To say that software development evolves at an accelerated pace is an understatement. In fact, the frameworks, tools, and programming languages that you’re using today might be obsolete by the end of the year.
In the same vein, technology trends can also come and go just as fast (but it’s still important to keep a close eye on them). It’s crucial to stay on top of software development trends as it’s at the core of maintaining a competitive advantage in a rapidly changing marketplace.
So, what’s dominating the application development landscape this year? Let’s take a look.
1. The Blockchain Adoption Is on the Rise
The blockchain was the rage last year as cryptocurrencies (especially Bitcoin) broke record after record. Fast-forward to August of 2018 and the blockchain continues to reign supreme!
This revolutionary technology is still making headlines not because of cryptocurrencies, but because of its potential to cut costs, boost security, and transform every industry from finance to healthcare.
Tech giants like Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle are already leading this space with their proprietary blockchain platforms, and blockchain startups like ALTR and BlockPass are showing a lot of promise.
This has led to rapidly growing demand for blockchain developers this year. However, we just don’t have enough top tech talent to go around. As a result, the adoption of blockchain technology within various industries is expected to be slower than expected.
2. Progressive Web App (PWA) Adoption’s Heating Up
To actively combat mobile app fatigue, PWAs have been going through a phase of rapid adoption. Backed by Google, you can expect PWAs to continue to grow in popularity in 2019 and beyond.
In the long-term, compared to mobile apps (Android and iOS), web apps much easier to develop and maintain. In the near future, PWAs are expected to command a significant share of the market.
As web app developers start to focus more on user experience, end-users can also expect to access the best features of mobile apps and websites, all fused together.
Key benefits of enterprise PWAs are as follows:
- Easy to share
- Highly responsive
- Provides instant access to users
- Indexable on Google
3. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Now Plays a Key Role in Business Operations
Enterprises across industries are investing heavily in AI technologies. In fact, as much as 80% of businesses already have a form of AI in operation. From R&D to automation, organizations are rapidly adopting AI-solutions to stay a step ahead of the competition.
Going forward, businesses are expected to automate processes related to big data, business process, software development, and Q&A testing. At present, Google is leading this space with its latest products and upgrades.
Key revenue drivers boosting AI adoption across industries are as follows:
- Product innovation and R&D – 50%
- Customer service – 46%
- Supply chain and operations – 42%
- Cybersecurity and risk mitigation – 40%
- Sales – 34%
4. The Internet of Things (IoT) Emerges as the Internet of Everything
At the heart of enterprise digital transformation, you’ll find IoT collecting data and optimizing business processes. From connected factories to driverless cars, we’re certainly close to realizing the true potential of IoT.
The rise of IoT adoption has also led to an exponential demand for IoT developers who can build applications to control smart devices. At the same time, the incorporation of IoT on enterprise networks has also increased the risk of a data breach.
This scenario has forced software engineers to get creative. For example, IoT developers are now leveraging the blockchain to enhance enterprise cybersecurity.
Beyond the four leading software development trends listed above, there has also been a rise in low-code application development to help fill the skills gap. This means that businesses are taking advantage of low code development platforms (like Google App Maker and Salesforce App Cloud) to automate (often mind-numbing) repetitive tasks.
The continuous demand for cybersecurity professionals will also continue into 2019 and beyond. As a matter of fact, there are over 350,000 open cybersecurity positions in the U.S. alone. That figure is expected to rise to a whopping 3.5 million by 2021.