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Neo4j 2020 Predictions: Developers in the Cloud and the Power of Connected Data

VMblog Predictions 2020 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2020.  Read them in this 12th annual series exclusive.

By Michael Hunger, Director of Developer Relations, Neo4j

Developers in the Cloud and the Power of Connected Data

As we enter a new decade, it's critical that we in the tech community understand our obligation to act on lessons learned in recent history. Technology will no doubt continue to play a pivotal role in our daily lives, thus it's vital we work to put the best technology solutions forward.

In my role as the Director of Developer Relations at Neo4j, I'm constantly thinking of how we can empower our developer community and harness our collective intelligence to make the greatest impact on technology and in society. Looking to 2020, there are a number of challenges and concerns that should be top of mind for developers. From the technology itself to societal implications, here's what I predict we'll see. 

Industry/technology predictions

Developers will continue moving to the cloud and they will want to use resources more efficiently utilizing reactive architectures, serverless functions and serverless (on demand) services. There will be more efforts to reduce and also increase vendor lock-ins that developers encounter. Interesting areas to keep an eye on include continued moves to static front-end deployments (Zeit, Netlify, Amplify), GraphQL for APIs, and zero-config setups. 

I predict we'll see more complex cloud systems and architectures. There, the challenges center around orchestration, versioning, consistent APIs, and interoperability. The first (microservice) cloud applications will surely become legacy and it will be interesting to see how that's addressed.

Lastly, without a doubt, ubiquitous edge computing, mobile apps, and IoT will grow both as an industry and in personal use. As more devices, wearables, and sensors collect, process and learn from data, managing that volume in a sensible, secure, and unbiased way that actually benefits the users will be the main challenge.

Societal/use case predictions

Developers should be concerned about the more widespread use of "black-box algorithms" and tools that support decision-making in areas that affect specific populations and societies, sometimes in drastic ways. There is a tremendous need for more parties to be involved in accountability and responsibility around algorithmic biases, specifically as it pertains to the use of technology to unduly influence democratic processes and manipulation. 

However, we must not overlook the amazing work being done by developers in our open source community. There are many possibilities where we as a profession can contribute to solving crucial problems facing our climate crisis, healthcare systems, and information flows in general. In recent years, we've made great strides in how to harness the power of graph technology to solve the pressing issues of our world today and I predict 2020 will be no less impressive. 

Working at Neo4j, I am glad that several of the above topics will benefit from utilizing connected data at high volumes and complexities. We'll continue contributing our part to make the life of developers easier and the world a bit better for all. 


About the Author

Michael Hunger 

Michael Hunger is the Director of Developer Relations at Neo4j. He has been passionate about software development for more than 25 years. For the last 10 years, he has been working on the open source Neo4j graph database filling many roles, most recently leading the Neo4j Labs efforts. As caretaker of the Neo4j community and ecosystem he especially loves to work with graph-related projects, users, and contributors.

As a developer Michael enjoys many aspects of programming languages, learning new things every day, participating in exciting and ambitious open source projects and contributing and writing software related books and articles. Michael spoke at numerous conferences and helped organized several of them. His efforts got him accepted to the JavaChampions program. Michael helps kids to learn to program by running weekly girls-only coding classes at local schools. 

Published Monday, January 20, 2020 7:35 AM by David Marshall
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