8 Software Development Trends to Watch in 2017

Every new year comes with new trends in software development. Developers are always inventing new ways of making our lives easier and better. If you are in the field of software development, you have to keep up with the latest trends to remain relevant and competitive in the field. The trends introduced in the past year like chatbots and predictive analytics may continue to be popular this year. However, developers are already looking for the next big thing. So, what changes should we expect in software development this year? Here are the major trends you should look out for.

1. Open Source Development

If you have been following the latest trends in software development, open source development is not new to you. The development method has become popular over time because it enables organizations to scale up their solutions fast. It is also easier to update or incorporate the latest plug-ins with the open-source culture. It offers superior flexibility for growing businesses. The benefits of open-source development increased its demand in the past year. The demand for open-source solutions is expected to rise even higher in 2017. Open source platforms like Linux will become more popular too.

2. Chatbots

Chatbots are among the latest trends in software development. Chatbots will continue gaining popularity this year as more businesses move to integrate simple solutions into their processes. Popular organizations like American Express, Quartz, Facebook, and 1-800=Flowers have already launched chatbot-powered apps. More companies will follow the trend this year. One reason for the increase in popularity is that chatbots offer a convenient and fast means of communication. Internet users are slowly shifting from social media to messaging apps. Chatbots offer the same convenience and hence the increase in demand. Facebook, which is among the top social media platforms has already adopted this latest trend in its Facebook Messenger app.

3. Licensing

Most businesses outsource software development to third parties for various reasons. Sometimes the internal developers do not have the skills and knowledge required to create the latest software. For some businesses, outsourcing is a way of saving costs and time. The licensing agreement between developers and the licensee are sometimes violated, leaving the licensee in a dilemma. If the developer goes out of business, the licensee may have no way of accessing the software. Software escrow services enable businesses to reduce risks by placing the source code with a third party. Given the continuous changes in the tech world, technology escrow will be part of most software licensing agreements in 2017.

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4. Augmented Reality

Augmented reality has been around for a while, but most developers have ignored it for years. Developers started focusing on the culture when Pokémon Go and Snapchat developers used it in 2016. Pokémon Go was perhaps the major contributor to the rising popularity of augmented reality. The game has attracted more than 500 million users. Snapchat offers an interesting way of introducing augmented reality in our lives. The technology is likely to be used in other apps this year and beyond. The success of Snapchat and Pokémon Go is a clear sign to developers that app users enjoy interacting in a virtual world.

5. Focus on Customer Experience

Business owners know that the customer should come first in everything. However, many have ignored this fact in software development. In the past, most businesses focused on functional apps that incorporate the latest technology. Budgets and achieving business goals were the main considerations when developing new technologies. Customers had to learn to use new programs or go back to the conventional means of communication. Today, business owners are focusing on giving their customer the best experience when using their apps. We are likely to witness more and more apps with attractive user interfaces. The high competition in online and social media marketing is shifting focus to the needs of end users.

6. Artificial Intelligence

Most people associate artificial intelligence with the film industry. The thought is expected because artificial intelligence has featured in many popular movies and films over the years. However, artificial intelligence has become part of the business world. In fact, large corporations like Google, Apple, and Facebook have acquired more than 140 artificial intelligence companies since 2012. In 2016 alone, the corporations acquired 40 startups. We will witness more acquisitions this year. We are also likely to witness more developers working on artificial intelligence projects like never before. Developers will realize the potential in such projects because multinationals are willing to invest millions of dollars in artificial intelligence. The technology will be incorporated in many business apps to enhance their functionality and efficiency.

7. Google’s Go Programming Language

Google has largely contributed to the changes in software development. The multinational introduced Go in 2016, which is one of the simplest programming languages in the world of software development. The language became popular among developers as soon as it was introduced. Go is popular for its simplicity, efficiency, high performance and inbuilt support. The demand for the programming language will increase in 2017 and beyond. In addition to the functionality of the programming language, many developers trust services and products from Google. The global corporation has been consistent in introducing high-performance products and services. Hence, Go is likely to overtake other programming languages in popularity and use.

8. Focus on Business Development

We have already talked about the need for business owners to focus on their clients’ needs when developing new software. However, businesses will also integrate business development in their technologies. By focusing on business development, business owners will serve their clients better. For instance, we have witnessed the rise of automated business processes, including ordering and paying for goods. Automated communication is also part of the modern business world. The purpose of automated processes is to enhance the customer experience and increase efficiency. Software development will be focused on helping business owners make better decisions and enhancing their business’ scalability and security.

Conclusion

The field of software development has experienced various changes over the years. Some of the changes result from changing preferences and expectations from clients. As business owners try to keep up with the latest technologies, developers must create software that incorporates the latest trends. We have discussed the top trends that every developer and business owner should watch out for this year. Some of the trends will remain popular beyond 2017. The challenge now is for developers to enhance their skills and integrate these technologies into their projects before new trends emerge.

Jesse Fin
 

Jesse worked as a journalist for a large tv station in Korea in her past life. She now works full time at home as a blogger and loves to help her friends manage their personal budgets.

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