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The next big thing in development?

In GLiNTECH's recent Future of Software Development in Australia survey for 2012/13, we asked 'the following question: What do you believe is the 'next big thing' in Software Development?'. What follows is some general analysis of the responses to that question. You can also view the full report by clicking glintech_the_future_of_software_development_survey_report_2011-12.pdf.

Asking people to predict the future always provides for interesting reading. In this case, while there were a few comments that perhaps questioned the intended logic of the question - “what is the current ‘big thing’ in software?” and “every new technology is a ‘big thing’” - most respondents had quite specific ideas about what they thought we’d be seeing more of in the future.

The most common responses could be grouped into the general areas of Mobile, Cloud and HTML5. This remained fairly consistent with responses in last year’s survey when the same question was asked.

Mobile as the ‘next big thing’ incorporated several key aspects. Many respondents suggested, in simple terms, that "the mobilising of software products can be seen as a developing trend” with others elaborating further and saying “while it is not necessarily new, mobile is the next big thing [and] applications that try to shoehorn existing applications into mobile, rather that developing mobile applications, are going to suffer”. This idea was further emphasised in comments about the general rise of mobile devices globally which, according to some, means we’re likely to see more of the same solutions, but “primarily in handheld devices”.

In addition to the argument for mobile-specific development, several other responses predicted an increased importance in cross-platform compatibility, suggesting “the integration technology which can cater for various [mobile] devices in a uniformed way will be the next big thing” and that “smart devices will be at the fore and solutions will need to perform in this space”.

In conjunction with mobile development, there were regular references to Cloud, particularly in regards to integration of the two areas. Comments such as “cloud application integration”, “developing applications running on the cloud” and “an increasing convergence of services, the cloud and mobile applications” were indicative of the thinking in that theme. Cross-platform and UI development using HTML 5 also featured, particularly related to mobile integration and the development of rich applications.

Aside from those main response trends, there were a host of other interesting predictions for the ‘next big thing’, ranging from Behaviour Driven Development, Continuous Delivery, Big Data, Security, Augmented Reality and Bioinformatics, amongst others.

This year, social media got mentioned as a big thing in terms of leading the way in providing a “rich user experience and personalisation” and “blending social media with transaction systems”.

As with last year’s survey, some believe offshoring will be the next big thing with comments like “it’s doomed in Australia” and “no jobs for Aussies as all of them will be offshored”. Conversely, some commented that a big thing would be that “outsourcing projects will come back and more development will be done in house”.


glintech_the_future_of_software_development_survey_report_2011-12.pdf to view the full Future of Software Development in Australia 2012/13 report. Feel free to discuss the report on twitter by following @GLiNTECH or using the hashtag #FODSD.