This is one of the most fun episodes we record each year. Both Will and BJ look forward to reviewing their predictions from the previous year and creating new ones. It’s important to stay up to date with the changes in technology, especially in your particular field.
We hit most of our predictions from last year. This is mostly because we saw “the handwriting on the wall” in several places. Also we have been keeping up with the industry. Doing so will help you to better predict when to make moves in your career and when to stay in place.
Predictions for 2020
Electric trucks from major American manufacturers such as Ford or Chevy. Tesla broke ground with the Cypertruck this year. While aesthetically it leaves much to be desired the fact that they built it shows that it is possible to have an electric truck with towing capacity.
There will be a rise in the number of non developers learning some of the basics of programming to write and work with low-code applications. There are a lot of enterprise level automation platforms that allow non developers to create applications with little coding involved. The amount of these will increase and developers will have to maintain them in the future.
Major trucking and shipping companies will start implementing autonomous vehicles for long distance shipping, i.e. across state lines. Truck drivers may not be out of jobs yet, though they will likely have to learn to work with new technology. Not all states will be on board with autonomous trucking so for now I’m predicting that we’ll see a blend as the cost goes down and companies move that direction.
The world of augmented and virtual reality will blend with wearable technologies to create immersive experiences. We’ve already seen VR arcades where all the games are virtual reality. We may not have full on haptic suits for gaming but we’ll see the use of wearables with AR and VR becoming popularized through out this year.
Generational tensions will get worse. Boomers will trash talk Milennials more and Milennials will “Ok, Boomer” them back more frequently. It will get uglier with more Boomers retiring as government expenditures will go towards healthcare for the more elderly members of society, while many still in the workforce struggle. Milennials and post-Milennials will resent this and it will become more politically apparent, probably getting some focus in political campaigns.
Things will get worse on the US southern border and south into Mexico. We have already seen an incident where the drug cartels outgunned the Mexican Army. It will happen again and some of it may spill across into the US.
More people will be able to push for remote work, more flexible working hours, and better compensation in the US IT market. While lots of bigger companies are making potential hires jump through more and more hoops to get a job, a lot of the more ridiculous interviewing practices (*cough* whiteboards *cough*) are going to start hitting natural limits soon. The market will still be good for senior developers, although it may get a bit soft for mid-level and junior developers due to saturation from coding schools.
A downturn in coding schools will occur. It’s hard to pay coding school staff enough to keep them onboard, while trying to make the coding school inexpensive enough for students to attend and then pay it off. Coding schools have grown a ton in the last few years, but it’s entirely possible that they grew too fast.
Predictions for the Decade
The industry is going to change to where the majority of programming is more of a blue collar job. With coding bootcamps and software schools proliferating we’re going to see programming become a technical skill. Also, a lot of apps and websites can be built by assembling pre-built parts already. Also programmers in some areas are moving toward unionization. This is not a bad thing, it will lower the barrier to entry by making it easier to get a job as a junior developer. Those with degrees in computer science may not do as much day to day line of business coding but have more software engineer positions.
Big tech is going to get broken up. Far too much power is wielded by too few. Something will happen politically that will show these companies to be monsters and (more importantly) create the optics needed for one or more governments to drop the hammer on them.
Last week we had our Resolutions episode, since this is the beginning of the year I’ve picked a book that will help many of us with our health goals. Unhealthy lifestyles lead to pain, injury, loss of work, and potentially early death. As developers most of us lead rather sedentary lives. This book is geared toward helping us to make small changes to improve our health. It’s not about getting 6-pack abs or buns of steel, it’s about simple changes that will improve your health. It’s designed for programmers with chapters titled “Bootstrapping Your Health” and “Agile Dieting”. The author even uses the word “penultimate” in the preface.
Tricks of the Trade
Don’t give in to gloom and doom predictions. While some of ours are decidedly negative, there is opportunity in most negative things.