In his Modernizing IT column this week, Eric Knorr at InfoWorld explores “What cloud really means for developers .” He touches on a number of the key benefits to developing on the cloud: things like increased agility, managing geographically dispersed development teams, and the cloud’s ability to support the “bursty” nature of development.
He also talks about one of the biggest challenges facing development teams: the often difficult relationship between dev and IT.
Traditionally, developers have had a fraught relationship with operations. Sure, programmers do much of the coding on their own machines, but when it's time to get serious about an enterprise-grade application, someone has to stand up the testing environment to ensure availability, reliability, and scalability of the application, not to mention security. Operations people, who have other stuff on their plates, tend to be tasked with the job -- and sometimes they don't quite nail down the specific requirements needed for a real-world test.
That can lead to applications that are not properly tested before they're deployed. Yes, developers can be sloppy -- or sometimes too demanding -- in specifying their requirements, so I'm not saying that it's all ops' fault. But the point is: There has to be a better way than laborious manual deployment and configuration of such environments.
Knorr is right: There is a better way. Development on the cloud permits a level of self-service that was unheard of previously, and we think self service has to go beyond just providing standardized resources. What is needed are solutions to customize - in a seamless way, the "standardized" resources to the specific needs of the developers. And solving that age–old struggle between the customized needs of the developers and the standardized deliverables of IT is what will make dev/test cloud value real.
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