It’s no longer a world where a developer throws code over the wall to someone to deploy it. Now, the world developers live in is one where they invest in deployment channels and deployment pipelines themselves.

As a developer writes code, they are thinking about where the code is going to run and how it’s going to be maintained or supported. According to Aaron Bjork, principal group program manager at Microsoft, developers need to invest in deployment and understand it because it’s their job now.

“Developers are very interested in technologies that allow them to write once and target many platforms, so that’s what many developers are paying attention to these days,” he said. “We want code reusability and we want to make sure the investments we are making from a tech standpoint are going to stand the test of time across a breadth of platforms.”

While organizations are becoming more agile, developers still need to make sure that they are keeping track of their deliverables and making sure that they match what customers’ expectations are, according to Jason Hammon, director of product management at TechExcel.

He said that with agile development, some people moved away from ALM and had gotten less formal in their requirements tracking or test management. This, he says, is great because of the flexibility. But, in the end, you aren’t tracking what you are supposed to be doing and validating what you’ve actually done.

Speed of delivery
Fast delivery is a driver in this movement because that’s what application users demand, and it’s how companies remain competitive. But Continuous Delivery requires better and more timely visibility into the engineering team’s efforts, not only for operations but also for other stakeholders in the organization so they can understand what the business is delivering and when. This allows them to coordinate on time to market, sell it, and support it, said CollabNet’s Brenton.

“This requires your ALM platform to handle the speed of delivery, provide visibility into every step of development for quick escalation, impact assessment, and problem resolution, and provide traceability and accountability for compliance and security practices—all across an increasingly heterogeneous and quickly changing toolset,” he said.

“In the old ALM world, we celebrated your birthday, and in the new ALM world we celebrate every day,” said Microsoft’s Bjork. “It’s a mindset shift; when you have a practice like Continuous Delivery or Continuous Deployment, you’re thinking about incrementally getting to the finish line instead of getting there in big jumps.”

It’s more important than ever to find an ALM process or solution that is lightweight and easy to use, according to Hammon. He said that because of the faster release cycles, if people feel that documenting or validating those requirements are a burden, then they’re not going to do it. There is a need to keep a close connection between what the desired project is and what is actually being created, and ALM provides a mean of doing that, he said.