From one of the survey result (IT related), I came across the following line:
Agile Development and Service-Oriented-Architectures (SOA) represent the “new normal.”
What does "new normal" mean here? Is it an idiom?
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Ah, it's an instantiation of the "X is the new Y" snowclone (also see here and here), like "pink is the new red" or "ugly is the new cute" or "Google is the new Microsoft". It means (to claim) that AD&SOA, or whatever they represent, are now so common that they're normal now, and constitute the new (normal) state of the world.
I believe in that context it means that AD and SOA are now ubiquitous and essential that they became the normal method of software development.
The way it's worded suggests that the word normal should be changed to AD and SOA, which is an exaggeration of how essential they are.
Yet, being a software developer myself, I think, in my opinion, the fact is a bit too exaggerated =)
New normal means that something has established as new 'standard' or usual way.
Agile Development and Service-Oriented-Architectures (SOA) represent the “new standard.”
See also Urban dictionary
The phrase "the new normal" indicates a state of affairs, a condition of life, or a set of circumstances that (the speaker argues) were once unusual or remarkable, but now should be considered a baseline state, a conventional and unremarkable condition.
The phrase appeared in print as early as 1900 as this New York Times story demonstrates via this Google Ngram. Its most recent spike in usage seems to have started with a speech in 2010 by Mohamed A. El-Erian of the investment firm PIMCO called "Navigating the New Normal in Industrial Countries", in which "the new normal" referred to the condition of the global economy following the financial crisis of 2007–2008.
This is not as it might seem an instance of "X is the new Y"—most commonly heard in the context of fashion or other social trends, such as "Red is the new black"—which (as other commenters have noted) seems to have originated in the 1960s. More to the point, the two idioms are syntactically and semantically quite different. In "X is the new Y," X and Y are not just the same part of speech but could be comfortably substituted for one another in the same idiomatic utterance by the same speaker; in the example given of "X represents the 'new normal,'" and in the nine occurrences of the phrase in El-Arian's speech, this is not the case. Compare "Black is the new red [i.e., the fashionable color that goes with anything]" or "Thirty is the new twenty [i.e., the appropriate age to move back in with your parents]" to "Agile development represents the new normal" or El-Arian's "bumpy journey to a new normal."
"I ADORE that pink ... it's the navy blue of India." --Vreeland, 1962
Here's an interesting diagram showing a researcher's attempts to map all the separate instances of "X is the new Y" in 2005