In the age of the programmable Web the application development community has become a vibrant place where developers frequently move between multiple projects involving multiple organizations. The trouble is that there is no real center to that activity, which leaves a lot of developers to their own devices when it comes to generating new business opportunities.
There’s no shortage of organizations that want to tap into the massive numbers of independent software developers that currently exists; it’s just that there is no real mechanism through which many of them would be comfortable engaging those developers.
Hoping to make organizations more comfortable with a crowdsourcing approach to application development that now includes a global pool of 75,000 developers, CloudSpokes recently unfurled Thurgood, a cloud service through which organizations can analyze the quality and security of any given piece of code.
Based on Cloudbees Jenkins Enterprise, a continuous integration server delivered using platform-as-a service (PaaS) software and security and vulnerability scanning software from Checkmarx, CloudSpokes CTO Dave Messinger says the goal is to make it feasible for organizations to more effectively leverage a pool of independent developers without having to hire them full time.
Messenger notes that while there are many projects where hiring full-time developers make sense, there are usually hundreds of application development projects on backlog that most internal development teams are never going to get around to starting, never mind actually completing. The challenge is that while hiring third-party developers to do that work is not all that difficult, making sure those people have the skills needed to deliver quality secure code is another matter altogether.
The CloudSpokes environment not only provides tools to help manage the overall process; it also organizations to leverage tools and crowdsourcing techniques to review code before it makes its way into a production application.
In an age where organizations are leveraging more APIs to mash up applications and data than ever, Messinger says organizations clearly need new approaches to managing application development projects in ways that scale up and down to meet the needs of the business. For the developer, CloudSpokes provides a more efficient route to market through which to offer their services, while at the same time giving them access to other developers that can help them improve the quality of the code they write.
From a business perspective there’s obviously going to be no shortage of developer communities, each one of which in time will offer multiple ways of discovering independent developers. In that context, businesses should identify a few application development projects that would be nice to have done, but are not absolutely mission-critical to the business. By leveraging external developers to build those applications, a business can then see which developer communities not only have the most developers, but perhaps more importantly, the ones that write the best code.