Computer Futures

The Next Five Years Of Coding

Although a somewhat inevitable opener to this blog post, suffice to say that technology moves fast! Evolution is in embedded in tech DNA, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the coding realm. Programming languages provide the hidden frameworks to so much of our business and social lives.

We are going to take a look at how the next few years in coding may pan out by focusing on Java, PHP and C#.

A Java type of future

For some tech analysts, Java is simply the inescapable future of programming. Already a predominant voice across browsers, the closer interaction of Java and cross-platform tools such as Node.js on the server side seems to add pace to Java's unstoppable march to the head of the programming race.

Mobile developers are getting solid performance out of JavaScript when viewed on browsers as well, via HTML5 applications. Java is also moving across to dominate operating system platforms due to its versatility and performance.

PHP will never die... right?

There's still life in the developers' favourite yet. The facts speak for themselves: WordPress, built in PHP, powers nearly 20% of the web. That's a heck of a lot of dependency founded on a PHP bedrock.

For further evidence of how PHP looms large on the coding horizon, what better place to turn to than long time PHP champions Facebook. They have shown themselves invested already in a future with a PHP coding framework that they are seeking to consistently innovate. The advent of Hack, a programming language designed by the Facebook brain trust, that interacts seamlessly with PHP and the PHP execution engine HHVM is hardly a sign of a coding community turning away from an old friend.

Don't forget about me! C# and the future

A programming language loved deeply by developers and web historicists, C# has suffered from the over-familiarity that seems to have blighted PHP. It seems odd to say that, seeing as this general-purpose programming language has so many millions of devoted followers.

Born as a strategic response to Java, C# has been the subject of a few volumes worth of caustic obituaries, we're sure. Importantly, nothing has been published. But why?

The most obvious answer would seem to be: because there is a future for the code. Microsoft's commitment to re-designing and evolving the language has been stoical. They have also shown true loyalty to the army of developers that rely on C#. Consistent revisions to the language have added the types of syntax the community needs, making sure that C# speaks the developers' language.

In 2014, Microsoft broke the news that Roslyn project was moving to an open-sourced status. C# 6.0 was released earlier this year, and further developments are expected.

Coding will keep sprinting ahead to meet industry demands

There have been long-held concerns that the existing complexity surrounding coding could damage the vital democratic and collaborative qualities of programming. Key players across the coding landscape have shut this discussion down, though. According to Eric Lippert, a leading part of the team behind C# development at Microsoft nearly two decades ago, a balance will be struck to keep coding accessible to all who want to take an interest, as well as the experts pushing the boundaries.

This organic nature to the programming industry is reflected in increased demand for programming skills. Robust economic predictions offer that, in the USA alone, by 2020 there will be nearly 700,000 jobs created around software development.

For the end user, it is likely that coding around aspects such as plug-ins could have a huge role in changing how we all interact with our app and programme portfolios. Taking an existing framework and working to make it better will replace the need to take out host systems, or provide 'new' programmes all together.

Even more intriguing is the shifting perception of coding. No longer just the reserve of bedroom-dwelling nerds, coding is for some the new Lego. Programming as creation marks an important shift in 're-branding' the whole coding scene into something that will play a much larger role in the lives and career choices of the next generation.