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Key predictions for software development in 2020

Software development is not entirely predictable, given that the industry is constantly evolving and changing.

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If you’re a software developer these days, the world is your oyster. With more and more businesses turning out apps and looking for digital solutions for their most pressing concerns — from security to innovation — these professionals have plenty of opportunities on the horizon.

What does the future hold in this fast-paced, ever-changing world? The software development landscape has an interesting road ahead, no matter what your specialty or area of expertise.

Low-code and reused code

Low-code is a type of development that allows developers of different skill levels to code and build products. Through this approach, programmers can create apps using a graphic interface with drag-and-drop components. There are a number of advantages to this method, including faster product turnaround and lower costs.

According to a survey by Forrester, 37% of developers were already using or planning to use low-code products in 2019. The market research company predicted that more than half of developers would do so by the middle of 2020, enabling them to turn around more products at faster speeds.

Programming languages having a moment

Of course, programming languages in no way are in danger of decline. We’ve seen many programming languages phase in and out of popularity over the years – and that will keep happening. This year, Python, a general-purpose, high-level language will continue to climb the ranks. It’s become enormously popular already, thanks to its user-friendly nature, large community, and other features.

Despite the rise of Python, which the TIOBE Index ranked first in 2018, C, an older general-purpose language, achieved TIOBE’s top spot in 2019. C# came in second, and Python ranked third. We’ll likely see all three of these languages continue to gain even more momentum in 2020.

Increased Cloud usage

Increasingly, both businesses and individuals are turning to the cloud for safely storing and managing their data, files, and programs. Gartner predicted that its usage would expand even more in 2020, with public cloud revenue growing by 17% and 60% of organizations using external cloud services by 2022.

Software developers who work on cloud-based solutions will continue to face some challenges, however, particularly in terms of cybersecurity. For example, malware could infiltrate a cloud-based platform, or data breaches could occur. Developers will need to take these and other threats into account and take proactive steps to protect their clients’ data and information.

AI at the forefront

It’s a great time to be an artificial intelligence (AI) developer. The machine-learning technology has given rise to inventions and products that seem to be the stuff out of a science-fiction novel — from voice assistants that can tell you the weather and order products to technology that facilitates disease diagnosis.

Many businesses are looking to incorporate AI into their processes and services to stay competitive, finding more efficient ways of completing tasks or creating entirely new products. In fact, Gartner predicted that organizations that have undertaken at least four AI projects already (the average number in place as of 2019) will have 35 AI projects by 2022.

The changing face of apps

In May 2019, there were 2.2 million apps in the iOS App Store and 2.6 million in the Google Play Store. Since their humble beginnings in 2008, just over a decade ago, apps have taken on a life of their own. Of course, that means that software developers face new challenges, including making their apps stand out from the rest of the pack.

There are plenty of opportunities for different types of app development in 2020. One trend that’s gaining momentum is the progressive web app (PWA), which delivers an app-like experience via a browser and doesn’t actually need to be downloaded to the user’s device. They are cheaper and quicker to develop and deliver an arguably better user experience, allowing people to use the app even when they’re offline and access the material more quickly than they can with a native app.

Of course, software development is not entirely predictable, given that the industry is constantly evolving and changing. These are just a few of the many trends ahead for this cutting-edge field. We’ll likely see more and more opportunities for businesses and developers as technology and innovation move into a new decade.

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