I recently had the opportunity to ask more than a dozen leading technologists about their hopes, predictions, and guidance for the year 2023. This article summarizes the far-reaching conversation and the wealth of information that came my way. Next year seems to be poor in financial investment, but long in innovation.
do more with less
Not surprisingly, economic conditions are important to many in technology. The theme of doing more with less prevails, along with pushing technological solutions to take over.
William Rauch, CEO and founder of Vercel (see interview), says: “With increasing macroeconomic pressures, companies will have to fight more for each dollar and do more with less. How will online businesses solve these challenges in a short period of time taking costs into account? By equipping their developers with the right tools and turning to front-end performance optimization and customization to deliver creative new experiences to their customers.”
Steve Sewell, CEO and founder of Builder.io (see interview), also noted the drive to simplify. “Fewer engineering staff due to layoffs means a focus on core business, fewer speculative investment efforts, less marketing/growth spend, and efficient growth rather than at all costs. No over-polishing: simplicity. It solves many things with less, for less.”
OutSystems global portfolio head Prakash Vyas echoed the sentiment: “Ensuring IT productivity will be even more critical in 2023. With the increasing number of tech layoffs further increasing the developer shortage.” Vyas added that providing developer teams with low-code tools could be helpful in maximizing productivity.
milin desaiCEO of Sentry.io, also spoke about the need for focus:
Businesses will look at how they can do more with fewer resources, while continuing to innovate and deliver great results. To do this in software, companies need to focus on funding the biggest initiatives that drive value for their customers and improve the productivity of their development team more than ever before. […] sharpen what is working while still having room to make key future bets.
Tearing down walled gardens
brendan ech, CEO and co-founder of Brave, notes that “ChatGPT predicts a revitalization of browsing and information applications (not just search), thanks to all the human-created text on the web. This may be the year that innovations combining blockchain, privacy and browser technology will tear down the walled gardens of Big Social.”
In 2022, we saw the transformation of artificial intelligence and machine learning from a promising frontier to a practical factor in many business processes. mario fuscoJava Champion and Drools project lead, expects a more measured approach in 2023:
I hope we find effective ways to complement the amazing capabilities of machine learning with other AI technologies that today are considered a small dying niche like rule engines. The net result of this approach is that, for some reason, we decided to let ML rediscover (poorly) some rules of our business domains instead of trying to encode them correctly in our software.
Patrick Jean, CTO of OutSystems, predicts that this year, companies will adopt low-code tools for efficient business process management (BPM):
The BPM market is expected to be valued at $14.4 billion by 2025. The demand to build strong BPM is so high that companies will need to use smart shortcuts and automate their processes. But amid the continuing developer shortage and the accumulating IT backlog, businesses are left on the sidelines. Employees are expected to do more with fewer resources, which is hampering overall digital transformation processes. In the coming year, companies will turn to low-code technology to accommodate the creation of strategic business process management.
Guillermo Rauch expects that “AI-based applications span entire categories of software. But every app will find opportunities to incorporate AI as well.” As an example, he cites Vercel’s headless architecture, which “allows developers to easily integrate ready-made AI models into the customer experience.” He also anticipates further advances in AI. /ML workloads “running at the edge for low-latency AI-driven applications.”
rich harris, creator of the SvelteKit framework (see interview), sees AI impacting UI design. “AI will be everywhereAnd most of it will be rubbish: cumbersome interfaces, questionable results, and a pervasive sense of opportunism, but it will also usher in some of the most radical changes in the way we think about user interface and workflow in a generation. ”.
dan mooreFusion Auth’s head of developer relations says machine learning “will continue to be integrated into software and apps, but things like ChatGPT are so expensive that only big gamers will have such a seamless experience.” In the meantime, machine learning “will continue to be a necessary shiny object for any company seeking venture capital funding,” Moore says.
App development in 2023
Front-end frameworks and techniques have been undergoing intense evolution in recent years, and the trend shows signs of staying with us.
With all the innovation, there are still a lot of rough edges and things to work out. Next year will be less about showing what’s possible and more about figuring out how to make the experience of developing with these techniques enjoyable. My instinct is that it will not be the performance but the [developer experience] that separates these solutions, as they all already have such a significant impact that it will be hard for many to ignore them for long.
Steve Sewell also sees an increasing focus on the developer experience: “It will be easier to build high-performing websites that maintain the great DX we’re used to.” He also notes that “React’s dominance will finally start to lose some momentum.”
Follow William Rauch:
2023 is the year that companies double down on open source frameworks. Many companies have recognized the value of React but were using their own tools to build their stacks. Companies that have not invested in frameworks and front-end component systems will find that they have accumulated a lot of complexity and created a lot of technical debt. This year, we hope to see these companies adopt frameworks, like this example from the BBC, to address that technical debt and help move their engineering organization forward faster.
MongoDB CTO goalkeeper mark (see interview) also points out that analytics is “moving to the left” towards application development:
The shift to smarter apps has meant that developers are now becoming responsible for building logic directly into their apps and running cutting-edge machine learning and automation capabilities on their live operational data. The results for businesses are: the ability for applications to process and analyze real-time data much, much faster and at lower cost, and to understand trends and make more informed predictions based on those trends. The results for customers are greater personalization and richer digital experiences.
The Blockchain Battleground
Cryptocurrency took a real beating in 2022. Much of the technology is advancing though. It seems that two camps are emerging on the blockchain issue. For one, as Mario Fusco says, “I hope people finally realize that cryptocurrency is just the biggest Ponzi scheme ever.”
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