In recent years, the web has been getting more and more integrated into our daily lives. We use the web for everything – from shopping and recipes to banking and reading our news. This rise in the use of the World Wide Web has given rise to the demand of web development talent and the scope of what developers can do is getting bigger every day. The web is a fascinating arena where nothing stays still for too long. Information and how we get it is constantly changing and the methods we use to deal with that information continues to evolve with it.

Here is a list of things that can reshape the tech landscape this year:

Artificial Intelligence

Whenever we think about the future of technology, Artificial Intelligence or AI is always the first thing that comes to mind. But right now, it can actually be justified because a lot of advances have been in the field of AI in the past few years.

Some of the biggest names in technology like Google, Facebook and Microsoft have been releasing their AI technology for public used. Artificial Intelligence is already in use by large applications either to improve search engines or to identify damaged or inaccurate articles.

One example of this advancement is the AI-driven website creation, The Grid. The AI web designer will ask you questions about colours, layout, branding, content, etc and then, based on pre-programmed algorithms, it will automatically create an aesthetic website for you. You can ask the AI-designer to update the website as many times as you like until you’re satisfied and doing so will also contribute to the machine’s learning.

Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT or the Internet of Things is a movement where non-internet-connected objects are given network connectivity to send and receive data. These objects can range from just about all everyday objects like sensors embedded in concrete to detect cracks or even our toaster!

Web development companies may not be directly involved in the creation of these devices. But it’s highly likely that they’ll be involved in the development of applications that use, analyze and the display the data from the device.

Virtual Reality

This is another very frequent topic that comes up whenever the future of technology is raised. Virtual Reality or VR has already started to make an impact in the gaming industry but it won’t stop there. Companies like Google and Mozilla have already begun work on APIs to help VR technology transition to the web. With the advancements made, we can expect VR in various applications like news coverage and virtual real estate tours.

Angular 2

2016 saw the release of Angular 2 and with its introduction came lots of changes like Google’s frontend Javascript framework being completely redesigned. It now takes advantage of JavaScript ES6’s features, applications are written in TypeScript, and they are now moved towards a more component driven architecture.

With its release, Angular 2 now has a more distinct and expected release schedule. It’s expected that three minor updates and one major one will be releases every six month so there’s a lot more changes to have in this hugely popular framework.

Rails 5

The newest version of Rails, Rails 5 was released in June 2016 and seeing that the technology is still young, we can expect its popularity to expand in the coming years. The latest release of Rails came with some exciting additions that web developers should be eager for:

  • ActionCable is a new way to use websockets in Rails to build real time applications. This makes creating notifications and chat features easier and straightforward while still having access to all your ActiveRecord resources.
  • Turbolinks 5 gives developers the chance to create Single Page like Applications directly from the Rails stack, by allowing links to fetch full HTML pages and replacing the body, eliminating the need for client-side JavaScript frameworks.
  • Rails 5 also combined the popular rails_api gem into it’s codebase. Developers can now simply create API only applications in Rails and hook them up to their preferred JavaScript or native frameworks.

Static website generators

Static website generators create websites from plain text that is normally stored in files and not in databases. In some situations, static websites built by generators have some advantages like better speed, security, straightforward development and their handling of traffic flows. But they have no real time content or user content like comments which have become a must-have on websites today.

As Content Delivery Networks and APIs become the norm of the web and makes it easier for templates and content to be positioned, many developers think that static site generators might be an exciting area to watch out for this year.

Yarn Package Manager

Package managers are becoming increasingly popular tools, particular for the frontend Javascript communities. This makes it simpler for developers o install, update, configure and uninstall code modules within their applications. This is done by communicating with a registry of code modules and managing the variety of needs that code modules typically have.

The most popular JavaScript package managers are NPM and Bower. Nevertheless, a new package manager has been developed by Facebook, in collaboration with Exponent, Google and Tilde and its popularity is expected to develop in 2017.

Yarn aims to tackle problems that Facebook has experienced with NPM, mainly in areas like performance, security, and consistency. This new package manager still has access to the NPM and Bower registries.

Web Design Advancements

When it comes to web design, here are a few things that can be expected this year and in the coming years too:

  • Larger and bolder typography is already becoming more prevalent
  • Movement based interfaces are becoming an essential on the web. Maybe when connected with libraries such as tracking.js, interfaces that respond to hand movements could be closer than we imagine.

People are always looking for appealing and convincing ways to get their information quickly. This has prompted a rise in the use of videos and other storytelling visuals.

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