Posted by: Charles Maitland | Monday 27 October, 2008

By the left…Quick …March

Some years ago I ran my own small development house that specialized in writing applications for small and medium businesses in my local area. Much like Vlad is often saying we had to do a sanity check on where the business was heading. At the time there were 3 key features that were on our horizon:

  1. Big boys coming down the food chain. It was clear that the likes of Microsoft and alike were targeting smaller and smaller companies with their Line of Business applications. This would mean that our customers would be able to get 80% functionality for way less than we could build 100% of the  functionality.
  2. Rent ā€“ a Coder expectations. Even then we were competing against the outsource world. In particular the expectation levels that they set. More and more customers were expecting to be paying outsourced prices BUT getting traditional quality, control and budgetary reliability. Shame it never works but that’s the mind set.
  3. Technology Route March.  We realized that we were having to learn and assimilate at least one new technology every 2 projects just to keep up. Whilst we all liked new technology and enjoyed it it was EXPENSIVE to have to learn all the time just to keep up. We had to keep up because if we fell behind we would loose productivity which would put us even further behind the Rent ā€“ a ā€“ coders.

The end result was to realize that there were only 2 routes forward; massive scale up or pack up and join someone who has done a massive scale up. We chose the latter.

The point of all of this is that the technology route march is about to step up the pace by an order of magnitude.

Not since the release of the .NET framework have I seen as much fundamental change being released as is being let loose at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC)

Just looking through the recent channel 9 videos about what is coming at the PDC shows how massively the ASP model  cloud computing world will again be changing the way applications will work. Just watching this video shows the huge step change that is coming. An online scalable system with all the capabilities of a full scale business system, web services, databases and workflow.

All in all I feel justified in making the choices I did as only the big players can afford to maintain momentum whilst absorbing the sea changes that are coming.

PS. I am also in awe of the founding architects of the .NET vision that has taken the core concept through so many unforeseen changes whilst still being flexible enough to cope.  


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