Doubles – Merge Numbers is super addictive number puzzle game. Merge the same number blocks to score high. Simply drop numbers and merge! It’s fun to play and totally mind relaxing.
These two are the most popular messaging apps in the world. They may be popular but they are not the only messaging apps.
In the past couple of years, we have seen the rise of other messaging apps that may give Facebook a run for their money. Signal, Telegram, WeChat, and Line are some of the top competitors of WhatsApp and Facebook’s Messenger app.
In today’s post, we will see the best messaging apps that provide end-to-end encryption.
Best End-to-End Encryption Messaging Apps 2021:
1 – Signal:
Signal for us is the king of end-to-end encrypted messaging apps. No second thought about it. Signal was endorsed by Edward Snowden too. In one of his tweets, Edward wrote:
“I use Signal every day.”
Not only this, many protestors have used Signal to organize and plan protests worldwide. Journalists, Human rights activists, and other groups are using Signal on daily basis. What makes it so special?
First, Signal is free to use. There are no ads attached. The organization behind Signal does not track your activity or location. The biggest thing about Signal is that it is open-source. Anyone can view the code especially the security researchers.
On the other hand, leading messaging apps like WhatsApp and Messenger is not open-source. You cannot check their code. We only get info about their security from the organization that manages it. There is no way to counter verify it.
This is not the case with Signal. You can view the code and counter verify the claims of Signal. Whether they provide what they preach or not. Therefore, if you care about privacy, we highly recommend using Signal.
2 – Telegram:
Telegram is an old player in the end-to-end encrypted messaging apps. It was one of the first apps to care for users’ privacy. Telegram is truly anonymous and it’s extremely hard to decrypt the messages sent via Telegram.
You can also delete messages from your Telegram and they get deleted from the servers too. Once deleted, you cannot recover them ever. This is one of the best things about Telegram.
Telegram lets you create a group for group chats or a ‘Channel’. Channel is somewhat different from the group. Only the channel creator can send messages while the subscribers can only view or read them. This is a great feature if you want to share your messages only but do not want to receive messages in return.
3 – Wire:
Wire provides amazing end-to-end encryption supports. The support comes by default. You do not have to turn on the encryption from Settings. Wire is not as popular as Telegram or Signal but it provides almost the same protections as the other two.
Like Signal, Wire is also open-source and one of the most audited messaging software in the world. According to Wire’s team, they are fully compliant with data protection laws in Switzerland and the EU. These laws are extremely strict and make it hard to sell data.
The other good thing about Wire is that it does not sell your data to third-party services. They might use it for their purpose but it will never go to any other organization. Unlike Facebook and WhatsApp, where your data can be used for certain purposes. Remember Cambridge Analytica?
Wire provides desktop and mobile apps. You can use them to send or receive files or to communicate with your friends and colleagues. There are some paid versions of Wire too but an ordinary user will never have to use those versions at all.
It also uses a new encryption key for every single message that is sent. This protects your other messages from getting exposed if one of the keys is leaked as only one key is attached to a single message.
4 – Threema:
An unpopular name but provides top-notch encryption for your messages. According to Threema developers, they do not store messages on the server and the messages are destroyed as soon as they are received by the intended person.
Moreover, Threema is also open-source. The perfect thing about open-source is that you can verify the claims of the developer. So far, no one has come up with any proof that disputes Threema’s claim. The only disadvantage of Threema is that it is paid.
Apps like Signal is backed up by super-rich individuals and organizations. Threema on the other hand does not enjoy the same company. If you are ok with buying an app, Threema could be a good option for you.
If you are looking to get something free, Signal is highly recommended!
5 – WhatsApp:
WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption for sending and receiving messages. Like many of you, I am not a huge fan of WhatsApp. I guess you all know the reasons. If not, Facebook bought WhatsApp some years ago and now it has plans to use (or they may be using it already?) WhatsApp data for advertisement.
Trusting an app that is backed up by big giants like Facebook is hard. WhatsApp is not open-source. You cannot verify the claims of the developers. All you have are the words from the WhatsApp team. You can either believe them or not. I have to think a hundred times before believing in whatever Facebook or one of their subsidiary claim.
One of the many reasons to use WhatsApp is that it’s free to use. Secondly, the popularity of WhatsApp forces one to install it even if you do not want to use it. Not everyone in your friends and family would like to join Signal or Telegram.
Use but with extra care – that’s what I have to say about WhatsApp.
6 – Wickr:
Wickr is another encrypted messaging app. With Wickr, you do not need to register with a phone number or an email address. This makes Wickr truly anonymous. Wickr comes with four-tiers. The first one is the free-tier.
The second is called Silver, the third one Gold, and the last one Platinum. Each tier is catered to fulfill specific needs. Wickr is certainly not the most popular or well-known app but it is one of the best in the business.
Wickr is not only a messaging app but it also provides a platform to collaborate. You can integrate third-party apps like SalesForce, Zendesk, and others. Like Signal, Wickr is also open-source. By now you must have realized the importance of an open-source encrypted messenger app.
7 – iMessage:
If you own an iOS device, you will probably be using iMessage or have used it. iMessage provides end-to-end encryption. However, there is a downside to it too!
iMessage’s backup is hosted on iCloud. The encryption keys are controlled by Apple. This means, that Apple can encrypt your messages and provide them to LEAs whenever needed. Although iMessage provides encryption messaging but it’s not truly encrypted as Apple can decrypt your messages.
This is one of the many reasons why we didn’t rank iMessage high on our list. It’s a good app but there are several excellent options available in the market that can easily beat iMessage in privacy and encryption.
Therefore, we do not recommend using iMessage if you truly want to go encrypt.
8 – Viber:
Viber was once the biggest competitor of WhatsApp also uses encryption in their service. Although Viber is not much popular in the US and EU it still has 300+ million active users per month. As per the recent statistics, Viber is most popular in Ukraine, Russia, and other ex-USSR states. A big chunk of their traffic comes from these countries.
India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have a good sum of Viber users however they are on the decline. I remember using Viber some years ago but no one in my circle currently uses Viber. This makes Viber an unattractive choice for me. Nonetheless, Viber is great.
These messaging apps in my opinion are some of the best encryption messaging apps available in the market. Our favorite is Signal for sure and we highly recommend it.
Flutter vs React Native is one classic war. Every day, you come across several blog and forum posts comparing the two frameworks. Mobile apps are witnessing massive growth every year. According to Statista, there are over 3.2 billion active mobile devices in the world. Some key mobile stats you should know:
- Mobile apps are expected to generate $693 billion in revenue in 2021, $808 billion in 2022, and $935 billion in 2023.
- The Play Store has around 3 million apps and the App Store contains 2 million apps. The number is expected to grow exponentially due to ease in cross-platform development.
- Mobile apps account for 69% of the digital media time in the US.
You can read the more amazing stats at Statista.
With billions of users all around the world, there is a golden opportunity for app developers to bag a big chunk of money in their bank accounts. Though it’s not easy, it’s not impossible too!
Once a developer has decided to develop apps, the next tough choice is to choose which one of the frameworks they are going to use. Or if they will go with native development. In today’s post, we are going to read about two of the most promising and used mobile app development frameworks in the market – Flutter and React Native.
Before we move on to our Flutter and React Native comparison, let us first check what does cross-platform, hybrid apps, and other fancy terms mean?
Native App Development:
Native App development means developing apps in their native languages. For Android, the native languages are Java and Kotlin. For iOS, they are Swift and Objective-C. Native development is still popular and gets the best performance result.
Just a few years ago, if you wanted to build an app for both iOS and Android, you would have to hire separate developers. iOS apps are written in Objective-C or Swift while Android apps are written in Java or Kotlin. Therefore, companies used to hire iOS and Android developers separately.
This changed with the arrival of cross-platform frameworks such as Flutter and React Native. With these frameworks, you would have to code once and the app will run on both iOS and Android. No need to develop code for each OS separately. This is called Cross-Platform Development and the apps developed using one of the frameworks are called cross-platform apps.
Hybrid Apps are on a lower level than Cross-Platform apps. A hybrid app relies on a built-in web browser that shows the views. Hybrid apps are not popular because of their performance issues. Although basic Hybrid apps are a lot cheaper to develop than Cross-Platform apps but developing complex hybrid apps is never recommended.
Let us start with Flutter first.
Flutter vs React Native in 2021:
What is Flutter?
Flutter is a free and open-source development UI kit from Google that lets you create beautiful mobile apps for Android and iOS. This is how Google introduces Flutter:
“Flutter SDK is Google’s UI toolkit for crafting beautiful, natively compiled applications for mobile, web, and desktop from a single codebase.”
Flutter was introduced by Google and since then it has been continuously pushing updates for Flutter. Due to heavy support from Google, Flutter has made its name within a short period and is now giving a tough time to its competitors.
Google Is not the only pushing Flutter to new heights. It’s the massive Flutter community too! At the time of writing this post, Flutter has 109k stars on GitHub and 70,000 questions asked on Stack Overflow. These stats show the popularity of Flutter and its thriving community.
Popular Apps developed in Flutter:
Google being the owner of Flutter has not only developed its popular apps in Flutter but some big names like Realtor, Tencent, The New York Times, Square, and many others have developed their apps using Flutter. A complete list of apps developed in Flutter can be found here.
Prerequisite for learning Flutter:
You do not have to be an expert at different programming languages to learn Flutter. Flutter uses Dart programming language that Is easy to learn if you have already worked with other OOP languages such as C++, Java, and others.
If you already know the basics of OOP and have coded in other programming languages, then learning Dart would be a piece of cake.
On the other hand, if you don’t know the OOP concepts and this is your first time with a programming language, you might face some difficulties at first. Once you get done with the basics, everything will start making sense.
It is better to learn OOP and other related concepts before starting Flutter development.
Flutter – Ease of Learn:
The next question that many new developers have is how easy is it to learn and master Flutter? To be honest, mastering a language would take you years. You cannot simply master it within a year or two. However, learning Flutter is easy. As I mentioned above, if you are already programming in other languages then Flutter would be easy for you.
There is no rocket science in learning Flutter.
Flutter is not as old as React Native. It was introduced by Google in 2017 and the first beta version became available in 2018. Since then, Flutter has never looked back. Several billion-dollar companies have developed their apps in Flutter. This shows that the language is mature and can be used without worrying about anything.
Pros and Cons of Flutter:
|One codebase. Android and iOS app shares the same code. Reusable code.||Less libraries available as compared to React Native.|
|Perfect to build apps quickly.||Lacks in Web Support.|
|Quick hot reload.||Limited TV Support.|
What is React Native?
Like Flutter, React Native is another framework to develop cross-platform apps. React Native was introduced by Facebook in 2015. In the last 5 years, React Native has become the industry’s favorite framework for creating Android and iOS apps.
This is how Facebook introduces React Native:
“A framework for building native apps using React.”
React Native’s Community:
As of today, there are 92.1k stars on GitHub and 90,000 questions asked on Stack Overflow. Flutter has surpassed React Native in terms of popularity on GitHub while on Stack Overflow, React Native is winning the race.
Popular Apps developed in React Native:
Since React Native is developed by Facebook, one can expect that the social media giant would have used it in their apps and they have. Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Ads Manager are using React Native. Other than these, big giants like Shopify, Coinbase, Skype, and Tesla are too using React Native in their apps.
A complete list of apps that are developed using React Native can be found here.
Prerequisite for learning React Native:
This makes React Native quite popular among web developers as they can start developing android and ios apps without learning a different language.
Ease of Learn – React Native:
React Native came out in 2015. A huge community of open-source lovers, developers, and Facebook is actively maintaining the project. In 2021, one can easily call it a stable language and you can develop your app in React Native without any doubt.
Pros and Cons of React Native:
|Easy to build.||Lacks smooth navigation.|
|Excellent Web Support.||License renewal issues.|
|Tons of libraries available.||Limitations set by Facebook.|
Cross-Platform Development vs Native Development:
I am not going to go into the technical details of Cross-Platform Development vs Native Development. This is totally up to you whichever you want to choose. Businesses are developing apps in both. If you are interested in cross-platform development then go with it. If you are not, then go with native development.
We will look into the technical details of these two in another post. For now, just remember that both kinds of developments are popular and you can start with either of these.
You have to keep in mind your end-goal. Once you know it, it would be easy for you to make the right choice.
What to learn in 2021?
Job prospects look equal for both Flutter and React Native. There is no doubt that Flutter is rising in popularity but React Native is still popular and hasn’t shown a sign of decreasing popularity. For 2021, our project is that Flutter will continue to rise. React Native will still be the most used cross-platform framework.
There are several common questions that a new developer would have. Let’s take a look at some of these questions:
Is Flutter better than React Native?
Will Flutter replace React Native?
For now, it seems difficult for Flutter to replace React Native. This is true that Flutter is growing at a rapid pace. On the other hand, React Native’s popularity hasn’t gone down either. Only time will tell if Flutter will replace React Native or not.
Flutter vs React Native, Easier to Code?
Both Flutter and React Native have the same level of difficulty. Neither Flutter nor React Native is easy to code. You will face some difficulties with both of them.
Which one is fast, Flutter or React Native?
You can find more FAQs related to Flutter here.
This was our post for today. Keep following us for more in-depth articles.
Laravel is unarguably the most popular PHP framework out there. Over a period of time, its popularity has skyrocketed and Laravel has captured a major chunk in the PHP frameworks industry.
The following image shows an estimate of the market share that Laravel has captured:
Not only Laravel has captured the market share but it has surpassed its competitors in terms of popularity. Here is a quick look into that:
The image above clearly makes it clear the popularity of Laravel. The blue line shows Laravel and the rest of the lines show its competitors such as Symfony, CodeIgniter, and Cake PHP. Since it’s pretty clear to us that learning and using Laravel in 2021 is going to be worth it.
Let us check out all of the reasons one by one.
1 – Pre-Built Authentication System:
Laravel saves a lot of time when it comes to building a user authorization and registration system. You do not have to create anything from scratch since the user authentication and authorization system comes pre-built with Laravel.
Laravel takes care of all the security issues that come with the user authentication system. The developers have done a perfect job in building it.
This is going to save tons of your time and get the development process speed up.
2 – Easy to use ORM:
Laravel comes with its ORM. If you hate writing SQL statements then this ORM would help you to manipulate databases without writing SQL queries. You will be writing the code though but not in SQL. Laravel’s ORM is one of the best ORM out there and the easiest to use.
I have developed Django projects too and used Django’s built-in ORM and as compared to Laravel it’s difficult to learn. If you are starting with a PHP framework, go with Laravel.
3 – Lightweight Templates:
Laravel has lightweight templates and an amazing template engine. With the availability of several widgets, you can quickly get started with your Laravel app without coding the basic things first. Laravel takes care of those things!
4 – Artisan:
The artisan comes in-built with Laravel. With Artisan, you can do repetitive tasks with simple commands. Suppose you want to create a new Laravel project, setup basic files, create a database, connecting the database with the project, and much more. It would consume a lot of time to do these things.
However, with Artisan, you can write single-line commands and all of this work would be done automatically. Laravel has done an amazing job when it comes to automating repetitive tasks.
5 – Laravel Libraries:
Laravel comes with different libraries. One of the most popular ones is authentication as we discussed above. There are several other libraries like the CSRF protection library and many more. With these libraries, it becomes easy for a developer to start developing Laravel apps without worrying about other things.
6 – Effortless Database Manipulation:
Laravel makes it extremely easy to interact and manipulate the database. Suppose, you have an existing database and now you need to enlarge it. It would be a lot of hassle to do it with other frameworks. With Laravel, it is extremely easy to enlarge the database even without the use of SQL. Migrating a database with Laravel is a piece of cake.
7 – Logical Representation of Code:
The MVC architecture is supported by Laravel. With this, it becomes easy for the developer to separate the logic of his/her code. This helps in developing a clean code application. Due to the MVC architecture, the performance of the Laravel application is enhanced.
8 – Great Community Support:
Laravel has a community of developers and open-source enthusiasts. At the time of writing this article, Laravel has 62.6k stars on GitHub and 160,000+ questions on StackOverflow. The big community is always there to help if you get stuck.
9 – Strong Security System:
Laravel comes with strong security support. It uses encryption to save passwords. It is extremely hard to hack a Laravel app. Laravel also prevents SQL injection that you would be coding to prevent in case if you developing the website in custom PHP.
10 – Tons of resources to learn from:
Other than its great community support, there are thousands of tutorials on Laravel. Laracasts is an amazing platform to learn Laravel from. One can get started with it right away.
These are some of the reasons why you should learn and start developing in Laravel for 2021. If you are interested in getting a Laravel project developed, you can get in touch with us on.
In this article, we will discuss how to become a Database Administrator and cover frequently asked questions about this career. If you are looking to chase a career as a Database Administrator and you are not aware of where to begin, here is a cheat sheet for you. We will cover everything from basic definition, salaries, job description and certifications, skills, requirements, and educational requirements in the field. Let’s put down the basics first.
What is a Database Administrator (DBA)?
A Database Administrator (DBA) is an information technician, who is responsible for understanding and managing the overall database environment as well as to ensure that an organization’s database and its related applications operate functionally and efficiently. They build and maintain databases that are compatible with their companies’ requirements. These information technology (IT) specialists administer database updates, storage, security, and troubleshooting.
What does a Database Administrator (DBA) do?
Database Administrators (DBAs) use specialized software to store and organize data. They manage the development of a company’s databases to keep important data available only to users with authorized access. A Database Administrator provides secure access to databases and manages backup solutions to prevent loss of data in case a system fails.
Additional responsibilities of a Database Administrator may include:
- Develop stages of a database system
- Secure organizational data
- Restore/backup of lost data
- Create permissions for new users
- Testing of modifications
- Merging of old databases
- Conduct performance tuning support
Furthermore, Database Administrators (DBAs) develop, install, test, troubleshoot, and maintain the vast data systems inside the organizations that store information. Database developers work on commercial or e-commerce websites. They develop and secure the network structures that store and return information based on Internet queries.
How long does it take to become a Database Administrator (DBA)?
Becoming an entry-level Database Administrator (DBA) takes about two to seven years. But if you succeed to get your first Database Administrator (DBA) job, it will not take another more than three years before you will be able to develop any sort of competency as an expert Database Administrator (DBA).
Database Administrator (DBA) Salary:
As one of the top five highest-paying IT career paths, Database Administrators (DBAs) get handsome paychecks. On average, they earn better than network systems, data communication analysts, and telecommunication specialists. We have listed state-wise database administrator salaries here.
Usually, Database Administrators (DBAs) work in full-time salaried positions. However, many companies prefer to employ DBAs on a contract basis to work on special database projects. You can expect the following salary ranges when searching for a Database Administrator (DBA) position:
|Career Level||Experience||Salary in US Dollars|
|Entry Level||0-12 Months||$53,292 per year|
|Early Career||1-4 Years||$62,697 per year|
|Mid-Career||5-9 Years||$78,588 per year|
|Experienced Career||10-19 Years||$90,167 per year|
Does Database Administration require coding?
Many of the best tech careers require the ability to code. While most Database Administrators (DBAs) have a development background, yet they are not at all needed to write code. If you are not good at coding then you do not have to worry and here is good news for you that to be a Database Administrator (DBA), you don’t need to be a top programmer for a compiled language, however, you will need to have excellent analytical skills, solid understanding on how to design the database from the scratch, ensuring that there is data integrity, that data can be accessed synchronously without memory outflows, and most importantly that the data is safe and secure.
Database Administration training mostly takes place online and results in DBA certification. One of the best ways to show how much you value your data is how much understanding you have about it and show how proficient you are at managing it is to get certified.
Companies use many different types of databases. Depending on the specialization, Database Administrators (DBAs) could get hold of certifications that prove they have a broad knowledge of a specific database. Here we would talk about the best 5 database certifications.
- IBM Certified Database Administrator
The IBM Certified Database Administrator is the Lead Database Administrator (DBA) for the DB2 product on the z/OS operating system. This certification demonstrates that you have the ability to navigate an IBM database server. This certification requires two exams in total. A fundamental Certified Database Administrator certification and an Advanced Database Administrator form. The first exam tests you on fundamental knowledge of the daily administration tasks, Structured Query Language, IBM database security, and creating database objects. The second exam evaluates your ability to perform advanced database tasks in security and migration.
- Microsoft SQL Server Database certification:
Securing Microsoft SQL Server Database certification will demonstrate your ability to introduce and advance MySQL Server, configure replication security, set up backups, and other fundamental tasks. After earning your Microsoft SQL Server Database certification, you can follow up with a variety of Associate Level Microsoft Solutions certifications. It can help learn basic SQL server skills before starting the three-exam requirement. You can prepare by getting experience on the job, in courses, or by taking practice tests online.
- Oracle Certification:
Oracle’s program includes three levels of certification, starting with the Oracle Database Administrator Certified Associate (OCA), advancing through the Oracle Database Administrator Certified Professional (OCP), and coming full circle with the Oracle Database Administrator Certified Master (OCM). To earn any Oracle certification, you will have to pass an online exam to show you understand that release version. Many Database Administrators (DBAs) pick to obtain certifications for different versions as various organizations use different releases. To get yourself prepared for an Oracle exam, you can take a variety of online courses.
- MCDBA Certification:
MCDBA stands for Microsoft Certified Database Administrator. This certification is designed especially for Database Administrators (DBAs) with experience in implementing, designing, and administrating databases with Microsoft SQL Server 2000. You can register for online training to obtain your certification. There are multiple options to study and prepare for the exam, including instructor-led training, practice tests, self-paced training kits, and Microsoft Press books. To obtain this certification, some people prefer instructor-led training, Microsoft suggests a self-preparation method and offers preparation guides for each exam, which include a list of relevant skills students can practice.
On a little side note, Database Administrator (DBA) certifications typically boost up salary potential in this field and can easily lead to a salary jump as high as 10 percent.
A detailed post on database certifications 2021 can be found here.
Top 10 Databases you should learn in 2021:
Now we will discuss the top databases which are worth discovering and which you should learn in 2021. Below is the list:
Oracle is a database that can run on nearly any operating system. From Oracle, we highlight plenty of profiles with experience in this technology. Oracle has a large number of tools that exist for its administration and monitoring.
- IBM DB 2:
After Oracle, IBM DB 2 is the second most used database in UNIX / Linux environments. It is an undeniable winner on Mainframe. IBM Informix makes sure that your vital business data is controlled and secured.
- Microsoft SQL Server:
Developed by Microsoft, Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database management system. There are a number of available skilled profiles in SQL Server, and it is not hard to acquire them. Its flexibility and performance are significantly enhanced with its integration with Microsoft Azure.
Teradata is one of the popular Relational Database Management System. It is mostly suitable for building large scale data warehousing applications. Teradata Database delivers the most flexible analytical engine in the most scalable and manageable database for your data warehouse and is usually used in extensive Big Data facilities.
- Mongo DB:
MongoDB is a cross-platform document-oriented database program, written in C++. It is the most popular database for modern apps. MongoDB is terrific for transactional stores where performance is a major concern. You can work with structured as well as unstructured data.
- Couchbase Server:
Couchbase Server is originally known as Membase. Couchbase Server’s architecture protects against many types of failure and protects against data loss. It has a very flexible data model, scalable, provides consistently high performance, and is reliable and secure.
- Mark Logic Server:
MarkLogic Server is a multi-model and document-oriented database that has both NoSQL and trusted enterprise data management capabilities. It supports Windows, Solaris, Red Hat, Suse, CentOS, Amazon Linux, and Mac OS. MarkLogic supports fully ACID transactions which are incredibly unique in a NoSQL system.
- Non-SQL Key-Value Oriented:
NoSQL key-value databases are the least complicated types of NoSQL databases. Data has been stored as a key or attribute name with its value in it. Each data item has a pointer and a unique key against it which offers significant flexibility and more closely supports modern concepts like object-oriented programming. It is perfect when you are accessing data by a password.
- EMS SQL Manager:
If you intend to create data analysis components within your dashboard, you can use EMS SQL Manager. EMS SQL Manager for MySQL offers high-performance tools for MySQL database administration and development. It works with any MySQL versions from 4.1 to the latest one and supports the most recent features including MySQL triggers, views, stored procedures, functions, InnoDB foreign keys, Unicode data, etc.
Altibase is a high-performance open-source relational database and is compatible with Oracle. Altibase is the single hybrid database that perfectly combines an in-memory database along with an on-disk database into a single database product using a uniform interface that streamlines data processing for the highest effectiveness.
Is SQL the same as MySQL?
SQL is a short abbreviation of Structured Query Language, it is a query language that is used to operate your database, while on the other hand, MySQL is a relational database that uses SQL to query a database. There are small syntax changes between different databases, but the fundamental SQL syntax remains mostly the same.
SQL is usually used in accessing, updating, and manipulating data in a database while MySQL is RDBMS that allows keeping the data that exists in a database organized.
Educational Qualification for DBA:
Database Administrators (DBAs) require at least a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Sciences, Computer Engineering, or Information Science as it is a pre-requisite for entry-level positions mostly. DBAs may need a further Master’s degree in Database Administration or Information Technology, depending on the size and complexity of their organization.
How to find database projects?
There are several freelancing platforms available that would help you in getting your first database project. You can start with Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer. Fiverr and Upwork are my personal favorite although it is difficult to get your first project on Upwork.
I would suggest starting with Fiverr or Freelancer.
Skills required of a Database Administrator (DBA):
Here we will name some basic skills which are required to become a successful DBA:
- Data modeling and database design
- Metadata management and use of a repository
- Database schema creation and management
- Backup and recovery
- Data integrity and security
- Performance management
- SQL code reviews
- Procedural skills
- Capacity planning
- General database management
- General systems management and networking skills
- ERP and business knowledge
- Storage management techniques
How to become a database administrator without a degree?
You would still need a college degree to get started in database development. If you are a college graduate, you can start by getting certified in one of the major database management systems. We have created a detailed blog post on different certifications. You can read about it here.
Remember, an organization will always prefer someone with a graduate degree for a database administrator. Without a university degree, the chances of climbing up in the organization are extremely low.
Which Database is easy to learn for beginners?
There are several database management systems out there. I would recommend starting with either MS Access or MySQL. Both of these are easy to learn and you do not need to buy any expensive suite of software for them. If you already have Office suite, then you would probably have access to MS Access as well. If you do not, get started with MySQL. It’s freely available.
This was our post on becoming the database administrator in 2021. We will publish more articles on database administration in the upcoming days. Keep visiting!
In one of our previous posts, we had talked about the learning path to becoming a database administrator. In today’s guide, we will see in-depth the best database certifications available in the market.
Some of these certifications are for beginners and some are for individuals looking to advance their careers. Also in our next post, we will focus on database consultancy. Make sure to visit us again.
Before we move on, let us discuss one basic question that many of you would have in mind. Is it worth getting a certification in database administration? The short answer is yes!
Database administrators (DBAs) with certifications earn more than their non-certified counterparts. It helps in career advancement and you are paid more to do the same work. It’s worth every penny to go for a database administration certificate.
Let us go back to the main topic. There are several dba certificates available. Oracle, Microsoft, and several other companies have their certifications.
We will be discussing them one by one. Before we move on, we have gathered data on how much a database administrator is paid in different US states. The data is gathered through Indeed.
Database Administrator Salary by State (Updated 2021):
Best Database Administration Certifications 2021:
1. Oracle Database Administration Certifications:
Oracle is one of the most used enterprise DB systems. If you are already working in an organization that uses Oracle, then it makes complete sense to become Oracle Certified Database Administrator.
If you are new and want to start with Oracle, you can still do it. Oracle has created some amazing video tutorials for newcomers. You can check them here at Oracle University.
For database administration, Oracle provides three types or three-levels of certifications:
- OCA or Oracle Database Administrator Certified Associate.
- OCP or Oracle Database Certified Professional.
- OCM or Oracle Database Certified Master.
It is necessary to complete OCA first before you move on to OCP and above. You cannot directly jump to level 2 or 3 certifications without completing the pre-requisites. The not so good thing about these certifications is that they needed to be updated every time a new Oracle version is released.
|Oracle Certification||Oracle Certification Cost||Link|
|Oracle DA Associate (OCA)||$245 per exam (1 exam taken).||Visit the OCA Page.|
|Oracle DA Professional (OCP)||$245 per exam (2 exams taken).||Visit the OCP Page.|
|Oracle DA Master (OCM)||$2800+ (Multiple exams)*||Visit the OCM Page.|
You can get OCA certified by passing one exam and it is not difficult. However, for OCP, it is better to get 2-3 years of experience in working with the Oracle DB system.
For OCM, Oracle suggests having at least 6-7 years of experience as this certificate is the most expensive of all and requires one to go through several learning phases and exams before getting certified.
*Since the OCM consists of multiple exams, Oracle keeps changing the cost from time to time. The above-mentioned price is the expected cost. You can confirm it by contacting Oracle.
2. Microsoft Database Administration Certificates:
Microsoft provides several certificates for their database systems. You can get certified in MS SQL Server or in Microsoft Access. If you develop a database in MS Access, you can simply get the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification.
The cost of the MOS certificate is $100 per exam. You would take the following exams:
- Microsoft Word 2013.
- Microsoft Excel 2013.
- Microsoft PowerPoint 2013.
- Microsoft Outlook 2013.
- Microsoft Access 2013.
- Microsoft SharePoint 2013.
- Microsoft OneNote 2013.
These exams would cost you are $700 in total. Price may vary.
The good news is you can get certified in a single software too! Since we are talking about Microsoft Access here, you can get MS Access certified for $100 only. To get the MS Access exam page click here.
For SQL server, there are three types of Microsoft SQL Server certificates:
- Microsoft Technology Associate Certification (MTA): The very basic certification is the MTA certificate. It is preliminarily designed for beginners and if you already have some 2-3 years of experience in SQL Server, this certificate is not for you. You will take several exams to get certified. The cost of the MTA certificate is given below.
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): The MCSA will get you certified either in the SQL Server 2014 or 2016. The choice is yours to make. This is an associate-level certificate and MCSA is worth taking if you are new to MS SQL Server.
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): The last level of Microsoft certification is the MCSE certificate. This is going to consume a lot of your time and you need some experience in working with the MS products before going for MCSE. Like other certificates, you would take multiple exams to get MCSE certified.
The following table shows the number of exams you need to take for each certificate and their average price. The cost may change.
|Microsoft Database Certificate||Certificate Cost||Link|
|MTA Certificate||12 exams x $127 each||View exams|
|MCSA Certificate||10 exams x $165 each||View exams|
|MCSE Certificate||4 exams x $165 each||View exams|
Microsoft will retire several exams from the above-mentioned certificates in the coming months. Before you go for any of the certifications, please make sure to check which exams are retiring. This will save you some money.
3. IBM Database Administration Certifications:
Unlike Microsoft and Oracle, IBM provides only two different types of IBM database administration certificates. These are:
- IBM Certified Database Associate: The database associate is designed for beginners and only one exam is required to get certified. You would be tested for your knowledge of DB2 11 and SQL. Basic knowledge of SQL is required.
- IBM Certified Database Administrator: This is more of the advanced certificate by IBM. You will have to pass 2 exams to get certified. If you are already an IBM Certified Database Associate, you will have to take only one exam.
Below is the cost of IBM database administrator certificates:
|IBM Database Administration Certificate||Certificate Cost||Link|
|IBM Certified Database Associate||1 exam x $200 each||Learn More|
|IBM Certified Database Administrator||2 exams x $200 each||Learn More|
4. MySQL Database Administrator Certifications:
MySQL is one of the most widely-used database management systems out there. It powers 20% of the total websites in the world. A great number of colleges and universities teach MySQL to their students. There are several MySQL DBA certificates that you can earn to jump ahead in your career.
MySQL certifications are provided by Oracle and they overlap with their OCA, OCM, and OCP certificates. You can get OCP certified from Oracle by taking the MySQL 8.0 Database Administrator Exam from here.
These are the best certifications for 2021 and beyond. Oracle, Microsoft, and MySQL are widely used by enterprises. If you get certified in any of these, you might be able to land a high-paying job. If you have any other certifications in mind, let us know.
At Whizpool, we put the needs of our clients first! We provide our clients with products that meet the international standards and satisfy them best by keeping things simple.
Every year, Clutch announces their Leader Awards, a list of the highest-ranking B2B companies according to geographic location and service line. This year, Clutch has named Whizpool a top B2B company in Asia.
Clutch is a business platform located in the heart of Washington, DC. Their team conducts independent research into B2B companies to ensure fair and transparent ratings and rankings. That’s why this award is so meaningful because it’s based on the opinions of people who matter most, our clients!
“We consider this an achievement to be considered as a market leader by the best independent review website, Clutch!” – Zeeshan Arif, CEO Whizpool
We appreciate all of our wonderful clients, particularly those who took the time to leave us a review on Clutch. Here’s what they had to say about working with us!
“I was impressed by their sheer dedication to the project. They never made a fuss about upfront costs; instead, they wanted to finish the project as soon as possible, spending overtime even over the weekends to ensure its timely completion.” – CTO, Health Solutions Company
Our perfect 5-star rating and this Leader Award were made possible by all of you! We are incredibly thankful for the experience of partnering with all our clients.
Mobile Application Testing
A simple definition of mobile application testing is “Mobile application testing is a process by which an application software developed for handheld mobile devices is tested for its functionality, usability, and consistency. Mobile application testing can be automated or manual type of testing.”
Main Challenges of Mobile Application Testing
Testing of mobile applications is more challenging than testing desktop and web applications because of growing number of mobile devices is leading to a massive fragmentation of OS, screen sizes, variations of standard OS and more.
1. Screen Size:
Screen sizes of mobile devices changes whenever any new model is launched. Apple’s screen sizes range from 3.5’’ to 12’’. Android screen sizes range from 2.6’’ to 6’’.
2. OS Fragmentation:
Different mobiles have different operating systems which are upgraded often. Fragmentation is a big issue for Android which has 11 different OS. 93% of iOS devices are using version 9 or 10, so Apple’s OS fragmentation is a smaller issue than Android.
Following is the bird eye view of Android screens till 2015:
Success of mobile apps can be dependent on consumption of battery as well. Many people open multiple apps at a time. User tends to uninstall the app if it drains battery life faster.
4. Mobile Networks:
The performance of a carrier’s network can have a huge impact on the user’s experience with an app. This is another factor beyond the hardware and software that must be taken into consideration as app must work offline for features which does not require internet network.
Usability is the foundation of mobile apps’ success. It is a big challenge to make sure app has an attractive and intuitive interface, easy to access content and smooth navigation.
To make sure that an app is good enough to launch and majority of the users will be happy, it is important to test it on enough devices of different size, shape, software, software version as well as hardware.
- As it is the biggest challenge to test the app on all available screen sizes, shapes and software versions available in market, it is very important to know your audience. Try to test the app on all available devices, latest OS versions and devices most popular in your audience.
- As we still cannot have all the devices in real, so there are multiple simulators and emulators available in the market which can be used for testing. These simulators give a feel of the screen size and the look and feel however we cannot completely rely on them as the scenarios are not real time. There are simulators for different operating systems and platforms also.
- Performance testing should be done extensively. It is important to test how your app performs when it is not connected to internet? How much do the various speeds of networks impact the performance of your app? What happens when you turn off the internet during some process?
- If targeted audience of your app is all around the globe, it is most important to make sure that the strings are translated for each language and translations are accurate as nowadays users have multiple options and they can easily switch to another app.
- Simplicity of UI plays an import role to make a mobile application successful. Most of the users prefer to have an application which fulfills their requirements along with providing the ease to use the app. Therefore, it is very important to make sure that the app is providing simple UI, smooth navigation and easiest flow to get the desired outcome.
Key points for Testing
As a Tester, you are always up-to-date with the progress off the application. It is important and easy for you to identify the challenge at the very beginning.
Here are key points that can help you as a tester, to make sure your mobile application is perfect to be released to the market:
- Make sure all you have enough time to test the app
- All major features and highest priority tasks should be tested first to avoid any new issue at last moments
- App should be tested on all OS, platforms and devices which are mostly used by the expected audience of the app
- App should work fine after update and user’s data should not get deleted
- Test the app under various network conditions
- Run security test for the authorized use of the app
- Check for proper error messages for all conditions
- Check the app performance when device is charging or under low battery conditions
- Conduct mobile app testing with Usability Testing for ensuring user’s comfort
- App should provide easy navigation on various screens
As part of a mobile app’s success, we cannot overlook the importance of a smooth mobile application testing. By planning your selection of target devices through a mix of emulators and physical devices, combined with other mobile testing strategies, you move towards a successful release!
Importance of Mobile Application Testing
Over the last few years, the mobile phone has become an important part of everyone’s life. Number of mobile app users and mobile apps are increasing exponentially due to which developers strive to bring their product to market as quickly as possible. As a result, end users have a humongous number of apps to choose from. But how does the user choose the app that will take up the precious space on their device? App quality is the key to any app’s success, and it can only be achieved through mobile application testing.
Success of an app can be measured by the number of downloads or positive reviews along with rapid bug fixes and implementation of new features. Above all, quality of the app and user-friendly interface plays an important role in making an app successful and it can be achieved with mobile application testing. All the major issues that an application faces can be resolved through a successful mobile app testing. Besides, a perfect mobile app testing allows you to deliver better software with new features and bug fixes in short intervals so that users do not lose interest and new features do not bring new bugs. Testing becomes vital for an app’s survival.
Effective Mobile Application Testing Strategies
The purpose of testing is not always about finding the errors, but, it is also to make sure the application works properly. The best way to perfection is always questioning the possibilities. Testing is a mixture of techniques and strategies; there is no simpler way to make sure the working status of an application.
Here are the effective strategies that can be applied for testing iOS and Android apps:
1. Scope of Testing:
Defining the scope of testing is most important step in mobile app testing. It includes what features and functional requirements should be tested. It also determines the types of mobile apps testing required, whether functional testing, usability, compatibility, performance, security, or others. But mostly the scope of testing includes mixture of functional and usability testing.
2. Decide Device Coverage:
There are over 24,000 models that exist in Android itself and this number is growing by time. Deciding mobile devices for testing apps is very important. For deciding devices, consider the latest OS version for both Android and iOS, different OS versions on devices of different screen sizes and most popular mobile devices among targeted audience.
3. Write Test Cases:
Well written test cases help a lot through a sequence of steps to validate whether an application is bugs free and meets the end user’s requirement. Test cases ensure good test coverage, improve the quality, and allow the tester to think thoroughly and test the app from as many angles as possible. Test cases bring together the whole testing process.
4. Functional Testing:
Ensuring that the app is performing the expected functions which are described in specifications of the app is on priority when we start testing an app. Tester makes sure that features are working as expected and user can complete the particular task. Give more importance to functional testing than the graphics.
5. Testing Network Conditions:
It is essential to test mobile applications under different network conditions to ensure the application’s behavior. It should work with challenging network and without internet connection for features which are expected to run offline.
6. Security Testing:
Security of data is most important concern of the users. Making sure that data of user cannot be deleted or hacked plays a significant role in mobile app testing.
7. Localization and Language:
Testers must ensure that the app provides high quality of user experience in every language especially for the apps which are expected to be used globally. Users must be able to switch between languages with ease, and not face any issues while doing so. Also, such apps must be tested to ensure that they interact with the device’s GPS to pick up location and customize its offerings accordingly.
8. Usability Testing:
Usability testing ensures the convenience of using the application. While testing usability of mobile applications, testers must ensure that app is friendly to use for end user, content and pictures look natural in app environment, components are synchronized with users’ actions, speed of response is high enough etc.
These are the effective strategies to follow while testing a mobile application to make sure that end users get high quality applications. In my next blog, we will discuss about the challenges a QA used to face while testing mobile applications and key points to keep in mind during testing process to get reliable outcome.
At Whizpool, we strive to not only ensure that our clients get exactly what they ask for at the best possible price, but also to instill in them a peace of mind throughout the development process. How do we achieve such a lofty goal? Well our app development projects are tailored in a way that removes the unknowns from the application development – bringing clarity and transparency to the process. Our team of talented and persistent developers, designers, and engineers deploy the latest technologies and optimized methodologies to produce high-end results for smart devices and the web alike. Our mission is to provide the highest quality products so that we can become a better company for ourselves, clients and the world.
There are of course, many capable app developers out there and with more outsourcing options than ever before, it’s becoming increasingly impossible to navigate the hiring process. Fortunately, Clutch, a B2B ratings and reviews platform, is here to help. Clutch’s analysts rank service providers based on a range of factors including past clients and experience, verified client reviews, and market presence.
Just recently, one of our current clients, an advertising agency called Buzzador AB, tasked us with providing an array of web and mobile development services for their company in an effort to reduce their overhead. One of the agency’s premiere software engineers, Sajjad Asif, praised Whizpool not just for our high-quality work, but also for our competitive pricing, ability to always meet deadlines, and provide constant team-to-team communication throughout the process.
In a testament to our steadfast commitment to our clients and delivering the highest-quality work, we’ve also been featured on Clutch’s sister site, The Manifest, which helps business to consult with top companies on projects by providing practical advice based off of its hard data, industry-expert insights, and actionable advice.
Once again, we’d like to thank Clutch, our current, and former clients for taking the time to share their Whizpool experiences with the world. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us today!