Top Software Development Trends to Watch and Apply in 2021

As a leader in the recruitment of offshore developers, here at Cloud Employee, we agree that 2020 has been a unique year in more ways than one, and many things have changed. What hasn’t changed is the tradition of tech experts coming out to predict the top trends for the next year. 

With just a few months to the end of the year, industry experts have stayed true to the tradition, and come up with a list of the software development trends they anticipate will make headlines in the year 2021. You’re probably wondering, “what are the top software development trends for 2021?” Keep reading to find out more. 


Top Software Development Trends to Watch and Apply in 2021


1. Native App Development will remain unrivaled

Native app development speaks of software programs that are created to run on specific devices or platforms, unlike their hybrid counterparts, which can operate on multiple devices. Although you can build native apps for several devices, including desktops, and TVs, smartphones are by far the most common devices for native app development. As you’re probably aware, Android and iOS have taken over the mobile OS sphere. 

Therefore, native app development for smartphones is all about building programs that are specific to either Android or IOS. Native app development has received a lot of attention because it provides an enhanced user experience and powerful performance. With an increased demand for these qualities in almost every industry, it’s no surprise that native app development is expected to remain at the top of the ranks. 


2. Angular 2+, React, and Node JS will continue to be the reigning champions

In 2020, experts ranked React, NodeJS, and Angular 2+ as the top three software development frameworks. Take a look at the features that made these three stand-out: 


React is an open-source, front-end JavaScript library for building reusable UI components. React is a popular choice for developers because it creates interactive UIs without requiring a lot of written code. 

Angular 2+: 

Angular is a TypeScript based platform for building mobile and desktop web applications. The second version of this JavaScript framework was released in September 2016. Since then, many people have come to love it because it enhances developer productivity; it offers consistent coding patterns, extensive binding, and full-featured routing. 


NodeJS is a cross-platform, back-end open source server environment that executes JavaScript code outside a web browser. It is popular because it is fast and lightweight. 


3. The Internet of Things will get bigger and trendier

Over the last couple of years, the Internet of Things has risen remarkably. The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to all the physical devices that are now fitted with sensors and software to enable them to communicate with other devices or systems over the internet. In simple words, IoT is what has made everything “smart” – smart home systems, smart factory equipment, wearable health monitors, and even smart tennis rackets. 

Even more, it seems like people are coming up with new additions to the internet of things every day. And it certainly doesn’t seem like IoT will become any less trendy in 2021. A 2018 report predicted growth in the markets for IoT hardware, software, systems integration, and data and telecom services. 


4. Apache Spark will remain the preferred choice for big data computation

Apache Spark is a distributed batch processing system specifically designed to handle big data workload. With it, users can process large data sets and share processing tasks across multiple computers. Apache Spark is popular because it uses in-memory caching instead of storing data after each operation. 

Besides this, Apache Spark is optimized to execute fast queries against large sizes of data. Before Apache Spark, Hadoop Map-Reduce was the go-to framework for processing large data sets. Today, Spark has overtaken Hadoop in terms of cost-effectiveness and affordability. With the rate at which Apache Spark is gaining popularity, it is likely to remain the preferred choice for big data computation in 2021.

5. Rust will be the top programming language in 2021 

Rust is a multi-paradigm programming language that enables users to build efficient and reliable software. Rust combines technical capacity with developer experience to help developers to control low-level details like memory usage. In recent times, Rust has become a favorite, especially for teams of developers. This is because it is useful for coordinating and collaborating within large teams with different levels of programming knowledge. 

Another group of people who love Rust is students. The language is friendly to newbies, especially those interested in learning about systems concepts. Plus, the Rust community is beneficial; there’s always someone to answer questions. If you’re a developer who’s big on stability and speed in a programming language, then Rust is just right for you. 

Rust makes programming so easy and safe that many companies have begun to adopt it. I’ll let you in on a little secret; Microsoft is seriously considering adopting Rust in 2021. With this in mind, you can see why Rust isn’t likely to disappear off the programming scene in the near future. 


6. Progressive web apps are likely to dominate the web product market 

A web app is NOT the same as a website. What are the differences, and why are web apps such a big deal? Websites are accessible through browsers, and they display static content. You can access any kind of digital content on websites – audio, video, images, etc. Web apps can also display such content, but the cardinal difference between the two is that websites are static while web apps are dynamic. 

What this means is that the content on a website cannot be updated. When you visit a website, your browser sends HTTP requests to download the files needed to create the page you want to see. Once the page is loaded, your browser will not send any more requests, so the website remains as it is until you refresh the page. If there are any updates, you’ll have to refresh the page to see them. Web apps are different because they can update themselves. They are built with programming languages that send regular HTTP requests to display updates and new content. 

Another difference between the two is that web apps are interactive, while websites aren’t. Websites are designed to give one-way information – you can receive the information, but you can’t interact with the website. Web apps, on the other hand, are interactive. They are built purposefully to engage with users. Some popular web apps are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Gmail, and YouTube. 

Web apps offer the experience of an app but within a browser window. Plus, they consume less data and have shorter loading times. With all these benefits, several top-class platforms have already adopted the use of progressive web apps. 


7. Low-code development will continue to rise in popularity

Building apps and software has never been easier than it is now. Without incurring high engineering costs, even non-programmers can successfully build apps. The technology that makes this possible is called low-code development. Before low-code development, it would take large teams of skilled software engineers to create products. 

Building an app was a tedious, time-consuming, and expensive venture. This, in turn, off small and medium-sized businesses who could hardly afford the costs involved. Thankfully, low-code development crept in and revolutionized the software industry. By using low-code development platforms, you reduce the amount of traditional hand-coding needed to produce an app. 

Every step is abstracted and automated to accelerate the production of business applications. The result is that every business size can build new apps without investing too much money, time, or skill. The truth is, IT professionals can hardly keep up with the demand for apps in the business world, so the latter is good news.


8. Watch out for distributed SQL 

For about four decades, SQL was the default language for relational databases. However, the original SQL databases are unable to distribute data across multiple platforms automatically. To counteract this problem, new SQL databases were created to make SQL scalable. This concept is what is known as distributed SQL. 

SQL databases are so widely used that tech experts say it’s impossible to imagine a world where there is no SQL. One of the main reasons why SQL has gained such ascendancy is that it offers ACID properties for transactions. ACID is an acronym that represents the four key properties of a transaction – atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability. ACID properties are crucial for transactional business applications that we can expect distributed SQL to be around for a long time. 


Takeaway Software development is one of the most turbulent, volatile, and uncertain industries. Each year can be drastically different from the year before it. I guess this is what makes it such a competitive field. Matters are compounded by the fact that businesses have now accepted software as one requirement for success. 

They’re looking for the best and most useful software to boost productivity levels. So, any software business that doesn’t rise to the challenge will find themselves out of the running. With new software emerging all the time, existing specimens can easily become history. It’s hard to tell what new technology, software, or programming language will emerge in 2021. But with a little analysis, we can predict the current software that will still be prominent next year. 

I hope this article has been helpful. If you enjoyed it, please leave a comment below and share this post. 


We hope you found this article useful. Here at Cloud Employee, we assist companies looking to hire dedicated offshore developers across many technologies. Talk to us, learn more how Cloud Employee works, or see our Developer Pricing Guide.


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