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Hacking SaaS #24 - Trends, Trends, Trends
We discuss new 2023 trends and trend reports. Plus, Ram dives deep into Serverless DBs, Robin shares blogging advice and I share photos from our first in-person meetup.
We are halfway through the year, and I hope everyone’s SaaS is doing well.
I only recently noticed how many people see July as another January. Even though there are no official holidays or events, you can feel some echoes of January in the air. Nordstrom has their semi-annual sale. People take time off and reflect. And businesses publish trend reports.
DevOps and Cloud InfoQ Trends Report – July 2023
InfoQ publishes several trend reports, but the DevOps / Cloud report is probably the most relevant for this community. One thing I love about how they report is that they split technology by adoption stage. This way, the intelligent engineer can immediately find the technologies that match their risk tolerance.
If you are truly cutting edge, perhaps you already have a platform engineering team.
If you are an early adopter, you probably have a dataOps team, a service mesh, and handle documentation as code. Where do you fit? Let us know in the comments or on the community Slack. I’m betting 90% of us are early adopters.
Interesting to note that Serverless Databases were included as “over the chasm.” I think we are just at the beginning of the adoption cycle. Many services call themselves “serverless databases,” and perhaps some are seeing adoption by the early majority (I doubt it). But in my opinion, very few deliver an actual serverless experience, and we are just starting to explore what “serverless database” even means.
If you are interested in hearing me and Ram discuss how Serverless Databases will evolve, check out our video:
2023 Stack Overflow Developer Survey
The Stack Overflow report may be the ultimate trend report. The survey asks the largest number of developers, “What’s cool? What do you actually use?”
For me, the most significant thing this year is the rise of Zig. It came out of seemingly nowhere and is now at the top of the “highest-paying tech” list. Probably biased due to small numbers, but I’ve been hearing more and more good things about Zig this year. Many developers prefer it over Rust for system and high-performance development. Keep an eye on this language, and maybe jump on the hype train early and snag one of those high-paying jobs.
Postman’s State of APIs
Postman’s annual survey of the API landscape is highly relevant for SaaS developers. This year it is even more relevant with the inclusion of API monetization and generative AI APIs.
The APIs technology section is a helpful way to track the quick rise of GraphQL and the slow decline of SOAP. They currently have about equal adoption, but if you are working on a new product, it is pretty clear which one you’ll adopt.
The tools section can be a useful way to check if you are missing out on anything interesting that you should be using. But… this year, I think they are missing a tool! I recently adopted Thunder - a VS Code extension that offers a small part of Postman functionality and has proven convenient for checking simple things. I use it to validate examples in my docs.
Data Engineering Landscape
Since a good portion of our community is building data SaaS, you may have already seen LakeFS’s state of data engineering report. If not, check it out… and make sure you are included. It is fun to quibble over how they drew the boundaries, but having a map is essential in this rapidly changing and highly disaggregated space.
How fast is the space changing? The report is about a month old, and one of the companies on the map has already been acquired since the report was published. Congrats!
How to write a blog
Our community is all about sharing, and blogs are a great way to share thoughts and ideas about SaaS. This week, Robin Moffat shared a blog he wrote for engineers who want to blog. I encourage all of you to practice and share your writing on the SaaS Developer Slack so that I can feature your blogs in this newsletter.
First In-Person SaaS Developer Meetup
Thank you to everyone who attended our "Generative AI for SaaS Developers" event. It was a great success! We had ~50 attendees. We exceeded the space capacity and had to move to a larger space. We enjoyed the pizza and drinks; we got SaaS-y swag. We had good conversations, and we learned a lot about AI.
The presenters did a fantastic job educating us about the use of generative AI. Unfortunately, we had equipment failures and did not record the presentations. I anticipate more events in the future, and we will do better with recordings next time.
Meanwhile, here are a few photos: