Reordering ideas and understanding what a software developer does today but, above all, understanding what they should do is not only advisable, it is fundamental. If you are an ISV but you don’t have a turnover equal to that of the biggest (Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, names like that) you should take two minutes, look in the mirror and ask yourself where you want to go.
These reflections on what a software developer does in 2020 are not the result of mystical shocks but can be inferred from the main trends in the technology market. If today we hear nothing but Cloud, Artificial Intelligence, IoT, it is easy for the survival of ISVs and freelance developers to depend on how well they can ride these trends.
We will analyze them one by one, drawing up a list of 5 essential trends, hoping that they will be implemented quickly, otherwise the business of ISVs and small and medium-sized Software Houses would be heavily affected.
What Does a Software Developer Do Today? Certainly Not Proprietary Code
Let’s get things straight: developing proprietary software products today is not advisable. The time of the unique and unrepeatable [product name] that solves a few corporate headaches has ended for years, today, perhaps, what is saved is the sector of mobile apps. But not all of them.
Enough even with the old licensing model, which has contributed so much to make the owner’s fleet of vintage cars flourish. Today the software is a service and the taxes of the past, updates, assistance, maintenance, must be transparent to the client company.
But it’s not all bad news. The good news is that, according to Forrester’s Jay McBain, we shouldn’t be surprised if the number of companies developing software reaches one million by 2027. A significant increase is given that the ISVWorld site registered 175 thousand in 2018.
Do you want more data? According to Gartner, the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market could reach $ 113 billion in total value by 2021. Again, an average company uses 70 to 124 applications in SaaS.
In AWS, Amazon’s cloud, there are thousands of applications, Microsoft claims that Azure has 100 million active users and Salesforce expects to soon reach the trillion dollars in business generated thanks to the ecosystem of partners and developers. Finally, around 5 million apps run in the two reference mobile marketplaces (Apple Store, Google Play Store).
Given the numbers and served the appetizer, we just have to move on to the 5 trends that will define what a developer does today, the one who understood that we must change direction, immediately.
5 Trends To Ride To Transform Into An ISV In Line With Market Needs
What does it mean to develop for the cloud? Mainly it means choosing one or two cloud platforms (AWS and Azure for example) and specializing in the development of applications to be included in the two marketplaces. At the same time, the good developer knows that customers will need him when they decide to move their application platform to the cloud. So first: get certified as a cloud developer.
What do you know about development for connected devices and apparatuses, not much? You should delve into the subject. Today, manufacturing companies, and beyond, need you. Here too it is often a problem of integration code, of application connectors that allow machines to communicate and exchange data within a company network. It’s Industry 4.0 and it can’t be done without software.
Security is one of the pillars of Digital Transformation. Without adequate protection and declined according to a modern approach, a client company is finished. Here, perhaps, of pure code, it takes little, above all you need competence and high engineering skills to correct and fix bugs, errors, and Web services.
4. Progressive Web App
As mentioned, the mobile App market is perhaps too healthy. Instead of wasting time making the little tool hoping it will climb the charts despite the crowded competition, it may be smarter to focus on PWAs. It is a mobile app development model that focuses on unifying the user experience from a browser or an app on a smartphone. A PWA does not depend on the device and is the best that companies from different sectors can request, retail is one of them.
5. Artificial Intelligence
AI is everywhere and should not be underestimated. Developing in this context does not mean building billions of lines of code to produce a software or data management service that probably someone older than us has already distributed. Instead, it is a matter of specializing in everything needed to make the data transit and match from one application to another without asking the customer to throw them away (integrators and connectors, API). And it’s about customizing standard consoles and interfaces according to the wishes and needs of client companies.
In conclusion, what does a software developer do today? First, he rolls up his sleeves, gets back to studying, and invests in a couple of key certifications. Immediately, because client companies are no longer waiting.