Chasing trends can be a bit of a dangerous game. Those MC Hammer pants of the early 90s are proof of just how dangerous trends can be. But trends can also be a good thing, especially in the software industry. Trends in software development can lead to permanent solutions to a lot of software problems. Trends in software development can show developers where the software industry is headed and help leaders determine where we need to go.
Internet of Things Adds More Things
More non-tech items continue to be connected to the internet. Kitchen appliances like refrigerators and microwaves are “smart” because they are connected to the internet. We can find recipes online right from our refrigerator. Our appliances now work with our favorite voice assistants, Alexa and Google Assistant. Going out with the family and don’t remember if you turned the oven off? Ask, “Alexa. Is the oven off? Alexa, turn off the oven.”
And with 5G technology ready to become available to mainstream markets, even more things will be connected to the internet by taking advantage of better wireless bandwidth and power efficiency. More software developers will be writing code for non-tech, internet connected devices as more things are connected to the internet.
Blockchain Continues to Grow
Software developers are finding more ways to use Blockchain, the software that powers Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. What’s appealing about Blockchain is that it is decentralized with the ability to store any type of record in a public facing database. They’re incredibly difficult for hackers to penetrate.
Developers are taking advantage of dApps (distributed apps)—Blockchain based apps to create decentralized and secure open-source software solutions.
“Drag and Drop” Software Development
Software development typically requires teams of experts and coders to create software solutions and bring them to life. Because of its intensive nature, software development can be quite expensive and a lengthy process.
Low-code development is a game-changer because it allows developers to easily code applications with graphical user interfaces whereas traditional coding requires hand coding each piece of an application using use of complex programming languages. Low-code development platforms will typically use a drag and drop interface so developers can visualize the application with ease.
Cross-Platform Software Development Tools
Once upon a time, developing an application meant the developer had select which platform to develop first: Android or iOS. They’d build an app on the chosen platform and then would have to build another version of the app for a different platform. It proved to be a daunting task to have to devote resources to port code between different operating systems.
Now, there are multi-platform development tools like Google’s Flutter or Microsoft’s Xamarin, that takes away the hassle, allowing for easy cross-platform development. Developers can now write apps that work on every major desktop and mobile platform without having to port code.
Continuous Software Delivery and Deployment
Did we mention how lengthy and tedious a process software development cycle could be? Users would have to wait for a new software update in order to get new functions or features. Now, we have continuous delivery and continuous deployment that allows software to be released in shorter cycles to release software quickly.
Continuous delivery pushes apps into production for to download the updates manually. Continuous deployment allows for software to be automatically updated. This allows software development teams to continuously put out features and updates that are ready to go and continuously delivered or deployed.
Artificial Intelligence Gets Smarter
While artificial intelligence isn’t quite at Skynet capacity (thank goodness), it’s still quite powerful and constantly evolving to enhance the future of technology as we know it. From Google’s AI-powered prediction, ride-sharing apps, and mobile banking to fully autonomous vehicles, modern technology has made artificial intelligence an everyday tool. AI is also learning to learn through broader AI applications.
More Progressive Web Apps
More people are accessing the web and browsing for various content and tools via their mobile devices. Though websites are available on any browser or device, they aren’t able to use abilities specific to individual platforms to perform optimally. They are limited in what they can do on each platform.
Progressive web apps or PWAs offer a bridge between app performance and app availability by providing web pages app-like experiences in browser. Developers can create powerful web-based tools with the ability to run on any platform.
These trends in software development aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, we’re going to see more technologies piggybacking off of these trends in the foreseeable future.