Top Software Developer Trends for 2021
18 Apr 2021 3 mins read By Andrea Amato

2020 was a year of disruption for many industries worldwide, leaving organisations the onus to prepare for different priorities in 2021. 

Despite a pandemic, the demand for software developers and computer software engineers alike are exacerbating. Unfortunately, a global shortage of software talent has left organisations with the difficulty in sourcing qualified developers. 

With this in mind, there is no wonder that discussions surrounding software developer trends are persisting. Software developers are known to practice new skills or specialise further in a particular domain such as popular programming languages and technologies. Indeed, for experienced and prospective developers, it is important to remain up to date with current trends to gain a competitive advantage in an ever-changing working society. 

Why is it important for developers to keep up with trends? For one, usability of programming languages may change from year to year. If you are a developer who specialises in R, you may find lesser jobs than you would in learning Python or Java (the two most in demand programming languages in 2020 and 2021). Keeping up with developer trends are vital in an economy that prioritises digitalisation and technological advances.

Software Developer Trends 2021​


Cloud Technology and Cybersecurity 

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, many workers have resorted to remote work and work from home jobs in Malta and worldwide. The move from a more secure office environment has left wondrous opportunity for cybercriminals. 71% of cyber professionals reported an increase of security threats particularly due to the pandemic. Many industries have resorted to cloud technologies and services, though that does not mean these are completely safe from data breaches. 

More than ever, cloud services need to be configured correctly and with up-to-date software. Cloud technologies should be prepared for new challenges as a result of novel cybercrime and targeted data breaches. This leaves software developers opportunity to hop on and care for cloud services and make these robust for a myriad of organisations, including governmental. Proactivity is key for this important and necessary trend.

Artificial intelligence (AI)

AI is widely adopted across industries as a means to better customer experiences in processing large amounts of data. AI is an umbrella term that comprises a number of technologies: reactive machines, limited memory, theory of mind, and self-awareness. Many organisations are using AI as it remains best practice in achieving positive customer experience. AI is trending in all industry sectors, making it one to look out for this year. 

To present the adaptability of AI, it is valuable to place its technologies within context. For finance jobs, marketing, among others, robots are an important implementation for these sectors. With the rise in remote work, certain customer-facing organisations will make use of neurolinguistic programming (NLP) and automated speech recognition (ASR) for efficiency. If these are technologies that interest you, it is definitely worth looking into AI further and find a speciality that is right for you. ​

Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT in simplistic terms refers to the interconnectivity between devices to a common internet source. This includes mobile devices and other smart devices such as home appliances. This technology, like many others, follows the general trend toward digitalisation despite the pandemic. If anything, Covid-19 has been a driving force toward reliance in technology especially as the workforce moved remote. 

Additionally, by 2025, more than 21 billion IoT devices are estimated to enter the market. Its strength in connectivity is already applied across industries, as a means to support multiple technologies such as sensors and cloud services. Despite this convenient measure, it is worth noting dependency in connecting multiple devices with one internet source can cause great data risk. Nevertheless, preventative measures can be taken to ensure these devices are protected, leaving space for software developers to ensure optimum measures are taken.

Big Data

As the term suggests, big data refers to how organisations manage large quantities of data. 
How organisations analyse their data, explore and interpret, relates to many of the above technologies. For instance, AI technology is commonplace for analytic purposes to effectively organise large amounts of data. NLP is a tool used to organise human language and make it understandable, making it more efficient to explore and later interpret data. 

The functionality of big data is increasing due to the global trend for digitalisation. By 2023, big data is estimated to be worth around $71 billion. Finance and banking industries process large amounts of data at an incredible rate, where the amount of data generated each second in the financial industry is predicted to grow 700% in 2021. The prominence and growth in big data leaves it an important trend for software developers to be knowledgeable about.

Are you a software developer ready to take the next step in your career?

We believe the working society will remain remote for a while. At Castille Labs, we are looking for tech professionals with exposure in complex IT ecosystems ready to deliver outstanding work to our clients in various sectors. If this seems right for you, read more about what our remote software talent platform is all about, or request a call back with one of our team members at

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