Staying ahead of the software development curve

We work in a number of fields, from bespoke software development to web apps and SEO. They’re united in being some of the fastest-moving industries around, liable to be turned on their heads at a moment’s notice by a revolutionary new product, methodology or algorithm.

This pace of development can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how hard you’re willing to work to stay ahead of the curve. It’s not always easy, but for a developer, getting on top of these changes brings benefits both personal and professional, and it’s to be encouraged.

Software development

Software developers today must be well-versed in the staples of development, but are also increasingly required to utilise technologies that didn’t even exist a decade ago.

Recent projects at Decoded have blended the traditional good practices of database development with interfaces built in Microsoft Silverlight, for example. The HTML5 specification isn’t even complete and won’t be for at least a year, and yet it’s an integral part of any project with a web-based component.

And then we’ve got mobile app development, one of the few emergent technologies in recent decades that can, without reservation, be called revolutionary.

On the surface it seems like a small jump from the cloud-based, remote-access systems that had been on the rise for years before, but mobile apps bring a long list of all-new challenges. The problems of inefficient code – something we’ve touched on before – take on new importance when the battery life of the hardware is a consideration, for instance.

New interface paradigms, from iOS and Android to Microsoft’s Metro, don’t always work with what might have been perfect for a desktop or web-based solution and can change dramatically across OS updates.

And woe betide the developer who builds his system on the assumption that an app will have the rock-solid network connection of a computer in an office, because anyone who’s tried to use a 3G connection outside an urban area can tell you that’s going to be a problem. We’ve been there and have the experience and expertise to avoid such pitfalls through features built into our frameworks.

This goes for all areas where high-tech companies do business. Just last week, for instance, Google used the annual SXSW conference to talk about this year’s changes to the way its search algorithms will work that could have a big impact on how businesses can be found on the world’s most popular search engine.

For anyone who relies on Google to bring in trade, understanding the way things are moving is a responsibility to their business’s future, and we’ve already started getting ready.

We consider keeping on top of these things to be one of the most important aspects of continuing to be good software developers. We invest time and money in keeping our skills, tools and frameworks on the cutting edge so that our product is as good as it can be, best able to meet the client’s requirements efficiently and continue to do so long into the future.

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