Monday, December 28, 2015

How Did We Do in 2015?

Looking back at 2015, I will drink to that.
The end of the year is a special time.  For me, it is an excuse to dress up in formal ware, have a good meal, and stay at a hotel where my only risk is trying to find my room key.  It is also a time to make a few predictions and look back at the previous year.  This week I wanted look at some of my past predictions and see how accurate I was.

Last year, I made three major predictions. The first was that competition will do what it is supposed to do in 2015.  In the world of wireless phone service, this seems to be working as a full scale price war has broken out between Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile.  Unfortunately, this is not the case regarding net neutrality as major cable operators including Comcast were trying to create pay for faster service paths.  I am also concerned about plans which do not use data for preferred streaming services.  It also looks like oil prices are also falling because American production capacity is matching that of the OPEC nations.  Competition works if we let it and 2015 validated this.

My next prediction was that the internet of things would pivot.  To many people outside the tech world, the only kind of internet of things they see are home thermostats and the smart televisions that are being marketed.  I think that we are a long way away from smart refrigerators which will reorder food or water heaters which will conserve energy by burning gas when it is cheaper.  Still smart watch use continues to grow and I helped this trend by getting my father a smart watch for Christmas.  After some hiccups setting up the watch, things are going well.  If my seventy something father can use a smart watch, then the future of wearable technology might have a chance.  As for the rest of the internet of things, I think we are going to have to wait a while longer.

My final prediction in 2015 was that agile was going to grow.  I was correct in that prediction but with that increased growth came backlash.  Corporations are learning that in order to be agile they will have to change more than how software is written.  Financing of projects and the relationship between business people and technology professionals will have to change.  This type of change has been especially hard for more conservative organizations who have been doing things a particular way for so long they see no reason to change.

In addition to push back from the CFO and the finance department, developers are also revolting.  Things like SOILD development and test driven development are skills which challenge many developers who began as hobbyists and then entered the field.  The discipline of scrum also has created push back because for years many developers have been able to hide in plain site without having to create shippable product.  That has changed and now it is easy to spot poor quality work and sandbagging among the development staff.  Software engineering is starting to resemble actual engineering and it is a positive trend.  For those unwilling to adapt they are pushing back.

So those were my predictions for 2015, next week I will make some predictions for 2016.  I look forward to seeing you then.

Until next time.