Web development in Austin
Nine years of Web Development in Austin
2015 marks BHW's ninth year of web development in Austin. It's fun for us to chat with old clients and hear that they're still using systems we built for them nine years ago. Recently during a college recruiting trip we actually had to register for a career fair and post jobs in a system that we built for a client in 2002. We're so happy to see projects like these stand the test of time, because nine years in web development might as well be an eternity. Sure, you can build web applications today with the same technology used nine years ago, but the cutting edge of web development has turned itself over several times and looks nothing like it did. To attract the best talent BHW has also changed, allowing us to keep up with the pace of web development. Our lovely city of Austin would almost be unrecognizable to a visitor returning after nine years, and our web development firm in Austin is no different.
If you follow our blog you'll see how closely we monitor trends in open source web development, and for the last four years mobile development as well. During these years the web has gone from a desktop-only culture to mobile-first development. Every new project we start begins with a mobile development strategy and understands how applications function on the small screen as well as the desktop. Mobile development is changing even faster than web development and shows no signs of slowing. As the hardware vendors race for mobile dominance, users benefit from better devices and better user experiences via the web or mobile applications. Techniques in mobile development that were the norm two years ago are now viewed as obsolete and even forgotten.
Open source development
Throughout this time open source software (OSS) has pushed the envelope and driven much of the change. It's amazing to think that OSS runs the operating systems for over 50% of mobile devices, and these devices outnumber desktops 3 to 1. So much innovation happens in the OSS community that the toolchain vendors are always playing catchup. At BHW we've gone from being a Microsoft-first shop, to more of a 50/50 split. When we start work for a new client who doesn't have a technology stack constraint, we now recommend OSS as our first selection. Even our new projects starting on the Microsoft stack are heavily influenced by open source techniques. We're excited about open source projects, especially the rise of dynamic, functional, and asynchronous programming. Web development is poised to change again.
Nothing has survived the test of time in web development, including hardware. During the last nine years the cost of servers and hosting have fallen to the point of becoming commodities. The exciting economics of hosting have given rise to the cloud and innovative application deployment strategies like platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and application hosting vendors like Heroku and later Azure. It's now easier than ever before to enter the web development world and host a custom application in the cloud, removing the need for licensing, upfront hardware investments, and installation. Expensive heavy-iron server environments with high-availability and redundancy have fallen out of favor as the rise of cheap, inexpensive multi-node environments running sharding technologies, map reduce, and Hadoop have taken over.
The future of web development
What does the future hold? It's impossible to say. The mobile development and web development worlds continue to converge with open source solutions like Apache Cordova leading the way. The mobile-first design paradigm and responsive web design techniques mean that more and more developers will be seriously considering native versus hybrid development and trying to justify the cost of native approaches. In the web development space, mobile will continue to dominate the trends. We've been concerned for the last two years with responding to larger and larger screens on mobile with desktop going retina and soon to be 4k. We now have to wonder where the wearables trend and Apple Watch will take us. It's likely web development will adapt to the stamp-sized screen and move toward solutions more akin to push notifications with one-touch responses rather than traditional web pages with point and click navigation.
Nine years ago no one could have predicted we'd be here. The future for web development and mobile development is as bright as ever, if even more clouded, but we'll continue to navigate the paths for our clients so they can capture the value that technology can offer.
Do you need an expert in web development? With a team of web development specialists covering a wide range of skill sets and backgrounds, The BHW Group is prepared to help your company make the transformations needed to remain competitive in today’s high-tech marketplace.