Friday, December 10, 2010

The kids are alright!

There are those who fret over the lack of investment being made to market NonStop and to attract a broader community, and yet, kids fresh out of college are deploying new applications on NonStop without even knowing it!

In the prologue to Back to the Future, Doc Brown appears in his DeLorean time machine and urges Marty and then Jennifer to come with him. To Marty’s question of where, Doc responds, “Back to the future … It's your kids, Marty. Something gotta be done about your kids!”

As Marty urges Doc to back up so as to have a longer section of road to launch the DeLorean, Doc quips “Roads? Where we're going, we don't need ... roads.”

This week I have been revisiting the topic of modernization and have been unable to put to one side the comments I posted last week and where I quoted a different Marty, this time Marty Edelman, from his article in The Connection (Nov – Dec, ’10) where he writes “achieving modernization is a journey of many steps … no one coming out of college has ever heard of (Tandem’s tools) … (but) after embracing modern development practices … (this) enabled me, as a manager, to hire kids out of college and have immediate productivity from them.”

At a time when many within the NonStop community fret over the lack of investment coming from HP to educate our kids in how to write code for the NonStop, I see this quickly becoming a non-issue. As Randy Meyer tells audiences whenever he can, his own son fresh from college, yet knowledgeable in development frameworks with products like Eclipse, was able to bring up a program on NonStop with no prior education in NonStop, and had it work the way he wanted it to. “Cool,” came back the response!

There was a time when college kids, freshly drafted into the ranks of professional (American) football, could be easily recognized carrying a clipboard as they learnt on the job! It wasn’t unusual to see a highly ranked rookie doing this sideline routine for several years – we all recall how long it was before Steve Young of the San Francisco 49ers had the opportunity to start, being a back-up to Joe Montana for so many years.

But today, it’s all changed. Enormous salaries necessitate that new recruits have to come to the team ready to play as of the very first weekend of the season! The team franchises cannot afford to have such expensive resources sitting on the sidelines.
“Roads? Where we're going, we don't need ... roads.” Our kids will do alright and the benefits of deploying modern code onto a platform that doesn’t fail and can scale linearly removes a lot of complexity from the routines these kids had to develop in college. It allows them to move on quickly to solve today’s business problems free from the constraints they thought were just a part of coding a computer.

Shouldn’t we be actively promoting the story that NonStop is the system you don’t have to worry about? Forget the past and forget the roadmaps so eloquently described by other vendors. It’s not necessary – it’s the very transparency of NonStop that is today’s magic and the real breakthrough is that HP is ensuring that the specialized knowledge, once needed to program a NonStop server, becomes nothing more than folk lore.

For all of us heading back to the future, where we are going we don’t need (NonStop) roads (and roadmaps) and we don’t need to follow around with our clipboards the old guys either; it’s still a journey but all we need is the tools we used in college to address the business needs of those companies that take us on!

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