Category Archives: The Job

Hype Cycle 2018 For Web Applications

By Jeremykemp at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Technology changes quickly. This is especially true in web development. With companies such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, or Netflix leading the way, there will always be the “next best thing” every IT professional has to pay attention to. Depending on the size and budget, not all companies can invest in the latest trend of technology. The question always asked: “What can we invest in?” As a guideline, annually Gartner publishes their infamous Hype Cycle, that charts the popularity (or decline) of technology. For those who are on the cutting edge will try to follow anything towards the “Peak of Inflated Expectations”, where the technology is hot. However, the most interesting set are the ones sliding into the “Trough of Disillusionment”. In 2018, those web applications were:

  • Point-of-Decision HTAP
  • Cloud-Native Application Architecture
  • Reactive Programming
  • Microservices
  • Mesh App and Service Architecture
  • Public Web APIs
  • Miniservices

Enterprise has already started to invest in those declining trendy ideas.  However, in order to get to full adoption, IT Professionals have to familiarize with (and embrace) the new technology. It’ll be a difficult journey, but may be worth the investment. At this point, a great deal of material will be available since the concept has been around for a few years already. This is known as the “Slope of Enlightenment”. In order to get started, here are some suggestions on which presentation to listen to:

After listening to the presentations, one can determine the trend and make decisions on where/how to go to get Enterprise environments to the next level. It’ll take more time to get to the “Plateau of Productivity” where value can be realized by streamlining their execution for the long term production use.

Enterprise sure has plenty of work to do!

Are the Russian (Hackers) Still Coming?

The headlines in the news these days are about hackers attempting to infiltrate sites, mostly from Russia or China. The targets are many American sites, both government and private. How does IT Cybersecurity folks know if they’re coming? Going through the application logs for all attempts is a start. However, the best source of knowledge is the first line of defense: the Firewall. So it’s best to have a tool like Elasticsearch to make a readable report on the firewall logs, to figure out which ports are being probed.

It’s imperative any exposed ports are being denied on the firewall side to prevent any successful hack. In a real world example, in the past 7 days, the hackers were scanning for popular vulnerable applications such as telnet, RDP (Windows Remote Desktop), Microsoft SQL, or SMTP.

Thankfully, those ports are being blocked on the firewall. Unfortunately, this does not deter them from trying again and again. Network and system admins must put in the due diligence in controlling access and patching applications. No matter the business requirements, security must take precedence and IT Professionals must have the tools to detect, analyze, and protect.

WWW Prefix Is Superfluous

HTTP WWW

When Tim Berners-Lee made famous the “World Wide Web” by introducing the HTTP protocol, he set the standard that all web sites would start with “www” as a host name prefix. It was supposed to indicate it’s a web site, for everyone who hadn’t seen this new way of using the Internet.

That was the early 90’s.

Now, 20+ years later, the World Wide Web is as ubiquitous as e-mail or postal code addresses. Everyone knows what to do when they open a browser.  Even better, when someone receives an email with a web link (URL) in it, even though it’s not safe to click on any random links via email if source of information is not checked.

So why do web developers and content managers still tag on the prefix www into their host names?  Perhaps, out of habit because that’s how they learned to use the Internet from 20 years ago.  Maybe the fault is with e-mail servers, like Microsoft Exchange, creating automatic hyperlinks whenever “www.” is in the text, which makes it easier for mailing list managers to create content without deliberately hyperlinking URLs.

Whatever is the reason, people need to stop adding the prefix www when entering a web address. It’s a pain to setup on the server and network sides because DNS have to contain both entries (as alias or A records), web servers need to accept both host names, and SSL certificates have to be requested with www as a common name.

Besides, without the www prefix, it’s easier to tell someone (written or verbal) of the website’s shorter address. Nowadays, the prefix is superfluous and unnecessary.