To celebrate the 250th issue of SD Times, we wondered what the software development industry would look like at our 500th issue—which would be in December 2020. Here are 13 looks into the future.

Ken Pugh
Ken Pugh, fellow, consultant, Net Objectives
By the year 2020, more videos will be stored on your personal video player than are possible to watch in your lifetime, even if you stayed awake for 24 hours a day. Dual watching screens will have been invented so that each eye/ear pair can watch and listen to a different video. Textual feeds of tweets will be superimposed on the videos so that you can keep up with all the latest gossip.

The first beta release of a direct-to-brain version of a video player will have been introduced to overcome the limitation of the optic nerve input device. A few bugs in the device will have caused some people to go crazy as “Star Trek—Yet Another Generation” somehow plays in an endless loop. The direct-to-brain audio input device will be in its third generation, allowing you to listen to 100 MP3 files or XM radio channels simultaneously.

Rob Enderle
Rob Enderle, principal analyst, Enderle Group
In 10 years, the personal computer as we know it will be dead, largely replaced by some kind of hosted service that supplies our cloud-based information and processing mostly wirelessly. Granted, folks will continue to buy and use traditional PCs for at least the next decade, but the momentum will be off of that platform, and while it may continue to be one of the clients, it will be far from the most important one.

Governments have become far more active in regulating and taxing Web activity and assuring, though still largely ineffectively, the safety of Web users. Information that previous generations thought was confidential is readily available on the Web, and a common practice is likely something akin to job sniping, where one candidate for a position knocks out the others by placing red flags in their virtual backgrounds.

Focus is less on getting to information and more on assuring the validity of that information. Technology firms have, responding to Apple’s success, largely become vertically integrated in the technology segment, and the Intel/Microsoft focus on specialization has fallen off sharply.

Grady Booch
Grady Booch, IBM fellow, chief scientist for software engineering,