There are more or less 24 million software developers working around the globe, delivering software products that keep our modern lives running. Like any other line of work, this field also has its challenges and difficulties. Developing software might look like an easier job than supervising construction sites or workshops, but these engineers do face hardships and have to work under certain pressures.
These people have a tremendous responsibility on their shoulders, delivering software that fulfills the consumer’s needs and does not compromise on any front. Accomplishing that presents a lot of challenges, with the biggest ones being the following.
With the increase in the number of organizations converting to the Internet of Things (IoT), data streaming, remote work, and cloud-native apps, the number and intensity of cyberattacks have increased considerably. Cybercriminals are now adopting innovative strategies where they stay dormant and gain access to everything from HR records to sensitive financial data instead of stealing money and disappearing.
The thing that makes it even more problematic is that it is just a matter of time before AI-powered hacking becomes a mainstream thing, making it spiral out of control. That might seem like the distant future, but this specific challenge is lurking just around the corner.
The widespread use of IoT and Big Data make it practically impossible to detect vulnerable endpoints and vulnerabilities.
This challenge will worsen with the widespread use of 5G and WiFi 6 as that will lead to a massive increase in the data traffic over the internet.
However, there are some steps that developers can take to minimize this risk, the most fundamental of them being securing their codes against the OWASP top 10 2021. OWASP or the Open Web Application Security Project releases and regularly updates a list of the top 10 security vulnerabilities in software that developers need to cater for in order to make their software secure.
There are other challenges too for developers, but the $4.2billion price tag associated with cybercrime makes it the single biggest challenge for anyone writing as much as a line of code.
We live in an age where the end-user of any software product assumes that it will work seamlessly across all of their devices and platforms. When a user signs up for Netflix, they want it to work equally well on their phone, tablet, TV, computer, and gaming console.
The end-users often fail to realize that a lot of work goes into making that happen. While it is not impossible to achieve, developers have to work hard to ensure that the same tone, aesthetic, and layout are maintained across all the devices working on different platforms to get a seamless experience. It is in its infancy right now. It will be one of the biggest changes we’ll see in application development over the coming decade.
Computer Vision Scientist at Tiempo, Abel Gonzalez Garcia, said. “In one recent case, the application we were testing was designed to work on different OTT platforms like Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Android TV, and Xbox. This is a significant challenge, as we need to have the same functionalities on all the platforms, however, sometimes the platform’s architecture didn’t allow us to implement certain things, and we needed to figure out a workaround.”
The best example of seamless cross-device experience is Apple, but they have their own infrastructure running on every device. Doing the same for different infrastructures is a great challenge facing developers.
Any company that wants a successful development culture in their business must ensure that they are factoring data privacy laws into the development process rather than considering them as an afterthought. Data is the most sensitive thing developers deal with in this age, and if that is compromised, the consequences can be grim. One thing that must be clarified is that data privacy is something closely related to yet distinctly different from cybersecurity.
Data privacy has always been an important part of software development, but recently the regulations have become more stringent, and developers must comply. In addition, the average user has gotten more aware and pays more attention to how their data is handled and used by the companies, including how they are benefiting from it. In this scenario, the biggest challenge for developers is the ever-changing regulations and the strict penalties that developers and companies might face in the case of non-compliance.
The General Data Protection Regulation of Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) are two examples of regulations outlining how consumer data can and cannot be used by companies. The tricky legal point is that the companies need to abide by the laws of the area they are based in and the ones they operate in. Even if a company is registered in Australia, they’ll have to follow the CCPA if they are operating in California. As a result, developers have to make the applications flexible enough to promptly implement any new rules that are made by the governments of their area of registration as well as operation.
Software development is one of the most important jobs in this era due to our dependence on software products. Developers face a lot of challenges in developing software that is safe, secure, functional, and complies with the regulations. The biggest challenge is cybersecurity because hacking is getting more and more sophisticated, and developers have to keep up with it to prevent cyber attacks. Besides that, cross-platform compatibility is one of the things that makes matters difficult for developers, as providing the same functionality on different platforms is not as easy as it seems. Lastly, regulations regarding data privacy and the use of customer data are the things that make things difficult for anyone trying to develop a software product.