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Syndicated from ebizQ Mike Gualtieri of Forrester Research recently wrote a nice piece called Deputize End-User Developers To Deliver Business Agility And Reduce Costs . The report is available from Forrester (for subscribers and for those who purchase it) but the summary is on their website: The ranks of businesspeople who are capable of developing applications are swelling due to a combination of the technology-savvy Millennial generation entering the workforce, the proliferation of easy-to-use development tools, and burgeoning demand for applications.
Of all the ‘laws of software’ that I subscribe to, this one is one of the most fundamental, and unwavering. I cannot find an exception to it, and years of experience reinforce it for me. I can look at a chunk of source code, or an operations manual, or even a build script, and see the effects of the software development process used to create the artifact. Process affects architecture. If you use agile techniques, you will not only get your results in a different amount of time and features will appear in a different sequence than if you used iterative spiral techniques, but the software itself will have a different structure, different patterns, and different interfaces. Just making an observation.
In any relationship, it is dangerous for one side to "decide" what the other one wants. Marriage advisors say things like "Don't control others or make choices for them." Yet, I'd like to share a story of technologists doing exactly that.
The announcement this week that Google released a beta version of a robust cloud computing platform called Google App Engine that lets anyone build apps on Google's renowned and highly scalable infrastructure underscored a key trend in the software industry today. Namely that software platforms are moving from their traditional centricity around individually owned and managed computing resources and up into the "cloud" of the Internet. Google's entry into a space that has been largely dominated so far by Amazon and its Elastic Compute Cloud -- as well as a few smaller players like Bungee and Heroku -- has turned the Internet cloud computing space into a fully-fledged industry virtually overnight.
At 37signals, a company with just eight employees whose Web-based collaboration software is used by thousands of small businesses, there isn't time to sit around a conference room sipping latte and deconstructing memos. Come to think of it, there isn't even a company conference room. There are just a couple of cubicles, loads of brainpower and three simple goals: make useful business software, make it easy to run, make money selling it. Repeat. Founder and president Jason Fried, 33, decided early on that he didn't need to be in the shiny valley of Silicon to make cool software.