Over the past decade, companies have adopted collaborative methods and tools in order to increase the efficiency of knowledge workers. This trend is affecting developers as well. Rapid development methodologies such as Agile are driving the need for tighter collaboration between development team members. Using collaborative tools and automation, development organizations hope to wring out inefficiencies that are magnified by these rapid development cycles. These new tools are helping developers today but have significant deficits that need to be addressed in the near future.
- Rapid development methodologies require that developers work closely within their teams. Collaboration extends to QA/Test and operations teams as well as business stakeholders.
- Sharing, access, and automation allow developers to work in a manner that better suits rapid development environments.
- Despite well evolved features that facilitate the sharing of code, cloud-based development tools still lack other modes of social collaboration.
- Development organizations no longer need to invest in hard-to-maintain developer environments. Developer environments are complex and costly to purchase. Cloud tools shift the burden of developer systems to the vendor who can realize economies of scale that their customers cannot.
- Organizations are looking to shift expenses from CAPEX to OPEX. Development environments represent large capital outlays, especially for smaller companies. Cloud-based development tools are typically priced as subscriptions and provide a more flexible operating expense.
- Automation is the key to developer efficiency. Cloud-based development tools provide an integrated set of automation tools that streamline development processes.
- With so many moving parts to a development process, it is inevitable that cloud-based development suites are missing some pieces. Sophisticated testing is not as well supported as coding and deployment. The same is true for requirements gathering, which is barely present in cloud-based development suites.