2023 is rapidly coming to a close and as always, the end of the year sparks reflection on the past and a desire to predict the future. But what can we learn from these two inevitable habits we fall into at the end of the year? In regards to careers that are in constant flux like web development and the new year, it is essential to focus on a few ideas:
What’s worked this year for me?
What hasn’t worked for me?
What new developments and trends have emerged in my field?
How can I translate new technologies into my repertoire of skills?
How can I stay up to date with my peers?
Some of these questions are for each individual’s private introspection; however, when it comes to the future of web development and how web developers can stay current in the tech industry, we’ve got you covered.
2024 Web Development Trends
This has been a huge year for web development because of innovative trends and evolving technologies that are shifting how users interact with their devices. The trends that will define the future of web design in 2024 include:
We know you’ve heard of virtual and augmented reality and maybe even mixed reality, but not everyone has heard of extended reality, which is a combination of all three. Although virtual and augmented have been around for years and especially prevalent in gaming and entertainment, web developers are set to implement them more frequently in their applications to make their designs more interactive for the user.
If you have an iPhone or an Alexa, you’ve spoken to a voice assistant before and you know that they are pretty intelligent and helpful. Because of their ease of use and affordability, they are becoming more popular for businesses that want to optimize the search experience for users and efficiently provide any additional support without users even touching their keyboards.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning
Prior to the arrival of services like ChatGPT, artificial intelligence was something we only saw in movies, or so we thought. Artificial intelligence, alongside machine learning, has been in full force in the past few years, enabling software to carry out human-like functions and shaping how we interact with our devices. It has had a strong influence on social media, web sites, and applications already; web developers are set to continue integrating them into their designs.
BUTTON: Artificial Intelligence: Everything You Need to Know
Have you ever used animations, transitions, or other dynamic design elements? If so, then you’ve worked with motion UI and improved a page’s interactivity and user engagement. Although these visual elements can be difficult to code, they are a popular technique that can make a web page feel much more fresh, engaging, and exciting.
Blockchain may have started with cryptocurrency, but since its inception, it has evolved to be used in decentralized finance applications, smart contracts, and non fungible tokens. Because it is immutable, this technology ensures that databases and information are safe and impenetrable, which is why at a time when cyberattacks are frequent, this technology is necessary for web development projects.
When web developers are creating their websites and applications, cloud computing takes the need for a physical server out of the equation. Serverless architecture allows for greater scalability, efficiency, flexibility, security, and reliability for web developers throughout the whole design process and deployment. Cloud computing removes an unnecessary responsibility off of web developers’ shoulders.
All of these trends and technologies are becoming more important aspects of web development and when taking a closer look at them, there are a few themes: increased cybersecurity, higher user engagement and satisfaction, and ease of use for both client and web developers.
New Skills to Learn
While looking at the trends above, the following skills are important to build upon:
Although the fields of both cybersecurity and web development use computer code to accomplish their goals, they don’t share all the same coding languages, nor do they use the computer code in the same way. Cybersecurity code languages include Python, C, C++, which are used for threat protection, detection, and eradication and by learning different functions and languages, web developers can ensure the security of their projects.
Many use the cloud on a personal basis, but working on the cloud is a whole other ball park. To work on serverless architecture as a web developer, it’s essential to know application deployment and testing, as well as understanding services such as Azure Functions, AWS Lambda, and Google Functions.
For many of the trends above, web developers will need to become familiar and master various types of software that have several functions. For example, to create 3D models for extended reality, you need Blender, ZBrush, or Autodesk Maya. As more new trends and technologies appear, more software programs will be required to manage them.
When working with artificial intelligence and machine learning, you will most likely have to work with data as well and because of that, you need to know how to conduct data cleaning and manipulation and normalization.
Why is learning these skills so important?
There are many skills that are must haves to be a web developer such as mastery of several coding languages, and yet as technology evolves, so do the skills needed to be a web developer. For web developers, there is a responsibility to continuously learn the tricks of the trade. The following are reasons that learning these skills matters:
Creating stellar products: technology is developing at an extremely accelerated rate and in the blink of an eye, companies and clients want to integrate it into the web design process. To ensure that your products are stellar, make you proud, and help you stand out as a committed and talented web developer, leverage these new skills and add them to your tool belt.
Spreading out your studies: many offices want their employees to be at the top of their game and rightfully so: they’re running a business. It’s important to remember that these skills will, at some point in the future, become the standard; to avoid playing catch up later on, stay up to date with trends and tech.
Technology facilitating work: although these trends are new at first, the truth is that technology is consistently making our lives easier. One day you will achieve expert level and it will actually facilitate the completion of your work. It will make your life much easier, trust us!
How Can You Learn New Skills?
Everyone learns in different ways: some need a mentor or peer that shows them the ropes; others may learn better and more efficiently on their own. Some of the best ways to ensure that these new skills are learned properly are:
Sign up for a bootcamp, online course, or workshop: since there is a high demand for learning new skills, there are several courses and workshops that are also ready to help guide you on your path. Many who want to make a career change and aspire to become web developers will find that bootcamps offer lessons on the latest trends to prepare their students for their first web development job.
Learn from a tutor or peer: many tech professionals stay current with these trends and may decide to support their peers in a teaching capacity; this may also mean that you find a private tutor and take private lessons. Finding an expert to share their expertise and knowledge with you is a great way to master these skills while networking at the same time.
Use online resources to teach yourself: the internet is a wonderful place for learning and thanks to videos you can find on YouTube, TikTok, and other applications, you can learn at your own pace and discover what you need to become an expert.
Learning these skills for the new year may seem like a daunting task, especially when trying to fit everything into your busy schedule; however, this is by no means a sprint, but rather a marathon. By dedicating two to three hours a week of focused study, you can definitely master the skills you need to truly hone your craft.
We know that you are just dying to add these innovative and booming trends to your web development tool belt; if you are looking to learn everything you need to become a web developer, look no further than Ironhack. Check out our course page below.