The Top 10 Software Development Trends For 2020

A robot playing with some pulleys in front of two software screens.

“It’s tough to make predictions,” Yogi Berra once said, “especially about the future.”

Tough or not, we’re looking deep into the new year to see what lies ahead in the world of software development. With 2019 on the books and 2020 kicking off, it’s time for businesses to catch a glimpse of the vision for where software R&D professionals are taking technology. Here are ten software development trends we predict will be taking over the industry in 2020.

1. The Forecast Looks Cloud-ier

Cloud computing has been around since the 1950s, but it has only emerged as a popular option for the masses in the past decade. Its popularity has gained steam quickly, and by 2019, cloud services accounted for $229 billion in revenue each year.

We expect the cloud to start growing at an even more accelerated rate. Enterprise-level companies will likely start to hyperscale, moving from multi-cloud to omni-cloud options. The Kubernetes platform and the Red Hat OpenShift model will lead the way in breaking down cloud barriers, helping make data more portable and workloads more mobile. In short, expect to see both niche companies and Fortune 500s demolishing the walls within the clouds.

2. Python Will Squeeze Its Competition

Computer languages are always growing, shifting and evolving, but there’s little question that Python has already edged out Java for the top spot. Python’s robust growth is likely to continue into 2020 and beyond.

Python is easy to learn, making it appealing to beginners, but it’s powerful enough to create top-shelf sites. Perhaps most importantly from a developer’s perspective, Python lets you automate all the boring bits. There are more reasons for Python’s dominance too—it’s the language of machine learning and data science, and it’s supported by a huge global community. Simplicity, competitive edge and community support will make Python the lingua franca of computer science for the foreseeable future.

3. The Online World Is Getting Multi-Experiential

The two-dimensional world of computing consisting of a keyboard, mouse and screen is falling out in favor of a multi-experience world—computing using augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR).

Increasingly, users will expect to have multi-sensory, multi-modal experiences. Retailers, in particular, will take advantage of new opportunities to allow buyers to experience products before purchase. Expect to see visual merchandising, co-creating and increasing “clicks-and-bricks” hybridization in which online platforms and on-site showrooms work collaboratively.

4. Human Intelligence Will Augment Smart Spaces

Smart cities, smart homes, digital workspaces and connected factories were all very 2019. This coming year, expect to see human intelligence integrating into those smart spaces. Wearable technology will increase in both popularity and capacity, and you may start seeing more high-tech implants. Research into affective AI—which exploits the emotional intelligence of robots—will take off, and the use of smart social spaces to assist people with dementia and other disabilities will grow more common.

5. Expect to See More of Tensorflow 2.0

Google and Facebook will maintain their lead positions in the deep learning and neural network domains. In particular, Google’s Tensorflow 2.0, an open-source platform for developing and integrating large-scale AI and Deep Learning Models, will spearhead the market. Facebook’s Deep Learning library PyTorch will also do well. Both are likely to experience massive growth, but Tensorflow enjoys a larger community than PyTorch, giving Tensorflow the upper hand.

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6. Blockchain Becomes More Practical

The days of blockchain’s exclusive association with cryptocurrency are already over. Today, much of the general public knows that blockchain offers far more than digital currency transfers. Expect to see new startups announcing ever more practical applications of blockchain in 2020. Proofs of concept will become MVPs, and platforms will continue to evolve. More and more businesses will use the blockchain to store records, manage supply chains and prevent fraud. 

7. The Robots Are Taking Over Security

In 2020, AI will have a greater hand in cybersecurity. For one thing, the number of human beings who can provide cybersecurity services continues to lag behind need. For another, more companies are seeing the value in AI as security.

Capgemini’s Reinventing Cybersecurity with Artificial Intelligence report, published in 2019, pointed out that 61 percent of enterprises say they cannot detect breach attempts without AI technology. Of these enterprises, 48 percent expect to increase their AI cybersecurity budgets by an average of 29 percent in 2019. Clearly, AI holds the key to the future of cybersecurity.

8. Autonomous Things Shape the Future of Work

What Gartner refers to as “autonomous things” will grow more important as enterprises increasingly see the implementation of technology rewarded with business growth. Expect to see more companies investing in machine learning, collaborative systems and internetworked teams. AI will replace humans at a steadily increasing pace in some industries while others can expect to see robots and humans working either side-by-side or hand-in-glove to increase efficiency, productivity and personalization.

9. The No-Code Movement Will Swell in Numbers and Impact

People want to build products themselves. It’s that quirk of human nature that made WYSIWYG platforms so popular a few years ago. As makers rely less and less on complicated code, more and more businesses will be able to cooperate with customizable management platforms to create what they need for themselves. Consider that one person took four days to create NotRealTwitter, a Twitter copy, and that was almost seven years ago. In 2020, expect to see the no-code movement take off like crazy.

10. Edge Computing Will Edge Out Further

Edge computing relocates vital data processing to the edge of the network, letting devices gather and process data in real time. Edge computing is vital to large autonomous things such as self-driving cars. More practically, the edge also reduces lag time, limits signal-to-noise ratio and frees up space for storing data in the cloud.

In December 2019, Verizon and Amazon Web Services announced a new partnership to deliver 5G edge cloud computing that will help customers build new applications, access internet-of-things capabilities and net new value innovations. This partnership will vastly expand edge computing and make it more accessible to the public.

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New Year, New Software

New software trends in 2020 will impact businesses, industries, the global economy and the future of work.

With the software industry on the move, it’s going to take more powerful systems than ever to manage your business. Work management platforms like Pipefy can help you take control of your day-to-day responsibilities and solve business problems while staying on top of the latest trends.

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