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The Pros and Cons of C The latest TIOBE Programming Index, a resource reporting current trends in programming languages, indicates a sharp drop in both Java and C. The two top languages have spent a couple of decades as the most popular languages, but their dominance is being severely challenged and they’ve dropped over six per cent in the last year alone.

While others such as Google Go, Perl and Dart are taking up the slack, is it even worth learning C, or encouraging newer programmers to do so? We weigh up the pros and cons:

Pro: Still the Go-To

While languages such as C# and Java might be taking C’s mantel when it comes to modern architectural contexts, C and C++ are still very much the base languages for system-level programmers. While they may eventually be replaced by competitors such as Google Go, they certainly don’t seem to be posing an imminent threat to C’s crown. Many programmers consider C to be the base language from which all others have sprung. The consensus is that learning C makes sense for those who want to master more contemporary programming languages, just as learning Latin does if you want to pick up modern European tongues.

Con: It’s error prone

Anyone who’s used C will tell you it’s notorious for its susceptibility to syntax, logical and runtime errors. This often makes for a frustrated programmer and can, more seriously, cause a host of related security problems. It’s one of the main reasons younger programmers are often advised to learn broader skills such as algorithm development rather than how to track bugs, something that C requires on a very regular basis.

Pro: Still in demand for the IoT

Anyone sounding C’s death knell too prematurely would do well to pay attention to the exponential rise of the IoT. Despite its fiddliness, many developers find C provides the most precise language for IoT programmers, especially when it comes to smaller, underpowered devices that need to maximise their performance as much as possible.

Con: Irrelevant to Mobile and Web Apps

C is only useful for higher level applications that don’t use much I/O and require low level code – criteria that certainly don’t apply to the burgeoning mobile and web app development fields. Many programmers who aren’t qualified computer scientists don’t bother learning C, choosing HTML5 or Objective C instead.

Pro: It still has caché

If you’ve proven yourself committed to dedicating the time and energy necessary to reach a decent level of C, don’t worry, you haven’t wasted your time. Your tenacity alone is likely to make you stand out to potential employers, though it certainly isn’t a golden ticket and you’ll still be judged on your other relevant skills when going for a new role.

Con: It can be confusing

The reason it has such an ability to make programmers stand out is also one of C’s main drawbacks – it really is difficult to master. A heady and intimidating combination of security issues and increasing complexity the more you progress means it really is worth thinking carefully as to whether it’s the best use of your time.


The FT 1000 recognises that innovative and fast-growing companies are the driving force of the European economy in the 21st century and we are very proud to be awarded this accolade.  Coming in at a very respectable 678, we are taking the time to reflect on our journey since starting up in 2009.  Our dedicated team of consultants are seeing their hard work pay off and to receive recognition for the progress we have made is a great honour. 

We have always focused on having small specialist teams.  We build strong, long-lasting relationships with clients.  We are open when things don’t go to plan and have a supportive, rather than competitive, team.  At Clement May we know that the success of an individual consultant is a success for the team and that maintaining relationships with clients and candidates is paramount.  We focus on qualitative rather than quantitative targets knowing that great feedback will result in repeat business.

Our consultants and support staff bring their unique expertise, skills and personalities to the company.  Clement May are a multi-national, multi-lingual team who work with multi-national, multi-lingual clients and candidates.  The team has been built to reflect the global business environment; highly qualified, highly skilled and highly experienced and this has been the key to our on-going success.

We look forward to strengthening current relationships and building new ones with clients and candidates alike and to continue to innovate in the support services sector.

 

 

 


Three Cloud-based BI myths busted

Apps and data have been heading overwhelmingly into the cloud for the last few years, and the business world is increasingly (if reluctantly) following suit. From cloud-hosted data warehouses and software-as-a-service business intelligence (SaaS) to cloud-based dashboards and data analytics, organisations of all sizes and ilks can easily find a cloud-based alternative to their existing BI technologies.  But there are still some widespread misconceptions about cloud-based solutions, even among CTOs. We’ve picked three of the most common to debunk:

 

“Self-service BI”? 

Self-service BI is usually a misleading term. Just because a tool is hosted on the cloud, it still requires regular management, including consistently adding and adjusting data. If you’ve adopted a Cloud BI solution that uses conventional BI architecture, it’s likely to require many service hours and have very little flexibility for change – not exactly what’s implied by many Cloud BI vendors when they describe a product as self-service. 

Remember, the Cloud just refers to a location. There’s a massive difference between a fully-managed BI service in the Cloud and simply shifting where your data is stored by installing your BI software on a ‘virtual’ computer. All considerations worth taking on board when you’re making a strategic decision about how to tackle your BI requirements.

 

Security

Marc Clark, head of cloud strategy at Teradata, recently discussed some pervasive falsehoods exposed in a 2017 survey of 900 international business leaders on the future of cloud strategy. 40 percent of respondents listed security as a top concern, whether they were already using cloud-based solutions or not, with 25 percent of them worried about increased security breaches as a direct result of moving data to the Cloud.

However, Clark described Cloud security as “...more robust and more reliable than on-site security”, using recent, large scale breaches at US stores Target and Home Depot – which both occurred on premise – as examples. This doesn’t mean that it is risk-free of course, just that there are still some outdated notions floating around that a CTO looking for an efficient Cloud-based solution should be questioning.

 

Latency issues

If you really want to be realistic about the potential pitfalls of a Cloud-based BI solution, Clark suggests you look no further than latency issues, which are still widespread yet barely discussed when compared to security concerns.

These can be caused by a range of factors, including but not limited to: varying numbers of router or ground-to-satellite communication hops which depend on the geographical locations of servers; delays due to the unpredictable workloads that are part and parcel of Cloud-based systems and shared WANs that can lead to multiple stoppages.