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What are your thoughts on SaaS management platforms (SMP)?

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How often do your engineering sprint cycles hit expected release timelines?

Top Answer : This is a sad state of affairs, in my opinion.  Though I think the responses do reflect the current state.  I still see most organization doing agile rather than being agile.   I consider a good number for my teams to be 105%.  I have had teams that have hit this rate for years on end.  Where this isn't happening, the focus should almost always be on management rather than on the teams.

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What opportunities can low-code offer developers?

Top Answer : Low-code provides a way to optimize productivity for developers. I think the fundamental issue we are facing today is while software creating the differentiators and competitive advantage for companies in every business domain, there is a lack of skilled developers to cater the demand. . Whomever we can recruit and retain, we need to find ways to make them more productive.  The problem is that current low-code platforms are built for semi-technical users, or “citizen developers.” So we are trying to make low-code interesting for professional developers to then make them more productive in our low-code platform ‘Choreo’. Because when it comes to development, there are interesting tasks involved but there are also boring tasks like accessing a database or doing data mapping. So we’re looking at how we can offload some of those repetitive, less interesting tasks onto low-code.

What’s the main cause of the low-code/pro-code chasm?

Top Answer : Low-code and pro-code teams are working in separate silos, independently. You can't connect them. If we did have a way to connect, then they could work as one team: Low-code developers can build certain things, and then pro-code developers can improve them or take them to the next level. As long as they are working on the same code base, it would be more productive. With these modern agile teams, you can engage more and more business users and get their input on these projects as well. I believe the software industry is like the movie industry, because both are creative and try to provide a better experience for the end user. Developers are visual: We spend a lot of time in front of a whiteboard. We draw stuff and that's how we communicate. So why can't developers get the advantage of the same drawing method when they’re coding? Low-code platforms need to include the concept of proper drawing using notations that developers are familiar with so they can draw and edit at the same time. If we find a platform to support that work and address the problems highlighted above, then we can bridge the low-code/pro-code chasm that organizations are experiencing.

Why doesn’t low-code appeal to professional developers?

Top Answer : Low-code is unappealing to professional developers because of the problems with low-code platforms. The first and key problem is the user experience is not fitting for a pro-code/professional developer. They like to use an integrated development environment (IDE) for coding, but because low-code interfaces are built for the citizen developers it doesn't work properly.  The second issue is that low-code is one way—you can generate code from the graphical interface but you can't edit the source code. If you change the source code, the graphic will not render accurately. And  generated code doesn't fit into the software development life cycle. For example, software developers use version control and they do testing and debugging when there's a problem, but these low-code platforms don't support it to the extent professional developers expected. Also, most low-code platforms are not integrated with other systems and in today's world, you need to integrate with many  SaaS systems like Salesforce, HubSpot and even Google workspaces. All these things need to be integrated when you are building something, but integration capabilities are limited in low-code. The last problem is vendor lock-in. Once you generate a code from low-code,  It has to run within that particular platform. Also, the generated code is not a clean code that a developer can read, understand and modify. So we are working on trying to find a solution by creating textual and graphical parity where the picture is the code and the code is the picture.

What are the main challenges you face with using cloud cms?

Top Answer : Backup and restore. Often all or nothing, lack of granularity, lack of easy cloning of environments for test purposes

Will the increasing ethical complexities of data protection make it harder for IT to operate at the speed of the business?

Top Answer : When it comes to ethics and how we protect data at the code level, it's a totally different mindset now. I can't move at the speed of the business. Looking at access to the systems solely from the human perspective is just wrong. Last year, our whole cyber defense testing model was all about defending data in the middle of a contaminated container. This year, we're going to continue that concept and add a compromised virtual private network (VPC) layer, plus issues with our API connections from a poorly configured solution.  Ethically, if I'm responsible for being able to track the integrity, availability and confidentiality of the data, I now have to look at it from both the human factor perspective and systems factor perspective. There are very few solutions that understand tracking ethical usage of data from the system identity out to the human being, it's always from a human being in.

Can UX be more important than security in the SaaS development cycle?

Top Answer : In her book, The Pentagon’s Brain, Annie Jacobsen tracks the life cycle of the internet and the source of some of our current problems. She maps it back to its original purpose, which was to be a place of trust. Once you met a complex set of requirements and gained access, you could traverse all over the internet because it was designed to facilitate trust between the US government, the Department of Defense (DOD) and universities. Today we have subscribed to user experience. It’s so critical now that we bypass security. And then when your Peloton is sharing data because the API is not configured correctly, we wonder why. So I question whether we’ve learned that lesson. We were so focused on the outcome that we put aside fundamental components of security by design, which leads to compliance by design, which leads to privacy by design.