It’s 2019, which means a whole new year of advancements in all areas of technology. One topic that is near and dear to my “cloud” heart is the acceleration and maturation of development and test (DevTest) scenarios and solutions in the public and hybrid cloud space.
I’ve been talking with folks and presenting on the movement of Dev/Test to the public and hybrid cloud for a couple of years now, and I have progressively learned a couple of things from those with which I have had great and sometimes very frank discussions. First, I learned that the definition of DevTest has expanded exponentially, with the movement to the different clouds. Second, I found that the terminology of “DevTest” just doesn’t fit a single threaded way of thinking any longer, such as “It’s just for developers.” Let’s take a closer look at these.
Back when I was a young technician just starting in the new world of IT, I was working primarily with programmers (they weren’t called developers or devs back then) who would sit in front of their green screens, writing huge applications with COBOL and RPG, or maybe writing shell scripts on a Unix system. They would test their code in different environments that were always on the same infrastructure that the production code was running (which we all know these days is wrong, right?). They didn’t have secondary hardware or OS installations to test against because it was just too expensive to accommodate and most of the code could not support that separation.
Fast forward the clock almost 30 years, and now the developers need to have logically separated and secure environments to provide accurate and meaningful testing of the code that is “born in the cloud” as well as those created on-premises. The next few years will bring a big push for developers to have their own self-service environments, extensive code portability and more secure isolation for their code. By utilizing container technologies, automation and rapid deploy processes for their code, more development groups will eventually become their own application development as a service.
DevTest solutions are also moving far beyond just testing code. Quality Assurance (QA) is already a substantial consumer of the cloud for their load, smoke and regression testing. I predict that there will be a huge advent across all roles within IT—and not just the ones of development and QA—that will take the plunge into the DevTest solutions. They will be running release scenarios on their rapidly and continuously updated OS versions, on all of the software-defined environments, while also adding software patch testing and issue mitigations.
Knowledge transfer, training and E-Learning also will increase the use of these landscapes over the coming years, with everything from purpose-built labs, globally connected classrooms and even enterprises expanding their hands-on learning management system (LMS) offerings to their employees and customers.
Finally, I would suggest that there will be an inflection point in the coming years in which the use of private, hybrid and public clouds for DevTest—and, eventually, production—will become transparent to the user to the point that, within the overall vision of what you need to accomplish, what cloud or combinations of clouds you utilize won’t matter any longer. Eventually, for infrastructure as a service (IaaS) at least, the cloud will go the way of hardware, which has largely become a commodity in the new evolution of the modern software-defined data center.
Technology is moving incredibly fast these days, especially when compared to the days of old when I was coming through the ranks in IT. The DevTest solutions will continue to evolve, progress much faster and touch more people in technology—and even other professions—than ever before. Start building a solid DevTest design and implementation plan for whatever your business and IT goals may be, and invest in the solution for all of your IT functions. By embracing and utilizing what is available in the hybrid and public cloud space for DevTest, IT will be empowering more productivity and faster execution moving into 2019 and well beyond.