Monday, March 03, 2014

Software Development Wave 1: The Personal Developer

This is the wave we are in at the moment and its the wave that we last saw in the late 90s, this is where technologies enabled single people to build small specific things really quickly.  Java and its applets really were the peak of this first wave back then but now we are seeing people use technologies such as R, Python and others to create small solutions that offer really good point value.

Right now I see lots of this bubbling on the edges, just as I did in the late 90s.  The core of enterprises back then was about the SAP and other ERP projects, my work was in 'true' customer development (there isn't a package for Air Traffic Control) but as I moved into the enterprise space I saw a real shift away from rigour in software development towards more personal solutions where maintenance was considered less of an issue.  The Perl script that did something useful but only Dave could change, the C program that worked... but no-one had the source anymore.  The stored procedure that did everything you could ever want... as long as you wanted what was required 2 years ago.

The challenge with the personal developer was maintenance and evolution, people coded for themselves to support and for them to create on their own or in very small teams.  What we've seen already is that people are moving up the stack and using technologies like Hive and HAWQ to give older school interfaces on this data as that means more developers can work together... which brings its own challenges.

This is part of a series of posts on Why Software Development is the next big Wave and is followed by Wave 2: The team DeveloperWave 3: the Enterprise Developer and Wave 4: Back to the package


Denis Pitcher said...

Hi Steve,

Thanks for this blog. Very insightful commentary and also bits of humor which leave me cackling.

If I could recommend it, could you add a link to your twitter to the side of your blog?

I had to do a fair bit of searching to find it as thats the best way for me to keep up to date on your posts.



Steve Jones said...

Good point!