Blogging about software development for the enterprise. Strong focus on Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) and more general Java platforms.
You'll read a lot about Conferences, Java User Groups, Java EE, Integration, AS7, WildFly, EAP and other technologies that hit my road.

Friday, March 13, 2009

So, what should you really focus on?

06:13 Friday, March 13, 2009 Posted by Markus Eisele
, ,
I recently read three posts about the future skills needed in webdevelopment. One was written by Marco van Hylckama Vlieg (The death of web development and design, and what to do next.), one by Chris Heilmann (Web Development is Moving On - Are you?) and the last one by Robert Nyman in respond to the first two (What to know, what to learn). Chris and Marco work at Yahoo Robert is a leading Web Developer and Interface Architect.

Chris and Marco complain about the more or less "lego-style" web application building these days. All the "battle‐hardened masters of the command line" and the "old school" web developers (using Vim, plain HTML and tables) will need to change their skills in order to be prepared for the next five years.
What they call "lego-style" is reflecting to prepackaged solutions like blog software and online services (e.g. different Google APIs). This is all summed up by one qoute of Chris:


Our craft is becoming a commodity and people in charge don’t care about the quality of the markup, CSS or how short our JavaScript is. What matters is how fast you can get it to market, how many people it reaches and how cheaply it can be built.


This is, where Robert joins the discussion. While Chris and Marco are more or less refering to the individual developer and smaler companys I beliefe, that Robert has something else in mind, when he points out:


From what I see, most companies still want to do it themselves, host it themselves and generally adapt it themselves. They use libraries, public APIs etc to a certain extent, but the vast majority of what they have is produced by their own developers and/or consultants they hire.


From a developer point of view I am with Chris and Marco. I strongly believe, that building webapplikations for home users and beginners has become more easier and of course much less challenging with all those pluggable parts available from great companys like Yahoo! and Google for example. BUT, if you follow from this facts, that Web- or more general development skills of the individuall need a refocus into this direction, this could be a failure.
From a company's point of view the usage of prepackaged solutions is a risk. Sometimes because of the license (e.g. GPL) or missing support, sometimes because of the technology (e.g. SSO and AJAX) and sometimes because of other more political thoughts (e.g. Google and privacy).
This is why I strongly believe that there are comanys out there, who "do it themselves" and they probably always will.

Let's finish with a quote from Marco's post. That gives confidence to all those masters of the command line ;)


It will be a while before hardcore web development really becomes irrelevant so there's some time.