The Growing Importance of Integration Developers

4 minute read | 15 Apr 2022

By Boomi

The demands placed on integration developers are higher than ever.

They’re dealing with an explosion in data. The number of data sources – systems, applications, clouds, databases, etc. – is constantly growing. It’s common today to describe data as “the new oil.” But it’s also only a valuable resource for organizations if they can connect, manage, and ultimately use those analytics to drive better business outcomes.

It’s not easy.

That’s why integration developers have become the unsung heroes within organizations. Their ability to do their jobs well directly correlates to the success of the business.

Our new eBook, “The Developer’s Guide to Integration Approaches,” explores the two standard approaches to data integration: traditional hand-coding development, and using a low-code integration platform. It looks at the benefits and challenges of each, and offers step-by-step guidance and practical advice for any developer or IT manager.

We chatted briefly with author Barry Gerdsen, Boomi’s CTO of ISV/OEM partnerships, about what developers face today and why their importance will continue to grow.

Why did you write this guide?

Being from a development background, I remember all the fear and uncertainty that went into similar buy vs. build decisions. No matter how much forethought I would put in, I was always afraid that there was something I hadn’t fully considered. “The Developer’s Guide to Integration Approaches” was created to provide readers with helpful ideas, thoughts, and tips to think about when developing their future project plans.

How has the developer’s role changed as digital architectures become more complex?

Everything is more collaborative. Developers are expected to take on more responsibilities beyond just coding while still delivering the same high-quality product. And the expected time-to-delivery has shrunk. This has led the industry to seek new ways to empower developers and reduce project turnaround time. The use of low-code platforms is one of the ways that companies have made development projects more accessible, productive, and efficient.

Does that mean you see an easing of the traditional friction between IT and the lines of business when it comes to completing projects?

Better tooling has lessened the divide. Where once there were silos and unrealistic expectations, now lines of business are empowered to collaborate with IT to meet requirements. That’s why integrations that once took months to complete are now done in days. That allows IT to move at the speed of business – and sometimes even quicker.

The Developer’s Guide has an excellent section about separating fact from fiction around low code. Do you have a favorite myth?

It’s probably the typical concern of some developers: An integration platform as a service (iPaaS) puts their jobs at risk. More than calling it a “favorite myth,” I would simply call it my most relatable one. It’s a fear I used to share. Having started my career during the dot-com boom, I saw first-hand what it was like when many of us lost jobs during the subsequent bust. Those scars still exist within that generation of developers. But sometimes, the memory of an unfortunate event can cloud the more salient rationale around why that event occurred. In March 2000, many companies began failing because they didn’t have a profitable business plan when the economy turned south. In March 2022, iPaaS now is a vital part of many companies’ profitable business plans. From an employment perspective, that means iPaaS isn’t a potential problem. It’s the solution to the problem.

Do you foresee any game-changing trends in integration development?

I do. There are exciting developments in IoT and artificial intelligence (AI). They promise to keep iPaaS at the forefront of innovation because both areas require rapid development to facilitate data transmission. More than 64 billion smart gadgets will be installed globally by 2026, according to estimates. And it will primarily be iPaaS developers who create the data integrations between these sensors and their connected systems. On the artificial intelligence side, iPaaS will be used extensively to aggregate the datasets that feed AI-based decision-making services used by business applications. All of that makes for an exciting future for the users of low-code iPaaS solutions.

To learn more about standard approaches to integration and the pros and cons of each, check out “The Developer’s Guide to Integration Approaches.”