In 2009 I wrote a statement about how I thought people who were not developers viewed developers as a species. It was mostly satire but I read it recently and it made me think if the identity shift we are having as a developer culture with our heads in the cloud.
Those who write code now write it using many different languages, touting the title of polyglot. These same developers are just as interested in the infrastructure as they are in the bits they write. So then, as developers, what does the Nerd Life look like now in 2012?
It’s Never Been a Better Time to Be a Developer
I can now generate a virtual machine, create a web application and deploy it to a place where people can actually use it with in minutes. Reading between the lines, that also means I have it in source control with some sort of test coverage, it’s backed by a decent data model and I can repeat the deployment without having to do any manual steps outside of changing code. And here’s the best part: I can do all of these things as a developer.
This type of end-to-end mentality is considered to be “full-stack” developer thinking. Those who leap over the boundaries of application development and infrastructure in a single bound; not heroes, just people who want to get some really great things done.
The dawn of the “cloud-age” has made things for who we are and what we do in the application space very interesting. Being able to deploy the code we wrote minutes after we wrote it is no longer something you could do, it’s something you just do (assuming that you want to stay in this hyper-productive industry). The more a tool or device gets in our way the less we use it.
I believe there is a base developer law that all other developer laws can derive from:
Get stuff done; then get better at getting stuff done.
I am a developer who does a lot of development using the .NET framework, but also someone who loves to dive into other languages like Node.js, Ruby, and whatever else is out there that can build up my inner geek. Like many developers, I have a series of tools that help me daily. The developer law above implies that these tools must to work together with low friction.
Microsoft recently announced the Windows Azure Store. As a polyglot I love Azure. It meets most of my dev needs — from Linux / Windows virtual machines to Node.js and .NET applications to deploying using git. I am a happy developer. Also, I am excited about New Relic being part of this new store and that Azure developers can now get all of the metric goodness on their applications and servers right from the Azure portal for free — low friction!
It is a seriously cool time to be a developer right now. We have loads of tools and more ways to get things done than ever before.
So imagine this: You’re a developer writing software (the thing that you’re really good at). With a few clicks you can provision a virtual machine, deploy your applications from source control, then see how healthy they are and get answers to performance issues via New Relic. Then you solve those issues and repeat. You’re now delivering application stability and performance as features to your customers!
If you haven’t tried it yet go see what the Windows Azure Store has to offer and while your at it, get New Relic monitoring on your applications for free.
Read more about how the .NET Agent works with Windows Azure.