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2022 Trends in Software Development

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2022 Trends in Software Development

Every year, Software Planet Group put together a summary of the greatest trends in software development that are likely to sweep the industry in the coming months (see our 2021 article on IT trends to dive in deeper). This includes both established and emerging technologies that are essential for forward-thinking companies. This year, in spite of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we continued to witness the takeover of DevOps, the unstoppable rise of NFTs and even saw the birth of promising programming tools purported to write code in place of humans. So for our full list of 2022 trends in software development, read on!

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What Are the Latest Trends in Software Development?

Low Code/No Code Technology Trends in 2022

Software developers are so last decade! 😄 After all, thanks to no-code and low-code platforms, companies are able to serve customers around the globe without the burden of keeping in-house development teams. Though to some degree, low-code software still requires programming by knowledgeable individuals, no-code takes this concept to a whole new level by primarily making use of drag-and-drop features. In 2022, our experts predict that platforms including Airtable and Webflow will take centre stage. The former is a cloud collaboration service that aims to unite the very best aspects of spreadsheets and databases. In this way, it is able to store information in an easy-to-use spreadsheet while also behaving  as a database that can be used for tracking inventory, project planning, task management and customer-relationship management (CRM). The latter, on the other hand, is primarily a SaaS application that enables designers to build responsive websites with the help of browser-based visual editing software. As designers utilise the tool, Webflow will automatically generate HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

AR, VR and the Metaverse

While some may see it as cynical rebranding, for better or worse, Facebook are now to be known as Meta. The news was hailed by virtual reality (VR) enthusiasts as a significant milestone, however, as it came with a historical announcement regarding the company’s metaverse gamble. For those unfamiliar with the term, this refers to an as-yet-unrealised vision for global interaction via an AR/VR ecosystem. Naturally, therefore, the company is also making a major push for developers, which is evidenced by the Oculus Quest’s new development platforms and APIs.

In the company’s quest for metaverse dominance, Meta have planned an array of social and professional applications, including Horizon Worlds, a virtual universe that remains under wraps; and Horizon Workrooms, which is already available to the general public. Every one of these is set to include 3D spatial audio, your own personal avatar and a vast collection of interactive tools. 

If you would like to take advantage of metaverse-style meetings today, however, when first launching Workrooms on the Quest 2 headset, you will be prompted to trace the front edge of your desk via a hand controller before pairing the headset with your PC or laptop. The second half of this process is arguably a little clunky, but when finally complete, you will find yourself in a virtual office with a desk the same size as your own, your desktop screen hovering in front of you. If you are worried about coffee spillages, by the way, Meta have also taken care of this detail, as your desk may be superimposed with live images from the passthrough cameras (AR). 

In our experts’ opinion, Workrooms is still very much a beta application, but it not only shows a promising future for distributed teams but is a fantastic preview of the coming metaverse — undeniably one of the hottest 2022 trends in software development. In fact, we like it so much here at Software Planet Group that this entire article is being written from the comfort of a mountain cabin!

A desktop screen hovers over an office table in a virtual environment overlooking the mountains

The Blockchain and NFTs

The NFT (non-fungible token) craze may appear to be entirely illogical to many, but for artists and avid collectors, it is proving to be here to stay. The tokens enable demonstrating use rights and ownership for any piece of digital content by assigning a unique identifier that is recorded on a distributed ledger (more often than not the Ethereum blockchain). Each NFT also comes with a smart contract whose terms will be indefinitely applicable and that are programmed to execute immediately and irrevocably with every trade.

Essentially, in 2022, NFTs are set to become the blockchain equivalent of sports trading cards — which in the past have also sold for millions of dollars. For this reason, by the end of the year, it is predicted that between 4–5 million sports fans will have purchased or been gifted NFT collectibles. Of course, the technology is not limited to any specific area and can be utilised by any company to greatly increase its brand awareness. The crypto exchange Crypto.com — which recently made headlines by purchasing the naming rights to the Staples Center arena – is a great example of a company that has successfully harnessed the NFT craze to solidify its online presence.

Quantum Computing 

Though quantum computing (QC), the form of computation that utilises the collective properties of quantum states, will likely attract more headlines than practical use in 2022, there are a number of reasons why companies might wish to start preparing today:

1. Optimised supply chains

Reportedly, a Canadian grocery store applied quantum computing algorithms to reduce optimisation computing time from more than 24 hours to a mere matter of seconds, and is already planning to employ QC in production daily. In line with other 2022 trends in software development, we are likely to continue to see more logistics and supply chain QC implementations.

2. Improved sensors

If the current trends hold, quantum sensors could also potentially replace existing sensors in a number of applications, including surveying construction sites; locating and monitoring gas, oil and mineral deposits; and detecting miniscule environmental, seismic or weather changes. Due to these impressive real-world results, the quantum sensing market was valued at over $400 million in 2020, and is projected to continue to grow in 2022.

3. Secure communication

Quantum communication utilises the principles of quantum mechanics to build theoretically tamper-proof networks that are able to detect interception. Though the quantum communication market is still somewhat niche, the technology is already being used by militaries and governments in multiple countries, as it is thought to strengthen national security. For this reason, it is likely that over the next decade or so, Western governments will increasingly encourage its adoption in the private sector.

DevOps

From retail to banking to entertainment, businesses are continuously moving towards more practical deployment methods that are coupled with low maintenance expenses. This is where DevOps comes in, as with its assistance and that of modern technologies, businesses are able to process large amounts of data quickly, help IT staff perform more targeted work, learn patterns, anticipate problems, and develop customer-centred software. So with all of this in mind, let’s take a look at today’s most tantalising DevOps trends:

1. Automation

As always, in 2022, DevOps automation tools will continue to enjoy tremendous popularity. Though Docker and Kubernetes will remain the dominant platforms for containerisation, other tools including Podman, Buildah and Vagrant are beginning to vie for the DevOps throne. In any case, however, these platforms enable companies to reap the benefits of scalable infrastructures without the headache of having to build them themselves. They also greatly lower the complexity of deploying, monitoring and maintaining applications — which are often incredibly time-consuming — and enable you to automate your tasks with ease.

2. APM software

More and more, application performance management (APM) software is also being seen as essential, as it provides rapid feedback to developers throughout time-critical project deployments. This includes frontend monitoring, application discovery, tracing and diagnostics (ADTD) and AIOps-enabled analytics. Some examples of APM solutions include Datadog, eG Enterprise and ManageEngine Applications Manager.

3. DevSecOps

With companies also set to continue embracing serverless and other cloud-based technologies and platforms, cloud-native security tools are now becoming more critical than ever before. This explains the rise of DevSecOps, as it offers transparent results to stakeholders, improves the agility of developers, helps teams remain in their development environments and provides security even at runtime.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

While it may conjure a false image of humanoid automatons, robotic process automation (RPA) refers to the use of software with AI capabilities to handle high-volume, repetitive tasks that would typically require human beings to perform. This includes making calculations, addressing queries, the maintenance of records and performing transactions. In 2021, many businesses turned to RPA technologies to simplify workflows and organise their office tasks. So with the year ahead already promising more sophisticated AI technologies — and so many processes just waiting to be automated — SPG can only conclude that the future looks very bright for RPA.

AI Assistance

Finally, 2022 should also be a great year for AI assistance, as Github have unveiled Copilot, an “AI pair programmer,” as they have called it. While Copilot is powered by Codex, a new AI system built by OpenAI — and the thought of code now writing code is trippy and meta to say the least — the tool works well about 50 percent of the time, which not only can often be frustrating, but is essentially a flashy autocomplete function. Nevertheless, Copilot is undeniably leading the way towards a brighter future in software development, and as the year picks up the pace, will doubtless enjoy wider adoption.

Some Other Post-Pandemic Opportunities

New Tools for Gathering Feedback

In a recent survey by Nielsen Norman Group, remote designers cited “receiving feedback” as one of their primary worries while working from home. Study participants also blamed “too much formality in the feedback gathering process,” “delayed feedback,” and crucially, “unsatisfactory tools for gathering feedback” as their top three reasons for not being given the input they needed. Luckily, companies can mitigate these issues by developing whiteboarding solutions that enable designers to keep everything on track. These real-time collaboration platforms can be utilised for mood boarding, running any required research sessions, and of course, holding design reviews to get useful feedback without disrupting any other workflows.

Platforms for Dealing With Asynchronous Work

Keeping teams in alignment is difficult enough when working in the same office, but when employees are scattered across the globe, the different time zones make this extremely challenging. This is why it is important to consider developing an asynchronous work management system, as you may benefit from a work environment that not only supports employee autonomy, but helps team members work efficiently together. For instance, project participants may be alerted as soon as a team member has completed a task and access the files from a digital collaboration platform without the need to wait for user permissions.

Hybrid Clouds

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that adaptability is indispensable to businesses, which is particularly true in a time of crisis. In fact, just in December, Amazon Web Services reportedly suffered at least three outages and as a result of the company’s ubiquity, a number of services including Disney+, McDonald’s and Netflix were majorly affected in the first debacle. Consequently, many businesses today are increasingly turning to hybrid cloud solutions, as these are often seen as the key component in a business continuity strategy. This is not without reason, as hybrid clouds ensure that critical company data is replicated to a separate cloud in a different location, thus doing away with unwanted downtime in the event of natural or technological disasters. Yet there are other benefits to hybrid clouds as well:

  1. Enhanced security
  2. Increased scalability
  3. Quicker and more affordable access to foreign markets

For all the reasons outlined above, in 2022, we expect hybrid cloud adoption to continue to exponentially grow.

Combined Platforms to Improve Productivity

According to a new study by Asana, employees will typically switch between approximately 10 different applications as much as 25 times per day, which interrupts communication and workflows. They also spend nearly 60 percent of their time addressing other supplementary assignments that are required to advance their projects. So to tackle this problem, in 2022, expect companies to replace single-job applications with combined platforms that can be utilised across the organisation. This will certainly save invaluable time and help your company stay ahead of the curve.

As we hope this article has made clear, there are plenty of 2022 trends in software development to look forward to in the months ahead. We hope you’re as excited for these new opportunities as we are and wish you a wonderful and prosperous new year!

What Are Your Plans For 2022?

What does your roadmap look like for the upcoming year? Will you require any software development or DevOps support?

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