Who wants to program for Vista?

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This is how you bait Windows developers into commenting on your blog.

Besides the obvious bias of this posting, there is something interesting in this general area of what Windows developers are using. First, I think most programmers today are Intranet developers. They leverage the browser. They leverage database tools. They write code that will be used internal to an organization, rather than external. And for those outward facing apps, they’re almost always browser based apps.

So although I don’t think the point of the article was this: I do think that for most Windows development per se–let’s call it the old Win32 style of development–is dead. I’d even go further in saying that for all practical purposes .NET is the Microsoft API now. There are some of us that still develop for the Windows platform as a platform, but there aren’t many of us. Most could just as easily be writing for anything if the tools they were using were cross platform. It’s just that the tools they are using are themselves Windows targetted. Silverlight is the exception here. And, yes, Novell is working on a port of the .NET Framework to Linux, but I’m so-so on whether this will pan out the way people are thinking it will. My view is that Microsoft should be doing the work. How hard is it anyway?

So here’s how I see it (in an oversimplified and overdramatic way):

* C++ is dead
* The Windows API is dead
* The .NET Framework is the API to target
* If you want to get a programming job today, focus on web development and databases
* Scripting is sufficient for many tasks and is something more and more people can do

And here are the general trends I think we’re seeing when it comes to programming:

* Learn how to design. Design tools will continue to improve and programmers will become more designers than just programmers. Likewise, designers will gain more powerful tools that will enable them to do more programming.
* Tools will improve so that more people can do programming.
* More “things” will move to the database.

This is way oversimplified, I know, but I think these are general trends that are true. What do you think?