2018 Trends in Software Development

2018

Welcome to the New Year! We hope 2018 brings with it prosperity, great code, and bug-free applications. With an eye towards getting the year off on the right foot, here is our look at some of the most prevalent software development trends predicted for the upcoming 12 months.

Perhaps the insights within help trigger an idea or two for your own team’s development efforts. Good luck!

A Growing Need for Blockchain Programmers

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin aren’t the only thing built upon the principles of blockchain. Many technology pundits predict the revolutionary disruption of multiple industries over the next few years because of blockchain. In fact, enterprise-level blockchain platforms are now provided by the biggest players in the tech world, including IBM, Microsoft, and Amazon.

Because of this rapid growth, expect the demand for software engineers experienced in blockchain technology to go through the roof. Considering there were only 5,000 programmers in this area as of 2016, this offers a great opportunity for any developer interested in the skill. Expect a robust salary if you are experienced with writing blockchain and cryptocurrency applications.

Information Security continues to dominate the News

News about hacking incidents and other forms of cybercrime fill the news on a daily basis. Companies of all sizes remain interested in hiring software engineers experienced in information security. In the past year, we talked about  the emergence of DevSecOps which illustrates the emphasis on cybersecurity throughout the industry.

Jeff Williams, CTO of Contract Security, commented on the need to improve application security. “Major breaches like Equifax and Uber have shone a light on organizations that are not doing nearly enough to secure their software supply chain. Today, every organization has an Equifax problem and it has created room for even more budget towards improving all aspects of application security,” said Williams.

Adoption of AI and Machine Learning

The influx of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms in applications is predicted to become even more prevalent in 2018. AI allows companies to develop smart software better able to serve customers, find actionable information inside a huge data store, or even drive a car.

Expect companies without AI-enabled apps to find it more difficult to compete with those that do. In fact, one study notes that 75 percent of software development companies will embrace AI in their code by the end of this year.

A Backlash against the DevOps Tool Chain?

With DevOps becoming a standard for software development projects,  a backlash was inevitable. While we are looking at 2018 trends in Agile and DevOps next week, some development managers predict some pushback on the methodology’s software tool chain, thus its coverage in this article. Mark Pundsack, head of product at GitLab, comments.

“Developers will begin to demand a more integrated approach to the development process. In 2017, developers voiced frustrations around using multiple tools to complete an entire development life cycle. This frustration will turn to action in 2018 and both developers and enterprises will request an approach that is seamless and effective. As a result, vendors will begin offering integrated toolsets to help developers and enterprises move faster from idea to production,” said Pundsack.

That sounds like better tool integration helps companies properly reach a ROI on their DevOps expenditures. Keep an eye out for those new tools in the coming year.

Thanks for checking out our 2018 Software Development trends. As always, thanks for reading  the Betica Blog!

    

News from the World of Software Development – December 2017

base-1Welcome to the final 2017 edition of our news digest, where we train our eye on a few stories of interest to software developers and QA engineers. If you are interested in checking out last month’s digest, simply click on the following link. Hopefully, this month’s edition offers some inspiration for your own projects in the coming year and beyond.

WebAssembly gets your Browser Close to the Iron

The venerable and versatile JavaScript language continues to drive browser-based user experiences to even higher levels. Software engineers leverage a vast number of JavaScript libraries to add more functionality and otherwise become more productive when building web apps. We previously covered React Native, one of the most popular of these libraries.

Now, a brand new and potentially revolutionary tool is gaining steam in the web application world. Called WebAssembly, it promises to provide a significant performance boost to web apps by adding a compiled byte code binary library written in JavaScript or other languages. News about WebAssembly is percolating within the industry, including this week’s article in DZone.

WebAssembly, or wasm if you prefer, essentially serves a similar role as the JVM or .NET, but within a web browser. It replaces JavaScript’s own browser-based virtual machine with its own, and improved performance is the primary result. Most importantly, every major web browser on the market now supports WebAssembly.

The following statement from the WebAssembly FAQ hints at speed boost provided by this new format:

The kind of binary format being considered for WebAssembly can be natively decoded much faster than JavaScript can be parsed (experiments show more than 20× faster). On mobile, large compiled codes can easily take 20-40 seconds just to parse, so native decoding (especially when combined with other techniques like streaming for better-than-gzip compression) is critical to providing a good cold-load user experience.   

DZone writer, Federico Tomassetti, feels WebAssembly, and its improvement in parsing performance promises to bring formerly native desktop applications – like virtual reality or high-end video games – into the web browser. In some cases, a browser can execute these applications today, but wasm speeds up the parsing process, greatly reducing load times.

If your team is working on large high-end JavaScript applications, or even any other language that compiles to wasm byte code, WebAssembly needs to be on your radar. It just might be the biggest news in web development in the last decade. Perhaps you’ll read more about it in a future article here at the Betica Blog.

Artificial Intelligence becomes a Business Standard in 2017

AI and its related offshoot, machine learning, are now commonplace throughout the business world. This software-based innovation helps companies with a myriad of tasks: everything from data science to automated driving. SD Times published an article this week covering the inroads AI made in 2017.

The software development process also benefits from machine learning routines performing in a QA role. It is able to detect, fix, and even predict the existence of bugs. The biggest players in the tech world – Google, Microsoft, and IBM – are all investing a copious amount of resources in AI research as well as practical applications for the technology.

The fact the two major tech industry analyst groups – Forrester and Gartner – both predict the continued growth of AI in the business world in 2018 means you likely encounter it sooner than later in your own software engineering work. Hopefully, AI makes you a more productive programmer.

Keep returning to the Betica Blog for additional dispatches from the changing world of software development. Thanks for reading!

The Future of DevOps – in 2018 and Beyond

FUTUREOFDEVOPS-1

With the New Year nearly upon us, our thoughts turn towards the future. In a technology world where transformational changes seem to happen on a weekly basis, it pays to be able to look two, five, or even ten years down the road to better position your career or organization for success. This kind of professional foresight is essential.

When it comes to the software development process, DevOps lets companies deploy applications faster. In a competitive business world, it remains a key differentiator between companies. What does the future hold for this methodology that’s no longer the new kid on the block?

Here are a few DevOps predictions from DevOps.com to inspire your own thoughts towards the future of software development.

DevOps outshine Agile for Application Lifecycle Management

There’s no denying that Agile and DevOps are complimentary methodologies. In fact, we previously discussed how companies already experienced in Agile are better at adopting DevOps. As both mature, however, its greater standardization in tools and procedures is causing more organizations to fully embrace DevOps.

DevOps.com expects this trend to continue, as businesses increasingly turn to DevOps for their application lifecycle management needs.

Continued Adoption of Containers and Microservices

Container architecture – as illustrated by tools like Docker – and microservices fit perfectly in any DevOps operation. Containers allow the easy porting of code between development, QA, and production environments. This velocity is vital for reaching the Holy Grail of most software engineering teams – continuous delivery.

Microservices take the SOA concept to an even more granular level. This allows a development organization to easily scale certain portions of an application constructed using this architecture. Expect both concepts to play an essential role with any organization adopting DevOps.

A Stronger Focus on Cultural Change

Ingrained cultures remain the biggest obstacle to companies attempting to implement DevOps. This is especially the case at larger enterprises. As more companies become successful at DevOps adoption, those still yet to make that jump will focus more on ensuring company cultures sufficiently adapt to make the process easier.

As such, DevOps.com feels culture is the essential prerequisite to DevOps success.

DevOps Organizations continue to win the Race

Companies with a mature DevOps practice are able to deploy software 200 times faster than those who don’t, according to DevOps.com. More than anything, this cold, hard fact drives more organizations to either get with the plan or simply be left in the dust. DevOps cementing its status as an industry standard for software development is a logical expectation.

Data Analytics to rely on DevOps

DevOps.com predicts that DevOps will offer significant benefits to companies performing data analysis on their Big Data stores. The methodology’s enhanced velocity along with its sharply-defined tool set helps these organizations focus on finding actionable information within their masses of data. Automation of these processes also helps.

As DevOps continues to grow into maturity and standardization, expect its implementation to become easier at organizations of all sizes. Soon, new software developers will wonder how we ever managed to accomplish anything before its existence!

Keep coming back to the Betica Blog for additional stories and insights from the wide world of software development. As always – thanks for reading. Enjoy your Holiday Season!