To gather insights on the state of web application development today, we spoke with 12 executives who are familiar with the current state of the industry and asked them, “What are your biggest concerns around the development of web applications today?" Here’s what they told us:
Security is an important feature. We use two-factor authentication. Compliance. Ensuring users have good intentions. Identifying bad actors more quickly and getting them off the system.
The risk of insider threats and human mistakes grows. This drives the importance of automation. Repeatability reduces the opportunity for human error and allows you to keep up with the pace of development and release.
Less with regard to complexity and testability. How to test apps’ backend and frontend in a challenging environment. There’s still a lot of manual testing around UIs’ Automation as it is still fragile. Still concerned that some apps and sites are not running SSL by default.
Open source is no more or less secure than first-party code; however, it does not age well. If a vulnerability is announced it needs to be fixed in a timely manner. If you wait five years, it will cost a lot more to fix and you will have exposed a lot more vulnerabilities. We’re still not there with security. The OWASP Top 10 is still a problem. Developers are not required to be accountable for secure code.
Security, stability, and development speed are areas that continuously need improvement. Otherwise capable application developers and organizations can lose significant market share when blindsided by any of these. Technology companies that solve these problems distance themselves from competitors in a way that is impossible to catch. As a result, there are many organizations today that do not realize their future is questionable because of the performance, agility, and precision of their competitors.
There is a short-term trend, already burning itself out, for developers to go "to the metal" and work directly with DOM elements and CSS rules instead of working with component frameworks. The fact is, while CSS-as-such is now relatively consistent across browsers, the nasty browser bugs and inconsistencies never had to do with CSS, but with events, auto-sizing, data binding and network behavior, and other areas. There is, if anything, more of a reason to be using component frameworks today than there ever was before. Developers are slowly, slowly realizing this – mostly through costly project overruns and failures.
Shortened development cycles with multiple deployments. The breadth of browsers and devices matrix is getting huge.
We see too much reliance on technology and not enough on business outcomes. Our most successful clients bring together IT and business leaders to focus on a common goal and continuously improve their web applications until they exceed it.
What are your biggest concerns around web application development?