Adopt, assess, or avoid

ThoughtWorks Technology Radar: Assess these Kubernetes tools

Sarah Schlothauer
© Shutterstock /IrinaK

What’s hot, what’s not, and what technology should you say yes to as 2020 rolls in? Tech researchers from ThoughtWorks offer their input in the biannual Technology Radar. This issue highlights some rising tech techniques that you should adopt, what Kubernetes tools you should have a look at, and advice regarding cloud adoption.

The latest edition of the biannual Technology Radar from ThoughtWorks assesses various tech frontiers. Tech Radar volume 21 takes a look at major cloud providers, machine learning and explainability, and the software supply chain.

What should you adopt, what should you put on hold, and what tech should you carefully assess? Let’s take a closer look.

Assessing Kubernetes

The use of Kubernetes has grown rapidly, and will likely continue to show increased adoption. Similarly, its security toolset, serverless ecosystem, and service mesh options also continue expanding. ThoughtWorks put some Kubernetes tools on the “assess” list this time around.

The “assess” list means that the particular tech is “worth exploring with the goal of understanding how it will affect your enterprise”.

  • Fission: This Kubernetes-native serverless framework allows devs to write short-lived functions in any language, and then map them to HTTP requests. Thus, running code function is easier, and behind-the-scenes work gets automated.
  • Kuma: Kuma is a platform-agnostic service mesh that runs on both virtual machines and Kubernetes. Built on top of Envoy, it helps build distributed architectures that are ready to scale.
  • MicroK8s: Running Kubernetes on MicroK8s is quick and only requires a few commands. With MicroK8s, developers can develop IoT apps for Kubernetes and deploy them to MicroK8s on Linux boxes. It includes a Docker registry and can be used in CI/CD pipelines.
  • Teleport: Remotely access cloud native infrastructures with Teleport. You can use this security gateway to build role-based access controls with short-lived certificates for Kubernetes. Set up two factor authentication, log events, and isolate critical infrastructure.
  • Falco: Keep up with security and use Falco to detect abnormalities in Kubernetes, Mesosphere, and Cloud Foundry. Falco uses Sysdig’s Linux kernel instrumentation, offering insights into system behavior, and detects abnormal behavior in applications, containers, the host, and/or platform.

Test out these languages

These languages, libraries, and toolkits were given the “trial” verdict, which maintains that the tech is “worth pursuing” for enterprises that can handle the risk.

  • ArrowArrow is a functional programming companion library for Kotlin. It includes data types, type classes, and abstractions. As Kotlin is popular with Android programmers, it supports Android out of the box on API 21 and up.
  • Flutter: With Flutter, devs can write native mobile apps in Dart. Flutter natively compiles for mobile, web, and desktop from one codebase. Its hot reloading feature lets devs quickly experiment with features on the fly with nearly instant visual feedback. This marks the third time that the Tech Radar highlights Flutter.
  • TensorFlowTensorFlow is one of the easiest ways to become familiar with developing and training machine learning models. The ML framework’s 2.0 release added Keras.

SEE ALSO: Is your browser tracking you? Brave and Mozilla Firefox offer privacy solutions

What to avoid

Take note of the following technologies; they have been given the “hold” assessment. This means devs should proceed with caution and perhaps even forgo the tech trend altogether.

  • 10x engineers: A 10x engineer is supposedly someone who works so efficiently, that their output rivals the output of 10 other engineers. Does such a person even exist? ThoughtWorks criticizes this term and claims that it enables companies to excuse “antisocial and damaging behaviors”. Replace the concept of 10x engineers with 10x teams instead.
  • Azure Data Factory for orchestration: The tech radar encourages devs to hold off on using ADF for complex data-processing pipelines.
  • Enzyme: The reason for Enzyme’s low ranking is both its deprecation and the fact that it has mostly been replaced by the React Testing Library.

SEE ALSO: How voice technologies are changing the hospitality industry

Choosing clouds wisely

All clouds are not equal.

In the latest report, ThoughtWorks cautions against testing out new cloud services with little testing and incomplete features.

Companies choose cloud vendors for a variety of factors and often at a high level in the organization. Our advice for teams: don’t assume that all of your designated cloud provider’s services are of equal quality, test out key capabilities and be open to alternative open source options or a polycloud strategy, if your own time-to-market trade-offs merit the operational overhead of managing them.

Download the report and see the assessment in full.

Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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