1/2018

What does the future hold for developers of intelligent systems and software?

The demand for software professionals is growing. How can the field prepare for the future, when expertise in software engineering and development is needed across all engineering disciplines?

Mika Grundström

 

The demand for software developers has exploded and is not likely to fall for years to come, says Dean Mika Grundström from the Faculty of Computing and Electrical Engineering.

 

The annual recruitment event for TUT's students in February demonstrated that professionals are in high demand. Companies were on the lookout for expertise in artificial intelligence, positioning, signal processing, wireless networks and smart grids. A particularly hot topic was software engineering and development.

The demand for software developers has exploded and is not likely to fall for years to come. Software has become a lingua franca in all engineering disciplines. How can we predict the long-term evolution of the software landscape? How can students, professionals, companies and universities prepare for the changes?

Development speed

The cycle of software development is getting shorter, as new software architectures and frameworks facilitate the development of applications in mobile and Web domains. Failing fast is therefore possible, as the development cycle is short and feedback from end users may be instant. The development of reliable, easy to use and efficient software is still an art. It requires mastery of multiple disciplines and an understanding of software development, the market place, how teams work in projects, and how the life cycles of frameworks play out in real life. The keyword is multidisciplinarity.

Complexity

One cannot overlook the deep technical expertise that is needed to develop inherently complex systems. Even the flashlight of our mobile phone is made up of multiple interconnected elements that constitute a system that is inherently complex internally. Is this complexity really necessary in an application as simple as a flashlight? From a technical standpoint, no. However, from the perspective of the ecosystem and business domain, it is something that opens up new opportunities, for example, for marketing. The complexity is hidden from the user, but should is also be hidden from the software developer? To an extent yes, but professionals need to manage an ever-increasing number of dependencies and continuous change that makes this again – complex. The only way to manage complexity is proper tools and continuous learning.

Usability

It is easy to criticize the user experience of any given service or application. As the cognitive load of using almost any system is growing, one must be savvy to understand users’ needs and minimize their burden.

The consumer market is ruthless for applications with a bad user interface and service experience. They simply don’t fly. In business-to-business software, the dynamics is different. In the workplace, many of us are having to tolerate non-user friendly internal systems for managing, for example, transactions and travel claims. This reduces productivity and increases the cognitive load one needs to tolerate to perform sometimes even the simplest task.

Future

Three areas are currently in the limelight of service development: speed, complexity and users. The implications for different actors are clear.

Students need to develop knowledge and skills in multiple disciplines. It is no longer enough to have an understanding of either machine learning or software development. These two combined is a killer.

For professionals, continuous professional development is a must. Not only are future artificial intelligence systems complex, they also imply great responsibility. As these systems are used in many critical areas of society, such as the healthcare and financial sectors, they must be faultless.

Companies need the courage to realize that their current solutions will be obsolete tomorrow. Continuous renewal is the key in all sectors.

Finally, universities must maintain close contacts with the broader society and all stakeholders. We can only try to predict the future but not in isolation of trends and the practices of society. Tampere3 creates a framework for our new university to stay at the forefront of developments and help build a sustainable future for us all.

Mika Grundström
Dean, Faculty of Computing and Electrical Engineering

 
Tell a friend
Machines outperform the human ear
Machines outperform the human ear
1/2018
Machines outperform the human ear
More devices, more data – and critical research problems
More devices, more data – and critical research problems
1/2018
More devices, more data – and critical research problems
On the cusp of everyday AI
On the cusp of everyday AI
1/2018
On the cusp of everyday AI
Pure entertainment and critical safety
Pure entertainment and critical safety
1/2018
Pure entertainment and critical safety
Open a door to assist in the development of smart homes
Open a door to assist in the development of smart homes
1/2018
Open a door to assist in the development of smart homes
First thought in the morning: Let’s do it!
First thought in the morning: Let’s do it!
1/2018
First thought in the morning: Let’s do it!
Keep your feet on the ground when you go to the cloud
Keep your feet on the ground when you go to the cloud
1/2018
Keep your feet on the ground when you go to the cloud
Serious injuries should not be overlooked
Serious injuries should not be overlooked
1/2018
Serious injuries should not be overlooked
School groups attended the European Robotics Forum: “The best day ever!”
School groups attended the European Robotics Forum: “The best day ever!”
1/2018
School groups attended the European Robotics Forum: “The best day ever!”
New ultrafast measurement technique shows how lasers start from chaos
New ultrafast measurement technique shows how lasers start from chaos
1/2018
New ultrafast measurement technique shows how lasers start from chaos
Campus IoT network now available
Campus IoT network now available
1/2018
Campus IoT network now available
Immersive Media goes Disruptive!
Immersive Media goes Disruptive!
1/2018
Immersive Media goes Disruptive!

Tampere University of Technology is at the leading edge of technology development and a sought-after collaboration partner among the scientific and business communities. The University produces competent graduates who enter careers in the different sectors of society.

Visiting address
Korkeakoulunkatu 10,
FI-33720 Tampere
Finland

Mailing address
PO Box 527, FI-33101 Tampere
Finland

Switchboard:
+358 3 311 511