Everything in technology goes through cycles. If you stick around long enough, you begin to see patterns emerge with an almost predictable regularity. I actually find this comforting; it suggests we’re on a path of refinement of fundamental truths that date back in a continuous line though Alan Kay to Turing and beyond.
The wrong way to react to technology cycles is with the defensive-and-crusty “this is nothing new kid—we did it back in ’99 when you were stuck in the womb.” Thanks for nothing, Grandpa. A better approach is to recognize the importance of new energy and momentum to make great things happen.
The cycle that really excites me now is the new rise of the developer. Trying my best not to be crusty, there is a palatable excitement and energy out there that really does feel like it did in 1999. After years of outsourcing, after years of commoditization, developers matter again. A lot. It’s like the world has rediscovered the critical importance of this fundamentally creative endeavor.
This is a golden age of technology and possibility, one that is being driven by new blood and newer technology. The catalyst is the achingly perfect collision of Cloud, mobility and social discovery with APIs, node.js, Git, NoSQL, HTML5, massive scalability… (I really could go on and on here).
Most of all, I’m excited by movements like Codecademy. This simple idea perfectly reflects the tenor of the time in which we live. People are no longer afraid of making things easy. The priesthood is gone; coding is now confident and mature.
I’ll be talking more about these topics – and the important role APIs play – in an upcoming webinar I will be delivering with James Governor, co-founder of RedMonk. This is the analyst firm that truly is at the heart of the new developer movement. I hope you can join us Thursday, April 19 at 9am Pacific. This one is going to be good.