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Shipa 2022 Predictions: Enterprises Must (and Will) Improve Their Developer Experiences to Compete for Talent

vmblog predictions 2022 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2022.  Read them in this 14th annual series exclusive.

In 2022, Enterprises Must (and Will) Improve Their Developer Experiences to Compete for Talent

By Bruno Andrade, CEO of Shipa

Make no mistake about it, developers and engineers hold the cards in the job market. This was true in 2021 and I expect it'll be even more the case in the coming year. The difference in 2022, I believe, will be that many enterprises will be looking beyond salary and benefits as the variables that can directly affect their hiring (and retaining) success.

In order to attract and retain talent in this highly competitive hiring market, organizations will focus on improving the quality of the developer experiences they offer. If devs' current employer doesn't have the Ops technologies in place to keep their developers satisfied and able to accomplish their goals, they'll simply find another company that does.

This pressure to improve developer experiences will drive key trends for organizations in 2022, including:

1) GitOps becomes easier to implement and operate.

GitOps offers a powerful operational framework that enables developers to control infrastructure and take advantage of capabilities around continuous deployment. With GitOps, devs can automate infrastructure, application deployment and security policies, leveraging DevOps best practices around CI/CD, version control, compliance, collaboration and more.

But that said, organizations without the right support from DevOps - and technologies like developer platforms in place - often saddle developers with challenging GitOps complexity. Negative scenarios for developers may require them to build and maintain complex Helm charts to enable GitOps infrastructure. This traditional approach to GitOps makes understanding applications and providing post-deployment support difficult as well. If developers facing this complexity look for new employment opportunities where they can instead focus directly on actual development, organizations can't really be too surprised.

In 2022, enterprises will seek to remove these burdens and foster more enjoyable and supported developer experiences by enabling simple and direct control over GitOps. Look for organizations to adopt developer platforms that equip DevOps with well-defined application frameworks, making it easy to control application deployments, network policies, registry controls, etc. Doing so, devs can harness GitOps benefits and very easily deploy and manage their applications, with no need to even think about Helm charts. Organizations that can achieve this level of developer experience can expect natural retention and recruitment advantages.

2) AppOps adoption accelerates.

Many developers face similar unpleasant complexity when automating application deployment across multiple infrastructure platforms (along with the slew of tools those platforms require). Not every organization is fully in the cloud and ready to leverage Kubernetes or GitOps exclusively: most still run some applications via on-prem and cloud VM infrastructure. This means developers must deal with multiple CI pipelines and just as many Terraform or custom scripts to deploy their applications. Post-deployment application support isn't any easier.

To better retain and recruit developers who would be rightfully frustrated by this experience, look for more organizations to adopt AppOps capabilities in 2022. An AppOpps strategy is the path to an automated infrastructure and application layer that enables standardized methods for application deployment and management - no matter if the control plane represents VMs, Kubernetes or another approach. DevOps can leverage this centralized AppOps control layer to support any infrastructure by automatically creating all needed application resources. AppOps even promises to render Kubernetes a transparent tool from the developer perspective, and no longer a source of burdensome complexity.

By making underlying infrastructure, CI pipelines, and control planes irrelevant to developers and removing them as obstacles, AppOps will meaningfully enhance developer experiences, and serve as a competitive differentiator in the battle for top talent.

3) Kubernetes becomes a more common attack target.

As Kubernetes emerges as a more common vector for attacks, organizations are rightfully pursuing more effective security approaches to lock down Kubernetes infrastructure. At the same time, from a talent retention perspective, this necessary burden should not fall on developers or hamper their productivity and happiness. As a solution to this challenge, the security policy automation enabled by GitOps provides a valuable approach to securing Kubernetes without developer involvement. In the same way, an AppOps control layer can easily define a single set of security controls enforced across all deployed applications, regardless of infrastructure. In 2022, look for organizations to further leverage GitOps and AppOps to spare developers from security duties, and themselves from related employee turnover.

The spotlight is turning to the developer experience in 2022; organizations that execute well will be rewarded in this particularly tight market for dev talent.



Bruno Andrade 

Bruno Andrade is the CEO at Shipa, a cloud native application-as-code platform. Bruno previously held software engineering roles at Juniper Networks, HTBASE, Oracle, and IBM. He lives in Mountain View, California.

Published Friday, January 14, 2022 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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