From Low-Code Development to Containers: Accelerated Change in Software Teams

Application developers have undergone a significant shift in recent years. From the waterfall methodology and monolithic architecture to agile DevOps ways of working with containers, orchestration tools and microservices, the end result has been one of speed.

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One measure of business leaders’ success through the COVID-19 crisis is their ability not just to adapt but to respond in a way that strengthens their organisations for the long term. As a job function, software development was far less disrupted than most by the sudden, massive shift to remote work in the spring of 2020.

While software teams are certainly not immune to the economic pressures that have emerged with this pandemic, the fundamental work of programming lends itself particularly well to continuing with a dispersed workforce. In fact, it is helping to catalyse and solidify important changes that were already underway – or at least under consideration – by mainstream development organisations.

Some key initiatives and operational patterns that software decision makers are pursuing as they look ahead include the following:

  • Low-code development is a visual approach that simplifies and automates development by enabling drag and drop of components and logic to create applications. These mechanisms empower less experienced developers to create software without writing code, while increasing efficiency for core developers by relieving them from low-value, repetitive ‘plumbing’ tasks.

  • Agile development is based on breaking projects into small sets of discrete tasks that are each addressed by cross-functional teams, without dependencies on other development processes. This iterative, incremental approach helps reduce risk and make the organisation more responsive to changing circumstances and requirements.

  • DevOps is both a technical and a cultural approach that integrates the software development and IT operations/infrastructure organisations of the business. By bridging the functional aspects of these teams, DevOps accelerates the process of operationalising changes to software in production systems, with increased automation and continuous change.

  • DevSecOps builds on DevOps, based on the notion that security needs to be baked into every aspect of both development and operations, rather than being bolted on as a separate entity. While leaving security teams intact, DevSecOps decentralises and federates the application of security controls, making them the responsibility of every delivery team in the organisation.

  • Evolutionary architecture prioritises cloud-native, scalable approaches that are built with continuous incremental change in mind. The modular, decoupled nature of this type of architecture makes changes to applications easier and faster, because they were built from the beginning to adapt and evolve, avoiding cascades of requirements for more wholesale changes.

  • Application containers provide a lightweight mechanism for developers to package up all system dependencies along with their code in a discrete unit, enabling it to run without regard for the specifics of the platform. This approach provides interoperation and management for code that can operate across multiple private and public clouds with minimal systems overhead.

In any significant business and technical transformation, challenges and potential stumbling blocks inevitably arise, and there are critical windows of opportunity to position the organisation for maximum impact with minimal risk. Getting it right the first time delivers maximum ROI and ensures that new design patterns and operational approaches provide a framework for future success.

Partnering with Avanade gives businesses the benefit of experience, with teams that have shepherded industry peers through these same transitions many times. That guidance can position your organisation to benefit from whatever the future brings, making it more flexible, responsive and competitive for the long term.

Where to go next?

Read the CIO’s Guide to Cloud Native Applications to find out how your applications and infrastructure can rebuilt and enhanced – and why it’s easier than you might think.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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