Developers in the Spotlight

I recently read an article on TechRepublic that effectively summarized a trend I’ve been observing for years – and particularly over the last year. The article is We’re Entering the Decade of the Developer, and they are right on the money.

The basic logic of it is pretty straightforward. Through the 90′s, the vast focus was on implementation. As new technologies were rapidly released, business scrambled to utilize them. Employees needed computers, those computers needed to be networked, additional devices needed to be incorporated, and everything had to work right. This meant a whole heck of a lot of work for IT specialists across the board. Call it a technological arms race, if you will.

And to put it simply, we by and large finished that phase. The systems were installed, the networks created, and every employee has a computer. IT has shifted from an implementation role to a maintenance and upgrade role – install new technologies where applicable, update the systems to the latest programs, and ensure everything continues to run.

And so the big rush these days isn’t to get the IT network running – it’s to develop and utilize the best new applications. Where a business might in years past have looked to see what new physical technologies might change how they do business, they’ll now look to developers to custom-tailor an application to provide the exact functionality they need.

As the TechRepublic article points out, this puts a lot of focus on the developer. A lot is expected – the software must accomplish what is expected, it must provide the benefits projected, and above all it must work reliably. The margin for error can be small – business are seeking the maximum profit for their dollar, and they will find the developer most willing to deliver it. There is much competition, and just the same there is a lot of opportunity for developers to establish themselves as valuable resources.

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