10 Trends Reshaping the Developer Experience

In this video, Director of Product Management for Developer Tools Brad Micklea talks through ten trends Red Hat is investing in that are already reshaping the developer experience.

The idea of software development as a major creative source for innovation has emerged in recent decades.  During most of that time for the people writing code and running it in production, instead of being deep in the act of painting a masterpiece, they have had to spend too much time building and cleaning brushes.

A key to bringing ideas to life without getting bogged down in the mundane is reducing friction for developers and operators.  This holds true whether it’s developing open source or business applications.

In light of how life is evolving for developers as well as operators, Brad Micklea takes us through key highlights where Red Hat is investing in improving the developer experience.

To open, Brad discusses containers, serverless functions, and how it all supports an agile and CI/CD experience that is increasingly refined, standardized, and commoditized.

He then talks through the evolution away from one-off, stand-alone developer workstations toward cloud-and-container based development environments offered as a service.  The service may be public or on a private cloud, and it provides a web-based IDE for developers.

Much the way document creation has grown to be more of a collaborative exercise with web-based content tools, Brad posits there will be a sea change in application development as teams embrace the new collaboration potentials.

The move to a polyglot development world means most applications will be written in a mix of languages, with developers favoring tools that help them navigate easily between languages.

He details how the new Language Server Protocol (LSP) extrapolates language-specific intelligence away from the IDE. For example, the ability to do autocompletion, inline documentation, syntax checking, and so forth.

An IDE that uses this open language server process can quite rapidly add a new language overlay into an IDE.  For example, the open source Eclipse Che IDE was able to use the new LSP for PHP provided by Zend to add expert PHP functionality to Che in a single two-week sprint. Developers don’t have to move away from the IDE for which they have muscle-memory.  Instead, the language is brought to the IDE.

Alongside this is an understanding that the user experience (UX) for an API or a CLI is just as important as for a GUI.  A well-designed experience for interfaces is key to usefulness for developers.

The final two areas Brad focuses on are transparently tracking the lineage of code from idea to production, and how data-driven development will free developers from more and more mundane tasks to focus on the creative.

For both of these, bringing automation into the developer tooling is central to the Red Hat vision of making code cleaner, more secure, more efficient, and better able to solve the intended need while providing an elegant user experience.

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