On Our Radar This Week: Programming Languages, IOT and Screencasts

James Hibbard
James Hibbard

Welcome to On Our Radar, a weekly round-up of news, trends and other cool stuff from the world of web development.

Microsoft has been in the news a lot this week, as its Worldwide Partner Conference took place in Washington D.C. Of the five key trends the company focused on, it seems that their cloud strategy will be the most instrumental in carrying them forward. The news wasn’t all good though, as their COO admitted to a device share of just 14% and news of the biggest round of job cuts in the software giant’s history was revealed.

Net neutrality was also back in the headlines. The FCC’s public comment period on their proposed net neutrality rule was due to expire on July 15th, but an overwhelming surge in traffic to the site, saw the deadline pushed back. At the time of writing 780,000 comments had been filed by the (presumably irate) American public. For those of you who don’t know what net neutrality is, here’s an amusing take on it by John Oliver.

Also newsworthy is the fact that Twitter upgraded its tweet analytics dashboard for advertisers and verified users. This means that we now have more ways to measure engagement on Twitter than just retweets and favorites, but of course, not everyone thinks this is a good idea.

Programming Languages

Nowadays, there are a plethora of programming languages available, with new ones sprouting up all the time (for example, Apple’s Swift). Developers often have a hard time knowing which languages to concentrate on, or which language to learn next. To help separate the wheat from the chaff, here’s an overview of what’s hot and what’s not:

Finally, as there’s hopefully a programmer or two reading this, here’s a programming joke:

— Knock knock!
— Race condition
— Who’s there?


It never ceases to amaze me what can be done with CSS, from animation to typography to recreating the Simpsons characters (I guess some people have too much time). Here are some more articles outlining the latest techniques and tricks:

JavaScript All the Things

Nowadays, JavaScript can be found anywhere from embedded systems to client-side frameworks. People have also managed to use it to make a browser, write emulators, and it power some pretty impressive games. Here are some more resources to keep you up-to-date with the world’s most ubiquitous runtime:

And if that wasn’t enough, this guy wants to use JavaScript to fight homelessness. Awesome!

Buzzword of the Week – IOT

The Internet of Things (IOT) describes a future where everyday physical objects (such as your fridge or toaster) will be connected to the Internet and be able to identify themselves to other devices. This future is nearer than you might imagine and represents big bucks for lots of companies (like really, really big bucks). Here’s some further reading:

Yessirree, that there Internet of Things sure is cool. It’s just a shame that they treat security as an afterthought.

And that’s just about it for another week.

Before I sign off, here are a couple of neat screencasts that I’ve spotted: GoRails – a Ruby on Rails screencasts for developers who want to become pros (could this be the heir apparent to RailsCasts?), and Sysadmin Casts – simple bite sized screencasts for, you guessed it, sysadmins.

I’ll leave you with the news that Silicon Valley is one step closer to being its own state (really) and a fascinating insight into what it was like to interview for Google.

Now it’s over to you: What exciting new programming languages are you using? What do you think about CSS pre-processors? Is the Internet of Things something you want to be part of? Let us know and the conversation can begin.

Also, if you have any problems implementing anything covered here, or just want to discuss it some more, SitePoint’s forums are a great place to visit.