Last decade, known by many as the Naughties or Noughties, set the stage for a number of key software development trends. Here is a list of some of the hottest trends that impacted software development.
Last decade, known by many as the Naughties or Noughties, set the
stage for a number of key software development trends. Here are some of
the hottest of those trends and resulting challenges developers will
face in the next 10 years. Initially, the goal of this piece was to
come up with a "Top 10" list -- to name the top 10 software development
advancements of the last decade. But I quickly compiled a list that
went well over 10 items. And when I asked various friends and trusted
sources in the industry for their opinions, the list only grew further.
So this list will feature many more than 10 key trends in software
development from over that last 10 years, and will be delivered in two
parts. The list is in no particular order or ranking, other than that
SOA is first because it became a big deal early in the decade. But
other than that the list is not ranked chronologically or in order of
1. Web Services/SOA
The first technology trend of the Noughties I'd like to call out is
that of service oriented architecture (SOA), which burst on the scene
in the early part of the decade and made things crazy for a while. SOA
defines how to integrate widely disparate applications for a world that
is Web based and uses multiple implementation platforms. Springing from
the foundation of pioneering Web services standardization efforts of
Microsoft and IBM, SOA became a big buzzword early in the decade,
prompting many an ad and marketing campaign to include the term "SOA."
Some companies, such as SOA Software changed their names to reflect the
significance of the term and technology to the solutions the IT issues
of the day. Originally named Digital Evolution, the company changed its
name to SOA Software and claimed the URL: www.soa.com. However, IBM has
perhaps been the most successful at monetizing its involvement in the
SOA craze, by focusing its WebSphere middleware line at the SOA world,
encouraging customers to start pilot SOA projects, and mobilizing its
massive services arm to help take customers beyond the pilot phase.
As the trustworthy creator of Java, Sun's James Gosling, told me, one of his observations for the decade is:
"Distributed computing has become the norm. It's not just 'SOA' the
specific architecture based on X M L that was popularized in the middle
of the decade, it's 'SOA' the general term for service oriented
architectures that include techniques like REST and raw sockets."
Dion Almaer, co-founder of Ajaxian.com and co-director of developer
relations at Palm, said, "SOA bombed at first. WS-* was the EJB
[Enterprise JavaBeans] of Web Services and no one cared. However, SOA
is back with the emergence of rich clients on the Web. But instead of
being WS-* SOA it is just simple REST services."
2. The Rise of Open Source Software (OSS)
Open Source Software reached critical mass in the decade of the
Noughties. The open source model caught on like wild fire among
developers and quickly became adopted by entrepreneurs looking to build
companies by providing services for these OSS technologies. And it
worked. Marc Fleury founded JBoss around the JBoss application server
and later sold the company to Red Hat for more than $350 million. Rod
Johnson founded SpringSource around the open-source Spring Framework
and last year sold it to VMware for $420 million. VCs saw an
opportunity and began to get behind the best and the brightest. And
organizations such as the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) and the
Eclipse Foundation sprang up to, among other things, foster community
involvement in various open-source projects. Although the ASF was
founded in 1999, it saw some of its best days in the Noughties.
OSS had such an impact on the industry and on software development
that tightly closed Microsoft was forced to acknowledge it. After
initially trying to ignore and then show hostility to OSS, Microsoft
had to come to grips with the reality of OSS and had to create its own
(mostly) open source community, CodePlex. Microsoft has since spun out
the idea of its CodePlex project hosting effort into the CodePlex
Several factors led to the emergence of Open Source Software,
including that developers often felt they could hack their own
solutions and that they were sick of seeing vendors slap up to an 80
percent markup on proprietary systems. Not to mention that it was a way
to tweak Microsoft and keep some money from going into Bill's pocket.
However, another factor was that the industry didn't need the kind
of innovation in proprietary software that it did when the problem for
customers was all about automating previously manual processes. Now
that the problem is about improving what we already have, the existing
software vendors don't have a business model for that. Open source does
-- one of the ways you improve a product is reduce its cost, in this
case by sharing the R&D.
David Heinemeier Hansson, creator of the popular Ruby on Rails Web
development framework, told eWEEK he believes the Noughties were the
decade of: "The dominance of open source: The entire stack is now free
and most people only look at commercial alternatives for very
specialized setups." Although "shops trapped with Microsoft are the
exception," he added.
Grady Booch, chief scientist for software engineering at IBM
Research and co-author of the Unified Modeling Language (UML), told me:
"Whereas most early open source projects were just rehashing older
commercial things, we've seen real innovation of late (e.g. Hadoop)
that has produced major subsystems that contribute to a lot of
3. The Web becomes the Number One Development Platform.
That's right; the last decade saw the Web become the primary
platform for development. Among other technologies, Palm's WebOS plays
this out to the hilt. Palm's WebOS is a mobile platform built from the
ground up to combine standard technology, innovation and integration.
At its core, WebOS leverages several industry-standard technologies,
Hansson said: "The Web becomes the number one software platform: RIA
[Rich Internet Application], this, RIA, that. The regular Web has
proven to be the number one software platform despite all the dooms
Added Booch: "Google is on the rise, and they have in effect
contributed to creating the next development platform -- but I'd add
folks like Facebook and even Salesforce -- the net being that operating
systems have become a commodity, and the Web is the new development
emerged during the Noughties."