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.