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Year in Review
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Software Development in 2021: ITPro Today’s Top 10 Stories

Our most-read articles about software development in 2021 explore products and technologies that help developers perform better in their jobs.

While there were few dramatic changes or watershed events in software development in 2021, there were a number of new product releases and updates – as well as trending technologies – that are making developers’ lives easier.

Read ITPro Today’s 10 most-read stories about software development in 2021 below to find out how developers can take advantage of certain products and tools to simplify their jobs and even advance their careers.

1. How to Undelete Files in Ubuntu: 3 Tools for Linux Data Recovery

Anyone who has worked in IT for any length of time has had to undelete a file. No matter how careful users are, there will still be times data is lost that wasn’t backed up. This article explores three tools you can use to undelete files on Linux, using Ubuntu as an example, although the tools and methods explained here should work on any mainstream Linux distribution.

2. Programmer vs. Developer vs. Engineer: What’s the Difference?

Even though they all help in creation of software, there are important differences in the roles of software developers, software engineers and programmers. This technical explainer not only explains those differences in roles but also the differences in salaries, prestige and upward mobility.

3. Programming Evolution: How Coding Has Grown Easier in the Past Decade

In the past decade, changes in programming have made coding faster and simpler. This look back at the programming evolution that’s taken place in the last 10 years shows how open source, low-code platforms, APIs and open standards have made core aspects of developers’ jobs significantly easier.

4. Who Does and Doesn’t Need AI-Assisted Development?

Companies are accelerating their adoption of artificial intelligence, and that includes in the area of development. In fact, AI-assisted development is one of the hottest new use cases for AI, as it is helping developers work faster while making fewer errors. Learn what problems AI-assisted development can solve, and who should – and shouldn’t – use it.

5. 4 Data Management Best Practices for Developers

By adhering to some core best practices, developers can make overall data management more secure, less costly and more efficient. This article walks through four data management best practices that developers should follow to improve data management.

6. Linux at 30: 5 Ways Linux Has Changed the Software Engineering Model

Linux turned 30 in 2021, and to celebrate that milestone, ITPro Today took a look at the role it has played in shaping how developers work, arguably its biggest contribution. This article examines five ways Linux has upended software development and the software engineering model since its introduction in 1991.

7. 5 Essential Soft Skills for DevOps Success

Certain “hard” skills are needed to excel at DevOps – such as programming languages and IAM frameworks – but “soft” skills are equally important. If you’re looking to start or advance a career in DevOps, cultivate these soft skills that are necessary for the types of work that DevOps teams perform.

8. Who Needs or Doesn’t Need Cloud IDEs?

There are numerous benefits to using cloud IDEs, the biggest being that they make it easier and faster to set up an IDE platform because you don’t have to install the IDE yourself. But does that make a cloud IDE the best deployment option for developers? That depends, according to tech expert Christopher Tozzi, on application type, deployment model and collaboration needs.

9. Java 16 Brings Performance Improvements, New Packaging Tool

When Java 16 was released in March 2021, it came with new capabilities that improved not only the performance but the usability for developers who use the popular programming language. In this article, ITPro Today contributor Sean Michael Kerner details the biggest changes in Java 16 (also check out his coverage of the arrival of Java 17 in September and what it means for developers).

10. Microsoft Debuts New Low-Code Language, Microsoft Power Fx

Demand for low-code and no-code programming platforms has taken off in recent years, and at its 2021 Ignite conference, Microsoft looked to take advantage of that surge in popularity with the introduction of Microsoft Power Fx. ITPro Today examines three reasons why Microsoft is excited about its new low-code programming language.

What was the most important lesson you learned about software development in 2021? Tell us in the comments below!

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