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Reflecting on Tech Trends in 2018

Reflecting on a year in tech, we asked our team at Rocksauce to share what they loved about 2018 tech trends and also share some things they did not love. We are all looking forward to seeing how these trends and applications can improve what we do in 2019. Here are our insights below.

Thoughts on the Customer Journey

AI and IoT are getting hotter as more businesses understand how to use and interpret data from the edge to drive down costs, make the right decisions and increase productivity. –Mike Peloquin, VP of Business Development

Companies are focused on a bigger picture of how a customer interacts with their services. Rather than attempting to be the leader in one offering, it is now the trend to focus on a vertical integration into a user’s life on multiple levels. Some prevalent examples of this are Google, Apple and Amazon upping their smart home game as well as Facebook and Instagram getting into media production. -Kati Presley, Head of UX

Thoughts on Developer Tools

Cloud providers have added a lot of new features this year that make app development easier. AWS Amplify and Google Firebase, in particular, have made it easier than ever to jump-start the backend development of web and mobile apps, from authentication, storage, real-time CRUD and search APIs, web hosting, to machine learning integration. It lets us focus development efforts on implementing business logic and what makes each project unique rather than infrastructure.

Serverless architectures have made huge progress. It’s now easier than ever to build a project where costs are directly proportional to user activity and will be highly scalable to meet the needs of a project as it grows.

AI is easier to develop than it’s ever been. The level of expertise in Machine Learning required to implement interesting AI applications has reduced a lot. A lot more ML APIs have been released that cover many common use cases with existing models in vision, conversational intelligence, speech and text recognition, and classification. It’s also easier to make custom models and actually ship them in applications for use cases that aren’t covered out of the box or to improve on them.

Flutter has just hit its 1.0 release, and although it’s very new, I’m looking forward to seeing the project grow and the ecosystem matures. The approach to implementing a custom rendering engine to ship apps to multiple platforms is a change to the current paradigms in web and mobile development but has been successful in the gaming industry. So far, the tooling and developer experience is very well received, and the potential it has to improve not just mobile, but also desktop, web, and embedded app development in the future is very promising.

As developers, the choice of hardware has increased, especially with windows integrating Linux through WSL and chrome OS through Crostini. I’m personally glad to have more choice when it comes to my development setup. –Olivier Melcher, Lead Backend Developer 

Thoughts on Big Tech

Big Tech companies are transitioning out of adolescence, forgetting about their benevolent rhetoric, and experimenting with their monopolistic/Orwellian temptations. Examples are – Facebook selling data to Cambridge analytica, Google cooperating with China’s authoritarian demands, and Apple exposed to be throttling old cell phones.  –Sam Reicks, UX Designer

At Rocksauce, we facilitate and design innovation sprints. We then pilot, create and develop new ideas, solutions, and software for companies big or small. Reach out to us today to see how an innovation or design sprint workshop can encourage goal-setting, ideation, and innovation at your company.

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