GitHub Universe outlines plans for the future of software development

About ten years ago, GitHub embarked on a journey to create a platform that brought together the world’s largest developer community. Now that the company believes it has reached its initial goals, it is looking to the future with plans to expand the ecosystem and transform the way developers code through new tools and data.

“Development hasn’t had that much innovation arguably in the past 20 years. Today, we finally get to talk about what we think is the next 20 years, and that is development that is fundamentally different and driven by data,” said Miju Han, engineering manager of data science at GitHub.

The company announced new tools at its GitHub Universe conference in San Francisco that leverages its community data to protect developer code, provide greater security, and enhance the GitHub experience.

“It is clear that security is desperately needed for all of our users, open source and businesses alike. Everyone using GitHub needs security. We heard from our first open source survey this year that open source users view security and stability above all else, but at the same time we see that not everyone has the bandwidth to have a security team,” said Han.

GitHub is leveraging its data to help developers manage the complexity of dependencies in their code with the newly announced dependency graph. The dependency graph enables developers to easily keep track of their packages and applications without leaving their repository. It currently supports Ruby and JavaScript, with plans to add Python support in the near future.

In addition, the company revealed new security alerts that will use human data and machine learning to track when dependencies are associated with public security vulnerabilities, and recommend a security fix for it.

“This is one of the first times where we are going from hosting code to saying this is how it could be better, this is how it could be different,” said Han.

On the GitHub experience side, the company announced the ability to discover new projects with news feed and explore capabilities. “We want people to dig deeper into their interests and learn more, which is one of the core things it means to be a developer,” said Han.

The new news feed capabilities allows users to discover repositories right from their dashboard, and gain recommendations on open source projects to explore. The recommendations will be based off of people users are following, their starred repositories, and popular GitHub project.

“You’re in control of the recommendations you see: Want to contribute to more Python projects? Star projects like Django or pandas, follow their maintainers, and you’ll find similar projects in your feed. The ‘Browse activity’ feed in your dashboard will continue to bring you the latest updates directly from repositories you star and people you follow,” the company wrote in a blog.

The “Explore” experience has been completely redesigned to connect users with curated collections, topics, and resources so they can dig into a specific interest like machine learning or data protection, according to Han.

Han went on to explain that the newly announced features are just the beginning of how the company plans to take code, make it better, and create an ecosystem that helps developers move forward.

“These experiences are a first step in using insights to complement your workflow with opportunities and recommendations, but there’s so much more to come. With a little help from GitHub data, we hope to help you find work you’re interested in, write better code, fix bugs faster, and make your GitHub experience totally unique to you,” the company wrote.

A guide to low-code development solutions

Dell Boomi: Dell Boomi is an IT service management company that lets teams build integrations anytime, anywhere with no coding required using Dell Boomi’s industry leading iPaaS platform. There’s no hardware or software to manage, so teams can easily build, deploy and manage their integrations with ease. The Boomi platform also includes API management, EDI management, master data management, workflows, and it connects more than 200 applications and 1,000 endpoints for businesses.

Kintone: kintone is a company behind the database application platform that employees can use without writing a single line of code. Teams can run processes, test them, iterate on them, and find the best configuration with kintone’s no-code/low-code business process management. The platform features branched workflows, no-code process management, and notifications and trigger based reminders. Teams can also navigate databases quickly and easily, diving into their data with easy-to-use and easy-to-configure views and filters.

OutSystems: OutSystems is a low-code platform that lets you visually develop your application, integrate with existing systems and add your own code when needed. The OutSystems platform is top-rated because of its speed, integration with everything, great UX by default, and its low-code abilities without constraints. OutSystems was rated a leader in two low-code development waves, and it was rated a mobile application development platforms leader from Gartner.

Xojo: Xojo, a development tool, lets teams use the same tool and language to build native apps for multiple platforms. Experienced developers can tap into Xojo’s platform for additional resources, but it’s easy to learn and powerful enough to develop anything, making it the ideal development tool for all experience levels. Xojo currently has over 330,000 users worldwide and Xojo apps can be found anywhere, from Fortune 500 to commercial software, small businesses, and everything in between.

Alpha Software: Alpha Software’s Alpha Anywhere platform is a complete business application development and deployment environment that enables users to quickly become proficient in creating mobile business forms and applications that run across all devices. Alpha Anywhere has the unique capability to rapidly create offline capable, mobile-optimized forms and business apps that can easily access and integrate with existing databases and web services, and can exploit built-in role-based security.

Appian: Appian’s platform combines the speed of low-code development with the power of process management, and more. It allows teams to quickly build unified views of business information from across existing systems, and lets them create optimized processes that manage and interact with their data. Users can also deploy their enterprise-grade app everywhere — with one click. Abandon the need for code with drag-and-drop, declarative, visual development for all aspects of app dev – UX design, process design, rules design, and more.

Capriza: Capriza lets teams transform workflows from existing applications into simple, intuitive experiences that are accessible anytime, anywhere. The core components of its platform include a library of critical micro apps, a personalized mobile workspace, a no-code designer, seamless runtime, live monitoring and analytics, and enterprise-grade security and scalability.

i-exceed: Appzillon, i-exceed’s flagship product, is a feature loaded, agile, secure, and flexible mobile application development platform (MADP). Considering the fragmentation of technology users today, the platform can be used to deliver channel and device agnostic applications for smartphones, feature phones, tablets, desktops, and laptops. Appzillon also has good support for offline apps, user engagement, and content and collaboration capabilities.

K2: K2 offers an established platform that excels across mobile, workflow, and data. K2’s core strength is support for building complex apps that incorporate mobile, workflow, and data. The company provides a data-modeling environment that allows developers to create virtual data views that bring multiple systems of record together into a single view. This allows developers to create an abstract view of the data. Additionally, K2 provides strong workflow capabilities for modeling and automating processes and assigning tasks to workers.

Kony: The Kony Visualizer is the most open and comprehensive app design and development suite, powered by the Kony Nitro Engine. Kony Visualizer is a powerful enterprise-grade platform for designing, developing and deploying rapid, low-code, native mobile and web apps using open and standard-based tools with JavaScript. Teams can create low-code, fully native and hybrid mobile and web applications, and Kony Visualizer can lower overall app development time by up to 50 percent.

Magic Software: Magic xpa Application Platform  lets you leverage the same business logic to develop once and deploy across platforms. You can create a portfolio of high performance business apps with a single skill set and minimal resources. By allowing you to develop, maintain and update apps quickly and cost-effectively, Magic supports your digital transformation and enterprise mobility strategies, making it easy for you to give your business a competitive edge.

Mendix: Mendix provides a comprehensive, integrated set of tools and platform services for the entire app lifecycle, from ideation and development through deployment and operation. Empower a continuum of people to build apps without code, from business experts to professional developers. Teams can visually model full-stack applications, including data models, UIs, and logic. With Mendix’s platform you can combine reusable building blocks to deliver apps 10 times faster than traditional approaches.

Oracle: Oracle Visual Builder Cloud Service accelerates development and hosting of engaging web and mobile applications with an intuitive browser-based visual development on the same enterprise-grade cloud platform powering Oracle SaaS Applications. Create business objects, add process automation, integrate external systems and, when needed, leverage standard Javascript to create amazing apps faster.

Salesforce: Salesforce is one of the biggest vendors of general-purpose low-code application platforms. Force.com, the Community Cloud, and the Lightning platform anchor this low-code customer base, although Salesforce also has platforms (Heroku), tools (Force.com IDE), and partnerships (with continuous-delivery tool vendors) that address coders. Salesforce’s mobile low-code platform has a feature set that helps customers extend customer data managed by the vendor’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps while blending and aggregating it with data from other systems of record.

Sencha: Sencha Ext JS helps developers build data-intensive, cross-platform web applications for desktops, tablets and smartphones, with 115+ high-performance, pre-tested and integrated UI components. Using Sencha Themer with Ext JS enables developers to quickly and easily design customized application themes using graphical tools, without writing a single line of code.

The essential playbook for software-driven companies

As Marc Andreessen so aptly predicted, software is eating the world. A growing number of companies that developed physical products are adding software capabilities to their offerings. This means a growing need for companies to add software development expertise, software product engineering, embedded software engineering, ecosystem platform engineering, and new software-based application programming interfaces.

The momentum for software to remake the world is more pervasive than ever. It is a core competitive advantage in nearly every industry. Software is a fundamental element in the way companies interact with their markets, partners, consumers, and suppliers.  Software and the services it supports will continue to capture and exponentially grow share of value and market share.

Accenture is releasing a report on this topic titled Beyond the Product: Rewriting the Innovation Playbook For Software-Driven Companies. The report highlights five important actions companies should consider taking to become software-driven businesses.

One: Make software an enterprise-level priority
Companies who aspire to become market leaders need to embrace software as an enterprise-wide responsibility across all facets of the company. Experimentation and prototyping should occur across business functions, producing a continuous pipeline of new ideas and product capabilities. The most successful companies engineer their software products to enable constant customer feedback to new features so they can be resolved and inform continuous and rapid product innovation.

Using powerful analytics capabilities, companies have transformed product definition from an art to a science. And all areas of their businesses, ranging from finance to marketing, need to adopt a software-driven mindset to support quick development cycles associated with software-driven businesses.

Two: Adopt lean and agile ways of working
Nearly all companies, regardless of industry or market, need to develop a certain level of software expertise and mentality to succeed. The companies that do this can open a sizable gap from a field of followers by increasing the rate of product releases through continued investment in automated build, test, and deployment systems. Early innovators appreciate the value of lean, design-led thinking throughout the product lifecycle and are embracing the mantra that agile adoption is no longer only for engineers; it’s assumed across the entire value chain. Rapid, agile processes allow innovators to devote more time and resources to creativity and imagination. The goal is establishing a continuous flow in which established teams consume and deliver against a company-managed backlog of feature requests. This contrasts with the traditional and less efficient model of assembling project teams or discrete engagements.

Three: Harness instrumentation and analytics
To attain market leadership, companies should consider using powerful instrumentation and analytics to observe, enhance and understand how their products powered by software are being used, and to feed insights and strategies for future iterations and agile development. The cloud, connected devices and platform economy have generated more data to analyze, which is creating new opportunities to monetize that data. Companies that capitalize on this opportunity can determine which products and features will generate the most increases in revenues and profits.

Four: Focus on the platform economy 
Leaders in the cloud computing software market recognize their ground-breaking products and services are based on platforms. Their continued success rests on two key elements: the technology platforms they have built to support their businesses; and the business models these platforms enable. These leaders have open platforms for developing new applications and services for the broader ecosystem, which creates an expanded and growing revenue model. Leaders have also developed a set of common services with which their businesses and external developers can create applications and innovative new propositions on their platform to unlock new revenue flows and increase customer dependency.

Five: Tie products to the back office
Today’s demanding markets require products integrated with external ecosystems and internal corporate systems to deliver outcomes and experiences focused on customers. In this software-driven world, the back office is no longer a discrete set of processes that support sales and services. Instead, the back office is an integral part of the engine that powers the agile software-driven experience. Back office functions such as customer relationship management, finance and supply chain facilitate the transactional services that enable the ongoing delivery and fulfillment of software. While there is an increased reliance on software to deliver product features, connected, software-driven products are creating new “Everything-as-a-Service” and Internet of Things market opportunities for those that recognize the importance of tying together products and the back office.

Final thoughts
These five initiatives demonstrate that becoming a business driven by software requires genuine holistic transformation. It’s not simply a matter of becoming a digital enterprise on the outside. Adapting to dynamic markets and all this implies in terms of agility and responsiveness is equally important. The results for companies that have made the required changes demonstrate that the rewards they have generated will fuel their continued leadership and success.

Companies to watch in 2018

The world of software development involves so much more than writing code these days. Developers need to understand artificial intelligence, the cloud, new methodologies, and the expanding infrastructure required for the Internet of Things. Here are some companies our editors are watching to lead the way.

tCell
WHAT THEY DO: Application security
WHY WE’RE WATCHING: With data breaches recurring at an alarming rate, this startup is building DevSecOps solutions for companies that understand the importance of security and are looking for a better way.

Kore.ai
WHAT THEY DO: Bots
WHY WE’RE WATCHING: The future of user interfaces is conversational (see: Siri, Cortana, Alexa, et al) and kore.ai is using artificial intelligence to enable intelligent dialogs between humans and IT systems.

built.io
WHAT THEY DO: Integration platform-as-a-service
WHY WE’RE WATCHING: built.io Flow is a platform created for connectivity via API that enables organizations to automate workflows. Flow Express is a low-code solution for business users.

Usermind
WHAT THEY DO: Customer engagement
WHY WE’RE WATCHING: Usermind’s platform ensures that data is compatible, accessible and actional across teams and systems, without the need to run queries. This provides the context organizations require to build successful applications.

Veritone
WHAT THEY DO: Artificial intelligence
WHY WE’RE WATCHING: Veritone has created a platform that provides access to its cognitive engines, for such things as face and object recognition, natural language understanding and more, in what the company calls an operating system for AI.

Postdot Technologies
WHAT THEY DO: API management
WHY WE’RE WATCHING: More than 3 million developers are using the company’s Postman API development environment to create, test, document and share APIs.

Plotly
WHAT THEY DO: Data visualization
WHY WE’RE WATCHING: The company recently released an open-source project, Dash, to help developers build analytical web applications using the Python programming language. Dash is built on Plotly.js, React and Flask to connect UI components to the analytical Python code.

Kinetica
WHAT THEY DO: Data analytics
WHY WE’RE WATCHING: An advanced analytics database provider that uses GPUs for IoT data and analytics for real-time insights into data streams and large data sets.

Algorithmia
WHAT THEY DO: Algorithm marketplace
WHY WE’RE WATCHING: The company offers an enterprise solution for algorithms, functions and machine learning models that can run as microservices. It has backing from Google’s AI venture fund Gradient Ventures.

SLAMcore
WHAT THEY DO: Localization and mapping
WHY WE’RE WATCHING: This early-stage startup helps developers create robotic, augmented reality and virtual reality solutions that localize, navigate and understand unfamiliar surroundings. It is backed by Toyota AI Ventures.

Bonsai 
WHAT THEY DO: AI development
WHY WE’RE WATCHING:  For business operations that span both virtual and physical worlds, bonsai’s platform makes machine learning libraries easier for developers and enterprises to manage.

Corelight
WHAT THEY DO: Network visibility
WHY WE’RE WATCHING: This cybersecurity startup has created a network visibility solution that gives information security professionals insight into what’s happening. Its founders created the Bro open-source framework and still drive its development.

Beauty vs Brains — A designer’s approach to software development

When most software developers have a new idea they go straight to their computer, I turn off my devices and break out the old fashioned notebook. In high school I liked to sketch and draw, and today I use the same markers and pens to kick off the develop process. I prefer this method because when it comes to pleasing the consumer, design always wins.

Much to the chagrin of most development heads I work with, I don’t start with a data model. The first thing I do is craft sketches of the design from a user’s point of view and work backward. After the initial design I dive into functionality, then move to development and discuss what we can realistically make. But in that discussion design always wins.

I started Quore, a hospitality software solution, eight years ago using this design-first approach. Today, we have more than 30,000 users, and the first thing most people remark when they try Quore is its intuitive design. While I’m a firm believer that there must be a balance of beauty and brains when it comes to software design, too often the end user takes a back seat.

Here are four ways to approach new development with a design-first mentality to ensure the end user is top-of-mind:

Go dark
Going dark is a great way to expand your imagination. By turning off electronics, developers are forced to get creative by drawing and discussing ideas. I believe that distractions kill ideas, so when Quore needed to expand to a new office, I made sure there was a dedicated “static-free” room in the plans. The room is a place for all employees to escape technology and face creativity. Clearing the static is one great way to vehemently pursue a solution to a problem.

Throw out the rulebook
Using graphic design rules, not software design rules, developers can ensure design always wins. As a rule, graphic designers start with what the end user sees first. Graphic designers know that it’s all about perception: people first see shapes, then color, then content. By taking this into account, designers can create products that are intuitive and easy to use. Start by first sketching the product, then add color to bring the visual to life.

Great design takes a careful approach to color choices. Color invokes emotion and has the power to affect behavior. When designing Quore, it was important to incorporate features that thoughtfully take color into consideration. One feature notifies employees with warm colors when they are going into overtime, another when rooms are flagged for maintenance.

Know your customer
A deep understanding of your customers and users industry will always lead to stronger designs, implementations and tests. While recently creating a feature to increase the efficiency of housekeeping departments, we first identified the most crucial tasks of the housekeeper role and built the design from those tasks. The outcome of this exercise yielded a feature that increased adoption among users, increased the efficiency of the department, increased guest satisfaction by ensuring a room is ready upon check-in, and saved money.

Bring in the team
Once you’ve mapped out the entire process from a user’s point of view, it’s time to bring in the whole design team. Encouraging other designers to review your concepts allows you to gauge its feasibility from an engineer’s perspective. These people can help identify what may be frivolous and what makes the most sense functionally. While the concept may require some retooling, outside perspectives usually help narrow the design into the best solution.

When Quore entered the market in 2013, there were other products with similar goals, but most were basic spreadsheet programs. The look and functionality of Quore was a hit with our new customers, and many dropped their existing software solutions and switched to Quore. Quore has always taken a user-first approach, and continues to attract new customers with its intuitive design. Focusing on design and user experience above all else will ensure successful, lasting products.

C++17 formally approved

C++17 was patiently awaiting the final stages of formal ISO approval and publication. The committee first announced the C++17 standard was complete in April 2017, and now, the last major ballot was completed, according to Herb Sutter, an experienced software development leader.

The C++17 DIS ballot came back with 100% approval, which means C++17 gets to skip the FDIS ballot and proceed right to publication, said Sutter.

Sutter said that as far as an ISO is concerned, the team is done and they are just waiting for an update on the document editorially, and then they can send the ISO C++ committee the final PDF they want to be published.

In the meantime, Sutter said the following steps left include:
•Richard Smith, the project editor, and helpers need to review and resolve editorial comments, and any other pending editorial “tweaks they feel like fixing,” said Sutter.
•Early November at the next meeting, they will approve the sending of the final PDF to ISO for publication.
•ISO will publish sometime after that, and if it doesn’t take too long, the formal name will be ISO/IEC 14882:2017, but “even if they publish in January and call it :2018, that’s just a detail; this standard is known in the industry as C++17,” said Sutter.

“All this is just formally putting a bow on C++17. C++17 was technically done in March, we’re not doing any further work on it in WG21 proper, and now it will just be also formally done,” writes Sutter. “WG21’s active project now is C++20, and we already began work on that at our last meeting in Toronto, including to add a major feature (concepts!), and we’ll continue serious work on that in Albuquerque and beyond.”

Scaling Agile

The concepts of Agile software development are well understood, more than a decade after the original manifesto was put to paper. It calls for things such as “people over process” and “responding to change over following a plan.”

Of course, the devil is in the details, and companies are hitting a wall in trying to implement Agile, especially when they look to infuse Agile beyond their development organizations.

Part of the reason is that Agile is not prescriptive. It provides a broad framework, but there is no map to follow, and organizations are developing their own processes to achieve the Agile goal of delivering software more quickly, of higher quality, and that meets the requirements of the user.

Also, it was originally designed as an approach to developing software. Now, the “Agile enterprise” is the goal. Why should only software development move quickly? Why can’t marketing, and sales, and business decisions, be made in a more Agile fashion.

They can, of course, but again, the devil is in the details. There are challenges in organizational leadership, in allowing teams to find their rhythms and then coming together at critical junctures and in using metrics to guide the business.

“Agile is front and center for everyone trying to make a digital transformation,” said Steve Elliot, CEO of AgileCraft, makers of a scaled Agile management platform. “But running an Agile mindset across groups of teams is the challenge.”

And therein lies perhaps the greatest challenge to achieving business agility. Few organizations are starting from scratch; most have development teams doing Agile projects and creating versions of software faster than release teams, marketing and sales teams, and even business decision-makers can keep up. “The agile methodology has been so successful that development teams are pushing code more quickly than IT can deal with,” said Anders Wallgren, CTO at Electric Cloud, a DevOps release automation software provider.

Some of this is due to the fact that whether most organizations embrace it or not, they are all becoming software companies. Pizza sellers want to be platform players. Automobile manufacturers use more software in their cars than ever before; mechanics are transforming from ‘grease monkeys’ to debuggers.

And a lot of companies piloted Agile in software projects, and found that it works. But they never had a strategy to scale it throughout the enterprise, said, Sally Elatta, president of Agile Transformations Inc. and founder of Agility Health. “They never realized the organizational impact Agile would have. It was a bottom-up movement.”

Making the digital transformation
“The essence of Agile is adaption and change,” noted Boris Chen, co-founder and vice president of engineering at tCell.io, a company focused on real-time application security for DevOps. “But there are friction points if you can’t get all parts of the organization up to the same speed.”

“It’s almost like when mobile came along,” said AgileCraft’s Elliot. “Companies struggled to adapt. The ability to deal with changes in technology is critical to success.” Today, he said, organizations must conceive of a technology strategy – in this case, with the goal of business agility – and trace it down to deployment. “There has to be one view of the world,” he said.

Smart companies making the change understand that an Agile enterprise is more than having individual teams doing Agile. “That,” said Robert Holler, former CEO of agile project management software provider VersionOne and newly minted chief strategy officer at development tools maker CollabNet, “can create a tribal scenario where each team sets its own practices and tooling. That doesn’t scale very well. Organizations need to take a systems thinking approach, make decisions about improving and optimizing the whole system, not just the pieces. Lots of organizations are still wrapped up in tribal agile, and they’re not getting the full benefit. They’re not working for the benefit of the whole.”

It’s difficult to get teams working at the same speed, and Holler said it’s fine if they don’t. “It’s OK for teams to work at different cadences, but ultimately they have to align,” he said. Holler went on to say that organizations might be doing continuous delivery internally, creating software that is deployable every day but not necessarily deployed. Meanwhile the business is operating on a quarterly or annual cadence. “So you have to come together on monthly, quarterly and annual cycles. When the month rolls around, the organization has to operate on that meta-cadence,” he said, coining a new term.

Because the development group is working at a faster cadence than other teams, challenges lie in understanding when to pull PR and marketing, for example, in to discuss work being done in development. “There are different levels of releases,” said Shannon Mason, vice president of product management for CA Agile Central. “There are minor tweaks, changes. With the big paradigm-shifting things, you can get them out and hide them, then educate the field teams by turning it on for them. You can turn it on in pieces.”

tCells’ Chen suggests integrating marketing into some developer meetings, perhaps weekly, “so they can understand what’s delivered and what is coming.”

In the days of waterfall, teams would create requirements (with marketing and business input) for development, and after the 12-month development life cycle was complete, marketing would have the list of new features to promote. But in today’s world, since there is the notion that software is never done but simply improved iteratively, you need to break work down into increments of value, Mason said. “What’s the value proposition? Who are you targeting? What defines a ‘win’? If the uptake is good, the feedback is positive and the tech is solid, then we determine something is done.”

But the work has to be done at a sustainable pace, offered Ronica Roth, CA agility services advisor and team lead. “There’s a heartbeat and rhythm” to work, she said. “I don’t turn my heart off at the end of the day because it did a good job. But I don’t run 24 hours a day either because I’d fall dead.” Organizations, she said, need cadences and rhythms, just as people mark days, weeks and seasons. “When an organization has a set of rhythms that work together, that’s business agility.”

Leadership is critical
One of the biggest hurdles to scaling Agile across the enterprise and achieving business agility is a lack of business leadership experience in Agile processes. Pizza sellers never had to deal with Agile practices before. “You can teach people how to do Scrum in five seconds. It’s completely logical. But you don’t put a kid in pre-K and say, ‘We’ll see you in 12 years. They need continued instruction and training,” said Mason. “The people are the hard part. Getting people over their own egos and long-held beliefs, especially in leadership, is the real challenge.”

One of the reasons cited for a void in leadership is that training and education are “notoriously underfunded,” said CollabNet’s Holler. “Organizations say ‘Everyone’s doing agile, so let’s do agile.” But Holler said making a digital transformation for business agility is a change management process. “Training, education, centers of excellence are required for positive outcomes. Large organizations have lots of inertia.”

Programs have become more agile, but not the enterprise. Budgeting, for instance, “and the way organizations think about budget, is antiquated,” said AgileCraft’s Elliot.

In short, leadership has to change, as the role of an Agile manager is “changing in a huge way,” said Agile Transformations’ Elatta. “The role is more strategic and less tactical. They must remove organizational obstacles, form and support communities of practice. It’s a big deal.”

Elatta noted that organizations “haven’t invested in these people. They’ve forgotten about the middle management layer.”

Using metrics
For organizations to get to business agility, they need to measure what matters most to them, and to know if their investment in people and process is bring a desired return on investment. Without metrics, “you can’t tell if you’re faster, cheaper, better and healthier” with Agile, Elatta said. “You need continuous measurement for growth. Measure where you are today, gain consensus of where you want to go, then measure again. This cycle is critical.”

CA’s Mason pointed out that organizations collect massive amounts of data from their software that can be used “to save them from creating bad plans. We look at our data and see patterns from a human perspective. Envisioning what a product will look like 12 months from now is like looking for something that isn’t there. Knowing yourself a week from now is easier than knowing yourself a year from now.”

Businesses are looking to extend agility across their entire value stream, said CollabNet’s Holler. Data helps organizations deliver the products their customers want. “When your value stream is optimized, how do you optimize the feedback loop? Faster feedback can totally transform your business. It’s nirvana for Agile.”

Electric Cloud’s Wallgren echoed that sentiment. “Continuous improvement requires data,” he said, providing insights into release frequency, failure rates, user experiences and much more. “We ought to be doing more monitoring before production. If nothing else, you learn what a properly operating system looks like.”

The Angular team has announced a minor release of the mobile and desktop framework. Angular 4.3 contains no breaking changes and is designed as a drop-in replacement for 4.x.x.

The release follows the team’s adoption of Semantic Versioning. “SemVer means that our version numbers are meaningful. Patch releases will not change the functionality, minor releases will contain only additive changes, and breaking changes are reserved for major releases,” the team wrote.

Features include: A new library for HTTP requests, new router lifecycle events for Guards and Resolvers, the ability to conditionally disable animations, and deprecates support for the emulated /deep/ CSS Selector.

The full changelog is available here.

In addition, the team recently announced the release of Angular CLI 1.2.1 and 1.3.1-beta.1. The releases contain a number of new features and improvements that can be found here.

Angular’s Material project also recently got an update with the highly requested data-table component and a new component dev kit. These new capabilities are available in the Angular Material beta 8 release.

It has been five years since the Go programming language reached version 1.0. Since then, the team has been slowly making its way to 2.0, with version 1.8 of the language just released in February. This week, at Gophercon 2017 in Denver, Colorado, the team revealed its goals and vision for reaching 2.0.

“Now we have five years of experience using Go to build large, production-quality systems. We have developed a sense of what works and what does not. Now it is time to begin the next step in Go’s evolution and growth, to plan the future of Go. I’m here today to ask all of you in the Go community, whether you’re in the audience at GopherCon or watching on video or reading the Go blog later today, to work with us as we plan and implement Go 2,” Russ Cox, tech lead for the Go project and the Go team at Google, said during his talk at GopherCon.

Cox explained, today’s goals mirror the same goals the team had as it set out to create the programming language in 2007, which was “to make programmers more effective at managing two kinds of scale.” That included production scale and development scale. For version 2.0, the goal focuses on finding ways to fix how the language fails to scale.

The number one constraint currently is existing Go usage, according to Cox. “We estimate that there are at least half a million Go developers worldwide, which means there are millions of Go source files and at least a billion of lines of Go code. Those programmers and that source code represent Go’s success, but they are also the main constraint on Go 2,” he said.

To ensure Go 2 brings all those developers along with it, it must bring existing Go 1 source code and not split the ecosystem. To do so, the team will utilize automated tooling and minimize disruption as much as possible.

The ship and deliver Go 2 successfully, the team will handle backwards-compatibility feature by feature. “First, it keeps the Go 1 releases on the usual schedule, to continue the timely bug fixes and improvements that users now depend on. Second, it avoids splitting development effort between Go 1 and Go 2. Third, it avoids divergence between Go 1 and Go 2, to ease everyone’s eventual migration. Fourth, it allows us to focus on and deliver one change at a time, which should help maintain quality. Fifth, it will encourage us to design features to be backwards-compatible,” he said.

The Go programming team also hopes to hear back from the community on what works and doesn’t work for them as well as real work examples and experience.

The DeepMind team is releasing three new papers demonstrating how they plan on bringing flexible and natural behaviors to artificial intelligence. The team aims to make these capabilities reusable and adaptable. The papers includes locomotion behaviors, the ability to learn human behaviors from motion capture, and imitation of diverse behaviors.

“True motor intelligence requires learning how to control and coordinate a flexible body to solve tasks in a range of complex environments. Existing attempts to control physically simulated humanoid bodies come from diverse fields, including computer animation and biomechanics. A trend has been to use hand-crafted objectives, sometimes with motion capture data, to produce specific behaviors. However, this may require considerable engineering effort, and can result in restricted behaviours or behaviours that may be difficult to repurpose for new tasks,” the team wrote in a post.

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16237 for PC
Windows Insiders can now get the latest Windows 10 PC preview in the Fast Ring. In addition, Microsoft announced it will be having its second and final Bug Bash for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. The Bug Bash is a way for the company to review direct feedback on its ongoing initiatives. The second Bug Bash will start Friday, and run until next Sunday, July 23.

The new Windows 10 build for PC features improvements to Microsoft Edge, Windows Shell, inputs, PC gaming, task manager, and Hyper-V. In addition, it features a number of bug fixes.

More information is available here.

The Day of Action to save net neutrality

A number of companies and organizations are teaming up this week to save net neutrality. The Internet-Wide Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality is scheduled for this Wednesday, July 12. Participators include: Twitter, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Reddit, Netflix, and Mozilla.

According to the organizations, the FCC wants to get rid of net neutrality, and give cable companies control over online actions.

“No one wants their cable company to control what they can see and do on the Internet, or to charge extra fees to access the content they want,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, one of the leading organizations behind the protest, “The Internet has given more people a voice than ever before, and that transformative power is worth fighting for. July 12th we will come together to defend the future of free speech.”

More information is available here.