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AI / Frontend Development / JavaScript / Software Development

Dev News: 16M JavaScript Devs; React’s Abramov Leaves Meta

Latest JavaScript dev stats. Plus: don't overreact, but React dev Dan Abramov is leaving Meta. Plus GitHub's new repo rules and Astro 2.9.
Jul 29th, 2023 5:00am by
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The worldwide developer population grew by 3.1% in the last year to over 26.3 million, reports Evans Data Corp in its latest Worldwide Developer Population and Demographic Study. According to the report, there are now over 16 million JavaScript developers worldwide, ahead of PHP and Python in popularity. It’s worth noting that most studies about language adoption show approximately half as many developers using PHP. Unlike these studies, Evans Data is reporting the number of developers that spent more than 0% of their time development time. Evans JavaScript data

Source: Evans Data Corp 

Influential React Dev Leaves Meta

Dan Abramov, who developed the Create React App and Redux, is leaving Meta, where he worked as part of the React team, he announced via the-app-formerly-known-as-Twitter on July 20. While leaving Meta once meant leaving React, that’s no longer the case, he said in a series of tweets. “I am staying on the react team as an independent engineer, similar to @sophiebits (Sophie Alpert) and @sebsilbermann (Sebastian Silbermann),” Abramov stated. “This means that I will not be actively sponsored to work full-time on react by any company, but I will stay involved in the team’s work and attend our meetings.”

Everything about the thread is positive and suggests Abramov is just ready to move on. Still, not everyone sees it as not a good sign.

“Meta allowed one of the most famous promoters of their open source project to go,” wrote Tom Smykowski on a Medium blog. “It’s maybe not so surprising in the current economy, but may be perceived as Meta being less enthusiastic in financing their open source offering.”

GitHub’s New Repository Rules

GitHub on Monday announced the general availability of repository runs, which let you define branch protections in your public repositories, according to a blog post by GitHub Product Manager Patrick Knight.

The company said the new repository rules will:

  • Maintain code quality through specifications on how code is developed, reviewed, and merged;
  • Help prevent mistakes by adding checks and verifications throughout the development lifecycle to ensure code changes are controlled; and
  • Improve collaboration as it lends itself to code reviews, encourages knowledge sharing, ensures standardization, and minimizes conflicts.

”With flexible targeting options, you can protect multiple branch patterns using a single ruleset,” Knight wrote. “Layering makes bypass scenarios dynamic; a GitHub App can skip status checks with no additional permissions, and administrators can bypass pull requests while still requiring the important CodeQL checks to run.”

An overview page will explain the rules applicable to a branch so that everyone who collaborates knows what’s what, he added. The post includes a quote from Twilio’s Senior Engineering Manager David Betts, who said the new repository rules let them maintain team autonomy while meeting compliance and security requirements.

GitHub Enterprise Cloud customers can enforce repository rules across all or a subset of their repositories in an organization, Knight said. Developers and teams can also try out rules in an evaluation mode. If you’re not ready to commit to a ruleset, you can trial them in evaluate mode.

Knight includes several example scenarios that describe best practices for using repository rules for typical repo or governance across an organization.

Astro 2.9 Released

Astro, the open sourced framework for generating web applications atop popular UI frameworks such as React or Svelte, released version 2.9 last week. The new release incorporates experimental support for view transitions. View transitions is supported by the View Transition API, available in Chrome 111+, makes it easy to change the DOM in a single step, while creating an animated transition between the two states, according to this Chrome Developer post.

This release also moves the redirects configuration option out of the experimental phase. It’s now stabilized and ready for use, according to the release notes.

Also, the new release has improved the static analysis to determine which <script> tags to bundle together. This hoisted script optimization should create “more efficient performance with Astro supporting this common library re-export pattern,” the post noted.

Free AWS Courses Focus on CodeWhisper, Generative AI

Software developers can complete coding tasks up to twice as fast with generative AI, according to a recent study by McKinsey. The question, it seems, isn’t so much whether to use AI but how to optimize it when coding.

AWS is offering free courses to help dig in on generative AI and Amazon CodeWhisperer. The courses of interest to developers are:

  • Amazon CodeWhisperer – Getting Started: A self-paced digital course introducing learners to Amazon CodeWhisperer. Learners are taught its capabilities, how to set it up, and begin using it in their coding programming language of choice.
  • AWS Jam Journey – Build Using Amazon CodeWhisperer: A hands-on, interactive training designed to help DevOps professionals get practical experience building with Amazon CodeWhisperer through a series of challenges in a secure, sandboxed AWS environment. (Available with an AWS Skill Builder subscription.)
  • Generative AI Foundations on AWS: An on-demand technical deep dive course designed for technologists already familiar with AI modeling. The course includes conceptual fundamentals, practical advice, and hands-on guidance to pre-train, fine-tune, and deploy state-of-the-art FMs on AWS and beyond.
  • Generative AI with Large Language Models: A hands-on course that AWS jointly developed with DeepLearning.AI, including machine learning and education pioneer Andrew Ng. This three-week course prepares data scientists and engineers to become experts in selecting, training, fine-tuning, and deploying Large Language Models for real-world applications.
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