Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White

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.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Early Bird Registration Discount Expires on August 31, 2018 Conference Registration Link ▸ HERE. Pick from all 200 sessions in all 10 tracks, plus 22 Keynotes & General Sessions! Lunch is served two days. EXPIRES AUGUST 31, 2018. Ticket prices: ($1,295-Aug 31) ($1,495-Oct 31) ($1,995-Nov 12) ($2,500-Walk-in)
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by ...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...