CTO Perspectives: April 2021 Technology Trends




Technology and trends evolve so quickly, it’s hard to keep up with everything that could potentially affect your business.

To help our clients and partners, our team sat down with Devetry CTO,  Allan Wintersieck, to ask him his unfiltered thoughts regarding today’s opportunities and threats to business–both internal and external.

What we ended up with is below–a quick guide to technology trends for the first half of 2021. These trends are the things every CTO, CIO, or techy CEO needs to have on their radar this quarter.

“What are the biggest opportunities for tech companies right now?”

In general, remote work. This past year has been an experiment in regards to remote work, but we’re finally approaching a realistic end to this pandemic. Everyone needs to start making these policies.

According to surveys, reports, and conversations, it’s clear across the tech industry. People don’t want to go back to the office.

If you demand five days back in the office without flexibility, you’re going to have attrition. However, if most of your team didn’t sign on to work remotely, they probably want some office interaction. Based on these team preferences, a hybrid approach is probably the right move (and probably what your industry is doing).

If you do go ahead with remote work, your team will probably be all over the place. Why not have your team be even more all over the place? There is talent across the US, in low cost of living areas which could provide benefits.

If you go ahead with a hybrid approach, you’re going to want to figure out logistics ASAP. There’s no point in having a 100-person office space if only 50 will be in at a time. But that means you might need a schedule. Maybe flexible space (community co-working space). Maybe you need it every other week. You know what’s best for your team, but I encourage all to start thinking about this.

Another opportunity I see lies in junior developers. Right now, there’s a desire to hire only senior talent, but this is creating scarcity and delaying progress on a lot of software products.

To hiring managers, I would say this: consider hiring a developer that’s more junior than you want. Maybe they’ll be slower and things will take longer, but they’ll get it and add value to your organization, especially if you have roles that align with boot camp curriculums (for example, frontend-only React work).

“What’s the biggest challenge you see?”

It’s the hardest it’s ever been to hire senior people. Everyone is ramping up, with a focus on the future, and it’s hard. Everyone’s trajectory is the same. I don’t have great advice here other than focus on hiring.

To no one’s surprise, compensation is also a challenge. So many Bay-area companies have committed to remote and their teams have settled in low-cost locations. If you’re a business in these small markets, you might have some challenges down the line.

“What product do you think needs to be built right now?”

Despite all the tools for infrastructure and cloud, it never gets any easier to set these up. These newer options offer a variety of benefits for medium/larger teams, but they aren’t saving time to set up. Things are just as hard as Heroku days (arguably even harder!). So I’d like to see something that makes it easy to set up infrastructure.

“What technology are you investing in right now?”

At a macro level, augmented and virtual reality. Both of these technologies have had so many ups and downs but now are finally being commoditized. It’s now almost economical to make an AR or VR app. I predict a lot of interesting technology leveraging AR/VR–things like remote learning and training via AR products.

As a CTO, I’m interested in the next development technology. If you look at historical technology life cycles, the three biggest front-end technologies (React, Vue, Angular) may very well already be on the downhill. React has been around for almost eight years. Its peak may have already passed. So what’s the next cool thing for front-end technology?

My advice is to be open to these inevitable new things, even if it’s just little parts of your front end. Failure to evolve is exactly how you become “that company” with obsolete tech.

End interview

Keep these items on your radar so you can create a strategy and leverage them properly when the time comes. If you’d like to chat with our team about any of the above (or anything else on your mind), give us a shout. We’d love to talk tech with you.