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[DZone Research] The Future of Web and Mobile Development

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[DZone Research] The Future of Web and Mobile Development

When we spoke with expert from across the IT industry, they told us continuous consolidation of technologies, PWAs, and optimization were key.

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To gather insights on the current and future state of web and mobile development we talked to 19 IT executives and we asked, "What’s the future of web and mobile application development — where do the greatest opportunities lie?" Here's what they told us:

Consolidation

  • There will be a continued push for consolidation of DevOps tools. Look at the composition side of software with 20% of the SDLC around testing, branding and merging, performance monitoring, and microservices. There are tremendous possibilities with AI across all of these. More generated code based on best practice and AI analysis. AI identifies test patterns that a human cannot think of all the scenarios. More specialization of application development environments to accelerate development. More consolidation of the SDLC into a smaller suite. Embedding Git into Visual Studio. Same thing with testing frameworks. Do SDLC correctly inside one environment. 
  • More and more mergers. More of the web will be shown on the browser through the mobile device. Align the features for the website for mobile use. More people coming through mobile. 
  • Continued convergence with the same languages allowing you to achieve scale during development. Continue to get certain experience with a Native app and other through a responsive website. When people come to your site they are browsers, when they take the time to download an app they’re making a more serious commitment to the brand. Now is the "right time and right place" for web and mobile to coexist. 
  • I see the lines between “mobile development” and “web development” get blurrier, as apps move to a service-oriented approach that can be called by either web or mobile clients. This presents a great opportunity for products and services supporting the use of APIs since that will become the default architecture for apps in the future. 
  • Seeing convergence with general programming languages. Will see more low and no code platforms. Removing boilerplate from developers to make development faster and more robust. Make things easy to get going and commoditize the building of an app. 
  • Web and mobile application development are trending toward a unified development and deployment experience with applications that are increasingly composed instead of coded. In the future, the industry will see a strong trend toward low- or no-code development platforms for many uses of mobile or web applications — especially business apps.

PWA

  • The future of these apps is beginning to transform with Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), where mobile's unique capabilities are moving toward the browser OS versions. In addition, leveraging AI/ML is opening new opportunities for web and mobile app developers by providing lots of data that can be translated into business value. Analyzing production data and acting on it in real-time provides a tremendous opportunity for innovation. 
  • PWA is the future. It will never be as good as a native development toolset but it’s already sufficient for most companies. For 80% of applications, PWA will be able to provide a good answer in the next year and continue to get better. Some hybrid solutions may provide a better solution in the short term but, eventually, PWA will be the solution for ubiquitous development. 
  • The greatest opportunities lie in PWAs and WebAssembly.  PWAs help to offer web apps which behave as mobile apps, which has huge implications in their ability to let developers nimbly work around the app store environment, which in our opinion, isn’t an economically viable delivery vehicle for many, if not most apps in the marketplace. The other technology we’re excited about is WebAssembly, which opens a window of opportunity to create more client-friendly web experiences without the need to use conventional JavaScript frameworks, making development easier and, more importantly, easier to audit for security purposes.

Optimization

  • Mobile performance, reliability, and quality see continuous improvement. App developers like to build not fix. There is a huge market opportunity for testing pre- and post-release. Enable developers to code fast but diagnose and fix faster.
  • Continue to optimize. Most experiences are better on a larger screen. ML is interesting. If you know you have my phone, you know my habits. A lot of inferences for user patterns. The more big data learning stack provides an opportunity for great customer experiences. The serverless stack is interesting. It's where application development is going — run on demand in the cloud. Get data and computation closer to the end user.

Other

  • Low-code is a very powerful way for big companies to develop software. Similar to websites. Now have CMS as a service, WordPress, Drupal. Mobile going through the same change. The barrier to entry will drop. 
  • Spotify has been using backend for front-end (BFF) gateways instead of rebuilding the backend server. They put a layer in between to handle the differences and that’s been powerful for them. They don’t have to reach into the backend services to make all of the changes. Impedance match using go-between services to cut down on the round trips and come up with composite APIs. Easy to use but not a million APIs for a million uses. Get a new UI future you want to build. In order to do this, need to make six different API calls — can we figure out a way to do it once? The tension between not wanting to do round trip API calls and not providing an API for every call. An interstitial gateway can solve the problem of multiple custom API calls.
  • The massive explosion of APIs. 12 years ago it was a web-only world. The explosion of APIs came with mobile and has expanded with IoT, Android, and TVs. The backend is the API allowing that to happen. Microservices are driving the API. Developers are empowered to drive event-driven architecture serverless is enabling this. Function as a service is becoming a popular mechanism. Just making a function call is an exciting paradigm shift. Securing this attack vector of the API by finding every new API published in the environment and protecting it. Endpoints are spun up and shut down with API endpoints or serverless showing up for just a few hours at a time. Products can look different based on the time of day (e.g., Netflix). This ephemeral nature is challenging from a security point of view. 
  • More adoption of platforms like Xamarin. Use on one device and single feed seamless cross-platform support.
  •  As productivity and developer experience (DX) are prime concerns for app developers in addressing the prevailing challenges, a number of key opportunities emerge to advance the state-of-the-art and streamline the roadblocks in app development. These opportunities include further standardization of the web platform to support accessibility to users on a global basis (not just the privileged segment in first-world countries). They also include improved sharing and distribution of software components among developers via advanced tooling and repository infrastructures. This has the benefit of limiting unnecessary duplication of effort and increasing software quality and maintainability of delivered apps.

Here’s who we spoke to:

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Topics:
web dev ,mobile application development ,pwas ,application optimization ,dzone research

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