Read a great article by Jason Hiner at TechRepublic this week. He makes the argument that:
the technology world remains in the midst of a relentless transformation and the changes sweeping the industry over the next decade will make developers, not IT pros, the new superstars
This was a timely read for me. As I approach my one year anniversary with Nuxeo, I've rediscovered the value of developers. Those lines of code we as business users often forget about have become the grammar and language of our digital heritage. Software makes so many of our daily routines possible - from the mundane to the spectacular and seemingly magical.
I've been thinking a lot about the 'geeks' lately. On the road and in my regular work routine I cross paths with many professionals in the technology industry - coders, consultants, marketers. Everyone has an essential role to play. Consultants make systems work and help people use them better, marketers tell the story and create demand, but ultimately there is nothing without the product. The developers are the makers.
And I've been thinking about how the development function is viewed across different corporate cultures - especially in open source vs. closed companies. Over dinner a few weeks ago I observed two sets of development teams - same company - different product lines inside a large enterprise software company. By the end of the discussion the realization had dawned on us outsiders: corporate management had assigned these two separate teams to the same project. An entirely duplicated effort - unbeknownst to only 1 of the 2 teams. Not some healthy intra-company competition to see who could innovate for the future, but a deliberate attempt to send some highly experienced and talented programmers down the garden path. In my head I tried to calculate the loss of shareholder value in terms of man-hours, frustration and disappointment of a team who felt marginalized and duped.
A situation like this would be very difficult to orchestrate in an open development culture. Peers, clients, partners who work jointly from the same source code repositories create inherent efficiencies by not reinventing projects continually, wasting valuable time that could be spent solving real business problems. It's tougher to hide a wild goose chase.
There's a line on the Nuxeo Enterprise Platform product page. It talks about our core platform as "designed by developers for developers". This is how the next generation of ECM is going to emerge - through innovation at the code level. Content applications can be delivered where and when they're needed to help business users get their jobs done. Fast, efficiently, building upon quality work that's already been done.
But it's more than just a line. Over the last 6 months we've accelerated our delivery of this goal. We've now delivered the third iteration of Nuxeo Studio - perhaps the most creative and powerful design environment for any ECM product on the market today. We've launched the preview of the Nuxeo Marketplace - and extended the invitation for developers to come test, contribute and engage with us - posting packaged applications and templates to get content and case-based solutions into the hands of enterprise quickly and easily.
I've stirred debate this year by arguing that ECM is on the brink of a fairly substantial shift. That the future will belong to the cohesive platform vendors, that the patchworked Suites built in the last decade will hit their limits of usefulness for cutting edge customers. Jason Hiner's article confirmed I'm not the only one.