Great Time to be a Developer

As I look back on 2008 and look forward to the possibilities in 2009, one prevailing thought comes to mind – now is a great time to be a developer.  The major players in the IT industry continue to release innovative new products that allow us to solve problems in ways that weren’t possible just last year.  Companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft push each other to deliver new technologies for us to use.  There is so much to play with!

When Apple released the iPhone, they changed the game in the mobile telephone market.  Consumers love the iPhone for its simplistic interface and great features.  The iPhone was, and really still is, the hot new toy that everybody wants to play with.  Developers are no exception.  With the release of the iPhone SDK in 2008, developers were able to bring more great features to the device.  Developers are now free to be creative and to bring new experiences to consumers.  It is fun and exciting to develop for the iPhone, as you can literally touch the application.  It’s certainly not a stretch to say that in 2009, developers will continue to explore the possibilities of the iPhone.

Google continued to deliver exciting and innovative features to consumers and developers in 2008.  They continue to evolve their popular search, Gmail and Google Apps platforms.  In 2008, Google released the Google App Engine to allow developers to create web applications on their servers.  They even joined the hot mobile phone market by helping to usher in Anroid.  Most of Google’s platforms are developer friendly.  If you want to search, work with maps, develop Anroid apps for the T-Mobile G1, or even integrate with YouTube, you can with APIs provided by Google.

In 2008 and 2009, Microsoft certainly isn’t about to be outshined by Apple or Google.  Apple and Google have proved to be a good challenge for Microsoft.  2008 saw Microsoft deliver on some exciting new technologies.  The Microsoft Surface went mainstream in 2008 and gained some of its most widespread coverage during the 2008 presidential election coverage on MSNBC.  The Surface will allow developers to create applications that are much more natural to use – for one or many people.  Microsoft also continued to evolve the popular .NET platform with updates to (amongst others) Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and Silverlight.  Developers will be able to leverage the power of WPF and Silverlight to light up a whole new user experience for desktop and web applications.  Microsoft made a splash right out of the gate in 2009 at Microsoft PDC with the announcement of Windows Azure.  Windows Azure is essentially an operating system for “the cloud”.  “The cloud” became the hot buzzword in 2008 and continues to grow even hotter in 2009.  Azure will help developers take their applications to new levels of productivity, scalability, and usability.  Microsoft has even given us a glimpse of some of the exciting new features Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 8 will bring to the market.  If you’re looking to bring a new user experience to people on multiple platforms, take your applications to “the cloud”, or simply build on the most widely used operating system and web browser in the world, Microsoft has the tools and technology to allow you do that!

No matter what type of developer you are, there is sure to be something exciting for you to play with.  There are so many wonderful pieces of technology available to use to solve problems and build great applications.  2008 was, and 2009 will continue to be, a great time to be a developer!