21 Technologies Transforming Software Development

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There was a time when developers created assembly code with the ability to run light and fast. On better days, the developers had sufficient budget to employ someone to toggle the switches on the machine’s front to input the code. On worse days, the developers had to flip the switches themselves. Life was a bit simpler then, since software would load data from memory and do some arithmetic before sending it back. And that was all.

These days, developers have to work with teams dispersed across several continents where the people have different character sets, speak different languages, and use distinct versions of the compiler. While some of the code might be from decade-old libraries that might or might not come with source code, some of it is new. Sorting out the mess and establishing team spirit is just the beginning of what it means to be a modern-day programmer.

The work involved in creating commands for computers is very different than it was about five years ago. If a developer had been asleep for the past decade they would be unable to function in the computing world of today. It seems like everything is changing faster than it was.

Below are some of the technologies that are revolutionizing the nature of programming. These technologies are changing how you code, how you work with other developers and how you interact with your clients.


At present, very little programming starts from scratch. A good number of people will argue the best approach is to get the right framework, do some research on the API, then begin writing glue code to connect the parts of the API that are more suitable for the job. 

Node.js and JavaScript

Years ago, HTML static was spat out by web servers, until someone discovered how to build dynamic servers that could communicate with databases. Initially, each team required a person to program the database in SQL; one person would design the HTML templates, while the other wrote the server code in Java or PHP. At present, all this is done in JavaScript.

Smarter languages

The early forms of computer languages were designed to make it easy to do anything with a computer. The latest languages want to make it quite hard, or nearly impossible, to do anything aside from the right thing. The programming community has had to learn a lesson over the years on just how programs go bad when people make mistakes.  Hundreds of innovations such as Rust are allowing programmers to establish impressive piles of code that will change the world.


If one programmer wants to use language I, another programmer might only use language II, III or IV but never I. One might spend more time in deciding which language to use rather than doing the work. However, modern programming languages can be rewritten automatically in another programming language, and that is the function of transpilers.


Being a close relative to the framework, library features a collection of routines that are so important that coders cannot live without them. Libraries such as jQuery now rule every level of the stack.

Better databases

Earlier databases were miracles which saved programmers years of struggle by providing a standard way of inserting information in big tables. Current databases assume those responsibilities, including others such as storing images, maintaining social networks and tracking locations among others. The databases do all this while spreading the load over clusters of machines that even exist on different continents.

Docker and containers

Building a server used to be a cumbersome activity since programmers would run their code, send a memo to a team of server curators who would then have the right software installed. There are times when they would get the correct libraries, while sometimes they did not. Something that worked needed to be created, with applications such as Docker.

Preprocessors and linting

Older programmers would feel lucky when an unused variable was spotted by a compiler. Nowadays, there is a plethora of preprocessing code tools that look for an error in style or logic. If you fail to declare a variable - or worse, use the wrong combination of tabs and spaces, you don’t need to worry anymore. The good people at Airbnb have become famous for publicizing a style guide for JavaScript code.

DevOps tools

Programmers used to install software on a single server. Currently, servers can be rented in a group needing dozens, hundreds or even thousands of machines full of new software. Since most of these machines need to be provisioned on demand, this task can no longer be carried out effectively by hand.

Continuous integration

Back in the day, there was sufficient time to have a break once code was checked into a repository. This would be a dream for modern programmers. Code repositories are now closely and firmly connected to continuous build systems that launch hundreds of tests, re-compile your code, and examine your architecture before identifying every possible error in your work.

Social media portals

In the internet’s earlier days, one would build their own website and cross their fingers that people would find it. These days, more of the web is being assimilated into big silos such as Salesforce or Facebook, and websites integrate with social media.

New User interfaces

The term ‘user interface’ used to mean a decision made with clicks between a command line, and a graphic user interface (GUI) filled with icons and pictures. Now, the media is smart enough to pull up websites, and all smartphones have a personal assistant such as Cortana or Siri.

Virtual machines

Long gone are the days where programmers wrote code for huge chunks of silicon. Most of the code written today is run on virtual machines that can translate a user’s instructions into something that is well understood by the chip. 

Code reviews and style rules

In the early days, a huge program produced by P programmers often had visibly different styles in the code. Teams currently develop mechanisms that will enforce uniform styles, so the code is easier to understand due to consistent design patterns and idioms.

GitHub and social code sharing

Programmers would build software and share it on their own long before services such as SourceForce existed.  Right now code-sharing sites such as GitHub are emerging as the greatest contributors the open source world.

Infrastructure as a service

Long gone are the days when a team of server curators would be hired to work on infrastructure. Even though hanging out with those guys after work or at lunch was fun, only a few programmers ask a team curator to work on, or build them, a new server. Programmers can log into a website and do it for themselves.


Once upon a time, programmers wrote different software for servers, devices, and desktops. Each software had its own way of communicating with the user. These days, everything goes through the browser.

Platform as a service

No one is building their own website anymore. They create an account on someone else’s website, and customize it to suit their own needs. This only takes a few fields in a web form before the website does everything it was intended to do.


A few years ago, data structures were the biggest worry to programmers. They would pack all their information into blocks of bytes, then count them one by one and ensure they were placed the required distance from the pointer. The compiler does most of it for them now, and programmers work through a more scrupulous interface with a more creative name - an API.

Secondary marketplaces

If you are trying to develop an app, a secondary marketplace is an ideal place to go shopping for all the pieces you need. There are numerous effective marketplaces where you can buy libraries, plugin extensions and other add-ons.

Performance monitoring

Initially, it was much simpler to track the power of your code. This is not possible anymore, since many problems do not take place on one machine. Modern tools not only monitor performance on individual modules, but also track the network calls for the network of software.


Technology has had a great impact on software development. As the nature of programming continues to evolve, so does the human ability to use such technology.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post in our comment section below. If you are looking for software that would help transform your business, feel free to consult with any of our programmers at freelancer.com


Ilmoitettu 18 marraskuuta, 2017

LucyKarinsky Henkilökunta

Software Developer

Lucy is the Development & Programming Correspondent for Freelancer.com. She is currently based in Sydney.

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