Thursday 4 October 2012

Be Mobile or Be Cloudy

There are two spaces in the dev world for a dev to touch on right now that can not be ignored. If you do ignore them, you are accepting legacy status within a year.

Be a mobile dev OR Be a cloud dev.

Cloud: A visible mass of condensed water vapor floating in the atmosphere, typically high above the ground

Everyone is talking cloud this and cloud that. If you aren't at least having a play in this new world at home then you are already falling behind.

This should be something additive. It will work with what you know and be a logical progression, just as classic client server gave way to the storm that was web development.

Everyone has an offering. Amazon was first and they did ok. Google wants all your data and pretty much has it. I work for Microsoft so you'd expect that to be why my suggestion for a starting place is Azure.

In actual fact, it is Azure but not because I work for them.

If you are a .NET developer and you want fluid transition in to this new buzz word filled world of cloud then there is no better option than Azure.

Moving to any cloud is not just a matter or spinning up a few servers and copying your code over. Designing for this new environment is key. Take what you have and move it to a truly scalable model with infrastructure as a service and advanced app monitoring.

Stay tuned and join me on my 90 day adventure to build an Azure based application.

Mobile: A decorative structure that is suspended so as to turn freely in the air

There are also a bunch of major options if you go down this path. Google has Android. Apple has the mainstream iOS platform. Microsoft gives you Windows 8.

Having written apps for all of these players, there are good and bad things about all of them.

My bet is on line of business apps that don't appear on app stores at all but get consumed inside businesses to do everyday work.

Designing for a mobile platform is as distinct and must be as purposeful as designing for the cloud. You don't just move code. You don't just swap out your presentation layer. There are considerations made for user experience on such portable but tiny devices. Then there is how you handle data down and uploads across 3G+. There are many restrictions to grasp but these strong guidelines can be used to quickly build for these platforms, if not fought at every turn.

.NET devs again will find the Win8 app leap more of a small step.

Whatever mobile experience you bring with you or gain in the adoption of this kind of programming and design, it will help you in building leaner and friendlier applications.

My posts on getting started with Win8 dev are here.

There will always be legacy apps. Just don't be a legacy software developer.

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