ThoughtWorks Technology Radar: Kotlin, Terraform and the new data processing

ThoughtWorks Technology Radar: Kotlin, Terraform and the new data processing

The consultancy ThoughtWorks has released the 20th edition of its bi-annual Technology Radar. He evaluates new trends in software development and digital business strategy.

The goal is to help with decision-making by providing the authors of the report, including Rebecca Parsons, Martin Fowler and Erik Doernenburg, with recommendations for the use of individual techniques. In the new edition, they highlight four topics: the changing shape of data, the growing terraform ecosystem, the further boom of the Kotlin programming language, and the resolution of the limits of encapsulation.

To evaluate the trends, the authors use a visual approach to group them into four groups: techniques, platforms, tools, and programming languages and frameworks. Within each group, each trend is given a recommendation:

  • “Hold” for technologies that are not recommended for use at this time
  • “Assess” for technologies that are worth an evaluation,
  • “Trial” for technologies that are ready for use, and
  • “Adopt” for mature technologies.

The new design of data takes place against the background that the data volume has grown strongly and the data comes more from different sources. A decade ago, data was more or less synonymous with relational databases. Businesses are looking for answers in real time today. It may therefore be challenging for developers to identify the tools and strategies they need to get the most out of their data. Software architects and developers should take advantage of the new opportunities, but at the same time be careful not to simply use the new tools as the already known, so the recommendation of ThoughtWorks.

Developers like abstraction layers because they can reduce complexity. For a long time, the focus was on the application container technology Docker and its ecosystem. Then the focus shifted to container orchestration tools like Kubernetes. Currently, most of the activity is based on Infrastructure as Code, especially the Terraform ecosystem. With Terraform, infrastructure for applications in the cloud can be created and managed automatically. The tool can thereby relieve administrators and developers of much routine work.

The Kotlin programming language continues to be strongly represented in the Technology Radar and is gaining importance even beyond Android, where it has become the standard programming language for creating apps. Kotlin is popular with developers and appears across multiple platforms and tools. The pragmatic design, the up-to-date tools and a growing ecosystem speak for a long lasting success of the programming language.

“Developers who have not tried Kotlin are well advised to take a look at what it can do,” said Rebecca Parsons, chief technology officer at ThoughtWorks. “It’s a really good language with solid features and a growing ecosystem.”

The Everything Is Code trend includes infrastructure, security, compliance, and operations, often resulting in highly complex configuration systems or extensive use of visual orchestration tools. Teams work with different components at different levels, merging into a single system. It often happens that business logic ends up in orchestration tools and configuration files. Although sometimes necessary, ThoughtWorks authors recommend that teams leave this code where developers can stick to testing, version control, continuous integration, and other proven development practices.

Source: Technology Radar Volume 20