Video Killed the Radio Star and Cloud Computing Will Kill the Programming Star

The fundamental model for writing applications has not changed in 40 years. The core model is: 1) A library of useful APIs. 2) A programming language for writing applications that compose an application from the APIs and add some additional functions. There have been some changes: 1) Higher layer abstractions like BPEL or RDBMs queries. 2) More flexible “linking,” e.g. Web services. 3) Improved languages and frameworks, e.g. Spring.

Unfortunately, evolving the basic programming model will not work for cloud computing. Consider core elements of cloud computing:
1.Software-as-a-Service: The canonical example is Salesforce.com. Extending and programming the sales force application typically does not require programming. There is a higher layer, focused abstraction for adding fields, modifying forms, defining simple rules, creating simple workflows, etc. There is an intuitive interface for defining the customization and extensions. Write code is the exception, not the rule.
2.Platform-as-a-Service: Drupal is a widely used, open source platform for content and collaboration centric applications. There are over 8,000 plug-in modules. Using Drupal or a plug-in is primarily defining an information schema and setting configuration properties. There are interfaces for defining the schema and properties.
3.Programmable Web: The vision of SOA was, “Encapsulate all of your APIs, put them in a repository and build all new applications by stringing them together.” The programmable web of called APIs supersizes this model. Any function a programmer needs is “out on the web somewhere.”

These simple, configuration/form based technology and prebuilt modules/APIs allow non-programmers to implement 99.9% of all cloud applications. This model is what will drive cloud computing, combined with HTML5 based mobile applications.


About Speaker
Dr. Donald F. Ferguson is executive vice president and chief technology officer at CA, responsible for delivering common technology services to CA’s business units, ensuring architectural compliance and integration of the company’s solutions and products. Tasked with promoting technical excellence at CA and further developing the company’s technical community, Don chairs the CA Architecture Board and a newly formed Distinguished Engineer Board. He also serves on CA’s Executive Leadership Team, which supervises the business and technology strategies for the company as a whole.
Before assuming the position of CTO, Don was corporate senior vice president and chief architect. In this role, he defined the direction and technical evolution for CA products. Don placed special emphasis on product integration and support of new technologies like business process modeling, Web service standards and Web 2.0.
Prior to joining CA in 2008, Don was a Microsoft Technical Fellow working in the Office of the CTO. He worked on various projects exploring the future of enterprise software, with a special emphasis on Web services and Internet application platforms.
Don began his career at IBM, where he worked for twenty years. In 2001 Don became an IBM Fellow, IBM’s highest technical honor. IBM has approximately 50 IBM Fellows in the 150,000 person engineering team.
Earlier, he served as chief architect for the IBM Software Group, where he focused on design issues and initiatives spanning the DB2, WebSphere, Tivoli, Lotus and Rational product families. During this time, Ferguson also worked on a number of SOA and Web service initiatives, specifications and standards. Don also held the title of chief architect for the WebSphere product family from its inception until becoming IBM Software Group chief architect.
Don earned a Ph.D in Computer Science from Columbia University. He has contributed to approximately 30 technical journal and conference publications, and has more than a dozen patents.

Video Killed the Radio Star and Cloud Computing Will Kill the Programming Star

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