Jan 11

In the ever-evolving realm of software development, the year 2024 promises to be marked by significant advancements and transformative trends. Let’s explore five key trends that are poised to shape the landscape of software development in the coming year.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Integration

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are no longer just buzzwords; they are driving forces behind cutting-edge software development. These technologies are revolutionizing various industries by enhancing efficiency, performance, and functionality. From predictive algorithms to automated code reviews, AI and ML are becoming integral parts of software development processes.

One notable advancement in 2023 was the introduction of advanced features in ChatGPT, enabling capabilities such as code and text generation, as well as AI-driven image creation based on text prompts. Moreover, developers are increasingly leveraging AI-powered coding tools to expedite the coding process and minimize errors. For instance, GitHub’s Copilot uses AI to suggest code snippets and functions in real-time, streamlining development workflows.

In 2024, we can expect further advancements and integration of AI and ML technologies, particularly in automating text, coding, and visualization tasks. These technologies will continue to enhance efficiency and capabilities across various industries, ushering in a new era of intelligent software development.

Blockchain Beyond Cryptocurrencies

While blockchain technology initially gained prominence through cryptocurrencies, its applications are now extending far beyond digital currencies. The surge in mobile applications emphasizing enhanced security and quality has led to increased adoption of blockchain-based apps across various domains.

Blockchain-oriented software (BOS) systems offer essential characteristics such as data replication, requirement verification, sequential transaction logging, and public-key cryptography. These features ensure secure and verifiable transactions, making blockchain an attractive option for applications requiring enhanced security and transparency.

However, scalability and energy consumption remain challenges for broader blockchain adoption. Despite these limitations, the technology’s potential for revolutionizing various industries, including finance, healthcare, supply chain management, and beyond, continues to drive its exploration and implementation in diverse contexts.

Multi-Runtime Microservices

Microservices architecture, characterized by the development of small, independently deployable services, has been gaining traction in recent years. In 2024, this trend is expected to evolve further into multi-runtime microservices, also known as MACH architecture.

MACH architecture allows services to be written in different programming languages, utilize various data storage technologies, and be deployed on different runtime environments. This flexibility enables each service to operate in its ideal environment, optimizing performance and scalability. Additionally, multi-runtime microservices support a more agile development process, allowing teams to work on different services simultaneously without dependencies.

By leveraging the strengths of different technologies and platforms, multi-runtime microservices enable a tailored and optimized approach for each component of an application. This trend is poised to revolutionize software development by providing greater flexibility, scalability, and efficiency in building complex applications.

Cybersecurity at the Forefront

With the increasing sophistication of cyber threats, cybersecurity has become a critical aspect of software development in 2024. Companies are integrating advanced security protocols and leveraging AI for threat detection to ensure the security of their applications and data.

Emphasis is being placed on DevSecOps, where security is integrated into the entire software development lifecycle. The Zero Trust architecture, which operates on the principle of “never trust, always verify,” is replacing traditional perimeter-based security models. Additionally, there is a growing focus on encryption to protect data both in transit and at rest, as well as on training developers in secure coding practices.

The rise of cybersecurity mesh, a flexible and modular approach to security, is also notable. This approach enables each device to have its own security measures, creating a more responsive and adaptable security infrastructure capable of handling dynamic cyber threats effectively.

Expansion of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies are becoming more accessible and are experiencing increased demand across multiple industries. In education, AR and VR are transforming learning experiences by enabling interactive lessons and simulations. In healthcare, AR apps are assisting in vein identification and surgical planning, while VR is being used for medical training and patient education.

Businesses are also embracing AR and VR for purposes such as prototyping, staff training, and customer service. For example, in the real estate industry, VR is used to provide virtual property tours, while AR apps allow customers to visualize furniture or renovations in their spaces before making a purchase.

In 2024, we can expect further advancements in AR and VR technologies, including hyper-realistic simulations, expanded social VR platforms, and integration of AI to personalize user experiences. These technologies will continue to revolutionize various industries, offering immersive and interactive experiences that were previously unimaginable.

Serverless Computing (FaaS)

Serverless computing, also known as Function as a Service (FaaS), is gaining momentum as a cost-effective and efficient approach to building and deploying applications. With serverless computing, developers can focus on writing code without the need to manage infrastructure, leading to faster development cycles and reduced operational overhead.

Leading cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform offer serverless computing services such as AWS Lambda, Azure Functions, and Google Cloud Functions. These services enable developers to create event-driven applications that automatically scale in response to demand, leading to improved efficiency and cost savings.

Serverless computing is increasingly integrated with emerging technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), chatbots, and virtual assistants, enabling developers to build innovative and scalable applications with ease. As serverless computing continues to evolve, we can expect to see further advancements in scalability, performance, and developer productivity.


In conclusion, the software development trends of 2024 reflect a convergence of cutting-edge technologies and evolving industry demands. From AI and blockchain to cybersecurity, multi-runtime microservices, and AR/VR, these trends are reshaping the way software is developed, deployed, and experienced. By embracing these trends, developers and businesses can stay ahead of the curve and unlock new opportunities for innovation and growth in the digital age.

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Apr 30

Two years after Epic Games revealed Unreal Engine 5 with a gorgeous tech demo, the next-gen game engine is officially available, Epic Games announced on Tuesday. The latest edition of the benchmark game development engine touts a new “fully dynamic global illumination” tool, plus a geometry system that allows creators to build games with “massive amounts of geometric detail.” After being available in Early Access since May 2021 and Preview since February 2022, Epic Games has now released Unreal Engine 5 which will no doubt go on to power some of the biggest upcoming releases.

Epic announced Unreal Engine 5’s launch with a Twitch and YouTube live stream showing high-performance visuals and real-time rendering. Unreal Engine 5 will also use a new World Partition system that, Epic says, “changes how levels are managed and streamed,” by dividing up the game world into a grid and streaming only its necessary cells.

Unreal Engine 5 is Epic’s latest in the line of game engines available to game developers big and small. While the release of a new game engine isn’t typically news that excites folks until video games start getting made with them, Epic first revealed Unreal Engine 5 with a blockbuster tech demo Called Lumen in the Land of Nanite, the tech demo was made to specifically demonstrate two of the marquis features of Unreal Engine 5. Lumen is a dynamic illumination tool where the light adapts to the world naturally and easily.

“With this release, we aim to empower both large and small teams to really push the boundaries of what’s possible, visually and interactively. UE5 will enable you to realize next-generation real-time 3D content and experiences with greater freedom, fidelity, and flexibility than ever before.” — Epic Games.

Epic also said that developers would be able to continue using “workflows supported in UE 4.27” but get access to the redesigned Unreal Editor, better performance, improved path tracing, and the list goes on.

A “preview” version of Unreal Engine 5 has been available for a while now, but on Tuesday it officially took Unreal Engine 4’s place as the current Unreal version: Unreal Engine 5 is out now. We can expect new Unreal-based games to use the latest engine, as well as many in-progress games, such as Stalker 2, the next Tomb Raider (also announced that day), and games from developers such as Remedy, Obsidian, and Ninja Theory. The video embedded above is a new UE5 tech demo compilation from Gears of War studio The Coalition.

Two new starter samples have also been made for developers: Lyra Starter Game, City Sample

Lyra Starter Game

Lyra Starter Game is a sample gameplay project built alongside Unreal Engine 5 development to serve as an excellent starting point for creating new games, as well as a hands-on learning resource. We plan to continue to upgrade this living project with future releases to demonstrate our latest best practices.

City Sample

The City Sample is a free downloadable sample project that reveals how the city scene from The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience was built. The project—which consists of a complete city with buildings, vehicles, and crowds of MetaHuman characters—demonstrates how we used new and improved systems in Unreal Engine 5 to create the experience.

You will also find plenty of Linux and Vulkan improvements for Unreal Engine 5 including: Nanite and Lumen (with software ray tracing only) on Linux, the Unreal Build Tool was also upgraded to support Clang’s sanitizers for Linux (and Android), Vulkan and Linux support was also added to their “GameplayMediaEncoder”, compliant 64-bit image atomics in Vulkan that fixes all validation issues with 64-bit atomics and allows the use of RADV driver (AMD + Linux) for Nanite and Lumen, multiple crashes were solved for Linux. There are some features specific to open-world games, too, which may be useful for CD Projekt Red’s new Witcher game; the studio announced last month that it’s switching to Unreal Engine 5. One of those features is World Partition, which handles the on-the-fly loading and unloading of open worlds as players move through them. Adoption of UE5 will mean different things for different studios, but the big themes are workflow streamlining and high-fidelity geometry and lighting. The 2020 Unreal Engine 5 reveals video leads with its new “micro polygon geometry system,” Nanite, and its “global illumination solution,” Lumen. With Nanite and Lumen, Epic says that developers can import film-quality 3D assets with “massive amounts of geometric detail” and set up dynamic lights without worrying about certain complex technical steps, especially those to do with optimization. The engine handles the ‘making it run on our PCs’ part, or at least more of it.

UE5 also includes new modeling and animation tools, “a fundamentally new way of making audio,” and other features meant to simplify the work of game development and keep as much of it as possible in the Unreal Engine development environment. In fact, using Epic’s Quixel Megascans (super detailed environment models) and MetaHumans (realistic, customizable human models), which are free to use in Unreal Engine projects, you can make a playable game without ever minimizing the UE5 dev kit.

Another interesting fact about Unreal Engine 5 is, like the previous version, Unreal Engine 5 is free to download and use; Epic doesn’t collect royalties on indie games until they’ve earned over $1 million in revenue. It is now available on the Epic Games launcher. If you already had the UE5 preview version installed, it’s about a 5 GB update.

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Mar 05

Several patent reform organizations have joined forces to abolish software patents.  The End Software Patents (ESP) coalition aims to eliminate patents that do not specify a physically innovative step, which would likely include many of the software patents granted today.  The coalition was founded by the Free Software Foundation, Public Patent Foundation, and Software Freedom Law Center

The ESP coalition will fight software patents on two fronts:

  1. Assist companies that challenge software patents in the courts and at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
  2. Educate the public about the severe problems with software patents, with the ultimate goal of eliminating many software patents

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Nov 27

For the disabled PC user, every mouse click and keystroke can be a major effort or literal pain.  So disabled users will often go to great lengths to automate repetitive tasks and minimize the steps required to perform each task.  This includes the use of macros, voice recognition, mouse and keyboard utilities, and special hardware such as head-controlled mice and programmable button boards.

But in spite of these efforts, disabled PC users are often confounded by all-too-common problems found in today’s Windows and Web applications. 

Following are 20 problems with PC software that may be minor nits for many users but can be a huge problem for the disabled.  These are presented in no particular order, as each problem’s severity depends on the situation and individual.

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Oct 31

Though by profession I am a software developer, like most developers I am also a voracious software consumer.  My job requires me to use many different software tools, and I also use software to automate and manage many aspects of my personal life.

So naturally when it came time to produce a photo book for my parents’ joint 75th birthdays, I jumped on the new wave of “Print-On-Demand” (POD) book publishing.  With POD, you create your own book in a word processor or desktop publishing program, and then you can publish one or many professionally-bound copies of your new hardcover masterpiece for a very reasonable fee.

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Oct 04

Great empires often fall from within. 

The death knell for Visual Basic is premature, but it’s true that VB has deviated from its original vision as an “Application Construction Kit” for the masses and has lost significant market share as a result.  

Tim Anderson summed it up best:

It sounds like perfection.  Microsoft had perhaps the largest number of developers in the world hooked on a language which in turn was hooked to Windows.  Yet Microsoft took this asset of incalculable value and apparently tossed it aside.  Back in 2002, Microsoft announced that the language was to be replaced by something new, different and incompatible.  That caused rumblings that continue today.  Developers expressed emotions ranging from frustration to anger.  They felt betrayed.

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May 29

The promise of end-user programming has been a fleeting one. 

First there was Hypercard for the Macintosh.  Hypercard was powerful enough to produce commercial applications but simple enough for a child to use.  Unfortunately, Hypercard proved too difficult for Apple to market properly, and besides, most developers don’t care about the Mac anyway.

Microsoft followed in 1991 with Visual Basic, which retained the simplicity of the BASIC programming language while upgrading it for use on the new graphical Windows platform.  VB was such a smash success with both novice and professional programmers that at one time, over 60% of software developers reported using Visual Basic for some of their projects.  But along the way, Visual Basic matured into a real (read: complex) object-oriented programming language, leaving behind its simple roots and unfortunately many of its fans.  As a result, VB use has plummeted 35% in just the past year.

There are also new efforts by IBM and smaller companies such as DabbleDB and Zoho to turn novices into programmers.  But none have the excitement or momentum of Microsoft’s new programming tool for the masses: Popfly.

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May 24

Microsoft offers a generous program to help new independent software vendors (ISVs) develop and launch their products faster and cheaper. 

The Microsoft “Empower for ISVs” program offers software, support, and additional resources designed to help ISVs reduce development costs, test their software on multiple Windows platforms, and improve time-to-market.  Empower is a one-year membership for $375, with an opportunity to renew for a second year, and it’s available only once per company.

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May 23

Upgrading to Windows Vista takes time, money and patience.  And after much sweat and a few tears, it was all for naught, and I ultimately retreated back to Windows XP.

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May 21

How much time and money should a software company invest to ensure that its products do not infringe on registered software patents?

The question comes to mind after Microsoft accused the open-source industry of violating 235 Microsoft patents.  Microsoft released the total but did not specify the infringed-upon patents.  Some accuse Microsoft of using this strong-arm tactic to force open source companies to negotiate an intellectual property agreement similar to the Microsoft/Novell Linux agreement in 2006.

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