Programming has progressed from a niche industry for the nerdiest nerds to one of the world’s most sought-after professions in recent years. Software applications have become critical growth drivers for non-tech businesses as well, and programmers are essential in developing exciting tech solutions with cross-sector implementation.
However, it is not all fun and games. Programmers have had a difficult time recently, with requirements volatility, cybersecurity threats, and other operational challenges. Not to mention the risks to workplace collaboration posed by the pandemic.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. There are several opportunities to be explored, and given the current rate of innovation, it’s safe to say we’ve only scratched the surface of our capabilities.
Tech for Programmers in 2022 — Ready, Set, Go
In this article, I reflect on the gains made by programmers throughout the year 2021, as well as the difficult moments. The real meat, however, is in what these productive grinds will reveal about the future: which skills will be in demand, which work models will be most innovative, and which technologies will enable the next wave of transformation.
1. The Good
We’re working in an increasingly remote world, and we’re seeing an increase in the need for digital collaboration. As businesses continue to expand and grow on a global scale, an increasing number of organizations are looking to become more agile and adaptable by allowing developers to work remotely while boosting collaborative software engineering.
The digital economy of today is based on collaboration and co-creation. Cross-pollination between teams, particularly across geographical boundaries, has aided companies in rapidly growing and scaling. However, with an increasingly mobile workforce, advancements in communications and collaboration tools, and the rise of remote work, organizations struggle to meet the demands of digital transformation while also facing new opportunities.
Increased Skills Demand
Software engineers, who have long been regarded as the most sought-after talent in the tech industry, are now poised to become even more important as companies seek to hire more of them.
This increased demand for programming skills is the result of a world that is becoming more digitally connected. To be sure, the technology industry has always been competitive. Nonetheless, the race to attract the best engineers is only intensifying as businesses scramble to meet the increased demand for digital experiences.
Software development is now an essential component of all businesses and organizations, and this is unlikely to change anytime soon. This represents a significant shift from previous years when businesses were more concerned with prioritizing their IT investments around legacy system maintenance and keeping up with the latest technology.
The emphasis is much more on developing new products and services to meet changing customer demands, which has never been easier thanks to digital technology.
2. The Bad
Agile practices are increasingly being used in software development, but security risks are not being adequately addressed.
Developers must be aware of the risks they face throughout the software development lifecycle, from planning to deployment and maintenance. Ideally, developers should be aware of all possible attacks on their applications. When security flaws are discovered in an application, developers must know what to do.
However, there is some hope in the growing recognition that security cannot be considered a secondary aspect of software development and must be addressed from the beginning.
Even as public awareness of the importance of software security has grown in recent years, one critical aspect is frequently overlooked: data privacy. Data privacy should not have been relegated to afterthoughts in software development processes.
Unfortunately, this is not the case for the majority of organizations. In practice, many teams view privacy as a project or feature rather than something built into the code.
This is evident in the way engineers are incentivized to create products that people will use and purchase without necessarily protecting them from harm. However, privacy is not only important for ensuring that users’ data is secure on the system, but it is also important for developing systems that are resilient to changes in their environment.
3. The Ugly
Organisational Culture Changes
There is no denying that the pace of technological innovation is faster than ever. While this is unquestionably a positive development, it introduces a new challenge: developers must keep up with rapid changes or risk becoming out of touch with current events. One significant change we’ve seen in the last year is how organizations operate. And organizational culture is all-encompassing.
Many businesses have had to change their processes to accommodate the increased demands caused by the pandemic’s persistence. In most organizations, developers are not involved in the evolution of initiatives; there are only two options: join or leave. However, in order to see real change, stakeholders in development teams (not just the CEO) must be brought along on initiatives that change how they work, such as switching from Agile to DevOps.
Apps Cross-Platform Functionality
Cross-platform functionality is a godsend for users, but building a cross-platform application can be a nightmare for developers. Maintaining precise consistency across multiple channels with different features is difficult, resulting in serious compatibility issues and lower performance.
Nonetheless, cross-platform development is now an expected and manageable approach to development. In any case, developers must devise effective workarounds. After all, cross-platform development is faster than native development, even though the latter allows for the creation of more robust features for each platform.
Despite the popularity of cross-platform frameworks like Flutter and React Native, it does not appear that the product management debate between cross-platform and native app development will be resolved anytime soon.
In recent years, there has been a significant shift in how software is built and managed. Simultaneously, there is no doubt that the rate of change is quickening. As a result, despite the obvious challenges, we see that this space has been highly dynamic and offers a plethora of opportunities.
The software of tomorrow will be built with the lessons learned over the last year in mind. It will provide developers with even more opportunities to work in new, more intelligent, and user-friendly ways. The future is an opportunity, not a threat.