2019 was another fun and productive year here at Don’t Panic Labs. As I look back, I’m a bit surprised by how many projects we completed and the number of clients we were able to help by creating value for their businesses. Here are what I see as highlights of 2019.
(More) to the Cloud
This year found us working on quite a few cloud-based projects, with many of those going into Azure and Azure PaaS. Not only are we using App Services, but we have also now moved to tools such as Azure Functions, which are even more abstracted from the underlying hardware/VMs.
2019 also saw an increase in the number of mobile projects, and we used a variety of mobile technology for these. From Native tech (Swift) to Xamarin and Ionic (both for iOS and Android), we delivered quite a few mobile solutions.
Legacy and IoT
2019 also saw us work on a few legacy systems. We don’t typically do a ton of legacy projects, but we see them as fun and challenging. One of these involved a project for Nebraska Cattlemen, which was a combination of mobile and legacy.
2019 also gave us the opportunity to work on a very cool craft beer-related IoT project. This project blended AWS/IoT/Ionic into a solution that could have a significant impact on the craft beer industry.
2019 saw an uptick in our focus on education. We spent a lot of time this year looking at expanding our educational offerings. So stay tuned because 2020 will bring some amazing announcements about new opportunities we are creating here in Lincoln.
We held multiple Design and Development Clinics this year. With each one, I feel we continue to make small improvements to the week-long class. This year saw quite a bit of clean up with the clinic’s activities.
2019 also saw the birth of the Nebraska Dev Lab (NeDL), our educational partnership with Doane University. NeDL is a one-year program that transforms non-developers into entry-level developers ready to be hired by local companies. While this probably sounds like another code school, it is so much more. First, Doane will handle the teaching of the base courses. Second, we layer in our modules from our Design Clinics to build up the more software engineering portion of the program. Third, we have the participants work on team-based projects to get them real-world software development experience. Fourth, this is a year-long program, which provides more time for the participants to learn.
Looking to 2020
What can we expect going into 2020? I expect the number of mobile projects to remain high. With the various tools at our disposal, I think we’ll be creating some cool products using a variety of technologies. I am very interested in looking at Swift UI to build mobile application user experiences. The ability to see your changes to the UI in real-time could be a game-changer for native application development.
The migration to the cloud seems to have run its course. Most projects are assumed to exist in the cloud at this point. Rarely do customers want things on the ground. While we had a project this year that needed to exist somewhere other than the cloud, I wouldn’t expect many of those down the road.
I expect that data analysis will continue to be a big focus for companies. We built some pretty data-rich applications and extensive ETL processes this year, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we continue to get more asked by more companies to create dashboards or reports to help them make the most of their data.
The one constant is change, and I for one am excited for what the new year holds. I expect that our clients will ask for more integrated solutions in the coming year, and these solutions will span mobile, cloud, and IoT. Regardless of what our customers need, I am sure these projects will be both challenging and fun.