2019 Recap: The Future Is Distributed Software Development

By Lucas Hendrich, Director of Technology, BairesDev   As we near the end of 2019, I would like to reflect on some important trends in…

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By Lucas Hendrich, Director of Technology, BairesDev

 

As we near the end of 2019, I would like to reflect on some important trends in which we saw significant growth during the year.

 

1. The Evolution of DevOps  (We Are All DevOps) 

At BairesDev, when we begin new software development projects or engagements, I like to say we apply the 80/20 rule: 80% of our focus is on creating a technology organization and culture with all the necessary tools and practices to create the highest quality software and user experience. The other 20% of our focus is on the product and features itself. This means everyone on the team has some share of traditional DevOps responsibilities. 

This holistic approach to modern application development does not distinguish between the product and the processes that create it. It includes every step and tool used, from idea to code commit to deploy and add value to millions of users. This 80/20 ratio flips to product focus very quickly as we begin to sprint, with the goal of dedicating our efforts 100% to features and 0% technical debt.

To achieve this lofty goal, the whole team must embrace DevOps principles and culture. The good news is that this trend continued to grow in 2019, from both a cultural and technological perspective. The innovation in tools and platforms support this trend, as well as adoption across our client base. 

 

2. The Evolution of Distributed (Teams and Architecture)

Cloud-native application development has become the default choice for product development, and never has this been so clear than in 2019. If developers have become more operationally aware as described above, “everything as code” is now the operational trend. The go-to toolset for any team is swiftly becoming cloud-based; cloud infrastructure can now be built and maintained 100% by code. If previous years saw the evolution from physical to virtual machine to container, this year saw the explosion of function-as-a-service and serverless architectures which allow much greater ease in orchestration, provisioning and scaling upon demand. 

There is a human component as well: 2019 was the year of the distributed software development team. Never before has there been a combination of bandwidth, tools, and culture to enable distributed teams to be more productive than co-located teams. But the benefits do not end there: teams can be created much faster without local market constraints, quality of life for team members means less attrition (read: more happiness), and the overall carbon footprint of a team decreases when commutes and buildings are not part of the equation. It has become easier for teams to work more securely – least privilege access is very easy to achieve – and differing time zones can be chosen strategically. BairesDev continues to find itself among peers like Gitlab and Zapier – other companies that have successfully brought distributed work to scale, spanning countries and regions.

 

3. Innovation and access

Finally, the evolution of product development, tools, architecture, and teams means breaking down boundaries and borders that no longer add any value to customers. The explosion of FinTech continues an upward trend in 2019, and nowhere can that be more visible in companies like Azlo and Chime (now valued at 5B), both product platforms that seek to revolutionize personal banking to provide a more accessible, seamless experience for its users. 

The broad spectrum of healthcare (from biotech to pharma to traditional hospitals and health management) also continues trending towards a better customer experience – primarily for us as patients and end-users of these products. Whether by supporting digital transformation from the inside at IQVIA, or providing engineering capacity to disruptors such as Outcome Health, BairesDev has become integral in the innovation that brings improvement in healthcare to scale.

 

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