Top Software Development Challenges in 2023 - Spiceworks (2023)

Casey McGuigan, Slingshot and Reveal product manager at Infragistics, explores the top software development challenges for 2023, according to the new Reveal survey of software developers and IT professionals. These challenges include the shortage of developers, finding time to build apps, an inability to keep pace with innovations in developer tools, difficulty with third-party integrations, workload management, security threats, project management, and increased client expectations. Let’s look at solutions for addressing each challenge, including adopting low-code/no-code development tools, assessing new technologies before adopting them, digital transformation platforms, and best practices for third-party integration.

Software development is a complex and difficult process. It involves its own set of challenges, especially for today’s developers, as industry standards and technologies continue to evolve. The inability to keep pace with innovations in developer tools, manage projects and handle increased client expectations can negatively impact software developers and their ability to complete tasks. It is crucial to understand these challenges and how to overcome them.

In this article, we will examine the top software development challenges for 2023 identified by Reveal’s surveyOpens a new window of IT professionals and software developers. Each year, Reveal (a product of Infragistics) surveys thousands of software developers and IT professionals to discover the obstacles developers faced in the previous year and shed light on future challenges. The survey aims to determine the industry’s biggest pain points, challenges, and areas for growth.

According to software developers and IT professionals who participated in Reveal’s survey, the top 7 software development challenges in 2023 are:

1. Developer Shortage

For the second year in a row, software developers and IT professionals said their biggest challenge is recruiting qualified talent. The survey also identified the most in-demand technical jobs for 2023, which are: DevOps Engineers, Data Analytics Developers, and IT Security Engineers.

Top Software Development Challenges in 2023 - Spiceworks (1)

Hardest Technical Jobs to Fill in 2023

Source: Reveal Opens a new window

Finding and recruiting qualified developers is a challenge for several reasons. Lack of skilled talent, a high cost of hiring and difficulty finding the right person for the job are among the top reasons for the shortage. The developer shortage has many implications for the tech industry, including higher costs, lost revenue, and difficulty competing and innovating. Among the ways organizations can overcome this challenge is to identify the skills they need, target candidates who possess those specific skills or offer reskilling programs to current employees.

In addition, many organizations are lessening the burden on developers by adopting new tools and technologies that reduce the need for hand coding. Low-code/no-code tools allow developers to create fully functioning apps in minutes rather than weeks or months of traditional hand coding.

See More: Good Help Is (Still) Hard to Find: Why Developer Shortage Has Been a Top Challenge Two Years in a Row

2. Time Spent Building Apps

Reveal’s survey found that nearly half (43.4%) of a developer’s time is spent coding an app.

Top Software Development Challenges in 2023 - Spiceworks (2)

Time Spent Building Apps

Source: Reveal Opens a new window

Creating an app can be a complex and time-consuming project. In addition to research, prototyping, and design, coding alone could take from 7 months to a year, depending on the app’s complexity, tech stack and other factors. One of the best ways to reduce the coding time is to incorporate low-code/no-code development platforms that help development teams create applications with visual tools that require little to no up-front coding. This approach reduces the need for hand-coding in areas such as design, theming, UX flows, and branding and can all but eliminate the need for manual HTML & CSS tweaking.

3. Inability To Keep Pace With Innovations in Developer Tools

New methodologies, programming languages, tools and technologies demand a developer’s attention. They promise to make developers’ lives easier, help them become more productive, and provide organizations with more opportunities to increase their profits.

But adopting a new language/technology/tool as often as those innovations are introduced to the software development space poses a challenge. If you jump on it too soon, you may quickly discover that the innovation doesn’t meet your expectations, and its failure could impede your projects. On the other hand, if you wait too long, you might find yourself falling behind your competitors who have already become proficient with new innovations.

One key to this software development challenge is the evaluation process. Sure, you can adopt a new environment or change the core programming language your team uses, but does that solve every problem you are currently experiencing or that you expect to experience? If the innovation doesn’t contribute to achieving your goals or reduce the obstacles that prevent you from achieving these goals, then it isn’t worth the time and the investment. Assess the cost, capability, ease of use, the workload required to implement it and how it will bring value to your organization before you invest.

4. Difficulty with Third-Party Integrations

Third-party API integrations are often necessary to make your product more beneficial and appealing to your users. Integrations have enormous value as they save on in-house development time and money, but you need to ensure that the API works as expected and won’t impact the existing functionalities of your product. You also need to determine if the integration will create vulnerabilities and expose your product and users to security threats.

5. Security Threats

API abuse, such as data breaches and losses, can seriously damage a company’s reputation, not to mention the harm that can be done to the customers. Data breach methods are becoming more sophisticated, which means poor integration is very risky. Safely maintaining a connection with another system requires control and constant enhancement.

You can overcome this software development challenge by evaluating the third-party application you want to integrate into your product. Make sure that the API is stable, scalable, and secure. In the long run, the more thorough your evaluation process on the front end is, the better your chances are of finding a third-party API that meets all of your needs.

6. Workload and Project Management

Many people are continuing to work remotely or in a hybrid environment for the long term. The difficulties they face managing workloads and projects can be overcome with a digital workplace productivity tool. These platforms are an integral part of successful digital transformation as they provide distributed teams with the tools to complete their tasks by managing workload and projects efficiently and effectively. Workplace productivity tools integrating project and content management, chat, and even data analytics in one software platform can increase productivity, enhance communication, foster innovation and drive business growth.

The software development challenges survey found that more than half (54.4%) of developers and IT participants want to use one tool where everyone can collaborate and resolve issues. Another 47.5% want to automate workflows and processes, and 43.7% prefer eliminating manual file sharing.

See More: The Silent Revolution of Software Testing: AI’s Role in Faster QA

7. Increased Client Expectations

Clients are directly impacted by the progress and success of a project, which is why developers and their product managers must ensure that their expectations are met. A quarter of the Reveal survey respondents (26.2%) have trouble managing their workload, and 26% feel client expectations are too high. In this high-pressure environment, developers must find ways to get the work done while maintaining client satisfaction. Workplace productivity tools that allow transparency, visibility and collaboration between developers and clients align everyone on progress, deadlines, and budget.

The Future of Software Development

The industry struggles on all fronts – from the lack of skilled software developers to digitally transforming the workplace to accommodate remote work. Fortunately, new technology adoption is a solution to many of these challenges. Low code/no code tools have stepped in to reduce manual coding and alleviate the talent shortage. Digital workplace platforms have transformed the way hybrid and remote workers communicate and collaborate.

As we race to innovate, these new platforms are helping organizations increase productivity, improve results and connect teams, no matter where they are. Innovation may mean more disruption but also great opportunities for those who can analyze the best solutions and adopt the power of new technology.

What are the key challenges you face in software development? How are you tackling them? Share with us on FacebookOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , and LinkedInOpens a new window . We’d love to know!

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