Feb 14, 2020 newsletter

Is it finally the dawn of dual screens and foldables?

Microsoft foldables and dual screens

As part of Microsoft Developer Day, Microsoft announced a set of new developer tools to power its dual screen ambitions. With the help of developers, Microsoft hopes to be a leading dual screen platform.

Microsoft is releasing a new OS and new devices. Microsoft released its first emulator for Windows 10X, its new operating system designed exclusively for foldable and dual screen devices. With Windows 10X, developers can make apps that span multiple screens and work together across screens.

Microsoft also released an updated preview SDK for Surface Duo, its new dual screen device that works like a compact foldable tablet. The Surface Duo is a less powerful version of Surface Neo, Microsoft’s other planned dual screen device that will run Windows 10X.

Microsoft is taking it to the browser, too. As Microsoft looks to be a leader in dual screen devices, it's also focusing its efforts on modernizing the world’s most popular browsers. Microsoft revealed that it has proposed a new JavaScript API and a CSS media query so that web developers can make their web apps compatible with dual screen devices. Microsoft intends to contribute its work to Chromium, the engine that powers Chrome, Edge, Opera, and more.

Lastly, Microsoft announced its revamped Edge DevTools that will allow developers to simulate and remotely debug dual screen devices right from Microsoft Edge.

So will dual screens succeed? That depends on how well developers take advantage of dual screen features—and if Microsoft’s new developer tools actually inspire developers to create a rich ecosystem of dual screen apps.

You're hired: latest developer hiring trends

Hired developer trends

Hired, a recruiting platform, released its State of Software Engineers report to analyze current hiring trends in the developer world. Hired gathered data from more than 10,000 companies, 420,000 interview requests, and 98,000 job seekers.

What are the fastest growing jobs? Demand for AR/VR engineers grew 1400% over the last year—making it the fastest growing development job. Rounding out the top three, gaming engineers and computer vision engineers saw demand grow by nearly 150% in 2019. For comparison, demand for frontend and backend engineers grew by a respectable 17% over the last year.

Want an interview? Engineers with Go skills were the most in demand, earning an average of 9+ interviews over a six week time period.

Other in-demand language skills: Scala developers earned 8.5 interviews, Ruby developers earned 8.2 interviews, and TypeScript developers earned 7.9 interviews.

But try not to be too experienced. Software engineers with 10+ years of experience get 20% fewer interview requests than those with 4 to 10 years of experience.

Maybe you don’t want an interview? The vast majority (66%) of software engineers think coding exams are irrelevant to the daily job of an engineer. For many developers, coding exams can be an unpleasant exercise, with 42% of developers citing coding exams as the most stressful part of the interview process.

Do it because you love it. More than half (53%) of software engineers said their primary motivation for learning a new programming language or framework is simply that they enjoy learning new skills. And 85% of respondents said they are glad they pursued a career in software engineering.

AI is taking over the command line

IBM AI-powered command line

IBM, one of the world’s largest technology companies, announced a new open source project to help developers work smarter and more efficiently when using the command line. Known as Project CLAI (command line artificial intelligence), IBM’s new tool adds AI-powered capabilities to the terminal.

What can it do? CLAI constantly analyzes what a developer types into the command line. When it is confident that it has a strong suggestion based on what a developer is typing, it will autonomously decide to show that suggestion in the terminal.

CLAI includes natural language processing skills that can convert plain text commands into tar or grep commands. CLAI also provides developers with a smart help feature that can find relevant solutions from Unix Stack Exchange when developers face an error in their terminal.

CLAI will also help developers manage their containers with its Kube Bot, a smart Docker automation tool. Kube Bot can automatically generate YAML configuration files by monitoring user activities in the terminal, checking cloud accounts for available services, and parsing Dockerfiles.

Why does it matter? While there are a number of rule-based command line assistants—such as bash-it, oh-my-zsh, thefuck, and tldr—these don’t scale well and are limited in their intelligence. A smarter command line assistant can save developers even more time and effort, while preventing monotonous and routine work.

What’s next? With enough training, CLAI should learn how to perform in-line search and spell checking, as well as offer code suggestions and auto-complete features.

Docker registries are leaking

Docker registries leaking

Unit 42, a research group at cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks, warned that widespread Docker registry misconfigurations are exposing hundreds of engineering teams around the world to data theft and malicious attacks.

What’s going on? A Docker registry is a "version-controlled storage for containerized applications" that help engineering teams store and manage their Docker images. These images contain all the necessary source code and configuration files to run an application.

To better understand how many organizations were improperly operating their registries, Unit 42 scanned the web for registries with misconfigured network access controls. That revealed hundreds of Docker registries that are open to intruders.

What’s the damage? According to Palo Alto Networks, "the Unit 42 team found 941 Docker registries exposed to the internet and 117 registries accessible without authentication. There were 2956 repositories and 15,887 tags in these registries, meaning effectively that nearly 3000 applications and almost 16,000 unique versions of these were exposed."

Exposed organizations include research institutes, retailers, news media firms, and technology companies.

Why this is important: Docker containers have fundamentally changed software development over the last decade. Applications are far more portable and modular, helping developers better bundle software and configuration in a bid to accelerate and simplify development.

With that innovation has come newfound cybersecurity risks that some development teams are only beginning to understand. Securing new container-based workflows will become even more critical for development teams.

Small bytes

  • The US Army is fighting a war against data poisoning, a cybersecurity threat that involves malicious actors slightly altering massive data sets to mistrain machine learning algorithms [FEDSCOOP]
  • A recent expose revealed that some coding bootcamps are not delivering on their promises. Students complain about unprepared teaching staff, changing curriculums, and poor administration [THE VERGE]
  • After a Freedom of Information Request, the NSA released an internal Python course that is now available to every developer [ZDNET]
  • Google released Colab Pro, its real-time data science collaboration platform that ships with access to GPUs and TPUs. Developers can easily train and execute AI systems with far less setup than other machine learning stacks [GOOGLE]
  • Firefox released version 73, with a focus on making its developer tools more performant and more powerful [FIREFOX]


  • The Mint programming language offers a set of tools including a build tool, code formatter, documentation generator, playground, and package manager to help build single page applications [MINT]
  • Stage.js is a 2D JavaScript library for cross-platform HTML5 game development [STAGE]
  • Autocode is an integrated development environment for connecting APIs and creating app-to-app workflows [AUTOCODE]
  • OpenChakra is an open-source visual editor for React [OPENCHAKRA]
  • PDFBlade is a developer-friendly HTML to PDF API [PDFBLADE]
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Every week, our team will send you three of the most important stories for developers, including our analysis of why they matter. Software development changes fast, but src is your secret weapon to stay up to date in the developer world.

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