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Trends in the latest Technology Radar

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ThoughtWorks's latest "Technology Radar" focuses on mobile, accessible analytics, simple architectures, reproducible environments, and data persistence done right.

Consumer interactions will be primarily through mobile platforms in the future and this is one of the drivers of the "Technology Radar" recommendations. Another trend is how reliable cloud computing platforms will enable accessible analytics. The need for architects to create simple architectures through interchangeable best of breed technologies is also highlighted. Emphasis is put on encouraging teams to create reproducible environments to reap the benefits of visibility, traceability, scalability, and reliability at their finger tips. Software Engineers are encouraged in the "Technology Radar" to use NoSql databases to easily model domains in the data persistence done right trend.

Technologies recommended for adoption align strongly with the prevalence of mobile platforms in consumer hands:

"Mobile first embraces this trend by designing user interfaces and server interactions that target mobile devices in the first instance."

Back end systems are embracing graph database technologies that can easily represent complex distributed domains (e.g. mobile usage):

"Graph databases store information as arbitrarily interconnected nodes linked by named relations, rather than as tables and joins."

Additionally, back end systems will capture as much data as possible to perform advanced analytics at massive scale on low cost computing cloud resources:

"Now, using a spectrum of new technologies like NoSQL, data harvesters, MapReduce frameworks, and clusters of shared-nothing commodity servers, we have the power necessary to make truly effective use of these techniques [machine learning, semantic analysis, text mining, quantitative analytics]."

On the other hand there are technologies that have been put on hold that would make for brittle continuous delivery pipelines otherwise:

"Web browser automation tools like Selenium have encouraged widespread automated testing through the browser. While these tests continue to have their place in a test portfolio, most teams find that executing the bulk of tests through the browser creates a slow and fragile test suite."

[ All quotes above were taken directly from the ThoughtWorks "Technology Radar." ]

A portion of the recommendations directly reinforce DevOps best practices. Automated deployment and Infrastructure as code in combination with configuration management tools, e.g. Chef or Puppet, allow for efficient management of large server farms. Immutable servers become especially important with large server farms that are automatically scaled (e.g. AWS Auto Scaling). Continuous integration in the cloud is ready for trials on projects that have identified potential benefits and are prepared to manage the risk (e.g. security, vendor conventions, tech stack availability). AtTask leveraged the cloud for CI and their solution has reduced their acceptance testing from three days to minutes.

The "Technology Radar" intends to influence decision making through recommendations about what should be adopted and what should be held at bay.  The recommendations in the "Technology Radar" follow the same format as their previous radar and are similar to the recommendations produced by Gartner's research of technology along the Hype Cycle.

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