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IBM developer advocates offer their insight into developer trends we'll see in 2021.


As we shake off the remnants of 2020 and cast our collective gaze toward the future, we chatted (virtually, of course) with a few of our notable developer advocates about the road ahead. Each shared their thoughts on what they saw as a major trend for 2021. Watch the video to hear their wide range of viewpoints.

1. Multiarchitecture development

IBM developer advocate Spencer Krum says, “You’re gonna have to test yourself for a lot of different platforms and you have to develop it for those platforms and that’s gonna be a lot of work, but it’s what you’re gonna have to do in order to really capture a whole lot of users.”

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2. Thin terminal developer experience

IBM developer advocate JJ Asghar predicts improved thin terminal developer experiences in 2021. “I genuinely believe we’re gonna have more thin terminals or iPad-like experiences for developers in 2021,” Asghar says. “The ability to have code-ready workspaces or code server, where you can run VS code in the cloud to be able to do your development, will allow for thin workstations to start coming back. I genuinely believe this will be fun, too, if this is true.”

3. Data privacy in security

IBM senior software engineer Megan Kostick identified data privacy in security as one of the top trends for 2021. “People are already asking: ‘Where’s my data, how’s it being processed, how’s it being used, shared, remaining compliant?'” Kostick says. “And with GDPR, I think that really opened the doors here, and we’re going to see a lot of new innovation across not only the technology industry but all industries that store data and I’m excited to see what’s to come this year.”

4. Chatbots

IBM developer advocate Hana Ibrahim sees chatbots evolving this year. “I see this year forcing businesses and having them adjust to have what is called ‘anywhere operations,’ where they would have to give their services remotely, especially with supermarkets, with restaurants,” Ibrahim says. “We’ve been seeing apps coming up that do food ordering or grocery runs for you. So, I think chatbots are going to be something that is requested. It’s going help these businesses get all of like the customer orders and have them in one place.”

5. Edge computing

IBM developer advocate Mo Haghighi predicts an increased emphasis on edge computing for developers. “Edge computing has been around for quite some time,” Haghighi says, “but with latest advances in three areas of semiconductors, communications, and open source, developers are now able to build powerful edge applications embedded with AI.”

  • Read the following article to understand the benefits, challenges, and architectures to consider when implementing edge computing in Telecom and other industries: Edge computing architecture and use cases.

6. DevOps

IBM Developer Advocate and host of the IBM Developer podcast Luke Schantz says we’ve moved beyond the hype cycle for DevOps, DevSecOps, and Data Ops. “These practices have reached maturity and we’re seeing them everywhere, part of digital transformations, application modernization, and new application development,” Schantz says.