Recently, the whole world was shocked by the mass popular social networks and services shutdown. Millions of users around the world were left without their usual network services, and the Facebook, Instagram and Amazon owners lost billions of dollars due to problems with their cloud infrastructure. Unfortunately, there is an opinion that cloud dependence in the world will only grow, which means that the digital apocalypse will come someday.
IT Cloud future
Indeed, the IT dependence on clouds is constantly growing. But it is unlikely that business today calculates the risks by adding all the services, let’s say, into one Amazon. Refusal to maintain your own data centers is a steady trend in the IT sector development. The Techtime project guests discussed this: Valentin Zavadsky, CEO of Rubyroid Labs, Nikita Lipsky, Leading Engineer of Key Projects at the Huawei Research Center, and Roman Bugaev, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at the Flo Period Tracker App. Speaking about the IT market development, experts identified several trends at once that could affect the fate of the industry. And not all innovations, according to them, can lead to a “cloudless”, bright future in IT.
After the pandemic – a “hybrid world”?
Roman Bugaev, Chief Technology Officer of the Flo application, believes that the pandemic has forced developers and IT companies to move to the clouds.
— In the last two years, the situation has worsened, the expert says. — But when the pandemic is over, it will definitely get better. We have gained remote work experience and can use the best of the “two worlds”. Big IT companies like Apple are trying to move to a hybrid model where there is both offline and online practice. I don’t know how it will be possible to introduce such a dual model, because many company employees are against returning to the office. For two years, someone has already managed to leave for a small town and does not want to return to the metropolis. But I am sure that the “hybrid world” can bring great benefits to both employees and employers.
Certainly the world has changed. And currently not only the number of posts on Facebook, but also the remote developers careers depend on how stable network services work.
Amazon didn’t cave in under COVID…
— Nowadays companies are increasingly using SaaS services, although they used to focus on developing their own cloud infrastructures. The days of corporate servers are already gone, and everyone is starting to move to a “clean cloud”. Because of this, a new industry is beginning to take shape – the SaaS services management, – says Bugaev. — Only in our company more than 150 cloud services are used: from Google and Atlassian to Miro and Zoom.
According to him, the cloud services popularity has grown strongly due to the pandemic.
— Even Amazon did not cave in under COVID, says the CTO of the Flo application. — Although the load on its infrastructure has grown very much in a short period of time. I even remember the moment when everyone abruptly began to go online. Streaming services have had to suspend broadcasts in high definition. Instead of movies, viewers saw solid pixels on the screen. But I do not remember that in parallel cloud providers had problems and had to somehow limit themselves in order to ensure stability during the increase in loads on the Internet.
The expert believes that the providers withstood, and this indicates that they have a very well-organized logistics for the services provision.
— Amazon is the leader now, although it is a bit of a geeky service,” says Valentin Zavadsky, CEO of Rubyroid Labs. — It has become the default choice for startup creators, especially since Amazon makes it easier to find specialists. At the same time, Amazon gives a lot of benefits, and if you calculate the full cost, then reproducing such a service in your own data center will be many times more expensive or impossible.
— Only such companies as Facebook can afford good data centers, but they develop specialized equipment for these data centers, which helps them solve special problems. For example, store a lot of custom pictures or process information quickly,” Roman Bugaev sums up.
Therefore, Amazon becomes a smart choice for both large and very small companies. Even companies with 5-10 users sometimes benefit from using Amazon. After all, there are services with a free number of user requests, which may be quite enough for a project.
— The transition to the lambda architecture, Bugaev believes. — Is beneficial for super-small projects, it helps to save money, including companies whose user load grows permanently – twice a year, like the tax office. But the battle in the cloud services market is also for large companies that have their own data centers. Amazon recently launched virtual mainframes in the cloud in hopes of new big customers.
Corporations are passionate about security
While Amazon is waiting for large customers, the latter have taken a great interest in security. In particular, Apple is linking privacy to its new business strategy, and is actively promoting differential privacy and other related solutions.
— This trend may well become a continuation of the initiative with the GDPR, which started in 2018,” says Roman Bugaev. — The privacy topic now imposes very severe restrictions on modern architectural solutions. I would associate the security trend with the pandemic, because many businesses have gone online, and left unprepared. So hackers started using it. Today, it has become simply impossible to hire a good security expert in the market. They are in great demand, especially after numerous stories regarding data leakage from large companies.
The expert notes that a lot of tools are currently being developed in the security sphere.
— For example, we work with Snyk, which finds vulnerabilities in libraries, code, and infrastructure. While programming, he can block pipelines before release. A lot of different tools helping monitor the network infrastructure around the clock have appeared. We started using Orca Security. This is a fairly new solution that meets the mentioned requirements for improving the network infrastructure security. And all these tools, of course, affect the infrastructure and engineering solutions. Speaking about general engineering trends, then I remember a recent attempt to measure the architecture according to the evolution architecture principle, when the solutions architecture can change over time. The measurement consisted in fixing the number of connections between modules, so that as the architecture changes, this number does not change, – notes Roman Bugaev.
To the presidency through the blockchain, the corruption death
Due to the pandemic, people have started thinking more about decentralization and blockchain. Despite the success with cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology has not yet become mainstream.
— I have hated blockchain all my life. I associate this technology with billionaires who mine, trade, and so on. It is difficult for me to take seriously public statements about the blockchain success, mass transactions,and new payment systems based on the blockchain. In fact, there are some five transactions on the blockchain per hour, and this technology is not very popular in practice, says Valentin Zavadsky, CEO of Rubyroid Labs. – I wonder if we will live to see the moment when the presidential elections will be implemented on the blockchain?
The expert does not deny that the decentralization trend is on the way, but whether everything will be built on the blockchain is a big question.
— It is possible that completely new solutions may appear in the decentralization topic. And we can say quite confidently that elections in the future will be organized using some kind of decentralized repository, Nikita Lipsky believes.
— I see how blockchain works in payments, and I think that with the current speed of these systems, there will be certain difficulties with the election processes organization, Roman Bugaev doubts the future digital elections honesty. — On the other hand, the blockchain topic is now playing a big role in payments. Large companies are even solving the problem of transferring millions of dollars quickly with the help of blockchain, for example, from India to the United States. Intercontinental transactions are transferred to the blockchain in compliance with the interbank interaction rules. Therefore, paper money may disappear in the future. Even despite the fact that such a concept as corruption is closely connected with paper money.
According to the participants in the discussion, it is possible to solve the problem of corruption not only through elections using the blockchain. It is enough just to cancel paper banknotes. As Roman Bugaev says, today it is easier to transfer cryptocurrency from account to account than to transfer a suitcase with cash.
— Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are mentioned in conjunction with black markets. Yes, cryptocurrency is a means of transferring funds. Then the money is still transferred to fiat, banks are involved in this process. And the conversion will be easier and easier. They will try to whitewash the blockchain and make it more controllable, but the black market will still remain. To make paper money a thing of the past, it is necessary to somehow solve the payment problem when there is no electricity. For example, many applications can work offline, so such a solution can be created on “trust” algorithms, he believes.
Go, Kotlin and Python
Another question is what language to use to create not only trust finance solutions, but also future applications and platforms. Experts refer to forecasts that regularly appear in Gartner reports.
— As for the choice of tools for development by large companies, it seems to me that everything will depend on the support duration for infrastructure solutions and the investments volume. Even Google promotes Go and Kotlin, they invest a lot of money in promotion. Our Flo product uses the highest paying programming language, Scala. This language was actively developed when Twitter and other companies that used it were in trend. Now the Scala popularity wave has subsided a bit, although the language is still quite popular. Bigtech sets the trends, and the rest of the companies simply follow these trends with a delay of several years. So, speaking about large companies, then Amazon has Java “inside”, Google has Go, so these technologies will definitely be in the top. And here it is vital to understand that companies do not focus only on these languages, it all depends on the goals, so a technological mix may well be used, Roman Bugaev notes.
A developer will find a job even on COBOL
It is not worth worrying about the fact that one of the developers will not fit into a bright future.
Valentin Zavadsky is sure that developers will find a job in any programming language they learn today, even in COBOL. Naturally, it concerns languages that have been relevant for at least the last 20 years.
— There are industries, such as aircraft manufacturing, where the cycle from product development to its decommissioning is more than 30 years. And the biggest challenge in these industries is how to develop software that has unborn developers fixing bugs. Whatever development technology is taken into account now, most likely, the developer immersed in it will be in demand in the market for the next 10-15 years, Roman Bugaev argues.
After Google, they will be hired as a CTO in a startup
The developers success depends not only on the software tools that they know how to use, but also on the previous workplace.
— Why do developers tend to go to work at Google and other large companies? Roman Bugaev asks his colleagues. — As a rule, this opens up new career opportunities for them. After working at Google, anyone will be hired to work as a CTO in almost any startup. And this creates a problem for Google, the company has a very large outflow of personnel due to the fact that people are poached.
— And therefore, an interesting question arises, comments Valentin Zavadsky. — After all, you can attribute to yourself your work at Facebook. Who can check it?
— There are markets where even small companies, when hiring any employees, check the applicant profile information. In the basic version, it is a recommendation test, says Roman Bugaev. — In the EU, a situation is very common when the applicant gives HR his email address and consent to verification, and the HR department requests information through a special application. The application gets access to shared databases, and can show where a person used to work. And startups use this to check quickly whether a prospective employee is lying about their competencies and their place of work.
— When I recruit people, I very rarely read information from CVs, I prefer LinkedIn. The wording that the applicants use on LinkedIn is less pretentious. The CV will say: “Chief Software Architect”. Like, they did all the work alone, and the CTO took advice from them. And LinkedIn details show that only one functionality has been developed, and it’s good that they haven’t got fired. Information posted on the Web is public, it is difficult to embellish something. In this respect it is necessary to take into consideration that in some countries, without the candidate’s permission, it is impossible to check information on his social media accounts. At least reputable HR companies have a rule not to do such a check without permission, he says.
No code, no money, no developers
There are companies that don’t dive into the hiring developers hassle and prefer to save money with no-code development.
— There is a very wide range of tasks for which business is not ready to spend money, says Roman Bugaev. — These tasks have to be solved with the help of no-code tools. For example, you need to automate some kind of management process, synchronizing the work of several tools. And if the solution to this problem does not bring direct benefits to the company, then no-code will work well. Moreover, it is now profitable to put no-code solutions into SaaS services, so that customers can simply assemble a solution “from blocks” that will help them optimize their workflow.
So the IT future may turn out to be quite “cloudless” for hosting providers and large corporations. For developers, the future is constantly hidden in a fog of change.