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Top things to look forward to in web development in 2014

01.11.2014
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Just a few things I’ve noticed that I am looking forward to. If you have any suggestions, feel free to post them!

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1. Keeping hardware-light

One thing I wrote about in my article about my last year’s achievements was the idea of setting up different environments for coding (local, staging, production), versioning everything from code to workflow, provisioning servers, etc. This all had to do partly with the push to cloud architecture where quickly creating and destroying VMs became a norm.

So what do I see happening? Well, several things. First of all, Docker is becoming more widely used. I believe that in the next year we’ll see a greater proliferation of hosts that utilize Docker containers, similar to how Stardock functions. With one container script, you should be able to move effortlessly between environments, create and destroy machines. No longer depend on hardware. Docker also makes it possible to run vagrant-like environments without a VM.

What else? Deployment. Capistrano has been the default deployment tool for Ruby and adapters have been made to support other systems. But other languages don’t have their own specific deployment tools. I foresee better deployment options, ones that will allow “deployment” onto your local environment the same way you deploy onto production. Meaning that the startup of an application will happen in similar ways on both machines. This is already accomplished by Vagrant’s provisioning. But again, I see more of it.

Lastly, I think that Grunt and Grunt-like tools will become a standard as real-time task watching, execution of compilation, and even server-specific tasks will be required for project development.

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2. Production NodeJS

One thing that people have been wary of has been putting NodeJS into production. I think that there will be a big push for production-ready NodeJS tools and programming. We’ve already seen MySpace run on Node, many single-page apps, and some other websites as well. All of which are running around a little bit wildly since Node is still considered largely “unproven”.

I think that 2014 will be the big year for the final bits to fall in place for companies and people to be fully prepared to move to Node as a viable platform.

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3. Better NodeJS “Everything”

One issue with production-ready Node is the fact that there is a lot of groundwork that’s missing from Node and the Node community that comes from wide adoption.

Take an ORM for instance. The only good one I can think of is BookshelfJS which is already being used in numerous projects; however, it’s far from a perfect solution lacking features such as seeding, migrations, and well, take a look at Doctrine’s list of features and compare them to Bookshelf and you’ll see. PHP also has Laravel’s ORM implementation which is beyond badass. In many instances, I’ve had to default to KnexJS (the underlying library to Bookshelf) but I still had to build a query builder on top of it in order to keep things in order.

But, obviously, that’s not the only instance where you will run into “near perfect” solutions. There are also the issues with base apps that aren’t really present. Think about CMS. I know Ghost is the rage but, honestly, it’s a little bit messy. Granted, WordPress is an absolute mess and has had 10 years to clean up. But there’s also Drupal, and (what used to be) Joomla. Node really needs this open source push to create solutions for people in order to get wider adoption. The solutions will help push non-believers forward.

Lastly, many hosts are finally opening up to NodeJS use now that there are good Node process managers!. I’m glad that’s in play so let’s keep it up!

php4. PHP edge bleeding

For the past couple of years, PHP has been reformulating itself. Laravel has been pushing the boundaries by bringing an interesting new order to things, and showing us that MVC and frameworking can be EASY. There has also been a great movement to make Laravel to PHP what Rails is to Ruby. There’s a Laravel-specific deployment tool in works, which reminds us quickly of Capistrano (and the fact that it says it’s the Capistrano for PHP).

I think that this year, we’ll see more of modernization of PHP, and a lot of innovation. I feel like PHP has caught up with today’s world, and will now become a leader rather than a “default” that people learn because it’s easy and it’s everywhere.

5. Explosively More Windows Apps

*note: I know Windows App != Web development but I keep seeing this.

A bit weird one but yeah, that’s what I foresee. The Windows platform has suddenly become easy to develop for since the release of W8 and the W Store. Even hackernews sometimes features someone who built an app or a game for the Windows Store.

So next year will be lots of that! :)

social-media-waste-of-time-300x213.jpg6. New generation of social media

Facebook is quickly falling out of favor for many. It’s become just like Myspace in terms of clutter, complexity, and difficulty of using it. It’s no longer that clean slate where you see what you want to see. Nope.

Which is why there’s a big push to other places. One thing people have finally realized is that posting a status and having it “liked” is not really a conversation. There is a greater focus on direct communication via Snapchat, Instagram Direct, messaging apps, and whatever else.

I think that there will also be someone who will finally figure out this whole “friend” discovery. A couple of apps try to figure out who is around you, who lives in your area, and who to meet up with but none can execute it well enough. So maybe there will be a “matchmaking” service for the anti-social, or the new!

Lastly, there’s been a huge push for “interest” discovery. There’s been Reddit for years now, and Pinterest for a while but it wasn’t until recently that Reddit introduce the idea of “multi-reddits” to further pool interests. Facebook has always been pretty pushy with subscribing to your interests, adding your favorite movies, and shows etc.

kirby-login7. Greater focus on security

With the NSA scandal fresh on our minds, and new leaks happening every day, developers are getting more and more into “security”. And that’s awesome.

From new SSL certificate encryption, to alternatives being built to secure the RSA scandal, to higher encryption standards, we’re experience a little revolution in security.

Hosting companies now suddenly offer better security, users test their server instances for holes, and companies use security as a marketing tactic. Which is a win-win for both consumers and corporations.

To Wrap it up

The above points may not seem like much but that’s because as a development community, we keep iterating and within a few months, we’ll discover something unforeseeable that will turn our lives upside down. And that’s great.

I can’t wait to see what happens!

Published at DZone with permission of Antonin Januska, author and DZone MVB. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)