Cracking the Code for Developer 2.0

By Samuel Greengard Print this article Print
Most Interesting Developer in the World

Old-school coders who focused on writing bug-free C++ or Java are taking a back seat to those who have a strategic understanding of programming and business.

Developers, programmers and engineers have a reputation for existing on a slightly different mental plane than the rest of society. Stereotype or not, there's a lingering belief that this group lacks social skills, is conversant only in geek speak, and resides in a world somewhere between the latest Intel i7 processor specs and World of Warcraft.

Now, cloud integration provider Jelastic is taking a different approach with a quest to find answers to the question: "Who Is the Most Interesting Developer in the World?" In the interest of publicity—and some fun—the company has created a competition to find that most interesting developer.

Behind the humor lies a critical concept that could easily get overlooked. As enterprises cope with a growing tangle of technologies—mobility, clouds, social media, big data and more—new business models are blasting into the enterprise at warp speed. Consequently, there's a need for a more innovative and agile approach to software development and IT staffing.

Old-school coders who focused on writing line after line of C++ or Java as bug-free as possible are increasingly taking a back seat to a new breed of specialists who possess a more strategic understanding of programming and business.

Think of these individuals as Developer 2.0. Within today's digital enterprise, there's a need for a deeper understanding of how technologies intersect; what challenges and benefits solutions address; and the overall context of tools, technologies and situations.

Within the old-world model, the business was forced to conform to IT's idea of what was best. In the new world, IT is the servant of business.

This means understanding constituencies—and users—in a deeper and more effective way than in the past. It means building better interfaces and far more usable software. Finally, it means thinking about design, execution and business results in the same sphere.

These days, development is far more than a collection of technology and technical skills. "In order to generate continuous improvements and ongoing value, organizations must adopt new ways of thinking," observes Walter Sun, a principal in the product innovation and development management consulting practice at PwC.

So, yes, a bit of charisma and savoir faire may be just the ticket, after all. Jelastic may be onto something.

This article was originally published on 2014-06-26

Samuel Greengard is a contributing writer for Baseline.

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