The future is looking incredibly bright for the world of bespoke software development. Blindingly so, in fact.

The events of the last 18 months have been devastating and have shaken up society on a global scale. However, in its wake, Covid-19 has provided so many new and unexplored opportunities for bespoke software development companies and freelance coders alike. As the physical world closed down, the digital one flourished. Countless industries and companies looked to software developers to provide digital solutions to keep their operations running.

But how does this rapid advance toward digitalization affect the future of custom software development? The industry as a whole will experience a very positive impact, but what skills will be the most desired in the not-so-distant future?

Here is a forecast of the 5 most sought-after software development skills for the coming year.

Cloud Development

Cloud-hosted databases and development are subjects everyone in the software development industry will be overly familiar with by now. The cloud has taken the tech industry by storm and is continuing to revolutionize so many businesses.

As hybrid working between home and office spaces continues to take shape, cloud databases will become more prevalent in all of our lives. Covid-19 massively highlighted the importance of needing more remote accessibility for workforces. Because of this, a great focus moved toward collaborative platforms that could be supported by the cloud and accessed from any device, regardless of whether employees were working from home or returning to the office.

Thousands of companies will continue to move away from more traditional software infrastructures and server-based hosting to comply with and remain at the forefront of their industry. Not only will custom software developers be required to help devise and develop the mass demand of cloud databases, but also assist with the migration of outdated and archaic systems.

Cloud-native tech will reach its peak before too long, as many organizations continue to jump on the digital transformation bandwagon. Although it seems a strange idea, many industries, including the healthcare and logistics sectors, greatly benefited during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many found reason to expedite their digitalization goals and now rely on scalable databases provided via cloud-hosting that allow their data and information storage to grow with their operations.

There will be an abundance of cloud development opportunities available to software developers, especially after the fallout of the pandemic. Skills in cloud crafting will be at the top of the list as a proficiency that isn’t likely to fall from grace anytime soon.

Full Stack Development

I don’t know about you, but when I hear the phrase "full stack", I immediately think about pancakes! This may not be the case for everyone, but it can be a very nice thought to have.

In software development, full stack is referring to a bespoke software developer that has experience in both frontend and backend development. Full stack development is becoming much more of a common practice throughout the field of crafting software solutions.

Due to the spike in demand for developers, made worse by the onset of the pandemic, those with both frontend and backend development capabilities are appearing to be much more appealing to potential employers.

Having an extensive range of experience allows full stack developers to become more flexible within a position, while being able to showcase both adaptability and agile practices within one role. This also means companies may only need to hire one software developer to potentially fill two placements. Two birds, one stone.

Full stack developers demonstrate a good knowledge of multiple technological layers, and due to the quickly changing nature of the software industry, have to remain on top of innovations and methodologies. Full stack development will be an incredibly desirable skill within the future of software development and is a skill set that is most definitely not to be sniffed at.

Security

Security has come to be a very controversial topic within the tech industry, with cyber breaches and large corporation hacks making the headlines almost daily.

Despite being hot off the press, expert knowledge regarding software security is only likely to become more important with time. Every software developer and engineer will be expected to know and thoroughly understand how to implement security features throughout the entirety of the software development ecosystem they produce. This also means that developers must have excellent knowledge of how to manage risks and attacks if they were to take place, but first and foremost, understand how to prevent them from happening in the first place.

As the world around us becomes increasingly more digitally-orientated, we will also see more opportunities for cyber attacks. However, custom software developers are renowned for being exceptional problem solvers, so implementing unbreakable security features should be second nature to them.

Blockchain

Like security skills, blockchain has become well known in recent times, mainly for supporting cryptocurrencies. It is a practice that helps prevent fraud from taking place during sensitive transactions and is a software skill this is held in high demand.

Despite not being freely used on the open market just yet, cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, are beginning to be used more frequently. Much like the cloud, blockchain is set to revolutionize the way society interacts with and receives data.

Software developers with experience and knowledge regarding blockchain demonstrate a high level of versatility, while also indicating a good mastery of security. A clear understanding of blockchain will be vital in the immediate future of bespoke software development.

Progressive Web Apps

Gone are the days of having a website and native mobile app, to coincide with one another. It is time for the dawn of the progressive web app (PAW).

A PWA can operate on any device or platform that uses a web browser. In essence, it streamlines a user’s experience and reduces the need for companies to develop matching websites and applications. This naturally cuts down on costs and resources that could be better-allocated elsewhere.

A new “mobile-first” approach is also coming into play. The majority of us now browse purely using our smartphones, instead of our poor old desktops. Because of this shift in interaction with technology, many companies are optimizing browsing experiences to work perfectly on smart devices. This makes a PWA a perfect solution in many cases.

Software developers are always poised for a change in innovation and user habits, meaning they should always be ready to undertake the latest and greatest advancements in the tech and software industry. This is by no means different for PWAs.

Many companies have already jumped at the chance of having a PWA developed, to slowly bridge the gap between web and native apps. The demand for PWAs is only set to rise as businesses realize the convenience of having all browsing and information opportunities in one simplified location. So, software developers should expect to encounter potential PWA prospects sometime soon, if they haven’t already, and expand their ever-growing skillset even further.

Wrap Up

It goes without saying, but bespoke software and database development is here to stay for the long run.

Thanks to shifting habits and societal expectations, certain skills within a software developer’s repertoire are becoming more valuable and will open the door to a great many opportunities in a very short time frame.