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The seven ordeals of the web application developer – Part 3
Developers who seek their fortune in the web business applications market must face and survive seven ordeals and success will only favour those who come prepared.
3. The Third Ordeal: Time to market
Early desktop computing had a slow start. The limitations of the operating systems and the high cost of hardware, coupled with the lack of useful business applications were the main reasons for the slow uptake. The emergence of office automation, particularly Word Processors, Spreadsheets and accounting software, made computing essential to the success of any business. This helped increase the sales of hardware. Once the use of computers spread and their power grew the world witnessed an explosion in software development in every conceivable field. This slow start afforded the early entrants enough time to consolidate their presence in the market and achieve critical mass with little or no competition.
Web development has taken a different path. It started life in the academic world and in its formative years, served the needs of universities and the government. However, the main driving force behind its rapid expansion, in the business community and the population at large, has been its effectiveness in sales and marketing, social networking and in dissemination of news.
The penetration of the technology which now comprehends more than one sixth of the planet’s population, the maturation of its underlying standards, the improvement of its user experience and, the consolidation of Service Oriented Architecture (SOE) have now set the scene for the emergence of a new class of business applications. More importantly, for the first time, the choice of hardware and its associated form factor is irrelevant.
Unlike the early days of desktop computing, the playing field on the web is level and millions of independent developers have an equal opportunity for innovation and financial success. While the early players on the desktop had both the luxury of fewer competitors and more time to bring their products to market, web developers enjoy neither of these luxuries. To succeed, in such a competitive and fast moving environment, shortening the time from concept to market is the developer’s single greatest challenge.
Once again makers of web development tools play a crucial role in the success and failure of web developers and must push the envelope in developing state of the art IDEs.
To be continued . . .