Software Development Predictions for 2008

Happy New Year!

Not too long ago, I was asked for my predictions for the IT-Technology in 2008…  You can find the full article here, but I thought I’d include my thoughts on my blog. 

Where’s i-Technology Headed in 2008?


I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments


1. User Experience Reaches the Enterprise. In 2008 we will see several major enterprises start efforts to build UX centric applications that increase worker productivity, reduced transaction costs and increase pull through as the UX meme of the consumer facing world leaks into the enterprise. The days of the battleship gray, forms of data application as the king of the enterprise are numbered because of an imperative towards richer visualization of complex and interconnected data. While there will always be a need for the traditional sort of application, by the end of 2008, it is no longer the only element of the corporate landscape. image

2. Testability Becomes a Requirement for Software Development Frameworks. No longer satisfied with simple reductions in costs for initial development, a growing community demand frameworks and tools that facilitate sustainable and agile practices. 2008 is the year that frameworks and tools take notice and start to deliver solutions that are testable out of the box. Technologies such as Test Driven Development, MVC/MVP patterns, and frameworks that support mocking become mainstream. After seeing this year’s cool demos at software development industry conferences a common question will be: “…And how do you test that?” Let’s hope the presenters have an answer.

3. The Companion Applications Become Practical. While RIA and AJAX application categories continue to grow, many consumer facing web applications and enterprise applications developers realize there is a need for desktop exploitive applications as well as reach web applications that work everywhere. What meaningful application wouldn’t benefit from a pairing like that of Outlook and Outlook Web Access? In the past it has been prohibitively expensive to build these applications, but with the circa 2008 technology such as .NET Framework 3.5 and Silverlight, it is finally becoming practical to have a single codebase that fully exploits the desktop and offers a rich web experience.

Comments (23)

  1. Basically in agreement, except I think the UX push will REALLY be a 2009 activity.

  2. Happy New Year! Not too long ago, I was asked for my predictions for the IT-Technology in 2008… You

  3. Test says:

    Happy New Year! Not too long ago, I was asked for my predictions for the IT-Technology in 2008… You

  4. Can we expect #2 to go hand in hand with #3? I’m currently doing Silverlight 1.1 development and it’s virtually untestable.

    I’m not expecting that I can fully test the UI, but since libraries for Silverlight cannot be included in client side code, I can’t even run the business logic of my silverlight applications through normal test harnesses. I can fake it by copying the files into a regular .NET library and judiciously weed out offending "using" statements, but it’s a rather fragile approach.



  5. John Chapman says:

    Wow, Brad, if these turn out to be true then you’re a god.  While all of these items sound awesome I would say the possibility of all of these things coming true would be around 0.01%.  

    I just hope the new year brings things towards your goals. There is way too much stubbornness out there to achieve these goals.  But progress is certainly worth something!

  6. Nazar Rizvi says:

    I think it would take another full year for silverlight to reach its potential. So maybe 2009.

  7. WiredPrairie says:

    Brad Abrams provided a few predictions for IT-Technology in 2008. I started posting a comment, but it was getting a bit long. So, here are my comments with some snippets from Brad’s post. #1) User Experience Reaches the Enterprise In…

  8. John says:

    RE: #1 – User Experience Reaches the Enterprise

    Of course we’ll get some really cool enterprise apps that deliver improved business results.  However, I’m afraid those will be few and far between.  A lot of todays enterprise apps are gray and boring, and still suck at their actual task.  Now imagine what happens when the same undertalented programmers invest time and effort in UX.  We’ll have apps that suck even worse, but sure look pretty doing it.

  9. Here’s a quick rundown of my take on key trends. Trends are different from fads since they’re longer-lasting

  10. Here's a quick rundown of my take on key trends. Trends are different from fads since they're

  11. James Saull says:

    Testable frameworks – great. It would be good to see frameworks shipping with a full suite of MS Build tasks too. Too many expect that you are not incorporating the framework into a much larger solution that is being continuously integrated and ultimately tested too. So I think "How do I build, deploy AND tes that?" is a better question.

  12. Alex says:

    Question on #3:

    Is it possible to convert Silverlight application to WPF desktop app?

    If yes – how to do that?

    Looks like I need to modify the header of the XAML file?

    Thank you,


  13. rd says:

    On #1 – the WPF team missed the boat by not shipping teh data grid control – true to this date!.

  14. D. Ray Morton says:

    Brad I think the tear that Microsoft is on right now with WPF/Silverlight is going to seriously hurt it in the Enterprise.

    Your expectation of UX in the Enterprise (by way of WPF/e and Silverlight) should be dampened by the frustration that many big firms (speaking from bank experience here) are having with the mixed signals over the fate of Windows Forms.

    If you Google the subject of "windows forms dead" or "windows forms vs. WPF" you’ll find a full spectrum of comments from Microsoft employees (on their blogs). My favorite is from Michael Wallant (of IE4 and DHTML/Desktop Web Channel fame) who according to Flatlander said the following: "We want to make existing applications look like DOS applications when they run on Longhorn."

    Wow, great commitment to the platform, like Windows Forms which Microsoft was touting as the future of Windows development only a few years ago.

    So yeah WPF is not going to be embraced any time soon in the Enterprise space. If UX (another silly attempt to own the vernacular of software development) does make its way in to the Enterprise, it will do so with existing technology, which is not nearly as hard as Microsoft wants everyone to believe.

  15. Leo McCavana says:

    The importance of software security issues is something that must not be overlooked for a number of reasons:

    1) The growing number of attacks at the application level – many of which impact upon health, financial and a variety of other personal information

    2) The growing importance attached to legal and regulatory compliance, and industry best practice initiatives that are beginning to impact software development.  For instance, the impact of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard – a body which by mid-2008, will have ability to deny a company the ability to process credit card payments if they have inadequate software secure processes (in addition to 8 other requirements).

    In my opinion, consumers and users of applications really couldn’t care less about the underlying technology made available to them as long as the interfaces are functional, usable and dare I say it – fashionable.  Security is something that is now beginning to impact people’s pockets – more lately retail customers, who realize that a pleasant user experience also needs to include an assurance that their information is secure.

    While it’s great to talk about ‘RIAs’, ‘AJAX’ and countless other technologies that enrich the customer experience and positively impact the bottom line, none of any of these buzzwords will really matter if an application (and its data) is flawed from a security point of view.

    We only have to look at the TJ Max case to see that the tide will have to turn in favor of more secure software, when organizations are now being made liable for security breaches.  

    Although it can’t be totally accomplished in 2008, I am optimistic that the following will happen eventually:

    1) Security will become an integral part of software architectures.

    2) Programmers will learn how to program securely; a change from their current functional orientation.  In fact, I’ve even read that some programing jobs within the DoD will (in the future) require proof that a person can program securely.  I’m talking here mainly about the SANS/GIAC Secure Software Programmer Certifications (  Training and certification requirements of course will need to be backed up by a committed effort to training.

    Just a few thoughts …..

  16. Steve says:

    Silverlight is getting too much hype right now – you need to deliver the goods.

  17. Bill Stepanov says:

    SilverLame is just C#’s applets, but crappier, taking longer to load and full of bugs.

    I don’t even like Java applets. Why should we try C# applets?

  18. Jim says:

    Happy new year!

  19. Brian says:

    Enterprise development requires that applications pay themselves off within a few years and that they have at least a 5 year life-span.  

    Newer web technologies do not yet offer a significant improvement in productivity to replace existing JavaScript/HTML applications.  This is for serious development efforts for financial firms and other companies with security, stability, SOX, and total cost of ownership requirements.

    Please provide a multi-year roadmap for the existing technologies since we do not want to implement something which is stranded in a dead technology.

  20. Well, we are not even out of January yet and there is at least a hint of one of my 2008 prediction coming

  21. Programming says:

    Well, we are not even out of January yet and there is at least a hint of one of my 2008 prediction coming

  22. Walter.Kennedy says:

    The idea that "testability" will be a major proof astounds me.  What ever happened to the idea that application software would be proven BEFORE it was released? If I choose to "adapt" OOTB software than the results are on me.  I should, however, have some assurance that the software will work, the way it is supposed to, out of the box, is an assumption I want to be able to make.