“The future of technology.” It’s a loaded statement. What will technology look like next year, or 5 years from now? How will your job change? Can you plan ahead?
When it comes to questions like these, the experts are best at predicting what’s on the horizon. So, we’ve put together six expert opinions about what’s in store for some of today’s top technologies. From Python to PowerShell and Java to Scrum, here’s how you can expect the future to unfold.
“If Python isn’t everywhere, it will be soon. One of the biggest indicators I can find at the moment? Microsoft is considering adding Python support to its flagship Excel office product. Additionally, Python adoption is accelerating in key industries, due at least in part to the surge of interest in data science and machine learning—spaces where Python has become a staple technology. Looking at patterns of Stack Overflow queries across languages, the growth of Python is clearly being demonstrated.”
- Python pro, Jim Christopher
“With the release of Java 9, a host of enhancements have been added, including Optionals. And we are just now seeing the positive ripple effect Optionals are having on the API. Before Optionals, code could be quite brittle surrounding runtime exceptions and how to best handle errors. But as more developers embrace Optionals, I think we’ll start to see better APIs being developed. Other languages that run on the JVM, such as Kotlin and Scala, are already embracing this feature and it’s helping this adoption on new projects. In the past 18 months, there’s been a significant rise in the adoption of tools like Kotlin, and this is a direct reflection of how they have embraced this feature.
While Optionals are a quick way to begin taking advantage of the enhancements Java 9 brings, there are also more complex features you should understand. The Stream enhancements in 8 and 9 are very complex features that tackle an even more intricate problem. If you haven’t taken the time to learn them, I recommend doing a sprint with these Stream enhancements just to understand the problems they fix and how you can apply them in the future.”
- 20+ year Java developer, Bryan Hansen
“Angular continues to keep pace with important changes in modern web development, yet provides stability for developers, libraries and tools. It achieves both goals by implementing semantic versioning, a planned deprecation policy and clearly defined release cycles. That’s why developers can easily move from Angular 4 to 5, for example, with little or no changes to their application. You can expect this goal of compatibility to continue, making it painless to migrate to future versions of Angular. If you want to build modern web applications, learning Angular is a step in the right direction. Begin with the basics to get a firm foundation and a conceptual overview of its features and capabilities. Then dive into more intermediate level topics to expand your knowledge and learn patterns for real-world development.”
- Angular expert, Deborah Kurata
“PowerShell is the future. Sure, small companies may not need a lot of automation, because that will increasingly be done for them through services like Office 365. Old, stodgy companies might simply refuse to go that way, but their IT overhead is going to become a competitive disadvantage soon. But, automation is a business reality, not just a convenience for IT people. It’s taking business leaders some time to understand and appreciate that, but now the momentum is there and they’re all going to start demanding it.
I can imagine two reasons why someone might not learn PowerShell and other automation technologies. First, you may already have related skills, so you think you can ignore this one. Second, you could be afraid of change because the technology seems hard and you don’t want to risk failing. These reasons lead to a dead-end street for your career. PowerShell could be your key to a better job, a massively better salary and a better place in life.”
- Powershell pro, Don Jones
“As adoption of the Scrum framework continues to surge, Scrum practitioners are encountering many interesting challenges. The biggest challenge they currently face is implementation of the Scrum framework at scale. Many organizations who initially began with small and lightweight Scrum pilot projects are now ready to capitalize on their success by promoting Scrum adoption to the rest of their organization.
However, this doesn’t mean bigger and bigger Scrum teams, as you might expect. Instead, adoptions of the Scrum framework are grown simply by increasing the number of small, cross-functional Scrum Teams, and then enabling them to work in concert in whatever way allows them to be most effective. As you can imagine, enabling dozens of teams to work collaboratively in an incremental and iterative manner yields many unique challenges, but the results can be dramatic.
So long as Scrum’s creators continue to evolve it to better meet the needs of today’s teams, it may remain the dominant methodology for agile teams and keep increasing the demand for qualified Scrum practitioners, especially Scrum Masters.”
- Scrum expert, Jeremy Jarrell
“As one of the most fundamental building blocks of the web, HTML is a staple technology—meaning an understanding of it and how it will impact the future is key.
Short term, the W3C plans to release a Recommendation in 2018, so we should see some new elements and improvements with 5.3. Following updates to the WHATWG Living Standard is a good way to get a pulse on what is being added and removed. Long term, HTML will need to evolve to meet the modern needs of web application developers and complex technologies like VR. So, paying attention now is crucial.”
- Web developer, Susan Simkins
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