By guest author Mridula Velagapudi
As I wrote in a piece earlier, as a part of technology evolution, software development has evolved and matured a lot, and the present trends show that there is going to be a paradigm shift in the developers’ roles. The question is: are you ready yet?
With Web 3.0, the exponential increase of Internet-enabled mobile devices, and adoption of cloud computing technologies, an increasing number of applications are being pushed on the Web. In the future, the Web will be considered the most important medium for any kind of communication, commerce, and context-driven collaboration and for use of any kind of automated services (the consumption part of IT services). Web 3.0, mobile technologies, and cloud computing will together evolve as complementary trends that support each other’s growth.
The future of IT will be cloud computing, or software applications delivered and consumed through Web browsers. The concept of packaged software is old now and will be replaced by applications accessible through the Web. The ubiquitous nature of the Internet has produced more informed users, and this factor acts as a driver for frequently changing demands for services, thereby laying the foundation for an uncertain long-term landscape for businesses.
The easy access to setup IT infrastructure through cloud stack and frequently changing demands for more services and products open up a lot of entrepreneurial opportunities. Because in the future we will see various mobile devices as the main access points for the Web, whether it is for commerce, communication, or context, many aspiring entrepreneurs will have to gain technical knowledge, too. The future is for tech entrepreneurs.
What does this imply for software development activities?
For one, the very nature of the way IT is delivered and consumed has undergone a drastic change thanks to cloud computing, which demands that developers be ready for swift and efficient software development activities. This scenario requires software developers to seriously consider the following:
The most popular approach to software development, the waterfall approach, is becoming redundant. The future demand for IT consumption and the frequently changing features requirements will need developers to go for agile methodologies. Agile methodologies have evolved out of the need to deliver superior software quality and and have the ability to easily incorporate frequent changes in software requirements. They are sophisticated evolutions of software development processes and facilitate multifaceted software development. Agile methodologies have proven that organizations can achieve hyper-productivity in teams and deliver superior results.
Adopt hosted ALM and SDLC management tools
It will not help to shy away from hosted application services such as SaaS-based ALM and SDLC management tools just because of the perceived security threats of the cloud stack. Many ALM and SDLC management tools are evolving, weaving intelligence, automation and integration into the SDLC process to increase developer productivity and reduce the time to market.
Master more than one programming language
As the mobile culture and adoption of cloud computing expand, the concept of interoperability of applications will gain in importance. Developers will need to have the understanding of interoperability of applications and platforms and the knowledge of developing applications for different access points such as laptop PCs, smartphones, tablet PCs or all three. Because the Web will be the interface for consuming IT services for many users, it will be very important for developers to have a core understanding of working with Web technologies as well.
Master mobile technology
Use of Internet-enabled mobile devices will surpass the use of desktop and laptop PCs. Communication and commerce are all set to increase through increased use of mobile devices in the coming years. According to a report by Reportlinker, mobile commerce is expected to reach $10 billion by the end of 2013. Providing accessibility of applications via mobile browsers will become highly essential. Developers will need to have hands-on knowledge about working on mobile platforms such as Android, iOS, Blackberry OS, and Windows Mobile, as well as with mobile IDEs.
If as a developer and/or a wannabe entrepreneur, you are not ready with the above skills and knowledge, you may face tough times in the coming years.