Software development in 2012, three-wise predictions?

After our yuletide festivities and an extensive round of “how was 2011?” analysis, it seems only appropriate to make at least two or three predictions for the year ahead.

Inside the software development ecosphere we find a world of shifting data transport channels right now.

What we mean by this assertion is that social media, cloud computing and massively “empowered” (yuk! – sorry) mobile devices are all impacting the way data is delivered.

So what’s ahead for us in 2012?

Personal jet packs, hoverboards and holographic TVs are clearly not going to arrive anytime between now and the end of the year. So what will impact our immediate technology futures?


Lorne Cooper is CEO of software change management company AccuRev. Cooper suggests that the year ahead will see hordes of software specialists jump upon the Agile development methodology bandwagon. The problem here is that as many of 50% of these Agile proponents will get it wrong and just end up delivering buggy code to their customers, that is late and missing committed functionality.

Cooper calls this the “Going Agile Without Knowing How” problem and says it is probably an “inevitable result of the success the early-adopter teams had with Agile” methods.

In his other predictions, AccuRev’s Cooper says that mobile development will still be small. “

Yes, mobile is really big and moving fast. It’s just that the great majority of the work to support useful mobile apps remains in the back office. When we’re finished inventing new ways to swipe our coffee-stained fingers across our screens, the value of the great majority of our apps is back in the glass house, running Java and C++ on big ‘ole honking (virtualised) servers.”

Finally, Cooper says that the gap between professionals and amateurs will now grow.

“As application complexity grows, as the platforms become more complex and development environments become richer, the professional advantage becomes more significant.

There isn’t much of a disadvantage in time-to-market for the young developer, maybe working on his laptop with open source tools and no identifiable process. The difference between them and a team of experienced professionals, working with industrial strength tools and procedures and building apps that run businesses on virtualised hardware in a web connected world, is in value created,” says Cooper.

We’ve heard so many reports of buggy, unmaintainable, badly architected software and vendors claiming that their particular tools can bring an end to developers’ woes.

Perhaps 2012 will be bring an end to some of the white noise and provide us with some much needed clarity.

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