In an effort to entice developers to improve cloud security, Google, in collaboration with Intel, is launching the Confidential Computing Challenge. Google is looking for two different types of responses: those that advance confidential computing and those that leverage confidential computing to improve the security of an application.The deadline for submissions is April 1 and the winner will receive $15,000 in cash, $5,000 in Google Cloud Platform credits, and a Google hardware gift.Microsoft releases two new analytics services for AzureMicrosoft has announced two new Azure analytics services to remove the need for organizations to have to choose between higher speeds or lower costs.It released Azure Data Explorer (ADX), enabling organizations to have a fully managed database service for analyzing large amounts of streaming data. ADX allows data scientists to gain insights from data without having to do significant pre-processing of that data. It also released ADLS Gen2, a data lake that the company said “combines the scalability, cost effectiveness, security model, and rich capabilities of Azure Blob Storage with a high-performance file system that is built for analytics.”IBM Z Open Unit Test announcedIBM has announced IBM Z Open Unit Test, which is an automated unit testing solution for batch and CICS programs. According to the company, it works with IBM Z Open Development, which was released at the end of the year as way to develop on z/OS using Git. Together, the two solutions offer a “powerful continuous development, testing, and delivery environment.”Key features of IBM Z Open Unit Test include automated data capture and recording, test case generation for COBOL CICS programs, and the ability to store test cases in any SCM.Illumio raises $65 million in Series E fundingCybersecurity company Illumio has just raised $65 million in Series E funding, bringing its total funding up to $332.5 million. Illumio provides micro-segmentation, which more and more organizations are embracing as part of their security strategy, the company explained. Illumio will use this new funding to support its expanding presence in the US, EMEA, and APAC.“Regardless of industry or size, every organization has crown jewel or regulated assets running in their environment, and the only way to protect them effectively is ringfencing and segmentation,” said Andrew Rubin, CEO and co-founder of Illumio. “With this latest round of funding, we’re continuing to invest in scaling our global go-to-market as well as the innovation of our platform.”
Digital disruption is building a voracious appetite for developers — and every area of home and business life is adapting to disruption. Platform-based business models, from travel and hospitality to recruitment and P2P funding, dominate the economy.Firms like Airbnb and Uber have no physical inventory of their own, but their platforms have revolutionized their industries and are effectively infinite in scope and limited only by imagination.Of course, the key to success for all these firms is the creativity and passion of their development teams in delivering the best UX and staying ahead of the competition, as well as collaborating with the business to create more and more value by expanding products and services that can be rolled into a brand’s offer.So, with disruptors springing up across all industries, which skills are most in demand and where will the biggest opportunities be for developers who want a piece of the ongoing digital revolution?User experiencePerhaps the most important new skill set for developers to acquire in the new era of digital disruption is user experience (UX) design. This is a combination of development and design, where incidents that occur during a user journey can change customer behavior. Agile and LeanSecond on the list is the ability to operate in an Agile and Lean environment. Developers need to be entrepreneurial in their thinking, and therefore willing to take risks in the pursuit of success. This means working fast and being open to trying new things but also accepting that it’s okay to fail. It includes collaborating with the business to spot additional opportunities and working out how to build a new service from another service, possibly using data analytics to identify patterns of behavior in the context of multiple data sources.Infrastructure developers A new breed of developer is beginning to emerge in line with huge platforms such as Amazon, WeChat and Google, whose main aim in life is to provide everything that users need so they never have to leave the platform. There’s a requirement for developers who can work on back-end infrastructure to ensure services are fully integrated and secure within short timeframes. Their skills are applied to building systems that move customers from one area to another without friction.App buildersEnvironments such as iOS and Android are enabling millions of developers to create new apps in days, pulling data from multiple sources and leveraging the stability of core platforms and existing code to address niche areas of value for customers. Marketplaces including the Apple and Google Stores mean that there is a ready-made marketing and distribution channel for new apps, as well as quality control.Blurring linesOur increasingly entrepreneurial economy is encouraging more and more people to grow small pools of profit, operating on their own or in small teams. This may begin at university, where students can earn as they learn by building apps. There is a very low barrier to entry for those who want to get involved, as app development has become truly democratized. Even those who feel more comfortable working for a big organization can try out their ideas for new apps in their spare time. It’s not just possible to learn development skills for free online, but it’s positively encouraged in the spirit of keeping up with new technologies and their capabilities.Digital disruption is opening up new channels for developer skills across a whole gamut of disciplines, from writing micro apps at one end of the spectrum to building elegant user interfaces, customer journeys and back-end infrastructure at the other.Organizations in the financial services sector understand that the old days of hierarchical and inflexible system development of whatever kind are over, and that they cannot afford to fall behind emerging technology trends. The role of developers in this new environment is to bring a new mindset of entrepreneurial and collaborative thinking to the fore, and to play an active part in delivering value for customers and employers alike.