Predictions for 2013-2014

– Apple will release the iWatch
The curved screen thing will be cool for about 5 minutes, and then people will remember why we stopped wearing watches in the first place. Bottom line is it won’t be the sort of thing Steve Jobs would have allowed to be released.

– HTML5 and Javascript will continue to revolutionize application development
Developers will start ditching Objective-C, Java, and C# and moving towards the cross-platform capabilities of HTML5, whether it’s a mobile or desktop app.

– IE8 will continue to be a problem for web designers
Worldwide usage will go from 25% to ~15%, but that won’t be enough to be able to completely drop support for it. Maybe 2014. And even then, there are numerous issues with IE9 to look forward to.

– Flash will still dominate over canvas
But if Adobe knows what’s good for them, they’ll give Flash an HTML5 export option.

– New canvas development environments will be introduced, but still no real IDE for designers
Canvas technologies will grow by leaps and bounds, but will still be in the shadow of Flash in many ways. However, game development engines written for canvas (and some cross-compiled to Flash) will become a driving force in developers moving away from Flash’s strongest selling point.

– Tablets will start to go the way of netbooks and ultrabooks
Although they will still have a comparatively strong showing, people will finally start wondering what they need a tablet PC for, and start going back to buying normal laptops.

– Apple stock will fall flat and more or less stay that way, besides on Keynote days
Apple will continue to do everything but innovate against their increasingly tough competition. Instead of making much-needed changes to iOS and the iPhone’s featureset, they will continue down the path of gradually speeding up the processor and adding more services nobody will use (Maps, Siri, Newstand, that ticket thingy…). They will finally use all that money they’ve been building up… in an attempt to wipe Samsung and Google off the face of the earth. It’ll make the justice department kinda mad.

– A financial crisis will begin to take shape, much like in 2008
The US will get its turn to be Greece. Not to sound like Chicken Little, but start investing in precious metals and virtual currencies. Tech stocks will not save you.

– The popularity of Rails and PHP will decrease as more of these casual backend developers decide to specialize in Javascript instead
Much like traditional developers moving to Javascript, backend web developers will do the same, but I’m not just talking about Node.js. I mean they’ll get into a more lucrative and fun line of work, and let the engineers do their Java and .NET thing.

– This will be another not-so-great year for Microsoft
The Surface won’t sell. No tablet will actually, besides the iPad, but even those sales will start to sag.

– Assault weapons will get banned like they were in the past
Some people will whine, and then they’ll move on to more important things, like the latest celebrity divorce. Seriously though, conservatives might actually start hammering Obama on more important things, like the use of drones and his continued assassinations of Americans overseas. Real political discourse: it’s not just for the fringe element anymore.

– The cost of app development will skyrocket
Due to the continued fragmentation of iOS and Android, it’ll be harder to write consistent apps, especially ones that can’t be written in Phonegap. Apps will also require more complexity to do things that haven’t been done already. This will drive up the cost of deliverables and slow down growth of the sector, though it won’t exactly stop growing.

– What’s left of the social IPO bubble will burst hard
People (besides their shareholders) will still love their Facebook, but that won’t save anyone else. Twitter will start to get old and busted, while places like Reddit will get more popular. Social will turn into something more community-oriented, instead of an isolated soapbox for you and random people you went to high school with.

– LinkedIn will get hacked
Anonymous will continue to show a strong prescence, but their “organization” will have more of a decidedly left-wing adgenda that includes hating on business professionals at large. A vulnerability will be discovered in some legacy code, which will culminate into an attack on LinkedIn. Otherwise though, it’ll be business as usual.

– Journalists will continue to preach the end of the desktop PC era
Its death will be greatly exaggerated, although sales will continue to slump. A PC is like a car these days, it’ll last 5-8 years before you need to think about replacing it. An Apple product will continue to have the shelf life of a gallon of milk.

– This will finally be the year of SASS and LESS
Web specialists will not be able to get jobs without knowing one of these technologies. A competing technology might be created to merge the subtle features together to make one CSS preprocessor to rule them all. Knockout, Angular, and Ember will also be huge forces, but may fizzle from whatever similar solutions come next.

– A major part of “The Cloud” will go down
AWS is guaranteed to have hiccups, of course, but I’m thinking Apple, Google, or Microsoft’s services will crash and wreak havoc on the Internet.

– Web designer roles will start dying out
It will no longer be okay to simply be a web designer. That’s like being a janitor that sweeps but doesn’t mop. More than ever, employers will look for either hybrid designer/developer roles, or look for specialists (UI/UX designers, art directors, branding consultants, etc.) to drive the creation of web mockups… people that really understand the professional logic and theory behind a website’s creation, just people who know what HTML and CSS are.

– Crowdbusiness will go unsung, but quietly grow in popularity
That’s a word you’ve never heard before. That’s because I invented it (I think). General-purpose technologies as well as specific projects will be created and expanded on to run businesses in a social way, instead of the traditional Machiavellian way. Instead of booking hotels, people will book with AirBnb. Entire businesses will run off of random strangers’ services. Which will bring about the next point…

– This will be the year of the eReputation
It is no longer acceptable to run the entire web in anonymous way, like Craigslist. A shared system will be created to share a person’s real-world reputation across the web, to make it okay to trust strangers again. This must be done in order to take the next steps in businesses going truly digital.

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