The Next Big Trends in Software Development

Technology Trends

Technology continues growing at an exponential rate — and so do various technological trends. When it comes to software development, certain trends come around for a few years while some become mainstays of the developmental landscape. In some cases, it’s years before a technology trend can become mainstream — after it has been adopted by enough industries. In this article, we discuss the next big trends in software development.

1. Containerization

Containerization is an inevitability because it has already been implemented to a vast degree. Application containerization refers to a method of OS-level virtualization that runs various applications simultaneously without launching a complete virtual machine for each of those applications. This essentially allows developers to run various individual applications on the same host with access to the same OS components. Currently, the most common technologies for app containerization are Docker and CoreOS. However, in the future, most software developers will be using containers because of their heightened efficiency and utility.

2. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is perhaps the single most obvious and touted technological trend that’s sure to become mainstream in the 2020s. With AI, computers can learn from past behavior and learn about the world in the same way as humans do — they learn from their own experience rather than having to be specifically programmed. The sudden and phenomenal explosion of computing power and data in recent years has sent artificial intelligence barreling forward. In fact, we have already started using AI in various everyday tasks in the form of Siri, Amazon Echo, and other technologies. Artificial intelligence can be used in chatbots to interact with customers, it can be used in the field of data analysis to make accurate reports, and it can be used in a number of different fields. In the future, most industries are likely to be dependent on artificial intelligence in one form or another.

3. Chatbot Development

This point leads straight from the previous one on artificial intelligence — but it deserves a spot all of its own. Chatbots based on artificial intelligence have become so mainstream that most websites, ecommerce platforms, and businesses use them to interact with customers. Instead of hiring employees to answer repetitive questions over and over, this task can be automated so companies can direct their human resources to essential tasks. This vastly increases productivity and efficiency. In the future, this is likely to go a step further. Chatbots are capable of understanding emotions and human speech patterns as well, which is why they will also be used in telephonic customer service. Pretty soon, when you call customer support, you’re likely to be met with chatbots! Examples of current chatbots include Google Assistant, Siri, Alexa, and Samsung’s Bixby.

4. Functional Programming

Functional Programming is a form of programming in which everything is bound together in mathematical equations. It basically uses expressions instead of statements in order to solve complex problems. Current programming languages like JavaScript are already having a hard time maintaining and debugging code. As such, more and more software developers are starting to adopt functional programming and it’s likely to become an immense software development trend in the future. Programming languages that currently support functional programming include JavaScript, Racket, Haskell, Erlang, Clojure, Scala, Lisp, ML, OCaml, and Common Lisp.c

5. Touch Commerce

The way we shop completely transformed thanks to e-commerce. We no longer have to go to physical brick-and-mortar stores to buy the things we want but can simply order them online with a few clicks. However, touch commerce is a software development trend that takes it further — it merges touchscreen technology with shopping. Basically, in the future, more and more companies will integrate systems wherein you can simply order things online with a touch, with a fingerprint. That will take you through the whole checkout process so you don’t have to constantly enter your details, address, etc.

6. Multiplatform UI Development

Companies often need completely different front ends for their web presence, iOS availability, and Android availability. This is an extremely inefficient means of doing things because you have to set up separate platforms for all of them. However, in recent years, several solutions like Flutter, React Native, and Xamarin have attempted to merge iOS and Android application development to streamline the process. While there’s no solution yet to merge all three — web, iOS, and Android — the future is likely to see a breakthrough in this multi platform UI development as well. In the backend, this will be upheld by containers and micro services.

7. Blockchain

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Blockchain still feels like technology in its infancy. It’s something most people know about, but few people (in mainstream society) understand what it really is. However, blockchain holds immense potential that’s likely to be unleashed in the 2020s. Currently, only a few industries are actively using blockchain technology, but it’s likely that most industries in the future will be blockchain-dependent. There are already developments in place to expand blockchain functionality to industries like healthcare, farming, city planning, advertisement, and various others. Software developers will have to focus on disruptive and advanced solutions that can leverage blockchain capabilities to enable smart contracts, cryptocurrency payments, and increase transparency in the online space.

8. Third-Party API Integrations

Application Programming Interface (API) is a set of functions that allow different applications to communicate with each other, i.e., access their features, operating system, and other services. We are already seeing a trend wherein customers are seeking third-party external API integrations — this saves immense time in custom development and is cost-effective as well. In the future, software developers will mostly rely on third-party API integrations so they can focus on integration between different services instead.

9. Data-Driven Rating Systems

The public is losing faith in online reviews and ratings generated by humans. There are too many different ways to manipulate them. A company can create several accounts to leave positive reviews. People often hire third-parties to fix their online image by burying bad reviews. And there are a number of other ways for companies to fake good reviews. That’s why the future will see software that generates objective reviews and ratings based entirely on objectively measurable user statistics. This will increase the level of transparency and reliability in the online space.

10. Edge Computing

Edge Computing is the practice of processing data at the very edge of the network instead of in some centralized location or warehouse. Basically, this allows the processing of data in the very source in which it’s generated rather than in centralized systems. This will be a cornerstone of software development in the future because it will allow computing at the very source of initial data capture, thereby reducing or completely eliminating processing workload from the servers.

Conclusion

We’re on the brink of an exciting time as far as technologies and software development are concerned. Disruptive technologies like Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Blockchain are all set to take center stage in the 2020s. These technologies promise to bring forth a technological revolution similar to the dot com revolution of the 90s. However, in order to leverage the capabilities of these technologies, software development will also have to advance and grow — which will be done through trends such as containerization, functional programming, multi-platform UI development, and various others. Software developers across the globe have an exciting path ahead of them in terms of bringing forth these changes.

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Leveraging over 20 years of success, Softura is a global software development and modern technology consulting company. Our mission is to innovate the world one technology solution at a time! Simply put - we design, code, and deliver complex architecture, applications and systems that are built upon leading modern technologies. Our global headquarters is in Farmington Hills, MI and we are a proud Microsoft Gold Partner.

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How You Can Enrich Your After-School Program

How You Can Enrich Your After-School Program

While traditional schooling is undoubtedly necessary, so is the presence of after-school programs that focus on the holistic development of children. After-school programs encourage creative learning and key socialization skills necessary in life. Furthermore, these lessons are better absorbed by students because of the relatively flexible and casual setting.

The benefits of after-school programs have been well-documented by various studies and researches. In fact, studies also show that the positive effects of after-school programs also impact children’s attention during regular school hours — they are more likely to complete their homework on time or engage during class.

Furthermore, 80% of all parents also report that after-school programs are a relief to them because they keep children occupied and allow the parents to focus on their jobs. As such, after-school programs have numerous and multifold benefits both for the children and the parents — developing crucial socialization skills in children, taking care of extended supervision, and keeping them preoccupied with productive tasks so they don’t fall into unhealthy patterns and habits.

Basically, the success of an after-school program can be measured with two key metrics:

  • Its ability to increase high school graduation rates and classroom grades.
  • Its ability to decrease the number of teenagers enmeshed in legal and social troubles.

While after school programs have many benefits, these are two objective measurements of their success. So now that you understand exactly why after-school programs are so important, let’s take a closer look at how you can enrich your after-school program.

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Update Registration Protocol

You can enrich your after-school program right from the very beginning, i.e., from the registration process. The way you present the registration for the program will be the first impression you make on the parents so you should put your best foot forward.

The registration form or document should achieve two things — it should help you gather all the necessary information you need to effectively manage your registrants’ database and it should make a positive impression on the parents in order to guide them towards a complete registration.

So let’s focus on both aspects of the purpose and see how you can improve upon the registration protocol. Your registration document should be online and needs to collect pertinent information regarding the enrolled children, such as their emergency contacts, immunization tracking, list of allergies, and parental signature.

However, collecting too much information or making the registration too complex can also turn registrants away. In the modern age, people get distracted too fast. So if you over-complicate the registration process, some parents may simply procrastinate or not register their children, which can lower your conversion rate. That’s why you should also try to keep the registration form minimal and limit it to information that you really need while weeding out all of the surplus.

Finally, you need to have a system in place that can automatically document and track all of the registered information. This is important because it will save countless working hours that would otherwise go into logging all of the information manually. That’s where online registration management software can be useful — it can help you collect all of the registration information with a simple and user-friendly interface and it can also automatically log them so you don’t have to.

Online Schedules

Parents value transparency in their after-school programs. Even if they can’t be physically present to monitor their children, they like to know what they’re doing, especially since after-school programs aren’t a “necessity”.

That’s where online schedules come in. With online registration platforms, you can enter all of the scheduling information and activity lists online. This allows parents to monitor their children’s activities from any device. Essentially, by integrating parents into the after-school programs remotely, you create a stronger and more transparent bond between administrators, students, and parents. This can enrich your after-school program and minimize dropout rates.

New Activities​

As already mentioned, your after-school program platform should be able to gain insight from parents. Based on that collective insight regarding activity submissions and recommendations, you can better tailor your after-school program activities to meet the needs of more students.

Your after-school program platform should allow you to track attendance and interest in past activities. This can help you determine which activities are popular or unpopular. As such, you can strategize and decide which activities to focus on, which activities to replace, or how to make unpopular activities seem more desirable.

Data Insight

The only way to improve and enrich your after-school program is to gain a big-picture view of the program’s past performance. You need to use a software or platform that can automatically and continuously track key performance measurements and insight such as attendance in specific activities, individual students’ performance over an extended period, etc.

By tracking the students’ performance both within the after-school program and in relation to their regular schooling, you get a better picture of exactly how your after-school program is impacting students on a larger scale. It allows you to measure their engagement in the program alongside their engagement in classrooms and their social behavior.

Once you have access to this information, you can also create detailed student reports for the parents to show them exactly how the after-school program has benefited their children. Such data insight can increase enrollment in your program and also help you retain the students you already have.

Automated Payments

Payments — both making and receiving payments — can be a stressful and unpleasant situation for everyone. On one hand, parents don’t like to be constantly hassled for payment or having to remember payment cycles. And, on your end, constantly sending out reminders for payments can be time-consuming, inefficient, and lead to a high accounts receivable.

That’s why you need to introduce an online management software that automates the payment cycle — whether it’s a one-time payment during the time of registration or a regular routine payment at specific intervals. The platform should be able to securely accept credit card payment information and initiate recurring charges or auto-drafts from bank accounts.

Conclusion

The benefits of after-school programs cannot be underestimated. Several studies have shown that after-school programs help engender important social skills, encourages participation in social activities, and improve objective performance and behavior in school. However, in order to truly maximize the potential of after-school programs, you need to constantly improve upon your current program.

 

Online registration software can help you drastically enrich your after-school program. It can help you update your registration protocol for a seamless registration experience that maximizes enrollment, set up online schedules that increase transparency, keep the parents in the loop, create important data insight so you can craft reports for parents regarding the positive effects of the program, and you can automate the payment cycle to reduce inefficiencies in the payment process.

If you implement these strategies, you won’t just enrich your after-school program, but you’ll also increase the administrative efficiency.

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Leveraging over 20 years of success, Softura is a global software development and modern technology consulting company. Our mission is to innovate the world one technology solution at a time! Simply put - we design, code, and deliver complex architecture, applications and systems that are built upon leading modern technologies. Our global headquarters is in Farmington Hills, MI and we are a proud Microsoft Gold Partner.

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Leave your name and email below along with what you are looking for in the message box. Or you can call us at (248) 344-2100

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