If 2020 taught the world anything, it’s that necessity is the mother of invention – and that the global workforce has the ability to come together in a virtual way to still accomplish their goals while in the midst of a pandemic. Software developers and testers, although mainly virtual jobs in nature, definitely had to find new ways to work together to get things done. 

Despite near-constant interruptions from the outside, custom software development company updated their work processes, found tools to improve software quality, and worked on boosting their own skills, all from a virtual environment. While 2021 hopes to be a much better year, additional or new challenges for the world of dev will inevitably arise. 

In addition to these uncontrollable factors from the outside world, custom software developers must also continually concern themselves with the advancements, changes, and trends of development itself. New trends and technologies come out every year and are something that dev teams must always monitor in order to stay relevant and keep their competitive edge within their market. 

While there sadly isn’t a way to predict exactly what kinds of challenges and changes the year ahead holds for the world in general, and software development specifically, all developers should make themselves aware of the following tips, trends, and forecasts for the future.

Top Tips for Software Development and Testing in 2021 (and Beyond)

  • It’s time to explore low-coding practices. – 2020 definitely proved that all companies need a functioning, efficient, and updated website if they want to stay relevant in a time of almost totally digital business. This means that developers’ workloads increased significantly due to the need for online business rather than in-person services causing a shortage of software engineers. 

One way to combat this work overload is by introducing low-code tools and platforms. This visual approach to developer abstracts and automates nearly every step of the development lifecycle. By doing this, it enables the rapid delivery of a wide variety of software solutions. While it does have a tendency to break the traditional rules of IT and business, it promotes continuous collaboration across teams and companies. 

According to Gartner, “By 2024, low-code application development will be responsible for more than 65% of application development activity.” Now is the time for companies to get ahead of the trend and begin adopting these low-code practices for the current digital landscape as well as that of tomorrow.

  • Make software performance testing a part of every project’s development life cycle. – While all development teams take the time to test for things like functionality and security, sometimes performance, in general, falls by the wayside. Today’s users expect nothing less than fast, responsive experiences every time they visit or use a website or an app, regardless of outside factors.

Software or websites may meet all of their functional and security requirements but will still fail if they don’t hit their performance metrics. In order for dev teams to meet these user expectations, they must make performance and speed testing a part of routine testing practices. They should track these metrics and test for factors such as load, stress, endurance, and dependency by writing test cases with these results. By testing for the worst cases in performance, devs help ensure that users will have the best experiences possible at all times in their programs or apps.

  • Try using a DevSecOps approach to security testing. – DevOps created quite a buzz for devs as it deployed code at record-breaking speeds compared to more traditional methods. In 2020, DevSecOps emerged as the new and improved version of this methodology among the heightened cybersecurity threats.

DevSecOps is incredibly effective in terms of speed of deployment and security preparedness as test automation is one of its key aspects. From code analysis to cyberattack simulations, the DevSecOps methodology helps teams prepare for the worst and puts security where it belongs – front and center.

  • Consider incorporating artificial intelligence into development when it’s possible. – AI already helps companies gather, process, and interpret unfathomably enormous amounts of customer data. While the industry has already seen AI incorporated into solutions like chatbots, product recommendations, and such, devs have only breached the surface of what this technology can really do.

With every site or app visit, AI platforms have the ability to collect more and more data about each individual customer. This helps create incredibly personalized and tailored recommendations to help improve engagement and conversions. By incorporating this tech further into websites and applications, dev teams (and the hiring companies) help learn more about their customers while providing a much more personalized user experience for them.

While 2020 brought many challenges to businesses and development teams, it also opened the door for helpful advancements and innovations in the virtual world. 2021 will undoubtedly do the same. Although no one knows what exactly is to come, these tips and trends will help teams stay relevant and keep their edge on the market while continuing to innovate.