The Benefits of Cloud Development Environments
March 19, 2024

Pete Goldin

Cloud development environment (CDE) adoption is growing rapidly, despite the fact it is an emerging technology, according to The Cloud Development Environment Adoption Report from Coder.

The report found that 95% of participants are familiar with CDEs, showing widespread awareness, and 66% of large organizations are currently using CDEs, highlighting the rapid growth.

Cloud Development Environments (CDEs) are becoming the next frontier of programming productivity. Gartner® established CDEs as a separate category in the 2023 Hype Cycle™ for Emerging Technologies stating, "CDEs provide remote, ready-to-use access to a cloud-hosted development environment with minimal effort for setup and configuration. This decoupling of the development workspace from the physical workstation enables a low-friction, consistent developer experience."

Gartner predicts that by 2026, 60% of cloud workloads will be built and deployed using CDEs.


"CDEs shift the developer’s workspace from local machines to the cloud and reimagine most of the developer experience, from the earliest stages of writing code to deploying finalized applications. CDEs offer seamless collaboration, instant scalability, and reduced overhead by integrating numerous development tools—like the latest generative AI solutions — into a single cloud-based ecosystem," said Rob Whiteley, CEO of Coder.

The report shows perceived benefits of CDEs include:

■ Optimizing the environment setup process

■ Making environment management easier (onboarding and troubleshooting)

■ Improving accessibility with remote access

■ Improving security

■ More flexibility in tool choices

■ Ensuring compatability with production and staging environments

■ Improving compatibility and reducing drift

■ Providing access to server-grade computer resources

In addition, to these perceived benefits, report adds a few CDE benefits:

■ Improving the overall developer experience, removing time and friction from everyday tasks.

■ Saving time — an estimated 141,000 onboarding hours and nearly 370,000 hours in productivity gains for a 10,000-employee enterprise with 3,500 developers.

■ Saving money — more than $35 million a year for the same-sized enterprise.

The Future of CDE

The report also predicted future benefits of CDEs including:

■ Pulling the developer workstation into the age of AI.

■ Serving the needs of the players in the pipeline of machine learning-powered data analysis, each with
unique demands for tools and computation, including software engineering teams, Data engineers and data scientists.

Methodology: Coder conducted a survey of 223 developers and business leaders globally from November 10 to 23, 2023. Coder focused on enterprises employing at least 2,000 workers and 250 developers.

Pete Goldin is Editor and Publisher of DEVOPSdigest
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