January 19, 2023

What Is the Future of Software Development?


Software development has changed a lot in the last 10 years. Practically every company is a software company today. And it’s predicted that the next 10 years will have 10-times the change. But let’s take it one year at a time and look into the future of software development 2023. 

In this blog, we will discuss:

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What Is the Future of Software Development?

The future of software development is already here. It’s already happening in research labs. And it’s only a matter of time before it’s everywhere. 

This means that the future of software development is actually happening now, spurred on by organizational, economical, and political challenges. Let’s take a look at some of the current challenges software companies are dealing with to understand the future of software development.

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Current Challenges in Software Development

Systemic Industry Change

One of the largest challenges to software development is systemic industry change.  

When an average enterprise app development cycle is nine months, there is little room for deviation. However, an increase in regulations such as HIPAA and GDPR, and industry-specific requirements such as supporting consumer privacy or following green energy laws, have forced software companies to shift their processes very quickly.  

IDC predicts that IT leaders facing systemic industry changes will triple IT spend for new environments, but still struggle to meet required 6x gains in IT operational efficiency. They have their own roadmap already and then suddenly have new requirements to incorporate. So how do they try to keep up? They keep their options open in order to be as agile as possible.

Technology vs Business Mindset

Because of the short development lifecycle, it can be difficult to balance what is technologically important vs what is best for the business. Many times enterprise companies, to bridge this gap, will use open source or “out of the box” technology to glue together a business solution. This becomes harder to do at scale though, and makes it difficult to retain developer talent, which is the next challenge.

Hiring and Retaining Developer Talent

Developers, on a tight development cycle already, may struggle to incorporate these business solutions into their technology ones. And in an already competitive market, companies are hard-pressed to find the talent needed to deliver on time and up-to-standard. The advantage then goes to bigger companies who can afford to incentivize developers, leaving start-ups, indie game studios, and smaller companies to fend for themselves.

▶️ Related Resource: Solving the Java Developer Shortage

So now that we know what enterprise companies are up against, let’s dive into predictions of the directions they are going to keep up with demand, retain talent, and address systemic industry changes.

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Predictions For the Future of Software Development

1. Safety Will Be Paramount

Thirty years ago, cars were a means of getting from point A to point B. Now, cars are traveling infotainment centers. While we may not see fully autonomous vehicles becoming the normal just yet, we will see a rise in electric vehicles and more technically advanced vehicles such as Tesla’s self-driving cars.

To visualize, the average car has upwards of 100 million lines of code, whereas ten years ago, the average car had around 10 million lines of code. Autonomous vehicles are getting to 500 million lines. With boundless room for error – and when an error can cause immense damage in the case of a malfunctioning vehicle – it’s more important than ever to develop safe, clean code. To do so, companies can use static code analysis tools such as Helix QAC to meet the increasingly rigorous regulations for automotive compliance.

📘 Related Resource: A Guide to Functional Safety and Compliance

2. Digital Economy to Become Standard

In 2022 we saw a boom and bust in cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), both of which use blockchain technology. We will see this trend stabilize and blockchain to play a prominent role in the growing digital economy. In fact, IDC predicts that by 2027 over 70% of consumer activities — such as gaming, content creation, and eCommerce — will in some way use blockchain technology.

We are already seeing billions invested in NFTs in the form of artwork, real estate, movies, and more, especially in the metaverse.

This move to a fully digital economy is spurred by the boom in internet accessibility. From 2020 to 2023, an estimated 2 billion more people will become internet users. And when these people get online, they will want to stream entertainment and buy products. We can expect to see then, a rise in demand for jobs in the virtual production arena. And for virtual production companies, this causes a bigger need for tools such as Helix Core that can handle global collaboration, scale at an enterprise level, and manage thousands of digital files and code.  

📘 Related Resource: Virtual Reality Retail: Next-Gen Shopping Experience

3. A Shift to Alternative Energy Sources

It’s no surprise that increased attention to climate change has resulted in investments toward alternative energy. And with technology practices such as cryptocurrency mining having a devastating environmental impact, this couldn’t come sooner.

In 2023, we expect to see significant gains in R&D for geothermal energy and fusion power. Companies such as General Fusion and TAE Technologies are already making strides in harnessing fusion power. From a software development perspective, these efforts require scalable tech that can handle high-performance computing software. Tools like TotalView can, and should, be used to debug complex code at scale.

4. Quantum Computing will Be a Game-Changer

Quantum computers are already emerging. But they will change life as we know it in the next 10 years.

You can do a lot more with a quantum computer in certain applications than you can with typical computing. And there are even new programming languages being invented to help you program a quantum computer (for instance, QDK from Microsoft).

Quantum computing is already being used. Volkswagen is working on citywide traffic management using quantum computing for every car, pedestrian, and light.

5. Gains to Be Made in Biotechnology

Health technology is a multi-billion-dollar industry, and we can expect to see more funds allocated here in 2023. Advances in biotech already taking off include improvements to human genome sequencing, which offers a cheap and fast way to alter and test DNA.

Another area to watch is the use of robots and AI in healthcare. Robotic-assisted surgery has been around for a while, but is quickly becoming more commonplace in the operating room. Some companies are even testing fully robotic surgery. Going back to our first prediction, we know how important it is for these companies to ensure the utmost safety and security of their products, which is why a static analysis tool like Klocwork is important to meet rigorous (and ever-changing) compliance.

📘 Related Resource: Medical Device Security Best Practices

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Get Ready for the Future of Software Development — Today

From self-driving cars to fully robotic surgeries, the future of software in 2023 shows less reliance on human labor and more on AI and computers. Less human labor on the consumer side, that is, as software developers will be in high demand to ensure the safety of these products.

As a developer or head of a company, you know the time to get ready for the future of software development is today. You will have to be 10-times faster than you were last year. So:

  • Invest in your future and learn the new stuff.
  • Keep up and don't reinvent wheels.
  • Use everything — open source, commercial, services, and enterprise cloud.

Remember: You are going to have more software and bigger software. This means more lines of code, more files, more developers, more geographies, more APIs, more mobile apps, and more open source.

Use the tools to help you get there, to help deal with that DevOps at scale — and do faster, better.

How Perforce Solutions Will Help

Perforce solutions can help you prepare for the future of software development today.

Our solutions include:

See for yourself how the power of Perforce solutions can help you drive the future of software development. Get free trials — and get started today.



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