Top 5 questions in my last year working with ISV early adopters

As I get ready to transition role, I find myself increasingly thinking "what happened in the last 12 months that would be useful to take into the next 12 months".

One of the great bits about my current role is I spend a lot of time 1:1 in day long, two day long, three day long engagements talking about our latest technologies and how they might help. I get into "warts and all" discussions and I get to see the real issues faced by UK developers and architects - both with their own stuff and with our stuff.

I decided a useful step would be to think about the top 5 questions that just keep coming up time and time again. My hope is they may give me a steer on where I should spend some of my research, my blogging, my screencasting etc.

In no particular order:

  • UX: "Eric, Microsoft have Windows Forms, WPF, Silverlight, AJAX and ASP.NET MVC. Which should we use for our next generation of our user interface?"
  • Data: "Eric, Microsoft have ADO.NET Datasets, Datareaders, LINQ to SQL and LINQ to Entities. Which should we use for our next generation of our data access layer?"
  • End to End: "Eric, we understand each of the individual technologies pretty well BUT we are unsure how best to combine them to build a full solution. Given our situation what would be the best approach?"
  • SOA/ESB:"Eric, we are trying to work out what SaaS, S+S, SOAs, ESBs and ISBs really mean to us over the next 5 years. What should we be doing now?"
  • Buy or Build: "Eric, we think there are various Microsoft and 3rd party technologies, products and frameworks we could benefit from BUT we don't want to pick up unnecessary dependencies. What do you think we should use and won't regret in the future?"

All interesting questions. All tough questions. All need a lot of context before you can answer them. Hmmmm... but I think it should be possible to distill some of those discussions into something many more folks can benefit from. Fingers X'd.

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