To paraphrase that great thinker, Ferris Bueller: “Technology moves pretty fast. It you don’t look around once in a while, you could miss it.” So, to get 2016  rolling, we’ve asked luminaries and thought leaders in the software development space to look around and tell us what they expect from the field this year.

0107.sdt-predictions-stirmanKelly Stirman, VP of strategy, MongoDB
Kafka will become an essential integration point in enterprise data infrastructure, facilitating the creation of intelligent, distributed systems. With the growth of IoT, global deployments and microservices, the need to capture and control in-flight data before it’s stored in a database is becoming more important. Kafka and other streaming systems like Spark and Storm will complement databases as critical pieces of the enterprise stack for managing data across applications and data centers.

Grady Booch, Fellow, IBM
There exists a temporary plateau in the advance of software development, for there are many things we know how to do well: Continuous Integration; doing the simplest, testable thing possible; the role of stable interfaces; the place of new languages such as Swift as well as the maturation of older languages such as C++ and Java, to name a few. However, despite our best practices, the very nature of the systems we must build are changing in subtle ways, and that will propel the art and the science of software development to the next level. Security, of course, will always remain an issue, and as we integrate billions upon billions of devices into our world, security must take a more primary place in development. The biggest unknown, and therefore the biggest opportunity for innovation in software development, is the development of systems that learn. Herein we face challenges in how best to shape the life cycle of systems whose behavior is shaped not just by software but by the structured and unstructured knowledge they ingest. Rather than just cut code, we must now find the best practices for teaching our systems. I suspect we’ll see a new class of jobs emerge: not just machine-learning professionals, but perhaps even software therapists.

0107.sdt-predictions-zwebenMonte Zweben, cofounder and CEO, Splice Machine
Spark will kill Map Reduce, but save Hadoop. Map Reduce is quite esoteric. Its slow, batch nature and high level of complexity can make it unattractive for many enterprises. Spark, because of its speed, is much more natural, mathematical and convenient for programmers. Spark will reinvigorate Hadoop, and in 2016, nine out of every 10 projects on Hadoop will be Spark-related projects.

Andrew Levy, founder and CEO, Crittercism
Next year, both Marriott and Hilton will have wide rollouts of keyless entry for rooms you unlock your door with your smartphone. We’ll eventually see other sectors follow suit, such as car rentals, that will continue to fuel growth for the e-commerce category. As such, app developers should be prepared to find ways to automize and streamline other daily functions with the use of a smartphone.

Erik Sebesta, Chief Architect and Technology Officer, Cloud Technology Partners
The major cloud providers will grow at 100+%. The rest of the world will wish they were the major cloud providers.

Rajiv Gupta, cofounder and CEO, Skyhigh
Companies will start to pay off cloud security debt. More and more companies are full-speed ahead on cloud, but so far security has lagged behind. There’s a gap between where cloud security budgets currently are and where they should be based on overall security spending. According to Gartner, companies allocate just 3.8% of cloud spending to security, compared to 11% from overall IT budgets. In 2016, budgets for cloud security will outpace overall IT security spending as companies play catch-up.

Bill Curtis, executive director, Consortium for IT Software Quality
While software glitches will drive up the demand to identify and reduce IT risk, the problem will only get worse until the C-Suite understands the financial trade-offs of business IT taking into account software quality measurement. Last year’s headlines show that businesses do not understand the level of risk in their software. That’s because they lack industry benchmarks and best practices for evaluating the quality of their software. It’s often the structural quality of the software—the non-functional characteristics such as reliability and security—that hackers exploit.

Richard Soley, executive director, Industrial Internet Consortium
We’re going to see the Internet of Things go into the trough of disillusionment, but I suspect it’s going to be a really shallow trough, because there are already design wins/case studies to talk about. At the recent IoT Solutions World Congress, business leaders, operational leaders and CIOs gathered to listen to more than 120 speakers in 83 sessions discuss the opportunities and challenges in deploying the Industrial Internet of Things. This conference…featured global leaders who are deploying solutions today. Among them are a smart building that Schneider Electric collaborated on; wearable technology that Massachusetts General Hospital is using to monitor research patients’ stress levels; or a car that was designed via crowdsourcing and was created using 3D printing in less than 24 hours.

Mathew Lodge, COO, Weaveworks
Container management starts to look like a “Game of Thrones” wedding scene. In “Game of Thrones,” blood runs as freely as wine at weddings, where feuding families all seek control of key strategic territory. For production Docker deployments, the strategic territory is management and control of container fleets, and it’s getting increasingly crowded and contentious. Google was early with Kubernetes, based on its own experiences managing a billion container-starts per week. Apache Mesos is a popular alternative in use at large-scale players like Apple, and you also have Marathon from Mesosphere. AWS introduced its own container orchestrator at re:Invent for its EC2 Container Service. That’s too many alternatives, too soon: 2016 is going to be brutal for vendors, and potentially confusing for users.

Cole Crawford, cofounder and CEO, Vapor IO
Open-source code will replace open interfaces. With the acceleration of permissive licenses and their adoption rate, open washing will result in open shaming. Upstream code contributions will be increasingly managed via top-down governance structures and won’t be limited to technical merit and usability. Open-source code will also continue to replace open interfaces as companies learn that the latter still allows for vendor lock-in and gratuitous differentiation.

0107.sdt-predictions-choksiNeelan Choksi, president and COO, Tasktop
In 2016, it will no longer be the sole purview of CIOs and CTOs to have insight into software operations, but also the CEO, CMO, COO and CFO. Anyone in those roles who doesn’t know what is going on with their software will be at risk of losing their jobs. So expect to see more CEO firings in 2016 because of software failures. On the flip side, there will be more tech/software-savvy CEOs coming on the scene driven by software successes. The bottom line: The C team will be expected to have a better understanding of how software drives the company’s business so that they can help make the right decisions.

Hung Nguyen, founder and CEO, LogiGear
We’ve gone from DLL to COM objects to custom controls to Web objects and now micro­services. We’re not sure you how testing will make sense. It’s more about how the process will work, who will do what kind of testing and when.

Fima Katz, cofounder and CEO,
Enterprise mobility will evolve from ad hoc projects to broader mobility and digitalization projects. Enterprises that built their first mobile apps in 2015 will look to create more apps across all departments in order to simplify and streamline business. From sales and marketing to customer services and manufacturing, increased mobilization will be key in making business easier and more efficient. Further, in 2016, we’ll begin to see enterprises evolve their mobility efforts into plans for broader digitalization. Enterprises in key verticals such as healthcare, payments, automotive and energy will start to experiment with IoT devices. These efforts are going to require adoption of a more complete mobile integration platform.

Steve Goldsmith, general manager of HipChat, Atlassian
2016 will be the year that ChatOps expands from software teams to all business teams. Software is eating the world, and teams outside of software have seen this and are taking some of the best techniques used by software teams like Uber, Netflix and Twitter into the non-technical world. ChatOps is the operating system for great teams. It is the place where the right work, people and tools come together. In 2016, marketing teams, IT teams, legal teams and HR will start to adopt this model of work.