Cloud ... International Scholarships Jobs week ending 11 March 2018
Most developers spend about 60% of their time building and the rest of their time learning. Often the research is proactive, due to personal interest or a desire to ensure skills are up to date. I am in this camp. At other times it is borne of sheer necessity. You learn what is vital to tackling your next big project. I am also in this camp (no one says you have to choose). In the past new projects assumed a hosted or on premise approach. The project manager and system designer had to think about the essential requirements like scalability, availability and (of course) security. In the present we still need to deliver on these essentials but the app developers now need to do a lot more (as always). They need to span the globe, support millions of users, curate petabytes of data, glean insights and delight users in new ways.
Enter the cloud. As observed previously, cloud services deliver built in scalability and availability. The best providers also provide a wealth of prebuilt functionality for driving innovation into our apps in such a way that we need not worry about physical infrastructure and the related overhead. Surprisingly, the biggest challenge is that there is so much information out there that knowing where to start can be daunting! The average developer is already engaged with the cloud at some level but sometimes technical project managers (TPM) and digital innovation managers are found to be at sea. A year ago I was asking myself, “Am I getting the most out of the data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies that are available in the cloud?”. If you are asking yourself this question, then the next few weeks are for you. Or perhaps you are not a cloud newbie per se, your question is rather “Am I missing the key ingredients to deliver my next breakthrough project or application?”.
If you are not sure the answer to either question, you are not alone. Microsoft internal research shows that “75 percent of developers are building data into their apps and 64 percent have a high level of confidence working with databases”. Furthermore, “only 24 percent of developers are comfortable activating cloud data services on their own”. Over the next few weeks I (am thinking of 3 weeks but depending on your feedback could spend more time on this) will consider a few scenarios that software and digital projects are likely to face when trying to unlock the full potential of data. In each scenario I will suggest what services could be considered as a starting point. The common data scenarios include:
· Scalability and availability. How can the cloud help keep everything up and running?
· Multitenant software-as-a-service (SaaS) app. How can you deliver the same services to hundreds of thousands of customers while ensuring they cannot see one another’s data?
· Global reach. How can your app deliver fast, real time recommendations to users across multiple countries and regions without the stress of complex configurations spanning multiple datacenters?
· Big data and advanced analytics. How can you turn mountains of data into actionable insights?
· AI. How can you employ AI within your apps to reach out to users more naturally and contextually wherever they are?
· Security and compliance. How can you ensure fragmented legislation is adhered to regardless of what you are building in the cloud?
Have a great week and let us dig in more detail next week.
p.s. Although the jobs and scholarships links below have been updated, the content of the leading discussion was originally posted for the week ending 25 February. Due to compatibility issues I am restarting the series. Big thank you to engineers at LinkedIn and Twitter who helped fix the incident.
Engineering & Technology