Software engineering – where we are and where we’re going

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Software engineering – where we are and where we’re going
Kraig Smith

Software engineering – where we are and where we’re going

The future of software engineering is more divisive than ever, with experts predicting that the sector will undergo significant change due to the new technologies and innovations available within the development space.

The future of software engineering is more divisive than ever, with experts predicting that the sector will undergo significant change due to the new technologies and innovations available within the development space. The advancement of the tech sector is more rapid than any other, with the future suggesting software engineering will play a role in not only our work lives but our personal lives, alongside generating 133 million new jobs. With the software engineering industry clearly expanding, I wanted to give my predictions as to what the future holds.

Cloud-based services

Moving to the cloud offers numerous benefits in the software engineering space; cost savings, increased security, and flexibility to name but a few. These are particularly important in the post-COVID world we are living in, with businesses needing guaranteed security as they implement flexible working policies. Because of this, many companies are transitioning to cloud-based services, leading to an all-time high demand for cloud engineers and cementing cloud-based services as a leader in the future of software engineering.

The global spending on public cloud-based services is expected to exceed $480b by the end of 2022, with investments flooding in due to cost efficiency, recovery procedures and multiple models. Alongside this, the future of cloud-based services is bright with potential for growth and evolution due to networks such as 5G streaming new data from the cloud. Sustainability also plays a role in the growth of the cloud as it reduces energy usages in powerful computing engines and offers larger digital storage requirements.

In the short-term future, cloud-based services functionality and size will increase in conjunction with lower prices, driving companies to transition to cloud-based services. One benefit of this is that many services offer analytics, a valuable tool for many data-driven businesses and leading to an upward trend of cloud-based services use.

Automation and AI

There is no doubt that AI and automation will play a crucial and similar role in the future of software engineering as it is already assisted developers during development. Automation is a trend that is constantly growing and evolving, with robotic process automation (RPA) techniques offering a more efficient outcome than humans performing the same tasks, with predictions that, by 2040, machines will be able to produce better software code than humans in a shorter time frame. This means that software engineers will be transformed into more capable programmers that working alongside machines to produce software. Workforce automation will boost reliability and productivity in competitive markets, resulting in a higher profit margin and shorter delivery cycles.

AI is set to become a billion-pound industry with programmes equipped to identify potential threats and abnormal data in seconds whilst also protecting networks from potential cyber-attacks. Additionally, advanced AI programmes will offer proactive security solutions and resilience to attacks, with the promise of businesses remaining operational even if a cyberattack were to occur. AI and automation continue to rapidly progress, with the potential of RPA and AI programmes being integrated into businesses on a large scale alongside, or in replacement of, humans in the not-too-distant future. AI will assist developers in solving software challenges, with developers using AI as a tool to gain new knowledge, optimise procedures and produce code resulting in higher quality software.

Cross-platform development

The nature of cross-platform development is that an application or product works well across multiple technology devices, and so it’s no surprise that this continues to lead the future of software engineering with the public owning multiple technology devices that operate differently. Currently, cross-platform development is making certain applications and programmes less efficient due to a number of factors including available storage and device capabilities. However, cross-platform development is advancing, offering software engineers the opportunity for faster development with minimal cost as development costs decrease by 30%.

The low cost and effort model certifies cross-platform development’s future within software engineering, with many application developers opting to utilise the model. Cross-platform development allows programmes to reach a wider audience due to it being available across multiple platforms. This also means that the design will be consistent across each platform as it was developed at the same time in a similar manner. The benefits outweigh the current cons, which will inevitably be ironed out.

Additionally, many large-scale companies have begun offering cross-platform development tools, highlighting the popularity as companies such as Adobe invest in cross-platform development’s future. Adobe’s programme was known as Adobe PhoneGap or Apache Cordova with engineering resources now directed towards the Adobe I/O platform that offers more capabilities to software engineers. The shift occurred as Adobe’s goal is to expand Open Source and Open Development across all Adobe offerings, showing the focus on cross-platform development with leading companies striving to integrate it across their business.  

Tech 4 Good movement

The Tech 4 Good movement was established in 2013 with the goal of using technology only for the greater good. The approach looks at all parts of technology and how it will affect people, helping to ensure that technological innovation is used with the best of intentions.

Tech 4 Good will inevitably play a huge role in software engineering’s future as the sector continues to become more self-aware and sustainable. The movement offers an opportunity for companies and governments to define new tech models that will offer a positive impact and lean on this in order to grow the movement.


Many of the above topics will be discussed at Lorien’s Tech Meets Talent on May 19th. We will be joined by some of the most progressive and innovative employers in the sector such as ASOS, Nationwide and Rightmove, alongside other speakers who will present their company’s approach to software engineering and their visions for the future. More details on the event and free tickets are available here.

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