Technological trends

Software development trends 2021

According to recent research conducted by Ey Global experts, the companies that choose to invest in new technologies and upcoming trends make more money for software development. To be more precise, by noticing the rapid changes in the software development labor market, many campaigns have already gone through full adaptation to new conditions.

When someone is looking at the emerging industries, it is easy to understand that most of them are based on software development. A good example is the UK, where 7 out of 10 fastest-growing industries based on revenue growth in 2021 are related to online business.

Most of the top emerging companies are part of the tech industry. Likewise, at the top of the Fortune-100 list in 2020, you will find businesses that depend on technology: Netflix, Amazon, Etsy, Appfolio, and Paylocity.

Due to the restrain of all processes during 2020, it is evident that 2021 began with a real boom in the software developer labor market.

For this reason, we decided to create analytic research for those emerging, rapid changes to the software development industry. We discussed with many development experts and asked them to share their views on what trends will shape 2021.

If you are about to hire an individual engineer or a development team, you are probably wondering what the future of hiring will look like. Accordingly, the most popular hiring models of 2021 are the first thing we will analyze in this article. Then, we are going to explore all the changes concerning programming and will try to understand what the programming development industry will look like in a year from now. After examining the changes in programming, we will analyze all the trends around technology. Moreover, we’ll talk about alternative solutions to website development, such as no-code development. Finally, we will analyze the trending software development niches, such as fintech, and the growth of alternative financing and investing solutions.

Thus, by the end of this article, you will be prepared for the future of software development and know everything about the upcoming trends in the industry.

What are the main software development trends of 2021?

Hiring trends

Rapid staff augmentation—YouTeam

Spring 2020, in terms of IT hiring, was one of the worst seasons in many years with a worldwide staff cut both in product companies and dev shops. And this year, the situation is quite the opposite: the demand for talented developers is higher than ever. Companies that have lost their tech resources last year now need to make up for them.

Besides these companies, there are many others that haven’t had tech teams before but need to move their business online to adapt to the lockdown realities.

There is also a third type, companies that try to finish their tech works on the product and be ready for launch by the time the restrictions are canceled.

We’re sure there even more types of companies and problems that are trying to be solved with a help of software development. All this leads to the immense demand for skilled engineers.

With this in mind, let’s move to the second aspect which marked this year—remote work. Most of the companies have mastered it during 2020. They were forced to invest in it during the first wave of the pandemic, but now they can benefit from it. They are no longer limited to a local talent market. So the whole world is open to them.

And the third aspect that characterizes 2021—lack of stability. In these circumstances, it’s hard to make big hiring plans about extending an in-house team. Especially when an average hiring time for one candidate is a couple of months.

Based on all mentioned above, it’s no surprise that IT staff augmentation became one of the most popular hiring forms among western companies. Staff augmentation means that a developer, who is officially employed by an outsourcing company (quite often in offshore countries), is transferred to the client’s team on a full-time basis without changing their physical location. Such developers are managed by the client and basically become a part of their team even though they work remotely. This cooperation lasts as long as the client has tasks for an offshore developer and can be stopped almost at any time, or at least way easier than contract termination with an in-house developer.

This approach is easy to scale and easy to downscale. And we see it as the main trend in IT hiring in 2021.

Programming trends

Growing Python popularity and its shortcomings—Alex Ptashniy, CTO at Integrio Systems

Python, which is the # 1 language for machine learning and the fastest-growing programming language, is predicted to continue to gain popularity in 2021. Mainly due to the huge number of ready-made libraries, as well as the flexibility and ease of coding. However, the ease of writing comes with a price—the difficulty of reading the code. Same to human languages, the less formal and structured a language is, the more difficult it is to understand.

JS frameworks are not the only option for the rich UI—Dmitriy Shcherbakan, Full Stack Engineer at Railsware

Even though developers use JavaScript frameworks to build modern UI, not everyone is satisfied with the additional complexity they bring to the application. This led to the emergence of new tools:

that allow you to leave HTML generation on the backend but make it as dynamic as if you would use some modern frontend framework.

Flutter development—Dmitry Mikheev, CEO at Appus Studio

Nowadays, applications developed using Flutter are becoming more popular among the customers with their more affordable prices and less time needed for the development. With their high performance and powerful UI (with the customizable widgets), Flutter apps bring to the users almost the same experience as the native applications do, leaving the variety of other cross-platform technologies behind. As a result, we’re getting more orders for Flutter applications, especially for startups. So, we truly believe that Flutter is the future of cross-platform app development.

Technological trends

Artificial Intelligence in web & mobile apps—Oleksii Tsymbal, Chief Innovation Officer at MobiDev

Due to the Statista report, by 2025, the artificial intelligence software market’s growth will reach $89 billion. AI will be intensively implemented in app development. It is already in use, but, frankly speaking, only on the primary level. In the future, it can be modified. Emerging AI solutions are suitable for Android and iOS and serve as the base for apps related to news, e-learning, chatbots, photo editing, video analytics, fitness, etc.

Cross-platform development — Viacheslav Petrenko, Chief Technology Officer at Litslink

When listing the top software development trends, cross-platform is the topic that cannot be overlooked. The hype around native applications has come to an end. Innovative multi-platform technologies, such as React Native or Flutter, allow building applications that could be run on several platforms and provide users with a seamless experience.

Since you don’t have to hire two development teams to build and maintain your product on different platforms, opting for cross-platform development may save you much time, money, and effort. With such impressive capabilities, multi-platform technologies will definitely be among the core software development trends in 2021 and beyond.

Trends in approaches to websites, apps development

No-code development — Ihor Feoktistov, CTO at Relevant

Allowing people who have little or no coding knowledge to create applications has become a competitive advantage of no-code solutions.

For sure, no-code won’t replace traditional coding. And to say the truth, it’s not the intention. The future of no-code lies in bridging the gap between professional programmers and business people. So that it is much easier to create MVP or POC products and therefore shorten the time it takes to go from an idea to a fully functional app.

Trending niches for software development

Fintech—Konstantin Boyko, CEO at JustCoded

The pandemic has uncovered issues in many sectors, including fintech. We see a positive trend in the online investment and crowdfunding domains as companies are struggling to get financing for further development or recovery. With more and more people becoming financially literate and wanting to diversify their investment portfolios, we think the demand for alternative financing and investing solutions will continue to grow.

Wrap up

It becomes obvious that software development will continue to adapt and change throughout 2021. In this article, we explored main the trends concerning software development.

We started by analyzing that staff augmentation and outsourced development are the future of software engineering and how all businesses benefit from these alternative hiring models. Then, we explored why JS frameworks are not the only option for a rich UI and discussed some alternatives.

Apart from that, two specialists helped us understand that Python and Flutter development have become very popular and why this popularity won’t fade soon. We explored how artificial intelligence and cross-platform technology will be a great part of software development in the future when it comes to technological trends.

We also analyzed how the development industry has allowed the appearance of no-code solutions. Finally, we explored how the pandemic has altered software development in many sectors, such as fintech.

As one of the leading tech industries, software development will rapidly change in the future, and businesses worldwide will follow those trends sooner or later.

Written by
Svetlana Shevchuk

Digital Marketing Specialist at YouTeam, a Y Combinator-backed marketplace for building remote dev teams.

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