Top Web Development Challenges in 2024: CTO vs CEO Insights

Top Web Development Challenges in 2024: CTO vs CEO Insights

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Trends! Everybody loves to talk about them, so let’s. In today’s read, we will discuss the top web development challenges businesses will face in 2024. 

But we’ve decided to do something different! We’ve interviewed our two founders – Anna (CTO) and Vlad (CEO) – so they could share their perspectives on challenges to come.

So, this is an exciting opportunity to look at the issue from two angles: from tech-oriented and business-oriented perspectives.

Let’s dig in! 

Web development challenge #1: Choosing the right technology stack

Since we’re talking about the tech sector, let’s look at technical challenges first and foremost! 🤓 Our lovely CTO, Anna has decided to share her thoughts on the hurdles of the web development projects that can make or break.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Technology constantly evolves, giving us new tools to play with and solve even more niche problems. 

It seems like it should make your next tech choice easier…but it’s quite the opposite.

“The more options there are, the easier it is lose focus and forget what you were trying to do in the first place,” Anna says. 

“When we’re talking business, and I mean business, it’s not about the flashiest or latest technologies. It’s about delivering a working product within budget and time constraints that’s both sustainable and practical.

No disagreements here. After all, there’s a reason why so many high-stakes industries like banking and insurance are still maintaining their decades-old COBOL codebases. 

Would they have made the same choice if they were starting a project from scratch? Probably not. But, then, there’s no reason to fix what’s definitely not broken if millions of daily transactions are any indication. 

So, it’s all about choosing the right tool for the job, not the other way around.

And if something has worked in the past, there’s no reason not to use it today. 

Is there a shorthand to know what to choose? Well, that’s up to the developer’s discretion, so always trust the experts. But just to nudge you in the right direction, here are a few examples:

  • Crawling websites and integrating APIs? Python
  • Fast and efficient backend? Go
  • Enterprise-level solutions? Java or .NET

Web dev challenge #2: Infrastructure and deployment decisions

Kinda like a long-lost cousin of the previous point, infrastructure is undoubtedly a hurdle you need to think thrice before jumping over. 

“Like, imagine if you are building a city, right? And you didn’t pay attention, and suddenly all your pipes are made out of lead, so now you have this fall of Rome scenario…it’s not really feasible or economic to just tear out all the pipes while the city is expected to run and function.” 

Indeed, while it’s not theoretically impossible to shuffle your architecture around, it’s a decision that will cost you both short and long-term! Proper planning is needed.

“One fundamental choice is between a monolithic architecture and a microservices approach. The monolithic architecture keeps everything in one ‘cohesive unit,’ if you will, making it easier and faster to develop and deploy. 

But as your app grows, it can become quite challenging to maintain. With microservices, you are certainly allowed more scalability and flexibility, but it becomes a bit more challenging to work with.”

So, like the last time, it’s not about one being necessarily better than the other. Both architectural approaches have their time and place – hence why both are still being used – and it’s just a matter of adequately sussing out which suits your concrete circumstances. 

Web dev challenge #3: The impact of emerging technologies

But trends wouldn’t be trends if there wasn’t something…uh…trendy to discuss!

Obviously, if we’re talking about emerging technologies in 2024, it would be remiss of us not to mention (and not to ask our CTO) Artificial intelligence (AI), such as ChatGPT and CoPilot, and whether they are going to usher in THE replacement of human labor.

“Well…I don’t think so? Okay, so AI is definitely will change how we approach our work, hiring, the requests from new and existing clients. But I don’t think it will change that much or replace all of us…well not yet necessarily.” 

“I do think that tools like CoPilot in particular are going to speed up some rudimentary tasks and improve code quality across the board but it’s not going to be a replacement for human creativity, only a supplement to it” 

Anna, continued that there will certainly be companies that will try replacing their devs with just AI tools but are uncertain about their long-term success: “Some things, like template-based web applications, were already on their road towards automatization so I can see how AI can be a boon there and solve many of the existing issues. Now, if we’re talking about something more complex and in-depth? No chance!” 

She concludes that the critical element here is not to be too skeptical like you’re luddite faced by the thumps of the Industrial Revolution…. Still, again, you should not lean too much into the craze where you forego fundamentals altogether. 

“Final thoughts? I think AI is definitely something that I will pay close attention to, especially more niche use-cases like CoPilot.” 

Our CEO, Vlad, isn’t a stranger to the tech side of things either. But, as his role demands, we brushed more on the business side of things, and he provided us with valuable insights on what he believes will be persistent and emerging challenges in web development going forward. 

Web dev challenge #4: Defining project scope and priorities

“You want to do everything at once…I’ve seen far too many promising projects fold to the feature creep, so I’d say that defining project scope and setting priorities are the main priorities.” 

Vlad argues that scope and priority are the first things you must figure out (and always will be) because everything stems from that. Do you really need that feature? When do you need it? Can we roll out barebones functionality now and consider adding the shiny one later? 

Answering these questions changes how you approach the project development, budget, scope, and release dates. 

“It’s crucial to clearly understand how this web project fits your company’s goals. What are you trying to accomplish with this website? It’s not a website for the website’s sake, right? Understanding your business needs and use cases helps you decide what to add and discard.” 

Web dev challenge #5: Team selection and collaboration

Surprisingly, this is where Vlad has also decided to mention AI, but from quite an unexpected angle. 

“Web development is a hot thing, right? Everybody needs and wants it. Well, when there’s smoke, there’s fire…and where’s demand there are swindlers.” 

“Looking inward, web development seems like a simple way to earn money, hence why we can see so many companies propping up everywhere, trying to sell their services. 

I know plenty of excellent devs, but I also know a lot of bad ones.’

Can someone unfamiliar with our work tell a lousy website from a good one? Not always! You’re looking only at a wrapper, basically. A website can look shiny but lack optimization and be full of security holes, and God knows what else. 

With AI entering the fray, we’ll see many more people trying to turn a quick buck by selling your code written by ChatGPT. So, choosing a great team to work for you will become only more important than before!”

How do you choose one? Nothing beats an excellent ol’ personal recommendation from another satisfied customer, but if that’s not available, then you can consider factors such as:

  • Portfolio. What projects the company has worked on before? Does it have an experience that correlates with your pressing interests and business niche? If possible, you can also contact the clients to see if they can vouch for the experience of working with your contractor. 
  • Experience and pedigree. Or “how long have they been in the business.” If an IT company has been chugging along for over a decade in a volatile market, it must do something right. Especially if you can’t find even a blip of scandal or controversial reputation surrounding them. 
  • Just talk to them! There are many things you can really only sus out during the one-to-one. Do you want to work with this team to agree on the budget and scope? Do you need custom web development at all? You can only figure out these things during the proper pre-production stage, and that’s where you’ll need expertise from the experts. 

Vlad also wanted to emphasize the importance of a dedicated and aligned product owner who can act as a bridge (a translator, if you will 😏) between you and the dev team: “A product owner who is fully invested in the project can make all the difference.” 

Web dev challenge #6: Long-term maintenance and costs

To properly estimate the costs of running a project, you have to consider the immediate costs of hiring and working with developers, as well as the maintenance and support expenses. 

Sometimes, trying to save money now can cost you more later on, especially if you have some third-party dependencies planned. Let’s say your authorization leans on a third-party system, and you just learn it will be deprecated soon? 

For example, in 2020, a popular open-source library Moment.js, used for parsing and formatting dates in JavaScript, announced that it will be entering maintenance mode, meaning it won’t be updated anymore. From something as simple as date formatting and not working on new browser versions to critical security vulnerabilities, there’s no reason to use depreciated third-party libraries in a business setting.

That’s why Vlad always opts for a conservative option if devPulse needs to lean on third-party options.

“Because I have a background in enterprise-level solutions, I tend to think long-term when choosing what to work with and how. A new shiny tech or library may sound cool on paper, but I am certain about its long-term validity. I would rather not add it to my list of codebase regression woes.” 

Then, you also have to consider the other maintenance costs of literal and opportunity variety. Let’s say you’re going to work with quite a niche language but one that really matches your use case. Is a match made in heaven? Not necessarily! 

Let’s take a look at the Elixir programming language. Known for its fault-tolerance and scalability, it certainly got some traction…but not enough. So, there are not enough projects on Elixir, thus not enough incentive to learn it, and a limited (and pricey!) talent pool. 

So, it’s essential to strike a balance between innovation and consistency

“I think that’s where, returning to the previous point, finding the right team for your needs is valuable. An honest developer will layout a roadmap that stretches beyond your immediate commitment, even if you’re not going to work together in the future.”

Concluding remarks

Looking back at our conversation with devPulse founders, it seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. While certain factors, like AI, offer unprecedented challenges on a larger scale, it all boils down to fundamentals. 

Choosing the right team, the right technology, and the proper scope are constant challenges we will face today and tomorrow. The only variables are the choices that we have to make within these constraints.

To make these choices, you need a team with expertise and knowledge to know when to chase trends when to abstain, and how to be prepared for the long-term consequences of your immediate decisions. 

If you need a team like that, consider devPulse for your next web solution. Ready to discuss your needs and expectations? Then contact us and let’s talk.