Why are Cloud Development Environments Spiking in Popularity, Now?
Tech companies are building their cloud development environments (CDEs) and dozens of vendors are launching their offerings. But why now?
Two months ago, we covered the quiet revolution unfolding at tech companies: cloud development environments (CDE.) We went through the ideas behind CDEs, their upsides and downsides, and case studies in the use of this tech at Uber, Slack and Pipedrive.
In this issue, we explore why CDEs are taking off now, and get insights from an engineer who has worked in the CDE space for 7 years, Mario Loriedo, senior principal software engineer at Red Hat, tech lead of open source project, Eclipse Che, and a Cloud Native Computing Foundation ambassador.
Why are CDEs gaining popularity, now?
Virtual desktops vs CDEs
The evolution of the CDE space since 2016
The biggest challenges of the CDE space
The future of software development in local environments
See also the other two articles on this topic:
1. Why are CDEs gaining popularity, now?
The concept of remote development environments stretches back to the dawn of computer programming. In the 1960s, expensive central computers were shared by many users, sitting at terminals. Each user had a specific amount of time to use the processor in this setup called “timesharing.”
Cloud development environments are similar to how programmers used a terminal to program a central computer, back then. A big difference is that in the case of old-school timesharing, the goal was to save on infrastructure costs, as the cost of CPU cycles was far higher than programming time. A single mainframe machine cost several times the annual salary of a programmer; the Atlas computer at Manchester University in the UK cost £50M in today’s money, the equivalent of several hundred programmers’ annual salaries. No wonder compute time was so valuable!
Today, it is compute that’s much cheaper than software engineers’ time. In the US, a software engineer working at a Big Tech company is compensated more than 100 times the cost of a high-end laptop, annually.
So why the sudden rise in use of remote environments? I observe several trends which make this shift understandable and sensible:
Here are the reasons: