Top 6 Software Development Trends in 2011

Top 6 Software Development Trends in 2011

2011 is here and I have noticed a tremendous upside in Software development. You are golden if you are working with cutting-edge technologies.  Whether you are looking for a better paying job or building your own applications, you must know what is hot now and what is coming in the near future.

Here is a list of the top 6 top trends in Software Development that will make you rich in the very near future:

  1. Cloud Computing and SaaS
  2. Smart Devices Development
  3. WPF Replacing Windows Forms
  4. SharePoint and Office Integration
  5. Social Media Integration
  6. Bulk Data Management and Security

Cloud Computing and SaaS

A few years ago, when SaaS (Software as a Service) was introduced, it did not seem like a good idea and at that time, I questioned myself, why would I give my personal information and customers' data to Google or Microsoft? Well, here we are. Now it all makes sense.

Cloud computing not only saves you a lot of time and money but also it makes it easy for small businesses and individuals to avoid the big hassle of software purchases, installations, and maintenance.  

Here are two good articles that give you a basic understanding on cloud computing and SaaS:

Visual Studio 2010 now supports Cloud programming and comes with project templates. Check out
A first look at programming Cloud-based applications using Visual Studio 2010.

Microsoft's answer to cloud computing is Windows Azure and SQL Azure. Windows Azure is the Windows operating system that is developed to manage cloud servers and the SQL Azure is the SQL Server that supports cloud computing.

What is Cloud Development?

Here is MSDN's definition:

Cloud computing refers to computers and applications that run remotely and are accessed over the Internet. In cloud computing, virtual machines run in large data centers and replace physical PCs and servers. By aggregating the computing needs of many users within a single center, economies of scale are achieved that result in significant benefits for everyone. Some of these benefits include lower power utilization, simpler setup and maintenance, and easier upgrades to capacity and performance. Many applications can run unchanged as you redeploy them from local desktops or servers to the cloud. Some applications do need to be updated to adapt them to running remotely in a more distributed computing environment, and some entirely new types of applications are being enabled by cloud computing.

Check out Cloud Platform Resources on MSDN for more details here.

Mobile Development

Smart Phone development is in demand and industries can't get enough of smart phone devices as well as developers. The iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone, Android and BlackBerry are the major names in  smart devices development. The bad (actually good for us developers) part is that every device manufacturer has their own API that makes it difficult for developers to learn everything. So if you want to be in demand, pick a device and get into this niche market. You can just be an iPhone developer and have enough work to keep you busy for the next several years.

The best part is, the demand is growing and will grow more and more every year.  The iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone 7 developers are in high demand today. I have lot of resources on Windows Phone 7, and I have started working on Android and iPhone development. 

I am sure you have heard of Mono? I am not talking about Mono, the kissing disease. Mono is a Framework developed by Novell for Linux developers to write C# and .NET applications. Novell also developed the MonoTouch and the MonoDroid products that can be integrated with Visual Studio 2010 and used to build iPad/iPhone and Android based applications.

Here are two blogs I wrote about MonoTouch and MonoDroid:

We are also adding more articles, tutorials and other resources on these two technologies. Check out the MonoTouch and MonoDrod Development section on C# Corner to find more resources on these technologies.

WPF is replacing Windows Forms.

If you are a Windows Forms developer, it is time to move to WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation). Most of the new project requirements I see are in WPF, and many companies are migrating their Windows Forms applications to either Web or WPF. The reason is simple. You can do pretty much everything in WPF and the graphics and rending have improved a lot.

Check out the forum discussion Future of Windows Forms to learn more about the future of Windows Forms and WPF.

You can find hundreds of articles and tutorials in the Learn WPF section of C# Corner.

SharePoint and Office Integration

SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010 are two of the products Microsoft has worked hard on, and they've actually done a great job. Today, SharePoint 2010 has become the go-to product for small and medium businesses. SharePoint 2010 is not a content or file management system anymore. Using SharePoint 2010, you actually build Intranet based files and document sharing systems, social and blogging websites and much more.

Social Media Integration

Social Media Integration has become a necessity for all businesses. Today, if you look at any website, small or large, retail or community, technical or a book store, you will see Social Media integration options. The Integration with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are very common requirements these days. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and most of the social networking websites provide APIs to connect with the websites and share data.

Social Media Integration developers are in high demand already today.

Bulk Data Management and Security

Data management and security is in high demand today.  Every business and individual is looking for the Web for anything they need. The number of Internet users is growing, and the data transfer and data storage on the Internet is growing. That brings bulk data management and data security concerns. These two trends with the demand of high speed Internet will grow and grow. There is no looking back from here on out.

Check out these good readings on top trends for year 2011.

About the Author

Mahesh Chand is a published author, consultant and Microsoft MVP for 6 consecutive years. Mahesh is also the founder of C# Corner and Mindcracker Network, one of the most active online communities for Microsoft developers. When Mahesh is not writing technical articles or blogs, he enjoys Basketball, Football, and Cricket.