What 2020 brings for the developer, and more industry trends

A weekly look at open source community and industry trends.
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As part of my role as a senior product marketing manager at an enterprise software company with an open source development model, I publish a regular update about open source community, market, and industry trends for product marketers, managers, and other influencers. Here are five of my and their favorite articles from that update.

How developers will work in 2020

Developers have been spending an enormous amount of time on everything *except* making software that solves problems. ‘DevOps’ has transmogrified from ‘developers releasing software’ into ‘developers building ever more complex infrastructure atop Kubernetes’ and ‘developers reinventing their software as distributed stateless functions.’ In 2020, ‘serverless’ will mature. Handle state. Handle data storage without requiring devs to learn yet-another-proprietary-database-service. Learning new stuff is fun-but shipping is even better, and we’ll finally see systems and services that support that.

The impact: A lot of forces are converging to give developers superpowers. There are ever more open source building blocks in place; thousands of geniuses are collaborating to make developer workflows more fun and efficient, and artificial intelligences are being brought to bear solving the types of problems a developer might face. On the one hand, there is clear leverage to giving developer superpowers: if they can make magic with software they'll be able to make even bigger magic with all this help. On the other hand, imagine if teachers had the same level of investment and support. Makes ya wonder don't it?

2020 forecast: Cloud-y with a chance of hybrid

Behind this growth is an array of new themes and strategies that are pushing cloud further up business agendas the world over. With ‘emerging’ technologies, such as AI and machine learning, containers and functions, and even more flexibility available with hybrid cloud solutions being provided by the major providers, it’s no wonder cloud is set to take centre stage.

The impact: Hybrid cloud finally has the same level of flesh that public cloud and on-premises have. Over the course of 2019 especially the competing visions offered for what it meant to be hybrid formed a composite that drove home why someone would want it. At the same time more and more of the technology pieces that make hybrid viable are in place and maturing. 2019 was the year that people truly "got" hybrid. 2020 will be the year that people start to take advantage of it.

The no-code delusion

Increasingly popular in the last couple of years, I think 2020 is going to be the year of “no code”: the movement that says you can write business logic and even entire applications without having the training of a software developer. I empathise with people doing this, and I think some of the “no code” tools are great. But I also thing it’s wrong at heart.

The impact: I've heard many devs say it over many years: "software development is hard." It would be a mistake to interpret that as "all software development is equally hard." What I've always found hard about learning to code is trying to think in a way that a computer will understand. With or without code, making computers do complex things will always require a different kind of thinking.

All things Java

The open, multi-vendor model has been a major strength—it’s very hard for any single vendor to pioneer a market for a sustained period of time—and taking different perspectives from diverse industries has been a key strength of the evolution of Java. Choosing to open source Java in 2006 was also a decision that only worked to strengthen the Java ecosystem, as it allowed Sun Microsystems and later Oracle to share the responsibility of maintaining and evolving Java with many other organizations and individuals.

The impact: The things that move quickly in technology are the things that can be thrown away. When you know you're going to keep something for a long time, you're likely to make different choices about what to prioritize when building it. Disposable and long-lived both have their places, and the Java community made enough good decisions over the years that the language itself can have a foot in both camps.

I hope you enjoyed this list of what stood out to me from last week and come back next Monday for more open source community, market, and industry trends.

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Tim Hildred stands with arms crossed.
I'm Tim. I like to write about how technology affects people, and vice versa. I’m constantly engaging with the news, tech, and culture with an eye to building the best possible sci-fi future.

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