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Decoding the Future: Four Programming Predictions and Their Potential Impact

Emerging technology trends don’t happen in a vacuum — mobile applications, cloud-first deployments, and the rise of IoT devices depend on the work of skilled programmers capable of translating designs into digital reality.

But what comes next? With increasing pressure from C-suites to align IT efforts and business expectations, what’s the future of coding? What does it mean for programmers?

Let’s tackle four top predictions and their potential impact.

1) Critical Foundation

As noted by Hackernoon, new coding tools make it easier for companies to create web applications and other software. The caveat? Highly-skilled programmers will remain in demand as non-tech organizations look to create in-house applications and companies look to bridge the growing skills gap.

The result? High-level coding will remain a critical foundation for many projects, with subject-matter experts reaping the benefits. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for software developers topped $100,000 in 2017 and the market is growing at 24 percent per year.

2) Compiling Change

The shift to web-based applications drove rapid HTML uptake but according to Forbes, the development of new web-based coding tools such as React by Facebook and CSS-in-JS are prompting movement away from HTML content.

The benefit? These new tools leverage reusable components to streamline design, providing more time to understand the needs of end-users and design apps that do more than sit idle on user devices.

3) The Cloud Concern

Everything needs to work in the cloud — including code. As noted by Packt, this suggests the development of new, cloud-native coding languages and architectures that empower agile development.

It makes sense. According to IT Business Edge, more than half of U.S. IT pros have already implemented SaaS applications and 81 percent say they’re storing very important data in the cloud.

Programming must naturally follow suit. If applications and services can’t keep up with business needs for cloud-based identity and access management (IAM), mobile-native deployments, and granular end-user analytics, code is obsolete before it reaches production.

4) Artificial Advantages

Also on the horizon? The rise of artificial intelligence (AI). Already, 47 percent of businesses say they’re using at least one AI capability, and 20 percent plan to deploy artificial intelligence tools across their organization this year.

There’s real potential for AI in programming — tools designed specifically for coding could help automate development, reduce error rates, and improve their own skills as they create new code. As noted by Datafloq, solutions like Cambridge University’s DeepCoder are now capable of both coding new software and learning from their mistakes.

For programmers, the rise of AI comes with commensurate concern. Computer World reports that almost 30 percent are worried that artificial intelligence tools will eliminate the need for human coders. The more likely scenario? A symbiotic relationship between programmers and AI driven by differing skill sets.

While AI is great at automating routine tasks and finding security flaws, it lacks the ability to imagine or innovate. By combining AI throughput with human thoughtfulness, there’s potential for both better-coded and more creative outcomes.

Future Imperfect

Predicting the future of programming is like making a weather forecast. Solid data exists to support reasonable conclusions, but there’s no guarantee. The most likely scenarios over the next few years? Expect increasing demand for skilled programmers, the evolution of streamlined, cloud-based coding languages, and the rise of AI-driven programming potential.