Top 13 Software Engineering Trends to Watch for in 2024

In 2024, revenue from software is expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels, hitting nearly $700 billion. The number of software developers worldwide will also grow to $28.7 million by the year-end.

This is unsurprising, given that software is the bedrock of all the technological advances that power our digital lives today.

Moreover, with budgets tightening everywhere and customer expectations soaring sky-high, businesses are under pressure to achieve their goals more efficiently, and good software is critical to that.

This blog post covers the top software engineering trends in 2024. But let’s begin with an overview of where the industry stands today. 

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The Current State of the Software Development Industry

The technology sector in 2023 was dominated by a few prominent software industry trends that highlighted massive shifts in this space.

For instance, generative AI entered the mainstream, and high-profile cyber-attacks worldwide brought cybersecurity and data protection into sharp focus. Also, the blockchain industry underwent momentous change, and SaaS companies continued to proliferate.

Despite the economic downturn, many businesses globally have recognized the importance of digital transformation and largely increased their software and technology budgets.

Advanced software solutions are being sought and created, and this trend will only develop further in 2024.

The world of software engineering is also seeing transformation with the adoption of generative AI coding solutions, an emphasis on user-focused development, and the growth of low-code/no-code platforms. Agile principles are more relevant than ever today.

Today, we use AI-powered tools and no-code platforms across the development pipeline, from code generation and bug fixing to software deployment.

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Here’s our take on the top trends in software set to shape how we develop, deploy, and interact with technology this year.

1. Security concerns on the rise in software development

Software development has evolved to prioritize flexibility, speed, and responsiveness to customer needs by moving from traditional, rigid development cycles to agile methodologies.

Moreover, AI’s integration into the development process transforms how developers code, test, and deploy applications. Machine Learning (ML) algorithms automate routine tasks, enhance code quality, and predict potential problems.

Cyber threats are growing as software becomes more integral to daily operations across sectors. That makes security a non-negotiable investment in this context since software systems must be protected from unauthorized access and data theft.

There’s research to supplement this claim. Nearly 4,200 cyberattacks have been reported every day since the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Verizon, 24% of all breaches in 2023 were ransomware attacks, affecting Windows-based executable files or dynamic link libraries in software. Another cybersecurity study states that 48% of businesses report increased cyberattacks year-on-year.

Cyber insurance has shown its worth in responding to the ever-evolving threat landscape in recent years, with the premiums surging in the US by 50% in 2023. This market is projected to grow from $10.3 billion in 2023 to $17.6 billion by 2028

To qualify for cyber insurance or to obtain more favorable premiums, businesses must demonstrate that they adhere to industry best practices in cybersecurity.

This includes secure coding practices, regular security audits, encryption, and following standards such as ISO 27001 or the NIST framework.

This rise in cybercrime has also prompted a strategic shift towards consolidating software tools. Businesses now favor fewer, more secure tools to manage their operations to reduce the attack surface that multiple solutions can present.

All-in-one platforms, exemplified by solutions like ClickUp, offer integrated functionalities that streamline operations and enhance security by minimizing the complexity and vulnerabilities of juggling multiple systems.

2.  Artificial Intelligence (AI) transforms software development

AI is not a buzzword anymore; it’s now an integral part of our lives, especially in modern software development. AI technology has defined new performance and business efficiency standards across various industries, from automated code reviews to predictive algorithms.

For example:

  • In pharmaceutical research, AI speeds up the drug discovery process by predicting the effectiveness of compounds, leading to faster development cycles
  • AI predicts stock levels required to meet manufacturing demand, optimize inventory, and reduce waste
  • In the field of education, AI can automate the grading of specific assignments, freeing educators to focus on teaching

Generative AI, a growing market

Among the most remarkable breakthroughs of late 2022 was generative AI in the form of ChatGPT, which introduced us to AI-driven image, text, and code generation. The usage of generative AI will continue to be one of the foremost software engineering trends as ChatGPT and other platforms launch more sophisticated versions in the future.

More businesses are implementing AI 

Did you know that AI patenting has grown 34% annually since 2000? This suggests that industries across the board, in addition to research and analysis establishments, will adopt AI within their business structures across the globe in some way or another.

Additionally, a growing interest in ethical AI aims to ensure AI systems behave ethically in the digital world.

Welcoming the next-gen software apps through AI

AI tools for developers, such as GitHub Copilot and OpenAI, have become more sophisticated. They offer enhanced capabilities to build functionally advanced apps with new features and optimizations, such as Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), AutoML, and quantization for development teams.

AI-powered project management takes center stage 

Project management software streamlines workflows, improves decision-making, and optimizes project outcomes.

ClickUp’s Project Management Solution for Software Teams simplifies the development lifecycle with an all-in-one work platform. It brings cross-functional teamwork, tools, and knowledge into one place, ensuring real-time progress tracking and sprint backlog management.

ClickUp Software Development Life cycle
Organize complex engineering projects with ClickUp

Moreover, you can fast-track app development and documentation with ClickUp Brain’s AI-powered tools to generate product ideas, roadmaps, and tasks for the team within the platform. It can also create automated updates and standups, transcribe conversations, summarize lengthy requirement documents, and so much more! 

ClickUp Docs List View example of Product Requirements
With the help of ClickUp Docs, you can showcase your product requirements while using an embedded List view

As AI use cases increase and the pressure to keep pace with the demand for AI-based services and tools increases, one of the growing software engineering trends will see businesses turning to no-code project management and AI development tools for at least 30% of automation initiatives by the end of 2024.

3. Serverless computing and microservices reinforce the dominance of cloud computing

Cloud computing refers to IT resources delivered over the internet in an on-demand capacity.

It allows users to use a shared pool of storage, servers, databases, analytics, etc., as needed, without having to manage the underlying infrastructure directly.

One of the prominent software engineering trends over the last few years has been the exponential increase in cloud adoption, with Amazon Web Services leading the way. With a market share of 32%, it offers high-performance computing services that are scalable, flexible, and affordable to the public sector, SMBs, startups, and enterprises.

The impact of cloud computing on software development is immense

Cloud technologies have helped businesses of all sizes to experiment, pivot, and scale in ways previously possible for large enterprises with huge budgets.

The benefits of cloud computing include the following:

  • Cloud computing has eliminated costs typically incurred for networking equipment, physical servers, and storage solutions. With a pay-as-you-go model, you only pay for what you use.
  • The flexibility of cloud resources also means that you can experiment with different configurations, architectural styles, and technologies (AI and ML) without the risk of wasted investment.
  • You can quickly scale your applications up or down based on demand without investing in physical hardware. This elasticity helps handle varying workloads efficiently.

The growth of cloud computing is among the prominent software engineering trends this year; the global cloud computing market will surpass $1,266.4 billion by 2028. Building on the potential of AI, the reliance on cloud computing will continue its upward trajectory in 2024 with a host of pivotal developments:

Three developments you should look forward to:

a. Serverless computing

Serverless computing provides backend services on an as-used basis, freeing up developers from the responsibility of managing servers and other infrastructure.

It’s helpful for building and deploying cost-effective, agile, cloud-native applications scalably. All the leading cloud service platforms today—AWS, Google, Microsoft Azure, and IBM, offer serverless platforms. One of the rising software engineering trends in the coming years will be the spread of serverless computing.

However, as serverless computing expands, so do the instances of security breaches. The IT industry has, therefore, started using the latest technologies and independent services for vulnerability testing.

Advanced tools such as PureSec, Aqua, and Snyk are becoming mainstream to safeguard against vulnerabilities and breaches in serverless apps.

b. Microservices

Microservices architecture is a fundamental concept in cloud computing. It emphasizes the development of applications as a collection of small, autonomous services, each running its own process and communicating with lightweight mechanisms, often an HTTP resource API.

This design principle aligns perfectly with cloud environments’ scalability, flexibility, and efficiency demands.

Microservices Cloud Architecture
Microservices cloud architecture: A growing trend in software engineering

They leverage the cloud’s capabilities to distribute system components dynamically across various servers and regions, thus enhancing the system’s resilience, fault tolerance, and global availability.

This architectural style facilitates rapid, incremental development and deployment and allows businesses to choose the cloud’s pay-as-you-go model, optimizing operational costs and efficiently managing resources.

c. Hybrid and multi-cloud evolution

Long gone are the days of one-size-fits-all cloud solutions. Businesses can now select the optimal cloud resources for specific workloads, reducing redundancy, enhancing resilience, and mitigating vendor lock-in—thanks to hybrid and multi-cloud environments’ growing software engineering trends.

While a hybrid cloud model comprises a mix of private and public cloud services, a multi-cloud model includes two or more public cloud services. They enable businesses to customize their IT infrastructure per their current needs and goals.

Multi-cloud Strategy
Hybrid and multi-cloud environments
via Xorlogics

Research shows that in 2024, hybrid and multi-cloud interoperability and portability will reach 45%, improving cost-effectiveness, reducing risk, and increasing flexibility by 75%.

4. The rise of low-code and no-code platforms democratizes software creation

The shift from traditional waterfall models to the iterative agile software development methodology was a paradigm shift in the industry. However, the process can still suffer setbacks and delays due to problems like a shortage of trained developers. 

To plug this gap and make software development more agile, flexible, and future-proof, we’ve seen innovations and new software engineering trends take root.

We’re talking about low-code and no-code platforms—different software development tools designed to simplify the creation of applications.

Low-code platforms, one of the most exciting software engineering trends, require minimal coding to build innovative software applications. They enable you to use graphical user interfaces and configurations instead of traditional hand-coded computer programming.

Non-technical users can now build apps using low-code development without writing code, using drag-and-drop components and model-driven logic through a visual interface. In 2024, the combined benefits of low-code and no-code platforms will further revolutionize software development:

  • By minimizing the need for specialized coding skills, you can save on the costs associated with hiring experienced developers
  • Businesses can quickly adapt to market changes or internal demands by swiftly updating apps or creating new ones to meet emerging needs
  • These platforms have built-in compliance and security features, ensuring that apps meet industry standards and regulations
  • Thanks to the underlying cloud infrastructure and modular design principles, software built using these technologies can be scaled easily to accommodate growing user bases

Integration of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) capabilities within low-code and no-code platforms

RPA automates repetitive and mundane tasks, and this market is projected to reach $30.85 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 38.2% from 2024 to 2030.

Integrating RPA in low-code/no-code platforms can facilitate quick and compliant digitalization across fast-moving industries.

5. DevSecOps integrates security into the development life cycle as a new norm

Short for development, security, and operations, DevSecOps is an approach to culture, automation, and platform design that integrates security at every stage of the software development lifecycle.

In 2024, you must prioritize DevSecOps owing to cyber threats’ escalating complexity and sophistication. 

Traditional DevOps processes largely embraced agile philosophy, emphasizing continuous integration and deployment for better cross-team collaboration.

ClickUp Docs with real-time editing
Collaborate on off-site meeting ideas together by creating ClickUp Docs with real-time editing

However, the testing phase at the tail end of the software development cycle didn’t always cover necessary security practices, exposing the final product to data leaks, permission issues, insecure plugins, and other severe vulnerabilities.

DevSecOps mitigates this problem and equips you to fix security issues in the code in real-time. The result is a secure product by default and complete traceability about how it’s built.

Plus, with the advent of generative AI, DevSecOps teams can easily keep up with the increasing rate of cloud-native app deployment, safeguarding digital assets in an increasingly interconnected world.

6. Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and microservices revolutionize web scalability

PWAs, introduced in 2015, are still important today and are redefining the standards of web application development and deployment standards.

Intended to work on any platform that uses a standards-compliant browser, PWAs are application software delivered through the web, built using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Think of them as a cross between websites and platform-specific apps.

PWAs provide an app-like experience to users with features such as offline availability, push notifications, and access to device hardware. They can also integrate native device features like payment methods, cameras, and biometrics.

PWAs find industry-specific purpose

Over the years, PWAs have become the go-to choice for headless front-end development of eCommerce and enterprise applications.

This trend is primarily driven by these apps’ flexibility and user experience, making them an attractive option for businesses looking to enhance their online presence. They help companies to reduce server load and development costs, while users like them as they’re lighter than native apps, with better UX. 

On the other hand, blockchain technology’s decentralized and tamper-resistant nature offers a robust layer of security for PWAs, facilitating intelligent contracts and immutable records and securing identity verification.

It is also expected that as blockchain technologies become more user-centric, PWA could accelerate their evolution. 

Microservices in PWA development are gaining momentum

As the software industry moves towards more modular, service-oriented architectures, PWA developers must adopt the microservices approach to build, deploy, and test the apps, directly benefiting from the cloud’s elasticity and distributed nature.

Since each service in the application is handled independently, adding new updates or features to the PWA is easier. Changes to one microservice do not directly impact others, quickly meeting the evolving needs of the modern user.

7. Internet of Things (IoT) and edge computing merge to redefine smart living

IoT refers to the network of physical objects or ‘things’ embedded with sensors, software, and other emerging technologies that connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the Internet.

IoT has transitioned from mere academic discussions to practical applications across various industries in the past decade—from healthcare and agriculture to manufacturing and education. According to Mordor Intelligence, the IoT technology market value will rise to $1.39 trillion by 2026.

Commoditizing smart home tech

In 2024, IoT home automation is set to make homes ultra-smart, more efficient, and more responsive to the needs of their inhabitants.

By the end of this year, there will be over 207 billion connected devices worldwide, and a big chunk of them will be household appliances.

Here are some reasons why software engineers should take note of IoT development: 

a. Sustainable IoT goes circular

There’s a growing demand for eco-friendly and energy-efficient solutions within home automation. You can build IoT devices that leverage renewable energy sources, potentially opening up new markets and customer bases.

b. Edge computing advances

Edge computing technologies process and analyze IoT data at the location where it’s collected rather than sending the data to the cloud for processing. This minimizes delays and improves responsiveness. 

As the number of IoT devices in homes rises, the need for real-time processing and reduced latency will take precedence.

You should consider incorporating edge computing in the IoT architecture, particularly for apps requiring instant feedback like emergency alerts or security systems.

c. Focus on security and privacy increases

As home automation becomes more prevalent, prioritize implementing robust security measures, including end-to-end encryption and regular software updates, to protect users from cyber threats. Ensure IoT devices comply with privacy laws, such as GDPR in Europe.

8. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) push the boundaries of user experience

While AR overlays the real world with digital content to create a new perception of reality, VR creates an entirely immersive virtual environment that replaces the real world.

The growing popularity of both technologies requires adopting new software development skills to create deeply immersive experiences through sophisticated graphics and haptic feedback capabilities.

AR/VR upgrade collaboration in product lifecycle management

The primary goals of digital manufacturing are clear: improve quality, optimize operability, and minimize delivery times. In 2024, AR/VR technologies will emerge as linchpins to achieve these objectives.

For example, AR can aid assembly line workers by overlaying digital work instructions onto physical components. This allows them to visualize potential modifications and enhancements, facilitating quicker decision-making.

VR enables geographically dispersed teams to walk, talk, and work in a shared virtual space, fostering instant real-time feedback. This concept is called immersion, the sensation of being physically present in a non-physical world.

AR/VR technologies are finding use across sectors

Although not without challenges, including hardware costs and the need for widespread adoption, AR/VR technologies’ potential benefits across various sectors are undeniable. For instance:

  • Surgeons use AR for real-time data visualization during procedures, overlaying critical information like CT scans directly onto the patient’s body, enhancing precision and outcomes. VR simulations allow medical students and professionals to practice complex surgical procedures in a risk-free environment.
  • In education, VR can transport students to historical sites, simulate complex scientific phenomena, and offer hands-on experience with virtual labs, making learning more dynamic and accessible.
  • VR gaming provides a fully immersive experience, placing players directly into game environments. In contrast, AR games merge digital elements with the real world, as seen in popular games that turn neighborhood walks into interactive adventures.
  • In tourism, VR allows people to virtually visit distant locations from the comfort of their homes, offering 360-degree tours of landmarks, museums, and natural wonders. AR apps enhance physical travel by providing real-time information overlays and translations on smart devices, enriching the travel experience.

9. 5G technology accelerates the pace of software innovation

5G is the fifth generation of mobile networks. It’s designed to connect almost everything, from devices to machines to everyday objects. With 5G networks gaining prominence in 2024, we’ll have a much faster internet with much more reliable availability and low latency.

This profoundly impacts software development, particularly in creating far more complex and feature-rich applications than anything we have seen.

Impact of 5G on IoT development

5G enables more devices to connect simultaneously and communicate in real-time, making it possible to deploy complex IoT applications in areas like smart cities, industrial automation, and healthcare monitoring. 

Moreover, the technology can support many connections per square kilometer and ensures the multiplication of IoT devices.

Changing the face of edge computing

The low latency of 5G also makes it ideal for edge computing apps. With data processing happening closer to the data source than at a centralized hub, real-time data analytics can happen in real-time, enabling much faster decision-making with more significant volumes of data.

5G technology elevates the technical prowess of IoT systems and enriches the ecosystem by emphasizing user experience.

10. Blockchain’s impact extends far beyond cryptocurrency

Blockchain technology is a decentralized, distributed ledger that stores data globally on thousands of servers and enables a network of users to control and update data in real-time. 

The technology makes it difficult for any single user to take control of the network. Blockchain improves user trust and decreases the overall cost of operations.

The majority of the buzz surrounding this technology has been focused on cryptocurrency. However, it also positively influences software development. A Deloitte research article states that blockchain is in the top five strategic priorities for 55% of organizations.

There’s a good reason for this.

Blockchain-oriented software (BOS) systems are robust and secure. The data in these systems is duplicated and stored across thousands of computer systems, boosting data security. There’s also transaction recording and public-key cryptography that adds another layer of safety to data.

Gaining acceptance in various industries

In 2024, blockchain continues to drive supply chain transparency by offering an unalterable record of transactions. This can track product production, shipment, and receipt in a supply chain, reducing risk and improving overall operational efficiency.

Blockchain protects and secures healthcare and genomics data, improving the tracking of diseases and outbreaks. The technology also offers a secure and unforgeable way of managing digital identities. It is useful in scenarios requiring identity verification, such as e-government services.

In addition, blockchain enables real-time financial transactions and speeds up payment processes across industries.

11. New languages emerge as pioneers of the programming future

Even though developers haven’t stopped learning general-purpose programming languages such as Java, C, Ruby, and Dart, some new ones are entering the scene this year. Swift, Rust, and Go are the new entrants in the life of a software developer. They’re supported and developed by tech giants Apple, Mozilla, and Google.

Applications built using these languages are more accessible to deploy and maintain, deliver fast performance, and ensure cross-device optimization. They’re also known to be simpler to learn and master.

TypeScript shines bright

However, one more programming language, i.e., TypeScript, is catching developers’ attention.

A Javascript variation with additional syntax, Typescript enables you to apply static typing, use advanced interfaces, and benefit from tooling options like type-checking and auto-completion, making TypeScript ideal for backend web development.

Another reason to get aboard the TypeScript wave is the improvement in code quality. It lets you catch errors early through its static type-checking feature, making the codebase more readable and maintainable. This programming language is, therefore, a perfect choice for large-scale projects containing copious lines of code.

Python continues to dominate

Python remains a popular programming language in 2024, favored for its simplicity, versatility, and strong library support. A Stack Overflow survey identified it as the most desired language for developers to learn. Python is widely used in AI, data analysis, and scientific computing.

Its extensive library range, which can easily integrate into code, offers vast web and desktop app development possibilities.

The strategic importance of Python in modern software development cannot be understated. It continues to enable more agile, resilient, and user-centric digital solutions.

12. Outsourcing becomes a strategic lever for software developers

Many enterprise software companies are predicted to experience a revenue uplift at a run rate of $10 billion in 2024.

Since the 1990s, outsourcing has been a popular strategy in the software industry. Companies worldwide get expert third parties from countries like India and the Philippines to handle specific aspects of the software development process.

It is an excellent way to connect with global talent and is more cost-effective than hiring in-house developers.

Outsourcing also gives businesses the flexibility to work on more ‘core’ projects internally and scale faster in case of unexpected supply and demand changes. It’s considered a sustainable and pragmatic option even in 2024.

India-based Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is one such company that made its global mark primarily by taking up outsourced assignments.

The company hires people with deep domain knowledge in technology and business consulting. It operates through a global delivery model that gives round-the-clock service to clients, such as end-to-end software development and product portfolio management.

TCS has strategic partnerships with leading cloud service providers like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform to meet the burgeoning need for cloud migration and management. 

13. The emphasis on UI/UX design elevates software experiences

User interface (UI) refers to the application’s graphical surface that users interact with, such as the buttons they click, the text, the screen’s layout, and the way transitions or downloads occur.

User experience (UX) is a broader term covering the whole spectrum of a user’s interactions with a company and its products. 

Good UI/UX creates a solid first impression for the customer and an interactive experience. It directly impacts conversion rates and the likelihood of the customer using the product/app frequently. 

Moreover, by investing in UI/UX upfront, you can create a more impactful product and have the processes and best practices to integrate further changes later.

Key UI UX design trends of 2024 are as follows:

a. Microinteractions 

As attention to detail becomes paramount in differentiating products in a crowded market, micro-interactions offer a way to enhance usability subtly. Progress bars, celebratory gifs, hotspots, mouseover effects, etc., can all improve the user experience and increase engagement.

Exploring new and innovative ways to incorporate these into digital interfaces is essential, making everyday interactions more intuitive and enjoyable.

Growing software engineering trends today include the use of micro-interactions
via UX Design Institute

b. Voice User Interface (VUI)

VUI or speech recognition is the technology that drives popular voice-based assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. VUIs are anticipated to expand significantly, driven by Natural Language Processing (NLP) and AI improvements.

As these technologies become more sophisticated, VUIs could offer even more accurate, context-aware responses, making them more reliable and user-friendly.

c. 3D design and minimalism

As hardware capabilities improve, they allow for more complex visual effects without compromising performance. So, 3D elements become more prevalent in the interfaces of web and mobile apps, adhering to minimalist aesthetics that prioritize functionality.

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The Software Engineering Future is Exciting

Modern technology is an unstoppable force. The prominent software engineering trends we’ve mentioned are just a few among many key trends, all of which interact and intersect in multiple ways to drive innovation, efficiency, and excellence.

As a software developer today, knowing the latest software engineering trends prepares you to embrace industry disruption quickly. Keep trying out new tools and technologies and upgrading your knowledge and skills. 

We also recommend using innovative project management software like ClickUp, saving you time and effort. Moreover, ClickUp Brain’s AI-powered tools can make your day-to-day work a breeze. 

ClickUp AI Product Requirements Document Example
Automate documentation writing with AI, monitor progress through charts and sprints, and resolve coding bugs quickly using ClickUp

With the right tool, you can ensure all your tasks and documentation remain in one place, with user access and roles closely monitored.

This not only decreases context switching but also reduces the risk of data breach or misplaced assets and ensures a secure and collaborative workspace for you and your team

Sign up for ClickUp for free to streamline your software development processes today. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The latest software development trends include AI, AR/VR technologies, cloud computing, low-code/no-code automation, Blockchain, IoT, DevSecOps, and 5G.

One of the software engineering trends in technology that stands out, based on its trajectory up to 2024 Q1, is Artificial Intelligence (AI), particularly generative AI. Gen-AI will also revolutionize various sectors this year by enabling highly personalized content creation, automating app design and development processes, and enhancing creativity and innovation.

3. What is the trend in software development in 2025?

The most significant software development trend is cloud and edge computing, estimated to be worth $860 billion by 2025. Moreover, cloud technology can be easily integrated with other technologies like AI and ML, making it versatile and vital.

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