Akava 2021 Tech Outlook

Levi Strope
Jan 6 · 7 min read

Akava surveyed over a hundred CTO’s, VP’s, Directors, and Software Engineers of various industries and backgrounds globally to better understand what everyone is seeing in their day to day work. The results of the survey labored to draw from everyone’s personal experiences across a number of subjects related to the languages and frameworks they use, cloud and infrastructure patterns they see, and what their personal opinions are. With their combined input we were able to spot a few interesting trends, and so without further delay, let’s get into the results!

Languages

When asked, “what languages do you see the most?” We got some unique results.

Most notably we had 29% of our responses mention Python in some way. That’s right — Python! We were a little surprised too. There is no surprise that Python was mentioned a lot, but it is revealing that it was mentioned the most. We’ve noticed a healthy uptick in Python adoption ourselves, so it’s great to have this survey confirm our own assumptions.

Javascript was mentioned a close second, with 23% of responses mentioning JS, but that number goes up to 27% if you lump in Typescript too. Go and Java tied for third at 15%.

We then asked each participant, “what languages do you feel are the most emergent?” and again we were a bit surprised at the overwhelming majority which was Rust mentioned in 36% of the responses! Go (24%) and Typescript (12%) took second and third, respectively.

If we were to draw a conclusion from the survey results it would seem that Python and Go are being used more often in projects that may have been done in Node previously. This may be due to an increase in their usage in serverless deployments, which we’ll highlight later. Also when projects are choosing Node, we think they are adopting Typescript for those projects.

“Rust is starting to go mainstream and will see more adoption in systems programming” — Mike Ihbe, CTO

While Python and Go are seeing healthy adoption, it seems that for 2021 it will be a safe bet to say that Rust will start seeing more adoption and should not be ignored.

Frameworks

With there being vastly more frameworks than code we had a lot more results, and effectively the leading choices all had a smaller share of the overall pool of responses. When asked, “What development frameworks are most seen utilized?”, we had some telling results.

Surprisingly, we saw Django listed the most at 16% followed closely by Rails (12%). Of note in third place, ReactNative, Nodejs, Flask and Spring all share third place with around 8% of the mentions.

When asked about emergent frameworks, we saw React (35%) mentioned the most which was no surprise. What did turn out to be a shocker was Flutter (29%) being mentioned the second most! Svelte and Serverless Framework shared third most mentions (18%).

“Flutter is the fastest way to build high-performance, cross-platform apps with pixel-perfect UI! Keeping a close watch on the progress of Flutter Web and Desktop!” — Subir Chowdhuri, Principal Engineer

Based on these results our outlook for 2021 is fairly bullish on React/ReactNative continuing to dominate, however keep an eye on Flutter because we expect that it to gain mainstream adoption where ReactNative would have otherwise been the choice. Flutter for the desktop and web is coming along too, however we see the biggest application of Flutter in mobile development.

When it comes to the web, it seems like there are still a lot of production Rails applications as our respondents reported seeing Rails second to seeing Django in action. Obviously Python/Django has gained major traction in 2020 and will continue to grow in mind share for 2021.

Cloud Trends

On average respondents believe AWS has around 49% of the overall market in relation to GCP and Azure.

When it comes to what technologies people are seeing the most on their radar we saw Kubernetes mentioned overwhelmingly the most in 52% of responses. What we found interesting was the second place mention of Terraform in 26% of the responses. Serverless and Snowflake both share third place being mentioned in 11% of the responses.

We asked everyone what the biggest shift they noted in 2020, and found that Serverless overwhelmingly took the lead with 37% of the tabulated answers! Tied for second we see Kubernetes, Cloud-Migration, and AI/ML as the second biggest trends (17%) followed by Lamda adoption and IoT (6%).

“Cloud Adoption has ramped up over the last 2 years to a level now where it is always part of an overall Enterprise Architecture and Digital Transformation strategy” — Joe Weber, Sr Director, Cloud Architecture and Engineering

Similarly when asked about their outlook for 2021 in cloud computing we saw Cloud Migration mentioned the most with 46%. Serverless adoption came in second at 26% with AI/ML, low-code solutions, and blockchain/DLT sharing third at 9% of the mentions.

Our outlook for 2021 based on these survey results are squarely focused on Kubernetes and serverless technologies, tooling, and adoption with the emergence of managed services for the aforementioned.

Infrastructure

Infrastructure and cloud are tied closely together however when it comes to infrastructure we were more interested in the tools and technologies people are seeing in use today.

When asked about what tools are most-used to manage infrastructure, we see Terraform mentioned overwhelmingly the most with 42% of responses. K8’s for orchestration was mentioned (25%) second most and Ansible third most with 21% of respondents having mentioned it.

“Chef, Puppet, Ansible continue to lose traction to Terraform. “ — Adam Hiatt, VP Engineering

Based on the responses we feel that 2021 will continue to see modest growth for serverless technologies. We believe that there will be continued growth and maturity for Kubernetes tooling, while Infrastructure as Code via tools like Terraform, specifically, will continue to gain market share.

Conclusion

Of everyone we asked, Here is the breakdown of roles/titles across the hundreds of responses we received.

What It Means [WIM]: As a rollup of all our 2021 outlooks based on the survey, here is what we think:

  • Python and Go are increasing traction.
  • Rust will start seeing more adoption.
  • Django is seeing an increase in adoption over other development frameworks.
  • React and ReactNative will continue to dominate the front end landscape.
  • Flutter will see more adoption for cross-platform mobile.
  • Serverless technologies are here to stay, expect to see more and better tooling and managed services moving forward.
  • Kubernetes tooling and ecosystem is maturing at a blinding rate and will continue to.
  • Infrastructure as Code is a major shift we will see in 2021 with the momentum carried forward from 2020. Specifically, Terraform seems to be at the forefront of this momentum.

That’s a wrap for 2020 and an interesting outlook for 2021! We hope no matter where your job role falls on the technology spectrum, that you’ll find the results of this survey interesting.

At Akava, we always have our ear to the ground listening for emerging trends to pay attention to while perpetually tinkering, building and deploying the latest + greatest OSS projects and enterprise tooling/technology! For 2021 it should be no secret that we are embracing these findings and carrying them forward into our practice while advising our clients on forward-thinking technologies.

Akava would love to help your organization adapt, evolve and innovate across your devops, cloud, infra and app initiatives. If you’re looking to discuss, strategize or implement any of these toolchains, reach out to bd@akava.io and reference this post.

Levi is Head of Solutions Engineering at Akava, a software development & talent studio. Levi has a broad background in many technology verticals spanning from blockchain and finance to healthcare and supply chain. In addition to managing teams, Levi is an agile enthusiast. When he’s not getting teams to drink the agile kool-aid he’s relaxing with family and researching technology.

Akava

Agile Software Development Studio Shipping Innovative Products & Cloud-Native Solutions

Akava

Akava is a Silicon Valley software engineering consultancy delivering delightful digital native cloud, web & mobile products that massively scale. We help F500 and start-ups ideate, architect, design & build bespoke solutions leveraging modern open-source tools and technologies.

Levi Strope

Written by

Levi has a broad background in many technology verticals spanning from blockchain and finance to healthcare and supply chain.

Akava

Akava is a Silicon Valley software engineering consultancy delivering delightful digital native cloud, web & mobile products that massively scale. We help F500 and start-ups ideate, architect, design & build bespoke solutions leveraging modern open-source tools and technologies.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store