Which Way's Up: Tech Trends To Keep An Eye On - Agile Blog - Riter

Which Way's Up: Tech Trends To Keep An Eye On

Whether you are a newbie programmer looking for a promising area to apply his skills, or a veteran of programming who got fed up coding in Algol and Fortran, you're probably interested in the latest trends and prospects in IT. As a part of the world where technologies are constantly changing, you need to keep up with it, and know where to move on. Once you just tie yourself to a particular technology or language - and tomorrow you will be left behind, since overnight demands to candidates have been changed. If in the previous article we were talking about wrong ways to software development, today let's discuss perspective directions instead. The following tech fields are in demand at the moment and deserve your attention.

AI

The application of artificial intelligence in business is not a new trend at all. According to some researches, more than 40% of businesses have adopted it in automating their workflow. However, the popularity of artificial intelligence didn't weaken over the past year, on the contrary, it has even grown thanks to the emergence of new technologies and developments in this field.

Today, use of AI is a matter of necessity, not a whim. To stay ahead in the competition, many organizations are integrating AI-driven solutions to perform different tasks and provide a better service experience for their customers. Virtual assistants, insight-as-a-service, chatbots, smart apps appear to solve our routine tasks and provide help in solving all sorts of problems.

Google, Deepmind, Facebook, Nvidia and Amazon are leaders in AI development, but now even young startups are adopting AI development rapidly. You can find more or less intelligent AI in today's applications. Of course, you should not consider this statement as a call to develop AI for the sake of AI. It should be relevant and solve real problems, and not just increase the hype around your application. By the way, the same can be said about all technologies described below.

Blockchain

Hype around blockchain owes much to Bitcoin's meteoric rise in the recent past. However, much has changed since then. Today, it's believed that the technology is able to revolutionize nearly every industry beyond digital currency, and a lot of companies are working on different sorts of blockchain-based applications at the moment. It's not a secret that blockchain can change the financial industry by connecting millions across the globe to conduct cashless transactions immediately, securely and without intermediaries. But now blockchain is a lot more than a service for managing digital currencies.

Leaders in blockchain development are IBM, Oracle, Microsoft and Amazon. They are already negotiating with banks and government regulation agencies to provide blockchain support everywhere. Hundreds of blockchain-related startups appear every day, attracting the attention of investors, potential users and crypto fans. This means that demand for blockchain developers will explode in the coming years, that will be a gold rush for developers who devote themselves to this technology.

Like any new, but already well-studied technology, blockchain has some issues. In this regard, many people are quite skeptical about it. The lack of a sufficient regulatory ground on the part of the government or the adoption of technology in general, the presence of different vulnerabilities in the implementation of work algorithms are just some of the reasons. Frequent attempts to implement blockchain just to raise money quickly only serve to worsen the situation, which undermines confidence in decentralized apps.

Blockchain everywhere

Open source

We believe that open source projects and skills are a necessary asset for every developer regardless of his specialization and technologies in demand. Once introduced to the public, open source has hold a firm place in the world of software development. Thanks to it, a strong network of knowledge is built by a powerful community that collectively benefits from the strengths of its individuals. So, whatever technologies will be in trend in 2018 and later, open source will stay at the peak of popularity.

According to the Linux Foundation’s 2017 Open Source Jobs Report, organizations are looking to hire more full-time employees in order to catch the open source trend. Open source skills are a boost for career prospects. Within the technology space, open source is now pervasive, and in the recent years it will be the driving force behind most of the technology innovations. By the way, our team also doesn't want to stay behind, so we're working on several own open source projects - Ansible roles for DevOps and system administrators.

Cybersecurity

We often hear about cyber attacks on large companies - they are always spoken of by everyone and everywhere. All the major social, retail, and tech giants suffer from security breaches from time to time. But it is also known that small- and medium-size organizations and startups suffer from hackers' attacks as well. A study by Ponemon Institute reports that more than 50 percent of small and medium-sized business (SMB) had experienced some type of cyberattack:

  • Ransomware is hitting SMBs hard with 55% experiencing an attack.
  • Attacks are becoming costlier to businesses with damage now over $1M.

As a result, more and more money are spent on security enhancements every year, and the skills to counter information threats are in demand in almost any self-respecting company.

Virtual/augmented reality

Virtual (VR) and augmented (AR) realities has shown themselves to be quite brilliant in entertainment and computer games in particular. However, they open much higher opportunities in business. Many companies have already applied virtual reality as part of their content-marketing strategy in order to connect with their target audience in a new and more promising way.

The growth of VR/AR applications in recent years can be attributed to solutions that allow consumers to visualize products and imagine what it might feel like to own the product or experience the service before actually purchasing it. "Try before you buy", they said. These technologies have hit a lot of retail stores, and different retail companies and owners are using this technique to get their products marketed and showcasing to the customers in a unique way.

In 2017, ARKit was launched by Apple, and Google released ARCore for Android, both powerful tools for developers to create AR apps. Other apps include healthcare software, educational tools (Jigspace, Inkhunter), communication apps (WallaMe), and fun apps (Pokemon Go).

Labyrinth of Reflections VR

IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) has opened large further areas for investigation for businesses. Considering the rise of customer satisfaction and customer experience trends, we are sure that IoT is a new way to improve business opportunities, boost sales, increase customers' loyalty, and reliability of their products and services. For example, as some experts have noticed, 94% of all businesses with IoT investments have seen a return.

Examples of IoT include health monitors, smart locks, personal emergency response systems, vehicle tracking, smart house automation, smart cities and much more. Undoubtedly, IoT represents another fertile ground for developers who want their skills to stay in demand in future.

What's next?

What does this all mean for the software industry? In IT, everything is changing very quickly and, perhaps, some of these technologies will disappear tomorrow under the influence of a new successful one. Some things appear and become a staple, others are just fun for a while and die unnoticed. But it is very likely that most of the trends will carry through into 2019 and beyond. And this is a good opportunity for developers with the right skillset.

As a project manager, you could notice that almost the same topics are in trend in project management, that shows their impact on various areas of activity. Which of them are you familiar with? And what's your company policy in relation to the new trends?

Riter development team