App development is changing as fast as the internet itself. And those changes go far beyond just moving from angular to titanium to the next development environment. The way apps are developed is being influenced by the very environment in which they exist. As the internet evolves, it is dictating how apps are developed and used.
Our industry has undergone quite an evolution in the decades since the internet became a publicly accessible network. From the earliest days of bulletin board and web browser software, developers have been working hard to keep up with the demands of internet users in concert with available technology.
Remember the days of dial-up internet access? That would never fly in 2017. The demand for high-speed broadband is one of the most profound changes we have seen over the years. But the evolution of the internet and app development runs far deeper. The question on the minds of many is, what does the future hold? What can we expect from the future of app development? Consider the following three possibilities:
1. IoT Technologies Become the New Standard
We have been hearing about the Internet of Things (IoT) for some time now. When the average consumer hears about the IoT, their thoughts immediately run to stories they have heard about refrigerators and microwaves talking to their makers when service is required. Such implementation is rather rudimentary by modern standards.
The IoT of 2017 is as robust and powerful as it has ever been. A clear example is the competition we now see between Amazon, Google, and other players to come up with a home automation hub that will eventually dominate the market in the same way Microsoft owns the desktop and Apple owns the tablet.
It is clear that developing for IoT technologies is becoming increasingly more important. It looks highly likely that IoT development will become the new standard at some point in the future. We may have already arrived there without even knowing it.
2. Nearshore Outsourcing Explodes
Outsourcing software development is nothing new. However, nearshore outsourcing is quickly overtaking its offshore counterpart as more and more providers are establishing themselves in strategic locations. In the U.S., we are relying more on nearshore providers in places like Mexico and Argentina. We are also relying more on the nearshore as a service (NaaS) model made popular by Austin-based iTexico. NaaS meets a need offshore cannot.
3. Coding Becomes More Specialized
There have been musings among industry observers that software coding, as a discipline, is on its way out. Nothing could be further from the truth. What some perceive as the death of coding is actually its evolution. Coding will never die because the internet and IoT could not survive without it. What we are likely to see in the future is not the demise of coding, but a model that is more highly specialized.
We are already seeing a trend among mobile app developers to specialize in one or two particular areas in which expertise is in high demand. Agile software development teams in 2017 are more likely to include a number of specialists working alongside full stack developers and other coders with more general knowledge. The need for specialists should only grow as the NaaS model becomes more prevalent.
Everything evolves over time, including the way software is developed. App development has certainly undergone tremendous changes coinciding with technology over the last four decades. There is no reason to believe that this evolution will cease. In fact, knowing what we now know indicates that the future looks bright.