Monday, June 09, 2008

So Many Conferences, So Little Time...

Lots of people know me from the conferences where I speak. If you only see me at Java conferences, you probably have the impression I'm primarily a Java guy. But I have a great love for lots of types of technology. Languages and platforms are just tools, and you can build effective software in all the major platforms. Which is why I set out with an informal goal this year: speak at the major technology conferences for each of the three technologies I follow the most closely: Java, Ruby, and .NET. And I succeeded! As far as I know, I'm the only person on earth speaking in rapid succession at JavaOne, RailsConf, and TechEd (in that order).

This isn't just a vain pursuit. One of the reasons I love working at ThoughtWorks is the experiment of doing agile software development at the enterprise level. To do that, you need an understanding of the major technology stacks in play. Yes, I love Ruby and Ruby on Rails right now, but there are times when the appropriate choice for the client is a Java and/or .NET solution. In fact, I think that being able to compose solutions with languages on platforms is an important trend. I want to understand technology divorced from hype and religion, leaving just the efficacy of the platform in place. Our challenge is understanding how to best leverage the platform to meet the business needs for that application and that customer. And that's plenty challenge enough.


DenverJuggler said...

I love analogies - maybe this is a tortured one.

It's like you're composing a piece of music - who cares if you used a piano or guitar to create the composition, it's the final composition that matters.

Was it Ted, Jared, or another NFJS speaker who says nobody walks on to the construction site and says something like: "You're using a Makita? Everybody knows you *have* to use a DeWalt!

mark said...

Hi Neil,

Really enjoyed your meta programming talk at the RoR conference in Portland. Glad to see that there are guys like yourself out there finding cool [and simple] ways to do what others thought was impossible!!

Keep up the awesome Ruby tutorials. Learned a lot already from single one.