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Pivotal 2020 Predictions: Developer and Cloud Trends Revealed

VMblog Predictions 2020 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2020.  Read them in this 12th annual series exclusive.

By Richard Seroter, Vice President of Product Marketing at Pivotal

Developer and Cloud Trends Revealed

Over the past year, the enterprise computing space saw the rise of Kubernetes, growth in continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) tools, and greater adoption of serverless computing.

Richard Seroter, vice president of product at Pivotal, predicts how cloud computing, emerging technologies, AI, and security will affect developers in 2020.

Single public cloud operations will vanish.

Only a few large enterprises will operate entirely in a single public cloud within the next five years. As such, we'll see less debate over public versus private cloud, and more discussion about good practices (read: cloud-native) across a variety of computing environments. We're talking private infrastructure, public, edge, and much more. This means companies will need to revisit how they deploy and manage software, and deliver technology experiences their customers love. No "cloud" fixes that. It's about becoming great at software, and using cloud infrastructure to deliver software in the ways that works for the business and ultimately for your customers.

Machine learning and AI will find its way into regularly used devops tools.

Although I don't expect developers or operators to use standalone AI or machine learning tools every day, vendors who bake machine learning and AI into developer tools to provide code assistance, for example, are becoming extremely valuable. We'll see AI/ML intelligence become embedded in software development, testing, deployment, upgrades, and maintenance. It may end up being subtle, but powerful.

There will be more developers writing more types of software.

We'll see more people writing more types of software. From those using "low code" platforms to create data collection and workflow experiences, to people slinging Java and Go code to develop rich software, the definition of "software developer" is broadening. It won't matter as much where software is deployed, as we see opinionated developer frameworks that get us started faster with enterprise-grade default settings that work across edge, cloud, or device.

Security concerns will be met with false promises.

Companies will say they're focused on security for consumers and customers alike, but we'll keep seeing the same mistakes being made. It's understandable, given more people are writing more software, the demands for speed are increasing, and we're exposing more endpoints to public mischief. The only real solution involves more inherited security in the platforms and frameworks we use for software. Make it easy to do the right thing by relying on opinionated stacks that make platforms secure by default.

Adoption of WebAssembly and event stream processing will increase.

WebAssembly delivers a secure, fast experience with native code that opens up a lot of opportunities for developers and end users. Event stream processing will also become more mainstream. We're at the intersection point where real-time insight is critical, event streaming platforms are approachable to a wider audience, and developer frameworks are embracing event-driven paradigms.

Continuous integration and delivery practices are growing, but not ubiquitous. I expect an acceleration in usage as it becomes obvious that an automated path to production is a business differentiator.

Languages will remain largely the same.

For the past decade, the usage of major programming languages has remained stubbornly consistent. The vast majority of developers rely on JavaScript, Java, PHP, Python, Ruby, and C# to build software. I don't anticipate major changes to that in 2020 for two reasons: first, most software development happens on existing systems rather than new ones, meaning developers work with the language the software was first written in. Secondly, the popular languages have some of the most mature ecosystems of tools and training that attract new developers. That said, I expect JavaScript/Node to continue growing quickly due to the rise of serverless computing. Additionally, Python will keep sneaking up on people because of its ML usefulness.

IT will become a trusted accelerator of business objectives.

IT will move from a  "keep the lights on" group to become a trusted accelerator that helps move business objectives forward. This won't be an overnight change if the IT team has to rebuild trust with lines of business. The moves begins with a cultural shift from "efficiency" to "speed." That said, it can happen quickly with the right mix of fresh leadership, culture-changing technology, training, and business urgency.


About the Author

Richard Seroter 

Richard Seroter is a Vice President of Product Marketing at Pivotal, with a master's degree in Engineering from the University of Colorado. He's also a 12-time Microsoft MVP for cloud, an instructor for developer-centric training company Pluralsight, the lead editor for cloud computing, and author of multiple books on software delivery.

Published Tuesday, January 28, 2020 6:40 AM by David Marshall
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