VMworld: The year of the developer

Here at VMworld there are a bewildering number of technologies all trying to integrate in order to magically provide your data to entire networks and datacenters where your customers need to consume them, all at record speed. In theory it works, but if you’re a system administrator, you know there is some assembly required to make systems talk to each other, meaning you have to build more and more of the connecting tissue – you need to be a developer of sorts.

The intersections of data are fraught with mismatches. If you can code, or at least work through “hacking the configuration” level, you will have an easier time making them all talk to each other.

It was different when you ran one application on a desktop. Now, however, your data might be stored across the globe yet still need to be seamlessly accessible from your office, at your desk. Times have changed.

IT has long been tasked with making all the magic happen, but increasingly the different pieces have exposed layers that allow you to write pseudo-code to tie them all together. That talent is becoming essential here in the real world, and especially in the world to come.

It used to be that folks who wrote code seemed to have secret means of communicating through pseudo-gibberish. Now high level code is viewed as shorthand to express a given request as concisely as possible, and in a way that other teams and machines can consume, use, and duplicate should you need to bring more resources online quickly to scale a project – you can scale an infrastructure to meet a peak need very easily, or at least more easily.

“This kind of movement toward Infrastructure as Code will be sweeping across the ecosystems.”

IT’s job isn’t obsolete, but in today’s environment you need to ramp things up quickly. This has created a whole shadow IT function, where your team may have to hack together things then push them out across IT resources to make your custom environment spin up in something less than a month.

Don’t know how to code in assembly? Not to worry. Many of the pieces of connecting tissue are really mashups of a bunch of calls to various systems to build what you want in semi-human readable forms. To make this happen, you need to become a developer.

Want to automate some processes you need to repeat all the time? You’re a developer. Need to automatically secure some workload deployment? You’re a developer. You write recipes to automate stuff? That means you’re a developer; don’t fight it.

But you’re certainly not alone. Here at VMworld, the floors are packed with folks trying to come to terms with the layers of abstraction that now exist and that they need to interact with – developers are going mainstream.

I remember years back when sweaty executives chanted and stomped across the stage about the need for developers for particular ecosystems. This is not that. This is the ability to speak across multiple platforms to make things happen.

This kind of movement toward Infrastructure as Code (IaC) will be sweeping across the ecosystems, as folks move to more agile environments, so you might want to get up to speed.

No, you won’t have to learn hex code to make things happen, if you spend some cycles learning how to mashup some tech and try to automate it, you’ll be well ahead of the curve, and well in demand for the next generation of technology.

Author , ESET

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