Software development in 2017 and what’s in store for 2018
2017 has been the year in which different technologies have been consolidated, such as React or Node.js, which will continue to be of critical importance in the future. Mobile developments continue to be a stable pillar, but new technologies are arising as the keys to the future after 2018.
Virtual and augmented reality
Augmented or mixed reality will go beyond the video game sector and become one of the fields with the highest demand for professionals. According to Goldman Sachs, the global VR and AR sector is expected to reach 80 billion dollars by 2025. The sector will offer consumer solutions, tools for the health, general entertainment and video game industries, but also for the creation of additional interfaces.
The launch of mixed reality for Windows 10 and smartphones with ARCore for Android and ARKit for iOS will open new doors and windows for the development of new applications and for the conversion of traditional applications, adapting them to the new paradigms. In addition, new platforms, such as Magic Leap, or dedicated platforms such as Facebook's Oculus or Valve's SteamVR, will have a lot to say in the technologies (hardware and software) that define 2018.
If investors embrace cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin or ethereum, this will open the door to one of the biggest opportunities for innovation in years. Companies like IBM or Microsoft have embraced the technology and are not the only ones. According to Juniper, 57% of the large companies worldwide are considering the implementation of their own solutions based on blockchain.
Therefore, any type of company, not only tech companies, will have to hire or build their own tools. According to IBM, in 2016 there were already 5,000 professionals worldwide working in the blockchain field, but the demand for new programmers, engineers and experts is so high that it exceeds the supply. In particular, Visa is hiring programmers specializing in ethereum, ripple, R3 or bitcoin and its blockchain developments.
Internet of Things
The so-called IoT has been here for a long time, but new radio technologies, such as Bluetooth 5 or 5G, will connect almost any element that needs to be connected or improve its performance when connected. The costs are low and there are many opportunities.
The demand for new areas of specialization will be created, from fields like Edge Computing, to the analysis of the data gathered by these devices, including the creation of complex telecommunication priority establishing algorithms. Amazon's solutions, such as Greengrass, or Microsoft's Azure Stack are the pioneers for 2018.
A field as vast as automatic learning allows us to innovate in many different fields, those that were not accessible to the technologies available a few years ago. For instance, the latest report of CB Insights revealed the potential of these technologies in the health sector. From digitizing our personal details to new biotechnology tools and therapies, including the creation of new medical devices.
All of these elements will require teams of multidisciplinary developers and experts in very specialized fields. However, by no means will health be the only sector benefiting from automatic learning. Any other sector with vast amounts of data that can be gathered can be transformed from top to bottom.
With the arrival of PSD2 and open APIs, the financial market will require more consolidated companies to analyze savings and identify potential benefits for their clients. According to Dmitry Budko, founder of Mediant LLC, IA can make the financial services industry "more stable and efficient", mentioning a few examples in other less prominent sectors, such as agriculture, and others in which pressure is higher, such as robotics and personal assistants.
As regards funding, 11.7 billion dollars were raised in 367 agreements with the 100 leading startups of the sector, proof of a constantly changing sector. But that is not all. The main sources of funding come from large tech companies. According to McKinsey, Baidu and Google already invested between 20 and 30 billion dollars in 2016, with 2017 figures yet to be calculated. According to IDC, these figures will reach 57 billion dollars in the cognitive system sector by 2021, with the creation of 30,000 new jobs for highly-qualified professionals.
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