The software development market is booming, and there appears to be no end in sight to the available opportunities for growth. With business moving at such a rapid pace, it’s especially vital to stay relevant and up-to-date on trends and emerging technologies.
The skill requirements shift constantly, making it even harder to recruit and hire the best developers. Software development methodologies rise and fall, but some, like DevOps, SRE, and agile, appear poised to stay. What exactly is the state of web development, the best programming languages, and popular methodologies? What are the struggles of hiring talented developers that have experience with these skills and methodologies?
Web Development Isn’t Dead
Recently, some interesting speculation spread around about the state of web development and DIY options. Website builder technologies have been rising in prominence as DIY website builders provide an excellent service to smaller companies.
Options like Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace are especially popular within the service industry, allowing hairdressers, dog walkers, and plumbers to create a website for their company on a budget and without any real coding experience. Business owners choose these technologies because of the low barrier of expertise needed and their minimal upstart costs.
However, these tools don’t mean custom web development is dead. Instead, it’s more accurate to say that web development is evolving. Many enterprises lack the organization’s ability to handle web development in-house yet want a tailored solution.
Website builders are rarely a suitable option for mid-sized or enterprise-level web applications, due to their limited design flexibility and poor SEO integration. Instead, enterprises have the ability to outsource their web development needs to third-party expert dev teams to gain the benefits of expertise in a cost-effective manner.
Programming Languages of Today and Tomorrow
Programming language popularity is sometimes the best indicator of market demand. Based on Stack Overflow’s Developer Survey results for 2021 that sums up the answers of more than 85,000 respondents, the top 5 programming languages today are:
Java, a bit of antiquated technology, is experiencing a resurgence in popularity associated closely with use in desktop applications and Android mobile development. There are over 54,000 Java developer jobs currently available on LinkedIn.
As software development comes of age, so too do the philosophies and best practices around development. The earliest software development methodology, the Waterfall method, is still in use but isn’t without its issues. Historically, software development occurred in isolation as the development team created a product and handed it off to IT for implementation.
DevOps is a methodology that has turned this workflow on its head by combining the development and operations departments. Previously, these 2 teams were almost entirely ‘siloed’, meaning they operated separately. The DevOps movement began to gain traction in 2008 and has since proved revolutionary.
Most large enterprises, including big tech companies, already started integrating DevOps into their development culture, including:
DevOps promotes team collaboration across the entire Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). This methodology centers around the development of a core software product that will include IT systems and recommendations during the design and development.
Site Reliability Engineering (SRE)
If a company already transitioned to DevOps, incorporating Site Reliability Engineering might be the next step. SRE is a software engineering practice that focuses on treating IT as operations. Since its original creation by Google in 2003, Site Reliability Engineering has since expanded beyond the company. The field of SRE is growing rapidly, experiencing 22% growth in 2021.
Site Reliability Engineering is so effective because it minimizes the work of system administrators. Engineers focus on building IT tools that reduce the workload of operations. SREs monitor metrics like latency, uptime, and performance. Those IT professionals responsible for SREs spend their time automating IT processes and minimizing downtime.
This specialized branching of software engineering proves one of the best roles to outsource. SREs combine the specialties of software development and information technology. Their workflow is more independent and easily done remotely.
Agile is another software development methodology worth noting. While not new to the world of development, it remains a mighty approach. The agile methodology recommends an iterative approach to software development. It’s a popular choice for outsourcing as project managers have quite a bit of experience in agile methodology to assist in managing sprint timelines and objectives.
Agile doesn’t directly compete with DevOps, but agile recommends smaller team sizes, with 5 and 11 members. These 2 methodologies can coexist with some alterations. Larger enterprises may break software development teams into smaller units, with each unit focusing on the development of a single feature. It’s also possible to break down the operations side into small teams to keep team members focused on an area of expertise.
With sprints (or short repeated boxes of time), companies are especially flexible. Agile methodologies break development into manageable chunks instead of working for months towards the large goal of a complete project. This means that teams can pivot quickly and make necessary changes whenever development needs to change. At any time, companies can reassess and change direction.
Jobs for Developers?
Enterprises everywhere are in desperate need of good software developers. Recruiters note that filling software development openings is one of the most challenging tasks they can face. It can take nearly two months to fill open software development jobs, especially for full-stack developers. This can majorly slow down any ongoing software projects.
There is a high level of technical expertise required by developers, and the field is still relatively young. In recent years, higher education institutions have started creating developer and engineer pipelines to help meet the demand and train students in this booming field.
Again, outsourced development teams are a great solution for companies looking to get software projects done while the skills shortage rages on while staying within budgets and required timelines.
Plan Ahead for 2023
Given the rapid pace of changes in the software development market, it’s not too early to strategize for 2023. Companies must pay special attention to the emerging trends and areas of investment. Programming languages, best practices, methodologies, and new technologies can rapidly go from fringe to mainstream.
Machine learning, data security, blockchain and cryptocurrency, low-code/no-code, and growing demand for outsourcing are likely to change the landscape of software development in the coming years. In-house dev teams and outsourced teams alike must invest in nurturing these upcoming skills in developers as early as possible.