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1. Development in the Cloud
More cloud-based collaborative development environments are emerging. The Github Codespaces cloud development environment allows developers to stay productive and work from anywhere on Earth.
Remote collaboration is becoming easier, with sessions that can be accessed directly from a browser. Software developers use the same code space for short-term tasks and for creating new features.
Cloud environments give developers several benefits:
- The time it takes to connect to new projects or tasks is reduced.
- The performance of cloud-based development environments grows, often even better than on-premises environments.
- It’s quick and easy to switch between a browser-based editor and a cloud-based environment.
- The cost of cloud-based development solutions goes down. For example, in GitHub Codespaces, the developer only pays for the time and resources he uses, as long as he is active and uses Azure computing power.
- Codesharing, regardless of what application the developer creates, what language he programs in or what operating system he or she uses, the project can be shared with any of his or her colleagues. No one needs to give up their favorite tools.
2. Mixed and Virtual Reality
In contrast to pure VR, mixed reality has a more applied nature because it is not only entertainment. In particular, mixed reality can be used by developers for their professional activities.
For example, it is possible to work with complex models during their training. Mixed reality allows taking into account many factors of real life. Professionals can also create high-quality photorealistic renderings in mixed reality for applications such as architecture, product design, manufacturing, and many others.
The Windows Holographic platform, presented at the Build 2015 technology conference, has changed how we interact with the digital world, which every day is becoming not just an additional reality but an important foundation of modern civilization.
An example is an AirSim simulator. It simulates drone flight in ambient conditions with great detail. In fact, it is a cross-platform open-source project based on the Unreal Engine. AirSim is based on simulating the physics of multicopter flight.
The program can generate a three-dimensional drone environment with realistic physics and appearance and load other Unreal Engine maps.
3. Open Source
Finding teams for particular projects is becoming easier thanks to collaborative development web services such as GitHub. Most IT projects are no longer isolated. Any new project is usually already integrated and connected to existing projects, sometimes many.
Large corporations turn toward open source and increasingly recognize developers’ contributions around the world to a common cause.
It is open-source and has been the source of software innovation. The reason for this success is simple. Open-source operating systems retain a leading position in the corporate sector. The use of such open-source projects is predicted to grow even further. Besides, the use of open-source platforms such as Docker and Kubernetes is growing these days.
4. Quantum Computing
In 2017, a brand new programming language, Q#, was released. Also, Microsoft released a free version of the Quantum Development Kit that year. It includes a computing emulator that runs in an on-premises environment and the Azure cloud.
Developers were given access to the next step in computing power’s technological development, and these are quantum computers. It is these powerful tools that humanity will need to calculate complex mathematical models and solve complex multiparameter problems. That means we need to train as many specialists as possible to write software for them in Q#.
At the Build 2019 conference, Microsoft presented open-source compilers and simulators in Q#, which was the next step in developing a new community and made quantum computing more accessible. The Quantum Development Kit has been downloaded over 200,000 times in a year.
5. Low Code Development
Low code development is not only not losing its relevance but is becoming more and more in demand. Its main advantage is not even technological. It democratizes the industry. In fact, anyone can become a developer.
To create a software product, special platforms are used. They have ready-made tools and software code modules. The most popular low-code platforms are PlantAnApp, PowerApps, and Power Automate from Microsoft.
6. Artificial intelligence for Everyone
The democratization of AI has a positive impact on the industry because it empowers developers by making their ideas more feasible. Over the past 10 years, machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies have evolved into tools that are actually in use.
In 2011 Microsoft announced only the Services family’s basis, a set of ready-to-use APIs for various intelligent tasks. Five years later, there is a unified Bot Framework platform for creating bots with an emphasis on cross-platform.
Today, Azure offers various cognitive services for developers in a wide range of areas, from computer vision and facial recognition to linguistic analysis and consumer recommendations.
The main feature is that no special knowledge is required to create and work with AI. The Azure Machine Learning Studio service makes it possible to create self-learning algorithms even for specialists who are not familiar with the intricacies of working with machine learning and programming in general.
It’s no secret that if a site is not adapted for viewing from a phone, about 35% of potential customers are lost. The same problem applies to mobile apps. Not everyone wants to install them on a smartphone, which is already overloaded with information.
So, software engineers’ main task is to create sites that will be equally well viewed from different operating systems and browsers.
While there are several obstacles to this:
- OS interfaces are different, so elements on them are viewed differently.
- People have to settle for an average version, which does not always become the best solution from the user’s perspective.
- Top programming languages cope with the task of cross-platforms only in combination with HTML 5.
Global mobile traffic is increasing each year. That’s why customers’ main requirements for creating websites are cross-platform and adaptability.
To provide cross-platform development, Microsoft in 2011 created a framework Xamarin based on. NET. With its help, you can write products for various mobile operating systems.
Moreover, you can write code in any programming language. Xamarin has a good performance, and every year it is increasingly used by developers.
And in 2017, the company introduced the Microsoft Fluent Design user interface design system. It offers developers an intuitive, adaptive, and inclusive approach to creating apps for different types of devices that can interact with each other.