In contrast with different sections of the IT trade, software program improvement is not a spot the place radically new traits seem very incessantly. In spite of everything, many of the programming practices and instruments that builders use in the present day have been in place for years, if not many years. That features even newish practices like DevOps and microservices, each of which have been round for greater than 10 years at this level.
That does not imply, nevertheless, that the software program improvement ecosystem has not seen its share of serious modifications over the previous 12 months. It will be an overstatement to say that the event trade has been completely upended, however essential new traits did emerge or solidify over the course of 2022.
This text seems at 5 software program improvement traits to focus on how software program improvement is altering, even when the modifications are typically laborious to note.
Maybe the one software program improvement pattern that was laborious to not discover in 2022 was the rising adoption of AI-assisted coding instruments, which robotically generate or counsel supply code utilizing AI.
Associated: What Is AI-Assisted Coding, and Ought to You Use It?
A majority of these instruments have been round for a short time; for instance, IntelliCode, an AI-assisted answer for Visible Studio, was introduced in 2017. However the common availability of GitHub Copilot in 2022 arguably represented a watershed second as a result of it made AI-assisted coding simply obtainable to any developer who makes use of GitHub — which is to say, virtually each developer.
You possibly can argue that AI-assisted coding is simply the following evolutionary section in low-code improvement, which has a protracted historical past. However I would argue that it represents a essentially new paradigm as a result of AI-assisted coding makes it potential to generate unique code, relatively than sew collectively prebaked code modules in the best way that low-code instruments do.
In that sense, I believe that AI-assisted coding will change into probably the most essential software program improvement traits not simply of 2022, however of the 2020s on the whole.
Rethinking Open Supply Licenses
A associated software program improvement pattern that appeared in 2022 entails new questions on whether or not AI-generated code might violate software program licenses.
These questions arose as a result of some of us have argued that options like GitHub Copilot, which depend on AI algorithms educated utilizing publicly obtainable open supply code, violate the licensing phrases of that code.
To this point, no less than one lawsuit has been filed over this challenge, and it stays to be seen how the courtroom will interpret these claims. However the chance that AI instruments might complicate software program licensing means builders have one more compliance challenge to consider after they write code.
The Decline of PHP
PHP has been in a sluggish decline for years. However as of late 2022, it is simply barely a part of the highest 10 hottest programming languages, as measured by the TIOBE Index. Meaning 2022 — or, presumably, early 2023 — might grow to be the second the place PHP lastly falls out of the highest ranks.
It is laborious to think about PHP going away totally, since essential platforms like WordPress are written in it. However given how immensely in style PHP as soon as was, however now not is, the language’s regular decline is among the extra notable software program improvement traits of the second.
The Rise of Rust
Whereas PHP has been in decline, one other language — Rust — has seen a surge of adoption.
Rust has existed since 2014, however it climbed into the highest 20 languages on the TIOBE Index for the primary time in 2022. The language’s momentum displays Rust’s “distinctive mixture of pace and security,” because the TIOBE maintainers put it.
There’s an opportunity that Rust’s recognition growth might show momentary, however I believe it is a lasting pattern in a world the place managing cybersecurity threats is a paramount concern for nearly each enterprise.
The Shift-Left Pushback
2022 may also find yourself being recognized looking back because the 12 months the place builders lastly grew to become fed up with the “shift-left” paradigm.
Shift-left encourages processes like testing and safety to start as early as potential within the software program supply lifecycle. That is good in some methods, however it may possibly have the impact of requiring builders to do extra work, as a result of they need to take part in operations that had been beforehand dealt with by different groups (like QA and safety engineers).
Associated: Learn how to Stop Shift-Left Method From Making Builders’ Jobs Tougher
For that purpose — and the truth that shift-left initiatives are sometimes vaguely outlined — proof has been mounting that some builders are cautious of the shift-left push. Shift-left would possibly endure as a buzzword, however will probably be more and more laborious to promote to builders.
In case you thought there wasn’t a lot new occurring on the planet of software program improvement, suppose once more. Flashy improvements could also be uncommon (though AI-assisted programming is arguably one such innovation), however in additional delicate methods, traits like shifts within the recognition of essential programming languages and a rising wariness towards shift-left improvement practices reshaped the best way coders labored in 2022 — and they’re more likely to proceed doing so into the brand new 12 months.
Concerning the creatorChristopher Tozzi is a expertise analyst with material experience in cloud computing, utility improvement, open supply software program, virtualization, containers and extra. He additionally lectures at a significant college within the Albany, New York, space. His guide, “For Enjoyable and Revenue: A Historical past of the Free and Open Supply Software program Revolution,” was revealed by MIT Press.