12 Nov · 4 min read
Cloud is no longer just a buzzword. So what happened? Buzzwords are usually some innovative or emerging topics that get hyped up throughout the industry, only to become household names or obsolete within a short period. With cloud technology, thankfully, it became the former. The popularity of tools like Azure, Zapier, MailChimp, etc. paved the way for the cloud to become what it is today.
What would once require a large team of engineers with specific expertise is now possible with a single developer. And the development of cloud technologies is what has made this possible. In this article, let’s take a look at some major cloud advancements in recent times - CI/CD tools, cloud infrastructure tools, marketing tools, hosting, and general automation tools.
Just a few years back, being able to set up your own hosting, for next-to-nothing prices, was unheard of. But today, hosting options have come a long way. In fact, some platforms like Firebase and Netlify even offer free hosting! These kinds of platforms also offer generous monthly bandwidths and storage with free SSL and custom domain support.
Hosting platform services, whether free or paid, have been neatly integrated with simple CI/CD tools and other advanced functionalities to ensure easy delivery with minimal maintenance.
Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery might seem like fancy terms for repetitive tasks like app building, staging, and deployment. These tasks once needed a dedicated server and at least one person to manage and maintain the configurations. But since the cloud took over, CI/CD tools are just a click away.
Tools like Bitrise and CircleCI have convenient, feature-rich dashboards and are able to build and deploy projects easily. No longer do you need to worry about cPanels, drag-n-drop server configs, slow FTP connections, etc. Just merge your code to the source control, with tools like GitHub, and it is immediately available on your staging and development environments!
When creating a product, app, or website, a lot of your decisions are with respect to design, front-end, and back-end development. Among these, design is usually the first thing we look at, as that’s what is portrayed to our audience. Even without designers, using material UI libraries can do a pretty good job at providing a basic design.
But what about the back-end? Doesn’t it require a database, architecture planning, programming knowledge, etc.? With the rise of cloud infrastructure tools, this challenge can also be easily overcome. Tools like Firebase and Azure provide services in any programming language of your choice. So you’re no longer bound by these challenges and can create your software in a matter of days.
And the database? That too is taken care of by these cloud infrastructure tools. For example, Firebase offers a NoSQL database that scales automatically and requires zero effort for setting up. You could even opt for Microsoft Azure or AWS Amplify tech stacks for a more rigid solution.
Marketing is not everyone’s cup of tea, more so for an average software developer. But once you’ve built your product, marketing is the next big step. How else will people know about your product?
What once took a team of people, a couple of months, and a few (or several) thousands of dollars to achieve, is now possible with a YouTube video, viral post, or a self-expanding campaign. If you’re lucky enough, your post can show up on the social media feeds of thousands of people and get millions of views within just a few hours.
So how can you scale your reach to these views? Tools like Mailchimp and Mailjet have world-class features to create marketing campaigns. Their easy-to-use newsletter templates work with all email clients and are usually free.
Tools like Zapier and Automate.io are also now available for integrating unrelated services such as sending marketing emails after registration, updating sales numbers, etc. While these might not directly relate to software development, they’re still integral to your business. Some might say to hire people who can work for you, but why not automate them with these tools? Hiring can only increase the complexity of these repetitive tasks.
While this might seem to be the end for DevOps positions or custom development of the backend, that is definitely not the case. The thing to note is that you can now start projects easily, even with minimal resources. If you don’t have a dedicated Backend developer, opt for a product like Firebase. Similarly, platforms like Mailchimp are great for marketing.
Software development, which once seemed like a great barrier that only high-level programmers could overcome, is now approachable to basic developers too. Let’s make the most of the cloud revolution!