Blog: Web trends – Emerging tech and the skills you’ll need this year

Digital trainer Oli Ward gives ADLIB the lowdown on the web technologies to watch out for in 2016
13th January 2016

With technology one thing is for sure, it’s always progressing! So what does this year have in store for those of us in the tech community?

Oli-Ward-Founder-Instructor-develop-meWe caught up with Oli Ward (pictured right), founder of and instructor for digital training company Develop Me, to pick his brains, specifically focussing on what we can expect from upcoming web technologies in 2016. Here are a few pointers for the emerging online tech Oli thinks it’s worth keeping on top of:

Service Worker

A service worker is a JavaScript script that is run by your browser when a user visits a site and acts as a proxy to the network, and therefore allows control over how a user’s resources are cached and served, and what to do if there is no network access.

“Service Workers will allow us to give more user-friendly offline experiences”

 

This is an emerging browser feature that many don’t seem aware of. Service Workers will allow us to give more user-friendly offline experiences, use push notifications (like a mobile app!) and background data synchronization. For example, a site can pre-fetch your daily news for your commute to work (also like a mobile app!).

Service worker is currently supported by Chrome, the newest version of Firefox and Opera, and (hopefully) will be coming to Edge (previously Internet Explorer) and Safari soon.

HTTP/2

HTTP/2 is a major revision of the web’s fundamental protocol, much needed due to the significant evolution of how we use the web since HTTP/1.1  was first used fifteen years ago.

This updated protocol should give speed and other performance improvements to web experiences.

JavaScript

shutterstock_229153663I believe we’re going to see a shift in focus with JavaScript-based technologies becoming increasingly important for both front-end and back-end developers, and therefore developers with these skills will become more in demand, and teams will look to re-train and re-tool.

This is driven by web experiences becoming increasingly application-like, whether on mobile or desktop, and users expecting fast and responsive experiences.

By ‘responsive’ I mean applications that update in real-time, and are able to update parts of the interface without needing to reload the entire page. Think about using Google Spreadsheet in the browser, or hitting the “Follow” button on the Twitter app – you don’t see a page reload each time you do something.

This has led to the adoption of JavaScript frameworks like Angular.js and React.js, and will likely lead to greater development of browser-based applications, potentially with a move from native mobile applications on those platforms to maintaining apps built with web technologies.

There has also been a paradigm shift with Node.js, and truly, this is a time where that phrase is appropriate!

Node is an asynchronous, event-driven framework that allows fast and highly scalable data-driven applications to be built.

It is a significant shift in the way that interaction between a user’s browser or application communicates with a server, as well as allowing us to write server-side code in JavaScript!

All of this brought together represents a set of technologies using JavaScript, with the likely effect being developers will be writing more JavaScript as it becomes a major component of applications, with less PHP and other, traditional server-side languages.

These languages will still play a role, but it will be the JavaScript developers who start to own online behavior and logic.

WordPress

And, to confirm that these trends are significant, the new WordPress.com codebase, codenamed “Calypso“, has moved WordPress.com away from MySQL and PHP, instead using Node.js on the server to build the initial web page and React.js to built the interface.

Thank you Oli for sharing! This is an abstract from a longer blog post: head to the ADLIB website to read the full article, including points about: from 4G to 5G and ad blocking. For more information on Develop Me’s workshops for technical teams, including its 3 month junior developer training programme visit the Develop Me website.