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Getting to the heart of modern app development takes practice

Modern app development is like the Holy Grail for enterprises -- everyone wants it, but few are sure how to get there. Worse, nearly everyone is intimidated by the process.

Speaking at the Red Hat Summit 2017 in Boston, Red Hat's Steve O'Keefe, the product line director for mobile, said the secret to modern app development can be found in mobile. But taking that approach is not easy, he admitted.

At a time when companies are struggling to speed up application dev and delivery, the idea of modern app development has a strong appeal. What does it mean to be modern? O'Keefe noted that nearly every company has a different definition but that for most, the concept of seamlessness (and thus speed) is at the heart of a modernization effort. "Mobile can be a catalyst for modern app development approaches," he said. "But the hardest thing is taking the first step."

Given that Red Hat is both a purveyor and an advocate of open source technology, it's not surprising that O'Keefe pointed to the use of open source platforms as key to going modern. The very nature of open source allows an organization to leverage what other companies have done. And by using open source strategies internally -- an idea known as "inner source" -- many organizations are finding even more efficiencies in their modern app development process, he said.

Once the basic platform is in place, O'Keefe said the next steps -- integration of the application layers and API management -- are where companies gain the most value. Taking a DevOps approach will be particularly valuable, he said.

But no matter what, the secret is to just get started. "No one's waiting around for any kind of infrastructure."

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