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!

News from the World of Software Development – December 2016

With the Holiday Season in full force, many technology organizations take a few days to rest up before 2017 begins. Despite the break a few interesting stories from the software development still arose in the past few weeks. Let’s take a look and see if any recent news offers some inspiration for you and your team. If you are interested in last month’s digest, simply click this link.

How Design is transforming the Practice of Software Development

Principles from the world of design are influencing how software gets written, especially at companies leveraging Agile as their methodology of choice. This is the opinion of a December article in ZDNet. The piece explains the similarities of thought between design and Agile as noted by Matt Cooper-Wright, a senior designer at IDEO.

“Both processes seek input from beyond the team doing the work. For designers this is user research, business needs, and technology possibilities. For software development this looks more like a backlogs, user stories, and success metrics. Both processes also embrace iteration and ongoing refinement. Design is more about jumping backwards and forwards where software is the continuous loop of development — but both talk to the same notion of ongoing refinement,” said Cooper-Wright.

Faster release cycles combined with a move towards continuous deployment is a major goal of many shops embracing Agile. Design concepts come into play with elegant user interfaces that serve the needs of end-users. Involving creative professionals during the storyboarding portion of the development cycle (and elsewhere as needed) ensures the final product offers a compelling user experience.

Tom Dabson, software engineering manager at Cognizant, sums up this evolution of application development. “We use design thinking as the approach to solving problems,” Design thinking is centered around truly understanding client needs and opening yourself up to try as many things as possible before coming up with the preferred solution,” commented Dabson.

Apple slowing down Mac Application Development?

The rumors are hot and heavy that Apple is deemphasizing software development for its Mac desktop computers. Engadget reported on this potential news story in late December. Considering the lack of new Mac computers for nearly four years until the recent introduction of an updated MacBook line, it is obvious mobile devices, wearables, and streaming media are Redmond’s major focus.

The article noted the poor battery power of the new MacBook as proof Apple’s engineering focus lies elsewhere. More tellingly, an analyst for Bloomberg reported Apple no longer maintains a dedicated team working on macOS software. Tim Cook denies these rumors when speaking to the press, but the real proof is in the lack of innovation on the Mac side of the shop compared to other areas within Apple.

A quote the late Steve Jobs made to Fortune Magazine 20 years ago rings true concerning the current priorities in Redmond. “If I were running Apple, I would milk the Macintosh for all it’s worth — and get busy on the next great thing. The PC wars are over. Done. Microsoft won a long time ago,” said Jobs.

We hope everyone enjoys their Holiday season, and looks forward to a fruitful 2017. Keep returning to the Betica Blog for additional insights from the ever changing world of software development. Thanks for reading!