O'Reilly's Edd Dumbill observes that with the ubiquity of powerful computers now tied into all levels our daily lives, programming is getting dangerous: today's programmers are "like ambitious waiters stacking one teacup on top of the other". His prescription? All programmers will have to adopt programming paradigms that have previously been the domain of specialists: distributed computing, device computing, democratized computing and data computing:
The prevailing form of programming today, object orientation, is generally hostile to data. Its focus on behavior wraps up data in access methods, and wraps up collections of data even more tightly. In the mathematical word, data just is, it has no behavior, yet the rigors of C++ or Java require developers to worry about how it is accessed. As data and its analysis grow in importance, there’s a corresponding rise in use and popularity of languages that treat data as a first class citizen. Obviously, statistical languages such as R are rising on this tide, but within general purpose programming there’s a bias to languages such as Python or Clojure, which make data easier to manipulate.
Edd is gathering further thoughs on how programming will evolve over the next 10 years, and invites comments at the blog post linked below.
O'Reilly Radar: The future of programming