2021 was an exciting year for developers and development agencies, since the pandemic let every business, large and small, know that they had to step-up their online business presence and mechanisms. The result is that developers and agencies are very busy and are being pushed to the limit and are looking for ways to become more productive.
Product architects and creators are looking to design and create new and exciting digital products that will capture the consumers’ attention or dominate the business space. Pushing the boundaries of what is possible and trying to find which of those possibilities is practical.
All of this is generating definitive digital product development trends for the year 2022 (Twenty Double Deuce), and we have been seeing these trends get their start in the last year or two, but expect them to take root and grow in Twenty Double Deuce.
+ An opportunity for low-code/no-code solutions (LCNC). The development of new products and applications is more democratic with the availability of low-code or no-code solutions. Interested in scaling without breaking the bank? These solutions can help your company get from zero to 100 in a fraction of the time, because they don’t have a high barrier to entry. Plus, we can see the empowerment of people to implement and iterate new ways to solve challenges and develop domain-specific solutions for their unique use cases.
For Development Agencies, it allows them to produce digital products and solutions for certain situations and price points they can’t achieve with a full code solution. There are also many use cases where Low Code/No Code frameworks/tools can significantly speed up the Application development and speed up or enhance the product conception from client to agency.
In 2022, we will also see more and more use cases for LCNC such as Web/Mobile App development, E-commerce, Content production, Workflow management, Websites and landing pages, Intelligent Chatbots using dialog flow and RPA.
+ Useful Coding Guidelines. A focus on coding standards is important, but we should also focus on what you needed as well. As more people and teams work on a product, they come up with more conventions and guidelines for writing code – like language standards and style consistency.
These similarities make it easier for current developers and those looking to join the team to produce consistent and easy to work with code.
In 2022, we expect more companies to use coding standards in their development in order to save costs and increase productivity. It is crucial to include these standards in your digital product development projects from the beginning in order to reap their benefits.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) TRENDS
Over time, an increasing number of Machine Language (ML) and AI-driven approaches will provide fast and powerful tools to improve a development team’s productivity and quality.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have been around for a while and have many practical applications, beyond that of villains in Sci-Fi movies and books. They are here to stay and can help teams develop and deploy their products by increasing their performances and productivity with little effort. Terms being used now, such as AIOps, DataOPS and MLOps are becoming a reality. We are becoming more reliant on AI assistants for this reason. They provide helpful automation that saves developers time and improves development efficiency, which is why we expect them to become even more essential in 2022.
+ AutoML and No-Code AI will democratize Machine Learning and make it more accessible to digital product development teams. Machine Learning is a technology that’s seen tremendous success and adoption in recent years, but we’re experiencing a significant shortage in Machine Learning experts. Companies are trying to “dip their toe in the water” by trying to adopt machine learning in a limited way without hiring a full-time machine learning expert.
A new initiative to automatize Machine Learning usage without using a machine learning expert is AutoML (Automatic Machine Learning). For most ML applications, a machine learning expert will be needed. For AutoML, it might require in some use cases a ML expert to finish the work AutoML produces, while others can use AutoML without a ML expert.
Right now the growth of AutoML is being driven by Enterprise level needs for fraud detection, predictive lead scoring and personalized product shopping recommendations. But now, with more AutoML platforms, machine-learning is accessible to any individual or organization. And like the Low Code/No Code initiatives, it’s made its way into many industries in 2021.
In 2022, we know we will see more adoption and innovation in AutoML at all levels of digital products, as they project AutoML market revenue to surpass $14 Billion by 2030 (Source: PRNewswire).
+ Automated testing with AI will really start kicking in and assisting developers with QA in 2022. AI will become the new assistant or helper to human developers. If you have QA tasks that are repetitive and mundane and that take a lot of time to complete, then an AI will be an increasing option. AI code and tools will be helpful for developers for doing QA tasks that require less thought or creativity, which will leave developers more time to deal with other aspects of the digital product development instead of dealing with repetitive coding and QA tasks. AI is already used in automated testing for software development using NLP and GPT-3 libraries to automate tasks.
A lot of AI tools can generate the source code needed by the developers. Although AI tools such as Codota, GitHub Copilot and TabNine and TestCraft are in use; they are now mostly used to assist in narrow and specific aspects of software development. We would expect AI-driven code assistants to mature in 2022. Hopefully, this will allow developers to develop, QA & deliver faster with higher quality.
+ Predictive Analytics (PA) have been gaining popularity over the recent years and there is a good reason for that. They allow businesses to be proactive with their marketing and sales campaigns and could mean a lot towards improving business performance.
Predictive Analytics uses statistical techniques, AI and big data Machine Learning to analyze current and past data to make predictions about future trends of the data set. PA can help companies plan better by providing insights about trends and behaviors in the future and allowing organizations to improve their strategy decisions.
Predictive data analytics will be a big trend next year, but it will certainly not be limited to just Enterprise sized use cases. Companies of all sizes accumulate data over time, and exploring this information is fundamental to understanding what the business risks and opportunities might be. For this reason, PA can help in product development, roadmap and design decisions for both legacy and new digital products.
In 2022, we think we will see more SMB’s and Start-ups using Predictive Analytics in their product development, especially in products that are consumer facing and e-commerce orientated. As more PA platforms become available and lower price points, we see PA as having a large growth opportunity in the future.
PROGRAMING LANGUAGE TRENDS
In 2022, we see companies and development agencies having an increased focus in developing more universal best practices across all programming languages, and we see some AI/ML tools growing in popularity that will help in allowing for implantation of universal programming best practices across global development teams.
+ The serpent rises. Python is becoming more and more popular every day. You may not know it, but Python has finally taken the top spot in the TIOBE ranking; it’s now number one in the PYP charts.
Python is used for AI and ML-based features that are becoming increasingly popular in the programming world. And with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning on the rise, Python is increasingly used as a language of choice for developers across industries.
What started as a longstanding hobby project and then grew to become a popular and significant language; Python has really come into its own in recent years. It’s the language of choice for those with no programming experience and prolific programmers with deep knowledge. The primary advantage of Python is its simplicity and lower barrier to entry. You may have noticed that Python is the #1 language for data science and data engineering, but it turns out it is a popular choice in a lot of other IT sectors, too.
For 2022, Python will continue its dominance, but will grow even more in popularity and developers apply it to different development challenges. As developers with other language bases try Python, they will apply Python in more innovative ways and expand its use outside of data and science applications.
+ New Programming Languages will change the application landscape. Developers will speed up their learning of new languages. Python will continue to dominate in 2022 as new programmers come into the field, who are likely to start with Python first. It’s worth looking at the field before deciding on your programming language of choice.
In 2022, we expect this to change because of the number of new programming languages that are coming to market, and how as developers learn these new languages, they will find new and expanded ways to apply them to programming challenges. Eventually, one or more of these languages will supplant one of the current standards for a certain type of development.
Some of these new programming languages are being developed by some talented programmers and have a lot of potential. It could be worth your while to learn them as they rise in popularity.
+ PWA’s development will skyrocket. Progressive Web Applications (PWA) are a type of web applications that will work for whichever device you use to access the internet. They remove the need to download an app while enjoying a native-like app experience on mobile devices. In addition, PWAs are more responsive & cost-efficient to maintain, making them an interesting choice for startups or smaller teams that want to build new apps.
2022 will see a dramatic increase in the number of PWA’s coming to market because of the ease of use for the users, and the responsiveness and low maintenance costs for the developers.
+ Cross-platform development technology use in mobile development will continue to grow in 2022. It is now more expensive to develop native apps for web and mobile operating systems. As a result, more firms are experimenting and committing to developing cross-platform capabilities. With cross-platform development tools, you can support two or more platforms with the same code base, reducing the need for additional engineering resources and multiplying your chance of being adopted.
In 2022, we expect React Native and Flutter to continue to grow in popularity and be used for more and more web/mobile applications. More native mobile app developers will need to learn one of these platforms if they wish to have more project opportunities.
For more information on React Native and Flutter, check out my article Cross Platform Development Technology Comparison: React Native vs. Flutter
Blockchain is a new and groundbreaking technology that has the potential to improve nearly every aspect of our lives. It ensures that all information on it is valid and unchangeable, which will positively affect every stage of the business process. This streamlined, transparent process with top security can help transactions go smoothly, which is why Blockchain has been the root of all cryptocurrency. Almost every cryptocurrency needs some sort of end-user software that can use it for trading.
+ Greener Blockchain. Blockchain is often criticized for its massive energy footprint. Many Blockchain technologies are starting to move from an energy-consumptive “proof-of-work” model to an energy-saving “proof-of-stake” model. It’s expected that by the year 2023, that Ethereum will move to a greener “proof-of-stake” protocol, which will help reduce global energy expenditures in data mining.
Blockchain miners are critical to Blockchain generation, but the amount of Graphic Processing Units (GPU) graphics cards and energy the mining system consumes has grown to a serious level. The whole Blockchain ecosystem/industry is being forced by governments and consumers to become more green.
In 2022, Blockchain will become greener with the main Blockchain technologies moving from “proof-of-work” model to an energy-saving “proof-of-stake” model. In addition, hardware manufacturers are working on more power efficient products and systems that will help also reduce power consumption while increasing performance.
+ Blockchain will go everywhere. In 2022, there will be a lot of need for software developers that know how to develop blockchain platforms for many types of markets.
Finally, Blockchain is moving outside of just the Cryptocurrency industry. Still, every time there is an incident regarding cryptocurrency, blockchain technology is criticized, but Blockchain is one of the most secure technologies for many applications. Blockchain is starting to disrupt many industries in the 21st century, and could affect how every company does business.
Last year, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) , which are digital assets designed for ownership, became a popular use of Blockchain technologies. They’re meant specifically for projects like video games, art, and items that you can invest in. NFTs are just now catching on, but their popularity is skyrocketing.
In 2022, we can expect to see Blockchain used in many other applications, such as Supply Chain tracking and of transactions that need a high level of security and tracking. More and more experts are beginning to see the potential for Blockchain investments. Experts believe that in 2022 there will be a vast increase in Blockchain-related investments, and they expect Blockchain solutions to Grow 75% Through 2022 according to the IDC.
2021 reminded everyone that there are sharks in the internet ocean that we are all swimming in, and that all companies have got to take CyberSecurity very seriously.
+ Software Supply Chain (SSC) will become a more visible and important aspect of CyberSecurity. It is not just about who is writing the code, but it is about the best practices and standards that the developers use when coding. At the hi-level, it is also about if the product architects are creating features and software requirements that naturally have security flaw built in to the design.
In 2022, more visibility will be given to the Software Supply Chain. Who are the developers coding and software development providers being utilized, are they secure and use the best practices and do they work with the product architects to ensure that they do not build security vulnerabilities in? More scrutiny will be given to all parts of the software development process because of the Software Supply Chain’s direct relationship to CyberSecurity outcomes.
+ CyberSecurity will get more cost effective for smaller businesses. Startups and SMB’s (small and medium business) really are struggling with being able to afford Cyber Security. They rarely have the resources needed to get everything up and running like larger companies do.
One benefit of using the public cloud is that it has given CyberSecurity to everyone. Now, companies with little security experience and resources can enjoy the benefits of the public cloud CyberSecurity apps to help bring their security levels up to that of larger companies.
Companies and developers have to be careful though using a public cloud CyberSecurity service; because if (a low probability) it might have a security vulnerability or breach, it could affect all other businesses using that service as well.
Some high-profile security vulnerabilities in public clouds were reported in 2021, such as the Microsoft Azure cloud vulnerability, which was defined as the ‘worst you can imagine’. It was a security flaw in Microsoft’s Azure database product, which allowed attackers to access some 3,000+ Azure customers’ databases. Although the issue was quickly fixed, it showed a slight risk associated with cloud Cyber Security solutions. Still, the benefits for small companies far outweigh the risks of using these apps, and the risk is microscopic compared to having no CyberSecurity at all.
2022 will be the year cloud based CyberSecurity will grow significantly as SMB’s and Start-ups find more affordable options, and the increasing number of Cyber attacks and hacking force businesses to really address their CyberSecurity situation.
+ Open Source CyberSecurity applications will grow in use. Open source usually means more cost-effective, but it also means more problems and harder to use and apply. Still, open source CyberSecurity applications will get more refined and get more documentation and support as their popularity grows. This will mean the market for open-source CyberSecurity applications is really going to expand soon as the quality of product increases.
One issue with open source security is that the current open source model relies on user donations, and if the community doesn’t donate enough, then eventually the project will die. A single developer often develops a vital and core module/library in his spare time. Unfortunately, If that module/library is compromised, then almost all the companies using that product will be threatened, similar to cloud based CyberSecurity.
In 2022, the public Cloud and Linux will work harder to make things even more secure for all businesses. Open source CyberSecurity applications will be a big part of that initiative.
Large companies should rethink the way the business model works so that open source CyberSecurity application developers can get paid for their work. The current model does not include any financial benefit or support, but it allows developers to create innovative code unexploited by large corporations.
Businesses will need to figure out how to compensate open source developers for their work, so they can continue to improve and keep secure these open source CyberSecurity applications that so many businesses are relying on to protect themselves.
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