As the year draws to a close, analysts are beginning to reflect on 2013's dominant tech narratives and explore how the IT world is set to evolve in 2014. Software is at the center of these trends, and developers may find themselves adapting to new realities in the year ahead. Among the pressures developers can expect are a greater emphasis on flawless launches, a shift toward simplified development for a broader base of employees and increased focus on enterprise app development as companies look for more secure alternatives to consumer apps.
Focus on the flawless launch
The uproar and high-profile hubbub surrounding the flawed launch of HealthCare.gov is not something that businesses should be taking lightly, Icreon Tech COO Devanshi Garg explained in a recent feature for IT Business Edge. In 2014, there is likely to be greater pressure from people across the enterprise to ensure seamless launches for new software products. With more eyes on them, developers will find it important to use tools such as source code analysis software to catch coding errors before their products launch.
Growth in development, but from new sources
A recent study from IDC took stock of the worldwide developer population, which currently stands at around 11 million professionals and 7.5 million hobbyists, or people who code primarily in their free time. Those numbers are expected to grow slowly but steadily. However, software development is likely to see some new players as well, as a shift continues from code-centric to configuration-centric application development and other new development models are adopted. As a wider variety of people begins to experiment with building applications, the developers behind the core components of those applications will have an additional responsibility to ensure code is running smoothly and software security remains a priority.
Changes in user interfaces
The past year saw a variety of shifts in the way consumers physically interact with technology, from high-profile launches of smart watches to the inclusion of a fingerprint sensor in the iPhone. Expanded uses of biometrics, facial recognition and other interface functions are likely to continue, pushing developers to reconsider UI design and integrate a broader range of inputs into their software. With these new pressures, developers will also be able to benefit from tools that help catch the growing variety of possible logical errors and offer checks to help with issues such as FDA compliance.
Expansion of enterprise app marketplaces
As BYOD trends become cemented as an inescapable reality of modern business, companies will likely shift their attention toward making sure their employees have access to approved apps. That means more activity in the enterprise app store, Garg noted. It also means new opportunities for developers to roll out more secure alternatives to popular applications and new pressures to make sure these enterprise apps are thoroughly vetted from a software security standpoint.
With these trends driving the way that businesses look at incorporating software, developers will encounter pressure to adapt accordingly. Some things will remain constant, though: The need for functional, secure applications will continue and grow, giving developers a strong incentive to seek out and eliminate errors in the apps they build.
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