The ability to ship software quickly is now a competitive advantage for every business. As a result, continuous delivery, distributed microservices, containers and asynchronous computing have become the norm.
With these changes, come new complexities, markets and dev tool players. It’s clear that the biggest levers for business success rely on developer productivity. Great developer tools have a dramatic impact on how quickly and how well software is built.
Heavybit’s community of developer-focused entrepreneurs, advisors and investors reflect on the major trends of 2015:
- Continuous Delivery is Mainstream. “Continuous delivery is starting to become the norm, rather than just the bleeding edge,” says Edith Harbaugh, CEO and co-founder at LaunchDarkly. “Even huge corporations are adopting a release of once daily where they used to be once every three years. They are seeing a corresponding increase in developer productivity and user value.”
- Packaged Applications Replaced by SaaS. “In 2015 we’re finally getting the tools we need to orchestrate, monitor, and maintain service-oriented architectures with lots of small, independently controlled moving parts.” Says Ben Sigelman, co-creator of Google’s Dapper distributed tracing system, “The forthcoming architectural decomposition is going to turn software development on its head. Subsystems that used to be integrated as packaged applications will now be integrated as services, and the entire developer toolchain will need to adjust accordingly.”
- All Companies Become Software Companies. “Executive teams finally appreciate DevOps as they transition to becoming software organizations. Their competitive advantage is defined by their ability to write better software faster than their competitors,” says Lenny Pruss, Principal at Redpoint Ventures. “Consequently, DevOps and continuous delivery practices are transitioning from being nebulous concepts to actual initiatives that are being put into practice. Almost every organization I’ve talked to is actively re-evaluating how they deploy.”
- Modular development is here to stay. Says Bessemer Venture Partners’ Ethan Kurzweil, “Services like npm that facilitate the sharing and deployment of code modules will usher in a new era of collaboration among developers.”
- Revenue Traction in Dev Sales. “For anyone selling developer tools, there is a big question of monetization,” says Ian Saunders, CTO and co-founder at BillForward. “These sort of tools were sold as large license deals. The issue with this is that there was friction to upgrade, and a massive push to re-sell product rather than reinvesting in existing product. This area of pricing has seen a lot of traction, allowing developer tool companies to sell their tools in a more modern way.”
- Infrastructure as code is all the buzz. “By having your infrastructure as code, it’s far easier to automate builds and deploys and manage change,” says Neil Mansilla, VP of developer relations at Runscope. “The first AutomaCon, an Infrastructure as Code conference, showed that many developers were interested in adopting infrastructure as code but hadn’t put it into production yet, so the trend will likely grow as more developers and companies learn to adopt and implement it.”
- Container Category as an Ecosystem. Noah Zoschke, CTO and co-founder at Convox adds, “Everyone is working on building new tools and services for this container future (i.e. Weave container networking and visualization). AWS Lambda looks like a potentially huge breakthrough, eliminating everything about servers and providing ‘magic containers’ that spin up on demand to events.”
- Automation no longer requires a Heavyweight PaaS. “Containers are enforcing a uniformity of interface that will allow the types of automation that previously required a heavyweight PaaS, and therefore are opening up new niches and product categories,” says Cliff Moon, CEO and co-founder at Opsee.
- Data and Analytics Management Evolves. Says Justin Johnson, VP of developer advocacy at Keen IO. “The conversation is rapidly changing in the data analytics space — from how to aggregate data and make it available for the business to consume, to how to create a robust and fluid data pipeline.”
- Distributed Tools Require Greater Visibility. “Developers usually like to build their own tools, but first-in-class dev tool providers remind us that we have better things to do than build outside of our core competency,” says Hiro Yoshikawa, CEO and co-founder at Treasure Data. “As developers increase the number of tools they use, the need for integration and visibility increases. Businesses must integrate data sources (web, mobile, IoT, SaaS) and target systems (databases, CRM, visualization tools, notification systems). As a result, there’s a rise in new tools trying to solve this problem in the data and analytics space.”
- Dev to production parity remains challenging. Says Tal Weiss, CEO and co-founder at Takipi, “With continuous integration, you get to deliver features faster and see your code making an immediate impact. The problem is that a fast changing production environment amplifies vulnerabilities. No matter how much time and effort goes into testing and staging environments, your code is really only truly tested in production. This is a problem domain that attracts lots of interest as the answer lies with better tooling.”
- Continuous Integration Demands Continuous QA. “Companies who are implementing CI are hitting a bottleneck when it comes to QA. They’ve begun to realize that multiple daily releases require continuous QA practices and tools.” says Fred Stevens-Smith, CEO and co-founder at Rainforest QA.