Friday, January 18, 2008

Web Development Is Dead! Long Live Web Development!

Everything is about to change.

Some would say it already has, I would argue that the changes that have taken place in our industry during the last 5-10 years are nothing compared to what's going to be happening over the coming few.

New technologies combined with better tools are making the kinds of things possible that we laughed at when sales people / clients suggested them a few years ago. Silverlight, Flex, AJAX, Web Services, Ruby are just a few of the technologies that are enabling this change. Tools like the Expression Blend / VS 2008 combination allow unprecedented cooperation between designers and developers. Now we CAN do what the designers want us to do, if they can draw it, we can build it.

The time of the RIA is fast approaching. The seventh principle of Web 2.0 as written by Tim O'Reilly in 2005 requires "Rich User Experiences". Regardless of what you think of Tim O'Reilly, Web 2.0 or 'cool' websites, it's happening now. Even the corporate world is noticing. I work for a major Japanese electronics company building a mundane management application and a couple months ago a senior executive mentioned Web 2.0 and mashups. This is not going to be a passing phase.

I know there have been some RIAs created today but they are far from mainstream. Nearly prediction list for 2008 by prominent web development bloggers name 2008 as the year of the RIA. I agree. I think it is time for 'classic' web developers to learn and embrace the new technologies or risk becoming outdated. Those of us who were writing cutting edge apps in the first big Internet boom (1998-2000) risk becoming the online equivalent of COBOL programmers unless we get off our butts and start learning again. While it's great that we know the intricacies of HTML, CSS, JavaScript and the .NET framework, now we need to learn XAML, JSON and some design skills.

Most importantly we need to learn how to think differently. All the rules we knew about what could and couldn't be done in a browser are being thrown out the window. Unless you want to be the one that is dismissed as 'stuck in the past' and be passed up but the young kids with all the cool ideas (exactly who we were ten years ago) we need to learn the new capabilities and learn them fast. Just think about it this way, how do YOU feel about COBOL programmers?

Web Development Is Dead! Long Live Web Development!

1 comment:

smackyou said...

lolol for someone who so believes in web 2.0, how does it feel to have 0 people comment on your blog in over 1 year?