TechNews PR Guide for Developer Technologies
It’s been nearly 7 years since Marc Andreessen’s famous observation that, "software is eating the world". A recent keynote at IDC’s Directions event in Santa Clara– “Developers in the Driver's Seat”– cited 11 million worldwide developers as the key to success in just about every exciting new technology wave to come.
There are tens of thousands of companies vying for their piece of the developer pie. PR pros in the world of developer technologies are tasked with elevating their brands above the noise, where concepts like “developer productivity” and “digital transformation” are overused to the point of meaninglessness.
In this clamor for attention, the PR pros with the deepest insights and targeted messaging will win the news cycle. Companies that carpet-bomb poorly built media lists with marketing drivel always lose, but especially in this sophisticated developer news domain.
This TechNews PR Guide looks at media coverage trends for developer technologies and makes 4 key predictions for 2018. These predictions will help you get out ahead of some important trends that are sure to drive the developer media agenda throughout 2018.
Spoiler: If you’re publicizing companies in the Cloud, Kubernetes, VR/AR, and Java spaces, this report is for you!
At face value, you might think that media interest in Kubernetes would have a ceiling that equals the roughly 1,000 authors that follow Docker containers. After all, Docker is the most popular container format, and Kubernetes is a container orchestration platform.
However, it’s likely that Kubernetes has a PR ceiling closer to the nearly 3,000 authors that routinely cover AWS. That’s because Kubernetes is finding significant traction outside of Docker on platforms like AWS and Azure. In fact, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation says that 63% of all Kubernetes workloads run on AWS.
Enterprise vendors have been rushing to replatform their offerings and jump on the Kubernetes bandwagon (Including Docker after a year-long holdout). The “how Google runs its infrastructure” allure is a runaway freight train. Kubernetes is just getting started.
It might seem like Kubernetes has a PR ceiling around the same as Docker. In fact, we think it’s ceiling is closer to the 3,000 journalists who cover AWS. Create charts like this in TechNews
Java EE is a Sleeping Lion That’s About to Wake Up
Let’s be honest– Java may still be the most popular enterprise programming language, but author interest in Java infrastructure has been on a steady decline for years.
Java media attention plummeted while Oracle/JCP had ownership of the Java EE platform. Meanwhile, Docker and Kubernetes claimed the higher ground in distributed computing and cloud-native workloads.
Kubernetes and Docker have dominated the conversation around distributed computing and cloud-native workloads. Create charts like this in TechNews
Despite its massive installed base of legacy enterprise systems (and the 12 million Java developers globally), the Java application “stack” (including the JVM) has somehow fallen out of the conversation. This is also despite the strong connection points between Java EE and containers.
But that is about to change with the transfer of Java EE to the Eclipse Foundation. We predict Java will get its mojo back this year and become the hot tech topic it once was. 2018 will bring a renewed surge of vendor support, and along with it plenty of PR opportunities for the companies that align with the resurgence. There is a lot of money up for grabs for the companies that sell developer tooling around legacy modernization, cloud-native enablement and all things -Ops (DevOps, DevSecOps, you name it).
Breakout Business Use Cases for VR, AR, and AI
Consider the buzzword bingo in developer use cases today. VR, AR, AI, ML, Deep Learning, IoT. It’s hard to determine “what’s next” in terms of a form factor shift that would rival, say, the commercial web or mobile.
But VR, AR, and AI stand the best chance to take the commercial form factor lead in 2018, for a few reasons. Unity Technologies– who is behind the gaming world’s most used 2D and 3D platform– recently partnered with IBM to develop the Watson Unity SDK. Not only can gaming developers add a powerful AI engine to their games, but enterprise software will see a surge in AR and VR applications.
We expect to see awesome new business use cases that offer immersive, intelligent environments for enterprise users. Could this mean a major replatforming in web development? We’re not sure, but when every business has a website, and immersive environments become easier to develop, is it really that big of a jump?
The commercial web followed a similar adoption curve. In the beginning– when everyone was building their site and talking about “community” ad nauseum– it seemed to be all hype. But then, lo and behold, it hit critical mass and we started to see the really interesting commercial applications take flight.
2018 will be a big year for AR, VR, and AI startups, especially for those companies working on business solutions. Ears in the media are piqued to learn about the next transformation in enterprise software, and advanced use cases built on these enabling technologies will carry that water.
Cloud Brands Will Form More Distinctive Developer Value Propositions
I heard one developer correct another on a recent call, when the former called AWS the 800lb gorilla. The other said no, they’re more like a tectonic plate.
In terms of media coverage, Azure is punching way above its weight class compared to their actual market share (Azure has 10% of market compared to AWS’s 47%, according to this report). This is another big victory for a Microsoft PR team that has shed the “evil monopoly” baggage of the 90’s and early 00’s, and is even widely seen as super cool and relevant in Open Source.
Azure attracts 33% of media coverage among the 5 big public clouds, compared to 36% of coverage for AWS. In comparison, AWS owns 47% of the actual market share compared to 10% by Azure. Create charts like this in TechNews
Despite intense competition among public clouds, it’s strange how homogenous the value propositions are. I talk to developers frequently and ask them why they use the cloud that they use. I rarely get clear answers. Looking back, I can’t even say what compelled us to use AWS to host our service, other than it was the safest bet.
This dynamic may finally change in 2018, as the world’s largest search engine seems set to pounce. InfoWorld’s Matt Asay makes the case that, “Google’s biggest strength is helping enterprises ‘run like Google’– something that even old-school companies have discovered they can do now.”
We all remember the “Be Like Mike” Gatorade commercials. We drank a lot of that Gatorade and were never able to touch the rim. With Kubernetes’ ascension and the huge interest in Tensorflow, Google could be ready to bust out of the “also-ran” category in the public cloud race, winning developer hearts and minds with the “Be like Google” promise.
What does this mean for Azure and AWS? It will force the leading cloud platforms to keep differentiating their developer stories in new ways. Whether they do that through acquisitions, partnerships, or native development is yet to be seen, but the entire public cloud ecosystem should see a surge of interest and media coverage because of it.
For developer technologies that delivers true differentiation, these public cloud providers will be massive channels for adoption. The PR pros who establish partner marketing and PR relationships with the industry gorillas will stand to win this hard-fought battle for attention.
Creating your PR Strategy for 2018
Media coverage has increased significantly for the topics we covered in this article (apart from Java). Just look at the big public clouds, that combined had almost 50,000 articles written about them in 2017.
With so much interest in the evolution of developer tools, there are plenty of opportunities for smaller companies to add their story to the conversation. To do so, PR pros must send highly targeted messages to the right authors and media outlets.
The traditional approach to media outreach is to spend hours creating a list of authors and outlets writing about your technology (trust me, I’ve been there!). That’s why we created the TechNews PR platform.
With the TechNews PR platform, you can search for media connections based on tech topic, like Kubernetes, public cloud, or cryptocurrency. Build your lists right in the tool and export contact information in bulk. You can also create charts for your industry just like the ones you see in this article. Track media trends, competitors, and authors with simple and beautiful visuals.
If you’re ready for a new way to build your PR campaigns, sign up for a free trial to try the TechNews platform.
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