Software development has come a long way to gaining critical importance for all businesses in the past two decades. No business today can risk operating without systems, which is what software development is all about. Some recent trends that have and are still revolutionizing the software industry into the future include:
- Mobile-first applications
There is a massive shift to smartphones as the number of mobile phone searches for websites surpasses that of normal searches. Today, developers are turning on building systems and applications that are compatible with mobile devices.
- AI-oriented software
Secondly, with the IT industry moving to AI, the expectations are high and rising for developers to implement AI capabilities in its systems and applications. It is already happening. Think about how fast chatbots technology is being adopted by businesses to enhance the customer experience.
- Progressive web apps for website experience in an app.
And for customers who are looking for a web-like experience in applications, there are progressive web apps. These are a type of software typically delivered in the form of a web page but combines the features of a web page and an app to enhance mobile user experience.
- IoT and smart devices
The IoT is no longer just a trending technology. With the number of IoT-enabled devices expected to rise to 25 billion by 2021, developers are under pressure to create codes with a low processing power for IoT devices.
8 Popular Software Development Tools
GitHub is a web-based code-sharing platform that allows developers to review and manage codes and also develop software. It is also a collaboration tool that allows development teams to easily manage a project they are working on together by tracking each other’s progress.
Codes are stored in a central repository making documentation easy and facilitating easy management of the project. At the same time, GitHub allows developers to upload their documents directly from their repositories.
Atom is an open-source text and source code editor built for Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows operating systems. It is a desktop application that facilitates app development using several web technologies.
Atom comes with a built-in package manager which you use to create or install the packages you will require for your projects. It features a smart-auto completion feature for faster code writing and editing, a file system browser, as well as a find-and-replace feature for effective management of your project.
Bootstrap is built for front-end mobile-first web development with CSS and HTML design templates. Bootstrap is compatible with all major browsers.
The greatest advantage that Bootstrap offers to developers is the speed of creating fast, simplified, and responsive websites with uniform elements. Bootstrap comes with ready-made coding blocks and offers less CSS functionality to eliminate the hassle of having to build codes from scratch.
Linx is a tool that consists of a visual IDE and a server. Developers use it to design custom back-end business processes. Linx allows developers to integrate their databases, applications, and systems. It is a good platform for businesses with a high workload as it comes with multiple drag-and-drop plugins for simplified coding (without the need to create codes) to facilitate fast and easy software development.
Cloud9 IDE is an online code editor that allows developers to create serverless applications. Cloud9 comes with a code editor, a debugger, and a terminal that allows developers to create, run, and debug applications.
CodeLobster is a free portable IDE for developing web applications. It comes integrated with an HTML inspector, smart autocomplete function, an HTML/CSS code inspector, and a PHP Debugger useful for debugging programs during coding.
CodeLobster supports Joomla, Drupal, WordPress, HTML, JQuery, and other content management systems.
Zend Studio is a PHP-based IDE developed by Zend Technologies for code editing, prototyping, testing, and debugging with Z-Ray integration, Zend Debugger, and Xdebug. It is used to develop both web and mobile applications. Zend Studio supports Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems and is compatible with Docker and Git Flow development tools.
Docker is an open-source PaaS (Platform as a service) development tool that has appealed not just to developers but also to system administrators. Docker uses the Linux Kernel virtualization system to create, release, and run the software in containers. These containers operate independently with each having its own software, configuration files, and libraries and this makes it a great addition to DevOps toolset. Containerization allows applications created by Docker to run on any Linux system apart from the one it was created on.
Also Read: What is Software Development Life Cycle(SDLC)?
A career in software development
Software developers build software. Whether it is systems or application software, software accounts for 19% of the US IT market and the demand for software developers are expected to grow by 21% between 2018 and 2028. By 2018, there were close to 1.5million software developers across the United States.
The demand for software developers will continue to rise thanks to:
- A large number of businesses migrating their systems to the cloud
- The growing importance of big data and big data analytics
- A rise in the number of smart device users
- The growing popularity of social media
What does a software developer do?
Simply put, software developers build systems or applications that run on computers and other devices.
Roles of a software developer
- Analyzes the user requirements for software and develops a product to fit these needs
- Recommends upgrades for software that clients already have installed in their systems
- Responsible for software maintenance or upgrade of systems and applications
- Work together with other stakeholders (mostly programmers who do coding) to create the best possible product for customers
- Compile the documentation of the entire software development process for future reference
Salary prospects of a software developer
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for application developers was $103,620 in 2018 while that of systems developers was $110,000. Most software developers secured full-time employment in the computer system design and manufacturing industry.
Education, Certifications, skills, and experience
Employers will ask for, at the least, a degree in computer science, software engineering or any other related disciplines like information systems. In the current scenario, there are a lot of software development courses available online that software developers can take up to hone their skills and position themselves for better job prospects.
Ideally, a software developer should also have good programming skills in addition to possessing
- Analytical skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Collaborations skills
- Communication skills
The IT world cannot simply run without developers. There is more than this ever-dynamic discipline will offer and the drivers behind the wheel are developers with proven skills, expertise, and experience. Learning does not end with landing a job. You have to keep honing skills by enrolling for courses to learn new programming languages and other skills that employers are keen on.