As we come towards the end of Q3, it is a useful time to reflect on and observe the key trends and skills which have come to the forefront so far in 2020 within the software engineering sector. Ireland has established a thriving technology scene for itself in recent years – so much so that it has been referred to as ‘’the Silicon Valley of Europe’’. This is demonstrated through many new startups setting up bases here as well as large global MNC’s using it as a hub for their EMEA operations (such as LinkedIn and Fitbit).
Obviously, the last few months have had a resounding impact across all markets and industries, as the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic have been felt across the board. Nonetheless, it has also been an exciting period for software engineering here in Ireland, with many firms continuing with their commitment towards R&D, along with various innovative technologies going mainstream, more of which we will discuss in the following piece.
To start off with, we will discuss some key stats within Software Engineering in Ireland right now, as according to trusted industry research site IBISWorld:
Market Size – €55bn
Number of businesses – 3601
Industry Employment – 31,746
Largest Software Engineering companies in Ireland 2020:
- Oracle EMEA
5 Top Software Engineering Trends of 2020:
Cloud has basically taken over the software engineering industry in 2020. In turn, Microservice Architecture is at the forefront of the tech world. Microservice Architecture is the perfect fit for the Cloud Native computing approach, meaning it is a quick and efficient software to implement into your processes. For this reason alone, given the popularity of Cloud Native, it has quickly been making waves and gaining traction within the software industry.
With the resounding move to remote working for several companies, cybersecurity has taken on a whole new meaning, direction, and level of importance within the working world. Cybersecurity can be both internal within an organization, and against external sources. When the focus is on internal security measures, this is basically businesses building stringent security measures into their software, which again is a key component of remote working. According to a survey by Info Security magazine, 65% of organisations have recorded a lack of required cybersecurity talent. Relating it back to Cloud as discussed above, with the expansion and growth of this, it is little wonder that there is an increase in demand for improved cybersecurity systems which incorporate well into Cloud security.
Blockchain is highlighted as having significant power within the world of software engineering. It is particularly useful due to its decentralized nature, which is largely based around its ability to store record in large public facing databases which are hackproof. As technology around this area expands and progresses, Blockchain-based apps are becoming a popular, modern option for developers looking for new ways to provide open-source solutions.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a market which is renowned for having groundbreaking breakthroughs and discoveries on a regular basis. IoT and software engineering have had a close relationship for some time now, with communication and connectivity devices increasing at an exponential rate. IoT makes it easier for tech to track and monitor us, no matter our location. One skill which is set to remain invaluable within the IoT is the ability of developers to code smaller energy-efficient devices which are connected to the internet, as these remain popular among consumers.
While Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an area which has been gathering momentum over the last couple of years, it is still one which people have somewhat of a lack of understanding around. As AI is so diverse and vast, this makes sense. While AI has made significant progress, there are still areas which require work (e.g. passport facial recognition at airports). Nonetheless, it is an area which more and more companies are putting investment into and implementing within their products and services.
COVID19 Industry Update:
- Major increase in organisations seeking business solutions and more secure technologies in order to facilitate vast numbers of employees working from home. Therefore, there has been an increase in demand for developers of productivity tools and systems, to give a boost to value-added solutions.
- However, with various businesses and sectors facing cashflow issues, there’s a possibility that some clients will cancel unnecessary software subscriptions due to lack of funds. This could be a real problem faced by many traditional software developers as the effects of the pandemic set in.
- While many developers are adjusting positively to the new normal and the remote way of working, like many other industries there are certain challenges they may face in adapting. These include; lack of advanced tech infrastructure in home offices, cull on face-to-face meetings, lack of investment by company in tech to meet new requirements, low level of recruitment in the tech hiring market in general, which could all have an impact on the software engineering cycle.
Sentiment across the market:
- Technology companies were able to adapt easily to their workforce working from home because engineers often worked one day from home pre-COVID regardless.
- The jobs market has picked up again which coincides with companies becoming skilled in interviewing and on boarding employees remotely.
- The contract market has seen a massive surge in activity as more engineers switch from perm and are more open to contracting opportunities due to the increased flexibility.
- There has been an increase in applications for roles which wouldn’t normally have received such a high response rate, as competition is strong across the market.
- There has been a positive sentiment across the market in terms of rates, with salaries mainly staying the same – perhaps seeing a little drop on average but nothing major.
As technology evolves, naturally so too does the world of software engineering. As we can see from the above, certain trends such as Microservice Architecture, Cybersecurity, Blockchain, IoT and Artificial Intelligence have been at the forefront of the market so far in 2020, and that shows no sign of slowing down for the rest of 2020. Software engineers have obviously had to adapt somewhat to the new way of working in light of the pandemic, but the market overall has retained buoyancy and looks set to continue in a positive manner, particularly with the exciting new technological advancements taking place.
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