During the IBM Impact 2014 conference in Las Vegas this year the Computer Weekly Developer Network (CWDN) posed a number of core questions to a discussion panel -- the panel was hosted to analyse how software application developers should start working to create mobile cloud applications.
Why does this question arise?
The mobile cloud application is obviously the darling development objective of our industry today, but the question CWDN posed tried to go deeper.
CWDN 'stream of consciousness' question: OK panel hello! What we hear from IBM here at this show are an extensive set of updates on a huge set of tools. To be clear, IBM appears to be offering so many layers of software tooling that one almost wonders whether software developers would be somewhat confused...
... IBM has, after all, this week talked about how its mobile cloud developer offerings span aspects including:
- Data Quality
- User-Centric Design
- Continuous Integration
- Tools aligned to business outcomes and requirements.
So where does a cloud developer start? Are reference architectures (which yes IBM does provide here) represent one of the best "base layers" for programmers to focus on?
Bola Rotibi: Ha, thank you Adrian. Obviously answer is that reference architectures are still valuable and actually important from an education perspective, especially when you think about what key functions are important (e.g. test, security) and how they should and are used for developing cloud solutions.
But given the nature of the event here, I would also say that having easy access to PaaS like environments where developers can quickly try and build out simple proof of concept solutions using services that help support capabilities that would be typically be expensive to come by.
Developers are pretty resourceful people and not adverse to searching out their way to achieving their aims. However, anything can help a broad skill range of developers to quickly understand what technologies are needed and to have quick access to services that support rapid app dev is vital.
So it's about have the right educational support but also a robust platform that can allow developers to quickly implement their strategies using best practices. It is also about having a wealth of service components, API management services that then allows them to understand what is capable, but also allow them to quickly get to a solution that they can begin to easily test and see work out in the field is important.