Welcome!

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Open Source Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Post

Developers: The New Kingmakers

Their choices are setting the direction for all software, no matter the organization within which they work

I just read through "The New Kingmakers," a thought-provoking book by Stephen O'Grady of the small, but influential, analyst firm Redmonk. The thesis of the book is straightforward: technology changes have moved developers, previously of little importance within the world of IT, to a central direction-setting role within companies.

O'Grady attributes this change to four factors:

  • Open source, which democratizes both creation and access to software components, enabling developers direct access to useful software without having to obtain budget or endure sales interactions. This accounts for the move to PHP, MySQL, Cassandra, and Cloud Foundry rather than their proprietary equivalents.
  • Cloud computing, which makes infrastructure to run software (especially the just-mentioned open source) available for pennies. Amazon Web Services kicked off this revolution and it is continuing to cause pain to traditional system vendors and hosting companies as the move to ever-cheaper infrastructure permeates IT.
  • Internet communication, which eases distance and allows developers to collaborate across geographies and, crucially, work from wherever they happen to be located. MySQL is well-known for having staff strewn around the world; while this caused challenges due to varying employment laws and management coordination, it allows MySQL to seek out the best talent, no matter where it is located.
  • Micro-investment, which allows developers with a good idea to obtain the small amount of funding necessary to launch new software-enabled products or services. Incubators and crowdfunding like Y Combinator and Kickstarter, respectively, have made it possible for a developer with a good idea and access to the cheap resources listed above, to jumpstart a business idea quickly and inexpensively.

I think he is spot-on with his assessment. The software industry, and end user IT, has changed enormously over the past 15 years. Certainly, within the software industry, developers are now avidly pursued and well-compensated, with some companies like Google and Facebook providing incredible perks and benefits. That's a big change from the past; at one company I worked at software engineering was openly despised by the CEO, regarded as nothing more than a unfortunate resource needed to create the product, and crammed into ever-shrinking cubicles in an ongoing effort to reduce engineering spend.

However, the fact that software vendors recognize developers as a critical resource to be nurtured and cherished does not account for their increasing importance and influence within end user IT shops, which have always been viewed as, well, a necessary evil, or, more charitably, a cost center to be reduced as much as possible. After all, while developers may make different technology choices today due to the above-cited changes, it doesn't necessarily make IT more important and, would not, in and of itself, result in developers gaining more clout within the larger company.

Nevertheless, I think O'Grady's thesis is correct, even within end user IT organizations, but I don't attribute it only to the changes affecting software development. I believe that the same factors underlying those changes are also having a powerful effect on the products and services companies deliver into the market, and this is causing IT (and developers who are setting the technical direction within IT) to take on a much higher prominence in companies.

Said succinctly, Marc Andreessen's phrase "software is eating the world," by which he means all companies are permeating their offerings with software capabilities, means that IT is no longer a back office concern. It is now critical to every company's revenue stream, which means that the creation and delivery of IT is now a core capability requirement -- and this leads, indirectly, to the increased influence of developers.

So, developers are the new kingmakers, whether they work at a software vendor or a software consumer. Their choices, enabled by the four factors O'Grady cites, are setting the direction for all software, no matter the organization within which they work. The "software is eating the world" trend is only going to grow and become more important, so we can look forward to developers being ever more influential.

Source: ActiveState, originally published, here.

More Stories By Bernard Golden

Bernard Golden has vast experience working with CIOs to incorporate new IT technologies and meet their business goals. Prior to joining ActiveState, he was Senior Director, Cloud Computing Enterprise Solutions, for Dell Enstratius. Before joining Dell Enstratius, Bernard was CEO of HyperStratus, a Silicon Valley cloud computing consultancy that focuses on application security, system architecture and design, TCO analysis, and project implementation. He is also the Cloud Computing Advisor for CIO Magazine and was named a "Top 50 Cloud Computing Blog" by Sys-Con Media. Bernard's writings on cloud computing have been published by The New York Times and the Harvard Business Review and he is the author of Virtualization for Dummies, Amazon Web Services for Dummies and co-author of Creating the Infrastructure for Cloud Computing. Bernard has an MBA in Business and Finance from the University of California, Berkeley.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cedexis will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cedexis is the leader in data-driven enterprise global traffic management. Whether optimizing traffic through datacenters, clouds, CDNs, or any combination, Cedexis solutions drive quality and cost-effectiveness.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enroute Lab will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enroute Lab is an industrial design, research and development company of unmanned robotic vehicle system. For more information, please visit http://elab.co.jp/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Mobile Create USA will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Mobile Create USA Inc. is an MVNO-based business model that uses portable communication devices and cellular-based infrastructure in the development, sales, operation and mobile communications systems incorporating GPS capabi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Suzuki Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Suzuki Inc. is a semiconductor-related business, including sales of consuming parts, parts repair, and maintenance for semiconductor manufacturing machines, etc. It is also a health care business providing experimental research for...
IBM helps FinTechs and financial services companies build and monetize cognitive-enabled financial services apps quickly and at scale. Hosted on IBM Bluemix, IBM’s platform builds in customer insights, regulatory compliance analytics and security to help reduce development time and testing. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Lennart Frantzell, a Developer Advocate with IBM, will discuss how these tools simplify the time-consuming tasks of selection, mapping and data integration, allowing devel...
Cloud-based disaster recovery is critical to any production environment and is a high priority for many enterprise organizations today. Nearly 40% of organizations have had to execute their BCDR plan due to a service disruption in the past two years. Zerto on IBM Cloud offer VMware and Microsoft customers simple, automated recovery of on-premise VMware and Microsoft workloads to IBM Cloud data centers.
Why Federal cloud? What is in Federal Clouds and integrations? This session will identify the process and the FedRAMP initiative. But is it sufficient? What is the remedy for keeping abreast of cutting-edge technology? In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rasananda Behera will examine the proposed solutions: Private or public or hybrid cloud Responsible governing bodies How can we accomplish?
Real IoT production deployments running at scale are collecting sensor data from hundreds / thousands / millions of devices. The goal is to take business-critical actions on the real-time data and find insights from stored datasets. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Walicki, Watson IoT Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud, will provide a fast-paced developer journey that follows the IoT sensor data from generation, to edge gateway, to edge analytics, to encryption, to the IBM Bluemix cloud, to Wa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
With the rise of DevOps, containers are at the brink of becoming a pervasive technology in Enterprise IT to accelerate application delivery for the business. When it comes to adopting containers in the enterprise, security is the highest adoption barrier. Is your organization ready to address the security risks with containers for your DevOps environment? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Chris Van Tuin, Chief Technologist, NA West at Red Hat, will discuss: The top security r...
Many companies start their journey to the cloud in the DevOps environment, where software engineers want self-service access to the custom tools and frameworks they need. Machine learning technology can help IT departments keep up with these demands. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-Founder, CTO and Board Member at ZeroStack, will discuss the use of machine learning for automating provisioning of DevOps resources, taking the burden off IT teams.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Nihon Micron will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Nihon Micron Co., Ltd. strives for technological innovation to establish high-density, high-precision processing technology for providing printed circuit board and metal mount RFID tags used for communication devices. For more inf...
SYS-CON Events announced today that mruby Forum will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. mruby is the lightweight implementation of the Ruby language. We introduce mruby and the mruby IoT framework that enhances development productivity. For more information, visit http://forum.mruby.org/.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Greg Gorman is the Director, IoT Developer Ecosystem, Watson IoT, will provide a short tutorial on Node-RED, a Node.js-based programming tool for wiring together hardware devices, APIs and online services in new and interesting ways. It provides a browser-based editor that makes it easy to wire together flows using a wide range of nodes in the palette that can be deployed to its runtime in a single-click. There is a large library of contributed nodes that help so...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ryobi Systems will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd., as an information service company, specialized in business support for local governments and medical industry. We are challenging to achive the precision farming with AI. For more information, visit http:...