Choosing a Career in Tech: The Importance of Linked Data and its Impact on Web Development

Alessio Frateily

Hatched by Alessio Frateily

Jun 07, 2024

4 min read

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Choosing a Career in Tech: The Importance of Linked Data and its Impact on Web Development

In today's digital age, technology plays a crucial role in various aspects of our lives. One particular field that has seen significant growth and demand is the tech industry. From software development to web design, there are countless career opportunities available for those interested in pursuing a career in tech. In this article, we will explore two essential components of web applications, the front end, and the back end, and discuss the importance of linked data in the context of web development.

Let's start by understanding the distinction between the front end and the back end of a web application. The front end refers to the visual part of the application that runs on the user's browser. It encompasses everything that users see and interact with, including web pages, user interfaces, and data displays. The front end is responsible for sending requests to the back end when it needs data or requires specific actions to be performed.

On the other hand, the back end is the non-visual part of the application that contains the logic and data storage. While it remains hidden from users, the back end responds to requests from the front end. It generates web pages used for the front end, retrieves, validates, and saves data, and enforces security measures.

Now that we have a basic understanding of the front end and the back end, let's delve into the concept of linked data and its significance in web development. Linked data is a method for publishing structured data using vocabularies such as schema.org. These data can be connected and interpreted by machines, allowing for the sharing of encoded statements across different websites.

In 2006, Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, described linked data as a means of making connections that enable people and machines to explore the web of data. With linked data, the relationships between different datasets facilitate the discovery of related information. Each webpage contains structured data that describes it and is connected to entities that can also be described within the context of other websites.

Linked data builds upon standard web technologies such as HTTP and URIs. However, instead of solely enabling readers to access web pages, it extends these technologies to share information with computers, which can automatically read and process the data. This opens up new possibilities for data integration and analysis.

To effectively utilize linked data, specific principles should be followed. Firstly, using URIs to name entities is essential. URIs serve as unique identifiers that allow for the identification and access of each entity. Secondly, employing HTTP URIs ensures accessibility for individuals. In other words, each entity's ID should be accessible through an HTTP URI. Lastly, including links to other URIs facilitates the discovery of new information, enhancing the interconnectedness of datasets.

One of the practical tools for working with linked data is SPARQL, a semantic query language. SPARQL enables the retrieval and manipulation of data stored in the Resource Description Framework (RDF) format. By leveraging SPARQL, developers can search and extract specific information from linked data sources.

The benefits of linked data extend beyond data integration and analysis. Open datasets that implement linked data standards are crucial for machine learning algorithms behind semantic search engines like Google and Bing. Additionally, they play a vital role in powering personal assistants such as Alexa, Cortana, and the Google Assistant. Datasets like DBpedia, Wikidata, and Geonames are all interconnected, forming the Cloud of Linked Open Data.

In conclusion, choosing a career in tech offers a wide range of opportunities, from front end development to back end programming. Understanding the significance of linked data in web development can provide a competitive edge in this ever-evolving industry. By implementing linked data principles and leveraging tools like SPARQL, developers can unlock the potential of interconnected datasets, enabling more advanced data analysis and powering innovative technologies.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Stay updated with the latest advancements in linked data technologies and standards. This will ensure that you are well-equipped to utilize and implement linked data principles in your web development projects.
  • 2. Actively contribute to open datasets and linked data communities. By participating in collaborative efforts, you can help expand the interconnectedness of data and contribute to the growth of the Cloud of Linked Open Data.
  • 3. Continuously enhance your skills in both front end and back end development. A comprehensive understanding of both aspects will enable you to create seamless and efficient web applications that leverage the power of linked data.

In a technology-driven world, the possibilities are endless for those pursuing a career in tech. By embracing the concept of linked data and its importance in web development, you can position yourself as a valuable asset in the industry and make significant contributions to the advancement of technology.

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