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Empowering Tomorrow's Tech Today: The Next-Gen Software Revolution

There can be little doubt that traditional software development processes deliver results. But they can also be complex and time-consuming, putting the brakes innovation. Now, various new approaches are accelerating development, boosting adaptability, and improving cost-efficiency – revolutionizing software development and giving businesses the high levels of flexibility and efficiency they need to compete in the digital age.


Why CXOs Should Take Notice of Trends in Software Development


There are many reasons why top executives should be interested in the latest advances in software development. For one thing, the software development industry is growing fast, with a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.42% between 2023 and 2028 and a market size just north of USD 858 billion by 2028.


Leveraging new tools and techniques empowers development teams to prioritize the creation of innovative new features and achieve results significantly faster – not just in development, but also in the areas of time-to-market and code testing. In fact, next-gen software technologies can enable software to be deployed twice as quickly as with traditional methods.

So, what are these new approaches and how do they play out in practice? To understand this, let’s first consider the key enablers of the software development revolution.


The Right Tools for the Job


Next-gen development is built on tools that are designed to enhance processes and boost quality across all stages of the software lifecycle. These tools include the following:

  • Low-/no-code platforms

  • Infrastructure as a code

  • AI-supported software development


Low-code platforms do pretty much what it says on the tin, enabling applications to be built with no need for manual coding. They make this possible by providing users with a graphical user interface (GUI) and drag-and-drop tools. No-code platforms, on the other hand, deliver a range of templates and tools that allow users with zero coding expertise to develop applications. Such is the power of low-/no-code platforms that they can potentially reduce development time by 90%.


Faster, More Straightforward Infrastructure Provisioning


Infrastructure as Code (IaC) lightens the load on developers by simplifying and automating IT infrastructure provisioning. It does this by means of a descriptive coding language that eliminates the manual effort traditionally associated with managing various infrastructure components (such as servers, operating systems, and database connections) during software development and deployment.


AI Support for Code Generation, Testing, and Review


As the name suggests, AI-supported software development deploys artificial intelligence (AI) to handle a variety of development tasks. At the code-generation stage, for example, AI delivers code recommendations. It does so by using input code and natural language descriptions to derive the context. This not only increases developer productivity; it also enhances code quality.


Once the code has been generated in this way, AI-based testing can be used to automate unit and performance tests. This improves accuracy while enhancing coverage and efficiency during the testing phase.


Finally, automated code review deploys AI-driven or predefined rule-based software checks to analyze the source code. The combination of AI and machine learning (ML) enhances the review process, saving time and, again, improving code quality.


The Role of Tried-and-Trusted Technology


In addition to these innovative tools, next-gen software development also draws on well-established tech, such as microservices and application programming interfaces (APIs). By breaking applications down into small, independent functions that interact to perform complex tasks, microservices allow developers to work on individual components in parallel, accelerating development.


For their part, APIs allow different software components to exchange information, specifying communication and enabling access to specific functionality or data from third-party code.


Some Real-World Examples


That’s the theory. But what does next-gen software development look like in practice? The following use cases give an idea of the tangible business benefits of some of the tools.

Decathlon is an excellent example of infrastructure-as-code in action. By leveraging infrastructure as code, the sports retail giant automated its infrastructure deployment, reducing the time required from weeks to a mere 30 minutes and freeing up its IT teams to focus on more complex tasks.


AI and Automation Yield Major Time-Savings


In the banking sector, Goldman Sachs shows the impressive time-savings that AI-supported software development can deliver. Faced with the challenge of increasing legacy code coverage to provide a basis for future developments, the bank used the AI-based tool Diffblue Cover to generate its unit tests – accelerating the test-writing process by a factor of 180.

 

To realize the goal of delivering weekly releases of its mobile apps, premier booking and ticketing service provider Ticketmaster deployed GitLab CI to automate test and code review. As a result, the company has reduced the time needed to build, test, and publish artifacts from 2 hours to just 8 minutes.


Boost Agility, Hone Competitive Edge


In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, staying agile is key to competitiveness. So, embracing the latest software development approaches is a must – no matter what industry you’re in. And by adopting next-generation development tools and paradigms, companies can put themselves in a position to innovate, adapt, and thrive in an increasingly software-driven world.


Questions? Opinions? Insights?


Interested in diving deeper into next-gen software development? Want to find out how this tech could benefit your organization? Then, feel free to reach out to me. And if you have ideas and experiences of your own around this month’s featured topic, please share them in the comments section.

 

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