In our ongoing series of cloud and security predictions for 2021, Joe Duffy, CEO of Pulumi, joins me to share his predictions.

Pulumi’s own vision is ‘cloud engineering’, which according to Duffy is “developers building cloud applications that are cloud native, and take the full advantage of the cloud, collaborating closely with their infrastructure teams who are increasingly using engineering practices, and applying those to things like infrastructure as code, testing, and continuous delivery.” Pulumi offers SaaS solutions, based on its open source project.

Duffy believes that in 2021, the notion of cloud engineering will become more real than ever before. “We’re seeing developers getting their hands dirty with infrastructure, leveraging the cloud as powerful new building blocks in their application architectures. We are seeing people actually using the title cloud engineer,” he said.

He sees cloud engineering as the next wave that comes after DevOps, but it’s as much a set of best practices, principles, ways to do things as it is just culture and how we work together to really use the cloud as a competitive advantage.

His second prediction is that the cloud will permeate everything about the software. We won’t be building typical desktop applications anymore. “Every application we build is connected to the cloud in some way or another, whether that’s using the cloud for compute, for hosted AI/ML services or it’s infinitely scalable data stores and data warehouses spanning the globe. The cloud is really impacting all aspects of how we do software.”

As all software becomes cloud software, all developers will essentially become cloud developers and infrastructure teams will be central to enabling that next wave of innovation.

His third prediction is that security will become part of how we think about cloud engineering. Security as an afterthought has already done a lot of damage. That will change as companies will start to look at security as part of the architecture from day one.

His final prediction is that we are going to move beyond this notion of low-level services and start treating the cloud as an assembly language, in a sense moving in the direction of higher-level abstractions.

He argues that Kubernetes has already moved the needle in a big way. “We are going to move in this direction of building bigger things out of smaller things,” says Duffy.


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