The past year has seen some great steps forward in the world of engineering, from our own learnings on making hard technical decisions to seeing once-fringe development practices get mainstream recognition. The coming year holds great promise for more growth in the world of DevOps and software development more generally. Here’s what I see on the horizon:

  • I think we have only begun to scratch the surface on the adoption of DevOps culture in engineering organizations, and that 2018 will see additional acceleration in this area. Organizations now see software as a strategic investment with measurable returns, as opposed to a cost center that needs to be contained. We will continue to see more roles with titles like Developer Productivity or Engineering Effectiveness, and a closer attention to improving developer impact and velocity through happiness.

  • 2018 will see the adoption of higher-level layers of abstraction in the deployment of microservices. In particular, service mesh technologies like istio and Envoy will gain popularity, allowing individual developers to re-focus on value creation as opposed to solving low-level networking issues. In the same way that Kubernetes simplified the management of containers, new abstractions will get us even further from the underlying system.

  • In 2018 we will see AI meet peak hype. Expect to see applications of AI where it doesn’t belong. That being said, I think in 2019 we will start to see these unbounded explorations turn into new and unexpected uses for AI that will have real value.

We’re emerging from a phase of real revolution in terms of how we work as engineers, and now it’s time to reap what we’ve sown and get back to real value delivery. I anticipate 2018 will be a year of maturing on our investments rather than radical new exploration.


When not predicting the future, Rob Zuber enjoys motivating organizations to “do” DevOps better, and remains dedicated to improving developer impact through happiness here on his team at CircleCI. Want to get happy? See our latest job openings.