Review: The New Kingmakers


I will admit that I have been following what Stephen O’Grady and James Governor have been doing over at Redmonk for quite some time. They were doing for developers what I wish people had been doing when I was a developer. When Stephen published his book, I promptly went out and got it…and then had to wait to find time to read it.

I am so glad that I did. It took a little more time to get around to writing this review, but it is important to write because The New Kingmakers is full of truth. What Stephen has written about is the critical start of the trend we are seeing all over the world of technology.

Before I go into that, let me talk about the book.

Developer Mojo

When I started developing, except for the BASICA that was included with every 80s era PC, I had to pay for all the development languages and references out of my own pocket (or my parent’s pockets). If I wanted the new version, I had to pay.

Database development? Had to pay.

Need a new server with more resources? Had to pay.

This continued through the 90s until some new things started happening. Java came out, followed by all sorts of additional development tools. This was awesome except you still needed hardware.

Amazon solved that problem. We still had to pay but it was cheap. No longer were we using old desktops to build development servers or to test new development tools.

And this, points out Stephen, changed everything. No longer was enough for Microsoft or Borland selling their platforms to IT managers. Developers could download everything they needed to create new systems and create prototypes to demonstrate new ideas.

Developers now have power. While I may not agree that it makes them Kingmakers, it has changed the face of IT.

Developers are more important than ever and keeping good ones on hand is more challenging than ever.

Enter Open Source

Open Source drove this change and created parallel changes itself. The ability to bring your own solution didn’t stop at developer tools. It slowly entered the world of enterprise applications. My career has been riddled with these solutions built upon the very development tools that Stephen outlines in this book.

Alfresco, Nuxeo, Drupal, WordPress…these are some of the applications began changing the Content Management industry. While the impact in the back office is not as great as it has been for the world of the Web, the impact cannot be understated.

It isn’t solely the fact that they are Open Source. It is the fact that they empower IT, Marketing, and other organizations to begin solving problems without laying down huge sums of money.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Bring Your Own Everything

What began simply as developers bringing their own tools to solve business problems has grown. With the Consumerization of IT these days, EVERYONE is becoming a Kingmaker.

Dropbox, Box, Apple, Google, Zendesk…you name the business problem, you can now get it for your phone. Applications that are easy to use, solve business problem, and have a low cost. Forget that massive Capital expense, everything is moving to the Operating budget.

As I said in New Orleans…Information Management, there’s an App for that.

That is the change. That is the disruption. That is why things will never be the same.

What About the Book?

Read it….simple as that.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you need to Read It.

If you work in IT, you need to Read It.

If you want to learn why Bring Your Own Device/Application/Anything is changing the world, you need to Read It.

If your organization wants to be competitive using technology, you need to Read It.

If Developers important to executing your business plan, why haven’t you Read It already?

What are you still doing here? Go read it already.

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