Low code, more productivity and closer links to data teams -- development predictions for 2022

crystal ball

In recent years development teams have been under increasing pressure to produce software and updates quickly, a trend that's only been accelerated by COVID-19.

So, what do industry experts think that 2022 has in store for developers?

Gil Hoffer, co-founder and CTO of Salto believes, "The approaches and methodologies applied across DevOps practices will extend further across an organization and move into the business application space. The frameworks pioneered by DevOps are the perfect fit for the business application environment, which requires a much-needed shift to help these teams get on top of rapidly unraveling business applications configuration processes and cross-application integrations. Today's business applications teams don’t always fully understand what is implemented in their systems, but with DevOps practices at play they can better structure day-to-day application management and translate systems into code. It will provide them a streamlined and cohesive view of changes made to these applications and will let them better visualize how they affect all connected applications downstream."

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Lior Koriat, CEO of Quali believes DevOps teams will increasingly be measured against their contribution to the bottom line:

Infrastructure isn't just a sunk cost. Infrastructure teams are increasingly held accountable to top line growth and impact. Same as in the case of product-led growth (PLG), any investment in product, and the associated development and auxiliary effort and cost, will have to be justified against revenue contribution. Therefore, DevOps teams, and not just the cloud infrastructure, will have to be measured against such revenue contribution as well, which will drive two trends:

1 DevOps will become a stakeholder and not just a supporting team under the hood.

2 Cloud data cost will be meaningless without business context, which means that organizations will have to streamline access to the cloud, and Infrastructure as Code alone will not be sufficient.

DX Strategist, J.D. Little of Progress Software sees more attention being focussed on low-code, "In today's DXP (Digital Experience Platform) market, API integration capability is essential, but it is no longer enough. Business users have become more sophisticated and expect to rely less on the DevOps teams. At the same time, developers are warming to the idea that ease of use shouldn’t just apply to the business user on the front end. Not all low-code options offer the flexibility that will satisfy a developer, but when it’s done right, it’s magic."

This is echoed by Ed Sawma, VP of operations at Transposit, "Low-code and no-code technologies have opened up new paths to innovation by empowering more users across an organization -- with or without technical experience -- to contribute and add value to projects or workflows. In 2022, we'll see DevOps practices gain broader adoption across functions outside of traditional software development. In addition to the growing adoption of no-code tools, non-technical users will get to experience all the benefits of a continuous delivery approach and will want to adopt it for everything digital they create."

A need to move to more flexible databases is seen by Karthik Ranganathan, co-founder and CTO at Yugabyte, "Monolithic RDBMSs were not designed to meet the needs of cloud native applications. The rise of microservices, cloud infrastructure, and DevOps puts pressure on traditional systems of record. Companies are increasingly seeking databases that can run anywhere that cloud native applications are deployed; across private, public, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments. To satisfy demand, databases need to combine powerful RDBMS capabilities with cloud native resilience, scale, and geo-distribution. They also need to quickly, easily, and non-disruptively scale to handle peak demand."

Dhruba Borthakur, co-founder and CTO of Rockset foresees data teams and developers moving closer together:

Engineering and data teams have long worked independently. It's one reason why ML-driven applications requiring cooperation between data scientists and developers have taken so long to emerge. But necessity is the mother of invention. Businesses are begging for all manner of applications to operationalize their data. That will require new teamwork and new processes that make it easier for developers to take advantage of data.

It will take work, but less than you may imagine. After all, the drive for more agile application development led to the successful marriage of developers and (IT) operations in the form of DevOps.

In 2022, expect many companies to restructure to closely align their data and developer teams in order to accelerate the successful development of data applications.

"The accelerated developer lifecycle has required a blend of frameworks and methodologies, with a move towards an automated CI/CD. A heavy investment in low-code tools has driven a shift towards the developer as king -- the trend of developers as the decision maker will continue into 2022," says Nishant Patel, a serial entrepreneur and co-founder and CTO at Contentstack. "In 2022 developers will have even more control to chart the course. Front-end developers will creep towards the domain of 'full-stack' -- with a preference for open-source frameworks like Gatsby, Nuxt.js or Next to offer performance, scalability, and security built-in."

A reimagining of DevOps is predicted by Shanea Leven, CEO of CodeSee:

We're witnessing a 'left shift' similar to what we’ve seen in spaces like IT and security operations. I predict this trend will continue with increased force in DevOps in 2022.

DevOps is going through a reimagining. Already, the practice is drawing closer to developers; what was once a focused role on a team is now extending across teams -- integrated into everyday practices and responsibilities of many individual developers. And many of these developers are writing more code than ever before -- carrying more awareness of the software (and accountability) than ever before.

Brian Rue, CEO and co-founder of Rollbar thinks developers will need to be more productive, "We shouldn’t need 50 products to build software -- we should need about four. There will be a coalescing of the development process so that you can move from tons of tools to fewer. There will be a move toward a tightly integrated set of the highest, or best in class tools. As the development process coalesces your team will automate or eliminate steps in the development process (that your org doesn’t need to do manually anymore) and that will mean dropping the tools in the process that go with those steps."

Hyoo Lim, CTO of content management platform Brightspot says, "When it comes to development, I see a cycle where there's a new product and it's not quite as mature, so people build tools on top. Headless CMS is currently going through this refinement phase. At the beginning, developers were figuring it out and looking at how it fit with their technical infrastructure. Now people are building tools around it to make it more efficient. Customers know what headless CMS is, and now they are asking what they can do with it."

User experience will push innovation within applications thinks Charles Caldwell, VP of product management at Logi Analytics, "We often see a push for more open-ended modes within applications, but this does not equate to a good user experience for those of all data fluency levels. Instead of expanding an application to be solely geared towards DevOps or IT teams, we need to configure applications to have greater accessibility for all. In 2022, we will see better user design within dashboards that will allow for greater adoption with executives and managers to make well-informed business decisions backed by data."

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