Developers
July 27, 2020

Software Development Trends For 2020

2020 has already seen profound changes to software development and is shaping up to deliver even more seismic shifts.

Few industries change as rapidly as software development. From mainframes to desktops, smartphones to tablets, boxed software to the cloud, the industry is barely recognizable compared to a couple of decades ago.

Halfway through 2020, the industry has already seen amazing transformations, some of which herald fundamental changes to the future of software development.

Cloud Computing

By no means unique to 2020, the cloud industry nonetheless saw some of its biggest gains in the first half of the year. This is largely as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

As the pandemic swept the globe, company after company sent their employees home to telecommute. As a result, cloud computing has come into the spotlight as one of the most critical components to companies being able to conduct business and remain productive.

Suddenly, the ability to access company software and documents, collaborate on projects and communicate across teams became the most important thing. Cloud computing makes all of this possible. What’s more, many companies have learned how effective telecommuting can be. As a result, some have gone so far as to guarantee employees the ability to work from home indefinitely.

All of this adds up to a fundamental shift to cloud computing. Companies that were once content to use on-premise software, or those who were slowly moving to the cloud, have now joined the ranks of cloud-based companies in earnest. At this point, there’s no going back, ensuring that cloud computing will be one of the dominant forces in software development for years to come.

Cross-Platform Development

Gone are the days of turf-war mentalities, where companies tried to gain and keep users by making their products incompatible with everything else. Apple’s software is based on open-source roots, Microsoft has fully embraced Linux, mission-critical applications have moved to the cloud and web-based applications have become the great equalizers.

As a result, more and more emphasis is on cross-platform development. Countless libraries and packages have sprung up to make it easy to develop for multiple platforms. These include React Native, Angular, Flutter, Xamarin and Node.js. Even cross-platform development tools that have existed for years, such as Xojo, are benefiting from the focus on cross-platform development.

5G

5G wireless technology is another game-changer for software development. More than any generation of wireless technology before it, 5G is a revolutionary upgrade.

There are currently three flavors of 5G: low-band, mid-band and high-band, or mmWave. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Low-band 5G has range and building penetration on par with, or better than, 4G LTE. At the same time, however, it offers only marginally better performance, ranging from 20% faster to as much as two to four times faster than LTE.

High-band mmWave is the fastest flavor. It offers speeds in gigabits, with latency in the single digits or low teens. Unfortunately, mmWave has very poor range, requiring base stations and repeaters every couple of hundred meters. Similarly, its building penetration is abysmal.

Mid-band 5G is considered the sweet spot, offering speeds in the hundreds of megabits, while still providing decent range and building penetration.

As companies roll out the various flavors of 5G, it is providing opportunities never before possible, especially in the context of mid-band and mmWave 5G. Things like autonomous vehicles, virtual and augmented reality, games, remote control devices and Internet of Things (IoT) deployment will continue to see revolutionary leaps as result of the speeds 5G provides.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is alternately hailed as the greatest thing in the history of man, or the greatest threat to mankind and his place in history. Some feel it will help solve some of the greatest problems man faces, while others believe it may solve man’s problems by exterminating him.

Whatever the case, there is no disputing that AI is one of the most exciting software development fields. Everything from virtual assistants to autonomous cars relies on the technology, ensuring that developers who specialize in it will have no shortage of career opportunities.

Low-Code Development

Another big development is low-code, or no-code, development. As the name implies, low-code involves using platforms to build applications and services without writing code, or writing just a small amount. These platforms use visual, drag-and-drop interfaces to allow a user to layout their app, while the platform does the heavy lifting in the background.

While many old-school developers look down on low-code, there’s no denying it has a place in modern development. Internal, data-driven apps are perfect candidates for these kind of platforms. Similarly, even seasoned developers can use these tools to speed up the process of creating internal corporate applications, freeing up time to focus on the more complicated apps that cannot be created with low-code solutions.

2020 and Beyond

Without a doubt, 2020 is seeing some fundamental changes to the software development scene. As 2021 draws ever closer, the above trends will continue to grow in importance, ushering in exciting new prospects for developers.

TagsSoftware DevelopmentAI5GCloud Computing
Matt Milano
Technical Writer
Matt is a tech journalist and writer with a background in web and software development.

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DevelopersJuly 27, 2020
Software Development Trends For 2020
2020 has already seen profound changes to software development and is shaping up to deliver even more seismic shifts.

Few industries change as rapidly as software development. From mainframes to desktops, smartphones to tablets, boxed software to the cloud, the industry is barely recognizable compared to a couple of decades ago.

Halfway through 2020, the industry has already seen amazing transformations, some of which herald fundamental changes to the future of software development.

Cloud Computing

By no means unique to 2020, the cloud industry nonetheless saw some of its biggest gains in the first half of the year. This is largely as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

As the pandemic swept the globe, company after company sent their employees home to telecommute. As a result, cloud computing has come into the spotlight as one of the most critical components to companies being able to conduct business and remain productive.

Suddenly, the ability to access company software and documents, collaborate on projects and communicate across teams became the most important thing. Cloud computing makes all of this possible. What’s more, many companies have learned how effective telecommuting can be. As a result, some have gone so far as to guarantee employees the ability to work from home indefinitely.

All of this adds up to a fundamental shift to cloud computing. Companies that were once content to use on-premise software, or those who were slowly moving to the cloud, have now joined the ranks of cloud-based companies in earnest. At this point, there’s no going back, ensuring that cloud computing will be one of the dominant forces in software development for years to come.

Cross-Platform Development

Gone are the days of turf-war mentalities, where companies tried to gain and keep users by making their products incompatible with everything else. Apple’s software is based on open-source roots, Microsoft has fully embraced Linux, mission-critical applications have moved to the cloud and web-based applications have become the great equalizers.

As a result, more and more emphasis is on cross-platform development. Countless libraries and packages have sprung up to make it easy to develop for multiple platforms. These include React Native, Angular, Flutter, Xamarin and Node.js. Even cross-platform development tools that have existed for years, such as Xojo, are benefiting from the focus on cross-platform development.

5G

5G wireless technology is another game-changer for software development. More than any generation of wireless technology before it, 5G is a revolutionary upgrade.

There are currently three flavors of 5G: low-band, mid-band and high-band, or mmWave. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Low-band 5G has range and building penetration on par with, or better than, 4G LTE. At the same time, however, it offers only marginally better performance, ranging from 20% faster to as much as two to four times faster than LTE.

High-band mmWave is the fastest flavor. It offers speeds in gigabits, with latency in the single digits or low teens. Unfortunately, mmWave has very poor range, requiring base stations and repeaters every couple of hundred meters. Similarly, its building penetration is abysmal.

Mid-band 5G is considered the sweet spot, offering speeds in the hundreds of megabits, while still providing decent range and building penetration.

As companies roll out the various flavors of 5G, it is providing opportunities never before possible, especially in the context of mid-band and mmWave 5G. Things like autonomous vehicles, virtual and augmented reality, games, remote control devices and Internet of Things (IoT) deployment will continue to see revolutionary leaps as result of the speeds 5G provides.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is alternately hailed as the greatest thing in the history of man, or the greatest threat to mankind and his place in history. Some feel it will help solve some of the greatest problems man faces, while others believe it may solve man’s problems by exterminating him.

Whatever the case, there is no disputing that AI is one of the most exciting software development fields. Everything from virtual assistants to autonomous cars relies on the technology, ensuring that developers who specialize in it will have no shortage of career opportunities.

Low-Code Development

Another big development is low-code, or no-code, development. As the name implies, low-code involves using platforms to build applications and services without writing code, or writing just a small amount. These platforms use visual, drag-and-drop interfaces to allow a user to layout their app, while the platform does the heavy lifting in the background.

While many old-school developers look down on low-code, there’s no denying it has a place in modern development. Internal, data-driven apps are perfect candidates for these kind of platforms. Similarly, even seasoned developers can use these tools to speed up the process of creating internal corporate applications, freeing up time to focus on the more complicated apps that cannot be created with low-code solutions.

2020 and Beyond

Without a doubt, 2020 is seeing some fundamental changes to the software development scene. As 2021 draws ever closer, the above trends will continue to grow in importance, ushering in exciting new prospects for developers.

Software Development
AI
5G
Cloud Computing
About the author
Matt Milano -Technical Writer
Matt is a tech journalist and writer with a background in web and software development.

Related Articles