The agile world continues its relentless march forward. In 2016 we saw new releases of popular languages, frameworks and tools that give us more power and change the way we work. It is difficult to keep track of everything that is new, so at the end of every year we give you our take on what is important and what you should learn during the next twelve months.

On the Languages Side…

JavaScript continues its incredible pace of innovation. Catalyzed by the quick release schedules of web browsers, the JS standard is updated every year. The next edition, ES2017, is expected to be finalized in mid 2017. It will bring the dream feature of many JS developers – аsync/аwait for working with asynchronous functions. And thanks to Babel, you can write ES2017 in every browser even today.

Ruby 2.3 was released earlier this year with a number of performance improvements. Ruby is also a good choice as a general purpose scripting language, but it shines when paired with Rails. The Ruby 3×3 initiative was announced, which will attempt to make the upcoming Ruby 3 release 3 times faster that the current version, opening the doors to using Ruby in more contexts.

PHP 7.1 was released in December, and brings minor enhancements to the language. This builds upon the major performance improvements that were had in version 7.0 last year, turning PHP into a fast platform for building web applications. We recommend PHP The Right Way for good practices and a modern take on building web apps in the language.

Angular.js 2 was released this year. The framework is backed by Google and is very popular with enterprises and large companies. It has a vast number of features that make writing everything from web to desktop and mobile apps possible. The framework is written in TypeScript, which is also the recommended language to write applications in. There is a lot to read about, but we think learning Angular 2 in 2017 would be a good investment.

Two other frameworks that are worth a look are Aurelia and React. The ecosystem around React has grown considerably more complicated in the last year, making it difficult to recommend for beginners. But experienced devs can combine the library with GraphQL, Relay, Flux and Immutable.js into a comprehensive full stack solution.

No frontend compilation would be complete without mentioning Bootstrap. Version 4 is currently in Alpha and a release is expected in 2017. Notable changes are the new versatile card component and the flexbox grid (see our comparison with the regular grid here), which modernize the framework and make it a joy to work with.

SASS and LESS remain the two most popular CSS preprocessors today. Although vanilla CSS is finally getting support for variables, SASS and LESS are still superior with their support for mixins, functions and code organization. If you haven’t already, take a look at our SASS and LESS quick start guides.

In 2016 we saw the rise of the Progressive Web App concept. It represents web applications that work offline and offer a native, app-like experience. They can be added to your smart device’s homescreen and can even send you push notifications, bridging the gap with native mobile apps. We think that in 2017 PWA are going to become even more important and are well worth investigating.

On the Database side…

MySQL 8.0 is going to be the next major release of the database. It is expected sometime in 2017 and it will bring a lot of improvements to the system. MySQL is still the most popular database management system and the entire industry benefits from these new releases.

For NoSQL fans, we can recommend CouchDB. It is a fast and scalable JSON storage system which exposes a REST-ful HTTP API. The database is easy to use and offers great performance. PouchDB is a spiritual counterpart to CouchDB that works entirely in the browser and can sync with Couch. This allows you to use Pouch in an offline ready web app, and get automatic syncing once internet connectivity is available.

Redis is our favorite key value store. It is small, fast and versatile. You can use it as a smart memcache alternative, as a NoSQL data store or a process messaging and synchronization channel. It offers a large number of data structures to choose from, and the upcoming 4.0 release will have a module system and improved replication.

Special Credit : TutorialZine

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