Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Technology Radar

Acclaimed IT Consultancy company ThoughtWorks recently published its October Technology Radar.
This publication assessess software techniques, software tools, software platforms, software languages and makes recommendations regarding the various offerings.

In a world where the technologies changes are rapid and where choices can seem overwhelming it is a super publication and well worth reading. It is not everyday when industry Gurus such as Martin Fowler (Chief Scientist at thoughtworks) are going to tell you their expert opinions for free.  Some of the interesting points from the latest technology radar:
  1. The proliferation of work - in - progress limits. One method to achieve this is to use Kanban limits. "Kanban" traces back to the early days of the Toyota Production system and in English it is roughtly translated to "signboard". One aspect of the Kanban system is to limit impedemence mistmatch between inter-dependent processes by imposing work-in-process limits. So there is not point having a massive amount of development in progress at any one time and then all a sudden dumping this on a test teaam.
  2. 'Mobile first' - this is a technique which considers the mobile devices rather than last.  Some simple stats substantiate this:
  3. Regarding the build tools, Maven is going out of fashion. Interestingly because it never fully dumped XML.  I tend to agree with this.  While Maven offered some improvements over Ant in how it handled Maven, if you wanted to do anything which was not the Maven way you had to write a plugin which some people found hacky especially as project complexity grows.  Rake and Gradle offer better alternatives.
  4. The testing framework Jasmine for JavaScript gets a lot of praise.  QUnit (the one from JQuery which this blog covered recently) doesn't get any. Jasmine is more geared towards BDD whereas QUnit is more TDD.
  5. Very interestingly the performance and scalability tool Locust is suggested over JMeter. One advantage Locust has is that it is not thread bound. This means you do not need a separate thread to simulate every client.  to simulate some geographical dispersion amongst your clients  Saas Performance testing tools such as Blitz.io and Tealeaf are suggested as tools on the up.
  6. The most popular project in GitHub (over 40,000 stargazers at time of writing), Twitter Bootstrap is promoted for its powerfuls of components and features. I really like the look of Twitter Bootstrap. It is used by NASA, MSNBC and practically every start up.


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