catch until runtime.
Another problem entitled with complex APIs that needed developers to look up
mundane method names in documentation. Those are just annoying unless you are
working at a company like Facebook, where developers are expected to ship code
twice a day. Thanks to the upgrade, Hack is now replacing Facebook’s entire PHP
While just about any site that uses PHP now could be
using Hack, it has not gained widespread acceptance yet. One example of a
creative uses for Hack is Vindinium, which is the basis of an AI-driven game
Introduction to Rust
Mozilla’s Rust has been in development for years, but
Rust 1.0, the first stable release, appeared in 2015. Mozilla’s David Herman
detailed what makes Rust valuable: “Rust has something unique to offer that
languages in that space have never had before, and that is a degree of safety
that languages like C and C++ have never had. … [T]here are some things that
make doing systems programming terrifying that are gone in Rust.” Specifically,
he’s talking about security vulnerabilities in C++.
Rust was made to give programmers complete control
through extensive compile-time checking. For example, browser exploits in C++,
which caused Firefox to be unstable, would generate compile-time bugs in Rust
and close the hole.
The 2016 State of Rust Survey reported that one-fifth of
the language’s users are deploying it for commercial purposes, either full or
Rust won first place for Most Loved Programming Language
of 2016 in the Stack Overflow Developer Survey.
Introduction to Swift
Apple has many new hardware platforms, like the Apple
Watch and Apple TV. Swift was built for them. Initially, it was brought out in
2014 as a better alternative for Objective-C, since it makes it easier to build
native apps for iOS. It’s also made for building apps on OSX, watchOS, tvOS and
At the end of last year it became open source. Many
or Python for developing apps. Lyft rewrote their iOS app in Swift, not due to
any problems with the existing app, but because Swift made it easy to improve
the base code they wrote in a hurry before launch.
Many of the biggest app developers on iOS have already
incorporated Swift into ecosystems, including:
The Weather Channel
Swift has moved up to 17th place in the Redmonk Programming
Language Rankings of 2016.