What's new in tech: 4 Colorado startups share their views on the latest trends

by Jess Ryan
August 18, 2016

From frameworks arriving on the scene to cloud-based offerings and virtual and augmented reality products, some new technologies are trendier than ever.

Since work is happening on the client side more often, JavaScript frameworks like React, Ember and Angular, along with TypeScript and Node.js have recently come into popularity. With JavaScript as the base for a project, these technologies serve to create solutions for more complex issues.

With so many new ways to solve problems, staying on top of emerging trends can be quite the challenge. But companies still ought to assess a trend's viability before applying it to client work. Developers have to be able to build the solution, clients will need to find developers who can maintain it long-term, and the technology needs to provide a foundation the client can build upon in the future.

In other words: don't think you're done learning, job-seekers and recent grads. While being experienced with a full stack in common languages like Java, C#, Python and .Net is a big plus to employers, paying attention to and thinking critically about trending technologies adds bonus points to any job application. According to our jobs board, of the 177 engineering and developer jobs posted, the most in-demand skills were JavaScript, Java, DevOps and Ruby.

We spoke with four Colorado tech companies about the latest tech trends, how they learn about them, and how they decide whether to integrate them in their business practices — including when screening potential job candidates. Here’s what they had to say:

 

What coding trends have you noticed coming to the forefront of the industry?

"I would refer to the last three years as the 'Age of JavaScript'," said Lead Instructor David Gray. "I have an expectation that JavaScript will continue to grow in scope over the coming years and may even become a compilable language to rival Java."

“I'm not seeing the ‘vanilla’ languages like JavaScript, CSS and HTML going away anytime soon," added Lead Instructor Erty Seidohl. "There's still a place for knowing how to dive deep into the code and really figure out what's going on at every level." 

How do you stay on top of trends, deciding which ones are worth integrating into your curriculum?

“Our school is always monitoring what tools and technologies larger companies are using and adjusting accordingly and our career services team gets regular feedback from employers about the most important skills required to be hired as a junior developer," said Zach Daudert, Co-Founder.

What's the process like for adapting the curriculum?

“Our curriculum is very agile. We basically look at what we are teaching and if we feel it’s current to the marketplace we keep it, when we see changes in the marketplace we immediate adjust our curriculums to reflect those industry trends,” said Daudert.

What trends are you most excited about?

"For me personally the advancement of AI technologies to the point where they are becoming available to mainstream developers is very exciting,” Gray said.

 

How do you stay on top of trends, deciding which ones are worth integrating into your business?

“One of my best sources is current and former co-workers," said Consultant Wes Olis. "It’s important to stay in touch with contacts you have who are well versed in new technologies.”

Senior Consultant John Wilson emphasized the importance of validating trends.

“New trends can quickly turn into unsupported legacy systems," he said. "Trending technologies should be explored by businesses in order to drive innovation; however, factors like long-term supportability and market adoption should be considered before implementing a new technology into a medium- to high-risk business application.”

How often do you integrate these trends into your business?

“If our client stands to gain significantly from implementing a certain technology or process, we do it," said Consultant Levi Fuller. "More often than not, the latest technology trends end up being the right choice.”

“Large enterprise applications require long term stability that emerging trends fail to provide," said Wilson. "Clients like to see new technology in public facing applications that drive business value and provide market differentiators from their competitors.” 

What trends are you most excited about?

“More and more people are making career changes or picking up development in their spare time, which gives more an appreciation for the art of coding as well as increased pool of candidates,” Olis said.

What languages and experience you do look for when reviewing prospective new hires?

“We look for developers with a passion for technology, strong social skills, a strong work ethic, and most importantly, and a strong aptitude for learning," said Fuller. "The specific language since most of the principles are transferrable and easily learned, but there’s no better way to demonstrate one’s ability than by building an impressive project.”

 

All answers provided by Inspiring Apps’ President, Brad Weber.

What coding trends have you noticed coming to the forefront of the industry?

“Apple’s new Swift language has been terrific for developing Apple Watch, Apple TV, iPhone, iPad and Mac apps. Amazon and others are introducing new services and enhancing existing services at a blistering pace, making it easier and more affordable to develop scalable solutions that are critical for websites, web services and the back-ends for mobile apps.”

How do you stay on top of trends, deciding which ones are worth integrating into your business?

“Either I or a member of our team gets interested enough in a technology to get first-hand experience with it, generally in a proof-of-concept project. Through that, we learn about its strengths and shortcomings. Then we look for opportunities to bring the benefits of those technologies to client projects.”


 

All answers provided by EffectiveUI’s VP of Technology, Zach Hendershot.

What coding trends have you noticed coming to the forefront of the industry?

“The flexibility of systems like Contentful and CloudCMS give large organizations the building blocks to build experiences and content platforms that scale to their unique challenges while giving them the ability to leverage their current technology stacks and platforms.”

How do you stay on top of trends, deciding which ones are worth integrating into your business?

“We believe strongly in experimentation and sometimes it doesn’t work out when we integrate some of these trends in our business. But that is all learning for us about what trends have staying power and what trends aren’t suitable for the work we do for our clients.”

What trends are you most excited about?

"One of the biggest pain points we deal with our clients is big monolithic enterprise systems that limit the ability to do anything innovative or unique and dictate very specific ways of delivering experiences and products. Microservice architectures allow you to leverage the best of breed technologies when it makes sense and allows you to capitalize on investments made across your business without introducing budget and timeline busting tendencies across teams and the organization."

What languages /experience you do look for when reviewing prospective new hires?

"We look for people who don’t look at technology for the sake of technology but as a tool for how it helps drive business, customer and user outcomes."

 

Photos via featured companies. Responses have been edited for length and clarity. 

What coding and tech trends are you most excited about? Email us or share on Twitter: @builtincolorado

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