Four Technologies that Unleashed my Developer Productivity in 2014

By Noah Addy — Founder at Digital Fio Seattle, User Experience Architect, Software Developer, Mobile & Tech Trends Analyst, Social Media Strategist

Azure Mobile Services

Dude, Wow, I’m actually really surprised that Microsoft created this. It’s pretty dope!”, said my developer friend after I showed him a taste of what AMS does.

Azure Mobile Services, the backend-as-a-service offering from Microsoft’s Azure is hands down my favorite technology on the Azure Platform. It’s meant to serve as one single back-end for all your client-side apps such as web apps, iOS apps, Android apps, Windows 8 and Windows Phone apps.

It runs on NodeJS, and you can spin up a new service in less than 30 seconds! After creating my own database tables for several years for my apps, I coulnd’t help but fall in love with the Dynamic Schema feature of AMS.

Here’s how it works: On the Azure Portal, you create a table, named say, Persons. That’s it! Done! The service automatically creates a backing REST service to your table waiting to be fed some JSON data! That’s badass! With dynamic schema turned on, the service automatically creates table columns based on the properties on the JSON data you send to it. Neat huh?

Other cool features include Facebook and Twitter Authentication, Custom APIs, Source control (Git)auto deployments from your code repos on GitHub, ability to use all the NodeJS npm modules on the server-side, and many many more.

Angular JS

Angular was my work horse for 2014! I built over 15 projects and Angular just made my life so much easier. The improved documentation, the huge dev community support ensured it was easy to find solutions to common problems.

The Dependency Injection features, services, factories, etc made it so much easier to organize and structure code. Even though the built-in angular-router module was limited in its usage, using the popular UI-Router library added so much power to building nested views and states. UI-Router is pretty freaking awesome!!!

Zurb Foundation

I love me some Zurb!!! Foundation has become my most favorite responsive framework of choice. I prefer it over Bootstrap. I love the flat design aesthetics, the speed of iteration and cranking out versions and fixes, and really, the team at Zurb is just plain AWESOME! and not becasue they sent me some cool T-shirts and drew some cartoons of people lifting weights on the package and addressed me as Noah “Swole” Addy! ☺

They’re incredibly responsive on Twitter, and they’re constantly innovating and finding great solutions to common problems on mobile.

Check out their latest baby: Foundation for Apps. You’ll wonder why this hasn’t existed for so long. Thank you Zurb!

Animate.css

Animate.css, by Dan Eden, is a collection of bundled animations that make it incredibly easy to add animations and interactivity to your web apps via CSS classes. “It’s so easy a cave-man can do it” ☺All you need to do is just add some CSS classes and your site just comes to life and some great animations! Some of the cool animations are bounce, zoom, fades, wobble, taadaa etc.

Check out animate.css in action at www.digitalfio.com .

I would love to hear about the technologies that made you super productive in 2014. Please tweet me @uxnoah.

Happy Holidays!

Noah Addy

Please follow me on Twitter: @UXNoah to get notified of new blog posts.

A single golf clap? Or a long standing ovation?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.