Technology Predictions for 2007
A couple of weeks ago Sys-Con published various industry opinions of what we'd see in 2007 in many of it's magazines. The article showed-up on Slashdot (with a misleading title) among other places and included various industry luminaries. A couple of people you might of heard of contributed to the article including David Heinemeier Hansson (creator of Ruby on Rails) as well as myself. It looks like my response for the article was edited a bit for content length and doesn't quite make sense in spots, so I thought I'd repost it in original form below:
My Technology Predictions for 2007
In general, I think this oncoming year will be one in which a lot technology built in the last several years becomes less of a burden, and more of a utility. That said, the top five technology trends I see happening in the new year are:
Server virtualization is just getting started, and will really make itself known in the coming year. Once we start seeing the quad core CPU architectures as a part of standard infrastructure, it really starts making a lot of sense to start deploying and managing servers and applications as virtual entities rather than specific pieces of hardware. This helps manage the cost and pain of software configuration management, take advantage of being able to process many tasks simultaneously because of hardware support, as well as allows legacy hardware to be retired in favor of applications running on virtual servers.
Container based hosting is the new kid on the block, and will also start making it's presence known in the upcoming year. Commonly labeled as "grid" hosting (which is a technical misnomer if you understand distributed computing), it essentially claims to be an infinitely scalable hosting platform. This technology still seems to be half-baked at the moment, but you could have said the same thing about Linux ten years ago.
People who normally wouldn't use Linux start to explore it and even replace Windows with it permanently. With Vista, Microsoft seems to be moving to a model in which the Windows operating system is a method to police users with DRM and other nonsense rather than provide developers a good platform on which to use hardware which is what Operating Systems are really supposed to be. A lot more consumers who haven't noticed this happening in the past will stand-up and notice this year.
Dynamic languages and frameworks will continue to make leaps in popularity and adoption. Given the current squeeze on technology talent in the US, companies are going to have to learn how to do more with less resources. Moving to dynamic languages and frameworks as well as other simplification such as varying Agile software development practices will enable this to take place. I think the obvious leading candidates here are Ruby on Rails and Django.
The enterprise will embrace ways to simplify development by continuing to embrace open source software and Agile development strategies. While there are a lot of cries to the effect of Ruby on Rails replacing Java, I think that's complete nonsense as Java is a language and Ruby on Rails is a framework. Rapid development languages will certainly make some inroads, particularly where heavy tools have been used to build simple applications, Java is still going to be a major part of the service oriented enterprise for years to come because of the power and tools it provides as well as it's industry support.