Technological progress will advance

The first thing to say is that tech jobs will continue to dominate in 2020, making technology studies a very attractive field of study to prepare people for the ever-changing jobs market. LinkedIn is predicting "tremendous growth", especially in new and exciting fields such as AI specialist and emotion engineer. The Australian government is aiming to train up 160,000 AI experts within the next decade, while the UK recently announced a billion-pound plan to create over a dozen AI training centers across the country. There'll also be an increased demand for data scientists, designers, and IT security specialists.

And if you're worried that the prophesied AI takeover is just around the corner, then remember that the smart machines have got a long way to go before they master the human touch (if they ever do). Yohan Ramasundara, President of the Australian Computer Society and a lifelong AI enthusiast, says, "That AI-related roles make up the list's top five spots [of the LinkedIn jobs report], it shows how critical artificial intelligence is becoming to business functions." However, he adds, "Human skills can't be overlooked in the machine era, and it's telling that LinkedIn found so-called ''soft skills'' are just as important for these tech roles as the 'hard skills' such as coding which are traditionally associated with the tech sector."

Quantum computing

Although it's still in its early days, experts are incredibly excited about quantum computing. They believe it could lead to major breakthroughs in science, medicine, finance, science and may well come up with solutions to mathematical problems that are way beyond the processing power of current computers. 

Computers run off a binary code, a set of instructions using a two-symbol system of 0s and 1s. Computers then carry out the instructions based on the 'physical' state of that code. Quantum computing does something very different -- and it's pretty amazing! A quantum computer does not follow the 'physical' state of the binary system. Instead, it can process any other possible combination of that code. In other words, a 0 can be 0, but it can also be a 1, and vice versa. To look at it another way, each piece of code exists in multiple states at the same time

Confused? Well, don't worry about it! Some of the smartest people in the world from Microsoft and Google haven't figured it all out yet. They are currently in a race to see who can build the world's first, fully functional quantum computer. Will we see it in 2020? It's hard to say, but more mind-bending developments are not too far away...

Gatsby.js

Gatsby.js is a website and app building platform set to make a big impression in 2020. It allows users to build static sites quicker than ever before, and its pre-built pages mean you can deliver your content instantly via a global cloud of servers. You can pull data from headless CMSs, SaaS services, APIs, databases, or your files, and there are no expensive or time-consuming set-up costs. And once your site is up and running, it's instantly scalable and adaptable to future web updates and technology. The platform has received endorsements from several major global brands, including Impossible, Nike, and Silicon Valley giants Paypal. 

AWS big data

Big data is more valuable than ever before. In fact, it's now the most valuable resource in the world. The five wealthiest companies on the planet -- Alphabet (Google's parent company), Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft -- all trade in big data, which helps them generate net profits of around $25 billion per quarter. But for companies without the huge resources of these tech giants, sifting through data is a costly and timeconsuming experience. That's why Amazon Web Services (AWS) have designed a new analytic tool to help businesses identify important data from current and potential users/customers. 

The AWS data lakes and analytics provide an integrated service that can handle a vast amount of data, combining multiple types of analysis to offer subscribers a more in-depth insight into the data that matters for them. More importantly, it does this while remaining 100% compliant with current data regulation laws and offers full security to in-house IT systems. Yelp, iRobot, and NASDAQ are all currently using AWS analytics. 

React hooks

React is a JavaScript library that lets you create interactive user interfaces. And at their 2018 conference, they introduced hooks, tools that help integrate many of the React features, as well as solving a wide variety of interconnected problems. The new functions 'hook' into the React state features and function components, which lets programmers create and insert customized coding and programs to suit their needs. Tech writer Mateusz Roth is a big fan of React Hooks. And while what they do is impressive enough, Mateusz believes the main selling point is how they do it. He says, "Hooks are easier to work with and to test (as separated functions from React components) and make the code look cleaner, easier to read."

Apache Airflow

Apache Airflow started life as an in-house workflow management tool for Airbnb. It helped the company organize an increasingly complex workload, as well as monitoring performance and identifying areas for improvement. It became so successful that Airbnb decided to develop the software into a large-scale open-source software for commercial use. It was then launched earlier this year on the 30th of August, and quickly gained an impressive list of users, such as Adobe, BigFish, and Onefootball.

Apache solves many of the problems associated with other workflow management platforms and adds a whole new set of features. These include data warehousing, growth analytics, email targeting, and data infrastructure maintenance. Apache Airflow lets businesses extract more information from their data, allowing for a higher level of abstraction and meta-analysis on how to improve both internal and external processes.

The ESP32 - Powering the smart future

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the system of interrelated objects with unique identifiers and the capability to transfer data over networks independent from any human or computer interaction. Mobile devices, security systems, sat navs, thermostats, and vending machines are all part of the Internet of Things. And with the arrivals of smart homes and smart cities, the Internet of Things is set to get even bigger. That means it needs better technology to meet the rising demand, and that's where the ESP32 module comes into play. 

Designed by scientists and engineers from Espressif Systems, the ESP32 is engineered to fully integrate into mobile devices, wearable electronics, and other IoT applications. It has an ultra-low power consumption (so let's hope they start putting them in iPhones!) while its robust design can operate in industrial conditions with temperatures ranging from –40°C to +125°C. It will also work independently or as a 'slave' device, interfacing with other systems to provide full Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionality.

A faster way to better apps

Fans of all things Apple can expect more great apps in 2020 thanks to SwiftUI, an innovative new platform that builds new user interfaces across any Apple device. Its easy-to-use design is based around the declarative coding syntax. So rather than writing long lines of complex code, programmers can literally type in commands while building their apps. This makes coding more straightforward and easy to read, while the drag and drop feature allows designers to edit the visuals of a new or existing app with the click of a button.

New users can also buy a tutorial bundle along with the software. For just under $20, the package comes with over 45 hours worth of tutorials in 420 lessons on app and software development. Plus, users get lifetime access to all the courses after a single purchase. So if you have had an idea for a new app bubbling away, 2020 might be the time to put it into action! Alternatively, it could be the perfect time to start learning the basics of app development. After all, this is one of the tech industries of the future.

For example, Helix Apps has announced plans to use SwiftUI in its complete overhaul of the Heart Analyzer app for Apple Watches. The beta version is already available, with initial reports confirming Helix Apps promise of a more fluid, integrated, and detailed app.

It looks like 2020 is going to be an even more exciting year for tech than 2019. So students and prospective students of technology fields should keep an eye out for these trends over the next 12 months, as well other exciting developments as tech continues to shape the future!