· Tech watch

What are the technology trends for 2020 ?

2020 has arrived !

It’s time for us to take a quick look back at the past year and (re)discover the top stories of the end of 2019 and our hopes for 2020 on the tech front.

Things are moving faster than ever

In just a few years, technologies related to development, infrastructure and operations have grown, modernized and become available at an exponential rate.

  • From single-technology, monolithic projects, we are moving to multi-technology projects, with micro-services architectures ;
  • From on-premise hosting, to outsourcing, to cloud hosting ;
  • From manual machine provisioning, via bash scripts, to live container, orchestration, and automation via Chef, Puppet, Ansible… ;
  • Cloud Providers offer dozens, even hundreds of managed services.

Basically, things have moved very fast and it’s hard to keep track of all the changes without wondering if you’re already a has-been because you’re not using the latest trending technology.

But don’t worry, we’re all in this together and there’s no shame in it, at least not without good reason.

So let’s try and review the situation :

Highlights of the end of 2019

Docker Inc. has repositioned itself

With the sale of its Docker Enterprise solution (and the associated teams) to Mirantis, Docker has repositioned itself on the segment that made its initial success : tools for developers.

“We are hoping for major performance improvements of the Docker for Mac and Docker for Windows versions,
and we will keep an eye out for anything new that might come up.”

Also, as a direct consequence of the repositioning of Docker Inc., Swarm’s future is on the line. While Swarm is still a good way to get started, it is no longer a viable option for the longer term.

The last real outsider in the orchestration market is HashiCorp’s Nomad, which is gradually gaining in popularity.

For the general good, it is in everyone’s interest to have active competitors and thus keep a healthy rivalry.

“We hope that Nomad will keep growing and that other solutions will emerge.”

2020 will be more Kubernetes than ever

We told you that Kubernetes had won the battle of orchestrators. Now we can say that it may well be about to win the battle of virtualization.

Still don’t believe it ? Do you need more evidence that Kubernetes is winning ?

Take a look at these Cloud providers. All of them, without exception, offer a Kubernetes managed service.

  • Azure
  • Amazon
  • Digital Ocean
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • OVH
  • Scaleway

Not convinced yet ? Are you thinking about VMware ?

Here are some of VMware’s acquisitions in 2018/2019 :

  • Pivotal, which provides among others the Cloud Foundry PaaS solution and numerous DevOps tools
  • Heptio, a company specializing in Docker and Kubernetes
  • Bitnami, a company that also specializes in virtualization, Docker and Kubernetes, and DevOps tools

And finally, how about VMware’s introduction of Project Pacific, which will transform vSphere to build on and extend Kubernetes to continue managing applications in the same way with virtual machines !

Pretty impressive, right ?

Our hopes for 2020

The rise of fully cloud-based development environments ?

The trend has been around for quite some time now and a number of companies have already entered this market. But none of them have taken the lead yet, and there is still room for improvement.

So, for development environments based around Kubernetes, we will keep an eye on solutions such as :

  • Garden
  • Okteto
  • Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces
  • And many more.

“We strongly believe in the end of development environments running on local machines so that we can finally say goodbye to all the “but it works on my machine”, and to all the issues related to CPU, memory, disks, etc.”

Continuous integration and deployment

Continuous integration and deployment must become “Cloud Native” while getting back to what makes it work : simplicity.

There is not, and never will be, any such thing as a universal workflow, let alone a magical tool to address all issues.

JAMstack everywhere

The JAMstack¹ movement — which stands for JavaScript, APIs and Markup — is in full swing and provides solutions to a number of challenges, including :

  • Performance : JAMstack sites typically contain at least a static version that can be served very quickly and optimized.
  • Security : static sites are much less vulnerable and therefore require less maintenance (software, middleware, etc. updates).
  • Hassle-free accessibility, SEO : unlike solutions or CMS tools that sometimes include large amounts of “useless” markup, JAMstack sites are based solely on HTML, CSS and Javascript templates. The only thing that comes into play is the developers’ knowledge.
  • Updates : updating the site’s content is simply a matter of publishing a new version of the HTML site.

2019 was also marked by the emergence (or strong growth) of a number of new tools :

  • static site generators :
    • Hugo
    • Gatsby
    • Nuxt / Next
    • VuePress
  • Open Source or SaaS headless CMS solutions
    • Netlify CMS
    • Contentful
    • Forestry
    • DatoCMS
    • Sanity
    • Drupal
    • WordPress
  • Dedicated hosting, or included with cloud-based services :
    • Netlify
    • Github Pages
    • Gitlab Pages
    • Azure Blob Storage

Quality, performance, accessibility and security

Quality, performance, accessibility and security should no longer be seen as just another cost center !

These aspects of the Web are often sometimes neglected because when talking about the ROI on these areas, it is almost impossible to come up with realistic numbers.
As a result, for many businesses actions taken to identify, fix and monitor problems are only seen as costs for which funds are allocated when major problems occur (major site slowdowns with an obvious impact on SEO or conversion, lawsuits, exploited vulnerabilities, etc.).

We hope that 2020 will bring greater awareness among all players (service providers, startups, clients, government agencies, etc.) on these subjects, for which preventive investment is becoming a critical concern.

And in case you need further convincing, here’s more evidence that these issues are very topical right now :

  • Opquast, the certification and quality assessment tool for good practices on the Web² and a Clever Age partner, has raised €500K to speed up its development
  • We ♥️ speed, the conference dedicated to performance, was a big hit for its 2nd edition³
  • There is a growing number of lawsuits (and penalties) for poorly implemented or even missing accessibility features, mainly in the United States for now, but France could be next
  • Security is by no means left out with the GDPR and the CNIL (the French personal data watchdog) imposing record fines for data security breaches (e.g., Darty)

  1. WTF JAMstack ↩︎
  2. Clever Age is strongly committed to this initiative and the values it conveys, and we can prove it with nearly 80 certified collaborators, more than 40 % of whom are experts. ↩︎
  3. Clever Age sponsored both editions and contributed as a speaker during the 1st edition ↩︎

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