Article on Entwickler.de - Using Corona Pause: 5 tools that developers should take a closer look at

May 13th 2020 by Maximilian Fischer

Note: this was an article orginally published at www.entwickler.de. Click here for the orginial article.

The current situation has an impact on all our lives. However, home office, cancelled holidays and lockdown measures can also be used positively - why not broaden your own horizon and learn something new? Maximilian Fischer presents 5 possible topics that are worth a look for developers.

The Corona crisis has many negative sides, but it also offers opportunities. The time that some currently have can be used effectively. Finally reading the book that has been on the bedside table for so long, learning to do a handstand or learning a new language. For developers the free time offers the chance to learn new skills. Here is a collection of interesting frameworks, programming languages and other tools to look at during this time.

AR Core/ Google Play Services for AR

AR Core is a developer framework for AR/VR applications. In August 2017 the technology was presented by Google, quasi as the successor of Project Tango. The special thing about AR Core is that it can not only be used on Android devices with special sensors. ARCore works with Java/OpenGL, Unity and Unreal. The basic functions of the framework are recognizing and reading the environment, tracking objects and analyzing light and shadow sources. One application developed with ARCore, for example, is the App Measure, which can be used to measure objects. In August 2019 AR Core was renamed "Google Play Services for AR".

ActyxOS

ActyxOS is a developer platform designed specifically for the automation of industrial processes. It is based on a decentralized edge computing system. The data storage is done by forming a block chain. The decentralized approach enables the development of applications that are independent of a central communication or storage point. In this way, time-sensitive data can be reliably communicated quasi in real time.

ActyxOS allows to execute apps locally on one or more hardware devices (e.g. tablet, smartphone, gateway). Data is automatically synchronized and stored between the devices in the local network, the apps access the data exclusively locally (APIs via localhost). The Actyx platform has consistently focused on event sourcing and offers a corresponding programming model (Actyx Pond) for easy programming of distributed applications. In combination with the decentralized approach, new devices or apps can be added without adapting existing components. The Actyx platform is designed to make developers more productive in automating processes between machines, robots and humans.

If you want to get started with ActyxOS, take at a look at the documentation.

Contentful

Contentful is a high-performance content management system. Simply put, it is a tool for digital management and distribution of content. The tool should help developers and editors alike to work together better. Content can be exported from one software to different platforms. For example a text for the company blog or a push notification to users of a shopping app.

The tool is easy to program and enables secure communication via https. Through interfaces to various online services, it is modular in design. In addition, it offers cross-browser support, an advantage with a tool that is made for developers and editors.

Rust

Rust is a relatively new, emerging programming language. It simplifies the implementation of reliable, secure and high-performance programs. The language was developed by Mozilla Research with the goal of being secure, concurrent and practical. Security refers in particular to the avoidance of program errors that lead to memory access errors or buffer overflows and thus, under certain circumstances, to security vulnerabilities. The language was designed to keep the costs of abstractions as low as possible at runtime (zero-cost abstractions) in order to achieve an efficiency comparable to C++. It also has an efficient memory consumption. Thus, especially production systems can be maintained more easily.

As a multiparadigm system programming language, Rust combines approaches from functional, object-oriented and concurrent programming, among others. Thus it allows a high level of abstraction. Syntactically the language is based on C. Several successive statements are separated by a semicolon, blocks are in curly brackets. However, the syntax differs in many details, for example, no brackets are needed around the conditions of if- and while statements. Rust is the "most popular programming language" in the Stack Overflow Developer Survey every year since 2016.

UIPath

UIPath is a platform for automating business processes using software bots and artificial intelligence. This type of automation is called "Robotic Process Automation", RPA for short, and is an important tool for creating APIs and interfaces where none exist. According to its own statement, the technology allows anyone to configure computer software or a "robot" to execute a business process. RPA robots use a user interface to capture data and manipulate applications just like humans do. They interpret, trigger reactions and communicate with other systems to perform a variety of recurring tasks. Only much better: an RPA software robot never sleeps and makes zero mistakes.

UIPath is very easy to use, and getting started is free. If you are already familiar with C# or VB.net, you should have no problems getting around with UIPath. Those who work with the system can also get certified.

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