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Top 10 developer stories of 2017

As organisations ramp up their digital strategies, they are also building more applications, leading to demand for developer skills

Among the hottest skills in the current developer space is DevOps. Businesses are using DevOps to drive innovation, enabling them to build and deploy applications far quicker than previously possible, when IT operations are distinct from software development.

As Computer Weekly found when speaking to organisations making this transition, changing a well-understood process is not easy. Nor is it particularly straightforward integrating DevOps into a legacy IT environment. 

Related to DevOps is the idea of cloud-native application development, an area Computer Weekly explored in depth in 2017. It is the concept of building applications based on loosely coupled functional modules, which live in their own containers. Here are Computer Weekly’s top 10 developer stories.

1. From consumers to contributors: The evolution of open source in the enterprise

The use of open source software is commonplace in enterprises, but many organisations are still reluctant to contribute their own code, despite the benefits it can bring.

2. Container technologies for cloud-native apps

Containers provide a lightweight virtual environment, which is ideal for separating functional pieces of code. We take a deep dive into the layers that go into a container-based platform for enterprise applications.

3. How going cloud native can increase app agility

Industry experts recommend CIOs adopt a cloud-first approach to their IT strategies. In this article, Computer Weekly looked at how cloud-native applications can deliver far more dynamic support to meet an organisation’s needs.

4. Ethical software development: Ask Uber and Volkswagen

The misuse of software development came to light in the autumn, following TfL’s decision not to renew Uber’s licence to operate in London. Following TfL’s decision against Uber, we investigated the role of professionalism and ethics in software development.

5. Barriers to enterprise adoption of DevOps

Enterprise IT leaders now realise lengthy and restrictive software development cycles are no longer conducive to safeguarding their competitiveness or their ability to keep pace with the changing demands of their customers. As enterprises join the continuous delivery movement, this article looked at some of the challenges to DevOps adoption.

6. How composable applications can improve software development

A composable application is based on the idea that the functional blocks of an application can be decoupled from the complete applications. These individual component parts can then be more finely tuned to create a new application that is ideologically, if not also functionally, greater than the sum of its parts. Computer Weekly spoke to experts in the field of software development about the pros and cons of componentising application software.

7. DevOps done right: Creating a collaborative and supportive business culture

If all you are doing is firefighting and the root cause is not being addressed, you will always be firefighting, but what organisations should want are people who are productive and happy with what they are doing. We look at how cultivating a supportive and collaborative business culture is key to getting DevOps to take hold in an organisation.

8. How the Met Office is handling a deluge of data

The Met Office Informatics Lab has a small team of engineers, scientists and designers who work on all the cutting-edge research, development and innovation that ensures the organisation continues to improve its operations, products and services. ‘Lazy’ open source tools help the UK weather forecasting service open up unprecedented volumes of data to all.

9. Why agile teams prefer to bring their own development tools to projects

Software development is rapidly becoming a core competency in a company’s digital transformation strategy. So why restrict a developer’s creativity and productivity with corporate standards? We explore the benefits of open source tools freedom.

10. How to avoid technical debt in open source communities

It can be fun for an individual to contribute to open source, but it is even more valuable to the organisation if those contributions are aligned with projects the business relies on. Businesses that make use of open source software should dedicate resources to supporting and maintaining the projects their organisations rely on.

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