What do developers want to see more of in 2021?

Congratulations to us—we made it to 2021! We had some doubts that we would, but here we are, and we can even say there were a few good things to come out of 2020, such as advances in technology. In fact, we recently asked Intuit® developers to tell us what they saw as the biggest tech advancements of 2020. Today, we’re looking at the tech trends they want to see more of in the new year.

What tech trends Intuit developers want to see more of in 2021

Based on an Intuit Twitter poll that garnered more than 4,300 responses, Intuit developers voted “development automation” as the top tech trend they want to see more of this year, but it only secured its winning spot by a slim margin. With 27.5% of the vote, it was closely followed by cross-functional teams at 26.5% and app store solidarity (aka, cross-platform development) at 26.3%. Low-code platforms rounded out the voting with 19.7%.

Why did these four tech trends top the list? Let’s break them down.

Development automation

The basic idea behind development automation is automating the repetitive, manual tasks during the software development process that require not much skill and a lot of patience. By automating these necessary but time-consuming tasks, developers can build, test, and deploy their products efficiently and securely, while freeing themselves up to generate fresh ideas and designs.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a perfect example. AI is a technology that takes huge amounts of data—too much for a person or even a group of people to ingest—and provides analysis of patterns and behaviors. With the automation of this task, Intuit’s George Chiramattel says AI is now redefining apps. “AI will be moving from an add-on to an integral component of the app from the get-go.”

This automated analysis by AI results in optimized apps that efficiently meet the needs of their users. For example, Intuit’s Mint personal finance management service provides users with financial advice, using AI and machine learning to do so. In Forecasting and predictive modeling for marketing analytics, John Jack, Ph.D., writes about his personally satisfying experience with the service: “Mint suggested a new credit card based on my shopping habits. Although it had an annual fee, I enjoyed a far better return on my spending.”

Like AI, development automation sees customer-centered results. Developers are released from performing mundane, step-by-step software development procedures (important but time intensive), and can turn their attention to creating software that helps businesses and customers save time and money.

Cross-functional teams

Cross-functional teams in technology are nothing new, according to an article by BetterProgramming: “Due to the data-driven and AI-driven products that we’re creating, technology is driving the business in every way. It makes sense that business leaders and technology leaders work side-by-side.”

Essentially, cross-functional teams bring different skills, ideas, and perspectives to the table. Team members from different departments within the organization work together to provide innovative solutions to business challenges and, ultimately, to serve the customer better. Here at Intuit, cross-functional teams are the norm.

Nimisha Shrivastava explains in Why I love being an Intuit Developer that she works with internal and external development teams, as well as with product development teams. She writes, “This means I enjoy a creative work environment filled with developers working as a team to meet the needs of our customers as quickly and efficiently as possible. Intuit is a dynamic company and working with cross-functional teams allows me to learn new things and practice my influencing skills.” 

App store solidarity

What is app store solidarity? It’s another way of saying “cross-platform app development.” This means developing apps for multiple platforms, such as Android, iOS, and Windows, at the same time.

This multiple platform development is important because U.S. consumers are fairly evenly split between Apple and Android smartphones. When developing apps, software developers must now choose between native or cross-platform app development knowing that they need to entice users on different platforms—users who will expect the same user experience regardless of where they use it.

For businesses looking to succeed in 2021, Intuit developers recognize that developing apps across multiple platforms without needing to create separate code bases is important.

Low-code platforms

Low-code platforms have been around for a while, but the idea of taking a more simplified, visual, and automated approach to software development—something that can be done by “citizen developers” or business users with no or basic coding skills—is a good tech trend to want more of.

A Forbes article explains it well: “Low-code development platforms allow users to program their own software through an easy-to-operate visual interface, foregoing the need to hand-write code. This enables less experienced developers to create applications using model-driven logic rather than having to invest months or years perfecting their proficiency in a given programming language.”

The result? Success for businesses that may not have large IT budgets.

Intuit developers’ tech trends bode well for the future

The tech trends developers want more of in 2021 bode well for our customers. Development automation, cross-functional teams, app store solidarity, and low-code platforms work together to provide all customers with unparalleled services, products, and support. This mindset aligns perfectly with Intuit’s mission to power prosperity around the world through focusing on our customers, breathing innovation, and championing those who dare to dream.

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