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Predictions from Patrick McFadin, Amanda Brock, Donnie Berkholz, & Frank Reno

2022 Outlook – Developer Experience, automation, & data

JAXenter Editorial Team
© Shutterstock / eamesBot

What does 2022 hold for developer experience, automation, and data? We asked the experts about their new year predictions for the upcoming year. How will developer experience develop, how will automation develop, what should developers automate, and what will be important in 2022?

What will happen around Developer Experience, and why will that be important in 2022?

Donnie Berkholz, Senior Vice President Product, Percona: Developer experience involves making it easier for your teams to be happy and productive. Cloud providers and software vendors have put time and effort into making their tools easy to use, and enterprises want to offer this to their internal teams as well.

What will this mean for enterprises in 2022? They will put more self-service infrastructure and services together for their developers, so they can spawn instances and be productive faster. They will deliver the same kind of experience that public cloud providers are known for, but they will do this on their own internal systems so they can keep control over where things run or get deployed. This will also make it easier for those teams to move applications through their lifecycle from development and test into production.

In 2022, enterprises want to provide the same level of speed and efficiency around getting things set up, but across their IT stacks. For companies running private clouds or running services within their own public-cloud accounts, this is about getting parity with competitors that fully commit to high-level services in a public cloud. Any investments that get made here are about making that self-service approach to building applications work, and work quickly.

Those more traditional companies want to deliver the same benefits that cloud-native companies have in place, in order to keep their developers happy, and ensure they don’t move to other companies to find fulfilment in their roles.

Frank Reno, Principal Product Manager and Open Source Ambassador, Sumo Logic: Companies need to remember that the developer is the key persona to focus on. You need to make them successful, give them a delightful experience and remove any friction for them. This enables them to move fast and focus on what they really need to, which is developing their applications for their customers.

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Cloud providers and software vendors have put time and effort into making their tools easy to use, and enterprises want to offer this to their internal teams as well.

How will automation develop in the coming year and what processes will developers automate more?

Donnie Berkholz, Percona: I think developers want more self-service options to get their software implemented and into the hands of their users more quickly. This provides for a rapid feedback loop, rather than keeping developers distant from the experience their software creates. This means more deployments can get into production faster.

Alongside this, I think more developers will deploy as code and make use of version control to manage their infrastructure. This makes it easier to see how the infrastructure is set up and how management tasks get carried out, making it easier to automate and deploy workloads.

Frank Reno, Sumo Logic: In the coming year, automation for processes like code integration and application deployment will happen faster.

This is true for two main reasons. First, there is no need to wait on a human to be ready before a process can start. Deploying a new release at 2 a.m., manually, may not be possible when you are relying on a human to execute the process. With automation tools, there is no delay.

The second reason is that automated processes tend to be executed faster. An engineer who is manually deploying a new release will need to assess the environment, type out configurations, manually verify that the new version was deployed successfully, and so on. In contrast, an automation tool can perform these operations almost instantaneously.

Deploying a new release at 2 a.m., manually, may not be possible when you are relying on a human to execute the process. With automation tools, there is no delay.

In an ideal world, you would fully automate everything, in the real world you often have to pick and choose what to prioritize when building automation. This decision is different for every developer team, but in general, we expect processes like Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery, Software Testing and Monitoring to be more automated.

Patrick McFadin, Vice President Developer Relations, DataStax: “This is an area that I’ve been spending a lot of time in the past year. Running your data inside Kubernetes will be the dominant way we deploy our applications in the future. Some organizations have been early adopters in this trend and have seen tremendous benefits. Faster development cycles. Better consistency. Lower failure rates. If you are embracing cloud native and don’t have a plan for running your data in Kubernetes then you should be working on that today. It will be a differentiating competency for being competitive in fast moving markets.”

What will happen around data in 2022, and why should developers care?

Patrick McFadin, DataStax: “Data is going through a very interesting phase right now. Data has been a detached part of the application data stack that was separated from everything else. Now it’s woven into every aspect of an application beyond just getting and putting data. Streaming, analytics, machine learning, and AI. All of these are combined into a final product that gets deployed as a whole. Developers need and want access to powerful data services to build new applications. That doesn’t mean they want to learn or use a database.”

Amanda Brock, CEO, OpenUK: Data is essential to how businesses operate today, and developers build those applications and tools that create, consume and use data every day. The thirst for data – and for data applications that use data to create results – is not going to go away. So developers will have to take over running those services and applications over time. If you build it, expect to have to run and support it too. That will mean more developers will have to understand things like data governance and ethics too, and put those understandings into practice in their code.

Developers will want more self-service options around data. They want to get reliable services and databases in place so they can build their applications quickly, but they don’t want the hassle of the operational side.

This approach to infrastructure will also necessitate more use of open data approaches, and there will be a great deal of work on opening up our data in a GDPR compliant way. For example, the UK Government is working on a refresh to its Data Protection laws and this is aimed to create a more practical regime for small companies around using data effectively. If they can get the balance right, then this will be an advantage for UK companies.

Donnie Berkholz, Percona: Developers will want more self-service options around data. They want to get reliable services and databases in place so they can build their applications quickly, but they don’t want the hassle of the operational side. To overcome this, some will pick DBaaS, some will look at Kubernetes and databases together, and some will use serverless options that get managed for them.

Those approaches won’t be right for everyone – for some, owning and running databases will be essential to them, because they will want to look at the whole approach that they take. This will be mainly companies in the tech space, where they are further ahead on the development curve, and where they see opportunities to differentiate or improve their performance by doing this themselves rather than relying on cloud services. That is particularly important when it comes to cost optimisation too, which is another area where developers will have to get involved.

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