I could not help it, I had to use that phrase as a title. On Saturday, I posted an off-topic blog entry about wireless power. Today, a comment to that post lead me to another article in FastCompany about software quality. I guess that the conclusion about it is that perfect software IS possible… if given the right resources: a few hundred people and a few million per year. Well, OK, more than a few million. The fact is that we know our profession is not like others. Bob Martin has been saying for years that we ought to be as professional and relentlessly quality-demanding craftsmen as any other.
I read the magazine article in 1996 and back then I wasn't in this business at all. I was working for a radio-broadcaster and radio was my passion. I remember learning about the impact automation was having in the US and set out to bring it into the operations of the stations that were part of the group. I had done a couple of courses of Basic back in the early 80's, but the automation experiment was what really started my path towards a career in technology.
More than a decade later, I find myself wondering - since software is everywhere-, why aren't developers famous? Why are programmers relegated to be unseen, always behind the scenes workers? Geeks have become important assets for many businesses as well as, ironically enough, exchangeable human parts in a the technosystem for a world where only ROI rules. Unfairly, suits are the ones making big bucks and often the product of burning your eyelashes through all-nighters is cashed-in by others. Like in all other careers, programmers my have a lucky break, and create a best seller. There isn't, however, an industry riding on best-selling software by solo coders. We do not have a codywood or softywood.
Even marketers in general are more prominent compared to code-smiths. And, yes, there are exceptions. There are always exceptions. We'd all like to be the exceptions and there ought to be a place where we can start.
I am from Bolivia, and my country was recently ranked first among the most entrepreneurial countries in the region. I somehow found a way to compare that to the DNN providers world. There seem to be infinite offerings around DNN: skinning, finished modules, consultants, information resources, news and aggregation, hosting development outsourcing... you name it. By internet standards, DotNetNuke has taken longer to reach a tipping point. But I think it has reached it. I don't have strong facts to back my claim, just events here and there. Of course, my sixth sense also has a role in it.
While the service and product providers around DotNetNuke increasingly become focused businesses that are high-quality suppliers, the Corporation behind DotNetNuke has began its path towards a simple and ambitious goal. I am not part of the Corporation and I do not speak for it, but I can tell you that - in a way-, DotNetNuke will be the number one rock star in the .Net development world. And you better be around it when it happens. You better be good at your craft by then. The potential is enormous for you. I envision a drastic transformation from the simple service and/or product suppliers we are starting to see into strategic partners for organizations or individuals that have a web presence.
Software will still be everything and I am pretty sure it will still suck and DotNetNuke will almost surely not get as much money as the NASA software program. So what will be different? It will be installed anywhere a web server can run asp.net. And who knows, FastCompany may write about one Shaun Walker and his idea. About a team of colleagues that followed him and maybe about a hugely successful provider of solutions based on DotNetNuke. Now I dare you to ask yourself: What am I doing to be that solution provider?