The developer world will definitely face continuous evolution over the next few years. According to ComputerWeekly, each of the following developments will bring new advances in productivity and wellbeing, and will accelerate software delivery despite a constraint in the supply of software engineers.

Dev environments will move to the cloud

When starting a new job, it is not unusual for developers to spend a long time trying to get the application they are working on running on their local computer. As software projects get more complicated, this onboarding process simply becomes harder.

Companies have sought to solve this problem through documentation and tooling, but this hasn’t always been successful. Developers can sometimes be very opinionated about the technology they use for their jobs. Hardware, operating systems, and code editors can vary dramatically among developers working on the same project.

What is more, the environments increasingly need to support both Intel architectures and Apple’s new M1 chips, despite the further complexity that remote work causes.

Local development environments are this part of the software development life cycle time that is done on a developer’s computer. Automated builds, staging environments, and running production applications have largely moved from local computers to the cloud.

Both Microsoft and Amazon are still working on addressing this challenge. In fact, Microsoft released GitHub Codespaces to general availability, which offers full development environments that can be accessed using a web browser that can start in seconds. The service allows technology teams who store their code in Microsoft’s GitHub service to develop using their Visual Studio Code editor fully in the cloud.

Amazon also founded a solution to this problem, with AWS Cloud9 that allows developers to edit and run their code from the cloud. Startups have been created to address this problem.

DevOps will become more scientific

Google’s DORA (DevOps Research and Assessment) team has conducted research that has linked technology organization performance to business outcomes. The research discovered that companies with elite performing engineering organizations are twice as likely to achieve their organizational goals and achieve a 50% higher growth rate in the next three years.

The 2021 benchmarks conducted by Google’s DORA team and Puppet have shown that the software development industry is extremely competitive. On one hand, the number of elite-performing engineering teams is growing. On the other hand, the proportion of low-performing teams is falling.

From their side, software development teams have to ensure their processes and tools are as polished as possible. Developer productivity is seen as an extremely important area, so that Netflix has a dedicated Developer Productivity team, while Google hires many engineers into its Engineering Productivity function.

Remote work will be permanent

This change appears to be permanent. GitHub’s 2021 State of the Octoverse report found that 41% of respondents were relocated to an office before the pandemic. Only 10.7% expected to remain in the office after the pandemic. This represents a 74% decrease in the rate of co-located office working.

The report also found that developers expect a 41% increase in the rate of hybrid working, whereas some employees work fully remotely and some come into the office. Companies that embrace the fully remote working style were expected to increase by 46% compared with before the pandemic.

What is more, GitHub states that productivity is starting to come back to pre-pandemic levels, but it is clear more needs to be done.

By 2022, it is reasonable for everyone to expect to find new ways for colleagues to not only work online but also stay connected offline. In fact, a lot of face-to-face conferences have restarted for the coming year, with some even adopting a hybrid approach.

As remote work becomes permanent, what we expect is that we need to find other ways to achieve what we miss from in-person contact.

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