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

Presidentialseal_5

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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2008 Application Development Professionals Success Imperatives

  1. Modernize development and delivery practices to improve throughput
  2. Adopt architectures that can evolve in lockstep with business needs
  3. Design rich, dynamic applications that support the way people actually work
  4. Maximize the business impact of projects and portfolios
  5. Select the right app dev technologies for today's needs 6. Optimize software and services sourcing strategy

What Is Your Future?

Mike Gualtieri Everyday, you are in the trenches building apps that the business needs to be successful.  Our number one job at Forrester is to help make you better, faster and stronger.  That means helping you understand best practices, tools, technologies, architectures, platforms and methodologies that are aligned with your success imperatives.  But, it also means hypothesizing about the future of application development and especially what the future means to you.

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