Which emerging technologies interest developers the most? That’s a key question, since technologies need that kind of developer momentum in order to break into the mainstream.
SlashData’s State of the Developer Nation, as part of its survey of 19,000 developers in 155 countries, asked which emerging technologies engaged them the most. As you might expect, developers turn out to be an inquisitive group: roughly half of those queried were “working on, learning about, or interested in” robotics, mini apps, and computer vision (which is a vital component in self-driving cars, drones, and other technologies).
Nearly as many were also engaged with cryptocurrencies, blockchain applications outside of cryptocurrency, drones, biometrics for ID verification, 5G, and quantum computing. Here’s the full chart:
Although a majority of developers are fascinated by a range of technologies, though, few have actually adopted them into their current projects. “For each of the emerging technologies we have discussed, there are different barriers to widespread adoption,” notes the report. “For many, the barriers are technological—the advances needed to bring quantum or DNA computing to the mainstream are many years away, but there are also social, cultural, and even legislative barriers which will impede progress.”
Indeed, a recent analysis of data from Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country, notes that only a very small percentage of popular technologist jobs require blockchain skills—despite the rising popularity of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. It’s a similar story with robotics: Although nifty robots make for good headlines at CES, robotics isn’t ubiquitous enough to power a huge number of technologist jobs.
That could certainly change, though. LinkedIn’s Emerging Jobs Report, issued in December 2020, suggested that the demand for robotics and A.I. specialists will increase dramatically over the next several years. It’s also easy to see how the market for mini apps, drones, and other emerging technologies could grow by the end of the decade, especially if a company comes up with a particularly exciting consumer or business application. In technology, it always pays to stay interested in up-and-coming technologies.