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.
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.