2017 Trends in Agile and DevOps

As the Agile software development methodology gets closer to its 20th anniversary, it has truly entered the mainstream, illustrated by its wide adoption at many enterprises and smaller businesses. The maturity of this application engineering practice is evidenced by novel organizational structures aimed at facilitating Agile, most notably Tribes. The growth of DevOps is another example of a business innovation – focused on collaboration – influenced by Agile.

What follows is a look at a few of the expected trends in both Agile and DevOps over the coming year. Maybe some of these ideas spark some inspiration in your own software projects?

Companies demanding Candidates with Agile Experience

A recent study from Udemy for Business, an online learning platform, noted the candidate skills most in demand at organizations in 2017. Commenting on the growth of Agile workplaces throughout many industries, Udemy forecasts that businesses desire candidates with experience working in an Agile office or on projects using the methodology. These companies also want candidates with the soft skills – strong communication, business acumen, etc. – to help them thrive in an Agile environment.

This prediction truly reveals how this methodology, first developed in the early 21st Century, squarely resides in the technology mainstream.

Agile leads to the Growth of “Citizen Developers”

There’s no denying that Agile, DevOps, and other methodology innovations made the process of software development significantly faster. One 2017 Agile trend is the growth of “citizen developers,” essentially employees working outside of a traditional IT role leveraging rapid application development (RAD) environments to quickly build software applications to serve a specific business need. Industry pundit, John Carione, commented on this trend for TechTarget.

“Agile methodologies changed how companies evaluate and implement technology. In 2017, we’ll see a new wave of Agile thinking enter the enterprise — this time with a focus on helping enterprises make strategic decisions more quickly. Employees — whether in IT, operations or a marketing department — will be able to use rapid application development and automated research tools to run quick tests and answer questions on their own. By more quickly understanding which processes and strategies are working and which are not, employees can be empowered to make intelligent decisions and adjust their business approaches on the fly,” said Carione.

Cyber Security becomes more Worrisome for DevOps Shops

IT security seems to be a constant worry for many CIOs, especially considering the growth of ransomware. Shops combining development and network operations under the DevOps moniker need to remain vigilant against hacking and other nefarious activity in 2017. This is the prediction told to TechRepublic by Reuven Harrison, CTO of the network security solution provider, Tufin.

He feels the need for compliance at many enterprises will force them to enhance their security, which may be difficult considering the rapid rate of project initiation and completion in the DevOps era. Ultimately, it is better to be safe than sorry. “We may see a major breach that gets tracked back to the DevOps approach, causing DevOps and security teams to become new best friends,” commented Harrison.

Be sure to return to the Betica Blog for additional insights from the ever changing world of software development. As always, thanks for reading!

2017 Trends in Software Development

With the New Year now upon us, it becomes a great time to take a look at some of the major trends impacting the world of software development. Understanding the shifts in a continually evolving industry helps position your application engineering team for success both now and in the future. Maybe your shop is already part of making these trends the new reality in the technology sector?

Chat-based Tech becomes Commonplace for Developers

Last year, we talked about the use of ChatOps for software development teams, allowing engineers and QA staff to use smart chatbots to streamline portions of the process. Users can easily start builds, test scripts, automate virtual environments, and more using a simple messaging app that keeps the entire team in the loop.

One of the most popular technology trends for 2017 is the increased use of chatbots and Business Bots throughout the business world. Expect chatbot usage to greatly expand among software developers. The era of DevOps requires efficiency, communication, and collaboration, with chatbots and ChatOps making life easier for all.

Another notable 2017 business trend is Advanced Collaboration, and the use of chatbots is helping to make this reality happen for developers and other departments within many technology businesses.

Mobile App Development grows in Importance at Businesses

Mobile apps have been around since before the introduction of the iPhone. Their increased use at businesses of all sizes – especially at smaller organizations – is a predicted trend in the tech world for 2017. Nearly half of all small businesses are expected to leverage mobile apps in their daily operations over the next year, according to the mobile development platform, Biznessapps.

Software development shops focusing on business apps need to look at ramping up their Android and iOS development efforts. Java remains the language of choice for the majority of Android projects, while Swift is gaining on Objective-C for iOS initiatives.

Docker becomes Mainstream at Development Shops

Many businesses strive for continuous deployment to stay competitive in the modern business world. This is one of the reasons for the popularity of Agile as a methodology and DevOps or Tribes as an organizational structure. This places the onus on development teams to leverage a wide variety of tools to make processes more efficient, like Docker for migrating applications across virtual production, development, and QA environments.

In 2017, Docker, as well as other package-based tools, are expected to become commonplace at shops across most business sectors. Vagrant, which works like Docker but is able to package an entire environment, is another similar application now becoming the standard for managing virtual development environments. Virtualization and packages are now a must for nearly all application engineering shops.

Functional Programming keeps Cloud Servers running Smoothly

As more and more mobile devices connect to the Internet – with their users expecting a seamless experience – servers on the Cloud need to prevent becoming bogged down in a massive amount of traffic and requests. Enter functional programming. Functional languages, like Clojure and Scala, are essentially stateless, allowing them to run more efficiently in parallel on servers using different processor cores or in distributed environments.

2017 is expected to see a rise in popularity of these and other functional programming languages, given the continued growth of the Cloud and mobile device connectivity.

Keep an eye on these trends throughout the upcoming year to see if they come to fruition. Check back regularly at the Betica Blog for additional dispatches from the world of software development. Thanks for reading!

The Apache Foundation and the World of Open Source Software

There’s no denying the continuing influence of open source software on the modern business world. Many of the most important innovations in software technology happened because of open source. Some notable examples include the ubiquitous HTTP server, Apache, the distributed computing framework, Hadoop, as well as modern NoSQL databases like Cassandra and CouchDB.

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) remains one of the most important incubators of these kinds of applications, including the four examples mentioned above. Let’s take a closer look at its history and relevant accomplishments to inspire your own team’s development work. Maybe you will find a useful application to make your software engineering process easier?

A Rich History of supporting Software Development

The Apache Foundation grew from the team responsible for the Apache HTTP server. Development first began on that project in 1993, with many of the initial team agreeing to incorporate as a non-profit entity in 1999. As a US 501(c)(3) charitable organization, the ASF receives support and funding from a variety of individual contributors and corporate supporters.

The Foundation’s framework protects the intellectual property involved with its own development work. It also helps to limit any legal exposure for those involved in contributing to the various applications managed by the ASF. The foundation currently includes 500 members and 4,500 contributors working on a variety of projects.

ASF members are individuals who have shown a history of supporting open source principles. They get nominated and are subsequently voted upon by the existing membership. Earning ASF membership status is a feather in the cap of anyone involved in software development.

This organizational structure allows applications to be developed and supported by the ASF once they enter the public domain. In addition to the software built in-house, thousands of enterprise-level programs are distributed freely under the Apache license. The benefits the ASF provides to modern business world are essentially incalculable.

Interesting Apache Projects for Developers

Apache doesn’t only incubate and support full applications; included among the Foundation’s projects are a whole host of libraries suitable for use in a wide array of applications. Java developers looking for an ORM tool when working with relational databases need to check out Apache Cayenne. It provides a user-friendly environment for creating data models and defining business requirements with easy portability to any JDBC-compliant database.

Writing logging code is a time-consuming necessity for many software developers. Apache provides a logging framework, usable at no charge, supporting many popular languages, including Java, PHP, C++, C#, and Visual Basic. This saves software shops valuable time, allowing them to concentrate on the core parts of their applications.

Apache Subversion is used by many software development organizations for source code management and version control. It is an example of a project first developed outside Apache that entered the incubator program, and is now a top-level project at the Foundation. It is the source code program of choice for ASF projects.

Chances are excellent you use at least one application either developed at the ASF or released to the public under the open source Apache license. The Foundation and its work is a true example of what can be accomplished by the open source software community.

Keep coming back to the Betica Blog for additional insights from the world of software development. As always, thanks for reading!