Progress can be defined as a way to avoid yesterday’s mistakes. Don’t look up the phrase, I just came up with it. In the world of software development, it holds surprisingly well. Companies perfected the way to create and deliver digital products, now it’s time to use them for a common good. Like green FinTech, which puts additional value on daily commercial activity. Here’s our list of software development trends for 2022. Some of them will be surprising!

Software development trends 2022

Table of contents

How has software changed over the years and why?

Before we dig into top software development trends, let’s take a look from the distance and build a proper introduction. Software has changed over the years. Almost anyone with sufficient skill can now build an application. The question is – can they do it properly, with quality assurance, security, user experience, and functionality in mind? Can the company or software vendor deliver through additional services like digital transformation consulting?

The answers to these questions are crucial because the market is so demanding that even a month of delay in the development process can cost dearly. What puts a digital product on a market is perfect harmony between the solutions to real, not imaginary, end-users problems, and commercial goals of the company behind the app. What makes this balance especially difficult is the understanding that the customer is the center of it all.

Customer-centricity has always been important but as current trends in software development show to us all, there has never been so much room for improvisation. The way people are using software, problems they fix through usage, and fierce competition declare the unwritten law of modern-day development. 

It is called “bring the value to the customer, the rest, including the profit, is secondary.” A good test for that comes as a minimum viable product (MVP) when you can put something basic on a market and enhance it every quarter or even every month.

Another important aspect is the way people use the software. No matter if it’s a B2B or B2C application, mobility is at the core of every single human interaction. People really do want to have their phones, tablets and laptops everywhere, so why limit them? That puts additional strain on the system and ultimately requires cloud migration. 

Last but not least – the COVID-19 situation. This added even more context to the market, pushing companies towards remote work and even higher efficiency. Not to mention the need for changing or adjusting the company culture. Efficiency is the name of the game and nobody can afford to lose on that front. 

Without further ado, let’s dig a little deeper.

1.         Digital transformation and flexibility of operations. Due to COVID-19, companies changed many internal operations and cooperation models with external partners. Even communication models took a hit. Starting from 2020, the market has been opened to many things. Remote work, diversity of vendors, varied production and distribution chain management – all these processes need flexibility and accessibility. From various devices, stationary and on-the-go.

Companies now offer extended services beyond physical premises. Employees need a constant link to the company’s assets. Digital transformation, enabled by a virus, changed a lot.

2.         The rapid growth of emotional design. Or should we say an industry-wide takeover? Emotional design is mostly a microcopy and a graphic, aimed to boost users’ self-validation. If a person can efficiently save money through a FinTech app, the product should award a user with a badge or any other indicator. The design of this type of an element is increasingly important in development.

Let’s not forget that software development is UI and UX design, too. Betting on winning the market solely through the offer and functionalities is, unfortunately, very risky. User experience and user interface design is basically marketing for a digital product. It’s necessary but it also serves as an equalizer. Anyone can use the app and that’s the goal.

3.         The emphasis on customer experience. Customer-centricity is nothing new, although many products still lack the final touch. For instance, not every application has an onboarding program, implemented just after the user sets up the account. The other possibility – the process fails to explain an important element or excludes, for example, the elderly. With no contrast design or polished button placement, some groups can find the usage of the app problematic.

In the meantime, according to Forbes, 96% of customers cite experience as the key to instilling brand loyalty. That’s a lot. Why is it so important? People don’t want to wait anymore. They want clean experiences with their apps, total control over every single process in their life, instant gratification, rewarding daily usage of the product, helpful customer support, and fresh coffee in bed every morning. OK, the last part is impossible but you catch the drift.

This attention to detail and covering every aspect of experiencing an app is sometimes called a “total experience”. Meaning that no matter what a user does, we got it covered. We have a process for it. We have a design for it. And we have means to help or explain if something goes wrong. This is one of the most important software development trends for 2022.

4.         Continuous delivery (CD) changes the development cycle. This trend has been continuously (pun intended) strong in recent years but 2022 seems to be really good for it. With the COVID-19 situation, companies look for vendors that pave the way for steady development. With continuous delivery, the software build is “ready for deployment”. That means there’s a strict routine for product creation and the process itself is very, very predictable. 

Before the era of CD, development was harsh and caused a lot of stress for everyone involved. There were a lot of bottlenecks and the software itself was full of bugs. With changing markets, high expectations from customers, and new business models, the software has to be shipped right away. Continuous delivery is a way to make it happen.

5.         Please welcome DevSecOps. Developers have access to everything in the application. That can cause a lot of damage. Broad permissions assigned to many engineers can lead to serious destruction of the application and infrastructure (cloud, for example). Incidents can happen, no matter how much emphasis we put on human factor security. 

DevSecOps actively monitor the development process, access operations, and permissions. If something goes wrong, the team can react and cut off the developer (revoking the access) or limit operational capacity. This is one of the most interesting and important trends in software development. Not only for 2022 but in recent years as well.

6.         Increased development of Progressive Web Apps (PWA). PWAs let development teams create more cross-platform applications. That means that your product can land anywhere, anytime. This can lead to wide adoption and quick build of a healthy user base. 

This can also cause an additional headache for DevSecOps. Timely deployments, updates, and quick reactions to bugs are a must here. PWA means huge opportunities but also backend responsibilities. Managing them both is going to be a huge challenge for 2022.

7.         A mobile-responsive design is a way to go. We can even say – go mobile or go home. Smartphones conquered our lives a decade ago but it feels like decades now. Plural. There are still applications that are desktop-native and scalability towards mobile markets is hard here. 

Intuitive, responsive, and clean design is important not only for mobile, but 2022 seems to be the point of no return. If you’re not thinking about responsive design now, you might not be on the market tomorrow.

8.         Quick implementation of customer feedback. This is not technical per se, but important. Customers are quiet if everything is all right but become very vocal if something is wrong. Quick response to their needs is the key to their satisfaction.

Whether it’s bug fixes, updates, or the introduction of functionalities that the community is asking for, the goal is the same – loyalty. Even the best and most recognizable application can fall short if the team doesn’t listen to customers. Customer satisfaction is so important that there are special business units called… well, exactly the same. The best advice here is to stay on top of things. Monitor industry forums, opinions on AppStore, Google Store and similar platforms. Listen and react. 

9.         DevOps teams will rock with Site Reliability Engineering (SRE). Software development trends may come and go but quality never falls out of fashion. SRE is basically a set of indicators that helps the team enhance the objectives of the work. With them, engineers can assure greater software delivery and operational performance. OK, but what is the fuss about?

Well, site reliability engineering assumes that developers not only create the application’s code but also monitor its performance in the production environment. It means that the line between making an app and actually using it blurs. An SRE specialist actively looks for changes in automation. They also don’t allow for engineers and DevOps teams to claim a bug is a result of the direct work of the opposite team. 

However, the main reason for the existence of SRE is the monitoring of the system’s reliability and systematic work towards increased performance. Which is especially important in times where there are so many variables in the process itself. 

10.      Mitigation of variables with Testing Centers of Excellence (TCoE). This is one of the most interesting software development trends for 2022. TCoE is based on the concept of centralized testing platforms. Once created, it lets you manage resources through the integration of different testing methods. It creates high-quality standards for assuring apps’ overall performance.

This method is also important because testers need less time to go through every single checkbox. Let’s test this. Let’s double-check that. Let’s go through a different method and see if the bug continues to appear. With a Testing Center of Excellence, quality assurance becomes quicker and more effective.

It’s one of the newest software development trends but we believe it to be one of great significance. After all, who wants to burn money on something inefficient?

The name of the game

We have put some interesting trends to follow in this article, but it’s ultimately for you to decide who to trust. Software team augmentation is about knowledge and technical mastery but also about basic experience and culture fit. If you want something done, trust specialists.

Of course, in this piece, we could also talk about the rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) or other important developments on the world stage. The fact is that there is a lot going on and even the entire flexibility of the Internet could not possibly accommodate them all. 

Ultimately, it’s about what you need, not what others think is important. If you want to make something happen, go with the team that knows how to do it. That’s the real name of the game.