2022 software development trends and predictions

minute read

We’ll be honest - we wanted to publish a piece on 2022 trends in software development at the start of the year. But before we knew it, it was March. Our marketing department was Not Pleased about the delay, but it did allow us to see whether our initial predictions bore out. 

Now, at the halfway point of the year, we spoke to our CTO Rupert Redington about his observations and his predictions for the rest of the year and beyond. 

Here we go!

Organisations will seek to modernise their stacks to attract and retain engineering staff

As demand for IT specialists continues to be high, organisations are increasingly interested in retaining the staff they already have - and thinking of original ways to attract new talent. One of those ways is to ensure developers have access to modern tech - that is, access to tools and platforms that they want to work with, for professional development as well as personal enjoyment. So expect to see more and more organisations updating their stack. 

GraphQL will be increasingly seen as a standard for large-scale APIs

This query language has come a long way from its inception as an internal project at Facebook to a widely supported standard with a clear suite of benefits and tradeoffs. Amazing pace of iteration, alongside great developer experience and outreach from companies and projects like Apollo are speeding up adoption. Expect to see many more job descriptions asking for GraphQL experience and growing interest from the IT community as they adapt to this requirement. 

Client-side web frameworks will rapidly lose ground to versatile tools like Next.js, Nuxt.js and Remix.run

Why do we say this? For the most part because the new breed of web frameworks are solving real problems, fast. The rift between Single Page App enthusiasts and Web Standards proponents is starting to heal a little as tools like Remix.run provide the support developers need to enjoy React while building accessible, progressively-enhanced sites. The other factor which will accelerate this change is increased focus on front-end performance engineering. Everyone wants sites which are faster, greener and more searchable, and the tools to measure progress against this (such as Lighthouse) are both mature and widely available. 

Typescript will continue its rapid growth in popularity

As a superset of Javascript, Typescript was designed to make Javascript development safer by adding strong typing to the language. Whilst plenty of long-term Javascript aficionados still worry if the safety is worth the overhead, adoption is growing very quickly. Predicting that this will continue is hardly an insight - it is mainstream and well-evidenced knowledge. We’re expecting something further though. Tools like graphql-codegen make Typescript really pay off without the need for exhausting manual typing efforts. As the maturity of code generation tools grounded in Typescript increases we’ll see a lot more adoption, and a lot more eureka moments for developers.

“Headless” e-commerce platforms will gain ground and force increased decoupling in the incumbents

Wait, what? Okay, here’s what we mean by this: retailers have been making increasing use of multiple channels for a while, and that’s been driving them to expose their ecommerce functions as APIs which can be reused across those channels. Meanwhile, their front-end engineering teams are demanding more modern APIs to work against so that they can achieve the freedom and performance they want. With Shopify offering a GraphQL API for a while now, and a host of newcomers (we have our eye on Saleor) specialising in API-only offerings, a number of big platforms will have to follow suit and introduce API support for custom storefronts, or modernise the APIs they already provide.

Rupert, ever modest, is keen to stress these predictions are inherently unreliable. But with over 20 years of hands-on software development experience under his belt and as our resident technology navigator, we think he knows a thing or two about this.

What do you think about our predictions? We’re always keen to hear from other developers and have a constructive conversation about technology - so find us on LinkedIn and leave your comments!  

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