Credits : softwarequality.techtarget

Loki, an artificial intelligence who self-identifies as female, lives in a box on the floor of creator Brandon Wirtz’s apartment. Loki is a fanatical researcher who works for imaginary points and plays a lot of games like 20 Questions and I Spy. She is also capable of writing one million lines of code in Python in a single day.

Is she, or something like her, going to be your new colleague — or your office rival? That remains to be seen, but for the first time, experts are staking their positions.

At a time when technology is advancing so rapidly it’s empowering “citizen technologists” to tackle jobs once held only by highly trained specialists, it’s a fair question to ask what artificial intelligence in software development is going to mean for the future.

In 2017, AI skills count

Certainly demand for AI knowledge is skyrocketing. Data from Upwork, a site that matches employers with experienced freelancers around the world, shows artificial intelligence is the fastest growing experience set companies are looking for this year, and the second most requested skill overall. And software developers are already seeing some erosion in the value of their profession, even without AI: The rise of low-code/no-code platforms has made it possible for nearly anyone to create an application.

Whether nearly anyone includes a robot, however, remains controversial, even among those who are actively working with artificial intelligence in software development today. On one side are those who believe an AI will be better, stronger and faster at creating basic code and the only question that remains is when. Others think human elements like creativity will keep coding largely free of the Lokis of this world. But either way, this is clearly no time for developers to be complacent.

“The challenge is that so much of coding these days is practically a blue-collar job with commodity employees for the most part,” said Wirtz, CEO and founder of natural language engine developer Recognant in the San Francisco area. “Not everyone is a commodity coder. Are there people who come up with pure genius code? There are, and those people are always going to be in demand. But if you’re asking if AI is going to eat those [commodity coder] jobs, the answer is yes.”And some go even further. Douglas Rushkoff, a professor of media theory and digital economics at Queens College, City University of New York and author of Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity, spent the late ’90s telling everyone they should learn how to code. His take now: It’s too late.

“People who think learning to code is going to help them compete in the job landscape of the future have another thing coming,” he said flatly. He likened learning to code to learning the alphabet. “If you’re looking at the utility value of coding there’s no point. Computers and robots are going to beat us at this, and they’re going to create better code than people can.”

AI only as good as what humans put in it

All that said, artificial intelligence in software development is not as simple as it sounds. Patrick Meenan, a developer with 20 years’ experience who is actively working with AI, sees the possibilities but is quick to dismiss the idea that AI is going to replace developers any time soon.

For starters it’s important to remember that a machine learning system (one type of AI) is only as good as the training a human gives it. “We’re never going to be able to completely replace the rules-based stuff humans put into it,” Meenan said. And even then there are limits. “AI-based facial recognition systems can be fooled by people wearing masks. The AI can’t distinguish between that and a real human face. That’s a problem.”

But what Meenan does see is how pieces of AI, like machine learning, can become part of a developer’s repertoire. “AI is going to take on more functions and responsibility, but it’s not revolutionary,” he said. “This is going to give us a tool set of things we can use to do other things, like automation.”

To put it another way, AI is a technology developers can use to make them smarter, said Ari Weil, senior director of industry marketing at Akamai. “I think you’re going to see AI next to the developer in the sense of an assistant in the next 18 to 24 months,” he said. An “AI coach” could check a developer’s code and give nearly instant feedback, something that could dramatically speed up CI/CD workflows, Weil said. This isn’t a pipe dream — he’s met with an early stage startup working on just this idea.

‘AI really needs history’

But to use AI in a bigger way — say to predict how a new app will function under the demands of Black Friday — it’s going to need a tremendous amount of data points, something that’s not always easy to come up with, Meenan said. “It’s not going to know what a Black Friday launch problem looks like if it doesn’t have enough Black Friday data. AI really needs history. It’s not good at dealing with things it hasn’t seen before.”

What would Loki do in that situation? “Loki will tell me, ‘I don’t know how to do this thing, but I believe this is a code example,'” Wirtz said. “She will go out to GitHub and find some articles or examples. She can’t do it, but she can recognize code that someone put in an example. And then she asks me.”

That leaves him hopeful about the future of artificial intelligence in software development and somewhat reassured about the human role. “I think we’re getting very close to the time where we can say, ‘I’ve built this code, but it uses too much memory for some devices so Loki can take it and optimize it for each device.’ But we are a long ways from really trusting a business decision made by the AI. It can do the research, but we’re always going to need someone where the buck stops who decides what we’re going to do.”

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Credits : Betanews

Credits : Betanews


The quality of your company’s data can have a major effect on the software deployment, new research has claimed.

According to a report by Delphix, poor data quality is to blame for roughly 15 percent of software defects, with higher-level data a major factor in faster application development.

The report, entitled State of Test Data Management, also says that many IT firms admitted to compromising data quality, despite the fact that the ability to bring high-quality software to market is considered “critical” to business success.

Businesses are adopting agile and DevOps methodologies to improve innovation, but when it comes to Test Data Management, things get a little tricky. TDM is “prohibitively slow” and constrains app development times.

It takes almost four days and four people to provision an environment for testing and development purposes. Data privacy is usually compromised, and three quarters of respondents said engineers are often allowed access to unprotected sensitive information.

“Application development teams need fast and reliable test data for their projects. Yet many are constrained by the speed, quality, security, and costs of moving data across environments,” explains Iain Chidgey, VP of Sales International at Delphix. “Since it takes significant time and effort to move and manage data, developer environments can take days or weeks to provision. In turn, this places a strain on operations teams and creates time sinks, ultimately slowing down the pace of application delivery.”

But it’s not all gloom and doom, though. Almost half (45 percent) reported working on improving TDM, and 43 percent are confident their organization will improve on its TDM practices in the next 12 months.

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Credits : Forbes

Credits : Forbes


Is our boring future going to be moving from software development to tools configuration in big companies with big projects? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Mario Peshev, CEO of DevriX, on Quora:

A certain portion of the software development industry will become automated and obsolete to some extent—opening jobs for configurators, site builders, and the like.

That’s always been the case whenever various elements are repetitive and could be bundled together in order to optimize the workload and increase the efficiency of a company—especially given the competitive market out there.

That said, the software development industry isn’t going anywhere. There’s plenty of innovation required and tons of custom work that isn’t available yet or is not efficient for various organizations.

There are three main aspects that would still be valid and in demand over the next thirty to fifty years:

  1. Flexibility
  2. Performance
  3. Security

The flexibility aspect includes custom features, integrations, tailored admin, and user areas for better usability and adaptability for given industries. That covers both the front-facing part of software development, the engines running behind the scenes, and various tools interacting in between.

The performance problem is often valid whenever you try to bundle a few tools or solutions together for a high-scale solution. In order to cater for more markets, those aren’t flexible enough and load tons of data and code that slows the application drastically. That may also affect the stability of the application in the long run and be unbearable for solutions that handle a large volume of users or data.

In terms of security, there’s always been a misalignment between top-notch security and freedom of use and adjustability. The more secure an application is, the more steps or restrictions are introduced in the usability cycle. This means that an “off the shelf” solution will either be super secure, or usable and vulnerable (in general, that is). There are ways to work around those problems and build custom layers for backups, intrusion detection and prevention systems, proper logging, and adequate security without causing too much trouble for users while still being a preferred choice for them.

In addition to that, smart homes and new hardware requiring custom development are quite popular nowadays. This expands to robots, solutions requiring machine learning and artificial intelligence, enterprise solutions with custom programming languages for reporting, data management and profiling, analytics and statistics and whatnot.

Even if we consider a world with hundreds of thousands of tools, components, and libraries handling 90% of the development work out there, those would require millions of engineers who can support, extend, and integrate those solutions with others. Which is what software developers do. This will never be the case for large platforms used by many of the websites you visit on the daily basis (which are being continuously developed by millions of engineers as well).

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Credits : Thehindu

Credits : Thehindu


Explaining the reasons for the delay in announcing the results, Vice-Chancellor of the VTU Karisiddappa said the development of the university’s software took longer than expected. “Once the software was ready, teachers were unable to come for evaluation duty as classes for the next semester had started,” he said on Thursday.

Normally, the evaluation begins a week after the exams and the results are announced two weeks after the evaluation is completed.

Though the new examination system had led to confusion among students, the Vice-Chancellor said the system had helped the university to cut costs. “Each year, we would spend Rs. 14 crore on examination. This year, as we had our own infrastructure, we spent only Rs. 4.75 crore.”

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Credits : Thurrott

Credits : Thurrott


Microsoft announced today that its Xamarin University will start a free, five-part mobile development series on June 1. The best news? Charles Petzold will appear as a special guest.

“Join a new topic every Thursday,” Microsoft’s Mark Smith explains. “Topics range from learning how to get the most out of Visual Studio 2017’s latest features to building cloud-connected games to adding intelligence with Azure Machine Learning. You will get the training, samples, and advice you need to ship amazing apps using Visual Studio and C#. Every session is totally free, open to everyone, and Xamarin University experts will be on hand to answer all your questions live.”

The series breaks down like so:

Introduction to Xamarin.Forms for Visual Studio 2017. On June 1 at 9 am PDT/12 pm EDT, Xamarin University instructor Jesse Dietrichson will teach you how you can take your .NET skills mobile with Visual Studio 2017 and Xamarin.Forms.

Building games for iOS, macOS, and tvOS with Visual Studio and Azure. On June 8 at 9 am PDT/12 pm EDT, Xamarin University instructor René Ruppert will teach you how to create multiplayer games for the latest Apple devices, from iPhone to tvOS. Topics include SpriteKit basics, integrating with cloud back-end services, and best practices for sharing C# game logic, UI, and infrastructure code across platforms.

SkiaSharp Graphics for Xamarin.Forms. On June 15 at 9 am PDT/12 pm EDT, special guest and author Charles Petzold will teach you how to use SkiaSharp, which is powered by Google’s Skia graphics library, to extend your Xamarin.Forms apps with compelling 2D graphics.

Customizing Xamarin.Forms UI. On June 22 at 9 am PDT/12 pm EDT, Join Xamarin University training manager Rob Gibbens will teach you how to embed native Android and iOS controls into your Xamarin.Forms apps, while still sharing the majority of your code.

Introduction to Azure Machine Learning. On June 29 at 9 am PDT/12 pm EDT, Xamarin University instructor Jason DeBoever will teach you how to start integrating intelligence and predictive analytics into your apps. This session includes a look at Machine Learning fundamentals, Azure Machine Learning Studio, and how easily you can build your first “smart” mobile app.

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Credits : Eurekalert

Credits : Eurekalert


A new special section of Child Development shows how particularly diverse the use of mobile technology is among children and adolescents, and points to great complexity in the effects of that usage.

This special section of Child Development, edited by Dr. Zheng Yan and Dr. Lennart Hardell, adds important information to the research in this area. It includes articles from national and international scholars on the complicated impact mobile technology has on infants, toddlers, children, teens and parents.

“There are nearly three billion children and adolescents in the world,” said Yan. “Most of them were, are, or will be various types of mobile technology users, interacting with and being influenced by mobile technology in numerous ways.”

The articles in this special section, “Contemporary Mobile Technology and Child and Adolescent Development,” consider the effects on a wide range of outcomes including:

  • Risks of using mobile phones while driving, walking, and bicycling (Stavrinos)
  • Risks of radiation in mobile phone use for brain development (Hardell; Sage)
  • Effects of mobile technology on cognitive control and attention in contexts such as parenting and early brain development and (McDaniel; Li; McClure)
  • Risks of sexting /increased risky behavior through peer pressure and social media interaction (Rice; Sherman)
  • Effects of mobile technology use on sleep, mood, and mental health (Vernon; George/Odgers)
  • Potential for monitoring children’s locations/children’s attitudes towards security and monitoring through GPS tracking (Gelman)
  • Increased connectivity across spaces and cultures (Shapka; Coyne)

Findings across the articles in the special section point to a range of outcomes including areas where mobile technology may pose potential dangers, and areas where development may be supported. An important example is the work summarized by Dr. Lennart Hardell concerning radiation and brain development. In terms of potential benefits to development, mobile technology offers new, unique ways for young children to maintain contact with family members not physically present.

“Today’s mobile technologies have become a very unique and powerful influence on child and adolescent development,” said Yan. “Its use is very personal for children and adolescents, occurs almost anywhere and anytime, and integrates telephone, television, video games, personal computers, the Internet, and many new technologies into a portable device. The evidence indicates complex impacts on young mobile technology users.”

SRCD was established in 1933 by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. The Society’s goals are to advance interdisciplinary research in child development and to encourage applications of research findings. Its membership of more than 5,700 scientists is representative of the various disciplines and professions that contribute to knowledge of child development. In addition to Child Development, SRCD also publishes Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, Child Development Perspectives, and the SRCD Social Policy Report.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

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Credits : Ign

Credits : Ign


The Wall Street Journal claims that The Legend of Zelda will follow in the footsteps of Animal Crossing, Super Mario and Fire Emblem as the next big name Nintendo franchise heading to your mobile device. Although not much information was proffered, TWS said the Zelda mobile game would follow the Animal Crossing app that is reportedly being released in the latter half of 2017 after several delays. The Legend of Zelda on mobile will be developed with DeNA.

Nintendo originally promised it would launch 5 mobile games by March 2017, however only three came to fruition before that date: Miitomo, Super Mario Run, and Fire Emblem Heroes. Shigeru Miyamoto said that while the plan was to release 5 games all along, “market conditions and the development process for each title” has removed one unknown game – in all likelihood this Zelda title – from the release window.

Mysteriously, the report also mentioned that Pokemon Co. was planning a new Pokemon ‘card-game app’, with no further detail.

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