Top 5 software development trends in 2022
Thu, Sep 1, 2022 •5 min read
After a pandemic that fundamentally altered the shape of global society and the war in Ukraine that shook economies worldwide, we find ourselves at an interesting moment in the history of software development. Organizations have come to rely on digital infrastructure, and practically every company that wants to achieve its key business goals needs to invest in some form of software development today.
To address these needs, software engineers must combine technical skills with an innovative mindset. Luckily, software engineering as a domain is developing in ways that help them do that - and capture business value in the form of software products.
Where is software development going this year? Which trends are driving it? Keep reading to discover the key trends in software development in 2022.
Table of contents:
Cloud computing expansion
API providers are growing
Microservice architecture is a go-to
Custom middleware is still here
Process automation advances
1. Cloud computing expansion
COVID-19 caused a massive shift in the business world. Cloud computing technologies were there to support businesses forced to downsize or expand their remote work capabilities. More than 90% of respondents in one survey said that their cloud usage increased due to the pandemic.
That period also showed how useful the cloud could be when businesses need to downscale. For example, the travel industry took a hit due to decreased activity during the pandemic, and companies using cloud services didn't need to maintain expensive data centers when teams didn't need them anymore. Even though global IT spending decreased in 2020, cloud spending grew by more than 6% to a total of over $258 billion that year alone. And the future looks bright for the market.
As cloud spending continues to increase and overtakes half of all IT spending, we will see more and more companies adopt virtualized infrastructures and tooling, which offers a more agile solution to many needs. The idea of cloud-hosted, dynamic virtual machines was powerful, but it was just the first brush stroke on a rapidly evolving canvas.
PaaS and serverless functions are the next steps in this advancement. We can also see diversification and specialization of solutions happening today - a vertical and horizontal development. Virtualized infrastructure allows innovative actors to develop higher-order solutions in areas such as API hosting and API providers.
And speaking of APIs…
2. API providers are growing
State-of-the-art API hosting providers offer a serverless infrastructure hosted on top of the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) layers. They represent a new level of specialization of that infrastructure, targeted at a certain universe of use cases.
Modern virtual infrastructure provides a high degree of abstraction, enabling organizations to harness powerful tools with relatively little effort. Using an API in conjunction with code integration support and a web-based management console makes it easy for developers to integrate such tools into their applications. We can see that the age of cloud platforms has paved the way for something new, at least around hosting and providing APIs.
3. Microservice architecture is a go-to
The shift toward microservice architectures will continue to grow as they become better understood. The amonolithic architecture paradigm clearly didn't work. It prevented teams from fully capitalizing on the potential inherent in cloud computing, and microservice architectures imply removing a DevOps burden that is definitely far from trivial.
Microservices act as a process-scaling enabler and a complexity magnifier at the same time. Any innovations that look to encompass new directions in technology - such as APIs as a service, frontend evolution, and custom middleware - will have to account for the complexity of microservice architectures.
4. Custom middleware is still here
Much of the work in the cloud world today involves integrating existing tools and uniting APIs, which will always require some amount of custom programming at a middleware level. Luckily, automation is here to help developers address this rapidly-changing tooling landscape. Server-side languages such as Rust and frameworks like JHipster are exciting developments in this area.
Existing solutions like Java, Node.js, and Python (and their related frameworks) work well in the environment and are constantly evolving to help teams face real-world demands. Just as infrastructure-as-a-service continues to be a vital layer in serverless computing, middleware code will be important for the foreseeable future.
5. Process automation advances
Automating software processes is becoming increasingly important for its ability to package and deliver best practices. In this scene, we can see a clear focus on customized solutions. Every organization has something unique about it, so there is value in distilling what works well for tech giants like Google and Microsoft and capturing it in solutions that work for teams of all sizes and types.
CI/CD solutions and testing frameworks are good examples of where process automation tools are zeroing in on developer activities. Version control services like GitHub also fall into this category. Process automation will play a crucial part in the future of software.
Each of the software development trends we described above is a force for change. Together, they paint a compelling picture that promises a new kind of developer experience. While the future direction of software development isn't clear, there's one thing we can be sure of: it's an exciting time to be a software engineer!