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Hire Protocol Buffer Developers

Updated on:
16 Jan, 2024

Introduction: About Protocol Buffer

Protocol Buffers (Protobuf) were developed by Google in 2001 and later released for public use in 2007. It serializes data for it to be either transmitted or to be stored. Although there are other formats like JSON or XML to serialize data, Protobuf has proved itself to be better when data gets transmitted across multiple micro-servers in a platform-neutral way. When Protobuf was initially released, it supported only three languages – Java, Python, and C++. However, with time, many other languages like Ruby, JS have also started supporting Protobuf.

When the question arises about why we need protobuf even when we have JSON or XML, the answer is simple. Protobuf does the job, only faster and in an efficient way. It makes sure less network bandwidth gets used to transmit data as small as possible, and the data transmitted is in a binary format, hence improving speed and reducing CPU usage. Servers in today’s time load the network with a lot of data and require a much quicker way to serialize it. Protocol Buffers are extensively used at google internally to make all inter-machine communication easier.

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Popular Terminologies Used by Protocol Buffer Developers

JSON: It stands for JavaScript Object Notation. It is a text format used to store and transport data.

XML: It stands for Extensible Markup Language. It is similar to HTML and is used to store data that can be searched and shared.

JavaScript (JS): It is one of the most common languages used for web development.

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Comparison Between Protobuf and XML

Google created Protocol Buffers as an alternative to Extensible Markup Language (XML) as it not only serialized data at a faster rate but also became simpler. Protobuf can be compared to JSON as well, but both of them differ in functionalities. JSON is a message format that exchanges messages in text format and originated from JavaScript (JS). Protobuf adds many functionalities in addition to exchanging messages and hence outperforms JSON.

The following table is a quick comparison between JSON, XML, and Protobuf:

Can be understood and edited by humans Can be understood and edited by humans Cannot be understood or edited by humans as it is in binary format.
Can be parsed without the knowledge of schema Can be parsed without the knowledge of schema Should know the schema to decode
Processing is slower than Protobuf Processing is slower than Protobuf Faster processing than both JSON and XML
Less verbose than XML Needs more code than JSON It is short and occupies less data
Has outstanding browser support Usually used in SOAP It widely get used for app development

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How to Use Protocol Buffers

We first need to choose our language and then define our message structure in .proto files. The second step includes generating classes/objects to deal with the data. However, Google provides code generators for the most common programming languages supported by protobuf. And the third and final step includes parsing and serialization.

The compiler generates the code depending upon the language we choose. For C++, the compiler generates a .h and .cc file. For java, the compiler generates a .java file. For Go, the compiler generates a .pb.go file, and so on for the respective programming language.

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Key Features of Protocol Buffers

As mentioned earlier, protobuf was developed to be replaced by XML. But the amount of simplicity and better performance by protobuf led to its opening for public use. Some of the key features are:

Well-organized data structure – In the development stage, all the data is quite organized and can be accessed with ease when required. However, when the same data gets forwarded to a third party, the structures seem to be lost. A well-organized database is always ideal, and hence, the unique encoding of the data in the protobuf schema makes sure that the structured data remains as it is and does not get messed up.

Compatibility – Protocol buffers make it easier to make changes or to update an application. They provide easy access to the previous code as protobuf uses numbered fields that act as reference points for accessing previous versions. It gets referred to as backward compatibility for earlier versions or forward compatibility for the latest versions.

Simplification – The structuring method in protobuf allows you to determine the data structure at the scheme level as you automatically use modifiers while coding. It makes the work considerably easy.

Reduces boilerplate code – Boilerplate code is a code that can be used repetitively and required in many areas. They cannot get edited a lot. Boilerplate codes are not ideal for the performance of a web application, and a protocol buffer scheme helps reduce them, thereby improving the performance.

Reduces boilerplate code – Boilerplate code is a code that can be used repetitively and required in many areas. They cannot get edited a lot. Boilerplate codes are not ideal for the performance of a web application, and a protocol buffer scheme helps reduce them, thereby improving the performance.

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Drawbacks of Protocol Buffers

As good as it sounds with all the upsides, protobuf has its drawbacks as well. Some of them are:

Small community – There is not enough discussion regarding issues and troubleshooting. While we find a whole lot of information on JSON, there is barely any on protobuf. It overall lacks resources if a developer is stuck and needs help.

Readability – JSON uses text format and is easy to read and understand by humans, which is not the case with the binary format. It is hard to read and requires study to be understood by the human brain. It gets made for machines.

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Required Expertise

Hard Skills

  • Knowledge of NoSQL databases is required
  • Should have a strong understanding of SQL concepts
  • Should have a basic understanding of various platforms like Linux, Mac OS, Windows
  • Good knowledge in Node.js Advanced Modules like Cluster and Multitasking
  • Proficient in writing readable, maintainable, performant object-oriented Java, Python, and Ruby
  • Proficient in frameworks like Redux, Express.js, Flux
  • In-depth skill in developing control plane software with exposure to various Layer-2/ Layer-3 protocols and technologies – VLAN, MSTP, RSTP, ERP, LLF, Ether OAM, LAG, OSPF, 802.3ah, SNMP/ NetConf
  • Should have working experience in TCP/ IP
  • Wireless LAN experience preferred
  • Sound fundamentals in Data Structures, Operating Systems, and Data Networking fundamentals
  • Experience in protocols like IPSec, SSL, DHCP, HTTP, etc., is a plus.
  • Thorough knowledge of Node.js standard libraries
  • Understanding of CAN bus architecture
  • Should have a clear understanding of frontend technologies like HTML5 and CSS3
  • Should be able to install, configure, and manage databases
  • Should have good knowledge of using all the hooks
  • Experience with modularization and writing reusable code
  • Should be able to review codes and mentor others as well
  • Should be able to develop cloud services through APIs
  • Should be good at troubleshooting with all the errors related to NoSQL databases
  • Should have good skill in writing REST API in Express.js
  • Should have a thorough knowledge of relational and non-relational databases
  • Knowledge of XML, JSON, and JQuery is desired
  • Knowledge of PostgreSQL is desired
  • Should be able to manage the replication process
  • Experience with AWS or Azure is an added asset
  • Experience with Docker is also an added asset
  • Should be able to design and maintain large and complex databases
  • Experience in data migration strategies
  • Should be able to handle browser compatibility issues
  • Knowledge of GraphQL
  • Knowledge of dbdocs and dbdigram for database diagrams

Soft Skills

  • Ability to work on various backend stacks such as Express.js and Node.js
  • Ability to work with a dynamic team and act as a responsible individual
  • Ability to work in a challenging environment and deliver quality work
  • Ability to deliver high-quality, secure, tested, documented, and performant code
  • Work closely with web designers and programmers to deliver results in their best form
  • Should have experience with SCRUM and must be well acquainted with agile development
  • The candidate’s skill must meet the current coding standards
  • The candidate should understand the requirements of a client
  • The candidate should be a self-starter
  • The candidate must be able to keep a light mood, enjoy and accomplish work within respective deadlines
  • The candidate must possess impeccable communication skills and be fluent in English
  • Familiar with Data Visualization
  • Outstanding time management skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Exceptional analytical and problem-solving skills

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Salary Structure

Salaries for Protocol Buffer developers or any other occupation, in general, vary according to their position, ongoing trends in the industry, required skill set, and various other factors. According to research, the average salary of a Protocol Buffer developer stands around USD 96,000 per year. There are multiple factors like job title, location, and experience that determine an individual’s salary.

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Industry Expertise

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