The Top 5 2016 Trends That Are Changing Software Development By Omed Habib
Software development is a moving target. You have to keep your eye on trends in the tech space that haven’t even happened yet just to stay current. Consider what’s happened with augmented reality (AR) in this year alone. If you said you were working on an AR app in 2015, you might have gotten a lot of blank stares or jokes about Google Glass. Then Pokémon GO happened. Like AR, the trends listed below have been building steam for some time, but they’ll be taking off in surprising new directions before the end of 2016. Here’s an overview of what’s coming next and what software developers can do to prepare for it.
1. Linking Application Performance and Business Performance Application performance management (APM) has grown incredibly sophisticated over the past decade. By 2010, Gartner had defined five dimensions of end-to-end performance for best-in-class software:
Monitoring how the end user experiences the application and surfacing discontents
Defining the scope of problems in execution, runtime architecture, and communications
Mapping out user-defined transactions across components (a.k.a. business transaction management)
Tools for going deeper into the components identified as sources of the problems
Behavioral learning analytics for patterns of breakdowns and issue forecasting
Management has been so impressed with the results of reducing Mean Time to Resolution (MTTR), they want to apply these lessons to reduce the overall Mean Time to Business Awareness (MTBA). Today, highly advanced tools like AppDynamics are doing more than organizing the priorities of development teams. Real-time insights into the customer experience can auto-correlate the relationship between specific performance data and business goals.
At AppSphere 2016, David Wadhwani, President and CEO at AppDynamics, explained it best:
“I can’t say this enough: there are very few times in a person’s career where you’re sitting on a precipice of a change like this. Take advantage of it. Accelerate your careers, redefine your goals. Don’t think of yourselves as IT professionals, think of yourselves as business owners who happen to run the technology as well.”
Ultimately, the application of APM expectations into MTBA measurements is aiding CIOs in understanding how technical choices and priorities impact a business. More than ever, that’s what the CIO is expected to explain to senior managers. At the intersection of technology and finance, the role of the CIO has become the locus for all the most critical data analytics.
2. Application Teams as Human Microservices The microservices model applies to more than just software. Software tends to match the organizational structure of the design team, just as the switch from waterfall to agile required a restructuring of development teams.
Teams of application developers have always shared out projects like sub-routines or specific software integrations. What’s different in 2016 is that software engineering teams are acting more like independent business units. The microservices model has happened in companies like Google and Amazon, where individual and autonomous “application teams” are organized around specific business objectives. At Google, these application teams include a crucial new role: Site Reliability Engineers (SRE) who combine development and operations skills. As Google’s Ben Treynor defined it, “The SRE is fundamentally doing work that has historically been done by an operations team, but using engineers with software expertise, and banking on the fact that these engineers are inherently both predisposed to, and have the ability to, substitute automation for human labor.”
Figure 1: Decoupled applications with autonomous application teams centered around individual business capabilities
In the year ahead, expect this to spread to more organizations inside and outside of the software industry. You will see more work teams that include their own developers, deployment models, performance engineers, business analysts and product management teams. Like miniature companies within a company, they will operate as autonomous groups responsible for innovation, execution, deployment, application performance monitoring, and business performance monitoring.
In early experiments with this sort of microservices team structure, here are some of the challenges that commonly arise:
Displaced business priorities: When the microservice goal becomes the team’s primary responsibility, they may pull off course from the overall company strategy, strengthening the argument that more insight into business performance is necessary.
Microservices that don’t communicate: APIs connecting the functions of microservices can fall between the cracks as teams argue over who is responsible for making sure that they work together. Attaching and detaching microservices from the main functionality of the application is never as easy in practice as it is in theory.
Struggles with team cohesion: Many developers have developed their skills in isolation and may have difficulty aligning their work habits with a tighter team structure.
In the end, it can only work in the presence of leaders who reinforce communication, collaboration, and success measurements among application teams.
3. Microservices, Containers, and DevOps One of the most massive shifts in the world of software development hit at the same time as the dot-com bubble. It was the shift from monolithic apps residing on bare metal to distributed applications populating virtual machines. This was partially due to the improved reliability of networked infrastructures. However, it was also a reaction to waterfall development methodologies built on the aging manufacturing model of ideation to coding to testing to production, and then shifting into maintenance mode. This was the period that introduced agile methodologies that made much more sense in the bootstrapping world of software startups.
The point is that we are now headed into another shift that will be at least that pervasive. It has grown out of agile concepts like interactions over processes, minimal viable products and responses over planning. The emerging app-driven world will be defined by the rules of DevOps, where feature development and application performance monitoring have to happen simultaneously. Enterprise software is now a whirling mass of microservices, APIs, and containers in constant communication with each other through the hybrid cloud.
Agile was a powerful framework for development teams, but agile couldn’t keep up with the demands of near perfect uptime and spiraling customer experience expectations. At the same time, it’s clear that developers and testers can have critical inputs into solving operational issues. Everyone suffers when there is internal friction between functionality and security.
When you combine this trend with the AP to BP bridge, the image emerges of a new and comprehensive BizDevOps. It will fold business strategy and analysis into the DevOps formula.
4. Scale as a Service Popularity can be a problem, as too many startups have discovered. Brooks’ Law, established four decades ago but still disputed, states unequivocally that, “Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.” Updating Brooks’ Law for the age of enterprise application development means adding warnings like “Rails doesn’t scale,” and “Green dashboards make users see red.”
Going into 2017, watch the boom in vendors supporting services like Elasticsearch to help applications scale without blowing up. To help them get ready to scale, the majority of companies running software are using a mixture of six clouds, both public and private. Three are used for running their applications and another three are used for innovating their next level of services and features.
There are many sides to scaling issues, like bigger nodes vs. more nodes, so scaling up has to be done as a company-wide collaboration. Channel vendors are better positioned to see the bigger picture of inter-related adjustments to security, stability, performance, and cost.
In a turbulent market, which won’t be calming down in the foreseeable future, the ability to scale rapidly is the most essential survival skill.
5. Remote Work and Crowdsourcing In the past, remote work was merely a geographical extension of work. Managers oversaw projects and directed teams of developers. Instead of the team being in another wing of the building, the team moved to another time zone. The biggest structural change in the relationship was the communication channel from in-person to collaboration tech. In many cases, the application performance monitoring (APM) and Business iQ platform served as the collaboration engine, with voice/video/chat software like Skype or Slack on top.
What’s happening in 2016 is that the concept of crowdsourcing is further abstracting the work from the worker to take advantage of the model’s essential efficiencies. The manager still sets expectations and manages routines, but now the coder’s primary transaction is with automation. They submit code and move on to the next assignment. Managers many not even know the people (or bots) who submitted the code.
A good example is Elastic.co, the 100 percent remote-driven group that created Elasticsearch. The open-source ELK stack (Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana) has built up enough contributors to challenge Splunk for the log analysis market. Flexjobs lists 125 virtual companies running on globally distributed teams so far this year, up from 76 a year ago, and only 26 in 2014.
Moving Ahead of the Trends There are several ways AppDynamics can help businesses take advantage of areas where the latest trends are converging and take on a leadership position. Microservices iQ is good way to efficiently track microservices deployed in elastic infrastructures, such as containers or clouds where nodes scale up and down rapidly. Use Business iQ to transform your application performance monitoring into business results. Advance your digital transformation, discover real-time business awareness, and improve customer experiences with deep application analytics.
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All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.
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Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expensive intermediate processes from their businesses.
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While Artificial Intelligence (AI) may not be a new concept, its contribution to automation may just change the face of business. AI's conception dates as far back as 1950, when Alan Turing proposed the Turing test in order to evaluate a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behavior. Fast-forward a couple of decades and research led to the creation of well-known theoretical tools such as Fuzzy Logic, Bayesian Networks, Markov Models and Neural Networks. Concurrently, new types of programming languages such as Prolog, LISP and Smalltalk set the scene for most of the modern interpreted langu...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In a recent post, titled “10 Surprising Facts About Cloud Computing and What It Really Is”, Zac Johnson highlighted some interesting facts about cloud computing in the SMB marketplace:
Cloud Computing is up to 40 times more cost-effective for an SMB, compared to running its own IT system.
94% of SMBs have experienced security benefits in the cloud that they didn’t have with their on-premises service
Gaining visibility in today’s sprawling cloud infrastructure is complex and laborious, involving drilling down into tools offered by various cloud services providers. Enterprise IT organizations need smarter and effective tools at their disposal in order to address this pertinent problem. Gaining a 360 - degree view of the cloud costs requires collection and analysis of the cost data across all cloud infrastructures used inside an enterprise.
The high barrier to entry prevents many companies from tapping into the full potential of machine learning. But what if you could make it more accessible?
We’re in the midst of a data explosion, with today’s enterprises amassing goldmines of information (25 quintillion bytes of data every day, according to some reports). But what exactly are they doing with this data? Considering the volume of data being collected is quickly becoming unmanageable, now is a good time to shift from manual machine learning to a cognitive approach. This enables businesses to better capitalize on their data and fa...
Blockchain offers impeccable security with its cryptography-based decentralized system as well as the plethora of possible uses retailers could exploit in the near future.
In a world of increasing cyberattacks, internet fraud and online hacking, blockchain comes as a breath of fresh air. With its encrypted data and decentralized network system, it's a thorn in every hacker's side. Generally being associated with the finance sector, blockchain is now taking retail by storm. It's on a course that will change the retail industry as we know it. But how exactly is it going to achieve such a feat?
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone innovative products that help customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infras...
By Gopala Krishna Behara; Sridhar Chalasani; Tirumala Khandrika
The goal of Microservices is to improve software delivery speed and increase system safety as scale increases. Microservices being modular these are faster to change and enables an evolutionary architecture where systems can change, as the business needs change. Microservices can scale elastically and by being service oriented can enable APIs natively. Microservices also reduce implementation and release cycle time and enables continuous delivery. This paper provides a logical overview of the Microservices Reference Architecture that highlights various sub systems needed to support Microservic...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of busin...
Our work, both with clients and with tools, has lead us to wonder how it is that organizations are handling compliance issues in the cloud. The big cloud vendors offer compliance for their infrastructure, but the shared responsibility model requires that you take certain steps to meet compliance requirements. Which lead us to start poking around a little more. We wanted to get a picture of what was available, and how it was being used. There is a lot of fluidity in this space, as in all things cloud. The fact that DevOps Security plays into the cloud compliance model – particularly in dynamic ...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, which can process our conversational commands and orchestrate the outcomes we request across our persona...
The notion of improving operational efficiency is conspicuously absent from the healthcare debate - neither Obamacare nor the newly proposed GOP plan discusses the impact that a step-function improvement in efficiency could have on access to healthcare (through more capacity), quality of healthcare services (through reduced wait times for patients) or cost (through better utilization of scarce, expensive assets).
In an attempt to put the patient first in healthcare, Congress and President Obama in 2015 approved a bipartisan bill for United States healthcare reform. The bill is known as “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015,” or MACRA. Among the major provisions of MACRA is the Quality Payment Program. Under the Quality Payment Program, physicians and nurses receive positive, neutral or negative Medicare payment adjustments based upon a “Patient Satisfaction Score,” that is, patient satisfaction scores have a direct impact on how physicians, physician assistants, nurses, and hospital’s g...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to show how companies develop, deploy, and dynamically update these applications and how this data-firs...
The “Internet of Things” is an exciting area of tech, one in which industry experts estimate there will be more than 30 billion connected IoT devices by 2020. IoT is the inter-networking and instrumentation of physical devices – everything from streets, cars, factories, power grids, ice caps, satellites, and clothing to phones, microwaves, milk containers, planets, human bodies, etc.
IoT creates an opportunity to measure, collect and analyze an ever-increasing variety of behavioral statistics. That being said, data, and more importantly insight into the data, is key for enhanced business val...
Most of us understand that artificial intelligence (AI) offers opportunities for productivity improvements in the form of speed, automation, standardized actions and responses, plus the opportunity for continuous improvements via machine learning. These opportunities are enabled by data inputs that are analyzed and processed through AI algorithms that execute a desired decision and action. For all of the great capabilities and benefits that AI can provide, there is also a potential dark side. AI solutions can easily codify our prejudices, bias, gender stereotypes and promote injustices intenti...
Gone are the days when application development was the daunting task of the highly skilled developers backed with strong IT skills, low code application development has democratized app development and empowered a new generation of citizen developers.
There was a time when app development was in the domain of people with complex coding and technical skills. We called these people by various names like programmers, coders, techies, and they usually worked in a world oblivious of the everyday priorities of the business world. However, with the passage of time, this scenario is much more democr...
It’s conference season and, as you might expect, Jason and I have been on the road covering a bunch of them. It’s always great to see what the disruptive players in the market are doing — and this year did not disappoint. But there is one thing that repeatedly happens that just gets under my skin: transformation-washing.
As Jason explained in a Forbes article over a year ago, ‘washing’ is when a vendor (or pundit) applies a buzzword loosely in an overt attempt to attach themselves to its buzz. And transformation-washing is rampant.
Networks have become large, complex entities that are increasingly difficult to manage and control. Security, audit, risk and compliance professionals know that their organizations rely on them for effective risk management, control and governance processes that are essential to the safety of their network environment. Yet compliance and security are more challenging than ever before as additional layers are added to this environment.
One of the challenges lies in the fact that there is an ongoing, huge access gap in network security and compliance – and it has been residing within the enviro...