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2011 Predictions

What Does 2011 Have In Store For Cloud, NoSQl and Node.js?

Jessica Thornsby

RedMonk get one last round of predictions in, for 2011.

It may already be 2011, but there’s just enough time for one last ‘predictions for 2011‘ article, this time from RedMonk co-founder Stephen O’Grady.

Firstly, no set of predictions for 2011 would be complete without some thoughts on cloud computing. Currently, the majority of cloud revenue is generated by IaaS rather than PaaS, but O’Grady predicts that the gap between IaaS and PaaS market share will narrow in 2011, although IaaS will not overtake PaaS over the next twelve months. PaaS may have to adapt in order to survive, with O’Grady suggesting Heroku’s model of offering platforms assembled from standard, or near-standard, components, as an example of what the wider PaaS market may evolve into over the next twelve months.

Interestingly, despite all the talk of rising unemployment figures, O’Grady talks about a shortage of developer talent. “Employers that we speak with, large and small, are desperate for people,” he says, citing RedMonk Analytics data as evidence. He predicts employees will become more creative in their attempts to acquire talent in the future. “Expect hiring to be a challenge in 2011,” he warns all those seeking new employees.

But what about particular technologies? It was a good year for node.js, according to both RedMonk Analytics and Google Trends. Both tools report a spike in incoming developer queries and, bearing in mind the evolution of V8 and Javascript’s popularity, O’Grady predicts interest in node.js will continue to rise. It was also a good year for NoSQL, with a rise in the amount of NoSQL-related projects. In 2011, O’Grady predicts this momentum will naturally diminish as technologically similar projects begin to fight for survival. The RedMonk analyst predicts a consolidation of the NoSQL marketplace in 2011. Hadoop will be another big technology for 2011, according to O’Grady this tool is poised to become the “MySQL of Big Data” as companies take advantage of the falling cost of storage and look to leverage the data they generate in new and profitable ways. 2011 could also be the year of cross platform approaches such as HTML5, as O’Grady predicts the fragmentation of the mobile development landscape will only worsen with the arrival of the Android tablets, making corss platform technologies an attractive option.

For open source in general, things look positive. O’Grady points out that businesses are beginning to see open sourcing software as a legitimate business model. Although this makes their software non-differentiating, making software publicly available can help businesses reduce maintenance costs. O’Grady does anticipate a change in the open source development process though: forking will become commonplace. This is in part due to the popularity of source code management technologies such as Mercurial and Git, and networked implementation of these toolsets. O’Grady theorises that any aversion to forking can usually be attributed to the simple fact that a fork-friendly approach to development is just a “fundamentally different way to develop software.” This initial resistance to anything new, is documented by Joel Spolsky, who writes about his initial confusion regarding Mercurial, turning to an appreciation for the technology, and the conclusion that “I’d go back to C++ before I gave up on Mercurial.” Such stories could become commonplace, if O’Grady is correct about the rise of forking, and fork-enabling technologies in 2011.

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