The tech industry evolves at a rapid pace, and although there are new innovations and evolutions that we don’t see coming, there are also a handful of trends that we at Treehouse already expect to have a big impact this year. Here’s a selection of the most interesting ones that may influence your learning focus in 2018.
1. AI & Machine Learning
AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Machine Learning have already become top of mind lately with their increased popularity and presence in our lives, but there will be even more growth in that area of the industry in 2018. This year, we anticipate the intersection of augmented reality and machine learning will create a new class of computing, bringing to life the idea of digital assistants that can process the world in the same way you do and augment your understanding. As a result, there’s no better time than now to learn how to use AI platforms like IBM’s Watson, an AI platform named that gives developers access to powerful tools for text and speech analysis, computer vision, and more.
With increased accessibility to AI and the career opportunities that accompany it, we recently partnered with IBM to give our students the opportunity to learn how to utilize Watson.
Bonus: If you want to hear more about to expect from life with AI, check out the discussion below between IBM Tech Mentor Armen Pischdotchian and Nick Pettit about the future of the IBM Watson platform, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
2. The Importance of Security
Online security tended to be something that the majority of people didn’t consider in their day to day lives until it was compromised. Which is why, when credit reporting agency Equifax reported in September 2017 that 143 million consumers in the US could have been affected by a massive data security breach, people became more concerned and more aware of the need to be secure online.
This trend will likely continue into 2018. Tech is becoming increasingly more integrated into our everyday lives, jobs, and even into our homes. So there will certainly be an increased demand for and focus on the protection of consumer privacy and security. We recently added Security as a new topic to the Treehouse Library. Check out the 3 security courses to make sure you’re doing everything you can to protect yourself online.
3. Progressive Web Apps
Progressive web apps are gaining more support and functionality on both Android and iOS at the moment, and are set to continue to do so in 2018. As more native features, like push notifications, become available, PWAs will start to become a real option for many websites as an alternative or supplement to their mobile apps. As Google Developers describes, “building a high-quality Progressive Web App has incredible benefits, making it easy to delight your users, grow engagement and increase conversions.”
If you’d like to learn a new way of delivering amazing user experiences on the web this year using Progressive Web Apps, check out this workshop with Guil Hernandez.
4. Evolution of Voice Recognition
Voice recognition has come a long way. Computers being able to understand humans speaking in a natural way is an incredible evolution that was unthinkable a decade ago. It’s also clearly becoming the most natural way to interact with technology and as it voice recognition continues to “get smarter”, it will become even more widely adopted.
With the huge popularity of devices like the Amazon Echo, GoogleHome and Siri becoming additions to people’s homes over the holidays, “home assistants” are becoming even more ubiquitous.
As educators and consumers, we’re looking forward to seeing the evolution of voice search and voice recognition in 2018 and how it continues to integrate into everyday life. If you’re interested in learning how to build for voice recognition, check out our Amazon Alexa course, and learn how to create and submit your own Alexa skills.
5. Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies
If you haven’t heard of blockchain technology yet, it’s best described as a digital “ledger” in which transactions in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are recorded. So what makes blockchain so effective? The way that it structures data allows parties to record transactions via the ledger, but as there isn’t one single authority, everyone (and more importantly the numbers) are kept honest and verified.
There’s also the presence of new and exciting related tech like the Ethereum app platform – which is built on a blockchain – and allow for apps to run exactly as they’re programmed, without downtime, censorship, fraud or any third-party interference.
Cryptocurrencies are still fairly new and the future is unknown. But blockchain is already becoming increasingly more mainstream, and we expect it to continue to do so this year.
These touch on just a few trends that we anticipate for the year, but what would you add to the list? Share your thoughts in the comments below.