‘Tech’tonic Layer Shifting (podcast): how the community conversation is moving from DATACENTRE cloud interop to APP cloud interoperability

After a hard days NZ skiing, we (several active cloud developers) sat down by the lodge fire to gossip about the latest computing hype: CONTAINERS.  The question being: “are containers *the* new tool set for creating cloud apps”?

The below sound bite picks up the conversation just after we discussed the brief history of developer tools for creating apps, such as virtual machines / operating systems (Vagrant, CoreOS/CentOS) and configuration/orchestration languages (Puppet, Ansibel, Chef, Juju, Heat).  Do “containers” represent the 3rd generation of “app tools” which will enable application developers to ‘write once and be read by many clouds‘ aka seamless app #portability?

Naturally, this podcast revealed more questions than answer, of which the following will help guide my next set of developer chats (stay tuned to @DFFlanders):

  • Who gets the most value out of having *portable* apps which can be built on any cloud?  Is it the user, the app-developer, the cloud provider, etc.?  Who losses out by not being able to lock in apps to their cloud platform?
  • How will the end user see the value of “cloud apps” as opposed to “mobile apps” or “desktop apps”?  How will the end user understand “the cloud” => as “cloud apps” or “software as a service”?
  • What does the future “cloud application developer” look like: is it a SysAdmin turned WebDev or will developers be expected to have #SysAdmin #DevOpps #WebDev and #UX skills as part of their “Full Stack” skill-set?
  • What is a “cloud app” and what will the killer cloud app look like?  Or is this just a play on language, and NOT something to spend too much time thinking about?
which community will win this next "app layer" in the cloud computing stack?!

which community will win this next “app layer” in the cloud computing stack?!

If nothing else the proliferation of developer tool sets for building apps on the cloud is going to be interesting to watch as the community battles it out.  Or, is it a battle at all?  Perhaps this is just the natural “conversational” movement by the community up the stack as it has been will all the computing layers below?  Are we shifting our language to be nearer the end user?

"Finally, I understand what you mean by the cloud!"

“Finally, I understand what you mean by the cloud!”

My two pence: “programming languages” *are* languages (prog lang are just a bit more structured than the ‘romance languages’ the average user is used to, e.g. English, Spanish, etc[1]).  While indeed, most of this “cloud app” gossip is hype, it is developers starting to use their ‘romance languages’ to prototype the next set of ‘programming language libraries’ which will bring cloud to the end user -via understandable metaphors[2]- as the dominant form of computing.  Accordingly, watching this conversation evolve *is* watching the next paradigm in computing take shape.

Let’s not stop the conversation there, ping me on the Twitters and tell me how you think the world will come to understand ‘cloud’ 😉 @DFFlanders

[1]= Naturally, I would include Indo-Chinese languages as well, but I’ve used “romance languages” for the audience I am currently writing this post for; I’d welcome a cultural discussion on the use of the term “cloud app” for other non western world cultures as well.

[2]= “Cloud apps” might not be the ‘analogy’ by which the average human comes to understand the cloud, however we can’t expect the end user to understand what we mean by terms like “software as a service” or “big data applications” or “high performance computing” <– not even the average University researcher knows what this is!!!


~ by dfflanders on August 15, 2015.

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