Saturday, January 2, 2010

Trends in Web Application Development

Recently, I have been exploring the landscape of web application development a little but.  Here are some of the results. Comments are welcome. What is the real trend?

Overall Look
Simple. I have used trends tool to compare number of jobs openings for major web application development platforms and technologies. Result is below:

Some conclusions that seem obvious:
  • Major development platforms had a hit in mid-2008, but recently are slowing down. Note, that the latter can't be explained with economy, since the graph shows the percentage of job postings, not the absolute numbers. Possibly, hiring in IT slowed down as compaed to other areas, though.
  • Definitely, the Web2.0 (RIA) technologies are experiencing the strongest, or better to say the only growth. Look at Ajax. More analysis on this below.
Now, to verify this result, let's see the results from

Server-Side Technologies
This comes from
Server-Side Technologies

One technology, I have definitely missed on the side, it seems, is the PHP. A strong player.

Client-Side Technologies
Client-Side Technologies

The most surprising conclusion from the graph above is that Flash technology is so much above all of the rest. And it's significantly more obvious than on the job openings analysis. That may mean, that Flash is coming to the market as a strong candidate. However, since flash is not necessarily used for application development, I am adding another graph, with flex web instead of flash.
RIA (Web2.0) Technologies

Here. it seems we can see the currently strongest players. Ajax, which, unfortunately is split among many libraries, is still the front runner. However, it seems to give in to Flex and Silverlight. That wouldn't be a big surprise, since Ajax based on JavaScript is a rather low-level development hack, only somewhat improved by using an Ajax framework.
Finally, one more graph. It comes from A comparison of job openings for Flex, Silverlight and GWT developer jobs:

And, just for a comparison, a sample of mobile development job trends:

So, that's it for my analysis. What do you think? What is the future of web application development? Specifically:
  • What should application developers invest in for the the 2010?
  • What will in be over the next five years (futuristic prediction)?
Waiting for your comments.