360° IT Check #45 - Massive Tech Layoffs, Apple's Record-Breaking Q1 2022, And More!
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360° IT Check #45 - Massive Tech Layoffs, Apple's Record-Breaking Q1 2022, And More!

Aleksander Jess
Senior Content Marketer & Technical Expert
Jason Neale
Lead Generation Specialist

A Post-Pandemic “Reset” Leads to a Big Wave of “Layoffs” in Tech

If you follow the stock & cryptocurrency markets, chances are that your investments just fell more than you would have expected they would. The change in policy of the Federal Reserve, combined with the geopolitical situation and the end of lockdowns, caused tech companies to take a brutal beating on the stock market.

This, in turn, means some people in tech might lose their employment, or they already did. During the wave of the first lockdowns, tech companies’ value skyrocketed, with their shares noting respectable gains. When it comes to COVID-19, with vaccines & vaccinations the population of most of the world now says goodbye to the restrictions and can live as if the pandemic was only a horrible nightmare. Russia's invasion of Ukraine caused multiple companies, including Netflix, to pull out from the Russian market, thus decreasing their profits.

For tech workers, the nightmare began now. As the performance of some tech companies sharply fell recently, the companies needed to act to improve their financial performance. Cost-cutting initiatives started rolling through, and reducing the number of employees came first. Meta and Netflix, two of the biggest web apps in the world, have both taken steps to freeze, and reduce their workforce, respectively. Other companies had to fire 25% of their staff(!). This is also because many tech companies are funded by Venture Capitalists, who decided to take things slow, and pull back a little. To quote the WSJ:

Rising interest rates have started to damp the flood of capital seeking high returns in tech investments. The reopening of bricks-and-mortar restaurants and stores has sapped demand for items ordered online, prompting e-commerce companies to recalibrate their expansion.

The Bottom Line

The fact that the companies are struggling is in no way the fault of people that lost their jobs. They are, sadly, the ones that got hit by the poor financial planning of the higher-ups. To be fair, tech workers are some best paid specialists in the world. Some would even go as far as saying that the height of their salaries got a little out of hand.

Nevertheless, the wave of layoffs will surely impact the recruitment market in a big way. The salaries might drop a little for software engineers, given that the demand for their services will drop, while at the same time the supply of such specialists is steadily increasing.

Update: Uber just announced their own hiring freeze and from now "hiring will be treated as a 'privilege'".

Binance Gets Permission to Operate in France

After purchasing part of Twitter, Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, has received regulatory approval in France. The license granted will allow Binance to operate as a digital asset service provider in the country.  

This is a significant development for Binance, as it is the first time the exchange has gained official approval to operate in a European country.  

Binance has also announced a €100 million investment to support the development of France's blockchain and crypto industry.  

The initiative will see the creation of a Binance Research and Development hub in France and the launch of a new online Education Programme to develop blockchain and crypto industry talent in partnership with OpenClassroom and Ledger.  

The initiative is appropriately named “Operation Moon”.

The Bottom Line

Although Binance has been operating in France before the announcement, it can now legally advertise its services. It will also give them a broader reach with potential customers, accelerating mass adoption.  

After scrambling to find a home outside of China following the country's crypto ban last year, Binance is reportedly still seeking a new headquarters. The company in December said that it would withdraw its license application and close down operations in Singapore, where they essentially moved to in 2021 along with many other Chinese crypto firms.  

They have recently decided that Paris would be their new European hub after the French government granted the right for the company to offer its services locally. This move could pave the way for a much more significant presence and legitimacy in Europe.

Apple Expected to Announce Record-Breaking Q1 2022

When it comes to success in the tech world, Apple is undeniably at the top of their game. Over the past quarter, the company from California posted record-breaking revenue of $123.9 billion and a net quarterly profit of $34.6 billion, undoubtedly making their shareholders happy.  

Apple continues to produce significant revenues in the Mac sales breaking the $10 billion mark for the first time ever. Growth in their services business saw $19.5 billion with the popularity of the Apple Music, Apple TV+, and App Store offerings. Lagging in the all-time high category was revenue coming from the iPad lines. Higher supply constraints reportedly hampered those results.

Creating the lion's share of the revenue was still the popularity of the iPhone, boosted by the iPhone 13, their phones accounted for over 50% of revenue. Apple’s phone remains top of the offerings coming from the company.  

Bottom Line

Society has changed, and for most of us, browsing the net or watching cat videos no longer takes place on our pc. We typically are only using our PC for work, education, and making online purchases.

It shouldn't surprise us that a computer company has become a phone and wearables manufacturer while simultaneously a significant player in the streaming content business.  

56% of global internet traffic now takes place on a mobile device, a 21% increase from 2015, according to data tracked by Broadband Search. The majority of us use social media and messengers from a phone. Even the business focused users of LinkedIn are primarily on mobile.  

Partly due to the pandemic, contactless payments from devices have also seen a massive rise over the past few years, adding to the numerous functions an iPhone and Apple Watch can serve.

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Source: https://miro.medium.com/max/700/0*H-q9P_DSjgTr7Kd6.jpg

Apple's strategy has made it an icon for tech, whether you love them or hate them. But based on their revenue records, they are making the right moves to keep up with the growing needs of their customers.

Is This the End of the Twitter Saga with Elon Musk?

Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of SpaceX, Tesla, and an EDM producer, has agreed to buy Twitter for $44 billion in stock and make it a private company. He will now control his primary channel for self-promotion, hyping his businesses, posting memes, and exposing his latest pump and dump scheme.

Musk has been a vocal critic of Twitter over the years, citing censorship as one of his main gripes, but he believes that the platform has great potential as a place for exchanging ideas.  

“Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.” Musk said in a statement.

Under Musk's ownership, Twitter will continue to operate as a separate entity with a renewed focus on security and user experience.  

Bottom Line

First is the stock buy.  

So far $7bn of the investment comes from a group of high-profile investors, including tech tycoon Larry Ellison, the Qatar state investment fund, and the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance. If Musk’s piggy bank runs dry and he can’t find others to join the investment group, he is on the hook for $1 billion if he terminates the agreement.  

Musk has plans to run the company's day-to-day temporarily, and the announcement of the buy affected the stock price of Tesla almost instantly.

So business is getting settled; what comes next?  

He has expressed his desire for Twitter's direct messages (DM) to use end-to-end encryption like Signal, which is one win for privacy and security.  

 

However, the most significant proposed change, which will be met with great fanfare, is the addition of an edit button.

 

Now to ethics. Do we allow everyone to have a say, no matter what?  

Musk has been a vocal critic of Twitter bans in the past, most notably upset at President Trump's account being silenced. Musk has his own opinions of free speech regarding interests vital to him, but does that mean Twitter can't figure out how to allow different ideas without being overrun with misinformation spambots? Time will tell.

New Redis

Redis is a database, most used for caching. Usually, upgrading software you are using is a pain, due to a wide range of breaking changes. That is not the case with Redis, “as backward compatibility has always been a design principle of the Redis project.” Overall, the new version “includes incremental improvements to almost every one of its aspects.”

The Bottom Line

Improved Redis means caching mechanisms of many web apps are now better. Firstly, “Version 7.0 adds almost 50 new commands and options to support this evolution and extend Redis’ existing capabilities”, though the real MVPs are features you will not see or interact with.  

[T]he real “unsung heroes” in this version are efforts to make Redis more performant, stable, and lean. A large share of our developers’ brain cycles was invested in making the operation of Redis more effective by focusing on its performance vis-à-vis the resources that it uses. Redis 7.0 brings a number of improvements to almost every subsystem it manages, including memory, computing, network, and storage.

New Features Of C# 11

C# 11, the latest iteration of Microsoft’s programming language (and it absolutely is not Microsoft’s Java), is getting an upgrade come .NET 7.

C# is the most common development language for the .NET platform. While, yes, technically you may use F# or VB.NET, in practice, few people do. As for the reason why that is the case, that is a topic for a whole another post.

Going back to C# 11 – there are a couple of features that developers should be excited about:

  • Improvements to strings
  • Better Pattern Matching
  • Improvements to the runtime performance

Sadly, there is one feature that would have made it a breeze to check for null arguments, but… it was removed. Why? The team explained that “it isn't the large majority we normally like to see for C# features, particularly ones that are as broadly applicable as this feature will be.” On one hand, nobody can blame the team for acting on their data this way. On the other hand, the addition of this feature would not have removed the other ways of checking for null. The reaction of the community could be seen as bizarre, for sure.

The Bottom Line

The newly introduced features and changes feel good, though the aftertaste of losing a way to perform a commonly used check in two characters instead of a whole line does not feel great. The bitter taste in our moves will be offset by the sweet performance improvements without any effort on our part, and the improvements to the way strings are handled.

.NET MAUI and Tizen

Tizen is a failed investment of Samsung’s. You see, back in the early days of mobile phones, there was an operating system, Bada OS. It first appeared on the market running on a Samsung Wave. It was a great phone, although the OS was a problem. Bada was (largely) unstable, while the lack of apps certainly did not help. Fast-forward a few years, and Samsung realized their mistake, rebranding Bada to Tizen, and changing the purpose, to have the OS run on TVs, for example. Finding their home there, this made the system quite popular, as Samsung TVs are regarded as one of the best TV brands.

.NET MAUI now adds support for the TV-centric operating system, thanks to the significant efforts of the .NET. Tizen team at Samsung.

To give .NET MAUI a shot, install Visual Studio 2022 Preview by following the guide at https://docs.microsoft.com/dotnet/maui/get-started/first-app.

The Bottom Line

Nobody should be surprised the support for Samsung’s OS is now in the new framework of Microsoft. It is great, that the company from Redmond managed to retain the same number of platforms, while making the tooling more organized. The development teams, and solo developers will appreciate Samsung’s efforts to keep  

Bonus Topics:

1. How jQuery changed the world of web development.

2. Are you a Go developer? Do you have to lie to yourself to keep using the language?  

To all Go developers out there: you might be interested in reading this post: “Lies we tell ourselves to keep using Golang” by Amos.

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360° IT Check is a weekly publication where we bring you the latest and greatest in the world of tech. We cover topics like emerging technologies & frameworks, news about innovative startups, and other topics which affect the world of tech directly or indirectly.

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