The past year brought a lot of changes to DevOps, most significantly the explosion of Generative AI and its integration into the role of the developer. For example, by June 2023, a GitHub survey found that 92% of US-based developers were already using AI coding tools both in and outside of work.
AI wasn't the only booming buzz in the DevOps space this year though. We also saw continued evolution around the cloud, focusing on migrating and re-architecting workloads as well as increased attention paid to low-code and no-code ways of programming. So, the question is, what can we expect in the new year? What will 2024 bring? The Developer Advocate team and I put our heads together and came up with a few predictions on what we think will come next year:
Peter McKee, Head of Developer Relations & Community
- AI to Transform the Future of Coding: AI will continue to deliver great value in addressing developer burnout, but it won’t ever be able to offload developers’ thinking and the human touch. However, I do think that even a few months from now we’ll see an entirely new set of GPTs — never mind what a few years from now will look like. I don’t believe technologists or developers will go away, but the nature by which they do their work every day will certainly change. The way developers use AI will be as simple and commonplace as Google searching for something as a shortcut. While there’s much to be explored about the usage of AI, we must still consider the human element at the forefront to check AI’s drawbacks. There is transformative potential for software development, but we can’t let it run without any checks — especially when digital businesses today are dependent on the software that underpins it.
Phil Nash, Developer Advocate
- Overconfidence in Generative AI Code will Lead to Generated AI Vulnerabilities: As more and more developers will use generative AI to successfully help build their products, 2024 will see the first big software vulnerabilities attributed to AI generated code. The success of using AI tools to build software will lead to overconfidence in the results and ultimately a breach that will be blamed on the AI itself. This will lead to a redoubling across the industry of previous development practices to ensure that all code, written by both developers and AI, is analyzed, tested, and compliant with quality and security standards.
Ben Dechrai, Developer Advocate
- Post-Quantum Cryptography: Quantum computing will continue to evolve, and with it the threat to encryption. Not all encryption algorithms are considered to be quantum-safe, and cloud providers like Cloudflare are already upgrading their systems to implement post-quantum cryptography to data-in-transit. I believe that 2024 will see this extend to providers looking at data-at-rest, such as document storage, health systems, and more, to mitigate future attacks against data encrypted in the present. For example, data encrypted today will probably be decryptable by quantum computing in 15 years, so we need to address that sooner, to keep our data safe way into the future.
- Simplified Service Configuration: We’re already seeing no-code and low-code being used to configure some areas of the hosted services we use, and this will increase. An Identity as a Service provider recently deprecated some of its full-code extensibility capabilities, requiring customers to use the newer low-code and no-code replacement. I believe we’ll also see a growth in intercommunication between services that will allow companies to define their infrastructure more wholistically through these simplified interfaces. While this might be through strategic partnerships at first, we might see a consensus towards a standardized configuration language that allows services to be almost plug-and-play in platform orchestration tools.
Jonathan Vila, Developer Advocate
- Low Code - No Code Growth: Next year we’ll experience a growth on low code - no code platforms that can create applications or services without the need for programming skills. This can allow for creating a bond between teams that know what the business needs by removing the translation and misunderstanding when sending those requirements to the development teams.
- Java is Not Going to Die (Again): It’s always been the rumor or joke that Java is dead in favor of other technologies, but I foresee that in one more year, this is going to be proven wrong. With the evolution of AOT compilation technologies more oriented to Cloud Native environments (Quarkus, Micronaut, Helidon, Spring native), and the new features of Java 21 helping the concurrency to be easier and more performant, as well as new features to come in order to improve the cold warm up with project Leyden, Java will be more alive than ever.
Whether we see these predictions actually come to fruition or not, it’ll be interesting to see how different trends play out over the next year.