Sophisticated engines such as SpiderMonkey and V8 show that scripting languages can begin to compete with full compiled code because a smart just-in-time compiler can make guesses about the data that are often good enough.
8. All of the embedding makes it simpler for programming to escape the command line and start appearing in Web applications themselves. Some of the highly customizable platforms, such as WordPress and some Drupal plug-ins, let you add custom code in a Web form.
9. The rise of the amateurs may make much of dynamic programming irrelevant. Web sites such as Coghead (see my review), Caspio, and Microsoft's Popfly let the world do much of the programming without typing any characters at all -- unless they want to put a label on some Web form. All of the instructions for the server are communicated by mouse clicks, lines, and flowcharts. This democratization will create graphical languages that may flourish -- if the creators can make them simple enough for the average human.
10. Adaptability for modern architectures is key. David Goodger says that the Python team invests a great deal of time in improving multicore performance. Earlier versions of Pythons could handle threads, but threads were still bound to a single core. That changed after researchers with big data sets pushed for better performance that can take advantage of the hardware.
If your applications are naturally multithreaded, then watch the development of core-savvy languages such as Python and Groovy. If the work you do is limited to a single thread, well, look elsewhere for performance.