Reflecting on my software predictions from 2020

Around this time of year, many of us are taking time to reflect on the last 365 days we’ve experienced. The world doesn’t evolve on boundaries of years, but this one has been almost edge to edge in terms of the challenges that we faced. Nevertheless, many of the things that we experienced in the course of 2020 were parts of larger arcs of our society. It was certainly unpredictable to say the least.

In this blog, I take a look at the predictions I made for software development in 2020 and reflect on how things panned out.

2020 prediction: incremental advancements in DevOps will prove more successful than the all-or-nothing approach

“We will see teams getting really practical about DevOps and focusing on specific tactics that prove to be successful, for example, continuous integration and continuous delivery.

Teams that have gone all-in will have to deconstruct their approach in order to identify what exactly is moving the needle for their own needs. It will be important to take a more incremental approach: start small, gain wins, get success, scale.”

Rob: Looking back, I’m a little embarrassed honestly. I think if you asked me any year in the last five, I would give you the same prediction. It’s always going to be more successful to take an incremental approach. While I probably thought this was true for 2020, I also thought it was true for 2019 and every year before that.

Alternatively, as I think back on it now, some changes were so big and monumental in 2020 that I think we made some really big changes instead of some small incremental changes because things were changing so fast around us.

2020 prediction: developers will be more attuned to risk in their decision-making

“In light of the pressure on developers to be more innovative and productive than ever before, they need tools that help deliver value to users faster, find product-market fit sooner, and stay focused on business value.

With all the noise in the market, they are looking for solutions and practices tuned to the risk profile of their situation. The days of over-engineering and one-size-fits-all solutions are over, so developers will need to make smart choices based on the risk profile of what they are building.”

Rob: I think when I predicted this, what I really wanted was for it to become true. Not that I truly believed that it was going to happen. Because I think as software developers and software engineers, we tend to think a lot in absolutes rather than in being able to understand the risks of different approaches.

It was an unpredictable year. In 2020, I think that people have had to make much more thoughtful decisions about what really matters to them as things have been shifting so quickly.

It was difficult to understand where your business was going in 2020. Risk assessment became key to finding success.

Learn how your team can grow better and faster in 2021 with risk assessment in mind

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