The Future of the Software Development Industry: 2024 and Beyond

By
Christopher Pinski
Published
December 17, 2023
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The Future of the Software Development Industry: 2024 and Beyond

As 2023 comes to a close, we’ve set our sights on the future. What’s next in the software development industry? What trends can we expect to see in 2024 and beyond?

Well, according to a software industry analysis by Grand View Research, this booming sector isn’t slowing down anytime soon. In 2022, the software development industry was valued at over $29 billion, and it’s expected to grow at a 22.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2023 through 2030.

To achieve that incredible growth, software development specialists need to be highly strategic.

So what are the top software development trends? Here are our top 6 predictions for the future of the software development industry.

1. Increased Focus on the Software Development Process

What is life like for a corporate software developer? Much of their satisfaction and productivity depends on how supported they feel. And we aren’t just talking about boss and colleague support. This includes the quality of their tools and processes, too.

That’s why we believe the software development process is a major factor in the future of the industry.

When properly supported, a developer only has to worry about this:

What’s the business problem at hand, and how do we best solve it?

So here are several reasons why simplifying the lives of software developers is critical.

A man sits at a wooden conference table; only his hands are visible as he gestures, indicating he's speaking — either on a phone conference or to others in the room. He looks at a laptop screen showing mockups of site or flyer designs, as though he is a software developer explaining a wireframe. He has an open notebook and black mobile phone on the table in front of him. A woman of color sits next to him, blurred in the background.
When developers aren’t distracted by troubleshooting code and server issues, they’re finally able to focus on learning about the customer and developing the ideal software solution.

Faster Time to Market

A properly supported developer can shut out the noise and focus on one thing: finding the best solution for their client’s biggest business problems.

And today’s low-code and no-code application development tools are increasingly better at provisioning resources, handling environment setup, and more — taking that extra work off of devs’ plates.

In a Zapier survey, 45% of respondents said that no-code tools have saved them 20+ hours of work per week. Even more incredible, 10% say no-code has saved them an entire workweek or more (40+ hours per week)!

And when we shorten the timeline to produce, test, and launch applications, companies can look forward to solving problems more efficiently.

Improved Quality

When coding with programming languages, software developers are forced to wrestle with technical challenges throughout development. And each update and tweak can change the environment, creating additional problems.

But when environments work like they’re supposed to, developers can spend more time focused on creating the best possible product.

Increased Innovation

If faster, higher-quality products aren’t enough of a benefit, there’s more. Developers who use reliable environments, tools, and platforms also have more freedom to experiment with new ideas.

Additional time and energy create the perfect environment for innovation — and these new solutions, better approaches, and improved ways of thinking will benefit your organization and its clients.

Reduced Cost

Traditional software development is time-consuming, and all that time gets expensive.

Between setting up servers and environments, constantly upgrading software packages, searching for the proper tool to use, and more, software developers are spread thin. This can lead to bringing a greater number of developers onto each project, which also increases cost.

But with optimized development tools, these issues are minimal — even non-existent.

Better Talent Pool and Higher Retention

A StackOverflow software developer survey shows that a whopping 79% of surveyed developers are considering or actively looking for new opportunities — meaning their job satisfaction may matter now more than ever.

But there’s good news! Better products may lead to happier developers — which may lead to improved retention. Plus, once word gets around that your developers are happy and attrition is low, you’ll attract a top-tier talent pool.

Think of it like a restaurant kitchen. If the kitchen is messy, noisy, and chaotic, with unreliable equipment, the staff are unhappy and don’t want to be there — or at least, they aren’t motivated to do a great job.

But when a kitchen is clean and quiet, with sharpened knives and reliable appliances, it’s easier and more pleasant to do your job. What’s more, you might recommend the place to your friends.

A man with dark short hair wears a white chef's coat in a professional restaurant kitchen. He looks down at a cutting board while holding a knife, carefully focusing on what he's doing.
A clean environment allows your team to focus on producing their best work — whether they’re kitchen staff or software developers.

The bottom line is this:

When software developers have better tools and processes, they produce high-quality and innovative work more efficiently and effectively — resulting in greater outputs for the business. And that’s what we’d call a win-win.

So clean up your kitchen — rather, your tech stack — by embracing low-code and no-code app development platforms.

2. Bigger Emphasis On Early Issue Detection and Software Monitoring

In traditional software development, you need to keep an error log and address problems as they occur. But the earlier issues are detected, the quicker they can be diagnosed and resolved — which means less downtime, better user experience, and potentially more revenue.

So we’re starting to see improvements in monitoring and issue detection for low- and no-code tools. Platforms like Make feature robust logging and error detection systems, while tools like Operator automatically document and monitor your no-code tools to stay ahead of issues and rapidly find solutions.

This also allows teams and businesses to better plan for their software infrastructure. For example, no-code and low-code tools rely on subscription models and usage limits that can adapt to your solution as it scales.

But how do you know when it’s time to upgrade or downgrade?With improved software monitoring, you’ll know sooner. That means improved scalability, better financial forecasting, and fewer headaches.

A close-up of a person of color's hand poised above a tablet screen that's propped up on his leg. The screen is difficult to see as it's angled away from the camera, but he appears to be viewing charts or data sets.
Enhanced software monitoring and early issue detection can help teams stay one step ahead of necessary changes.

3. An Increasingly Distributed Workforce

During the COVID-19 pandemic, most workplaces closed, forcing remote work where possible. So developers, along with millions of other office workers, stayed home.

And in a 2021 study, employees valued the ability to work from home as being equal to about 7-8% of their earnings! With a median US software developer salary of $120,730 in 2023, that’s worth nearly $9,700 per person.

Yet 90% of surveyed companies have either returned to office or plan to by the end of 2024 — and 28% say they will threaten to fire employees who don’t comply.

That doesn’t seem to line up with what employees want, which is why we believe the future of software development depends on embracing remote and distributed teams. The benefits are numerous:

  • Wider talent pool, since geographic proximity isn’t a factor in who you hire
  • Greater specialization due to the expanded talent pool of remote developers
  • More time and energy to focus on work instead of preparing for the office, commuting both ways, etc.

However, distributed teams need to make sure that asynchronous development cycles don’t harm or slow production. That means evaluating and training teams on software development processes.

Collaboration tools for remote teams will become increasingly important. They can be highly beneficial tools for communicating the parameters of well-defined work. Video and audio tools like Loom can make asynchronous work more realistic and seamless.

A white female software developer with brown bob haircut, black t-shirt, and thick brown and black bracelets sits at a desktop Apple computer in a home office. One hand is on her face and the other on her keyboard as she reviews a screen filled with code.
Remote teams can generate increased specialization and a wider talent pool. We’ll continue to see a rise in distributed software development teams.

4. An Advanced Approach to User Experience

Now that people are on their devices all day long, effective UI and UX are critical. Today, users expect an intuitive experience and elevated design.

And while we’ve come a long way on the design front (think about web design in the early 2000s… yikes!), there’s plenty of room to improve the user experience.

For example, software developers should understand what offline app support looks like. Does your app work in airplane mode? Can it detect changes in operating conditions (like poor internet connection) and adapt accordingly?

UX scalability is also critical. How do developers build apps to respond and adapt to growth? Are they leveraging cloud technologies, which allow faster access to additional resources (databases, servers, updated processes) to handle that growth? And how can you optimize algorithms, data structures, and storage to improve performance at the same time?

We have more to say about UX. Check out our 6th prediction on AI/ML growth for more!

Closeup image of a woman's hands holding a marker and sketching out a UX software development wireframe on a piece of paper
User interface (UI) design makes your app beautiful, but don’t ignore user experience (UX) along the way.

5. More Low- And No-Code Platforms Built On Cloud Technologies

Thanks to the cloud migration, many of today’s tools are built for the cloud — including a wealth of low-code and no-code platforms. With these tools, just about anyone can be a developer! Click to learn more about the no-code movement.

And when tools are built on the cloud, scalability is a breeze. Instead of buying, configuring, and launching new servers, just upgrade your cloud provider subscription.

Another benefit of cloud technologies is distributed access. Now, software development teams can work together from just about anywhere.

These benefits alone are enough to drive the continued growth of cloud-based low- and no-code app development technologies.

Dozens of blue cables plugged into a black server with small yellow lights, representing the move away from servers thanks to cloud technologies in the software development industry
With cloud technologies, you can scale efficiently while leaving server management to your cloud service provider.

6. Explosive Growth in AI/ML Integration

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are picking up speed. While tools like ChatGPT are consumer-friendly, the possibilities for developers are astounding, too.

We expect to see 2 main forms of AI/ML growth:

Tools To Make Software Developers’ Lives Easier

AI tools can streamline development work in incredible ways.

For example, GitHub Copilot offers intelligent code suggestions to help complete sections of code more quickly. It also features a conversational component. Devs can ask the tool to define key parameters using natural language instead of hardcoding. Copilot can also perform advanced functions such as writing unit tests for a class or function — a task that previously took hours or days of manual time.

With mind-blowing features like these, it’s no wonder the use of Copilot is on the rise, with nearly 55% of developers in a StackOverflow survey already using the tool in 2023.

Tools To Improve UX

Tools like Nanonets and Butler Labs can integrate workflows and apps seamlessly, adding features like intelligent document processing and extraction as well as data classification.

AI/ML can also help teams develop user personas, improve personalization, and much more. So that UI vs. UX gap we mentioned earlier? Thanks to AI and ML technologies, it’s about to get a lot better.

Two men sit off-screen, their arms and hands visible on a wooden desk. They each have a laptop in front of them, and both hold a pen while pointing to different pieces of information on a piece of paper that's filled with notes.
Manual data processing and analysis are time-consuming and error-prone tasks. We expect to see a rise in intelligent document processing and extraction along with scores of other AI/ML tools.

Conclusion: How Do You Keep Up In The Software Development Industry?

We know it’s cliche, but it’s the truth: if software development companies don’t embrace innovation, they’ll be left behind.

And from our perspective, one of the most relevant and critical forms of innovation in the software development industry is the low-code and no-code movement.

By enabling more efficient, cost-effective, thorough, flexible, and scalable tools and processes, companies that embrace no-code technology will be a part of the software development industry’s explosive growth in the years to come.

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Last updated
November 25, 2023

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