Reader's Corner No. 66: The Impact of 'Open' Workspaces, TypeScript 3.0 Release Candidate, and a New Code of Ethics in Tech

July 17, 2018

Congratulations on making it to the 200th day of 2018! More than half of the year has already come and gone, and technology continues its rapid evolution with each passing day. Stay in the know with our weekly Reader's Corner and avoid getting left behind! Today we will cover how ‘open’ workspaces may affect human collaboration, the new TypeScript 3.0 release candidate, and ACM's updated code of ethics in tech. 

The Impact of the ‘Open’ Workspace on Human Collaboration

David Minton

Source: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B

Takeaway: Open office space, a pervasive trend in my many industries, has been pitched as a win-win to both reduce costs and increase employee interactions. But is it so? Two researchers from Harvard Business School and Harvard University sought to find the answer and their work has been published by no less than The Royal Society, the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence. Defying the common order, face-to-face interaction among employees actually went down, while virtual communication went up. More significantly, productivity actually suffered, as employees seemed inclined to focus on looking busy rather than getting things done. Open offices may be here to stay due to decreased cost and increased employee density per square foot, but the cost of decreased productivity and employee job satisfaction should be considered in the equation.

Tags: #Business, #Science

Announcing TypeScript 3.0 RC

Jay Roberts

Source: Microsoft TypeScript Blog

Takeaway: An open-source programming language called TypeScript is under revisions. TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript and is developed and maintained by Microsoft, who has just announced that version 3.0 is getting close to release.

Tags: #TypeScript, #Programming, #JavaScript

New Ethics Code Urges Tech Firms and Coders To Avoid Harming Society

Hunter Kenny

Source: Xconomy

Takeaway: The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), a highly respected organization for programmers and tech companies, has updated their Code of Ethics. The code has been updated mostly as a response to the rapidly evolving advances in technological areas such as cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. The ACM is trying to take a more proactive approach this time with this update, urging programmers and tech company leaders to make a routine practice of recognizing the societal impact of advancing technology, and to mitigate its harms. The new code even delves into more specific and cutting-edge technologies like machine learning. As a late Millennial (on the cusp of Gen Z) I was born right around the time the Web became accessible to the public, and my formative years were marked by major shifts in technology. From using a landline in elementary school to owning a basic flip-phone in middle school, to relying on a smartphone by high-school, I have paid close attention to how the Digital Revolution has caused a huge shift in perspectives, social and family dynamics, public interests and society in general. Although I believe that technology is and always will be advancing at an uncontainable rate, it is alleviating to see major organizations take necessary steps towards safeguarding the public from some of the more ominous ramifications of society's technological dependence.  

Tags: #Development, #Security, #Privacy, #InternetLaw

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