Daniel Lemire's blog

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A look back to my 2010 predictions for 2020

Back in 2010, I wrote a post Who is going to need a database engine in 2020? Let me revisit some of my 2010 statements.

Apple will sell desktops with 1 TB of RAM in 2020.

I am sure that the prediction sounded insane back in 2010, but it actually happened. A Mac Pro can have up to 1.5TB of RAM right now.

Clever programmers can write much faster specialized engines. Obviously, programmers will need help. They will need great librairies to help with data processing, data compression, and data architecture.

This happened too. The number of custom data processing engines has exploded: Elasticsearch (2010), Apache Spark (2014), ClickHouse (2016), and so forth. The great libraries for data processing have also materialized. In this instance, I put my fingers where my mouth was and invested my own time in this trend, to good effect I would say.

I won’t make predictions except to say that I expect new and more powerful programming languages to replace the existing ones. I’ll be pretty sad if in 2020, I’m still primarily using Python, Java and C++. There is so much innovation out there that something strong has to emerge out of it.

New contenders have emerged: Swift (2014), Go (late 2009), Rust (2010), Julia (2012). I have done some work in all three and they are a step forward.

I am still mostly programming in Python, Java, C and C++.

I would say that C++ has become a much better language since 2010. It is not any easier, but it has exceeded my expectations. If anything, Python’s popularity is far higher than it was back in 2010.

So I am mildly sad. I am still doing a lot of C++ and it is really, really hard. However, I could productively switch to shinier programming languages.

Overall I would say that my 2010 beliefs about the future were accurate, at least as far as this one my blog post is concerned.