What Does VMware Know about Developer Experience?

April 1, 2022

Ben Hale and Rita Manachi co-wrote this post.

With the release of VMware Tanzu Application Platform, VMware is working to address a developer experience crisis that has been fueled by a rich and complex cloud native ecosystem and further complicated by the proliferation of hybrid and multi-cloud environments. There’s understandable skepticism about VMware knowing what makes for a good developer experience given its leadership in infrastructure. Here are three reasons we believe VMware is well-positioned to deliver a better developer experience. 


Spring is celebrating its twentieth year in 2022. That is 20 years of the most popular, open source Java framework that fundamentally changed the enterprise Java landscape. As Java rose to dominance in enterprise application development, it became burdened with dependencies, code hand-offs, and configuration requirements. This bogged down the experience for the very developers it was serving. There was a major backlash as developers found the complexity outweighed its usefulness. Spring Framework changed all that. When it was released in 2002, the team who built Spring did it because they wanted to create a better developer experience based on the principles of dependency injection (DI) and inversion of control (IoC), which are essential to what we would call an application-aware platform today. These principles turned the enterprise Java application development experience on its head and became the most popular framework for enterprise developers. Today, millions of developers are using Spring; Spring Boot is widely recognized as the most popular enterprise Java framework and continues to enjoy double-digit growth year-over-year; and Spring Initializr boasts millions of project starts each year.

In fact, 61 percent of respondents in the 2021 State of Spring Survey said Spring Boot was their primary (or only) development platform, and 90 percent said Spring’s impact was greater than other Java platforms. Meanwhile, the Spring team continues to innovate by supporting more modern architectures (e.g., microservices or serverless), as well as GraphQL and reactive programming. As the steward of Spring, VMware is adapting the learnings from 20 years of Spring and millions of developers to build a platform tailored to deliver a great developer experience.

VMware Tanzu Labs

Founded in 1989, Pivotal Labs, now VMware Tanzu Labs, was at the forefront of the agile and extreme programming (XP) movements. Tanzu Labs helped popularize modern application development practices and methodologies, including pair programming, test-driven development, domain-driven design, and DevOps. Working with some of the world’s largest enterprises to build and modernize business-critical applications, Tanzu Labs has taught thousands of developers how to adopt agile methodologies and practices to build more resilient software. Through these engagements, VMware has built empathy for enterprise developers as we work side-by-side with them, experiencing first-hand how enterprise software teams want to work, what makes them happy, and what stops them from being productive.

Check out how Tanzu Labs helped Hyundai AutoEver as it redefined what it means to be a car company by first redefining the way it built and released software.

Platform engineering

Cloud computing has forever changed the role of central IT and so, there is a major shift happening with the core of IT function. IT teams are under pressure to not only demonstrate their value, but also transition from being a maintenance organization solely focused on stability, governance, and security, to also serving internal customers—in this case, developers and other lines of business. This is a deep transformation that requires a mindset shift and a new organizational structure centered around platform teams. Traditional I&O professionals who built their careers on the paradigm-shifting tech that VMware introduced decades ago are now looking to VMware to help them in the next phase of their career, which is centered around a platform engineering mindset that ultimately serves internal development teams. This means they need to treat their platforms like products

Tanzu Labs uses decades of learning from its work with application development teams to help platform teams define themselves, and embrace a product mindset that is fundamental to delivering a great developer experience. 

Join us on this undertaking to create a better developer experience! We’re hosting a series of SpringOne Tour Events—maybe we’re coming to a city near you. You can also help us celebrate 20 years of Spring in San Francisco this year by registering for SpringOne!

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