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It is that time of year again. We talk about appreciation and thankfulness related to the year we are wrapping up.  In the busy schedule of our modern lives, this seems to be more critical than in the past.  We fill our daily planners with tasks from the moment we awake until we crash into sleep.  This hectic approach is excellent for productivity.  However, it can suck the life out of us.  When we take a step back and appreciate what we have, it can be cathartic or even energizing.  Of course, this being developer-focused, we will look at reasons for developers to be thankful.

Windows Related Thankfulness

I have to start with an almost religious statement.  We can be thankful that Windows is not the only development environment available.  Yes, a majority of shops still run windows, more than ever can be done in Linux or Apple operating systems.  This change has opened up more power on developer machines and given us additional tools to work with.  It was not that long ago where we had to do almost all development in the business world on MS Windows.

Do not get me wrong.  The other side of being thankful is this area is the improved tools on Windows.  The Visual Studio products we have today are light years ahead of where they were.  A lot of productive development can be done on Windows.  Thus, although we are not forced to choose Windows almost all of the time, it can be a good choice.  This benefit applies to all sorts of coding and design tasks and includes native applications as well as Web.

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The Cloud (SAAS)

I am currently writing this post on a tablet device and saving to a virtual server in the Cloud.  This technology has freed us from desks and made software as a service (SAAS) a viable and accessible approach.  There are many things to love about SAAS, but we should all be thankful for how much it has done to bring enterprise-class software to even the smallest of businesses.  We have tools for all sorts of problems that now can be used without a billion dollar budget.  Storage is almost free, and even niche tools often have a small business or single user subscription tier that any of us can afford.

This new approach to software delivery allows us to all share the burden (and costs) of a software application.  We can pay as we go and avoid a need for beefy (and expensive) servers to run these large systems.  There are many reasons for the entrepreneurial boom, but the Cloud and SAAS applications must be considered in the mix.

Software Subscriptions

Along with this same line of thought is the rise of software subscriptions.  This approach to purchasing and licensing software gives us excellent values like Office 365 and Adobe online among others.  Many of these include trial and “developer” options that are free.  Thus, we can launch a business with almost no overhead while still accessing tools that can be cost prohibitive if we had to pay the full upfront costs.  These afford us the ability to improve our productivity while also doing things “the right way” so we don’t spend as much time debugging and digging into code.

Search Engines

The last area of thankfulness in this list is the search engine.  Whether you use Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, or one of the dozens (or more) of options, the search engine has made us all a little smarter.  We can find out the weather, who wrote the song we are listening to, or how to cook our food properly.  We are entering our third decade of search engines being readily available, and they are only becoming more so.  Technology allows us to ask Alexa, Siri, or “Hey Google” a question and access powerful search engines without so much as a keystroke.  The future we saw in the old Star Trek shows is here today.  Even if only in infant form.
In this week of thinking and thinking let us not forget the blessings that make our daily work a little less of a chore.  Have a great week!
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Rob Broadhead

Rob is a founder of, and frequent contributor to, Develpreneur. This includes the Building Better Developers podcast. He is also a longtime student of technology as a developer, designer, and manager of software solutions. Rob is a founder and principle of RB Consulting and has managed to author a book about his family experiences.In his free time, he stays busy raising five children (although a few have grown into adults). When he has a chance to breathe, he is on the ice playing hockey to relax.

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