Emerging Trends That Will Shape the Future of the Software Development Industry
The Software Development Industry
Software development is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world and developers are in high demand all across the globe. All industries change over time, but the software development field is unique in that it is always in a state of constant flux. Developers and companies are tripping over themselves trying to create innovative features and set trends across the industry. As the field continues to evolve, a few trends have emerged that could herald significant changes for not only the software products themselves but also the developers who create them. Let’s take a look at some of these trends and what they could mean for the industry as a whole.
Innovative Self-Starters Versus Task Completers
A few years ago, you were considered a high-performing employee if you managed to get your given tasks completed correctly, on-time, and with little supervision. Now, the most desirable and sought-after employees are the ones who are willing to take risks and can take the initiative on their own to come up with creative solutions. The importance of proactively identifying and solving issues via creative solutions will become more obvious as the industry continues to grow. Companies are beginning to understand the value of an entrepreneurial drive over the ability to merely perform a given task with minimal error. Why? Because robots and programs can do those tasks faster and more efficiently, but they can never be as creative and innovative as humans.
A Collaborative Mindset
Software development experience, academic excellence, and a strong work ethic are all well and good, but software development firms also rely heavily on teamwork and collaboration. Being well educated and having a strong skill set is significantly hampered if you are unable to articulate your ideas to others. Collaboration also greatly increases your problem-solving potential by bringing fresh pairs of eyes who may interpret an issue differently. This allows you to approach problems from multiple angles and find creative solutions to deliver the highest quality product. If your development team works together like a well-oiled machine with each person playing the role of a gear, your efficiency and consistency will vastly improve across the board.
Specializing Versus Generalizing
As we shift into a data-driven world with telemetry and constant live feedback, companies are able to quickly push new features out and iterate on them based on the end user’s needs. This leads to a more spontaneous development process and may require the developer to acquaint themselves with new or unfamiliar technology. Being a jack of all trades who’s unafraid to learn new skills to get things done will become an immensely valued skill as the pace of technological development picks up. This is not to say that specialists will become irrelevant, but as the software development field continues to expand, the need for generalists will be much larger.
A Global Vision
Thinking globally is an incredibly important part of software development, both in terms of the people who produce and consume your product. Are you developing a product to be used in a single region or globally? What is the user’s native language? Is your software compatible with their devices? Will it function well on different internet speeds? As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, these are all especially important questions that software development companies need to ask themselves when designing something new.
Having a global vision extends also to your co-workers and counterparts at other firms around the world. According to Pew Research, Millennials are now the nation’s largest generation in the workforce, and one of their main focuses is workplace flexibility. Quite often this means software development teams will have several members that work from multiple places or even remotely. The CEO of massive software development firm Citrix has even claimed that within the next few years 50% of the workforce will become remote. This emphasizes just how important it is to work effectively with people from different backgrounds, and the ability to welcome diversity of thought will become critical.
Non-Traditional Career Advancement
Typically, career advancement has been mainly linear; an employee starts off at the bottom of the ladder in a junior position, where they slowly climb up to a mid-level role, then to a senior-level role, and so forth. In today’s world where businesses need to be agile to meet the needs of their customers, career progression may instead go horizontally, laterally, or diagonally. This sort of career lattice gives companies a more ‘flat’ organizational structure that can rapidly shift to respond to any project head-on. That agility keeps developers competitive and at the forefront of technology, always ready to adapt and thrive in the future of software development. It also keeps the developers themselves engaged by offering a variety of opportunities and challenges, two things that a younger workforce finds paramount for happiness. Having this sort of progression system opens up so many potential job roles for each employee’s potential career path, instead of limiting them to only the job directly above them on the ladder.
The Future of Software Firms
The world of software development is ever-changing and highly competitive. As the industry evolves, some trends fade away while others become the norm. From the smallest tech start-ups to the biggest development firms, all will need to keep an eye out for the newest trends so they may react dynamically to meet the needs of consumers. By leveraging the most sought after features and approaches, software developers can keep themselves at the forefront of the industry. These previously-discussed trends are critically important when considering hiring a new developer or assessing a potential employer.
At Lithios we value outside opinions. This blog was written by one of our guest bloggers.