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The Future of Cloud IDEs

Developers are very picky, they don’t like change, and they don’t like someone telling them to use some new cloud IDE

A great article of future of cloud IDEs: The Cloud IDE and its impact on DevOps by Chris Riley (@HoardingInfo).

The article makes a number of excellent points.

Many developers will oppose the Cloud IDE without much consideration. They will site claims that they are more efficient with their slightly better than notepad, notepad. Or that they don’t have time to learn a new IDE. Or that they need the local offline instance. But really I’ve found that these are all just excuses. It does not take long to adapt to a new IDE. I know this from experience changing from Visual Studio, to NetBeans, to Eclipse, to Orion, to Cloud9 all in one week. And I did not find at any point I was just totally lost. The excuse that really gets me is the offline need. At the surface this seems like a strong argument, but, lets face it. If the internet goes out, no developer is doing any work anyway. And if your internet goes out that often. Your doing it wrong.

These are all very good points. From my personal experience, developers are very picky, they don’t like change, and they don’t like someone telling them to use some new cloud IDE. The offline issue used to be a sticking point but nowadays it’s becoming pretty difficult to find a place without internet. If no internet or WiFi is available, people can get online by tethering their mobile devices or via MiFi devices. Many airlines offer or installing WiFi on their planes.

Because it is a hard sell. I don’t think the flood of adoption is going to happen for a year or so. And I see adoption happening bottom-up with individual developers versus whole teams. But in the next few years as organizations take development operations as it’s own internal practice. They will look at standardizing IDEs as a way to decrease variance and increase efficiency, and at this point whole teams will consider moving to a Cloud IDE.

Enterprises are slow to change but I believe that in the next 3-5 years, most development will be done in the cloud. Enterprise that refuse to change will be disrupted. Most people probably didn’t think email can be in the cloud (Gmail). Most people probably didn’t believe CRM can be in the cloud (Salesforce). Most people didn’t think the word processing could be in the cloud (Google Drive, Office 360).

For organizations considering the move to DevOps but do not know where to start, the Cloud IDE is a low risk great place to get going and start introducing the other concepts of DevOps.

With cloud IDE’s there is nothing to download, install, and configure. Developers can usually start developing within a few minutes after signing up. For example, starting building mobile apps is almost instantly after you sign up with the Appery.io cloud IDE.

The good news for any developer who is on the fence with Cloud IDEs, is that, at the very least it’s something that can be tested in minuets. If nothing else you can add some more meat to your opinion as to why or why not to use them.

If the cloud IDE doesn’t meet your needs today, you can always come back in six months and try it again. You won’t have to download and upgrade anything. Anytime you sign in, you get the latest features.


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More Stories By Max Katz

Max Katz heads Developer Relations for Appery.io, a cloud-based mobile app platform. He loves trying out new and cool REST APIs in mobile apps. Max is the author of two books “Practical RichFaces” (Apress 2008, 2011), DZone MVB (Most Valuable Blogger), and is a frequent speaker at developer conferences. You can find out what Max is up to on his blog: http://maxkatz.org and Twitter: @maxkatz.