Tech pros know how important it is to keep their existing skills fresh, and to keep learning new ones. In 2014, the rise of new technologies (such as Apple’s Swift) as well as the growth in popularity of existing technologies (Bootstrap, Angular) made that job a little tough at moments. So what do you need to know in 2015?
Here are some exciting things on the horizon over the next twelve months:
More Opportunities in iOS
It’s not like Apple is going away anytime soon:
- Apple Watch is coming out in 2015. Developers are already hard at work building apps for it, thanks to WatchKit. While the device might not be a hit on the scale of the iPhone, it will certainly leave an indelible mark on the growing wearable-electronics industry.
- If you are working in iOS and you haven’t touched Swift yet, you should give the programming language a try: It’s how iOS apps will be increasingly built through 2015 and beyond.
Prepare for the latest and greatest modular CSS frameworks:
- HTML 5 Continues Its Run: As traffic on mobile devices continues to grow, having a great mobile experience on a tiny screen becomes ever more important. At the beginning of 2014, more than 60 percent of business developers had migrated to an HTML 5 and/or hybrid development platform for building their primary applications; that number’s almost certainly increased over the past twelve months, and will likely continue to rise over the next twelve.
- More CSS frameworks: Each year there seem to be more CSS frameworks, each with pros and cons. The five most popular according to Github are: Bootstrap, Foundation, Semantic UI, Pure and UIKit (it’s also worth checking out Jeet.js). These are all modular, which is cool, because it means you can always mix and match best components, getting exactly what you want and need.
For many, 2015 is all about getting ready for Rails 5:
- Next year should be a big one with Rails 5 shipping in late 2015. This new version, which should feature some substantial performance improvements, will target Ruby 2.2. (It is supposed to be optimized to use Ruby’s new garbage collector.)
Keeping an eye on data will remain a top priority for companies and developers in 2015:
- Data security will become more important: There were some Big Data breaches in 2014, with credit cards stolen from companies such as Target and Home Depot, and the more recent hacking of Sony. Protecting data is going to likely be an increasing focus for those who run back-end systems.
Yes, the ‘cloud’ is ubiquitous, and it will continue to evolve in new and exciting ways:
- Containers and packages: Configuration management and deployments are still hot areas of innovation, since they enable developers to build their software once and deploy it different places (including the cloud). If you haven’t heard of Docker yet, it is worth a look, as it is a very popular open source tool set for managing your apps and components; and of course, you can’t forget Puppet and Chef, two of the more established technologies in this space.
- Microservices, or single-purpose apps with API access: You have probably heard of SOA before, but there’s also a new trend known as “microservices.” These applications act as the building blocks for bigger applications.
- More DevOps: In 2015, more developers will rely on DevOps as a method of building software that includes more test automation, database virtualization, continuous deployment, configuration management, performance monitoring at every level, and other Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) technologies.
Machine learning has become increasingly popular over the past year, a trend that will doubtlessly continue in 2015. Some other aspects of data science that are looking up:
- In 2014, the first semantics standard, SPARQL, was released. For people working in semantics or data mining, the updates to this standard are going to be interesting and worth tracking throughout 2015.
- The new artificial intelligence is machine learning, and it is becoming pervasive in almost all new data-analytics applications. Projects worth watching on this front in 2015 include Mahout and Spark/MLlib (both open source).
No matter where you work in tech, your field is likely booming. Things are going to get more efficient, and we are going to see more cross-pollination among disciplines. What does this mean for your role or your company? Dive into some of the links listed above, and take a look at how you can get a jump-start on the biggest technology trends of 2015 before everyone else.
- Jump-Start Your Tech Job Search in 2015
- Tech Jobs That Will Win (and Lose) in 2015
- Tech Hiring Set to Rise in 2015: Dice Survey