Hip tech

The in-tools: ten technologies you should know about

Coman Hamilton

RebelLabs has created a list of the modern tech world’s most popular new programs and languages – how many do you know?

Are you down with the hip young technologies? Are you
grooving it up with Groovy or still keeping it oldschool with Java?
Here’s an introduction to
list of ten technologies that modern developers are
using to kick ass. If you already know more half, give yourself a
pat on the back.

1. Confluence

  • Released: 2004
  • Written in: Java
  • Alternative to: SharePoint

Confluence is a proprietary team collaboration
software designed for corporate developer teams. Supporting 10,000+
organisations worldwide, the product is mostly used as an intranet
solution. It often proves handy for reducing the number of company

Atlassian, the only company to make it into the top
ten list twice, got the wiki community all riled up up when it
decided to cease Confluence’s support of wiki markup language.

2. Git

  • Released: 2005
  • Written in: C, Bourne Shell, Tcl, Perl
  • Alternative to: Mercurial, Apache

Fathered by the creator of Linux, Linus Torvalds
himself, Git is an open-source source code management system. A
favourite in the Android project, Git’s main advantage over its
competitors is its distributed approach. “Once you really
understand the things that a truly distributed model like Git
brings to the table, you really are never going to go back to the
centralized model,” sas Torvalds.

3. Gradle

  • Released: 2012
  • Written in: Java, Groovy (also a top 10
  • Alternative to: Apache Ant and Maven

Gradle is a build tools unlike others. Traditionally
project configurations are declared with, ugh, XML. Not so with
Gradle. Using the basic concepts of Apache Ant and Apache Maven,
Gradle adds Groovy into the mix for a DSL, while also automating
tasks like build test and deployment. Making up 11% of all build
tools used, Gradle is still lagging behind Maven, (64%) and Ant +
Ivy (16.5%), according to a Rebellabs survey, although it’s market
share has doubled since its launch in 2012.

4. Groovy

  • Released: 2007
  • Alternative to: JRuby and Jython

Sometimes thought of as Java’s answer to Ruby, Groovy
is the first programming language to have its origins in the 1960s
flower-power movement. As an object-oriented dynamic language that
runs on the JVM, Groovy is the second most popular JVM alternative
after Scala according to a RebelLabs survey. Compared to similar
Java languages JRuby and Jython, Groovy is useful for projects that
make frequent use of Java libraries.

5. IntelliJ IDEA

  • Released: 2001
  • Alternative to: Eclipse, SpringBeans

In contrast to the cacophony of plugins in Eclipse,
the integrated development environment IntelliJ IDEA is exactly
what an IDE should be: integrated. As it’s developed by one single
company (JetBrains), there’s somewhat less community participation.
But that also means that its built-in features are far more
cohesive. Selected by Google as the basis for Android Studio (the
development environment for Android), IntelliJ IDEA has carved out
33% of the market share for itself, slowly catching up on the
classic Java IDE, Eclipse (44%).

6. Jenkins

  • Released: 2011
  • Alternative to: Bamboo, Hudson, TeamCity
  • Written in: Java

Part of a long and winding history with Oracle’s
Hudson project, Jenkins has established itself as the most popular
CI in the market. Why? An continuous integration tool that supports
SCM tools like Git, Subversion and Mercurial. It’s easy to extend
and modify, so devs can use it for just about any CI purpose they
have. Best of all, it’s free and it’s open-source.

7. JIRA and Confluence

  • Released: 2002
  • Alternative to: GitHub, Redmine, Google Docs and

Do you have issues? Tell them to JIRA. Do you have
something you need to share? Share it with Confluence. These two
Atlassian products are among the most popular tools for
communicating and tracking issues in developer teams. Although JIRA
and Confluence aren’t strictly for developers only, Atlassian’s
coding background has given them just the right mixture of
functions that an engineering team will need. What’s more the two
services integrate nicely.

8. MongoDB

  • Released: 2007
  • Alternative to: Primary NoSQL technologies like
    Cassandra and Neo4J
  • Written in: C++

MongoDB (as in ‘humongous’) is a document database
that lets users map data types straight to a database’s documents.
But rather than using the oldschool table-based relational
database, MongoDB goes for more dynamic JSON-like docs. A back-end
favourite at eBay, the New York Times and Craigslist, MongoDB is by
far the most popular NoSQL database system.

9. Scala

  • Released: 2003
  • Alternative to: Java

An object-functional JVM language, Scala has
established itself as a major
alternative to Java
for complex lambda functions. With the
introduction of Lambdas to Java 8, speculation has risen if ye olde
Java might someday catch up with Scala. But for now, 47% of
developers still list Scala as the next JVM langauge they want to
learn, says a RebelLabs research.

10. Tomcat + TomEE

  • Released: 1999 and 2012
  • Alternative to: JBoss, Jetty

The oldest technology in ZeroTurnaround’s top 10 list, Tomcat is
the Java community’s biggest free and open-source application
server for JSP and Servlet support. JavaEE developers can turn to
the more recent TomEE, also created by Apache.

Coman Hamilton
Before becoming Editor of JAXenter.com (S&S Media Group), Coman completed an M.A. in Cultural Studies and wrote for numerous websites and magazines, as well as several ad agencies. // Want to submit a story? Get me at coman[AT]jaxenter.com or linkedin.com/in/comanhamilton
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