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What Happened in 2015

December 14, 2015

In software development, every year is different from the last or the next. Sometimes it seems that as quickly as we can see something in the developer universe it changes. And that perception is actually pretty close to the fact, though it’s more a reflection of the velocity at which our technology landscape changes rather than the mercurial nature of software developers.

2015 was a good case in point. When we look back at the major evolutions that technology made and the ones that were embraced by the industry there’s a few that stand out. So here’s an Evans Data recap of what we thought were some of the major technologies that shaped the last year for software developers.

Internet of Things
Internet of Things is sometimes called Internet of Everything, and for good reason. We can connect our homes so that the thermostat, coffee maker and toaster all come on as we wake up in the morning or switch the lights on and unlock the door when we get within 100 feet of the house. Intelligent tattoos can send your doctor information through the Cloud. Your car will soon be able to drive as well or better than most people, and large scale factories will be run by systems and sensors rather than floor supervisors.

This year was definitely a solid year for Internet of Things development. The percent of developers worldwide who are currently working on Internet of Things projects rose by 48% over a year ago when 18.9% were working in some way on an IoT project. Today 28% are doing this. And while the imagination runs wild on new IoT implementations, software developers are constantly coming up with more.

Cognitive Computing
Just as Internet of Things found more solid growth, extending itself into 2015 as the top of mind technology implementation, last year also saw the dawn of wide developer interest in cognitive computing – a term that includes machine learning, deep learning and various forms of artificial intelligence.

This year a little more than a third of developers worldwide incorporated some form of cognitive computing into their projects and more than a quarter were adding in some form of machine learning. This is not just a data point that shows a milestone on the path to the future. This shows a thorough evolution in the way that developers program and the way applications work.

Cloud and PaaS
Speaking of evolutions, 2015 saw the largest vendors in the software industry shifting their developer programs and their tools more and more into the Cloud. The venerable Rational tool suite is now BlueMix – a PaaS existing entirely within the Cloud. Microsoft pushed and prodded its developers into the Azure Cloud with discounts and free trials. Others also moved portions of their developer program into the Cloud, portending a future where developer programs all become intertwined with a PaaS.

Accelerators and Startups
And last, but by no means least, we have to mention the frenzied pace at which major companies launched accelerators, incubators, contests, and funding drives to identify the most promising startups in these emerging new development areas, and convert them into using their technologies. Startups with talent and a good idea will find no trouble getting recognized, funded, and actively mentored by the biggest and the best in the industry, since everyone wants to discover (and capture or convert) those startups that will be the leaders in the new technologies that will be shaping our realities in the future.

So, as the year draws to an end, we can look forward to the future with great interest. If today is the prologue for tomorrow, then 2016 is going to be amazing! Happy Holidays!

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