Twelve Expectations for Developer Platforms

IV - Local/Cloud Parity

Developers can iterate and collaborate with consistent local runtime environments

Local development is an essential part of the software development lifecycle, allowing developers to experiment, develop, and test different application components in a controlled environment. As modern applications become increasingly complex, with multiple components, services, and dependencies, it is crucial for developer platforms to support local development iteration of these architectures. The developer platform should provide necessary tools to simulate the cloud environment locally, enabling developers to run and test their entire application. By offering a comprehensive local development setup that closely mirrors the cloud, developers can iterate quickly, troubleshoot issues, and experiment with different configurations without the need for deploying to a remote environment. This seamless local development experience accelerates the development process and improves the overall quality of the software.

Effective collaboration among development teams hinges on having consistent local capabilities across different developers' machines. Developer platforms should prioritize providing a standardized local development environment that ensures all team members have access to the same tools, configurations, and dependencies, regardless of their individual setups. This consistency eliminates the notorious "it worked on my machine" problem, where discrepancies between local environments lead to compatibility issues and time-consuming troubleshooting. By offering consistent local capabilities, the developer platform enables developers to collaborate seamlessly, share code, and reproduce each other's work effortlessly. This level of consistency fosters better teamwork, accelerates development cycles, and promotes a more efficient and harmonious development process.

Developer platforms should prioritize providing a seamless transition between local development environments and cloud deployments. Moving code from a developer's local machine to the cloud should be a straightforward and automated process, minimizing the risk of discrepancies. Likewise, the code currently running in cloud should be as easy to get running locally for debugging and diagnostics. By enabling developers to move seamlessly between local and cloud, the developer platform accelerates the development lifecycle, reduces the time to market, and empowers developers to iterate quickly and deploy with confidence.