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How CDEs enhance automated software delivery

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Cloud development environments (CDEs) represent a milestone in software development. They shift key development processes like writing code, executing builds, running tests, and deploying applications into the cloud. This powerful act empowers teams with greater scalability, flexibility, collaboration, and efficiency, revolutionising the way teams deliver software.

The centralised, efficient, and cloud-centric workflows that characterise CDEs make them invaluable assets for developers seeking to build innovative applications and streamline their development processes. Moreover, Gartner named CDEs one of its top 25 emerging technologies for 2023, solidifying its status as an innovative technology and signalling the probability of increased mainstream adoption in the coming years.

In this blog, we’ll explore how CDEs can enhance automated software delivery and unlock software development's true potential.

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What are cloud development environments (CDEs)?

A CDE is an on-demand, pre-configured development environment that includes all the tools, libraries, and dependencies for teams to build, test, and deploy applications without the need for physical infrastructure or local installation. It is designed to allow better collaboration between developers and platform teams.

CDEs shift your developer’s environment or workspace from local machines to the cloud, where it is accessed from a web browser or an app. All computationally heavy processes—like compiling code, running automated tests, or building containers—happen in the cloud. By leveraging cloud computing resources, this approach offers a greater level of flexibility, scalability, and accessibility.

Shifting to CDEs reimagines the developer experience, providing developers with more power and flexibility. Working in CDEs enables them to use the device of their choice, onboard in seconds, and work from any location.  

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What is automated software delivery?

Simply put, automated software delivery is the process of using tools and systems to automatically move code changes through testing, staging, and production environments.

Key practices in modern software development, Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) integrate automation into every stage of the software cycle, from code integration to deployment, resulting in faster release cycles, enhanced collaboration, and improved code quality.

Automating software delivery has become a crucial strategy for businesses aiming to streamline their development processes and enhance efficiency. By automating the repetitive, mundane tasks that comprise software delivery, you can free your developers to focus on value-added tasks, like problem-solving and innovating. Other advantages include faster time to market, reduced costs, the ability to respond to market conditions more quickly, and software with fewer bugs and lower risk.

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Integrating CDEs with automated software development

A CDE brings the entire development lifecycle into one integrated cloud workspace, moving away from developers having fragmented toolchains and dependencies across individuals and devices. Core components like the integrated development environment (IDE), runtime, infrastructure configurations, dependencies, collaboration tools, testing frameworks, and pipelines are bundled together and accessible through cloud browsers.

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How CDEs enhance automated software delivery

  1. Streamlined development workflows
    CDEs offer seamless integration with popular development tools and platforms, such as Git repositories and continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines. This integration simplifies the development workflow and boosts productivity, enabling developers to focus more on coding and less on infrastructure management.
  2. Improved onboarding for new developers
    With traditional, decentralised setups, machines need to be configured before the developer can get to work—resulting in a time-consuming onboarding process. The online nature of CDEs makes it easy and fast to onboard developers regardless of their location. Moreover, the pre-configured environment eliminates complex setup processes and reduces the risk of configuration errors, simplifying the onboarding process for new developers.  
  3. Scalability for optimal performance
    CDEs provide on-demand resource allocation, allowing developers to easily scale their infrastructure based on project requirements, rather than being tied to fixed hardware capacity. Developers can provision resources as needed, and this agility ensures optimal performance, minimises costs, and prevents downtime during peak usage periods.
  4. Enhanced collaboration
    Cloud-based development environments enable real-time collaboration between team members and facilitate code sharing, documentation, and project management. This streamlined collaboration accelerates development cycles and promotes knowledge sharing within the team.
  5. Consistent development environments across teams
    A cloud development platform also offers prebuilt templates to spin up development environments for specific app stacks quickly, resulting in more consistent environments across teams.
  6. Reduced configuration drift and environment discrepancies
    Over time, individual development environments may diverge from each other and production, leading to unexpected behaviours or bugs. CDEs mitigate this drift through consistent configurations and global application of changes to environments.
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Unlock the true potential of software development

CDEs represent the next evolution of software development—one rooted firmly in the cloud. Ready to explore how CDEs can transform software development in your organisation?

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About the authors

Jobin Kuruvilla

Jobin Kuruvilla

Jobin Kuruvilla is a DevOps subject matter expert, and an experienced solutions expert and App developer. Jobin has several certifications under his belt, including Atlassian products, GitLab certified PSE, AWS, Kubernetes, Jenkins et.al. to name a few, and has spearheaded implementing Digital Transformation for teams and enterprises.