Charles Darwin's Assessment Of Application Developers

Charlesdarwin This month marks Charles Darwin's 200th birthday. His classic work, The Origin Of Species, wasn’t much of a hit when it was originally published back in 1859 but no one can argue that the idea of evolution hasn’t changed the world. Survival of the fittest is an elegant explanation of why so many species exist, why some become extinct, and why some flourish. So, what would Charles Darwin have to say about the species that are so affectionately known as application development professionals? Hmmm.

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Two Stage Rocket

Mike_gualtieri_formal01 I just spent the day at Progress Software's annual analyst day. The highlight of the event is, always, to hear from their customers about how they are getting real things done. This year we heard from: EMC, Sallie Mae, TD Securities, Royal Dikzwager, BT Global Services, Lincoln Financial Group, Sabre Holdings, and Fiserv.

The theme: High velocity business demands high velocity technologies such as complex event processing, enterprise infrastructure, data infrastrcuture, and others.

But, this post is about Kenneth Rugg, VP and GM of Integration Infrastrcuture for Progress  Software, comments on open source software.

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Horses for courses?

Quarterhorse_2 I was on a conference call with my Research Director, Mike Gilpin and colleague Charles Brett the other day discussing complex event processing and business rules when suddenly Mike and Charles starting talking about "horses for courses". Say what? We went from talking about events and rules to horses and courses? I never heard this expression before so I asked. And, for those of you who think that I am provincial, I asked several other people in our Cambridge, Massachusetts office and they were dumbfounded as well.

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Cloud Or No Cloud You Still Have To Write Code

Mike_gualtieri_formal01I am experiencing Cloud fatigue already. If I hear anyone even come close to uttering the word "Cloud 2.0", I might be found hiding in the Forrester fitness room in a fetal position. I am a fan of Cloud computing and my colleague James Staten has a great report on cloud in the enterprise. I think that cloud computing such Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure, IBM, Google AppEngine, and others are legitimate and have a great future in infrastructure. What I am not a fan of is the buzzword grab going on by many technology companies saying they work in the cloud, have a cloud strategy, or have a new cloud offering à la SOA, Web 2.0, and whatever is next. Vendor X can work in the cloud. Well, no kidding. You just spin up your platform in the cloud and run your app on it.

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Spotlight: C++ is still cool

Mike_gualtieri_lamp Sometimes enterprise IT development shops that are doing development in Java, C#, VB.NET forget that it all began with C++. Invented in 1981 by Bjarne Stroustrup, C++ was arguably the first popular object-oriented language even though languages like Smalltalk proceeded it. Java was first released by Sun in 1995, fourteen years after C++ was invented.

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Are Great Application Developers Making A Comeback?

"I don't want 10 developers. I want 3 great ones", is what a client told me when I asked him how his company was responding to the economic crisis. Of course, I think this is good advice even in good times and I think we have gotten away from this is recent years. Why? I think there are couple of reasons:

  1. Outsourcing changed the focus from finding great developers to hiring large numbers of developers.
  2. Project managers and business analysts worked their darndest to separate developers from the business problems that develoeprs need to solve. Agile has mitigated this a bit, but treating developers like machines on an assembly has been in fashion for years now.
  3. There are fewer great developers because back in the day people passionate about software development gravitated towards a career in application development. Now it is a career choice for many and percentage of great developers has been diluted and thus they are harder to find.

I am asking every application development professional I talk to, including you, the following questions:

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The Joker On Open Source Software: "If you're good at something, never do it for free"

ThejokerThe Dark Knight is chock full of memorable quotes and, dare I say, advice from none other than the Joker, a role played eerily, crazily, and fabulously by the late Heath Ledger. One of the many quotes that stuck with me is "If you are good at something, never do it for free." This is pretty good advice, especially when you are proposing to "Kill the Batman" in exchange for half of the mob's money. It worked for the Joker. He got the job.

But, is this advice good for software developers?

On the surface it seems silly to even ask the question. Why would anyone want to work for free? But plenty of people donate their time and talent to causes great and small in an effort to help people and to benefit humanity. That is a good thing. But, is this in fact good advice for open source software developers? To answer this question we need to know what motivates them and what they hope to gain.

Software developers contribute to open source projects for many different reasons.

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Do You Aspire To Be A CIO?

Mikegualtieri_2 Many application developers aspire to be a CIO or at least have words of advice for their CIO. Please check out my latest column on CIO magazine's website: 9 Reasons Why Application Developers Think Their CIO Is Clueless.

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What Is More Important: Resources or Talent?

Mikegualtieri Picture this. You, the application developer, are in a big conference room. On your left is your boss. On your right are enterprise architects. Across from you are the business analysts and project managers. In the hallway is the businessperson on his "crackberry".  Why is everyone gathered here?  To discuss the next important application development initiative that the business needs to drive revenue, stay competitive, and be more efficient.

The meeting starts.

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Presidential Programming Languages

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Just for fun. What if the next President of the United States of America was an application developer? What programming language would he/she use? No contemplation allowed. For each candidate, the first thing that came to mind (in alphabetical order):

 

Hillary Rodham Clinton would program in Java. Java was the hot language of the Internet boom in the 90's during Bill Clinton's presidency sometime just after Al Gore invented the Internet.  It continues to be one of the go-to development languages for new enterprise application development.

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