Twelve Expectations for Developer Platforms

II - Code Neutral

Developers have the freedom to choose code languages, frameworks, and libraries

Developer platforms should strive to maintain a neutral stance when it comes to the way developers choose to code their software. While it is inevitable that developers will need to adapt to certain approaches of the developer platform, it should not feel like you are making software that "can only run here". To achieve this, developer platforms should embrace popular standards and technologies wherever possible. For example, using containers for packaging executable artifacts or utilizing environment variables for configuration allows for flexibility and easy adaptation to different deployment scenarios.

Developers have a wide range of preferences when it comes to the tools and editors they use for writing code. Some may prefer lightweight text editors, while others may opt for full-featured integrated development environments (IDEs). Developer platforms should recognize and respect these diverse preferences, focusing on the essential aspects of running software rather than dictating the tools used to create it. By decoupling the coding process from the developer platform itself, developers are empowered to choose the tools that best suit their workflow and productivity needs. This approach fosters a sense of freedom and flexibility, allowing developers to work in the environment they are most comfortable with, ultimately leading to better code quality and developer satisfaction.

The landscape of programming languages, libraries, and frameworks is constantly evolving, with new options emerging and existing ones being updated regularly. Developers often need to adapt and explore different combinations to meet the specific requirements of their applications and organizations. A code-neutral developer platform should embrace this reality and provide the flexibility to accommodate a wide range of languages, libraries, and frameworks. It should be easy for developers to mix and match different code patterns and technologies as their needs change over time. Ultimately, a code-neutral approach future-proofs the developer platform and ensures that it can keep pace with the ever-changing needs of developers and their applications.