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Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

Digital 2.0 — Appdev disruption

By NaveenSankarS Dec 13, 2021

Originally published in Medium by the author

Disruption is an overused term in our industry. We saw the release of two frameworks that can fundamentally change the app dev industry.

Before we take a deep dive, let us look take a quick look at the background. Last five years was momentous for app dev space. Container technology matured rapidly with solutions such as Kubernetes and Openshift transforming the Infrastructure space. The development echo system also saw an equal shift in tools and languages. Traditional stalwarts such as Java and Dotnet started losing ground to PHP, Python and Go. LAMP became the commonly used stack, and physical hardware took a backseat to virtual. Multiple testing frameworks rose into popularity. Software development became a global business with East Asia and old Soviet republics joining the game. Machine learning left the domain of academia and became commoditized by cloud providers such as Google and Amazon.

All these trends changed the practice of software development significantly, but the rate of change was not equal across the industry.

New businesses that were born during these changes were quickly able to adopt these trends. They had no institutional baggage that held back adoption. This was not the case with existing businesses. They were not able to utilize most of these trends quickly. Many tried to adopt these changes without understanding the spirit of the transformation resulting in failed implementation or worse zombie transformation that neither managed to deliver the cost or capability benefits of these digital technologies.

Small business may be good at adopting these changes, but it’s not easy for medium and large enterprises to adapt and change. Similar problems exist when a small/medium business experience rapid growth.

More often, we see these changes comes in waves. They are usually triggered by market forces.

  1. Via organizational changes forced by shareholders
  2. Organically in firms being managed effectively to address market losses

Digital transformation was then born out of the need to bring these modern capabilities and patterns to the rest of the industry. Although it’s been around for a few years, Digital mostly remained as the adoption of these technologies mentioned above. For companies operating in System integration space, Digital was a boon. They were facing setbacks with growth fading rapidly. SI/Outsourcing corporations then adopted Digital wholeheartedly. All of these companies came out with their frameworks that meshed automation with some machine learning to claim success.

The sad reality is that none of this resulted in a fundamental rethink of the practice and patterns of doing app dev business. Most organizations suffered from poor implementation and got laden with the additional cost from zombie solutions.

I am not stating that there were no benefits, but the benefits were muted. Hype, as usual, did not hold up. In this context what is clear is

  1. Digital transformation has to come from within the business.
  2. This would involve fundamental rethink of organizational practices.

This year we saw two significant events that are going to have a fundamental impact on the industry.

  1. Backstage was released to Open Source by Spotify.
  2. Github released an affordable version of its streaming development environment codespace.

Let us take a look at high-level look at both of them.

This article is part of a series around digital disruption in the appdev space.

By NaveenSankarS

Founder@AmericanGarage( @aginc_us ). Passionate about #Healthcare, #Education & #Entrepreneurship. Medical tweets are not advice. Support: http://patreon.com/aginc

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