10 software development predictions for 2018

How blockchain, NLP, AI-driven tools, machine learning, serverless computing, and devops innovations will change life for developers in 2018

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Developers and production operations teams are drowning in data from logs, web/app/database performance monitoring and user experience monitoring, and configuration. In addition, these various types of data are siloed, so you must bring many people into a room to debug issues. Then there is the issue of knowledge transfer: Developers spend a lot of time telling production ops the ins and outs of their applications, what thresholds to set, what server topologies to monitor for a transaction, and so on.

By aggregating large amounts of this data into one repository (across logs, performance metrics, user experience, and configuration, for example), and applying lots of compute capacity, machine learning, and purpose-built algorithms, cloud-based systems management services will ease performance/log/configuration monitoring significantly. These cloud services will establish baselines for thresholds by watching transactions (sparing the ops team from having to manage thresholds), and understand the server topology associated with transactions automatically. Using anomaly detection against these baselines, systems management services will automatically be able to tell developers when things are moving away from normal behavior, and be able to show the root cause of problems for a specific transaction.

Developers will need to think about how to leverage this automation when writing their applications to be able to create self-managing applications on top of these intelligent management systems in the cloud.

10. Highly automated security and compliance efforts become a new ally of developers

While developers often think of security and compliance as “someone else’s job” or “bottlenecks to delivering code,” the advent of comprehensive security and compliance regimes based on machine learning and delivered as SaaS will help align these efforts with the fast pace of development. Specifically, highly automated cyber defense will be deployed both “upstream” to identify and remediate potential security risks in development and “downstream” to automatically adapt a company’s security profile to ongoing application and environment changes (identifying attacks, remediating vulnerabilities, and assessing continuous compliance) in production.

Such protections will be required in some cases, with continuous compliance assessment a hallmark of GDPR and similar mandates. Developers, security professionals, and end-users will all benefit from a more rigorous, automated approach to security throughout the devops lifecycle.

Siddhartha Agarwal is vice president, product management and strategy, for Oracle Cloud Platform

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