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Poll: What was the biggest surprise for developers in 2012?

Was Visual Studio 2012's new look and feel, Flash's sudden retreat, Android's tablet surge, the developer job market, or something else the biggest development surprise of the year?

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.

J.Ja

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About

Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.

7 comments
BobRiddle
BobRiddle

Lost in all of the discussion of Win8's usability changes was the reality that Microsoft effectively deprecated ALL prior mainstream native Windows development paradigms and toolsets. Win32? WPF/.Net? Silverlight? Sorry ... nothing built with any of those paradigms will run on the new default UI of Windows. And according to everything being put out by Microsoft's marketing group, that isn't going to change going forward. When I put this issue to our Microsoft account team, they said Microsoft "isn't deprecating anything" because the non-default desktop will still support traditional development for now. But saying the tools aren't deprecated doesn't make it true. If you can't build apps for the default UI that Win8 and future Windows users will see, then by definition the toolsets are dead men walking. In my job in the financial industry, our apps are very large and complex and generally have lifetimes closer to 10 years than the mythical "throw away and re-write every 3 to 5 year" cliche. How in the world can you look an IT executive in the face and tell him that you recommend spending $5M to $50M dollars using an approach that doesn't run on the default interface of your primary corporate user target OS? If you're going to have to deal with the complexity and slower development of HTML+CSS+JavaScript+JQuery+C++ instead of simple drag-and-drop development with everything in a single tool and language, why in the world wouldn't you just go write a web app and at least be able to run the app on more platforms? In other words, why write another long-term Enterprise app for Windows at all; even if native fat and rich-thin apps do save precious seconds for client CSR's and allow developers to be productive in a single language? So IMHO, Microsoft orphaning all current Windows-native development methods is a far bigger story for corporate developers.

oliviacis
oliviacis

The mobile market showed drastic change in 2012. Android grew to unexpectedly to conquer 75.0% market share in Q3, followed by 14.9% for iOS and 4.3% for BlackBerry. The growth in Android's sales can clearly be seen soaring with lightning speed through 2010-2011. Take a lok here: gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1764714 and gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1924314 And it crossed limits in 2012: gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=2120015 Check this out: http://www.squidoo.com/android-visibly-crossing-limits-a-big-reason-for-apple-to-worry

Realvdude
Realvdude

While it is not a huge surprise, as Windows 8 has to have a purpose beyond shaking up the business and development communities. My second would be Apple blinking with the iPad and releasing the Mini. My guess is that the smaller Android powered tablet having been gaining market share that Apple does not want to lose. As dedicated Apple friend pointed out, the Mini does not have the Retina display. My last suprise (of note) is Gmail has been telling me that my Internet Explorer 8 is not going to be supported, because "it is not a modern browser". My guess is that they are both pushing into HTML5 and promoting Chrome. I've been looking at Microsoft's new Live.com Outlook and like what I see so far.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

applications they were working on are now no longer useful in a lot of markets due to them not working on many platforms. One major application I know of has had to be totally rewritten as a combination of plain html and java and the years spent working on the original just dumped as wasted effort. I think all developers should be giving a very serious consideration to dumping Flash altogether.

Viktor_f
Viktor_f

The biggest surprise for developers is when your client come and said - I have everything! I will give you mock-ups, wire-frames, clear specification and even will not change my ideas during the iterations. Just make an app! No kind of other news can make much surprise. I got such one a year and half ago. But it is really some kind of exclusive situation. For all other guys we have decided to make a some kind of test in our website early this year: http://mobidev.biz/project-readiness.html. Hope that in the 2013 I'll be really surprised with some perfect client and will start discussing only the technical news

Alelanza
Alelanza

Why do you use that browser? it complicates everything so much. While i haven't tested IE10 much, everyone's lives would be so much easier with IE out of the way

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