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Programming Trends in 2018 – Do Your Software Development Skills Match Up?

June 27, 2018 No Comments

Featured article by Charles Roberts, Independent technology Author

It’s June, and we are halfway through the year which means it might seem a little late to be writing about software development trends in 2018 – but as we all know, software trends move faster than calendars. Software is continuously evolving so it’s always worth stopping and looking up from the keyboard to see where the best opportunities are.

One trend that can’t be ignored is the bringing together of traditional public services and disruptive innovation from tech companies. Challenge competitions, financial incentives and even cash prizes are helping to create a whole new market for software development agencies, whether in partnership with other entrepreneurs or alone. Hot 2018 topics like Blockchain and Internet of Things are are the forefront of disruptive developments helping to bring traditional government and public services together with tech startups and development agencies. Data services are also helping to bring these very different worlds together, as small start ups show the monoliths just what can be achieved in future with their huge data resources.

Hot off the press from London Technology Week comes news from the Mayor of London about the Civic Innovation Challenge, an opportunity for startups to work with businesses and public organisations to find innovative solutions to some specific City problems like climate change, inequality and caring for an aging population. This challenge is a great example of the new for public and private partnerships, using the cutting edge agility of small startup tech businesses to disrupt the complicated routines of large existing corporations and public services. This is a big change to the existing model of IT contracts and public services, where historically the long, complex tender processes meant that smaller or newer companies were often excluded from even entry level opportunities.

Other innovation challenges from sources like Innovation UK and global innovation foundation Nesta are opening new doors for technological collaborations between small and startup tech companies, especially software and app developers. Recent Nesta prize fund challenges have included the Mobility Unlimited Challenge, which requested smart assistive technology solutions to improve mobility and independence for people with lower limb paralysis, many incorporating AI and use of data to create innovation solutions.

The Scottish government are running their own innovation programme, CivTech®, which looks to “transform public sector engagement with tech and innovation”. Challenges include everything from using tech to improve hospital waiting times to using data to improve public housing standards, using tech to enhance outdoor experiences and even helping young people to manage their digital footprint.

These types of challenges are all really exciting opportunities for small software developments agencies and even individuals to expand their knowledge bases and find new avenues of collaboration. In addition to standard commercial bread and butter work these sorts of innovation opportunities can allow software developers, especially those who are used to working at the speed and with the particular challenges of the start up software app development environment, to find new avenues for research, development and growth, with the possibility of financial rewards as well as the satisfaction of helping to solve social challenges for the greater good.

About the Author

Charles Roberts is an independent IT consultant. After spending 6 years in various blue chip companies consulting on IT, he started his own independent consulting service. He specialises in web and software development.

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