There are a number of things developers need to consider when it comes to developing for the web in 2019 and beyond. SD Times asked industry thought leaders what advice they would give their developers:
Focus on web standards: If you aren’t sure about which framework to pick, your best bet is to focus on web standards, according to Max Lynch, CEO and co-founder for the web development solution provider Ionic. “What is going to change the least? We can’t afford to keep changing, rewriting or rebuilding our solution every time there is a new framework,” he said. “If you are thinking long-term, it is probably a good bet to target things like web components instead of being tightly coupled to a specific third-party framework.” Look at web standards like web components, custom elements and shadow DOM because those are the things that are going to work everywhere and last, Lynch explained.
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Pick a technology and stick with it: If you have to pick a tool or technology, it all comes down to what you are trying to build, according to Sam Basu, developer advocate for app development solution provider Progress. “Frameworks, IDEs and SDKs have come a long way, so the platform you pick doesn’t matter. Developers are walking into a richer ecosystem that is much more collaborative and the frameworks and tools have evolved quite a bit. Pick the technology stack that works best with your expertise and the type of app you are trying to build,” he said.
Stay connected to your users: “I would really recommend that developers try and stay as focused as possible on the user. It can be very hard to get wrapped up in the features you are trying to deliver and the day to day of software and maintenance,” said Stephen Fluin, developer advocate for Angular at Google. “If you go back and figure out what is the value you are trying to deliver to your users and what is the best way to deliver that value, you will often get a different answer from the status quo.”
Plan for change: Languages are going to get better, frameworks are going to improve, and the standards and expectations of users are going to change, Fluin explained. “The applications we have to build in 2019 are harder to build in some ways than the apps we had to build in 2018 because users expect more,” he said. “That is going to continue to change so developers have to try to be flexible and forward looking with what they build.”
Think in terms of multi-experience development: It is no longer a matter of mobile development or web development. According to Gartner Research VP Jason Wong, the future of development is multi-experience. Wong explained in today’s modern and digital world, developers need to have a more holistic approach when it comes to their digital development strategy and experiences. “Multi-experience breaks down the channel thinking such as the web channel or mobile channel. You may have a mobile development team, web development team, development team for chatbots, voice, VR, AR and more. But what the multi-experience term is all about is the end user and trying to solve their problems,” said Wong.
As users move across devices and apps and other modalities of interaction, development teams need to consider the digital user journey they are going to take. For instance, Wong explained users that are booking a flight or going on vacation may start researching flights through a web portal, but then decide to book their flight through a mobile app. From there, they can get notifications on their smart watch, save their flight information in their wallet app and get flight notifications through their messaging app. Additionally, once they arrive at their destination, they may use their mobile devices to call an Uber or connect to a car service. So there are all these different touch points the user is interacting with that developers need to be considering, Wong added.
Code share as much as possible: “Developers are known to be lazy, and we like to do things once that we can share in other places,” said Progress’ Basu, “Think about what else you are doing and the path you are going to take apps to mobile or desktop.”