'Change is the only constant'. Something that was all the rage last year, might not even be talked about now. Things change and fade away rapidly - all because of advancements in technology. This also is seen in trends for software development as well. The year 2017 witnessed some great breakthroughs in this field and 2018 has already whispered the emergence of trends in software development ranging from cryptocurrency, augmented, virtual and mixed reality to oil rigs, mobile computing, artificial intelligence, and blockchain.
As of now, enthusiasts are assuming 2018 will be an exciting and important year for innovative advancements in software and application developers will play a fundamental role in every domain. Let us look at the 5 software development trends that will shape the world for future generations.
1. The shining star - Blockchain
Don't confuse it with astrological findings, blockchain is one of the technologies which shined bright in 2017, because of the hype. It is believed that blockchain will revolutionize nearly every industry and more companies are considering blockchain development and blockchain-related services every day.
Blockchain is a network of interconnected peer-to-peer devices. This technology provides for the absence of central computers, as well as the lack of clearly defined locations where all data is stored. The technology is revolutionizing the financial services industry by empowering millions across the globe to authenticate and transact large-scale, non-cash transactions immediately and without costly intermediaries. The implementation and acceptance will also be witnessed in other, broader fields such as administration, healthcare, and supply chain to streamline processes.
IBM is a leader in this field and has already started building relationships with banks, food distributors, and government regulatory agencies to use blockchain for financial transactions. Other technology giants, like Microsoft, Oracle, and Amazon, are stepping up to introduce exclusive blockchain platforms. This means that businesses will need software applications that support blockchain hence their demand for blockchain developers is set to rise. The year 2018 will be a gold rush for developers who devote themselves to this demand and many of them will end up a lot richer.
2. The surge of progressive web apps
Wikipedia says – 'Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are web applications that are regular web pages or websites but can appear to the user like traditional applications or native mobile applications. The application type attempts to combine features offered by most modern browsers with the benefits of a mobile experience.'
In 2017, PWAs were a part of Gartner’s software technology trends and in 2018, there are reasons to believe the growth of web-based solutions will grow even more. Web apps will contribute to a significant share of the market as compared to mobile apps in the long term. Even Google started focusing on features in its browser to allow web apps to work like mobile apps, giving the same level of user experience. Progressive web apps are easier to develop and maintain than regular mobile apps. In addition, they offer the best features of the web and mobile app combined. Companies involved in e-commerce, entertainment, healthcare, banking and more are having web apps developed to provide better accessibility to the masses.
3. The adaptability of IoT
The IoT ecosystem is huge and wearables like Android Wear, Apple Watch, and Fitbit were just the initial spark. Soon, everything from driverless cars, home appliances, communication devices, and business processes will always be connected, meaning enormous amounts of data will be created.
Be it fitness and healthcare to manufacturing and retail, everyone is quite excited about the possibilities that Internet of Things will present. Thus, it demands vigilance of software developers to allow them to figure out how to best program devices that will assist the users in controlling them. These developers will be focusing on developing applications that allow for seamless controlling of devices from anywhere and at any time.
4. The intelligence of artificial intelligence
As of now, it is estimated that more than 40% of businesses have adopted Artificial Intelligence in automating their processes. They are integrating AI-driven solutions to perform specific tasks to stay ahead in the competition and provide a better service experience for their customers. From voice-activated home assistants, smartphones, big data, and Insight-as-a-Service, companies developing a framework to perform more tasks with the help of these are going to make it big in 2018. Google, Facebook, and Slack are leading the development in AI. Google is even focusing on plans to base all its algorithms on this technology.
In addition, AI is bound to become more intelligent in decision-making abilities and that will have consequences that are hard to roll back. Future-enthusiasts, like Elon Musk and world leaders like Vladimir Putin, believe Artificial Intelligence has the power to change the world in both good and bad ways. For positive-thinkers, the intelligence and capabilities of AI are going to make the world a better place, inducing comfort in people’s lives and saving time.
5. The evolving mixed reality
In simple words, Mixed Reality (MR), is sometimes referred to as hybrid reality in the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time. Mixed reality takes place not only in the physical world or in the virtual world, but is a mix of reality and virtual reality, encompassing both augmented reality and augmented virtuality via immersive technology.
In 2018, different businesses are exploring the possibilities of building immersive experience for passing a huge amount of information to the users to benefit their everyday life for communications, entertainment, and productivity. Mixed Reality has immense potential. As a result, it is being integrated in large scale in newly created web and mobile apps where customer’s interactions with products or services are an important aspect for a successful business. For example, e-commerce stores can allow their customers to view apparel on virtual mannequins or those involved in home improvements can design their houses virtually with furniture, colors, and floor and see the exterior look before making a purchase. 3D mapping and Mixed Reality is also used in educational programs and AR games.
These are just few that are carrying the legacy forward since their inception. There are even more of them that need to be addressed in separate ways. We will see new trends in software development in 2018 as these develop further.