Top learning tips for developers in 2022

Jacqueline Luz

Marketing Coordinator

Learning opportunities for developers continue to evolve as Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud technology grows in demand. Recently I sat down with three of our developers, Marcus Lim, Kieran Yeates and Thomas Iwainski to find out what they are excited to learn about in 2022. They also offered valuable tips and resources for other developers looking to upskill.

Greater focus on open source security risks

Marcus, one of 4mation’s newest software developers, believes there will be a much bigger focus on cybersecurity risks in 2022. In particular, those that come with open-source projects in both public and private applications. 

At the end of 2021, there were two cyber security incidents that Marcus specifically sees as drivers for this push. These were the discovery of a critical vulnerability within the popular Log4j2 logging library and the owner/author of colors.js, Marak Squires, adding malicious code to this commonly used project. These open-source libraries were depended on by millions of apps and services worldwide, with the fallout of these incidents impacting businesses across the globe. Log4j2 is one of the most common Java logging frameworks, providing a high degree of customisation when logging while providing minimal overhead; while Color.js is a popular javascript library that allows developers to colour and style text that is sent to the console.  

“Two big incidents last year, Log4J and Color.js, placed a huge focus on the security of open-source software. Given how the libraries do such simple tasks, it was a big wake up call how critical a security issue it caused.” – Marcus.

Marcus uses platforms such as Medium and Ars Technica to stay on top of tech trends. He also recommends Reddit forums for getting breaking news, with his recommended subreddits including r/programming, r/sysadmin, r/cybersecurity, and r/self-hosted.

 Marcus Lim | Javascript Developer

Demand for integration continues to rise

A 2019 survey of 650 IT leaders concluded that integration barriers were slowing down 84 per cent of organisations planning or amid digital transformation efforts. Developer lead, Kieran Yeates, continues to see more companies focusing on integrating the products and processes they use. He believes this will become increasingly popular in 2022 as companies aim to manage their operations better and satisfy consumer demands.

“Something I’ve noticed in the past year is that integration seems to be a lot more popular. We have had clients who don’t want applications developed themselves but plugins and integrations on top of larger platforms. Building on top of services will be a lot more popular this year.” – Kieran.

For instance, in 2021, we helped one of our clients, Altus Traffic integrate their core business application. This was through integrating with third parties, including their mobile application, Alloc8 and their checklist and inspection platform, iAuditor. In addition, our ability to work with multiple third parties and integrations improves processes and creates a safe environment for Altus staff.

Kieran uses Hacker News to stay on top of tech trends in the industry. Hacker News is a website that features user-posted stories on computer science and entrepreneurship.

 Kieran Yeates | Dev Lead

  • Working at 4mation for nine years
  • Learns by gaining practical experience and reading documentation
  • Finds the motivation to learn new technologies by watching YouTubers talk about why they’re interesting

AI skills in demand

In 2022, demand continues to rise for artificial intelligence-based devices that make our work more accessible and efficient. According to Times Of India, tech leaders believe AI will be the most transformational technology humanity has ever created.

As demand for AI technologies rises, many developers are starting to upskill. This is particularly the case in software development, where AI is already changing the industry. In Australia, the government is investing millions of dollars to help drive business adoption of AI technologies. Moreover, Machine Learning Engineer is the second-highest growing job title in Australia this year.

One of our developers, Thomas Iwainski is excited to build upon his knowledge of AI this year. 

“I’d love to get a better feel for how we could incorporate AI into our projects at 4mation. There is a lot of use cases for AI, and it would be awesome to use AI to help solve business problems for our clients.” – Thomas

Thomas uses daily.dev to stay on top of tech trends in the industry. Daily. dev collects and ranks articles from hundreds of sources, allowing developers to stay on top of that latest tech news and even curate their own feed.

Thomas Iwainski | Mid-Developer

 Thomas Iwainski | Mid Developer

  • Tech trends he is noticing: Web technologies (such as java & react), artifical intelligence and crypto
  • Achievement from 2021: Began his AWS Cloud Computing course

Learning and development

According to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report, 93% of employees would stay at a company longer that invests in their careers.

Agency life means developers gain experience quickly as they’re working on a broad range of projects across many different industries. For example, Thomas is excited this year about the opportunity to work with startups and on innovative projects.

“I’m looking forward to working more with startups and on innovative projects rather than legacy projects.” – Thomas.

Meanwhile, Kieran spoke about how this year will allow him to learn a range of technologies and processes.

“I’m looking forward to learning AWS and DevOps methodologies, procedures and feedback loops. Governance will be a focus for me, learning how to make sure practices and security is followed and when it’s not. I want to focus on developer quality of life, making environments easier to run, making working with developers easier and getting feedback easier. – Kieran

Get hands-on experience and avoid burnout

Developers need to spend time outside of work hours developing their skills to ensure they’re on top of new technologies. Both Marcus and Thomas spoke about learning tactics they will be using in 2022 to help them develop their skills whilst avoiding burnout.

For Marcus, he will be working on a side project that’s developing his front end skills. The project is a responsive web application based on Pokemon that uses machine vision.

“The reason I decided to do it was to develop my front end skills. This project encompasses several of my technology learning goals and gives me the chance to refresh some skills whilst working on others I’m not as strong in. Working towards building my end product helps me to stay focused, motivated and teaches me how to manage a project.” – Marcus

Meanwhile, Thomas will focus on practically implementing what he sees in tutorials.

“I learn more by doing and with practical work. For example, if I read about a design pattern or a new tech stack, ill try and do it practically with a tutorial and then implement it.” – Thomas.

Thomas also spoke about the importance of work-life balance and offered some advice to avoid burnout in 2022.

“You have to find your balance and stand up for yourself at work sometimes. At 4mation, I’ve found it less of an issue than at previous companies. 4mation is open and responsive when you tell them you need a break or feel overworked. However, at previous companies, the culture has made me feel like I cant raise an issue. It’s important in these situations to know your limits and try not to do it all.” – Thomas

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