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A decade of changes

3 areas of software development that will define the 2020s

Andrej Kovačević
software development
© Shutterstock / REDPIXEL.PL

Everywhere you look, the 2020s are going to be an exciting time for developers of all stripes, and the best among them will have their pick of cutting edge projects to work on. See what areas of software development are already changing and will continue to grow.

As the 2010s came to a close, the red-hot software development and engineering sector left little doubt about one thing: software is still king. After all, there’s virtually no part of our hyper-connected world that could work without it. As we kick off the 2020s, there’s little chance that’s going to change.

The only difference is likely to be in which kinds of software development are in the most demand. That will be shaped mostly by the developing technologies that will require the most new code, as well as by industries that are demanding next-generation digital tools. For software developers out there that are wondering what their work’s going to look like for the next decade, here’s a look at three areas of software development that will stay hot or take off through the 2020s.

SEE ALSO: Top 2020 trends for software engineers: Hired survey insights

Multi-cloud management and operations

Now that the vast majority of major businesses (and small businesses, too) have made the jump into cloud services, the next evolution waiting to happen is a shift to multi-cloud infrastructure as default business strategy. We’ve already seen evidence of it happening in the last few years, as companies have started to expand into using multiple cloud providers as a means of adding fault tolerance and preventing vendor lock-in.

Building the tools to manage those multi-cloud deployments will be a prime occupation for software developers and engineers in the 2020s. They’ll also be called to develop cloud-agnostic solutions that will allow for seamless shifting of applications and business processes between the different cloud providers. At this stage, that kind of approach is still limited to businesses with massive amounts of resourced to devote to the task, but it’s not going to remain that way for much longer.

Social media data harvesting and marketing automation

One of the biggest takeaways from the 2010s was the fact that social media has now cemented its role as both the default global communications medium as well as becoming the modern town square. The fact that the various social media platforms now reach into the lives of the vast majority of the world’s digital citizens means that they’re now integral to business data operations and marketing strategies. That means software developers are going to have to keep on building tools and solutions for businesses to make the best use of what social media has to offer.

Already, the demand for automation and analysis tools within the social media marketing discipline alone is enough for a software developer to build a thriving career with little else. That means that developers who school themselves on the specifics and usages of the major social media APIs could parlay that knowledge into more work than they’d ever have time to tackle – and as the 2020s wear on, the demand in this area will only continue to grow.

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Progressive Web App development

As smartphones and tablets became the dominant internet-connected devices in the last decade, a thriving (and lucrative) app economy sprung up in their wake. In the 2020s, much of that ecosystem is going to be replaced by progressive web apps. The cross-platform appeal of building a single web interface to service multiple device types is going to power an explosion of new development in the new decade, upending the current app market.

Developers that get involved with the trend early could find themselves reaping the rewards of a wave that could mimic the frenzy of development that came with the initial rise of smartphones. Any developer that was around for that will remember it as a time of unlimited opportunity – a new frontier for talented and innovative coders. The shift to progressive web apps will be an opportunity that’s similar in scale throughout the 2020s, giving developers a new canvas to work on and a chance to break new ground with software solutions that were impossible with previous-generation approaches. Exciting stuff, indeed.

SEE ALSO: What it actually costs – an ecological price tag for software development

Opportunity abounds

Although the three areas of development mentioned here are all but certain to stay hot in the new decade, they’re by no means alone. The rapid coming deployment of 5G wireless technology and IoT devices meant to take advantage of it are also going to open new possibilities for developers. Things like real-time portable augmented reality systems will go from novel concepts to real-world staples, automated vehicle systems will multiply tenfold, and new connected device systems will spur an automation wave like none before it. Everywhere you look, the 2020s are going to be an exciting time for developers of all stripes, and the best among them will have their pick of cutting edge projects to work on. I know I’m looking forward to it, are you?

Author
Andrej Kovačević
Andrej is a digital marketing expert, editor at TechLoot, and a contributing writer for a variety of other technology-focused online publications. He has covered the intersection of marketing and technology for several years and is pursuing an ongoing mission to share his expertise with business leaders and marketing professionals everywhere.

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