5 Technology Trends to Keep Your Eye On

As we focus on the value of innovation, we attended Dreamforce 2013 in downtown San Francisco to gather intel on the latest technology trends.

Salesforce's annual vendor-led technology conference was teeming with technophiles, evangelists, developers, booth babes and the occasional emboldened karaoke enthusiast (well, on opening night, anyway).

To keep with our theme of innovation, I browsed the scene to get a sense of what leading companies like Salesforce and its customers are talking about – and, more importantly, what they're doing to stay innovative. Whether you’re looking for tech talent or beginning a new job search, these five technology trends from Dreamforce will keep you on the right track:

  1. Social. Today, people are more connected than ever. As I type, there's a live Twitter stream weighing in on Marc Benioff's keynote. It is an incredible force of communication. Social media gives a voice to nearly anyone with a device and a connection, and because of this, social will continue to be a driver of innovation. Companies will need developers, designers and engineers not just savvy in building social tools, but who are intuitive social users who can work in this new era of collaboration.
  2. Mobile. The statistics on mobile device use are staggering – there will be some 5 billion smartphones in use by 2017. As Vivek Kundra, executive vice president of industries at Salesforce, said in his keynote on Monday evening, mobile devices have become the dashboards of our lives. This is why it should come as no surprise that mobile app developers are in such high demand – and that their average starting salaries are slated to jump 7.8 percent in 2014.
  3. Cloud. It's hard to pinpoint just when this technology came on the horizon, but since then, cloud has taken the world by storm. The cloud represents more than a $130 billion industry and goes hand-in-hand with Big Data (a concept so large it gets proper noun status). Cloud computing levels the Big Data playing field, allowing nearly any organization to capture and store, then analyze and draw insights from their data. What this means for you is, maybe you should consider becoming a Big Data engineer – or hiring one.
  4. Internet of Things. Welcome to the third wave of computing. Thanks to the Internet of Things, just about anything – your car, refrigerator, home thermostat – has a computer in it. Heck, they all are computers, practically. This means everything that was traditionally considered "hardware" now needs a software component. If you're a software engineer, this is great news. If you're looking to hire one, check out these tips.
  5. Marc Benioff's shoes. Anyone who was in Moscone South on Tuesday, November 19 or streaming Benioff's live keynote knows what I'm talking about. Those shoes were pure fashion innovation. My only question is, how much longer until "Marc Benioff's Shoes" gets its own Twitter handle and Tumblr account?

Did you attend Dreamforce 2013? Share what you've learned or how you're staying innovative in the comments.