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VMblog Expert Interview: Thabang Mashologu, Vice President, Marketing and Community Programs, The Eclipse Foundation, talks 2023 Cloud Developer Survey Report


The Eclipse Foundation, one of the world's largest open source foundations, announced the availability of the 2023 Cloud Developer Survey Report.  To find out more, VMblog spoke with Thabang Mashologu, the Vice President of Marketing and Community Programs at the Eclipse Foundation.

VMblog:  Before we get started, can you give VMblog viewers a quick background on the Eclipse Foundation and its role in cloud-based software development?

Mashologu: The Eclipse Foundation is a European-based global organization that is home to one of the largest open source software ecosystems in the world.  We're probably best known for the Eclipse IDE used by millions of developers or perhaps for the "center of gravity" for all things related to open source Java, including Jakarta EE, Adoptium, MicroProfile, and more. However, we are much more than that, addressing a broad range of technology domains that include Software-Defined Vehicles and Automotive; IoT and Edge Computing; and, the focus of this survey, cloud-based developer tools. Since launching roughly four years ago, the Eclipse Cloud DevTools Working Group has grown to include industry leaders like AMD, Arm, Ericsson, IBM, Obeo, Red Hat, Renesas, ST Micro, and many more.

VMblog:  What exactly is the objective of your Cloud Developer Survey report?

Mashologu: The survey's objective is to gain a better understanding of the cloud-based software development ecosystem by identifying the requirements, priorities, and challenges faced by developers and organizations leveraging a cloud-based development model; and particularly those based on open source technologies. The reasons are probably obvious to most of your readers. As of 2023, 94% of enterprises use cloud services (Zippia, 2023), with developers making up a significant chunk of that. Developer platforms like GitHub and Atlassian's Jira have fully embraced this approach. Some firms are even terminating support for their on-premise solutions altogether.

VMblog:  What are some of the key takeaways from the data provided?

Mashologu: Perhaps first and foremost,  the cloud native applications these developers are creating are becoming increasingly "mission-critical," as a full third of them reported that their most important apps are now cloud native. The survey results also affirmed there is significant traction for open source cloud development tools, with 74% of developers expressing that their organization should invest more in open source technologies. Moreover, developers are driving the adoption of new cloud native technologies. Our research shows they are more likely to experiment and implement these technologies than their IT leadership counterparts.

For developers interested in making the switch from a desktop IDE to a cloud-based IDE or related tool, the survey indicates they are motivated to move towards a cloud IDE or tool when there is a performance boost, tight integration with cloud technologies, and ease of setup/configuration. In terms of the cloud tools developers are using today, GitHub Codespaces (28%),  Eclipse Che (23%), and Gitpod (21%) are the top choices for 2023.

From an employer perspective, developers want to focus on innovation - not on re-creating the wheel. They also want to work with tools that increase productivity and easily plug into their preferred environments. They will gravitate toward companies that enable both innovation and flexibility. Moreover, open source is both an innovation engine and a hiring engine. Many of the development lifecycle tools being used to build, ship, and monitor modern software are open source. Companies should align their consumption of open source software with a commitment to supporting open source projects and foundations.

Related to this trend is that developers are often more open than we thought to switching to new platforms. That said, developers are being asked to do more non-developer tasks, which we believe will lead to a consolidation of IDEs.

VMblog:  Were there any findings that surprised you?

Mashologu: I think one of the pleasant surprises is that many developers are increasingly leaning towards open source technologies that are governed by an open source foundation. While developers are not necessarily driving the business decisions, 36% say they would prefer working with projects that are foundation-supported.

VMblog:  What recommendations does the Eclipse Foundation have for developer teams as well as makers of cloud-based development tools?

Mashologu: Most importantly, it's clear that developers and organizations need to fully embrace open source software as strategic. It's no longer enough to allow your developers to use open source software. The most talented developers want to be full-on participants. Companies should make financial and strategic commitments to the open source ecosystems that intersect with their business. Second, better cloud-based integrations are key. A great IDE needs flexible integrations that plug into cloud and non-cloud environments. While developers prefer to use the IDE they know, they will switch to the one that works best for the job. 

Another important message is to keep things simple. Developers looking to switch to a new IDE will likely adopt one that minimizes integration/ setup time and is relatively easy to learn. This is where open source solutions can shine by offering integration and training that allows developers to easily move their tools from a desktop environment to the cloud. Security should also be a priority. Our results show that security is top of mind for developers, regardless of IDE location. It is both a motivator for new IDE adoption and a blocker preventing people from switching to cloud-based IDEs.

Finally, organizations need to give developers access to the latest technologies. Talented developers are already doing the work typically reserved for ops and data scientists. An open source IDE for AI/ML, IoT, and edge computing excites developers who want to experiment with state-of-the-art solutions.

VMblog:  Where can our viewers get a hold of the detailed results?

Mashologu: The 2023 Cloud Developer Survey Report is now available and can be downloaded for free here.


Published Tuesday, August 29, 2023 9:34 AM by David Marshall
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