News May 1, 2020 by Dmitry Zhikharevich

Lockdown as an Opportunity: Uploadcare Gives Full Access to Developer Accounts for Free

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we do things online. More people being online has put increased pressure on online services, making developers’ jobs harder: ensuring their systems’ stability while scaling up and maintaining the level of service. The changes we’re witnessing—increasingly more people getting used to working, buying, entertaining, and learning online—will likely remain with us even after the pandemic ends.

Fortunately, there’s a solution that’s up for the task: an end-to-end toolkit for file uploading, processing, and delivery by Uploadcare. To help you grow, Uploadcare is making full-fledged developer accounts accessible for free. Read on to learn more.

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Lockdown is the Time to Learn

One immediately obvious consequence of the pandemic is the dramatic increase in demand for online services of all sorts. In turn, this spike in demand means narrowing down individual user bandwidths by carriers, higher web application load, decreased Quality of Experience, and unusual traffic patterns, e.g. massive surges.

These challenges can be a learning opportunity. As a developer, you may have more time to code, practice new skills, or perhaps start something fresh, given that the massive migration online will likely create new market niches. Here’s how you can make the most of the current lockdown:

  • Learn and practice ways to increase systems’ reliability during traffic peaks;
  • Find nontrivial and interesting approaches to cope with high-load and optimize QoE;
  • Your work-life balance might have already been a “work balance” even before the pandemic, but maybe it’s high time to consider striking out on your own?

Let’s look into the challenges of massive online migration, and the opportunities it brings for you as a developer.

Challenge 1: More Users Online, Uneven Traffic

Amidst worldwide lockdowns and self-quarantine, online delivery services, entertainment, education, and shopping are booming. More users online will narrow the bandwidth and trigger massive traffic surges that will be unevenly distributed across niches and devices.

  • People switch devices, changing their UX expectations. The New York Times reports that by early April, Facebook witnessed a 27% increase in its average daily traffic, while Netflix.com and Youtube.com recorded 16% and 15.3% increases, respectively. Significantly, this growth in website traffic is unmatched by the growth in app traffic: 1.1% and 0.3%, respectively, for Facebook and Netflix, and a decline of 4.5% for the Youtube app;
  • New traffic is unevenly distributed across market niches. Recent research by Bigcommerce and McKinsey shows that the increase in traffic is distributed unevenly, with large chunks of user activity being clustered in niches like e-Learning and e-Commerce. If you are working in these niches, you may have to scale up quickly, spend more time on maintenance, recruit more computing power via the cloud, and ensure reasonable page-load times;
  • Narrowing time-to-market, speed of integration becomes vital. With online traffic surging, you won’t have enough time to develop an in-house solution—in fact, you will be pressed for time even for the simpler task of integrating external solutions. Moreover, the sheer velocity of user growth is a challenge in itself, requiring a fast-paced response and adaptation. 

How Uploadcare Can Help

Uploadcare for developers can help you achieve your optimization targets with minimal effort and maximum developer experience value. As a developer-friendly tool, it supports 27 languages and allows 30+ integrations through its small but powerful API. Here’s how Uploadcare can help:

  • We provide a simple but powerful API that allows effortless integration;
  • Fast integration means lower time-to-market;
  • Taken together, these features make Uploadcare DX unmatched—integration is as smooth as it is fast, causing no disruption to your code.

Challenge 2: Narrow Bandwidth, High Maintenance Requirements

Under lockdown conditions, as more people are making forays into the online world from their desktop devices and thus having higher performance expectations, ensuring high-speed content delivery will require more computing power and more time devoted to maintenance. Moreover, given the circumstances, ensuring a consistent level of service over a narrow bandwidth will become even more important than ever before. 

Now is a good time to consider optimizing the web performance of any project you’re working on. Analyzing your current web performance, e.g. through PageSpeed Insights, will help you decide on optimization targets. But whichever particular targets you will determine, now is the right time to refactor things.

How Uploadcare Can Help

With Uploadcare, these issues become manageable:

  • Uploadcare is a zero-maintenance solution, delivering its expected business function without the need for you to intervene manually;
  • It’s flexible, allowing high customization with zero configuration;
  • Out-of-the-box PageSpeed Compliance and PWA access helps you to withstand massive traffic surges;
  • As an enterprise-grade backbone for your project (Akamai and AWS), it ensures reliability even under high-stress conditions;
  • By the same token, it makes effortless scalability possible.

Challenge 3: Traffic Peaks Harm Quality of Experience

Ensuring quality of experience is crucial for any web service, and unusual traffic patterns can severely harm it, causing users to migrate elsewhere. Quality of Experience (QoE) is a metric that measures customers’ satisfaction with a system or media service. It differs from User Experience (UX), which is based on qualitative research. QoE, on the other hand, is rooted in engineering and predominantly relies on quantitative measures of the most important variables that influence customer experience, including:

  • Human-related factors, including users’ demographics and preferences. These are difficult to change, so they are better viewed as inputs to be dealt with;
  • System-related factors, including content, media, network, and devices. Here is where you can make a difference, for example, by implementing adaptive content delivery, which will allow you to take into account the relevant system-level variables;
  • Context-related factors, including the users’ physical location, temporal patterns of activity (frequency, time of day, etc.). These factors can be influenced indirectly, for example, through the implementation of a Content Delivery Network to cache your media from the origin and serve it to users from the appropriate edge servers.

As a developer, you will have to optimize some of the system- and context-related factors to smooth out the changes in the human-related ones. A full-fledged Uploadcare developer account is the best tool to deal with these issues, allowing you to use adaptive content delivery technologies and a top-notch CDN, and is suitable for any phase in the entire span of your development process.

How Uploadcare Can Help

Uploadcare provides a performance-centered infrastructure and next-gen image and video management services that help you address the issues discussed above:

  • Adaptive Image and Video Delivery services allow you to adjust static and dynamic visuals to user context: they adapt to user device type, screen, browser, location, bandwidth, and more.
  • A reliable file management and CDN backbone guarantees an improvement in your QoE and helps you withstand any traffic surges by automatically scaling your infrastructure when needed.

Make Lockdown a Growth Opportunity

During the COVID-19 pandemic and global lockdown, we are offering full access for free. We believe that, despite the negative consequences of isolation, this difficult time can be a growth opportunity for you as a professional developer, or your project or startup. A full-fledged Uploadcare developer account will save you a lot of time and effort in doing so, providing unmatched developer experience and smooth integration.

Turn lockdown into a growth opportunity. Welcome aboard!

Jump-start your project with a developer-first media handling platform!

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