2012 brings a shift in what Java developers will be working on. In 2010, TSS readers said they spent 24% of their time on designing and architecting tasks, 27% on building new applications and just 12.5% on QA related tasks. The 2011 TSS Java Trends survey seems to indicate that overwhelmingly, designing and architecting tasks will rule with a whopping 70% of respondents indicating so. Coding entirely new apps jumped up to 39% as well. Seems that new apps are the new black for 2012.
These are changes to pay attention to because if mostly new apps are being built, then it stands to reason that there should be more demand for architects and designers. I have always stood by the mantra of “prior proper planning prevents poor performance” and it rings true today. Along with the large increase in architecture related tasks is also a big jump in requirements gathering, 41% versus 13% in 2010. Java architects should brush up on their social skills because you will be working with many more business analysts in 2012.
Another interesting change for 2012 is the change in QA related tasks. Respondents to the 2012 survey indicated they would be spending 22% of their time testing, up about 9%. This a good sign since management likes quality but never seems to give us enough time to ensure it but always time once you go live.
Coding by customizing solutions also gained considerably from 8% in 2010 to 34% which supports the trend of more new apps for 2012. Integrating existing applications remains relatively flat at 19%, slightly up from 15% in 2010. This is still significant in that once all the new apps are built, integrating with legacy systems will likely take place later in the year.
But don’t fret Java developers since there are still a prodigious number of respondents indicating that they will be consumed with coding tasks, whether new, custom or maintenance. It might pay forward though if you brush up on your design patterns and UML skills now so you too can be part of the 2012 trend.
What all this seems to indicate is that much more time will be spent up front in the planning and design phases. I think this is a great trend in that as chunks of quality planning materialize, Agile teams can execute their SCRUMs more effectively and there won’t be nearly as much requirements churn. New apps will never look so good, especially in black.