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3 Emerging Software Engineering Trends 2021


Three things that are on the horizon in 2021 and beyond in the software engineering space are App Development platforms, Modern Development Languages and Cloud methodologies. In this article, we’ll discuss LCDP, Rust and Cloud Native.

LCDP is a way to plug the skills shortage in app development, an out of the box solutions that have pre-programmed functions that only require the logic of a programmer to insert them into an application rather than having to write the syntax. This platform is a one-stop shop for app development at speed without having formal software engineering training. An obvious need considering the shortage of talent in the STEM areas.

Rust has grown massively, from a language that had little resources and libraries at its disposal to become a massively exciting language that is multi-purpose, from IoT to web app development.

While Digital Transformation is an obvious trend these days with many small, medium and large enterprises, becoming cloud-ready is key. Cloud Native is a way of integrating Microservices, DevOps, Containers and dynamic cloud management. Let's look at these three emerging trends in further detail:

Emerging Software Engineering Trends 2021

1. Low Code Development Platforms – the answer to the skill gap problem.

LCDP (low code development platform) have been evangelised as a solution to fill in the skill gap that is pushing overworked software engineering teams to breaking point. LCDP or Low Code/No-Code platforms enable people with no hands-on programming experience, but who do have basic knowledge base of software engineering principles, to develop apps.

This kind of programming allows companies to create apps/platforms quicker and eliminates the more tedious/arbitrary development tasks. These platforms use similar logic that developers would use but instead of writing syntax, you have a visual interface that enables a drag and drop feature of pre coded elements. It is indeed a one stop shop for companies wanting to build web apps without having a huge team of engineers.

For example, you can drag and drop an email function or log in function into your app without hard coding it. Some common low/no code platforms include Creaio, Mendix, Appian etc.

2. Rust - “what C++ would be if C++ was created in 2020.”

Rust is part of a group of languages called “Modern Programming Languages”. These modern programming languages are defined as a language created to utilise everything within modern computer architecture. For example, the use of cloud/containers, large data driven environments, rapid networking, Mobile devices etc.

Older languages like Java/C++/Python were created before modern software engineering elements, which means they had to be tweaked to be able fit the modern paradigms like cloud computing. Modern Development Languages on the other hand were created with the future in mind and take full advantage of all modern-day practices.

Rust has a larger ecosystem these days and is favoured by a range of developers including developers who want to ensure tighter security protocols, system programmers, game programmers and embedded engineers.

Rust has had massive investment which has led to more and more frameworks and libraries for Rust to make it multi-faceted and suitable for a multitude of different things. Rust use case examples include: Microsoft IoT Edge uses Rust in their Opensource projects or you can build a web app with Rocket, a web framework for Rust.

A new language, Rust is not an offshoot of any other language so there is a huge learning curve. There aren’t as many reference points, like someone coming from a Java background and learning Scala for example, so anyone learning it will have to really do their homework. A good site to get up to speed on all things Rust is Hackr.

3. Cloud-Native – enabling better digital transformation.

Cloud computing is a service that is outsourced by companies to take the burden off running and using systems. Cloud Native is a paradigm shift on how you develop software and architecture.

It enables a better digital transformation and re-architecture of how you deliver your services. Most companies have a multi-cloud strategy but have a preferred vendor and it is recommended to keep a multi-cloud strategy within the Cloud Native model.

Cloud Native adds processes and tooling at the organisational level to take advantage of the unique aspects of cloud. Cloud Native was a paradigm designed with completely utilising the power that cloud computing provides, so within the Cloud Native paradigm you have a number of facets needed to make a company’s application development truly cloud native.

For example, at its core is Microservices architecture, Containerisation, CI/CD(DevOps) and everything is dynamically managed in cloud. These cloud native apps are built in cloud native friendly platforms like Pivotal Cloud Foundry and K8S.

Cloud-Native apps are so flexible that small updates or extra services can be pushed to the end-user without impacting the end user’s app experience. A software engineering recruitment trend on the rise within large organisations this year.

Overall, in terms of hiring, a big trend we’re noticing these days is that larger companies are hiring a multitude of software engineers for their core engineering expertise rather than their respective language proficiency.

Many companies are employing language-agnostic technical tests, so if a company is hiring in bulk for Python or Java engineers, for example, they can consider engineers from other tech stacks and assess their engineering skills that transcend languages. Meaning a solid knowledge of software engineering principles is assessed alongside aptitude and attitude to acquire new technologies, rather than a specific language skill.

If you’re interested in learning more about software engineering job opportunities or the industry in Ireland get in touch. Cpl Technology has a team of software engineering experts and we’d be happy to advise.