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9 developer trends you can bank on in 2016

Andrew C. Oliver | Oct. 16, 2015
From containers to NoSQL to Spark, here are the IT trends you can expect to persist next year.

9 developer trends you can bank on in 2016

My predictions are a little early this year, but don't worry, they're of the same sterling quality you've come to expect. Most apply to big data, but I've stepped outside the confines of my usual domain here and there for your entertainment. Enjoy.

Developer trend No. 1: Containers will rule the world

Docker will continue to develop, gain security features, and add various forms of governance so that you are unable to pull down a tree of containers that depend on Emulating an entire machine on top of a machine was fundamentally a wasteful idea. Solaris zones were a good idea; Solaris zones on Linux with a packaging format are an even better idea. Add dependencies, and you're on fire.

Developer trend No. 2: Java’s decline as a language will accelerate

Whenever I mention that Java is in decline, someone throws job trends in my face. Well, try the other button and look at the jobs. Yes, there are more of them ... doing maintenance.

Now look at the Node.js or Spark or MongoDB job postings. Those are about doing new development. Which pays better? Which doesn’t put you in a cube farm of low-cost labor?

Also, asking for “Java experience” doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be coding in Java (my company requires that so we can train you on Spark, where you’ll use Python or Scala). The Java decline has been slow, but new stuff isn’t being written in Java, even if it runs on the JVM. Also, Oracle is divesting. Learn something new -- or be the old mainframe Cobol developer of the future and hope to ride it out until retirement.

Developer trend No. 3: The EMC/Dell merger will be a debacle

Big mergers almost never really work out, so grade this prediction on a curve. The merger probably won’t be “finished” in 2016.

Acquiring EMC doesn’t make much sense if you’re trying to transition your hardware company into a cloud company or if your sweet spot is the midmarket. The only way this works out is if you really push, don’t care about short-term devaluation or losses, hold onto the sales team (somehow), and use those relationships to push your cloud. The trouble is you have to do that at the expense of EMC’s storage business and your server business. Novell failed at this royally, as anything it sold in its new product line melted the legacy.

Dell paid an imperial crapton of money for EMC and can’t afford that kind of scorched-earth, bridge-over-the-rubicon strategy of no turning back. You can’t perpetuate the past and bring the future. Wired’s “walking dead” article had great analysis and imagery. Nonetheless, I expect more legacy mergers next year.


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