In 2012, we saw a ton of changes to the development landscape, but few of them were actual surprises; most were simply continuations of new trends. One of the most shocking things was the new look and feel of Visual Studio 2012, with the common reaction being that while it looked modern, it was very tough to use.
Also, while it was known that Flash would probably not stand up against HTML 5, it seems like Flash imploded, and Adobe acknowledged it by ceasing development of Flash on a number of platforms.
The job market is one big surprise in my opinion. It remains very strong for well-qualified candidates, but it feels like it is getting very difficult for entry-level candidates.
At the end of 2011, it seemed Android was here to stay on phones, but that the iPad was unbeatable in tablets. At the end of 2012, Android has made major inroads into tablets and does not look like it is going away any time soon, throwing a major wrench into the roadmaps of mobile development teams.
Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.