Cloud computing will see devs soar to new heights

Software code the new oil of IT

Software developers will be the oil moguls of the IT industry thanks to the utility and cloud computing concept, experts say.

Analysts say smart developers will rake in cash as vendors war over the best software code — the new black gold of the industry &mdash during the next three decades.

Former CIO for the Queensland Health and Transport departments Paul Summergreene said cloud computing and its manifestations will make code development cheaper and faster.

"The role and attitudes [of software developers] will change," Summergreene said.

"The cloud allows them to focus on writing code and entrepreneurs in the industry will see it as an opportunity."

He said the best software developers will cut costs, development time and money by hosting their kit in the cloud.

Longhaus principle research analyst Sam Higgins said the choice for developers between Java, .Net or dynamic language scripting will become comparable to choosing a religion.

"There will be three choices; the church of Microsoft, Java or the dynamic script crowd which are the atheists in that sense," Higgins said.

"Application lifecycle management will be pushed up into the cloud. Having test-boxes and toolkits in the cloud will make developers more agile to interact with vendors and allow them to work from home because they will push code into the cloud.

"Developers will be faster to market and have cheaper costs because the cloud will wipe off their capital expenditure."

Vendors will be screwed without good devs

A software developer at a Sydney-based media company, who requested anonymity, said while cloud computing will cut development costs through bandwidth and scaling, it may increase complexity.

"I do not think a movement to cloud computing will be as revolutionary to software development as suggested. Writing good software is already complicated, time consuming, and costly, and developing for the cloud just introduces another level of complexity that needs to be dealt with," he said.

"While it may cut some of the time they would have otherwise spent managing infrastructure, the bulk will still be spent where it always is — writing code.

"The 'cloud' means I do not have to worry so much about whether the servers my code runs on can scale while a project is in its infancy. I can instead let someone else worry about that while I get in and build something. That is a great brain saver."

A self-employed software developer based in Sydney said the idea is old news to open source developers have used the free Google Code hosting service.

"In the end it is still the same war; the guys that stick to free stuff already know how to use the existing clouds, and the guys who stick to commercial software will think this is great," he said.

"To me, it does not help very much because open source programming and community contributions have been around for ages."

He said wise companies regard community contributions as much as work on commercial software.

Longhoas founder and managing director Peter Carr said the dominant software vendors will have best developers.

"Software code will be the new oil," Carr said.

"Whatever platform customers choose will determine who wins in the industry, so the best and smartest developers will be sought after."

He said developers will make big bucks if they are well-positioned when cloud computing takes off. "Vendors will be screwed without good devs," he said.

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