Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Keeping Current

It's the end of the year. Have you had a chance to step away from your project and see what's going on in the world. Things continue to change.  Here are a couple of emerging trends that I've been thinking about lately.

Polygot Persistence - The database is no longer running on a single server down in the basement, and it's not even relational anymore. Martin Fowler gives credit for the term polygot persistence to Scott Leberknight in this blog post. The idea is that you may have many different data storage approaches for different data, and it may be spread across many servers, even in the cloud. NoSQL is the new buzzword being thrown around (including Fowler's and Pramad Sadalage's book, NoSQL Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Emerging World of Polyglot Persistence. Tools like Cassandra or MongoDB are gaining traction in this new trend. For example, Twitter is now using Casandra, Hadoop, and FlockDB in their polygot environment.

Cloud Computing - Cloud computing is where some part of your solution is in the cloud, a term that is used to refer to the internet. If you have a cloud based tool for running your projects, such as Rally, than you have SaaS - software as a service. If you have your development servers in the cloud, you have PaaS, platform as a service. If you've gone as far as having all your administration done by your service provider in the cloud, you're using infrastructure as a service (IaaS). Here's an article from Infoworld with more details on this trend.

MobilityIn case you haven't noticed, the age of mobile computing has arrived. IBM reported that 24% of people used mobile devices to visit retailers on Black Friday (disclosure - I work for IBM, but all opinions here are my own). We can't think about mobile as something we bolt on at the end of a project. We need to consider that a significant portion of our users may be on mobile devices exclusively and we have to design for it from the start.

As project managers in technology, it's important to keep up with the trends. What other trends are gaining traction?