Software / Startups

What’s 2023 have in store for DC tech? These experts offer their thoughts

Local leaders in cybersecurity, dataflow automation and startup-focused legal services offer their predictions for the regional tech sector's new year.

(L to R) Anthony Millin, Jeremiah Lowin and Nigel Houghton. (Courtesy photos, graphic by
Update: This article has been updated to clarify the full name of NEXT powered by Shulman Rogers. (1/10/22, 1:12 p.m.)

It’s a new year, folks. As always, everyone is keen to know what the next iteration of the DC tech scene will be.

From recessions to big tech layoffs to new software trends, there’s plenty to keep an eye on in 2023. For some, the new year might require brushing up on new skills to stay valuable to your company. For others, it means being cautiously optimistic about what all of the *gestures around* mean for the local community.

But for some of us, it’s just about trying to suss out what the next move should be. So, we asked three local players in the DMV tech ecosystem what they think is in store for the new year.

Here’s what they had to say:

Anthony Millin, founder of NEXT powered by Shulman Rogers

“As the leverage between founders and investors continues to shift, I am looking to see what happens with the rate of financings, valuations and changes in legal terms and structures used in funding startups. I am also interested in tracking the growth of outside capital flowing into DMV startups, particularly in areas of regional strength including cyber, food tech, edtech, life sciences and the emerging quantum computing field.”

Nigel Houghton, director of marketplace and ecosystem development at ThreatQuotient

“AI has been around for a long time, and its limitations are well known. Many individuals and organizations are working toward making small improvements here and there to make AI better, but ultimately, there are fundamental problems associated with data and algorithmic bias in AI. There is no magic bullet for solving those problems, and I do not expect to see significant progress in overcoming the limitations of AI in the near future. Looking ahead to 2023, it’s possible that computational costs will also get more expensive, especially when using cloud computing for data analysis, and therefore the cost of using AI could increase.”

Jeremiah Lowin, CEO of Prefect

“20 years ago, if you wanted to be entertained, you’d have to be on your couch at the right time, tuned to the right channel. By today’s standards, it seems positively archaic. Then TiVo came along and automated the “human” side of the process by relaxing the requirement on time, but it did not fundamentally change how television worked: You were still at the mercy of regularly scheduled content.

“Today, most data stacks operate like TiVos. Data’s Netflix moment is coming. New technologies for working with data, combined with event-driven infrastructures, are making it so data teams can finally access the information they need when they need it. The major driver — why this time is different — is a focus on real-time or just-in-time transformations that were impossible or impractical before. ClickHouse and DuckDB are bringing low-latency analytics to end-users; Materialize and Tinybird are making sense of streaming information. A new generation of event-driven applications is being built.

“Additionally, the most important language to learn in 2023 isn’t Python. It’s SQL. Databases of all sizes are on a tear. Many workloads are moving to the cloud (and powerful cloud data warehouses in particular), finally reaching a tipping point as a combination of features and price make it difficult for any company to hold out. And when data is available locally, new in-memory databases like DuckDB make it possible to use advanced, SQL-based query engines from a laptop, a serverless function or even the browser itself. These ubiquitous SQL-based tools are crowding out yesterday’s heavily scripted approaches to data manipulation because they empower users to work with data where it sits, rather than have to extract it, manipulate it and re-insert it.

Companies: NEXT powered by Shulman Rogers / Prefect / ThreatQuotient

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