In 2018, 8base discussed the crucial role of citizen developers in the future of application development. Citizen developers are defined as “employees who are driven by their own initiative and desire to move their companies forward”, creating new applications for their peers to use while operating within their corporate environments. Because of obstacles such as difficulty securing IT budgets and a lack of direct communication with business leaders, low-code development environments started to emerge. This enabled companies like 8base to provide those with limited coding proficiency the ability to develop and host applications on their own terms, without the need for contracts between third-party developers and in-house engineers. Removing the need for an intermediary enables citizen developers greater freedom to create and innovate, transforming the future landscape of app development. This year, based on what we've seen in 2019, we’re coming up with a new list of trends that are expected to continue rising in popularity this 2020.
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
Although AI and ML-powered tools are already present across multiple industries, it looks like their popularity is accelerating even faster than before. Tech Times reports that “the global AI software market is expected to grow 154 percent to an astounding size of $14.7 billion,” cementing its place as a dominant player in the worldwide market. One popular example is the chatbot feature found on most websites today. This AI feature enables visitors to ask questions and addresses their basic concerns, just like a typical customer service representative. In addition, prescriptive analytics provides businesses with solutions based on quickly collecting and interpreting huge amounts of data—a task that humans would take much longer to do, with much less room for error.
2. Progressive Web Applications (PWAs)
Mobile versions of websites can sometimes take forever to load and have a bunch of glitches, but we finally have a solution. Progressive web apps load on browsers, but they make it feel as if you’re using a native mobile application. They can load content much faster and more efficiently than regular websites and can provide the same web security protocols. Plus, they provide benefits for both businesses and users. Along with an improved user experience comes the possibility of saving time and money with a cross-compatible PWA, according to Medium. With an overall increase in user engagement and satisfaction, there’s no doubt that more and more companies are setting their sights on PWAs.
3. Internet of Things (IoT)
Statistics from DEV shows that IoT devices are one of the most rapidly growing areas in the field of technology, the number of which is projected to increase to 21 billion within the next five years. Examples of these include Smart TVs, Smart Homes, and Smart Cars that are wired to have internet connectivity. This enables you to play a song or dim the lights with a simple voice command, from the comfort of your sofa. It’s no wonder that an increasing number of consumers are purchasing these devices, leading to further interest in IoT systems development. If you’re willing to specialize in IoT, you’d need to have a strong grasp of cloud computing, automation, and data analytics.
From studying these trends, it’s clear that software development is growing into an unstoppable industry. Statistics from Maryville University show that by 2024, 1.1 million computing-related job openings are expected to develop, making that competitive edge even more vital for software development professionals. The projected increase in job growth of 14 percent from 2014 to 2024 corresponds with the high demands of the software market. As a result, staying ahead of the technological curve and becoming an expert at these fast-paced trends is essential for both businesses and app developers. For the ambitious developer, we recommend our Developer Acceleration Platform to improve and power the process of app creation. For entrepreneurs, startups, and large companies, 8base can also provide consulting and development services from app ideation to creation.
* Written exclusively for 8base.com by Margo Sweet