Over the past decade, there has been a wellspring of apps, services and platforms to help developers build custom solutions for businesses. Some are great, some not so much. Regardless of quality, the quantity of options and each one’s varying level of sophistication has made it difficult for developers to separate the wheat from the chaff.
A recent survey from IDC supports this notion. It contends that the current landscape of software development languages and frameworks is highly fragmented. Having too many options—as opposed to a single, unified environment—leads to holes and disconnects in the development process, not to mention the potential for significant complications in the long-term support of today’s apps.
Here are some ways developers can navigate the challenges created by this high level of fragmentation.
Don’t Be Afraid of Low-Code (or No-Code) Solutions
The IDC survey found that less than half of developers—44%—have used low-code development tools professionally at one point or another. As one would surmise, low-code programming brings with it a host of advantages, such as easy-to-use and intuitive interfaces, and the ability to deliver applications faster.
Some low-code platforms also enable developers to build applications that can be used on any device while also reducing dependency on outsourced IT. A built-in script builder can allow even relatively inexperienced developers to turn complex business logic into functional workflows—such as automating a repetitive task—within a matter of minutes. Even after apps are launched, workflows can be updated and customized to fit specific business needs nearly instantly.
Achieve Scale with Serverless Applications
When building on a serverless platform, developers prevent infrastructure maintenance from inhibiting applications from scaling globally. This also allows developers to build mobile apps without managing the backend infrastructure. Cloud computing using public clouds typically involves renting virtualized servers across the technology stack. But when looking to scale, the onus is on developers to deal with the operating system and database while also managing necessary updates. This can lead to a work-intensive process on the app infrastructure level.
A serverless infrastructure, on the other hand, abstracts databases and file servers, shifting focus to the app logic level. This allows developers to build and manage microservice-based apps that integrate with other services, making it easy to scale applications.
Make Things Easy on Your Team
According to the IDC survey, just 20% of developers claim they are “extremely familiar” with containers and microservices. With such expertise hard to find, using flexible tools that allow teams to quickly deploy code in scalable, compartmentalized components is vital.
Organizations should aim to help their developers focus more on designing top-class user experiences of serverless applications, rather than spending (or wasting) time and resources on setting up and maintaining components on the server side. This gives developers the ability to focus on doing what they love—developing—as opposed to other tedious and mundane activities such as manually managing servers and storage solutions, or tweaking the underlying infrastructure of their microservices.
Of course, making things easier for developers means deploying a powerful tool built on a stable foundation that can offer SDKs and APIs for both mobile and web apps, the ability to test early and often in a sandbox environment and analytics that monitor and report performance in real-time.
Developers know just how challenging their jobs can be, and the fragmentation that can occur due to the vast number of options on the market can make it even worse. There is nothing wrong with using multiple solutions, of course, but having a sturdy and unified underlying infrastructure goes a long way toward avoiding unnecessary headaches.
Finally, organizations should look to those who know best when deciding which company-wide tools to implement: the developers themselves. As the IDC study states, developers should be viewed as key stakeholders in IT purchasing within any organization moving to the cloud accompanied by an internal digital transformation.