Software Development is Due for an Overhaul : @VMblog

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Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2024.  Read them in this 16th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

By Rob
Whiteley, CEO of Coder

In 2023, developers and
business leaders alike realized that the way software development has been
managed thus far is ridgid, inefficient and in need of a serious overhaul.
We’re seeing organizations strategically invest in solutions that take
advantage of current technology and talent, putting a larger emphasis on
developer productivity, flexibility and experience. While organizations are
looking to better serve their developers’ needs, they are also combatting
greater security risks from hybrid work environments and an elevated
cybersecurity threat landscape, as well as facing an economic outlook that
requires spending scrutiny and creative cost savings.

In looking toward the new
year with all these considerations in mind, I’m sharing my top predictions for
where the software development industry will continue to innovate and evolve in
2024 to keep pace with technological, economical and talent demands and how
developers will be impacted.

Is SaaS the Way of the Past?

SaaS has been the preferred software licensing and delivery model among
startups for the last 15+ years, we’re seeing a trend (or countertrend) of businesses opting for the self-hosted deployment
model and we anticipate this trend will continue to gain momentum in 2024.
Organizations are opting for self-hosted software over SaaS software more and
more for the additional security, compliance and ROI that the deployment model
offers. Forty-five percent of
security breaches are cloud-based and major corporations and enterprises are
rightfully wary of their code and data being funneled through a 3rd party cloud
environment and leaving their own security firewalls. This is especially true
for companies dealing with sensitive data like banks and healthcare providers
who can’t take any chances of cybersecurity threats to their productivity data
or developers’ code.

also seeing large enterprises repatriating workloads from public clouds. Why?
The economics of running it on-prem have gotten significantly better, thanks to
hardware, automation, and containerization advancements. Looking ahead, Cloud
Development Environments, or CDEs, that do not offer a self-hosted deployment
model will miss out on business in 2024 and get left behind as this important
trend gains momentum.

Tripling Down on Security in a Virtual World

Unsurprisingly, security
is a top priority for business leaders and this trend will continue in 2024,
and become more and more apparent within the developer space. Three quarters (75%) of businesses report that security has become a bigger
business priority in the last 12 months, and they are spending on average 15.3%
more in security related areas in 2023 compared to 2022. In 2024, we’re going
to see business leaders triple down on security among an increasingly hostile
cybersecurity landscape.

The 2024 frontier? Source code. In an increasingly digital
world, companies rely on developers to create amazing applications. Billions of
lines of code are developed, tested, and stored locally on laptops. Laptops
that can be forgotten in a cab, hacked, or abused by a disgruntled employee. In
addition to reverting back to self-hosted deployment models for their software
solutions to avoid the potential security risks that come with SaaS software
models, we’re going to see organizations centralize development environments to
keep source code off of laptops and safely behind advanced security controls in
private or public clouds. The name of the game will be keeping information
close, safe and protected in our primarily virtual world.

The New Generation of Developers

There is a paradigm shift
taking place that is giving the new generation of developers the power to
reshape software development practices. Traditionally, they have been bound by
an IT department’s rules and the corporate mindset to stick to ‘the way it’s
always been done.’ The incoming generation entering the workforce doesn’t
accept this notion and are breaking down barriers that have historically
constrained developers. They aren’t bound by traditional biases, legacy
technology or even in-person work, and they are leading the charge to drive a
more efficient and flexible way to build software. We predict the majority of
developers entering the workforce in 2024 will demand the ability to work from
anywhere as a job criterion. In 2023, 60% of developers are
working fully remote, and 85% are working either fully remote or in a hybrid
setup. As work boundaries are broken and collaboration takes place in the
cloud, companies will prioritize the developer experience and stoke
productivity in 2024 rather than hinder their ability to experiment and
flourish. Enterprises will wrap guardrails around developer practices and
enable innovation without having to stifle it; with remote work, Cloud
Development Environments (CDEs), and developer freedom enabling it further.

The Cloud Will Float Some Cost Savings

According to PWC, 34% of executives plan to make cost cutting
measures in the next year. As organizations navigate ongoing economic
uncertainty and cost cutting initiatives coupled with the imperative to
optimize resources, a significant shift is anticipated in the way businesses
approach Cloud Development Environments (CDEs). Organizations, particularly
larger enterprises, will scrutinize their spending on laptops and
infrastructure in 2024 in an effort to save time and money and get developers
onboarded and coding faster. Ongoing hiring woes will only exacerbate this.
Companies won’t reduce their developer staffing, but will ask them to take on
more with less. Currently, large companies are excessively spending in two
areas for their developers: 1) expensive, new laptops with the latest CPU, GPU,
memory, and storage for local development; and 2) similarly powerful always-on
virtual machines (VM) running in a private or public cloud for remote

When organizations do
more than just shift the development experience to the cloud and rethink how
they can automate developer environments, there is a potential for thousands of
dollars of cost savings. How? You can sweat laptop assets longer or ship $1,500
machines instead of $3,500 ones. And you can intelligently spin up and shutdown
cloud-based workstations to prevent the cloud meter from running. For smaller
organizations this might not be enticing, but for larger organizations with
10,000 or more developers, this can generate 90% cost savings in developer
compute. In 2024 and beyond, there will be a fundamental shift in the cost
structure, providing a compelling reason for businesses to reconsider the
traditional model of investing heavily in expensive laptops. The “pay for
what you use” model in self-hosted environments resonates strongly with
the cost-conscious mindset of enterprises today while delivering a better developer experience with faster
build times and repo cloning.

I’m personally excited
for what’s to come in 2024. At Coder, our goal is to give developers time back
and keep coders coding. We believe the trends taking shape in the new year will
do just that, in addition to keeping organizations’ data safe and help them
meet their revenue and cost savings goals. Business leaders can lead their
companies and developers into a new golden era of tech and software development
if they make the most out of the latest tools available to them.



Rob Whiteley 

Rob Whiteley serves as CEO of Coder. Previously he was GM of NGINX. He has led marketing, product, and analyst teams for companies like Hedvig, Riverbed, and Forrester. Rob uses his experience working with enterprise IT and DevOps customers to deliver thought leadership and drive demand for modern IT infrastructure solutions.